On cue, Beck criticizes lack of Bible at swearing-in

Fox News host Glenn Beck claims, wrongly, that every previous president has sworn his oath of office on a Bible.

By Alex Koppelman

Published January 22, 2009 11:55PM (EST)

Earlier Thursday, I wrote about some conservatives fretting over the lack of a Bible at Barack Obama's second swearing-in as president. As I noted at the time, the meme hadn't quite gone viral, though there was still plenty of time for that to happen. Well, new Fox News host Glenn Beck took that ball and ran with it on his show Thursday afternoon.

In fact, Beck took it one step further, claiming, "I've checked -- we have never had a president sworn into office without a Bible... Does this bother, or just make anybody go, 'Wow, that's a first?'"

Research is apparently not Beck's forte, as ThinkProgress points out. There have been at least four presidents who didn't use a Bible at their swearing-in. Additionally, Slate's Noreen Malone notes, "There are no known inauguration Bibles for presidents John Adams through John Tyler; in fact, there's no concrete evidence that those early presidents used a Bible at all for the oath."


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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