How Glenn Beck has his Cake and Eats it Too

If you turn on right wing talk radio or FOX News talk shows, you'll hear a mixture of anger, hatred, ridiculous hyperbole, and out and out lies. It's an every day sort of thing, the wallpaper of some people's lives. There are those who only get their news from these sources and it renders them idiotic. Take a trip through the front page of Media Matter for America any day of the week, any week of the year, and you'll see plenty of examples. There's stupidity, lies, more lies, and hate. People who use these media sources -- free though they are -- are getting ripped off. They're spending moments of their limited lifespan hanging on "information" that isn't worth a damn.

Turns out there's big money in spreading fertilizer on the wingnut masses, though. If you believe in some cosmic scale of justice, some sort of karmic balance, then I'm sorry to burst your bubble; the people who spend their adult lives attacking, lying, whipping up the gullible, fearmongering, and spreading hate are rewarded for it. Rewarded very well.

[Huffington Post:]

Just how handsomely does it pay to be one of the most controversial men in America? For Glenn Beck, $32 million.

Beck, who became a household name in 2009, pulled in the shocking sum through a revenue stream that includes books, radio, TV, digital media, and speaking fees.

$32 million dollars for being the craziest man to host a TV snakepit in the history of TV snakepits. Not bad for someone who has yet to come up with a show that in any way reflects reality. The BS distribution sector is apparently a booming, recession-proof growth industry.

That figure comes from a piece in Forbes and that figure is getting a lot of press, but so is this section (emphasis mine):

With a deadpan, Beck insists that he is not political: "I could give a flying crap about the political process." Making money, on the other hand, is to be taken very seriously, and controversy is its own coinage. "We're an entertainment company," Beck says. He has managed to monetize virtually everything that comes out of his mouth. He gets $13 million a year from print (books plus the ten-issue-a-year magazine Fusion). Radio brings in $10 million. Digital (including a newsletter, the ad-supported Glennbeck.com and merchandise) pulls in $4 million. Speaking and events are good for $3 million and television for $2 million. Over several days in mid-March Beck allowed a reporter to follow him through his multimedia incarnations, with one exception, his 5 p.m. daily show on Fox News, which attracts just under 3 million viewers. (FORBES has a relationship with that channel via Forbes on Fox.)

Shorter version; "Yeah, I'm a phony. But I'm a really rich phony." How confident to you have to be in your audience's ignorance to let something like that come out in print? There are people out there (stupid people, sure) who hang on Beck's every word as if he were Jesus, Martin Luther King jr, and Paul Revere all rolled up into one -- and here he is peeing all over them.

And he's right, they'll ignore it -- just like they ignore every other fact they don't like. And, if he starts to get a little heat for the first statement, he'll fall back on the second; "We're an entertainment company."

This is how these people get away with it, this is how they have their cake and eat it too. You tell people that you're the one font of truth in the world, the only place they can get the "real news," the most important voice they'll hear on any given day. Then, when you're called out on your lies and your hate and your idiocy, you say, "Hey, I'm just an entertainer. It's not my fault that people take me seriously."

"I'm a rodeo clown," Beck said in 2009. "It takes great skill." Yeah, being a rodeo clown does take skill. Rodeo clowns run out on the field to distract angry bulls attacking fallen riders. They probably save lives. You're not a rodeo clown, Glenn. They serve a useful purpose. You don't, you're useless. You're trying to say you're just a clown. Drop the "rodeo" part.

And he's not even that. Tell me how entertained you are by this:

"Liberal/Nazi eugenicists want to kill my daughter!" Yeah, that's really entertaining. I know that when I go to the circus, I expect a clown to juggle, then to rail against the evils of socialism and fascism and tell me that the country's being taken over by Nazis, maybe cry for a little bit, then ride off on a unicycle. It gives the lion tamer time to set up.

You aren't a clown, Glenn. You're the very worst kind of demagogue; the kind that shrieks hate and fear, then runs from any responsibility for or consequence of all that shrieking. You aren't a clown, rodeo or otherwise, you're a professional ass.

A rodeo clown would be a giant step up. That's a job that takes courage.


Get updates via Twitter

No comments:

Post a Comment