Although she's been involved in Texas politics for a decade, and has served as county GOP chair, Medina is hardly a career politician. She is currently running in a three-way primary race against current Republican governor Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX). Medina is unabashedly pro-life and conservative. And starting from nowhere, she is now in a statistical tie with Hutchison, close behind incumbent Perry.
But you wouldn't know any of that if you were introduced to her on Beck's radio show today. Instead, you might havebeen led to believe that she is a 9/11 "truther." Just to be clear,"truthers" believe that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks were somehow orchestrated by President George W. Bush and/or someone working for him, using the U.S. government to artificially instigate global war.
This was Beck's first and only question. And after playing with Medina for a few moments, Beck dismissed her rather abruptly. Listen to this clip from the program, and judge for yourself whether or not this sounds odd:
There are several points that make us question what is going on here:
- Medina says she experienced audio problems, and could not hear Beck very well. That seems obvious in the clip, as she continues to speak several times, clearly not hearing him.
- Her response to Beck's vaguely-worded first attempt may best be described as confusion, as in "Why in the world are you asking me THAT?"
- When Beck re-phrases and poses the question directly, Medina could have helped herself with a simple, one-word answer: "No!" But she didn't, so Beck extrapolated that to a "yes" for her without giving Medina any chance to refute. Beck then moved immediately to ridicule.
- Medina sounds very surprised and confused as Beck pushes this issue. Her rational explanation that she is in a state race, and not focused on national issues, seems lost on Beck, who is already laughing. She's obviously trying ask politely, "What are we even discussing this?"
- Medina claims she was invited onto the show, told by producers that Beck wanted to get acquainted with her. No one told her they would ask about the "truther" issue. And since she says she is not in any way a supporter of that conspiracy theory, she was rightly surprised that Beck would start there.
- Finally, and perhaps most disturbing, we have heard from a number of friends we trust who report that they received robocalls from the Perry campaign within an hour of this interview. And the call included audio bytes of Beck ridiculing Medina. That seems extraordinarily suspicious.
It isn't like Beck to set up a guest. Nor would it be consistent with the Beck we know to think that he conciously decided to help Gov. Perry's re-election bid. Given the context, that could be considered corrupt, by some. We're not cynical enough to believe that. But Beck may want to consider explaining himself to his faithful listeners and viewers.
You can learn more about Debra Medina here. Her statement about the Beck interview is here. The Glenn Beck Program posted a transcript of the conversation here.
What do you think? Is Medina a true conservative, or a 9/11 "truther"? Is she someone you could support? What should she do to clarify all this for Texas voters? And what about Beck's role in this?