Film and TV

Glenn Beck Says American Airlines Flight Attendant Made Him Feel "Subhuman," Compares Flight to Nazi's Europe

Glenn Beck has seen the face of hatred in America, and it looks like a surly flight attendant. In a transcript from his radio show, posted to his website this morning, Beck claims that an American Airlines employee slammed his drink down, barked the word "breakfast" at him, and delivered a monologue on being a "former Israeli soldier" and "how he was so proud of the very liberal cities in America."

What, he didn't manage to work in a reference to being a gay, Communist, Bible-burning, flag-defecating-upon Obama voter too? Can we just safely assume that part, Glenn?

The Passion of Glenn Beck began in New York over the weekend, when he says he was treated rudely in a "minority-owned" barbecue shop and then "openly mocked" the next day by patrons at a breakfast spot. But all of that was a mere prelude to his treatment on American while flying back home to DFW.

"I've lived in Texas in the last few months and I had forgotten why I needed my security detail," Beck said. (In an interview, Beck friend and somewhat-factual author David Barton claimed Beck wears a bulletproof vest at all times and sometimes travels with "15 to 17" bodyguards.)

"As I compared New York and Texas, there's not everybody in Texas agrees with me," Beck continued. "There's a lot of liberals in Texas. It's funny. We all have a neighbor here in Texas who is an Obama supporter. All of us do. But we're neighbors first, Texans second, and Republicans and Democrats somewhere way down on the list.

"On the way home I flew American Airlines, a Texas‑based airline. I, unlike all of the other passengers, was not offered the option of courteous service. I don't know why."

While other patrons were "politely asked if they cared for anything to eat," Beck says, he was "barked at" by the attendant. While everyone else's soda was lovingly poured, his was "slammed down" unopened in front of him.

"I had service unlike I have never had ever before in my life, and I have had rude service before," Beck said. "I lived in New York City. I have never had service that was specifically designed to make me feel subhuman. Oh, I had it. He put on quite a show as he fawned over the other passengers proudly and loudly performing his life story about being a former Israeli soldier and how he was so proud of the very liberal cities in America."

Because the flight attendant was apparently Jewish, Beck finds a way to work in a lot of Holocaust-themed references into his monologue.

"I watched him and I wondered: Does this make him feel better somehow?" he asked. "It's sad because I think it did. As I sat there, I wondered how many things we would actually agree on, how many things did he actually believe about me that aren't even true. I wondered if he was ever made to feel like a second class citizen before. I wondered if he had any friends and family in the dark years of Europe that made them feel less productive. I wonder if his friends and family ever felt like they were less than a welcome member of society because of their faith or who they were or what they believed."

Beck wondered aloud what he had done to this flight attendant that "he as a grown man felt justified and uplifted by taking his pound of flesh," a nice little reference to Shylock, another famously nasty (Jewish!) character who hated pouring people's soda for them.

"I wondered if a guy like this flight attendant for American Airlines, if he were in a group of like‑minded people and that group of people were in power. I wonder if he and his friends would feel it rational to march me through the streets with a sign around my neck mocking and frightening anyone away who might want to stand with me," Beck added. "I wondered. Surely not. This somehow was different. This was just a small indignity."

Beck says that upon deplaning, he said to the attendant, "I want to sincerely thank you for not treating my children the way you treated me." He says the attendant replied, "It was my pleasure. You deserved it."

Beck wondered, too, "if American Airlines was happy that I chose them. Are they happy that other conservatives even fly in their planes? Are they glad to be based in Texas, or is this just an unfortunate stopover on the way to one of those many liberal cities their employees are so proud of?" He vows that his family "will never choose American Airlines again."

We're awaiting a call back from American's media relations people. In the meantime, shall we place bets on how long it'll before before a Beck supporter calls for an outright boycott of the airline?

Oh. Too late.

Update, 12:10 p.m. American Airlines spokesperson Matt Miller sends over this statement: "We are sorry for the experience Mr. Beck had on a recent flight. The comfort and satisfaction of our customers are very important priorities to us and we take these matters seriously. We have reached out to Mr. Beck's office and are actively looking into the situation."

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Anna Merlan
Contact: Anna Merlan