Glenn Beck, Media Matters, and Me

Joe Strupp at Media Matters interviewed me the other day for a story about Glenn Beck's departure from Fox. Here's the opening:

At some point I'm going to run out of Beck CDs to illustrate these posts.Conservative writer Jennifer Rubin isn't sad that Glenn Beck's Fox show is ending.

Rubin, who writes The Washington Post's Right Turn column, told Media Matters in an email: "It is good news for the conservative movement, especially at a time when serious and innovative individuals like Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio are demonstrating leadership and far-sightedness while maintaining a tone of civility."

Other conservative and libertarian journalists contacted by Media Matters reacted similarly.

Jesse Walker, managing editor of Reason magazine, pointed to Beck's repeated falsehoods, as well as his loss of viewers and advertisers:

"Beck was always someone who went off the reservation and he got criticism from other conservatives ... he got a lot of his facts wrong," Walker said. "Controversy is fine when you are bringing in a lot of viewers, but controversy is not fine when you are losing viewers and dropping advertisers."

I did say all those words, but those ellipses elide a lot. While I don't like the fact that Beck gets a lot of his facts wrong, I do like the fact that he goes off the reservation. The guy broke with the conservative mainstream in some of the right places: He's for legalizing pot, he doesn't feel threatened by gay marriage, and he has backed off a bit from Bush's hawkish foreign policy. As I told Strupp, I suspect that a lot of Beck's conservative critics are offended more by his heterodoxy than by his factual errors.

As for the final sentence, about stirring up controversy: That isn't my view of what is or isn't fine. It's my speculation about what Fox was thinking when it dropped the show.

You may judge for yourself how similar my views are to Rubin's.

Update: I'm pleased to see that Strupp has corrected the story.

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  • Beck||

    In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey Butane in my veins and I'm out to cut the junkie With the plastic eyeballs, spray paint the vegetables, dog food stalls with the beefcake pantyhose, kill the headlights and put it in neutral Stock car flamin' with a loser and the cruise control. Baby's in Reno with the vitamin D got a couple of couches, sleep on the love seat, someone came sayin' I'm a saint (I'm insane) to complain about a shotgun wedding and a stain on my shirt, don't believe everything that you breathe, you get a parking violation and a maggot on your sleeve So shave your face with some mace in the dark saving all your food stamps for burning down the trailer park, yo, cut it.

  • Scruffy Nerd Herder||

    From what I've read by Rubin, I would any intellectual overlap with her whatsoever.

  • Scruffy Nerd Herder||

    missing an "avoid" there, not enough coffee

  • Toon The News||

    A must see
    Glenn Beck Beatles Revolution Parody
    The Revolting Glenn Beck! His Farewell Song!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or1aukq5DJI
    Not sure the Beatles would dig it though.

  • ola||

    half of them have no opinion

  • Almanian||

    *facepalm...but smiling underneath*

  • Gregory Smith||

    Why would you even talk to Media Matters? These people are scum, they lie, they only promote progressives, they're not even fair and balanced by any means and the fact that they get millions from Soros shows you who really owns them.

    The fall of Glenn Beck is a tragedy for this country. Who else is gonna criticize Obama on TV? Who will draw report on the socialists calling out for violence, the "white priviledge" conferences funded by taxpayer dollars, the race-baiters, the anti-white racism of La Raza, the bilingual education mafia, the multiculturalists, etc, etc, etc.

    Glenn Beck is the alternative to the liberal media, his own blog theblaze.com is extremely popular.

    Fox News is making a huge mistake.

    DC Comics destroys Wonder Woman's Americana.
    http://libertarians4freedom.blogspot.com/

  • JoshINHB||

    Why would you even talk to Media Matters? These people are scum, they lie, they only promote progressives, they're not even fair and balanced by any means and the fact that they get millions from Soros shows you who really owns them.

    all true but their the kool kids in DC and if you want a viable career as a propagandist journalist you have to stay on their good side.

  • Gregory Smith||

    Glad you get it, Josh.

  • Bucky||

    ^^^^This^^^^

  • mr simple||

    I'm no fan of media matters, but you do realize all of your arguments against them are the same as the complaints progressives have against "right-wing" media, right? Just substitute any non-prog media outlet (including Reason) for MM, con or libertarian for prog and Koch for Soros. You are such a partisan hack.

