Glenn Beck, long known for his strongly worded and extreme tirades against President Barack Obama and liberals, unexpectedly apologized recently.
Beck apologized on Thursday during his speech while accepting a First Amendment award from Talkers magazine. The talk radio trade publication gave 49-year-old Beck the award for relentlessly defending and practicing free speech.
Despite the honor, Beck said he regrets how he has pitted Americans against each other with his fiery speech, and if he could do the last few years over, he would tone down his language.
“For any role that I have played in dividing, I wish I can take them back,” he said in his speech. “I don’t wish I could take back the truth that was spoken, but perhaps — not perhaps — many times I could have said it differently.”
Beck did not rehash any specific comments he regrets, but one was likely when he accused Obama of having a “hatred for white people.” That comment by Beck on his Fox News show in 2011 resulted in a huge advertiser boycott and Beck’s ousting by Fox.
One Beck critic at the awards show did not buy into Beck’s apology, but believes it is his attempt at a rebranding in order to get picked up by cable channels. Angelo Carusone, vice president at Media Matters, a liberal media advocacy group, explained that in order for Beck to expand his ventures, he will have to tone down his language.
"Beck's entire history is a series of booms, busts and rebirths," he said. “Brand repair doesn't happen immediately. It's a process. Beck knows that. This soft contrition seemed like an attempt to advance that slow process. I'm not sure this will be effective, though, given that his approach hasn't really changed."