Colbert: Beck tries to be MLK Jr. but doesn’t get to the mountaintop

By David Edwards
Friday, May 14, 2010 12:59 EDT
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Glenn Beck has a dream…but apparently it’s not a very original one.

The controversial Fox News host is orchestrating a rally in Washington DC on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Beck has tried to associate himself with the martyred historical religious leader but Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert finds that Beck just doesn’t make it to the mountaintop.

On August 28, 1963, King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech to a crowd of 200,000 at the Lincoln Memorial. 47 years later on the same day, Glenn Beck is planning a rally at the same location. Beck writes:

On August 28, 2010, I ask you, your family and neighbors to join me at the feet of Abraham Lincoln on the National Mall for the unveiling of The Plan and the birthday of a new national movement to restore our great country.

“The Plan” has been entrusted to Beck by God himself.

Beck recently told his audience about a conversation he had with his co-host, Pat Gray. “I said, ‘I can feel it coming,” Beck began. “It’s darkness, and I can just feel it coming.’ And I al– I started to say — I said, ‘The problem is, is that–’ and I stopped, because I don’t want to utter something like this without really thinking it through. But I was about to say, ‘the problem is, is that God is giving a plan, I think, to me that is not really a plan.’”

Beck later explained how even the Vatican was behind his “Plan.” “I was in the Vatican, and I was surpriseed the individual I was speaking to even knew who I was and they said, “Of course we know who you are. What you’re doing is wildly important,” said Beck.

But Stephen Colbert sees a problem with Beck’s intentions. “Glenn has this wildly important Vatican approved 100-year plan for America, but who is going to follow a guy who describes himself as a rodeo clown?” asked Colbert.

“I assume because both Glenn and a rodeo clown are so comfortable working with shit,” joked Colbert.

Colbert just can’t believe that Beck would purposely reveal his plan on the anniversary of King’s speech and at the very location. “You know what, that has got to be a mistake. I just can’t believe Glenn has made that connection,” Colbert remarked.

But Beck has made a connection between himself and King. The conservative radio and TV host has repeatedly said “I have a dream” on his Fox News show. “I have a dream white and black children can play together, live together,” Beck said on April 21, 2009.

“Holy shit!” exclaimed Colbert. “Can a self-described entertainer really go from rodeo clown to Martin Luther King by August 28th?” he wondered.

To test Beck’s ability to become like MLK Jr., Colbert introduced a game show-styled backdrop. Beck had to travel from rodeo clown at the bottom of the mountain to King at the top of the mountain. Every time Beck makes a King-like statement, Beck travels up the mountain.

On his April 21, 2009 show, Beck invoked King. “Martin Luther King, he then made everybody who marched with him take a pledge. Meditate daily on the teachings and the life of Jesus. I haven’t seen Jesus and what he would do on a talk show on Fox but I’m going to try,” announced Beck.

At that, Beck’s character began to ascend the mountain. “This is going to be a quick hike,” noted Colbert.

But another comment cost Beck all of that progress. “This president has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again who has a deep-seated hatred for white people,” Beck said on a July 28, 2009 episode of Fox & Friends.

The Beck character on Colbert’s game show board fell quickly back the the “rodeo clown” position. “Well, don’t worry, Glenn, you still have all summer to get there,” Colbert concluded.

This video is from Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, broadcast May 11, 2010.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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