Bette Midler Warns Glenn Beck Could Set Off a Rwanda-Like Civil War in U.S.
By Jeff Poor
September 30, 2009 – 07:50 ET
It’s just what the primetime cable news lineup needed – another hour-long program tilted toward left-of-center politics with character assassination on conservatives.
CNN Headline News debuted its “The Joy Behar Show” on Sept. 29, which included appearances by lefty comedian Jeanane Garofalo, CNN’s Jack Cafferty and actress Bette Midler. Garofalo doubled down on her low regard for conservative 9/12 and tea party protesters, labeling them as racists. Cafferty went after President Barack Obama for his disregard of the carbon footprint his lobbying efforts in Copenhagen for Chicago to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.
However, actress-turned-Vegas entertainer Bette Midler went straight after former CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck. She was prodded by host Joy Behar, who mentioned Beck as someone who is encouraging a breakdown in so-called “political discourse.”
“Someone like Glenn Beck has made gazillions of dollars because he’s out there being sort of hateful in many ways,” Behar said. “He calls himself a clown and a comedian. Do you think it’s funny?”
Midler confirmed what one would probably expect – she’s not a fan of Beck at all.
“I don’t think he’s funny even a little bit,” Midler said. “I’ve never had a laugh from Glenn Beck. In fact, I find him terrifying. I find him terrifying. He’s like an old school demagogue, and it’s really frightening.”
What did Midler compare Beck to? She likened the popular Fox News host to the instigators of the Rwandan civil war, which was the catalyst for the Rwandan genocide where an estimated 800,000 to 1 million lost their lives.
“If you look around at the rest of the world and what this kind of behavior has done, like in Rwanda, where the demagogues got on the radio and fomented all that hate between the Tutsis and the Hutus and the devastation that happened from that, I mean, it’s terrifying,” Midler said.
According to Midler, that’s a possibility in the United States.
“And that could happen, you know, you could turn on a dime,” Midler warned. “That could happen here.”
Behar reminded Midler the United States is a society that has free speech. However, according to Midler Beck isn’t exercising free speech. He exercising hate speech she maintained.
“I don’t think hate speech is so free,” Midler said. “I’m not for censorship. But I also feel like, be a human being.”
Behar explained basic civics to Midler – that what she deems “hate speech” is constitutionally protected. Midler blamed the education system for that sort of rhetoric.
“I think that the people who are educated to be civil are civil,” Midler continued. “That’s all there is to it. And people who are not educated in any way, who are just a little on the barbaric side, what can you do? But that’s the fault of the education system, I think, and the way they’re brought up.”