Robert "Bob" Gilliland Beckel (born November 15, 1948) is a political pundit and former political operative. He 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 articles with friend and political opposite Cal Thomas in the style of "point–counterpoint".
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. He is the brother of actor Graham Beckel, and a Protestant.
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.”
Beckel managed Alan Blinken’s 2002 Senate campaign until he was dismissed after being targeted for extortion by a prostitute. He made a brief appearance as himself on the Season 8 premiere of 24 in a mock debate with fellow Fox News Analyst Monica Crowley.
In 1992, Beckel married Leland Ingham. They had two children from the marriage and divorced in 2002.
Beckel is a recovering alcoholic. He 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. 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.
Beckel has opined that Karl Marx, the "Father of Communism," was among the greatest economists of all time.
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.” Both Gutfeld and Beckel later said they were joking, however.
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.”
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.
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.”
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!”
In February 2013, Beckel made the statement that rapes on campus do not really happen and asserted that victims of date rape aren’t going to “take a gun out and shoot [their] date.”
^"Bob Beckel". Celebrity Net Wealth. August 21, 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
^"The Lives Behind a Liberal [Bob] and a Conservative [Cal]". USA Today. September 3, 2009. p. 11A.Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That Is Destroying America. New York: William Morrow. 2007. p. 19.
^ abcd"CNN: C R O S S F I R E - 15th A N N I V E R S A R Y". CNN. Retrieved 2014-06-11. "After a political baptism as a college student in Robert Kennedy's 1968 campaign, a tour of duty in the Peace Corps and a successful stint heading up his own consulting firm, Beckel joined the government in 1977. As the deputy assistant secretary of state, he steered the controversial Panama Canal Treaties through Congress. He moved to the White House to head an Administration effort to press Congress into passing the Mideast and Salt II treaties."