Glenn Beck said Thursday that Americans need to make it absolutely clear that they do not stand with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy after a report in the New York Times and subsequently released video footage showed Bundy questioning whether blacks would be "better off as slaves."
"It is hard, because we believe the government is out of control," Beck said on his radio program. "We believe the government is growing as an oppressor. We believe the west should have their land. We believe that the EPA and the BLM is putting their boot on the necks of of farmers and ranchers. ... But you have to know who you're standing with."
Bundy has become a national figure after refusing to pay federal grazing fees, arguing that the land in question belongs to the state, not the federal government. But Beck said that even if you agree with Bundy on some of the issues, you do not want a seemingly volatile racist as your messenger.
Embattled Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy, left, and his son Dave Bundy talk to a reporter on the corner of North Las Vegas Boulevard and East Stewart Avenue in downtown Las Vegas Monday, April 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, K.M. Cannon)
The New York Times reported that Bundy said of "the Negro": “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
Beck commented: "If he really thinks ... that slaves had a family life, just that shows you how unhinged from reality this guy is! You've got to distance yourself. You must know who you are standing next to at all times."
Beck also shared some stories about TheBlaze's interactions with Bundy, which seem to shed more light on the man's character.
"Immediately after speaking to Cliven [on the radio April 14], I had Billy Hallowell call him; he's our faith editor," Beck began. "One of the nicest guys out there."
Beck was shocked to hear that Bundy was so unbearably rude, Hallowell couldn't even conduct the interview.
"He writes to me and says, 'Glenn, I've never been treated so poorly,'" Beck recalled. "'The guy ripped me apart. And he said, 'If Glenn Beck wants to talk to me about faith, he can call me himself.'"
"And this is not the first Blaze reporter that was mistreated by Mr. Bundy," Beck added.
Beck said Bundy later apologized, and he accepted the apology. But when another reporter called him "to talk about the very thing I said we were going to talk to him about, he [flew] off the handle," Beck remarked.
"So we have backed off of him entirely," he continued. "And we have had internal conversations of, 'just watch this guy,' because I don't know where he is."
Beck said there is nothing wrong with giving a man a fair chance at the beginning, and stepping far away from him when new information emerges.
"I still say the government is out of control," Beck said. "I still say they used over-the-top force. I still say should return the land to the west. I still am for that! But I'm not with him."
"You cannot tolerate this," he told his audience.
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