Glenn Beck's Fact-Free World

The radio talk show host does conservatives no favors with his comments about Teresa Heinz Kerry.

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T.V. host Glenn Beck addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington on Saturday Feb. 20, 2010.

Many people were worried, even alarmed, when Teresa Heinz Kerry was raced to the hospital in Nantucket with an unspecified malady, declared to be in "critical" condition and then flown to Mass General for further treatment. Concern, after all, would be the normal response.

It was not the response of conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck, who has taken willful ignorance of the facts and pure mean-spiritedness to a new level, suggesting the wife of Secretary of State John Kerry was faking to distract attention from a minor flap over whether Kerry was on his boat during part of the upheaval in Egypt.

[ See a collection of political cartoons on the Middle East.]

Kerry was briefly a target in a story about how the State Department said he was working in the office and not on his boat during the upheaval in the Middle East. Someone got a photo of him on his boat, and the official story was changed to say he was briefly on his boat during that time.

Big deal – should he not be allowed to go on his boat, ever? Is there really something that required him to be in the office while former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was being deposed? It was pretty clear that the Egyptian military – with the apparent backing of a strong segment of the Egyptian public – was going to oust Morsi, and Kerry's exact locale wasn't going to make a difference in the resolution.

But that, Beck believes, is the root of some scheme he imagines Kerry came up with to pretend his wife was gravely ill to avoid attention. Said Beck:

You expect me to believe that 'Mrs. Ketchup' is in critical condition? Maybe [Kerry] is [ill], but what happened to Benghazi? Hillary Clinton goes to the hospital. This is the same State Department. … Was that even real?

[ Read the U.S. News Debate: Should U.S. Foreign Aid to Egypt Be Cut?]

That was Beck referring to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's illness – a blood clot Beck is convinced was also just a fake-out to spare Clinton from having to testify before Congress about the Benghazi episode. That claim is even more ridiculous, if for no other reason than the fact that Clinton so easily out-classes most members of the House in both intrinsic intelligence and actual knowledge. But in Beck World, all women are just lying when they say they have a headache.

The real victims here are genuine, serious intellectual conservatives who want smaller government and a simplified tax code. Many of them have ideas worth debating. And they're drowned out by their most irritating cheerleaders, loudmouths like Beck who don't know what they're talking about and have no interest in learning facts. Certainly, he doesn't have the basic decency to just wish Heinz Kerry well.