for the first 1/2 of the commentary, you might have thought this was keith olberman talking. but it was glen beck, the king of the crackpot right, making a long and, yes, moving, commentary on the bronx beating and torturing of three gay men. he sounded sincere, but then sounding sincere is part of his stock in trade, even when he's rhapsodizing about the sign god sent him during his washington rally, when a flock of canada geese flew overhead. [god sends an awful lot of canada geese over an awful lot of places with a fair degree of frequency.]
but when glen beck expresses deep horror and anger over gay bashing, you have to take notice. he seemed to actually understand that the victims--even the 30 year old who, as beck nonjudgmentally noted, was dressed very flashingly, and who had apparently had sex with 2 teenagers--were people who mattered. i was waiting for some qualification here--surely beck would suggest that somehow, though he didn't deserve this, the man had asked for it, or deserved some lesser punishment or maybe an arrest for statutory rape. yet this really seemed not to occur to beck. it's an amazing clip to watch. he acknowledged this was a hate crime, he acknowledged that it was homophobic, for all the world as if he believed homophobia was a bad thing. he used the word 'evil' several times, describing the attack as 'bigotry for sport.' he then took the incident as a crime not only against homosexuals, but against humanity itself. frankly, i'd never have suspected beck of knowing that homosexuals were part of humanity.
the attackers were hispanic, and a few of the many comments posted about the article suggested that it wasn't really about compassion, but about hatred of hispanics trumping contempt for homosexuals. but he didn't emphasize the ethnicity of the attackers at all; mostly he talked about their youth, such hatred acted out so horrendously by men barely out of their teens.
i would love to say that he was faking it, that he didn't really give squat about a bunch of gay men being tortured, and was just trying to show how nice a guy he really is. but i don't believe it. for one thing, he wasn't speaking to a liberal or even moderate audience; he was speaking to the folks who watch his tv show, who tend, as he does, toward rabid conservatism.
the sad thing is that beck doesn't seem to know that he bears some of the responsibility for the mindsets that create such brutality; that he who speaks so eloquently here against hate is a purveyor of hate. he referred several times to the fact that he had read the story in the paper on a plane as he was returning from some medical tests, which he would explain later in the show but which showed he had no major illness. could we hope that for just a few minutes, the fear that he might be facing death [and thus the judgement of the god he believes in] made him think about his life and his message with some honesty, and rethink his prejudice against pretty much everyone who isn't white, straight, conservative, and wealthy? i suppose not: he isn't the saul -of -tarsus type. but for once, however breifly, he has spoken well. and for this once, however briefly, he has earned a moment of praise.