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Fox News commentator Glenn Beck throws a frog in boiling water (maybe)

September 23, 2009 |  5:57 pm

Glennbeck

We're not quite sure we can actually believe our eyes -- but it seems that Fox News host Glenn Beck has thrown a live frog into boiling water on his television program.

"You know the old saying ... if you put a frog into boiling water, he's gonna jump right out because he's scalding hot, but if you place the frog in lukewarm water and gradually raise the temperature, the frog won't realize what's happening and die," Beck said to his primarily conservative audience.  "Let me get the frogs." 

The camera showed his hand feeling around in an aquarium.  Apparently having grabbed one ("Okay... All right ... So you have the little frogs.  You have the little frogs here"), Beck turned back to the camera and steered the conversation, predictably, to a favorite topic: the president. "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 he's been placing on the bills, he's forced us to think and get involved," Beck said before inserting a comparison between Republicans and said frogs in boiling  water. 

That was the wind-up. The pitch -- quite literally, Beck threw a small item that his audience was left to assume was a live animal into a pot topped by rising steam -- was apparently not quite what he had in mind.  When no tiny object leaped from the water (the dramatic effect one would assume he was trying to achieve), Beck gazed curiously at the rising steam before turning once more to the camera. 

"OK, forget the frog," he said.  "OK, I ... I swear I thought they jumped right out, but they don't."  

So was this serious?  Did Beck actually throw a live animal into boiling water to make a questionable point?  The Huffington Post wondered the same thing:

Did Glenn Beck just kill a poor little frog, on national teevee? Yes! Or ... no, maybe it was faked! Or maybe it was real, and Beck is now having to pretend he faked it? Or not! WHO KNOWS. ...

What just happened? By all appearances, Glenn Beck had murdered a frog. But he quickly offered, "Forget about the Republicans, because most of them are fake. Forget about the Republicans, because most of them are fake. And forget about the frog, because it was fake!" Oh! OK! So the only thing that was murdered was Beck's metaphor, in which his hyper-informed viewers were capable of jumping out of boiling water.

See the video for yourself below. It's not graphic, but -- whether or not a live frog was actually used for this stunt -- it's certainly off-putting.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

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