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Glenn Beck: Up-and-coming, hatemongering host

January 26, 2007

Well, that’s what the Washington Post reported today in their Style section feature on CNN Headline News’ (and soon-to-be Good Morning America contributor) conservative firebrand Glenn Beck.

GlennonTVLet me just clarify … as a listener of his program for almost three years, Beck doesn’t often reach “firebrand” levels of anger.

It’s more of a smooth, mellow rage. Or frustration, in one of those 6th-grade baking-soda sci-fair volcano bubbling sort-of ways.

But being a listener of his (in fact, a paid subscriber to his Insider site section … which is the only way I can listen to his national radio show in the mornings over the Web), I can honestly say that Beck doesn’t reach the levels of being a warmonger/hatemonger/racist, as his critics charge.

He doesn’t hate anyone, except those who have no common sense or deny to use it!

And what’s wrong with that?

Now, the left has started to press CNN and Beck’s sponsors to get him off the air, even as Beck’s TV audience has doubled since his spring 2006 debut. His radio program still gains listeners as the third most-listened to show in America (behind Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity). Even Good Morning America has come calling, asking Beck to become a contributor in the near future.

Which leads me to ask: Does Glenn Beck ever sleep?

Mediamatters.org has been railing on Beck for months, taking questionable quotes from Beck’s show in a damning context. He’s also a frequent “Worst Person in the World” on Keith Olbermann’s Countdown show.  Gay groups were furious with him for just speaking a homosexual slur on his show when discussing the recent “Gray’s Anatomy” controversy with a celebrity reporter.

And now Arab groups are protesting as well, because of a comment during an interview with Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress.

Here’s the YouTube clip of the interview that MediaMatters.org posted:

The AP story of the protests appeared in the Washington Post today:

The Arab American Institute, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Muslim Public Affairs Council all said Thursday they had written to ABC News President David Westin about Beck.”Good Morning America” executive producer Jim Murphy has spoken to a representative of the groups and has invited them on the air to talk about their grievances, said ABC News spokeswoman Jeffrey Schneider. Beck has appeared twice on the show, once together with a Muslim religious leader.

The groups said that Beck _ who’s drawing strong ratings with his evening show on CNN Headline News _ has stated on his show that Arab and Muslim Americans are apathetic to terrorism. During an interview in November with Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress, Beck asked him to “prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.”

“That blatant anti-Arab, anti-Muslim bias has been given credibility on a larger news show is something that concerns us,” said Arab American Institute spokeswoman Jennifer Kauffman.

Beck has said that his question to Ellison was poorly worded.

GBforecastBeck’s show is frequently making fun of itself and its inexperience at the TV game.

In fact, that’s one of the appealing draws of Beck’s shows … he’s not perfect. He frequently mentions his past addictions, his divorce, and other misfortunes in radio — He’s just like us (except now, with more money and fame).

But still, because of that appeal, I’d want to go have a drink with him after work (His past alcoholism would prevent that…)

Here’s a very funny clip behind the scenes of his TV show:

Also, his humorous way of explaining controversial issues is effective. Check out this clip about illegal immigration, in Schoolhouse Rock fashion.

The show as a whole is very user-friendly, and it’s the only political-themed show that my wife can stand to watch. That’s a testament to the everyman factor that Beck and his staff have created for their loyal viewers.

He’s also got four great things going for him, in my opinion:

  • He LOVES the iPod and Apple tech gadgets … I’m sure he’ll have an iPhone.
  • He loves the McDonalds breakfast “McGriddle” sandwich, which I believe was divinely inspired.
  • He is constantly struggling with his weight and complaining about his diet. So am I.
  • His live Christmas show/program (which I saw in Harrisburg) was the funniest, most-emotional, most-inspiring holiday program I’ve ever seen.

If you haven’t watched Beck, give him a chance at 7 p.m. EST on Headline News. It’s worth the time. (but avoid the hour-long celebrity interviews…the one with Janice Dickenson was a nightmare to watch…)

If you can’t watch, go download his podcast for smaller doses of hilarity.

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4 Comments
  1. January 26, 2007 11:03 am

    While I don’t care for *all* of his views, I do find GB a genuinely funny guy. When he did a morning radio show in Louisville, KY, I would regularly call him up with various fictitious characters and voices, and he was kind enough to tolerate (and even encourage) it. Shortly thereafter, my wife and I were given a chance to sit in the studio with him while he recorded his New Year’s Eve program (which began at 6:00am).

    He’s funny, creative, and does some very funny voices (though I haven’t heard any of those since he left radio). I wish he were more interested in conversation, and less interested in perpetuating the “talk as loud as you can with both hands over your ears” school of debate that seems to be all the rage these days, but I still get a kick out of tuning into his show and thinking “Hey… I’ve hung around with that guy!” – Tim

  2. January 26, 2007 11:35 am

    It’s funny…I find him very conversational. His online feed allows listeners to hear “behind-the-scenes” chat between Steve “Stu” Bruguiere (producer) and Glenn provide lots of chuckles and interesting conversation.
    For example, today they were chatting about how a donut chain’s “White Hot Chocolate” tasted nothing like white chocolate. Whether it was “white hot” was not discussed.
    Fascinating 🙂 This is the top-quality conversation I pay for … haha….

  3. January 27, 2007 6:53 pm

    I think the media matters clip speaks for itself. He is quite obviously playing devils advocate. There is also a huge difference between disagreeing with him and trying to get him silenced. We should all be very weary of people who say they believe in free speech but are quick to try to silence those with whom they disagree.

  4. January 28, 2007 1:15 am

    Good thought Contrary. Did you notice that the Muslim Congressman was laughing at the comment? It didn’t seem to offend him any…

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