Glenn Beck told a Cincinnati crowd Saturday night that it's not an anti-Islam film that's causing the Middle East to go "up in flames" -- but even if it were, it's still speech that must be protected.
The 14-minute trailer for "Innocence of Muslims" depicts the Prophet Muhammad as an adulterer, murderer and child molester and has been blamed in part for sparking mob violence in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Sudan and elsewhere. Libyan officials have said the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other American personnel was pre-planned.
"They're blaming it on a film," Beck told the FreePAC Ohio rally. "I got news for you -- it's not the film, and even if it was a film, as you much as you might disagree with that film, as much as we might think that that's a despicable film or whatever, it's a film."
Beck said the right to free speech and freedom of expression, no matter how distasteful, must be protected.
"We have a right to voice our opinion no matter how offensive it is, you have a right to speak out," he said. "The only speech worth fighting for is the speech that no one wants to hear. The only speech that's worth standing for is the speech that you might personally despise because if it's that speech, next it's your speech and then it's your speech and your idea. More voices not less."
On the night that he unveiled TheBlaze's new Action Center, Beck also blasted the mainstream media, calling it "out of control" and "beyond repair." He compared it to an Apple computer product: "You buy it and it breaks and then you take it in and then they listen to it for some reason....and then the guy in the black T-shirt who's about 12 years old says 'oh sorry, we're not going to be able to fix that you're just going to have to buy a new one."
"That's the mainstream media: it's not fixable. You're going to have to buy a new one," Beck said.
He accused the mainstream media of missing "the biggest story of possibly the last 100 year": activists like those gathered at FreePAC who have stood up around the country and demanded responsible change.
"It has denigrated you, it has dismissed you, it has miscast you. It has tried to discourage you every step of the way but it has never recognized what you've done," Beck said. "Historians will, but the mainstream media will not."