  • Gregory Smith||

    Well Mr. Simple, you have to stand for something. Besides, just because two arguments are similar doesn't mean one is right and the other is wrong. Except for Fox News, progressives control the media, their whining is due to ratings. Progressives hate that now Americans have other choices aside from their filth.

  • Gregory Smith||

    Sorry, I meant to say that one argument can be right while the other is wrong even if they are similar.

  • OO||

    sophistry

  • ||

    I'm no fan of media matters, but you do realize all of your arguments against them are the same as the complaints progressives have against "right-wing" media, right?

    Actually my biggest complaint of Media matters is that it pretends to be an unbiased arbiter of the truth.

    If you go back to Reason's archives you can in fact find Joe claiming just that.

    I am pretty sure no one thinks that any more, but in its time it annoyed the fuck out of me.

    Note: Beck does not nor ever has claim to be unbiased politically.

  • Almanian||

    The fall of Glenn Beck is a tragedy for this country.

    No, it's not. A) It's not a "fall" - he's moving on to other things. He'll be around, whether you like him or not. B) The sinking of the Indianapolis and subsequent loss of life was a "tragedy". The 911 attacks on NYC and the Pentagon were a "tragedy".

    THIS is not a tragedy. Perspective, dude.

  • Gregory Smith||

    Well, it is a tragedy for those of us who love freedom and political incorrectness. Beck gets more ratings than the news competition combined, yet the PC corporate world treated him like scum just because a few liberals who don't watch Fox hate him? Ridiculous.

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    You can't let this stand, Greg.

    You MUST register your protest.

    I know: you should boycott the internets for a year. That'd learn 'em.

  • Gregory Smith||

    Have you ever been to TheBlaze.com? You can't get those stories anywhere else!

  • Almanian||

    Listen to what Chinny's telling you, and DO IT!

  • ||

    Whether this is "a fall" or "moving on," I suspect Beck will remain a thorn in the side of liberals, conservatives and libertarians for all his remaining days. Beck is a "class clown" type of guy. You slap him down, he comes back the next day reinvented, poking at the next sore spot.
    The day seems close enough when many will wish he was still limited to one cable channel and a #3 radio show. And I mean both those who are now cheering, and those who are groaning.

  • ||

    I like the way Rubin implies that Beck violated the unwritten Code of Civility. As far as I know, he's kinda nutty, kinda constructive in reviving interest in the Founders, but never has he called for or supported anything uncivil. I stand prepared to be corrected, of course.

  • ||

    Given how badly Jesse's statements were distorted, it's possible Rubin didn't imply that at all.

  • Bucky||

    when you step on enough toes (no matter which team they're on)...
    from what i read he is now running his own multi-million dollar business, Mercury without having to answer to Fox...
    doesn't sound like demise to me...

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    Jesus Christ, the guy's show has been axed. Isn't time for these guys to find a new "Two Minutes Hate"?!

  • MadCow||

    MSNBC 9pm EST

    Not just two minutes, but a whole hour of smarmy condescending hatred!

  • Rachel||

    and big words!

  • Rachel Maddow||

    [laughs at own joke]

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Don't forget the pinstripe suit.

    God help you if you forget your pinstripe suit.

  • JoshINHB||

    I love how the first piece of evidence of Beck getting his facts wrong is:

    "The Communist Party of the United States didn’t start as the “Communist Working Party” in 1917."

    Yeah, that's an outrageous whopper.

  • alan||

    I couldn't recognize Glen Beck in a line up, but what I do know about the guy is he outed two fo' realz commies in the Obama administration who made no attempts to hide their allegiance. You would think that the MSM would find the oddity of fo' realz commies stalking the halls of power to be at least a human interest segment -- looks isn't this crazy, people, Anita hearts Mao? But, no, they did not seem interested. A little too dog bites man from their perspective, maybe?

  • Mr Whipple®©™||

    Fuck Marco Rubio. Why wouldn't he debate Alex Snitker?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXh-JFF5XPg

  • Otto||

    I agree. I emailed Snitker with a question, and he replied. He got my vote.

  • Brett L||

    I couldn't vote for Snitker after he went to the WorldNetDaily conference that threw Ann Coulter out for being okay with gays. Running to the right of Rubio on social issues != libertarian.

