WASHINGTON — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is jumping into the fray over Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck, whose assertion last month that President Barack Obama is "a racist" led to a boycott of the companies advertising on his show, and ultimately, led some to drop their sponsorship of his show.
Palin on Wednesday had this to say on Facebook, the social networking Web site that, since she stepped down as governor, has been the former Republican vice presidential candidate's main platform for communicating: "FOX News' Glenn Beck is doing an extraordinary job this week walking America behind the scenes of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and outlining who is actually running the White House.
"Monday night he asked us to invite one friend to watch; tonight I invite all my friends to watch."
Palin is referring to Beck's attack this week on the background of Van Jones, who the Los Angeles Timesdescribes as "a White House environmental advisor and co-founder of an African American political advocacy group that organized an advertising boycott of his program."
Never miss a local story.
Color of Change launched the boycott of Beck's advertisers for remarks he made July 29 on "Fox and Friends," the cable channel's morning program. Beck was talking about Obama’s "beer summit" between Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. and James Crowley, the Cambridge, Mass., police sergeant who arrested Gates. Here's what Beck said: "This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture, I don't know what it is," Beck said. He added, "I'm not saying he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist."
James Rucker, the executive director of Color of Change, told the L.A. Times that Jones hasn't been active in the organization for almost two years. In the same article, Rucker called Beck's effort to shift the focus to Jones "baseless fear mongering."
Some 36 advertisers — including Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble and AT&T — stopped advertising on Beck's show, according to Brandweek Magazine.
Palin herself was one of Beck’s first guests this winter when his show moved from CNN to FOX. It has been her only appearance on the program, according to Media Matters for America, a liberal-leaning media watchdog group.
On the subject of race, Palin had this to say to Beck on Jan. 19, when he asked her whether, when Obama was sworn in the next day, if he was "your president tomorrow?"
Palin: "Absolutely, he is. We are all Americans and united we stand. I am proud of our country. I am proud to be able to acknowledge, finally, that color will never be a barrier henceforth. It should never be. Gender should not be a barrier for promotion, for elections, for anything else. Barack Obama represents that. So I am proud of where our country is today, and I look forward to the optimism and to the promise that I have faith in that his administration will help to usher in."