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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Glenn Beck Vs. His Critics

I was out the other night when I found out something startling. Twitter still has no source of income. It "survives" because there's plenty of venture capital money available to carry it while it expands becomes more popular until someone finally figures out how to make money with the millions of users it has. There was a time when Google had the same problem. Everyone used the search engine but no one used it for the profitability of the search engine. Clearly, they figured things out as well. Facebook also has that problem. One in ten people on the planet have a Facebook account but its revenues aren't nearly as large as its user roll. The thing about the Internet is that as long as you can click people to your site, it's only a matter of time until you make money.

Think about that for a minute as we look at the orchestrated boycott of Glenn Beck by Color of Change. On the surface, this boycott stems from an appearance by Beck on Fox and Friends when he referred to the President as a "racist". Since then, Color of Change has tried to convince advertisers to boycott Beck. Of course, in our political world, nothing is as simple as it seems. As it turns out, Color of Change is not merely an unbiased observer, but a group with an agenda.

Glenn Beck used his popular Fox News show this afternoon to attack the background of Van Jones, a White House environmental advisor who co-founded an African American political advocacy group that organized an advertising boycott of his program.

During his 2 p.m. PDT show, Beck did not address the boycott spearheaded by Color of Change to protest the talk show host’s remark last month that he believes President Obama is “a racist.”

Instead, he spent a large share of his program suggesting that Jones, who co-founded Color of Change in 2005, is a radical. Jones now serves as a special advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.


Now, personally, I think everyone should be careful when labeling another with the "racist" tag. That's because we can't look into some one's heart and so there are very few instances when its clear that someone is a racist. I think that Beck was applying things to the president that simply aren't there. I don't believe for one second that he's a racist and it was irresponsible for Beck to call him a racist.

That said, let's get real here. Entire networks applied the racist label to the tea parties. Entire networks applied every possible negative label to then President Bush. Kanye West stood up during an awards show and pronounced "George Bush hates black people". Contessa Brewer of MSNBC implied that health care protesters secretly wanted to assassinate the president. There's plenty of irresponsible things said on television. If we were to call a boycott for every offense, we'd be left with nothing to watch or read. Picking on Glenn Beck seems totally random and out of place.

I think he should have been rightfully condemned for suggesting that the president is racist. Going after his advertisers is not only a bit absurd but totally counter productive. The attempted boycott has received somewhat uneven media attention. It's not anywhere near front page news. Instead, some media has covered it, some blogs, and much of the liberal end of the media. For instance, Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs has breathlessly reported on every single advertiser that drops out. Johnson has been trying desperately to prove his independent bonafides by attacking the likes of Beck, Palin, and snickering at the tea parties because there's a lot of Ron Paul supporters in it.

Here's the reality. In fact, not only is the boycott a miserable failure but in fact counter productive. While its gotten many people to back off, it matters not. Beck's ratings are as high as ever. Much like with the Internet, if you have eyeballs the income follows. There are tens of millions of potential advertisers of the Glenn Beck show on Fox. You can get five, ten, or even a hundred, but as long as millions are watching, there will be five and ten times that ready to pay to advertise on the show. The real story is not how many advertisers have dropped Beck since the boycott. The real story is how many new viewers Beck has received since the boycott.

This isn't about Beck calling the president a racist. That sort of irresponsible language is unfortunately far too common in the media. What this is really about is that Beck is an unflinching critic of Obama and he's gaining popularity. His opponents are frightful because he's not only unflinching but he continues to be a bigger and bigger player every day. Supporters of the president lose media power everyday while critics gain it. That's really what this is about. Beck received less than ten viewers on CNN and now he gets three to four million viewers on Fox News. He uses his bully pulpit to pick apart the president, the agenda that Beck believes the president is perpetrating, and the players behind the scenes the president employs to pull it off.

One thing no one can get beyond. No one has challenged any of the facts that Beck has produced over the last month. The backgrounds of the likes of Van Jones, Cass Sunstein, Jeff Jones, Dr. Ezekial Emanuel, or any of the other connections have never been challenged. Instead, as soon as Beck really put the heat on Obama, opponents started attacking Beck himself. As the old saying goes, "if the facts are on your side, you argue the facts, if not, you attack the messenger". That's what's happening here and it won't work. Since the likes of Color of Change put Beck in their crosshairs, all that happened was that his viewership exploded. The more this purported boycott gets media attention, the more viewers of the Glenn Beck Show on Fox News. No boycott will stop people from watching Beck.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

If we were to call a boycott for every offense, we'd be left with nothing to watch or read. Picking on Glenn Beck seems totally random and out of place.

