Rush Limbaugh Knocks Glenn Beck; Criticized for "Reparations" Comment

(AP Photo)
Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh is criticizing Fox News host Glenn Beck over Beck's criticisms of the Republican Party at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday.

At that event, Beck said he has "not heard the people in the Republican Party yet admit they have a problem" and said that he doesn't "know what they stand for."

Glenn Beck: GOP Needs to Admit it Has a Problem

"I would not have said that the only people who can stop Obama, Republicans, should be excoriated for being just as bad," Limbaugh said on his radio show (watch at left, via Mediaite). "I don't know how you can say…that the Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats. It would never occur to me to say that. I don't know what the objective would be."

The incident is the latest demonstration of Beck's unique position in the political landscape. A hero in the Tea Party movement, he's not shy about criticizing Republicans.

But he has also shown a willingness to break with right-wing orthodoxy, as evidenced by a new interview in which he says he believes global warming is real and thinks a legitimate case can be made that it's been caused by mankind.

Beck even goes so far as to question the connection between the GOP and perhaps its most admired member, telling USA Weekend that "I don't think [Ronald] Reagan was a real Republican."

Another conservative radio host, Mark Levin, is also taking a shot at Beck for his CPAC comments. Levin said Beck should "stop acting like a clown" and "dividing" Republicans, Politico reports.

"Decide what you are," he said in reference to Beck. "A circus clown, self-identified, or a thoughtful and wise person. It's hard to be both."

Back to Limbaugh: The conservative flamethrower is once again angering liberals, this time for casting the health care reform effort as "a civil rights bill" that amounts to "reparations."

"The rich are going to stop getting all the good stuff, we're gonna take -- this is income redistribution, this is returning the nation's wealth to its quote-unquote rightful owners," he said yesterday in discussing the reform effort. "This is a civil rights bill. This is reparations, whatever you want to call it."

"I'm going to go on a limb here and describe this as about the most racist thing a major American media personality has said in quite a while," writes liberal blogger Steve Benen. "This is about Limbaugh trying -- with no subtlety at all -- to stir up racial fears and anxiety in the hopes of blocking improvements to a dysfunctional health care system, which has repeatedly screwed over a fair amount of Limbaugh's audience."

(The linking of the health care reform effort to reparations is not new, as another liberal blogger notes -- an editorial in the conservative Investor's Business Daily last year called the bill "affirmative action on steroids" with the possible goal of "the redress of health care disparities on the basis of race.")

In a bit of welcome news for Limbaugh, the New York Daily News reports that the trade magazine Talkers has released its latest list of the most influential talk radio hosts in the country, and "El Rushbo," as he calls himself, is in the number one slot.

He is "the most-listened-to talk host and more relevant culturally than ever," the influential magazine has determined. The second most influential host was found to be Sean Hannity, followed by Beck and Michael Savage.