Bob Beckel

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Bob Beckel
Bob Beckel.jpg
Born Robert "Bob" Beckel
(1948-11-15) November 15, 1948 (age 65)
New York City
Nationality United States
Occupation Political Pundit
Religion Protestant
Relatives Graham Beckel (brother)

Robert "Bob" Beckel (born November 15, 1948)[1] is an analyst on the Fox News Channel, where he co-hosts The Five. He is also a columnist for USA Today where he writes “point–counterpoint”–style articles with friend and political opposite Cal Thomas. He is the brother of actor Graham Beckel.

Life and career[edit]

Son of Cambridge Graham Beckel Jr. (author of Workshops for the World: The United Nations Family of Agencies [New York: Abelard-Schuman, 1954, 1962 (rev. ed.)]) and Ellen Gilliland Beckel, “Bud” Beckel was born in New York City and grew up in Lyme, Connecticut (“The Lives Behind a Liberal [Bob] and a Conservative [Cal],” USA Today, Sep 3, 2009, 11A; Cal Thomas and Bob Beckel, Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That Is Destroying America. New York: William Morrow, 2007, p. 19).

He holds a B.A. from Wagner College.[2] While in college he worked for Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1968. He is a “former college football player” (Bernard Weinraub, “From Gloom to Exultation: Mondale’s Long Campaign,” New York Times, June 8, 1984, A1).

He served in the Philippines as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1971 to 1972.[3]

In 1977, he joined the U.S. Department of State and became the youngest deputy assistant secretary of state (deputy assistant secretary of state for congressional relations) for the Carter administration;[4] and the following year was appointed Special Assistant to the President for congressional liaison.[5]

Beckel was the campaign manager for Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign.[6] During that campaign he became known as the man who effectively wrapped the Wendy's slogan “Where's the beef?” around Gary Hart, Mondale’s opponent for the Democratic nomination. In late 1984 he formed the consulting firm Bob Beckel & Associates, or BBA, which was succeeded in 1985 by Beckel–Cowan, described by Robert G. Kaiser in the Washington Post as “a pioneering ‘grass roots’ lobbying firm whose specialty was building support for policy ideas—or creating the appearance of it—around the country. This was the art form that came to be known as ‘Astroturf’ lobbying, since the grass-roots sentiments being expressed were not entirely natural.”[7]

In 1992 Beckel married Leland Ingham.[8] They divorced in 2002 (Lloyd Grove, The Reliable Source, Washington Post, Sep 4, 2002, C3). They have two children.

Beckel managed Alan Blinken’s 2002 Senate campaign until he was dismissed after being targeted for extortion by a prostitute.[9]

He was co-host of Crossfire Sunday on CNN alongside Tony Snow and later Lynne Cheney, and went on to FOX News Channel as a political analyst and commentator, regularly appearing on such shows as Hannity & Colmes (later Hannity), America's Newsroom, and Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld. Beckel is a co-host of Fox News’s The Five, a political talk show that replaced Glenn Beck in the 5 p.m. Eastern time slot in July 2011.

He made a brief appearance as himself on the Season 8 premier of 24 in a mock debate with fellow Fox News Analyst Monica Crowley.

Beckel is a graduate school professor of politics at the George Washington University.[10] Beckel is Protestant.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Beckel is a recovering alcoholic[12] and has spoken openly about his past addictions to drugs and alcohol, admitting in July 2011 on The Five: “I'm a recovering addict and cocaine was my drug of choice.” In 2007 Beckel was involved in an altercation in a Bethesda, Maryland, grocery store parking lot with a man who took issue with his anti–George W. Bush bumper stickers.[13] In October 2011, Beckel nearly choked to death on a piece of shrimp at a Fox News reception, but was saved by Fox News chief Roger Ailes and The Five co-host Eric Bolling.[14]

Controversial comments[edit]

Beckel initially evoked controversy in August 2011 when he implied on air that he had held back from criticizing his Fox News colleague Sarah Palin. He agreed with The Five co-host Greg Gutfeld when Gutfeld said he felt awkward making negative comments about Palin, because “it's like [badmouthing] a co-worker.” “I know exactly what you mean,” Beckel added. “I'll be honest, I've pulled my punches.”[15] Both Gutfeld and Beckel later said they were joking, however.[16]