Sorry, but this is neither random, nor out of place. Beck is a conservative, so he is fair game. The others are liberal, so anything goes. Such is the miserable double standard that applies with the primarily out-of-touch, liberal, elitist snob mainstream media.

How does the saying go? "Show me who your friends are and I will show you who you are" or something like that? Ayers, Wright, Skip Gates, Van Whoever, etc., etc., ad nauseum. Obama may not be the archetypical racist, but his bread and butter is identity politics, make no mistake about it. The only real difference between Moussilini and Hitler was the Il Duce disdained identity politics and Hitler embraced and abused them. It is oddly disturbing that I long for our president to be more like a facist pig like Il Duce...

Fred P. said...

There's an old saying from World War II that goes something like this: "When the flak (anti-aircraft fire) is heaviest, you're over the target." It appears that Mr. Glenn Beck is hitting Mr. Barack Obama where it hurts. Mr. Beck, Mr. Limbaugh and Governor Palin have all but killed any chances of the Democrats passing any kind of health care reform/socialized medicine this year. Governor Palin did her part on a social network site for teenage girls! Mr. Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid between them control the largest and most powerful government in the history of the world and they've been utterly defeated by two talkers and a blogger! Hahahahaha!

Anonymous said...

Well said, Provocatuer.

The Ripley Porch said...

I think Beck has already overcome the boycott business and is surging to an entire new level.

This was a 5-star blog as far as I'm concerned...absolute on target.

Anonymous said...

I think the president is a bigot. How is this different then a racist? While he may have some racially motivated biases, most of his biases appear to be ideologically motivated. I am afraid he believes "the end justifies the means" and because of this the consequences will be severe for all Americans whether or not they agree with him. He told his people to punch back harder against the opposition, I take offense to his terminology. Sounded like he was advocating the use of violence by his supporters against the opposition. Shame on him!
- Eye of the Tiger -

mike volpe said...

There is no difference and making such a claim is terribly unfair. How can you claim he's a bigot? You don't know him. You've probably never met him. You make these judgments based on what you read and what you see of him on television. You are simply in no position to make such a judgment.

Anonymous said...

Glenn was talking about Van Jones long before the boycott.

Only in the upside down world of Polital Correctness does pointing out Racism in a black man make you a Racist.

Barack Obama threw his Grandmother under the bus, called her a typical white person who cringes when black people are nearby.

Barack sat in Rev Wrights pew for 20 years listening to his Black Liberation Theology preaching. Rev Wright marrying Barack to Michelle and being godfather to their children. Apparently Barack thinks quite a bit of Rev Wright.

How about the Stupid White Cop and Innocent Black Professor routine.

How about in Barack’s book he talked about learning to fool white people. How even though he learned Black Militism from Frank Marshall Davis, he also learned to hide his true feelings, talk smoothly and make his moves towards whites carefully and with calculation to make them think he was non-threatening?

Still think Glenn was way off base in saying our President has a dislike/distrust of White people.

Don’t discount that Barack’s father and grandfather grew up in Kenya when it was a British Colony and were treated poorly by the Brits. Hence his hatred towards the Brits and why he snubbed PM Brown and the made sure the Queen was not invited to the D-Day celebration.

mike volpe said...

That he was talking about Van Jones prior to this happening is the point.

At the same time, that you think that you can condense a man's life to three paragraphs and then conclude that he's a racist speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

Glenn Beck was right. Obama is a racist. I find it strange that you have veiled a point in your blog that you believe Glenn was irresponsible in his comments.

Newsflash! Glenn was right on, and correct. He deserves our praise and not some thinly veiled praise spotted with your biased views that he was irresponsible. I do not know of your blog, but I am dissapointed. Seems very manipulative to me.

mike volpe said...

Like I said, that's an opinion and one you shouldn't engage in unless you are sure. Beck can't possibly know if Obama is a racist and yet he called him one anyway. That's irresponsibly. You've offered no evidence or proof that he's correct. You just said that he is. That's not an argument.

V12Merlin said...

Gee, Mike, what's it gonna take? If a few short and to-the-point paragraphs describing Obama's more obvious racially biased thinking isn't enough, how about a three-volume encyclopedia. Will THAT be enough to convince you? Volume One, Dreams from My Father. Volume Two, The Audacity of Hope. (Volume Three currently being written.)

mike volpe said...

I haven't read either book so I can't comment. I don't think if the book was overtly racist that he'd be president. Even in this media world, that wouldn't happen. So, I'm still confused about what it is that makes him racist.