Glenn Beck Sub Calls Tanning Salon Tax “Racist”

While President Obama signed the final piece of the health care reform bill into law on Tuesday, opponents are not taking the defeat lying down. This week’s prize for the most bizarre objection to health care reform goes to Glenn Beck’s guest host Doc Thompson who alleged that a tax on tanning salons is racist. Andy Kroll of Mother Jones explains:

Filling in for Glenn Beck on his radio show, conservative radio host Doc Thompson recently made the stunningly outrageous claim that a tax on indoor tanning salons, as included in the health care reform bill, is racist. Such a tax, Thompson claimed, discriminates against “all light-skinned Americans” because only white-skinned Americans use tanning salons. Never mind the deadly effect tanning beds and the like have on your skin and health, nor the fact that the tax would generate $2.7 billion over ten years to help pay for health care. No, that couldn’t have anything to do with why the tax was included in the health care bill.

Governors vs. AGs

Christina Bellantoni of TPM Election Central reports that various Republican state attorneys general are clashing with their Democratic governors over plans to challenge health care reform in court. When Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox (R) joined an anti-reform lawsuit, Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) reminded everyone that “no one in the executive branch has authorized [Cox] to take this position.” The lawsuits are a good way to grab media attention, but Cox and his fellow AGs may end up with egg on their faces if these challenges actually go to court.

Reform and the Constitution

Some anti-reform activists allege that health care reform is unconstitutional because the government doesn’t have the right to force people to carry health insurance (aka the “individual mandate”). On, The Breakdown podcast, Chris Hayes of the Nation interviews Gillian Metzger a professor of constitutional law at Columbia who explains why the constitutionality of health care reform is “pretty much a no-brainer.” Another Nation contributor, Aziz Huq, puts it this way: “Among constitutional scholars, the puzzle is not how the federal government can defend the new law, but why anyone thinks a constitutional challenge is even worth making.”

SEIU Sues Dissident Local

Speaking of lawsuits, Carl Finamore of Working In These Times is covering a major court battle in California between two large health care unions. The 1.8 million-member Service Employees International Union is suing the former elected officers, staff and organizers of its third-largest national affiliate, United Healthcare Workers–West (UHW). The 26 defendants defected from SEIU to form a new union, National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), which is also being sued. The conflict started a few years ago when national SEIU decided to remove 65,000 health care workers from a UHW local without the local’s consent. Finamore sees this lawsuit as a test of the principle of local self-governance: can SEIU sue a dissident local into submission?

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about health care by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint.

photo credit: thanks to Whatsername? via flickr
By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger


Roger H.
.6 years ago

His remarks are what most people call political satire. The term "racist" is being used way to much as an excuse when someone disagrees with something being proposed by the White House and this was used to show how ridiculous those claims sound. Considering how many people missed the political satire, I would say that makes this man much smarter than his critics.

Beverley A.
Beverley A6 years ago

Who is this idiot ? Everyone knows the UV rays in tanning salons can cause melanoma - several young people in Australia have died recently from this, or had to undergo radical surgery and chemotherapy. Tanning salons should be BANNED because they are DANGEROUS TO HUMAN HEALTH, not because they are racist !.

Janice P.
Janice P6 years ago

Just when I think Glenn beck can't become any more preposterous, he does. Tanning beds racist? That would be news to a friend I once had, who was a very fair-skinned black woman and who did use tanning beds. This guy really is nothing but a clown.

And, along those lines: I was up very late a few nights ago and I heard George Noory (host of Coast to Coast Am Radio) say that Glenn Beck is one of his friends. Then a night or two later, I heard him say that his solution to the "illegal alien problem" is to invade Mexico, clean it up, and help get it on its feet, economically speaking. I used to get a lot of information from his show, especially with regard to the Federal reserve and from one guest he often has, Katherine Austin Fitts. I have met him, and he seemed like a very, very nice man. But, these things I recently heard are very disturbing. Maybe he has been spending too much time talking with or listening to Glenn Beck.

Linda M.
Linda M6 years ago

who let this guy on the air?

Marian B.
Marian B6 years ago

It is not a race thing, people just like being tanned, very silly.

gail d.
gail dair6 years ago

thanks for post

Roger H.
.6 years ago

I assure you this comment was used in that show to show how ridiculous people are becoming when labeling people and comments as racist. Also, Glen Beck is far from a racist but he can be pretty convincing to someone that doesn't know better. Currently there are approximately 56% of the voters in America that don't approve of our Presidents job performance. That doesn't make them racist either. He has just taken the uncontrolled spending of the Bush years and sped it up to supersonic speed.

Kenneth L.
Kenneth L6 years ago

Okay Roger, thank you. It wasn't Glenn Beck himself that said this, you're right. As far as political satire, it doesn't say that in the above article so I assume you have to go to some other link to realize this? Above it just states it as being a 'stunningly outrageous claim' which as itself can mislead anyone into thinking it's sincere. That's the fault of the author of this article.

Are you sure it was satire? Sometimes with these media hucksters you can never tell. If they get too much flak for something they say they just recant with 'I was kidding' or something.
Anyway, with Glenn Beck or his show, I would still say he's a racist regarding Obama.

Roger H.
.6 years ago

You also missed the point. First of all, it wasn't Glen Beck that made the comment. It was the person filling in for him. He was using the point to show how ridiculous it sounds to refer to different subjects as racist and used the tanning parlor tax as an example. He doesn't actually think the tax is racist. Apparently, only David J. and I got the true meaning of the comment. Political satire.

Lindsey DTSW
.6 years ago

Kathy, just like a person's visits to tanning salons may (or may not) affect others in the future due to their increased health costs, so can anything potentially affect others.

That jewelry you're buying is an example. Because every dollar you spend on jewelry is one dollar less you have to put into savings. Savings that may someday mean the difference between your being able to pay for your own housing, healthcare, food, etc. and your having to apply for taxpayer assistance in that regard.

Any time we spend money on an inessential, it potentially impacts others because we didn't choose to spend the money more wisely or save. And we all do it.