Glenn Beck Fluffer Conducts Softball Interview For CNN

CNN, the network that is presently struggling in third place in the cable news field it once dominated, has published an interview of Glenn Beck that sets a new standard for obsequious pandering. The article is not much more than a promotional vehicle for Beck’s new media enterprise and fails to disclose that two Beck employees currently work for CNN (Amy Holmes and Will Cain).

The article’s lede concerns Beck’s announcement that he is folding his GBTV web video unit into his web tabloid site TheBlaze. The author, Steve Krakauer, makes little mention of Beck’s vulgar rhetoric and conspiratorial delusions, instead describing Beck euphemistically as “a man full of complexities.” The only complex that can be associated with Beck is his Messianic one. He also doesn’t bother to offer any analysis of whether the merger is the result of rapid success, as Beck claims, or due to poor performance necessitating a merger to reduce costs.

Krakauer takes Beck’s claims of his alleged success at face value. He repeats estimates for subscriber numbers without attempting to verify the claim or inquire as to whether they are actually paying for the service. GBTV offers free trials for new subscribers, but does not reveal how many subscribers are paying or how many cancel after the free trial expires.

Then Krakauer gets into some truly puzzling territory when he permits Beck to assert his brand of fairness and balance. Krakauer cites what he calls the “clear non-Beckness” of TheBlaze, and lets Beck complete the picture by saying that “If you just look at the comments section, there are people who read the Blaze all the time but hate my guts.” Why that would surprise anyone is beyond comprehension. The Internet has a wide open, frontier ethos that allows everyone access to everything. It stands to reason that Beck’s adversaries would visit his site, just as Tea Partiers show up at the DailyKos. That is not evidence that TheBlaze is independent of Beck, just that it is online. And Krakauer’s next example of Beck’s alleged impartiality is no better. He cites an incident when TheBlaze criticized a fellow conservative:

“[O]ne of the most memorable and talked about series of articles on was a meticulous debunking of the James O’Keefe NPR videos, which claimed to show an NPR executive denigrating the Tea Party, that ran on an Andrew Breitbart-associated website.”

Indeed, TheBlaze did publish a detailed breakdown of O’Keefe’s slanderous hoax. But what Krakauer leaves out is that Beck was not acting out of any sense of journalistic integrity. He and Breitbart were engaged in a bitter feud at the time, with each alleging the other was a backstabbing phony. That may have had something to do with Beck’s takedown of Breitbart’s protege. However, Krakauer uncritically lets Beck get away with portraying himself as even-handed, but misunderstood:

“I think that’s people forgetting who I was and what I was saying when I was on CNN before Barack Obama. […] Nobody ever, ever gives me credit for the times I’ve said on the air ‘the president is right on this, did this right’ or ‘the media is unfair by trying to say this about the president,’ or ‘the right is unfair.’ I bet I do that at least once a month.”

That’s just revisionist history on Beck’s part. He was broadly criticized for his dishonest and hateful rhetoric on Headline News. And, of course, it was that very rhetoric that got him his job at Fox after CNN ditched him. And the reason he doesn’t get credit for commending the President is because it occurred so rarely and only between accusations of fascism, socialism, racism, and threats of destroying America.

Astonishingly, Krakauer writes without any sense of irony that “Beck isn’t outwardly supporting either of the two major candidates in the 2012 election.” If he believes that he’s ready for the guys in white suits with the butterfly nets to take him to the friendly asylum in the country with the barbed wire fences. Does Krakauer think for a second that Beck would consider supporting the man he characterizes as a Stalinist bent on assuming tyrannical control of the nation and executing all resistors? Beck may not have endorsed Romney in so many words, but he has stated explicitly that America cannot survive another four years of Obama. So who do you think he’s supporting?

The article concludes with Krakauer gifting Beck with a closing statement that makes him appear to be some sort of visionary:

“We are on the threshold of something I think is as powerful as the Industrial Revolution was, except this one will happen in a very short period of time.”

Really? The threshold? Sorry but this revolution began at least twenty years ago. And many true visionaries were (and are) way ahead of Beck. The only thing Beck has done is to post web videos and publish an online tabloid-style news site. That has been done so much it’s almost passe. Every brick and mortar television station and newspaper has been doing it for years. Where’s the innovation? Saying his unoriginal venture is on par with the Industrial Revolution is like saying that starting a new blog today is on par with Gutenberg. Never mind that millions of bloggers have been doing for years.

CNN DebacleThis puff piece appearing on CNN is in line with their recent editorial direction. They have been heading ever more determinedly toward a Fox-Lite state that has done nothing for them but land them in the ratings cellar (a condition I wrote about just a couple of weeks ago). It’s a sad state of affairs for both CNN and the viewing public who would be better served by an honest, professional news provider than another megaphone for right-wing propaganda.


6 thoughts on “Glenn Beck Fluffer Conducts Softball Interview For CNN

  1. well, and I know this is trivial, I was willing to let one “let’s” go unmentioned – you did mean “allows,” not “let us”? – but two? Sorry, Mark, but as an ex-proof reader, I can’t help it.

    Meanwhile, CNN is engaged in a seriously dangerous rhetorical game of “If I Kiss Your Ass, Will You Stop Kicking Mine?” Whoever’s in charge there is nowhere near the discovery that it always plays out with the supplicant’s ass only getting kicked again – and harder. In this case, the more management attempts to be FOXlite, the more the ratings will take it in the butt.

    • Let’s all pile on my grammar today. 😉

      And, yes, CNN is only going to get kicked harder for sucking up – by both sides. That’s why they have no audience left.

  2. CNN’s ratings will continue to tank if they try to become more like Fox. We need a real hard jouralism network to educate the public. This would help everyone including CNN.

  3. Thank you for this. It is truly disheartening to see vanilla outlets like CNN do stories on Beck without addressing his con-man shtick at all. It really does seem like they write these pieces without giving more than a 5-minute glance, literally, at the trash and nonsense he spews on his various sites.

    And that last quote gets at the real problem — Beck comparing his websites to the Industrial Revolution — he does this kind of thing all the time, telling his followers how his latest “project” is going to revolutionize everything or change the world or completely replace government, blah blah blah. And then as soon as he squeezes a few more bucks out of his fans, he abandons whatever it was and comes up with a new scheme. That to me is the slippery essence of Beck, and CNN and their ilk are completely oblivious to it.

    • Good point. It reminds me of all the scams Beck has started and abandoned: the 912 Project, Re-Founders, In or Out 2010, the 4E’s, and his epic 100 year boondoggle.

      • Thanks for the link on the 100 year boondoggle — somehow I had missed that one. Hilarious!

        I am kind of obliged to follow this clown because I have family members who run out and buy whatever he’s peddling. Some more that I recently noticed:

        Beck University, which was going to make up for the deficiencies of education in the U.S. … abandoned after a couple of pseudo-lectures by David Barton types.

        GBTV “network” programming — I still chuckle thinking of Beck’s announcement of ‘premiere night’, which would revolutionize media in general. Two crappy shows, one of which is just his Blaze flunkies sitting around complaining, and the other of which (“Independence USA”) has had no new episodes since March, with no explanation on the website. What a world-shaking event!

        And then just recently, when announcing his “4 days in June” that would change the world, he bragged about day 4 (“Create”) that “the left won’t know what hit them!” and went on and on about how he and his kind are going take back America’s culture! Of course, when day 4 finally arrived, he had a dog-ate-my-homework excuse complete with shifty eyes and nervous laughter (blaming lawyers), trying to explain why he didn’t actually have anything to show apart from one conservative folk singer and a few seconds of piano music. Wow. I’m shaking in my boots. Watch out lefties, Glenn is coming for you!

        Thank you for doing such good work keeping track of these nefarious characters. It’s easy to forget that creeps like Beck still have some influence when they are ignored by the MSM most of the time.

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