Fox News may have some legitimate journalists, but Glenn Beck isn't one of them, according to one guest appearing on the network Monday night. Time's Joe Klein told Bill O'Reilly that Beck was "a nutter" who is "peddling a lot of hateful crap."
In October of 2009, Klein wrote, "Let me be precise here: Fox News peddles a fair amount of hate crap. Some of it borders on sedition. Much of it is flat out untrue." Appearing on the news channel Monday, Klein attempted to tone down that criticism.
"I have worked with an awful lot of Fox journalists, the ones who actually bring you the news, like Carl Cameron and Major Garrett," said Klein.
"Those people are good guys, right?" asked O'Reilly.
"Those are good guys," Klein replied, and added, "I think you're a good guy."
But when it came to Glenn Beck, Klein didn't back down. "I think that your pal Glenn Beck is peddling a lot of hateful crap," he said.
O'Reilly didn't disagree -- but tried to laugh off Beck's antics. "But he is funny," O'Reilly countered. "He is doing it in a funny way."
"I thought the part where he described the president as intentionally steering the airplane into the ground was hilarious," Klein said sarcastically. "And the stuff about Obama not being an American?"
O'Reilly cut him off. "He has a blackboard and phone to the White House. He is every man sitting on a bar stool. Why shouldn't every man have a show?" he asked.
"No. No. No. No. No," replied Klein. "He is Father Coughlin trying to delude and entertain the American public." Klein was referring to Charles Coughlin, a Catholic priest who attacked the New Deal, broadcast antisemitic theories, and expressed sympathy for Hitler and Mussolini in the 1930s. Coughlin is now considered the father of hate radio.
"That is such bull," O'Reilly replied.
But media critic Howard Kurtz gave O'Reilly points just for allowing Klein to go after Beck on the air. Minutes after the interview, Kurtz tweeted, "Joe Klein just ripped Glenn Beck on O'Reilly, calling him a nutter who peddles hateful crap. At least Bill-O allowed the debate."
This video is from Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, broadcast Feb. 1, 2010.