On his radio show today, Glenn Beck called Bernie Madoff a dirt bag, but he also defended him as a small fish compared to all the other people out there. Beck said, “Why is this big story? This is the small fish.” Apparently, Beck’s definition of a small fish is not the same as everyone else.
Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:
Beck said, “It amazes me how many people are crying and screaming for blood, and the guy is, don’t get me wrong, the guy is an absolute dirt bag, and I think he should go to jail for the rest of his life…Here’s Bernie Madoff going to jail for I hope life, but meanwhile, Freddie and Fannie, it’s clear, really, nobody’s going to jail for Freddie and Fanny? Freddie and Fannie did more to collapse our financial, our housing sector, than Bernie Madoff ever did. Bernie Madoff is a small fish compared to all the other people out there. You got to be kidding me. More than what Congress did? Bernie Madoff?”
Later Beck complained, “Why is this the big story? This is the small fish. This is the manipulation of the entire financial meltdown by the government and the media…Fannie and Freddy where are those people…This guy has turned into Enron. This is not the Enron. This is a small fry in comparison to the other criminals.” Beck also asked why the SEC did not want to look into Madoff’s fraud.
If we were to put the people who really responsible for the economic collapse in jail, we would have to start with the Reagan administration, work through the Clinton administration, and then round out the folks from the Bush administration. Fannie and Freddie did not collapse the economy. Unchecked Wall Street greed collapsed the economy.
The deregulatory culture that allowed the greed to go unsupervised started with Reagan, kept going through Clinton, and reached its zenith with Bush. I love how Beck blamed Congress, but left the Republicans out of this. Fannie and Freddie were carrying out orders from the Bush administration. The Bush administration touted the housing bubble as part of their Ownership Society platform. Fannie and Freddie were not acting alone, so to speak.
Madoff is a big deal, and no he is not a small fish. Beck completely missed the reason why Madoff’s sentencing was important. The public needed to send a message to Wall Street that there will be serious consequences of the previous era of unchecked greed. Beck doesn’t get it, because he refuses to see the real reasons why the economy collapsed. To him, Madoff is a small fish, but everyone else, Madoff is a major criminal.