Monday, November 05, 2007

Glenn Beck

Apparently, it pays to be stupid (from NY Times):

On his daily radio talk show, Glenn Beck portrays himself as an average guy, a recovering alcoholic and a comedian who regularly injects humor into his conservative politics.

This week he can add another description: very wealthy.

Premiere Radio Networks, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, is expected to announce today that it is extending Mr. Beck’s contract. Two sources with knowledge of the deal said it was valued at $50 million over five years, through a combination of salary and profit-sharing from syndication.

In signing the deal, Mr. Beck, 43, becomes the newest — and youngest — entrant into an exclusive club of highly compensated radio stars. The new contract would make Mr. Beck the third highest-paid talk radio host, surpassed only by Rush Limbaugh, the most popular terrestrial talker for two decades and whose show is also syndicated by Premiere, and Sean Hannity, whose Citadel Broadcasting show is routinely ranked second.

The salaries apparently mirror Arbitron’s radio audience measurements, which show that Mr. Beck is the third most popular radio host in the advertiser-friendly 25- to 54-year-old demographic ...

Well, maybe he's not stupid ... but he certainly assumes you are. I don't fault guys like Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh for making money. I fault you guys for continuing to listen to them. These companies wouldn't pay them this kind of money unless they were getting people in the attractive 25-54 demo - the fat, stupid, middle-aged white male. You perceive a country overran by immigrants, blacks, women seeking more rights and you are scared. Glenn Beck comes on the radio, purporting to be a "common man" while making $50 million, and tells you it's alright to be xenophobic and prejudiced.

Shows like his don't assume any intelligence on your part (like Colbert or the Daily Show). They know you are not smart enough to understand nuance or satire. So they deliver it all to you in handy little sound bites so that you can parrot your other stupid friends and have pretend arguments with liberals.

I've always considered myself an optimist and I generally believe there is good in all people, but there are days when I certainly have my doubts. And this is one of them. Don't give guys like Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh a forum for their hate by continuing to listen to their shows and buying their sponsors' products. I certainly believe in free speech and these people have every right in the world to say whatever they choose. But don't make it so that it's profitable for them to do so. In their own vernacular, "let the free market speak". Confine them to low power radio stations and late night cable access channels.


wunelle said...

Yeah, these idiots make us all look bad. But the same people who listen to this garbage also elected W to a second term. It's a peculiar talent to get people to act against their own best interests.

I knew nothing about this clown before your article, but he's cut from the same toxic cloth as the others. It's a shame, since there are (presumably) some valid ideas underpinning some aspects of political conservatism; you just don't get to hear them from these mean-spirited "entertainers."

Joanne said...

Sorry to be off topic, but I'm posting this at as many liberal blogs as I can. Please send the information out via email and get people to call Senator Leahy:

Call Leahy--202 224-4242--get transferred to the Judiciary Committee, ask for postponement based on the weekend's revelation that Mukasey apparently made "assurances" to the Federalist Society--with which they were well pleased.

dbackdad said...

Wunelle -- I had never heard of him either before a year or so ago. It was then that CNN, in their infinite wisdom, gave him his own show on their Headline News channel. Whether one wanted to see him or not, he was ubiquitous with advertisements for his show all the time even when he wasn't on. It was decisions to put people like him and Nancy Grace on CNN that give an indication how far that "news" network has fallen. Ted Turner himself has decried the network that he spawned.

If he was just on radio, I probably wouldn't care but when his brand of vitriol is on a news network, I get irritated. I just refuse to watch TV for news any more. I'll watch The Daily Show and Olbermann but I get all my news online and from print journalism.

Scott said...

I'd never even heard of him until a few weeks ago when he was making fun of Ron Paul for something. I don't remember what.

dbackdad said...

"... he was making fun of Ron Paul for something" -- Apparently Mr. Beck doesn't know what to do when confronted with a real conservative.

wunelle said...

I gave up on television two decades ago as anything useful. It's now entirely an entertainment. Like the sunday comics, or People magazine. The big broadcast networks were the first to fall, and now the cable news outlets have fallen victim. It's become all about ratings, and if you want the American public to watch in numbers, you have to be insipid, titillating, shitty.

