The October 15, 2009 broadcast of The Joy Behar Show provides some great insight on conservative media from actor Richard Belzer.
In this clip, Behar and her two guests, actor and left-wing activist Belzer and New York Daily News Columnist Liz Benjamin discussed Rush Limbaugh’s failed effort to buy a stake in the NFL’s St. Louis Rams and the feud between Fox News and the White House.
Behar discussed the fact that Limbaugh often represents himself as someone who is not “in the mainstream.” Belzer lashed out at that notion and called Limbaugh and Glenn Beck “fascist stooges” (emphasis added):
Behar: Isn’t Rush Limbaugh in the mainstream? He acts like he’s not.
Belzer: This whole thing of conservatives saying they’re not in the mainstream, you know, as we all know, it’s the biggest crock. They have the courts, they had the presidency, they had the Congress, they have their own network.
Behar: But he’s not a politician. I guess that’s what he means – he’s just a radio – just like Glenn Beck they’re kind of like on the sidelines provoking and provoking.
Belzer: They’re fascist stooges who in the true sense of that word, that’s not hyperbole…
Benjamin: But why should he not own a team?
Behar: They don’t want him.
Belzer: Well, because other businessmen…
Behar steered the discussion back in the direction of Limbaugh and his efforts to buy the Rams. She brought up a quote that had been making the rounds in the media at the time:
Behar: He said the NFL is like the gangs – the Crips and the Bloods.
Benjamin: He did say that. That’s right.
Belzer: That’s veiled racism.
Behar: That’s very veiled racism.
Belzer: That’s unveiled.
Benjamin: That’s not veiled. Nevertheless the idea that this has not become — it has become political. He’s not sort of speaking out of turn to say that.
Behar credited Rev. Al Sharpton for ultimately forcing Limbaugh out of the running for the Rams, an opinion Belzer disagreed with (emphasis added):
Benjamin: You’re talking about Rev. Al Sharpton who was one of the loudest people crying for him not to have…
Behar: I think it’s because of Al Sharpton that he lost the bid to tell you the truth.
Belzer: The players were coming out. The [NFL] Players Association — two of them.
Benjamin: Had a lot to do with it.
Belzer: You don’t need Al Sharpton in a case like this. He was just as always showing up at the scene.
Earlier in the show, Behar inquired about Belzer’s keen wisdom on the feud going on between the White House and the Fox News Channel that was provoked by comments from White House Director of Communications Anita Dunn.
“That was one example of the right wing taking on the whole left, in this case the NFL,” Behar said. “But also Glenn Beck has been making statements that he is also a victim in this. And Fox news is the victim of the White House’s attack, it’s un-American, it’s unpatriotic, et cetera. What do you think of all that?”
Benjamin questioned the attack on Fox News, but Belzer had no kind words for the network, calling it “racist” and “misogynistic” (emphasis added):
Benjamin: Didn’t you just get finished saying there should be many parties and many voices, et cetera, but yet Fox is being – is not OK?
Belzer: You don’t think that Fox lies continually – there are books written about it, they’ve made racist, misogynist, pro-war-mongering…
Benjamin: OK, they have, that’s true. That’s the allegations.
Belzer: They say they’re attacking the conservatives. They had the President, the Vice President, the Supreme Court, the Congress and the Senate. And they’re not mainstream?
Benjamin: Last time…
Belzer: They’ve ruined the country now they’re complaining.
Benjamin: Last time I checked actually, we have a Constitution that protects – has a 1st Amendment that protects freedom of speech. You can actually say many sorts of misogynist and nasty things.
Belzer: So you’re condoning what Fox does?
Benjamin: I’m condoning anything.
Behar: Wait a minute. Richie, she has a point.
Belzer: No, the White House is firing back at this thing that’s been going on for years, that constantly lies, has veiled racism, misogyny, the most despicable things are said on that network every day…
Benjamin: Calling them out is fine.
Behar: They should be called out.
Benjamin: Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t exist.
Belzer: The White House isn’t saying don’t exist.
Benjamin: They’re saying that they’re a tool of the right. That’s what they’re saying.
Belzer: They’re not? What are they? They’re just a tool. They’re just a tool.
You can watch the fun, below: