SiriusXM announced on Tuesday that it has suspended conservative pundit Glenn Beck’s radio program after he failed to distance himself from a guest’s controversial statements. The satellite radio network said the suspension came in response to an interview Beck held last Wednesday. On “The Glenn Beck Program,” novelist Brad Thor said that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump poses an “extinction-level” threat to the United States and democracy.
Thor suggested that the public might need to resort to illegal means to thwart a hypothetical President Trump from violating the Constitution. “I’m about to suggest something very bad. It is a hypothetical I am going to ask, as a thriller writer,” he said. “With the feckless, spineless Congress we have, who will stand in the way of Donald Trump overstepping his constitutional authority as president? If Congress won’t remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that if . . . if he oversteps his mandate as president? His constitutional-granted authority, I should say, as president.”
Beck did not immediately challenge or repudiate the comments. Instead, he simply responded, “I would agree with you on that.”
SiriusXM said in its statement Tuesday that the exchange did not comport with the company’s values. “SiriusXM encourages a diversity of discourse and opinion on our talk programs,” it said. “However, comments recently made by a guest on the independently produced Glenn Beck Program, in our judgement, may be reasonably construed by some to have been advocating harm against an individual currently running for office, which we cannot and will not condone. For that reason, we have suspended ‘The Glenn Beck Program’ from our Patriot channel for the coming week and are evaluating its place in our lineup going forward. SiriusXM is committed to a spirited, robust, yet responsible political conversation and believes this action reflects those values.”
Beck responded to the brewing controversy shortly after the Thor interview aired. “So evil. That is NOT what he meant, nor is it what we thought,” he wrote on Facebook. “How evil do you have to be to think this?”
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Michael Walsh is an online journalist for Yahoo News. His focus is breaking news, especially in the world of politics.