Luckily, watching is not (yet) required!

Jeremy said...

"and tells you it's alright to be xenophobic and prejudiced."

Really? With so many things to easily use against Beck, you resort to a lie? Go listen to/watch his show once and you will see your lie for what it is.

dbackdad said...

Jeremy - Are you for real? First, you comment on a post almost a year and a half old. Secondly, you're too chicken shit to even share your profile. Thirdly, I've watched his shows (both at CNN and FOX) and listened to his radio shows extensively. I don't write about someone without actually hearing what they say.

Jeremy said...

dback, I'll respond to each of your points. 1)What is the time limit for responding to a post? 2) I didn't know I wasn't sharing my profile. I do not know the profile to which you refer. Also, I wonder why I would have reason to be afraid of you if I were to share this profile that you mention. 3) You refuted my inferrence that you didn't listen to his show, but you didn't refute my point that you were claiming something false about Glenn Beck. That's poor arguing, as far as I'm concerned. Are you one of those people who think something is true because you claim it to be so?

dbackdad said...

Jeremy - Of course there is no time limit on responding to a post. I'm just saying that the items discussed in the original post may not be as timely as they were at the time. Since this was posted, Beck has moved from CNN to Fox.

I brought up the fact of you not sharing your profile just because a lot of posters to any blog will post anonymously and then fly off. I took your not sharing your profile as deliberate. If I was wrong, I apologize. I more than welcome an adult discussion on any subject. I believe it works for the betterment of both sides.

As for my original claim of people like Rush and Beck fostering xenophobia and prejudice ... I stand by that. Especially for Rush. They are very clever and very intelligent and may not personally believe some of the stuff that they say but they are acutely aware of how an uneducated listening audience will take certain comments they make. Just this week, Rush purposely mixes up Obama's name with Mugabe. He knows that his audience will run with the inferrence. If someone has a legitimate argument, they should not have to resort to rhetorical devices and trickery.

If you need for me to cite specific examples of where Beck has fostered racism through his faux-populism, I'd be more than happy to.

Jeremy said...

This is my second attempt to post. Hopefully I will not annoy you with a duplicate post.

dback, you are hypocritical in your post.

"They are very clever and very intelligent and may not personally believe some of the stuff that they say but they are acutely aware of how an uneducated listening audience will take certain comments they make."

Here you are guilty of the same type of thing you accused Rush of doing with Obama and Mugabe. You inferred that his listener base is uneducated, and that the listeners run with unsubstantiated and incorrect ideas. Well, what more does a liberal need than this inferrence in order to write off those who listen to Rush? I am a listner of Rush and Beck. I am intelligent, and I try to fact check both hosts before I promote their findings. Check my Facebook page for verification. Your inferrence could easily cause liberals to errantly write off me and my claims. I know this, because I have a liberal coworker who disregards my arguments because I listen to Rush and Beck.

For the record, I admire Beck, while I recognize that he does some things to which I disagree. I despise Rush, but I am grateful for his service of discussing current important political matters.

If someone claims that Beck tells people "it's alright to be zenophobic and prejudiced," I would like to have some evidence of such a thing. Until then, I'm pretty sure the claim is a lie.

dbackdad said...

Jeremy - I'd love to visit your Facebook page ... but how would I do that? That's my point about your profile. Your comments only have your first name and when you click on your name, it says "profile not available". I know you are not intentionally hiding anything, but because of a technology glitch, I have no way of reading any of your other stuff.

As for the intelligence of Rush and Beck listeners - listeners of any talk radio (conservative or liberal) are not looking to be enlightened. They are looking for someone to reinforce something they already believe. If they are racist, someone like Rush or Beck making fun of certain ethnicities or saying that "Mexico is run by nothing but criminals" gives their prejudice intellectual legitimacy ... or so they believe. Even though Beck or Rush may or may not be racist, they certainly know how their comments will be taken by people that are racist. You take my comment about Beck telling people "it's alright to be xenophobic ..." literally. I'm not quoting Beck. I'm saying that his racist comments give his listeners the impression that it is alright to be racist.

By no means am I saying that anyone that listens to these people are racist or stupid. It was a generalization. There are always exceptions.

I'm not going to list all the racist comments by Rush and Beck. It's not even a challenge to find them. Here's just one list of highlights from Rush - Rush Limbaugh racist quotes and some general quotes from Beck, of which a few deal with race: Glenn Beck.

Jeremy said...

Oops. I meant to leave my last name for you to use in a search on Facebook... Kilts. By the way, you will do well in understanding our current economic struggle if you read the book I have been promoting lately.

My concern with you is that you misrepresent Beck, not so much Rush. Rush is an egotistical jerk. The only time I mentioned him was to correct you on the point that his listeners are idiots. (Because I am one of them.) I don't think Glenn is a jerk. The man is principled. And no, I do not claim this simply because he says he is all about principles. Yes, he is sarcastic. Yes, he says things that could be used in 10 second sound bites to contradict his own message - who doesn't. Yes - here's the important one - his shows are full of emphasized claims to his listeners/viewers not to act out in stupidity or hate as they get excited about the truth he reveals. In fact, he constantly tells his listeners not to do what you claim they do: use his show for information ammo that backs up their previously held beliefs. I can't tell you how many times he tells his own fans who call in that they are wrong.

Quit claiming things just because you want them to be true. Put some evidence behind them. I work in a drive through at a bank, and I hear so many people listening to Beck. His listeners can't all possibly be hillbillies (or substitute whatever negative spin you want to put on them). Look at how many listeners/viewers he has: 3rd most listened to radio show, prime type numbers for TV show viewership in a non-primetime slot. They can't all be idiots. You have yet to use a poll or some other kind of legitimate evidence to suggest that not many of his listeners/viewers look to him to be enlightened, rather than to reinforce their previousely held beliefs. Get past the denial stage. You are a being a typical, mainstream liberal about this topic. Instead of propperly arguing against Beck, you pursue the route of making him irrelevant by writing off his listeners.

That link you gave me about Beck. Did you watch the video clip? The author of the page tried to use the blackface segment to show Beck as a racist. He was using the referrence (in a rather prolonged way, as he usually does) to attack George Clooney's claims that Hollywood was one of the first to fight racism, aids, McCarthyism.

dbackdad said...

Jeremy - I don't think we're getting anywhere. I'd much rather debate issues with you than pundits. Pundits are not real people. They don't do real jobs. They don't make policy. They serve no one but themselves. They purposely are "preachers to the converted" for the majority of their listeners and are devils to everyone else. It doesn't matter which is which ... they all drive listenership and ad dollars. As Rush said to his own cousin, "The only way to make millions is for half the nation to hate you." - Rusty and me

No matter how much you try to elevate Beck, I will not change my view of him. He oscillates from talking about "FEMA concentration camps" to fake crying on TV. Other hosts on his own network make fun of him. I don't have to take "the route of making him irrelevant by writing off his listeners". He makes himself irrelevant. As he said himself, he's a "rodeo clown".

I don't think you are a jerk or an idiot. You are obviously intelligent. I'm just saying that for a true conservative, Beck or Rush is not the answer. They speak to the lowest common denominator.

And don't try to say that viewership is a sign of intelligence or relevance. If intelligent programming was a requirement of good ratings, shows like American Idol, Jerry Springer, Bill O'Reilly, etc. would never have been successful.

Think for yourself. I'm not discounting your views out of hand. I'm discounting some of the sources you get them from. Pundit hero worship is dangerous.

Jeremy said...

My goal is not to have you elevate your opinion of Beck. Take a look at my first response. Even I alluded to the idea that Beck leaves himself open to so much legitimate criticism. My goal was to reveal that you were being dishonest about him. If you listen to/watch his show without bias, you will know that he does not support or encourage anyone to be xenophobic and prejudiced. Your comments that he does so are useful for slyly marginalizing him, me, and the rest of his listeners. I hate when people do that.