Fox News personality and conservative talk show host Glenn Beck has apologized for mocking Malia Obama in a pretend conversation on his radio show.
Beck said he was trying to explain how President Obama uses his children to deflect media criticism, and said he took it too far.
“In discussing how President Obama uses children to shield himself from criticism, I broke my own rule about leaving kids out of political debates,” Beck wrote on his Web site. “The children of public figures should be left on the sidelines. It was a stupid mistake and I apologize—and as a dad I should have known better.”
According to CNN, in a recent press conference discussing the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Obama noted that Malia asked him if he’d plugged the hole yet. Beck used that as fodder for his show as he mocked her voice in repeating that and a series of other questions.
“Is that’s their—that’s the level of their education, that they’re coming to—they’re coming to daddy and saying ‘Daddy, did you plug the hole yet?’ Plug the hole!” Beck said at one point, according to CNN.
Since then, he’s been criticized by a number of media watchers, including the hosts of the daytime talk show, “The View” and Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post.
“This was a really low-blow on Glenn Beck’s part,” Kurtz said on the entertainment news show, “Inside Edition.” “To use an 11-year-old girl — to drag her into the political crossfire…when he said it, it was wrong and it’s something that should never be done with kids.”