Cult of Outrage: California Legislators Call for Bob Beckel’s Resignation After He Said “Chinamen” On-Air
Bob Beckel is a Fox News personality who has never really had the gravitas to host his own show. Like Alan Colmes – of Hannity & Colmes-that-was – Beckel is what passes for a liberal voice on the conservative-heavy network. While anchors like Shepard Smith, Chris Wallace, and Bret Baier bring the network credibility in broadcast journalism, guys like Colmes and Beckel are there to take heavy swings at the conservative commentators because no likes to watch a one-sided beating for long.
Last week, Beckel was discussing China – a country he very obviously fears, mimicking the tensions between the U.S. and Chinese governments – and said the word “Chinamen,” before immediately correcting himself. According to Mediaite.com, Beckel addressed the controversy on the show The Five today. He apologized for “offending” people, but made clear that he does “not apply to the Chinese government or their habits or anything else.”
The rambling nature of that quote is indicative of Beckel’s style, so he is not a man that is typically well-spoken. Still, two Democratic representatives from California, Judy Chu and Ted Lieu – both of Chinese descent – took offense the way Americans often do nowadays, by demanding Beckel be fired.
Normally cases of outrage over words, it isn’t a real First Amendment issue, although an argument can be made that they are relevant to the spirit of it. However, because Lieu and Chu are both members of Congress, this is drifting dangerously close to that sort of territory. To be clear, they are not arresting Beckel or anything like that, but they are attempting to have his job because they didn’t like something he said.
If Chu or Lieu were regular viewers of Fox News – by choice, not because they are Democrats, a party which looks to Fox News to establish the national conversation – maybe this would play like anything other than a cheap try to point the “#CancelColbert” Twitter warriors at Fox News. Yet regardless of who is on the other end of it, there is no scenario where I am okay with the idea of American legislators even trying to have a broadcaster fired let alone succeeding.
However like the other activists that make up the Cult of Outrage, having Beckel fired – even if he is the sole liberal voice on his horrendous show – is a much easier win than actually going after any real problem. For Chu and Lieu the problem is that they are part of the least-productive Congress in history. Rather than watching Fox and getting offended, they should be on the floor of the House trying to do something, anything.