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Conservative radio host Glenn Beck admitted that his controversial commentary has played a role in "dividing" America on Thursday, however, critics question whether the famed shock jock is using his apology to relaunch his brand.
Beck, who lost his TV talk show on the Fox News Channel after saying that President Obama had a "deep-seated hatred against white people," delivered a reflective speech about the nature of his infamous divisive remarks at an annual Talkers magazine convention where he received the talk radio trade publication's 2013 Freedom of Speech Award.
"For any role that I have played in dividing, I wish I can take them back," Beck said, the Associated Press reports. "I don't wish I could take back the truth that was spoken but perhaps - not perhaps - many times I could have said it differently."
Beck also said that he wasn't fully aware of the perilous times and people "at each other's throats" and added that he was puzzled by activists who organize boycotts of people who say things they disagree with.
Beck went on to praise CNN and Fox for giving him television shows, and radio networks like Premiere and Clear Channel for supporting free speech.
"If I can find an audience, they'll carry me," he said. "The day I can't find an audience, they should cancel me."
However, at least one of Beck adversary attributed the apology to self-interest, reports the New York Daily News. Angelo Carusone, of the liberal advocacy group Media Matters, said Beck is merely trying to mend his image so cable and satellite operators agree to broadcast his news and entertainment network, The Blaze.
"Beck's entire history is a series of booms, busts and rebirths," he said. Now he needs to repair his brand in business circles to support his ventures and the cable distribution campaign, he said.
According to the AP, Beck is currently trying to convince cable and satellite operators to begin telecasting The Blaze, the online opinion and entertainment network he started after leaving Fox News.