The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

23 November 2009

Glenn Beck Unveils Upcoming Agenda, State-Run Media Happy To Oblige


Latest Gimmick Could Be Aimed At Movement Takeover

It's no secret that political movements are full of ambitious activists, some of whom are willing to do just about anything to take the reins of power.

And if that's what syndicated / cable talker Glenn Beck seeks, he has every right to aim for a leadership role in the conservative movement, as long as it is attempted honorably. There's no question he has many dedicated fans who turn out in large numbers to see him.

But is there a job opening at the top? It sure doesn't appear that way, yet that's probably news to Beck.

More important is the state-run media's curious role in promoting Beck. Is it designed to install someone they see as highly vulnerable to oversee conservatives, leading to subsequent damage?

Lefties recognize Beck's unpredictable behavior and habit of making strange statements that serve the movement poorly, such as his assertion that McCain's presidency would have been worse for America than Obama's.

In addition, it is then relatively easy to use Beck's words to undermine Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Levin, Sarah Palin and others.

Another tactic: pitting other conservatives against Beck, accusing them of "jealousy" in relation to his "success".

That's where Glenn's latest stunt proves instructive: weekend mainstream media coverage of his "big announcement", filled with teases yet light on details, was relatively extensive.

From his show:

Contrast that with
their reaction to the smash success of Mark Levin's book and rising influence he's enjoyed this year as a result: our state-run friends have been nearly silent.

After refusing to even review Levin's Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, the New York Times found plenty of space to cover Beck's weekend activities, including the announcement of his "plan":

Mr. Beck provided few details about his plans for the tour, making it unclear if he truly intends to prod his audience of millions into political action or merely burnish his media brand ahead of a book release.

Mr. Beck did say the conventions would resemble educational seminars, and he emphasized that while candidates may align themselves with the values and principles that he espouses, he would not take the next step to endorse them.

In describing the conventions, he told the crowd on Saturday: “You’re going to learn about finance. You’re going to learn about community organizing. You’re going to learn everything we need to know if you want to be a politician.”

His staff would not say whether particular candidates for office in the 2010 midterm elections would be invited to speak at the conventions or the August rally.

Here, pundits are
asked to analyze Beck's aims, with some telling responses:

Lanny Davis - Attorney and Democratic strategist :

Glenn Beck is smart. No, he's very smart. So is Laura Ingraham.

Now that is my preferred ticket for 2012 as a good Democrat. Where do I send the check?

Victor Kamber - Carmen Group :

I hope it is real. I can't imagine anything better for the Democratic Party then having Glen Beck 'and his kind' trying to set the agenda for Republicans and Conservatives. Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, Ingram, Dobbs, et al are voices often of hate. They do have a following and do cause noise in this country, but we are not that stupid to elect their ideas to govern us. I never wish to underestimate people but in this case I am underwhelmed by the Fox team and their ability to produce a majority for leadership in this country.

Certainly, there is room
for Beck in the conservative movement. Why, however, is the left so eager to install him as Emperor of the Right?

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  • I think this is an interesting take on Glenn Beck and the 100 year revolution.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 23 November, 2009 20:32  

  • I find your contorted take on Beck amusing. You acknowledge his success, yet you do it in the most benign and suspect manner possible. You walk a fine line because Rush, the cornerstone of talk radio and this blog, refuses to trash Beck.

    I'm certain it was painful for you to even mention Beck here after ignoring him for so long. I assume you share Levin's view that Beck is a "back bencher," which is why you can't acknowledge his success without a "but" and why you don't link to him in your sidebar.

    Believe it or not, Beck lost me about the time he hired on with Fox. I'm still a casual listener to his radio show, but I don't follow the TV show and I don't plan on wasting time on his "Plan."

    That said, by dismissing/trashing Beck, Hannity and Levin alienate their own audiences. Do they think their fans are exclusive to them? It may infuriate Levin, but he and Beck share a playlist on my mp3 player.

    To your point, might I suggest that the liberal media has made Beck their target de jour because he's put himself so out there, and because, like Palin, he took the national stage by storm so quickly?

    Beck may well be a flash in the pan, but so far he's got a respectable track record, one that is worthy of more than a suspicious nod.

    By Anonymous D. Sirmize, at 24 November, 2009 10:36  

  • "That said, by dismissing/trashing Beck, Hannity and Levin alienate their own audiences. Do they think their fans are exclusive to them?"

    D. Sirmize 10:36am

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for this comment/observation. This Levinite couldn't agree with you more.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 24 November, 2009 18:38  

  • The vast majority of media types that run for office, particularly pundits of some sort, run on their popularity within their audience. They do not have to make unpopular decisions and lack real leadership experience. I suggest we let Beck and Limbaugh and O'Reilly bring forth topics and discussion, entertaining us all the while, while we can focus on those with real ideas and experience in the world of business and politics to lead us out of the current wilderness.

    By Anonymous, at 28 November, 2009 12:07  

  • I cannot see Beck as a high level elected official. He is smart and would be a good idea man or advisor. Running a Federal level agency is not his bag.

    By Blogger Dugan, at 22 December, 2009 06:45  

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