Nuggets of Wisdom

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Beck and Grayson: Fair Comparison?

Is it really fair to compare a talk show host to a senator?

To CNN’s Howard Kurtz, it is.

On his show Reliable Sources, Kurtz compared Glenn Beck to Sen. Alan Grayson. He claimed that when Beck accused Sen. Mary Landrieu of ‘hooking’ for the $300 provision for the healthcare bill (“basically calling her a prostitute”), Beck was being just as offensive as Grayson who called a lobbyist a ‘K Street Whore,’ and thus should face the same scrutiny that Fox News gave Grayson.

One of the guests, Jim’s Geraghty of National Review, managed to point out Kurtz’s faulty comparison:

Geraghty: Well, it's a little bit crass, but nobody elected Glenn Beck to Congress, yet.

Kurtz: So you’re saying there should be no standards for what people say on television?

Geraghty: I’m saying we should…[expect] more from a member of congress or an elected official…

Kurtz: So you’re saying Grayson should be held accountable because he’s an elected official and Glenn Beck is in the gas-bag business like many of us on television?

No shit, Sherlock!

Geraghty: I think I expect more out of a member of Congress than the 5 p.m. hour of Fox News.

I know Glenn Beck can be outrageous; but as a talk show host, he has every right to be. As long as he’s not broadcasting slander (and no, claiming that a senator was acting like a prostitute is not slander, though claiming a senator is a prostitute would be), he has the liberty to say what he wants.

Grayson, on the other hand, cannot. He is required to adhere to the decorum of Congress, and thus does not have the same liberty as Beck.