  • ||

    I for one am shocked that Media Matters would distort the statements of someone they disagree with.

  • ||

    Tulpa, ending a sentence with a preposition?

  • Mr Whipple®©™||

    "Can you tell me where the library is at?"

    "We at Princeton University do not end our sentences with prepositions."

    "I'm sorry. Can you tell me where the library is at, asshole?"

  • Son of an english teacher||

    Mr Whipple - drop "at". The meaning is fully conveyed without the word. "At" is incorrectly used because the speaker dropped the verb from the sentence as in "Where ARE you?" NOT "Where you at?".

  • Old Mexican||

    Or: "Where are the white women at?"

    That's a no-no, unless what you're after is the white suits, to get in line...

  • T||

    Try "Where the white women at?".

  • Old Mexican||

    ;-) Correct.

  • alan||

    Find an English teacher with an ear for the language and you'll make a discovery more rare than unicorns.

  • Brett L||

    I like my unicorn medium well.

  • alan||

    French are you? Personally, I can't eat horse, and I'm by no means a fan of the species. They say it is good though.

  • Grammar Girl Says||

  • Bucky||

    look out! they're going to deride her, she looks like Palin!

  • ||

    Historical linguists call that "with" a hanging preposition. It's been around about as long as relative pronouns have, though it can work in a relative clause not introduced by a pronoun, the way Tulpa used it.

    Some idiot, thinking Latin was the perfect language, transferred a Latin grammatical rule on English. Grammar Girl's stylistic advice is worth a read.

  • ||

    Libertymike, is ending a sentence with a preposition something up with which you will not put?

  • prolefeed||

    If it sounds right to your intended audience, it is right, grammar Nazis be damned. Ending a sentence with a preposition is something I'm OK with.

  • Fabius||

    "up with which we must not put" is often attributed to a joke by Winston Churchill, and it may well have been, but it also appears in Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom." I trust his usage.

  • Tim||

    Does Beck still do a radio show?

  • ||

    Yes. His radio network is some 400 radio stations strong.

  • Tim||

    Thanx

  • Mr Whipple®©™||

    Soon to be banished from "public airways" like Howard Stern?

  • ||

    Too bad Beck never released "Asshole" as a single... That cover would make for an awesome Glenn Beck triptych along with "Loser" and "Jack-ass."

  • Matt Welch||

    Ever hear Tom Petty's version?

  • ||

    No, but I'm guessing I should (though technically, it couldn't be the real Tom Petty performing the cover because he died before Beck even wrote the song--check out this link).

  • Bucky||

    is it just his music, politics, or both?

  • ||

    the real Tom Petty performing the cover because he died before Beck even wrote the song

    Tom Petty is dead!??!

    When the fuck did this happen?!?!

  • marlok||

    This assertion prompted me to google the matter, and apparently there's a cult of people (v. similar to the "Paul is Dead" crew) who believe that Petty died and has been replaced by an imposter, one who looks/sings/plays guitar/writes songs exactly like Tom Petty.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Although he says a lot of cringe-inducing stuff, I've always liked the Beck radio program. He may be a sick, twisted freak, but he's our sick twisted freak. I also miss Moron Trivia.
    (I've never seen the TV show.)

  • OO||

    no he's YOUR freak.

  • Bucky||

    uh-oh, i don't he was talking about you...
    stop jumping to contusions...

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    a lot of Beck's conservative critics are offended more by his heterodoxy than by his factual errors

    The same way some of his libertarian critics are likely offended by him less over his factual problems than for his horning in on their turf...

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Keep your hands off our libertarian media gold, you damn interloper!

    Hahahahhahhhahah!

  • Citizen Nothing||

    But mad props. In a thread in which Grego is commenting, it's very hard to come up with the dumbest post.

  • ||

    I think Glenn Beck is an idiot; but he's not as much of an idiot as Lou Dobbs.

    Go FOX!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: P Brooks,
    Bring in the Judge!!!

    (Meaning: I can't afford Fox Business News.)

  • ||

    Sure he gets a lot of facts wrong - as do his counterparts on the "progressive" mainstream. But he's the only person with a popular tv show who spends time on Hayek, Mises, etc and therefore performs a valuable public service.