In December 2010, with reference to Julian Assange while on Eric Bolling’s show Cashin' In (on the Fox Business Network), Beckel commented, “This guy’s a traitor, he’s treasonous, and he has broken every law of the United States. And I’m not for the death penalty, so [...] there’s only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch.”[17]

On April 16, 2012, Beckel appeared on Hannity with Jennifer Stefano and Neal Boortz. After Stefano claimed that the Head Start Program, which aims to help poor children, did not work, Beckel replied, “You don’t know what the fuck you're talking about!” Beckel did not realize the show was back from the commercial break, and initially refused to apologize. When persuaded that the show was, in fact, live, Beckel apologized for his choice of language, but stood by the overall intent of the statement.[18][19]

In August 2012, Beckel reportedly offended some Jews when he referred to Jewish Americans who had participated in a Mitt Romney fundraiser in Israel as “a bunch of diamond merchants we don’t know the names of.”[20]

In November 2012, Beckel concluded, while commentating on the San Francisco public nudity ban live on Fox News, that most nudists were, as children, “probably gang-banged, I don’t know!” and then proceeded to laugh about his comment and saying, “they were probably sexually assaulted, I don’t know!”[21]

In February 2013, Beckel made the statement that rapes on campus don’t really happen and asserted that victims of date rape aren’t going to “take a gun out and shoot [their] date.”[22]

In April 2013, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Beckel commented that visas should be denied to students who emigrate from Islamic countries[2]. Beckel later apologized for his statements.



  1. ^ "Bob Beckel". Celebrity Net Wealth. August 21, 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Political Contributor Bob Beckel". Fox News. January 13, 2011. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Mostafavi, Beata (April 25, 2008). "Pundits Cal Thomas, Bob Beckel spar, but on common ground". The Flint Journal ( Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Template:Lynn Darling, “They Are Driven: What Makes Campaign Managers Run?; Why Are the Campaign Managers So Driven?” ''The Washington Post'', April 24, 1983, C1
  7. ^
  8. ^ Joshua Cooley, “Beckel: From Beatnik Golfer to College Coach, Mother,” The Gazette, February 14, 2001 [1]
  9. ^ "Campaigner resigns after reported extortion attempt". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. September 1, 2002. p. 4C. 
  10. ^ Bob Beckel, George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management
  11. ^ Fox News: "What are 'The Five' giving up for Lent?" February 13, 2013
  12. ^ “Beckel: It Takes Faith to Overcome Addiction” (May 29, 2008) CBN
  13. ^ And You Think He’s Feisty on Fox
  14. ^ Bob Beckel Choking: Says Roger Ailes, Eric Bolling Saved His Life. Huffington Post. 2011-10-14.
  15. ^ Fox News Hosts Admit They’ve ‘Pulled Punches’ With Sarah Palin. The Huffington Post. 2011-08-04.
  16. ^ Fox analysts say remarks about Palin were a joke. The Huffington Post. 2011-08-04.
  17. ^ Fox News' Bob Beckel Calls For 'Ilegally' Killing Assange: 'A Dead Man Can't Leak Stuff' from The Huffington Post
  18. ^ Fox News' Bob Beckel Drops F-Bomb On Air The Huffington Post. April 17, 2012.
  19. ^ Beckel: ‘Right winger’ doesn’t ‘know what the f*ck’ she’s talking about The Raw Story. April 17, 2012.
  20. ^ Algemeiner Staff (August 8, 2012). "Fox News Host: Romney’s Israel Fundraiser Held with "Bunch of Diamond Merchants" | Jewish & Israel News". Algemeiner Journal. Retrieved March 9, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Bob Beckel, Fox News Host, Concludes San Francisco Nudists 'Were Gang Banged, Probably' (VIDEO)". November 21, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Bob Beckel: Rape On College Campuses Doesn't Really Happen". February 20, 2013. Retrieved March 9, 2013. 

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