Few hosts go after their targets harder than Glenn Beck, but apparently he throws punches a lot better than he takes them.
This week, Beck lost a legal battle to take down a parody site devoted to mocking the talk-show hostâ€™s use of innuendo and rumor in going after his political enemies. The domain name that provoked his ire was GlennBeckRapedAndMurderedAYoungGirlIn1990.com, whose main page pledged to â€œexamine the vicious rumorâ€ alluded to in the site’s title.
The site’s owner, Isaac Eiland-Hall, a 34-year-old computer-science student in Panama City, Florida, told The Daily Beast that the name was derived from a running joke on news site Fark.com‘s messageboards, which compared Beck’s style to a routine by comedian Gilbert Gottfried at a Friarâ€™s Club Roast in which he repeatedly denounced the nonexistent rumors that Bob Saget “raped and killed a girl in 1990.” In repeating the rumor, of course, Gottfried succeeded in spreading itâ€”thus roasting his fellow comic.
â€œI’ve long felt that Beck uses tactics like I satirized on the site,â€ Eiland-Hall told The Daily Beast in an email interview. He says he found â€œparticularly egregiousâ€ an incident during Beck’s CNN career in which he told Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), a Muslim, that he longed to challenge the congressman by saying: â€œSir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.”
Citing the landmark free-speech case Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, Randazza argued that the site was a clear parody and that it was â€œabsurd to imagine a user who would be confused about whether or not Beck is an owner, author, sponsor, or endorser of the site.â€ Beckâ€™s lawyers argued that the site was registered in â€œbad faithâ€ and that by using his name in the domain, users could be confused whether the site was operated by Beck himself…
The Man Who Beat Glenn Beck by Benjamin Sarlin