CHARLOTTE, N.C., October 8, 2014 — Sometimes you have to wonder whether the talking heads in broadcasting know more about the world than the average citizen does.
Case in point is resident liberal Bob Beckel who appears on Fox News Channel’s popular afternoon panel program, “The Five.”
Beckel’s credentials for “The Five” include being Walter Mondale’s campaign manager 1984. Ronald Reagan won that election, taking 49 of 50 states, calling in question Beckel’s political acumen. But Mr. Bob is undeterred. He makes certain everyone knows of his glory days as a political pundit with White House access.
Yet all he really brings to the table is a huge variety of colorful suspenders, which do their best to contain his ample girth.
While Beckel is often completely off the mark in his analyses, he proved his ignorance beyond a reasonable doubt. During a discussion of the Islamic State, Beckel launched into one of his boisterous dissertations, beginning his tirade with his favorite phrase, “The idea that …”
In this case, the idea on the table was that air strikes against ISIS have done little to stop ISIS’s advance, another indication that the Obama administration is playing politics with this issue until after the November elections. That notion transformed Beckel’s visage into a vivid, fulminating shade of red, causing his head to resemble something like a 300-pound tomato.
“The idea that any president would … blah, blah, blah … is ridiculous,” he fumed.
Failing to note that President Obama has not made a single move during his entire presidency that was not politically motivated, Beckel contended that this president, and any past president, has, and always will have, the best interests of the country as his primary goal. But as we’ve learned over the past six years, this is true of Obama only when the “best interests of the country” coincide with Obama’s best interests.
Beckel claims that he, and he alone, is the only member of the panel on “The Five” who has denounced Islamic extremism from the outset. It is true that he has frequently erupted in angry tirades over mass killings of Christians and Jews by jihadists in the Middle East. But he has never provided any deeper insights or demonstrated any knowledge of the situation beyond verbal outrage.
When his colleagues challenge him, they usually offer arguments and evidence to justify and support their positions. Beckel, on the other hand, has nothing more than a bag of hot air with which to counter the points of view expressed by his conservative associates.
Eric Bolling noted that Islamic violence has been around for some “1,500 years.” Beckel replied with disinformation saying that the Islamic State’s goals are not new and that they actually started with the “Ottoman Empire 2,000 years ago.”
Islam dates from 622, when Muhammad and his followers migrated from his home city of Mecca to Medina — 1,392 years ago, not 2,000 years. If Beckel meant Islam, not the Ottoman Empire, he was off by six centuries. If he meant what he said, he was off by seven centuries more. The Ottoman Empire was founded in 1299, 677 years after the founding of Islam.
Later in that program, Beckel again reminded his colleagues that he personally has been railing against Islam for longer than any other member of the group. Kimberly Guilfoyle clarified Beckel’s statement, observing that he had been denouncing “Islamic extremism,” not Islam.
Guilfoyle was right to make that distinction, because Beckel frequently speaks of Muhammad as being a “peaceful” example for Muslims to follow. In making such statements, Beckel claims similarities between Muhammad and Jesus Christ, which is like comparing scorpions to butterflies.
Kudos to Beckel for standing up against Islamic ideologies. But please, Bob, do it by citing bona fide facts and information that go beyond the nightly bluster.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News. Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod