For several years Glenn Beck has been bragging that his enterprise was totally self-supported. He insisted that rejecting outside funding enabled him to speak freely in manner that would not be possible with outside investors and boards of directors dictating what he could do and say. Beck was very adamant about this principle and said so firmly on multiple occasions that sound eerily like televangelical appeals:
Aug 17,2011: We are running out of time. […] I do not want outside investors. We have talked about it. We have had outside investors come to us. We have had hedge funds come to us. People want to invest in my business because we are creating jobs and creating wealth. I do not want outside investors because I do not want to have to answer to anyone else.
Nov 7, 2012: This network, this company is funded by me and by you. That’s it. […] I thought we’d have more time and I’m telling you we’re going to run out of time. I need to double our subscriptions. […] I am not doing this to get rich. Believe me I don’t think money’s going to be worth an awful lot very long. […] If you haven’t subscribed, I need you to go to theblaze.com/TV and sign up now. Please. Please. Please. Right now about 300,000 people keep this network up and running, and may God richly bless your sacrifice.
Already I’ve lost quite a tidy sum, in fact figures that I never thought I would earn in my lifetime, let alone lose.
This admission that he is losing money contradicts the press releases his company issues that celebrate how richly successful he is. I can’t say whether his PR department is lying or he is himself, but either way he is deceiving his audience for personal gain. His financial woes are also evident in his recent effort to get cable companies to carry his dinky web cast. As I reported in February, this directional shift proves that his Internet business must be suffering:
“He is presently charging between five and ten dollars per month to subscribe to his programs online. If he does secure cable carriage that programming will be available for free to all of the current cable subscribers on the system. Consequently, they would no longer need to pay for the Internet access. If the Internet subscription model was working for him, Beck wouldn’t risk cannibalizing his online customers by offering them the same content for free on cable.”
All of this makes the news released today particularly significant in that it goes against much of what Beck’s image factory has been putting out. A new filing with the SEC says that Beck is seeking $40 million dollars in funding for TheBlaze, his media enterprise. That revelation would suggest that he has abandoned his belief that only by self-funding could he truly be able to express himself and expose the myriad conspiracies and plots against liberty and goodness that only he can see. This filing also suggests that Beck doesn’t have the funds to finance his glorious vision of an international media conglomerate and merchandising outlet. To say nothing of his homage to Jonestown, a residential community/theme park tucked away in some heartland hideaway.
Beck claims to have already raised $1.5 million of the $40 million goal. Along with everything else he says, that needs to be taken with a barrel of heavily salted Freedom Fries. One has to wonder who would invest in this sort of enterprise. Most savvy investors are aware that Beck was booted from Fox because he had alienated the advertising community that would be necessary to support this venture. They can also see the evidence of the financial struggles that are noted above. That leaves only committed propagandists and true believers in Beck’s nightmarish narrative of an apocalyptic future. Are there enough of them to bankroll Beck’s dementia? Well, maybe we should ask Pat Robertson and Alex Jones.
Update: As of July of 2014, Beck had received only $6.4 million of the $40 million he sought.