Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham Thursday blamed the lack of civility in today’s political discourse on 24-hour news cycle, talk radio and voters’ electing confrontational politicians to office. But he saved some of his best shots for Fox News hosts Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck.
During a conversation with Jeffrey Goldberg at The First Draft of History (a conference in Washington, D.C. produced by The Atlantic, the Newseum and The Aspen Institute), Lindsey Graham slammed some very popular (and powerful) members of the media. Imagining if the Framers had to write the Constitution today, Graham speculated that host Bill O’Reilly would complain that “Ben Franklin [is] giving in on something.”
Asked what he thinks of another Fox News personality, Glenn Beck, Graham replied, “Only in America can you make that much money crying,” adding that Beck is “not aligned with any party as far as I can tell. He’s aligned with cynicism. And there’s always been a market for cynicism.”
“But we became a great nation not because we are a nation of cynics. We became a great nation because we are a nation of believers,” he added.
On the issue of whether he agreed with President Jimmy Carter’s assessment that much of the criticism towards President Obama of is rooted in racism, Graham said, “I don’t think so. There are people in this country that are having a hard time reconciling the fact that we have a black president,” he acknowledged.
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