Apr
01
2010

Glenn Beck Gets Progressively More Paranoid

Fox News’ lunatic fringe, now even loonier

Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck had a surprising 2009 (Extra!, 6/09), becoming a high-profile advocate for the right-wing Tea Party movement and attracting millions of viewers to his late afternoon cable talk show. How does one top that? By spinning out elaborate theories about the “progressive” assault on the Constitution and the country, hinting that the left’s disenchantment with Barack Obama could very easily manifest itself in violence—that’s how. Beck’s ruminations make no logical sense, and the proposals he attacks do not bear even the faintest resemblance to the political agenda of the White House or congressional Democrats. But […]

Nov
01
2009

Van Jones Is Happening and You Don't Know Who He Is

Scolding big media for not following Glenn Beck’s lead

Photo Credit: Van Jones

After a campaign led by Fox News’ Glenn Beck led to the resignation of White House staffer Van Jones, New York Times managing editor Jill Abramson offered something of an apology for being “a beat behind on this story.” “We should have been paying closer attention,” she wrote in an online Q&A (9/07/09)—even while accurately noting that “Mr. Jones was not a high-ranking official.” Later, in a column by public editor Clark Hoyt (9/26/09) linking the Van Jones story to the Times’ supposed undercoverage of another Glenn Beck obsession—the community organizing group ACORN—Abramson plead guilty to “insufficient tuned-in-ness to the […]

Nov
01
2009

Right-Wing Witch Hunt Reaches FCC

Glenn Beck and friends attack diversity officer Mark Lloyd

Mark Lloyd--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Center for American Progress

When the Obama administration’s Federal Communications Commission underwent its first hearing by the House oversight committee on September 17, the agenda largely centered on FCC chair Julius Genachowski’s upcoming broadband plan and net neutrality—yet before it was over, a Republican representative from Oregon felt compelled to examine the Commission’s new associate general counsel and chief diversity officer, Mark Lloyd. Noting that he was motivated by a letter “from a number of interest groups,” Rep. Greg Walden said he did “some research [on Lloyd] in the last 24 hours,” and was troubled by his findings. Walden declared that “there’s a lot […]

Jun
01
2009

Glenn Beck Is No Howard Beale

He’s mad like a Fox, and wants to take us in

Fox News’ latest sensation Glenn Beck has invited comparisons of himself to Howard Beale, the barking-mad TV host in 1976’s black comedy Network, who urged viewers to throw open their windows and shout, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Beck recently told the New York Times (3/30/09): “I think that’s the way people feel. That’s the way I feel.” Beck has even played clips of Beale’s scenes on his show (Beck, 3/23/09). Declaring one’s kinship with a fictional TV host famous for undergoing an on-air emotional disintegration would not normally recommend one to […]

Feb
01
2007

Flirting With Fascism

CNN’s Beck threatens Muslims with 'razor wire'

NPR’s David Folkenflik (1/25/07) cited CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck as the kind of conservative pundit who believes that “severe rhetoric only drives people apart.” The Washington Post profiled Beck (1/26/07)—who also has a top-rated talk radio show and was recently hired as a commentator for ABC’s Good Morning America—as someone who doesn’t “traffic . . . in absolute truths and certitudes.” The New York Times (12/4/06) called him “brash” and “opinionated” with an “unfiltered approach,” reporting that he “take[s] credit for saying what others are feeling but are afraid to say.” The Times and the Post both criticized […]

Jan
18
2006

CNN's 'Cordial' Hire

Headline News picks would-be killer Glenn Beck as host

CNN’s Headline News has hired radio talkshow host Glenn Beck to host a one-hour primetime show, according to a Daily Variety report (1/17/06). Variety quotes CNN Headline News president Ken Jautz's description of Beck: "Glenn’s style is self-deprecating, cordial; he says he'd like to be able to disagree with guests and part as friends. It's conversational, not confrontational." But Glenn Beck’s hateful rhetoric tells a different story. Beck, best known for setting up Clear Channel's pro-war Rallies for America shortly before the Iraq War, once described how much he loathed anti-war presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (WABC-AM, 3/16/03): "Every night I […]