Did Glenn Beck just boil a frog?

The Fox News host's latest zany on-air stunt seems like bait for PETA

Published September 24, 2009 2:40PM (EDT)

Salon's recent three-part series on Fox News host and pseudo-right-wing-populist-rabble-rouser Glenn Beck traced his early career in morning drive-time radio. Beck was a morning "zoo" host and engaged in his fair share of attention-grabbing stunts on and off the air. So keep that in mind while watching the following video from his TV show on September 23.

In the clip, Beck does his usual bit denouncing both Republicans and Democrats and the ever-expanding government of President Obama. Then he decides to give his audience a visual example of how Obama's programs are so huge that they're forcing people to fight back -- though it's actually unclear what point Beck is trying to make.  He says, "You know the old saying, if you put a frog into boiling water, he's going to jump right out, because he's scalding hot, but if you place the frog in lukewarm water and gradually raise the temperature, it won't realize what's happening and die?"

Beck continued:

Barack Obama has galvanized the country, because of the sheer size of the bills he's proposed, and the number of the bills, the urgency that he's placing on the bills. He's forced us to think and get involved! We have -- not like John McCain, been boiled slowly -- we have been tossed quickly into boiling water, and don't forget what happens, what happens when you throw 'em in! When you throw 'em in, frogs into boiling water!

He then appears to throw a frog into the boiling water but the frog does not jump out. Beck seems mildly amused with himself and continues, "Okay ... forget the frog. I swear I thought they jumped right out. But they don't."

However, it doesn't seem like there's any reason to send an animal abuse alert to PETA. The act was almost certainly staged. If you look closely at the video, it appears that he's not actually throwing anything in the water at all. And Beck finished the segment by saying, "Forget about the Republicans, because most of them are fake. Forget about the Democrats, because most of them are fake. And forget about the frog, because it was fake!"

Glenn Beck, on the other hand, is decidely real.

And, for the record, frogs will die if you put them into boiling water.

By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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