  • Mr Whipple®©™||

    He does real libertarians a great disservice.

  • sarcasmic||

    "he's the only person with a popular tv show who spends time on Hayek, Mises, etc"

    The more people learn about Hayek and Mises, the more they understand that they have been fed lies all their life.

    The more people learn the Truth, the less easily they can be manipulated.

    As Beck says "The Truth has no agenda".

    Those with an agenda have a stake in people not understanding the Truth.

    Therefor Beck must be taken down for the benefit of those with an agenda.

  • Spoonman.||

    Was that intended to sound like Jared Loughner?

  • ||

    Too soon!!!™

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't know who that is.

    Seriously though, I think Glenn Beck is an ass. He's a shameless self promoter intent on cashing in on his fifteen minutes as much as he can. That's his agenda: profit.

    His method of cashing in is in spreading the Truth. That's not to say everything he puts out there is true (or even sane), but I do believe he wants to find the Truth.

    I don't believe he's in it to manipulate people or to have any power over them.

    He understands that when people have the Truth on their side that they are less easily manipulated and led.

    This makes him a threat to those who manipulate for the purpose of power.

  • pancakes||

    I may have to report you to a mental health authority for an evaluation. You seem dangerous, sarcasmic, this is for your own good.

  • Bucky||

    no, Jared is more into guns than butter...

  • Almanian||

    For the most part, I care a lot more about what Jeff Beck does than what Glenn Beck does. This is a lot of inside baseball with little effect on anything.

  • Mr Whipple®©™||

    I care what his new bass player does.

    http://www.talwilkenfeld.com/

  • ||

    "new"?

  • Mr Whipple®©™||

    Latest.

  • Almanian||

    As a bass player, I think she's an outstanding musician. REALLY good bass player.

    As a man, I like her hair.

  • Xmas||

    I like Beck's radio show, except for the Gold Line ads...

    The "Letters to Obama from Children" bit he did on the radio show had to be the funniest 3.5 minutes of radio I've ever heard.

  • ||

    He does real libertarians a great disservice.

    You mean like self-described "soccer mom" Tea Party organizers?

    And "law and order" Tea Party organizers?

  • PIRS||

    There are some who argue that if you disagree with plumb line libertarianism on even one issue you do "real libertarians a great disservice.". There are too few of us to fight over minor issues. The only issue someone should have to agee on to be considered a "real libertarian" is the non-agression principle. All other issues flow from that. If they don't agree on all the issues at first they will eventually self-correct as long as they stay true to the non-agression principle.

  • hmm||

    and that cake > pie...

  • Brett L||

    Except that the cake is a lie.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    But this is delicious cake. You MUST eat it.

  • ||

    If they don't agree on all the issues at first they will eventually self-correct as long as they stay true to the non-agression principle.

    Nah.

    I am perfectly willing to lie cheat and steal my way to a smaller government.

  • ||

    On that note i recommend that each of you today target a fellow politically satist co-worker (or if you are the boss then a an employee) and work to get them fired.

    If you are the boss then just fire him/her.

    They do the same thing to libertarians everyday so don't feel the least bit bad about it.

  • ||

    opps

    satist = statist

  • Mr Whipple®©™||

    So, when you introduce yourself as a libertarian, people will instantly throw that Beck label on you. Fuck him, he's an asshole. I don't care how many times he's been on the Judge's show. I am embarrassed for Napolitano when he has him on. Beck is just another conspiracy theory hate monger. I'd rather see the more "moderate" libertarians that Stossel has on.

  • hmm||

    The fact is he's still pulling more viewers than the competition in the same slot and some of the primetime out of his time slot. I'm guessing it's internal and like some mentioned here, he's moving on. I doubt Ailes kicked him out of bed. Beck is still a huge lead in program for all of prime time and survived a year of a blitz to get rid of his advertisers. The guy is a showman and knows his business, that's one fact in all of this that people overlook.

  • ||

    One can say the same about Jerry Lewis...

  • hmm||

    and I wouldn't argue that.

    TV is a business, and Beck still draws huge numbers when compared to his competitors. The net effect for a company is somewhat less due his polarizing comments and silliness, but that has little effect if he's working for himself and not someone else.

