Offender: Glenn Beck on The Glenn Beck Program
Media Outlet: Aired on radio stations nationwide 5/26/09 – syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications
The Offense: Radio host Glenn Beck mockingly explained how he thought President Obama chose Judge Sonia Sotomayor as his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court: “They’re just like: ‘Hey, Hispanic chick lady! You’re empathetic!’ She says ‘Yep!’ They say: ‘You’re in.’ That’s the way it really works. . . . The reason to be pissed off is she’s not transgendered and she’s not handicapped, she’s not blind, she’s not in a wheelchair. I don’t know if she has any kind of chemical imbalance.”
NOW’s Analysis: Like many a right-wing radio blowhard, Glenn Beck is not afraid of offending anyone. On this day, he was railing against President Obama for proudly nominating Judge Sonia Sotomayor, a Latina, to the Supreme Court. As Sotomayor would be the first Hispanic and only the third woman justice on the high court, these newsworthy facts were noted by Obama and much of the media.
But Beck took it a step further by putting words in the mouths of Obama and his vetting team, having them refer to Sotomayor as “Hispanic chick lady” and implying that her identity and possible empathy were the only factors that secured her the nomination — not her experience or the content of her legal opinions. Beck’s implied that Sotomayor got the job solely based on her gender and ethnicity, because that’s the only way she could have, right?
Beck goes on to insult a few other groups of people just for good measure — again speaking for Obama and anyone who might be pleased with Sotomayor’s nomination, saying that the only reason these folks might be mad is because the nominee does not have a physical or mental disability as well or isn’t transgendered. In less than 60 seconds, Beck manages to demean an extremely qualified and accomplished woman nominee to the Supreme Court, while insulting all women, Hispanics, people with disabilities, and the LGBT community. His employers must be so proud.
Take Action: Tell Kraig T. Kitchin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Premiere Radio Networks, what you think about Glenn Beck’s sexist, racist comments.
Lisa Bennett, NOW Communications Director