  • Bucky||

    ^this^

  • Old Mexican||

    While I don't like the fact that Beck gets a lot of his facts wrong,


    Some of the facts where he has been wrong pale in comparison to such "historical" assertions made by mainstream historians like: Franklin D. Roosevelt saved the US economy through his New Deal, or that WWII ended the Great Depression, or that Lincoln attacked the Southern States to free the slaves; or that thanks to Unions, people only work 8 hour/5 day weeks...

    His are little whoppers and easy to debunk because - well, because he's a conservative. The BIG whoppers are still in the textbooks...

  • Gregory Smith||

    So FDR didn't have a commie-loving vice-president? FDR did not reject reports that Alger Hiss was a spy? Woodrow Wilson did not write that the values of the founding fathers were outdated? Nixon did not say he wanted free healthcare? Calvin Coolidge did not cut spending by a 1/3, taxes by a 1/3, and brought the country into recovery so fast that people refer to his victory as "the forgotten depression?" Neither Beck, nor Coulter make things up, they get historical facts, sometimes from forgotten old books that liberal academia would rather burn.

    Beck always told us to go to the original sources, and when we go, it turns out we were right.

    By the way, you should talk to a Russian the next time you get a chance, it turns out that there were plenty of commie spies in the government, it's the reason the USSR was able to steal so much of our nuclear technology.

  • sarcasmic||

    "it turns out that there were plenty of commie spies in the government"

    Now the commies run the government.

  • OO||

    The USSR captured their own nazi research scientists...just like we did.

  • JoshINHB||

    Calvin Coolidge did not cut spending by a 1/3, taxes by a 1/3, and brought the country into recovery so fast that people refer to his victory as "the forgotten depression?"

    Actually, it was Harding that did that in 21, not Coolidge. Not that your minor mistake affects the larger point about government spending's effect on economic performance.

    Of course, to faux libertarians like some writers here, the fact that you got the president wrong invalidates the larger point.

    Which is their problem regarding Beck.

  • Gregory Smith||

    So Coolidge continued what Harding started.
    http://www.calvin-coolidge.org.....perit.html

  • Tony||

    And Bill Ayers wrote Dreams from My Father.

  • ||

    Or maybe Obama, by all extant evidence a mediocre to terrible writer previously, suddenly got unstuck on a book project and began writing very well in a style a lot like Ayers', shortly after a time when at least one third party who knew them both said that Ayers helped Obama on his book.

  • JoshINHB||

    And even more mysteriously reverted to crappy authorship thereafter.

    This is how commercial writing works:

    Years as a crappy writer with no improvement

    Flash of artistic brilliance and commercial success with one book.

    Years of crappy writing after that on success.

    Right?
  • Gregory Smith||

    I'm more interested in what he wrote as Editor of the Harvard Law Review. Did he write anything at all? Did the HLR hide everything he wrote? I guess Ohhhhbama always got a break for being black. Had Ooooooohbama been white, no breaks at all.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    And Bill Ayers wrote Dreams from My Father.


    But only because he did.

  • ||

    And Bill Ayers wrote Dreams from My Father.

    Who knows who wrote it.

    Do you believe McCain wrote his books? Clinton wrote his own?

    All those books are Ghost written.

    You might be a wide eyed 3 year old but i am about to break your heart when i tell you most autobiographies of sport heroes are ghost written as well.

    I know it is a huge travesty and you don't want to believe it...

    But sorry it is true.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    About a year ago, it seems like all he did was fling poop. More poop flinged at the left than at the right, but he wasn't afraid to call out Team Red guys sometimes too. I liked him then. Later he went on a "Progresessivism is the root of all evil" kick. That was OK too really ..... at least he showed people how/why Woodrow Wilson was the worst president ever.

    Recently all he seems to be able to talk about is how the Unions are in a big anti-semitic conspiracy with various bad elements in the middle east who want to destroy the US, Israel, and reinstate a caliphate. It has been totally incoherent and very boring at the same time.

  • marlok||

    Give the man some credit for causing Van Jones and that Mao sympathizer to seek new jobs in political obscurity.

  • COtarian||

    Glenn Beck is awful. He gives actual libertarians a bad name by calling himself one. He also needs to stop ripping off material from the Alex Jones show. He's been doing that for more than a year now.

  • JoshINHB||

    Can you cite where he has called himself a libertarian?

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