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Glenn Beck denigrating the E.U. causes European media to respond

by Democrats Ramshield Thu Mar 10th, 2011 at 11:09:56 AM EST

(Written by an American expat living in the European Union)
On Nov. 16th, Glenn Beck basically announced that its "God's will" that the European Union will fail. Let's remember that the great social democracies of the European Union, unlike America have a strong working class social safety net. Since then the steady stream of criticism of Glenn Beck from the mainstream European media outlets, have been making European readers aware of the Beck phenomenon, such as the German magazine Der Spiegel and the British newspaper the Guardian; wherein European media asks the question, is Glenn Beck's reign at Fox News finally over calling him a person full of hatred, an agitator in a throwback to the Weimar Republic and a conspiracy theorist whose sagging ratings seem to be pushing him off Fox News. This diary offers a fresh look at criticism of the Fox News Glenn Beck propaganda regime from the perspective of the European media. As such this offers insights from a European perspective not usually available in the American plutocrat owned media.

(Guardian.co.uk) Glenn Beck's future at Fox News under threat, according to NYT
Posted by Richard Adams Monday 7 March 2011 05.12 GMT

Fox News said to be prepared to dump its conspiracy theorist-in-chief Glenn Beck from its line-up of commentators

For America's beleaguered liberals, Monday's New York Times reports what sounds like a dream come true: Fox News is considering parting company with Glenn Beck, the rococo conspiracy theorist who inspires those on the swivel-eyed right and infuriates anyone to their left.

According to the New York Times's media correspondent David Carr, unnamed Fox News executives are said to be "contemplating life without Mr Beck" when the conservative shock jock's contract ends in December.

Some dismiss this as part of the rough and tumble of contract negotiations going on between Fox and Beck. But others point to Beck's sagging viewing figures - especially his loss of a million viewers for his daily one-hour show in the past year - from an average of 2.9 million in January 2010 to 1.8 million in January 2011 - as more to the point, with Beck's increasingly paranoid stylings said to be driving away more moderate viewers and high profile advertisers.

Democrats and others on the left would like to hope that it's Beck's outrageousness that has brought him to this impasse, and they may have a case. Beck has recently got Fox News into hot water on some sensitive subjects. One was a long rant against George Soros - in itself hardly a crime as the wealthy liberal philanthropist is a favourite target of the Fox News commentariat. Beck, though, went too far, and cast Soros, a Holocaust survivor, as: "Here's a Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps."

Did you know that Glenn Beck and Fox news have virtually speaking no audience in the entirety of continental Europe?

As Americans we are too often captured by the adhoc myopia of the idea that the sun rises and sets around the American plutocrat owned media, such as Fox news, but the truth is that the Fox news brand in general and Glenn Beck in particular in continental Europe are virtually speaking unknown brands, because their message doesn't sell here. Now why is that? Well in part it's because of something else that most Americans know nothing about and that is, state owned media creating fairness and balance, and the American plutocrat owned media competing with it. Now you may think it's just about the language barrier, but that's not true because NBC for example has continental European news outlets, which is something else that most Americans don't know about. But if you still think it is all about language, consider the comments of Rupert Murdoch below, whereupon one might ask if perhaps he wants a little bit of wine with that cheese.

Murdoch attack on 'dominant' BBC "The BBC is dominant," Mr Murdoch said. "Other organisations might rise and fall but the BBC's income is guaranteed and growing."


At this point the question should be asked how profitable would Glenn Beck and Fox news ever have been if in America there were such a thing as state owned media, just like there is all across Europe. In fact we can see that Rupert Murdoch doesn't like to compete against state owned media for audience share. He certainly doesn't want American audiences to have the same type of public option in media that European audiences have. Maybe that's why when Glenn Beck is broadcast in England he has no commercial sponsors. But American audiences don't know this little known fact either, because Fox news won't tell you that and this diary just did. Europe just isn't buying Glenn Beck, but then they don't buy hate radio either in Europe. Now that is not to say that Europe is a Utopian perfect place, but it is merely to say that the haters don't have overwhelming media control, as is the case in America with hate radio and the Fox news propaganda machine.

Below in believe it or not in a minor miracle the Wall Street Journal of all places published an interesting piece by Bollinger - President of Columbia University, wherein he calls for an investment of American state owned media in an American BBC type structure, in order to provide fair and balanced treatment of the news in the American media market. This is a salient issue because the convicted criminal James O'Keefe in yet another Fox news gotcha journalism engineered yet another media blitz to have NPR's public funding removed. Wherein they employed the goofy remarks of a now former NPR executive Ron Schiller. Now to be clear no sensible person would be out trying to defend Mr Schiller's goofy remarks, but we should all continue to defend NPR's public funding, which should not be eliminated, because of one man's thoughtless ramblings, which would allow any punk carrying a cell phone camera the ability to get another James O'Keefe 15 minutes of fame!

Just as we saw in the aforementioned quote, Rupert Murdoch doesn't want to compete with any BBC style media, and this means that the Fox news brand which gives voice to people like Glenn Beck, in order to stay profitable is willing to climb into bed with convicted criminals like James O'Keefe, because they don't want the American people to have a public funded option in media, even in a case where NPR is only partially funded by public dollars, and is basically forced to beg for donations to make up its shortfall. And this from the world's richest country is a complete disgrace!  

Wall Street Journal
   * JULY 14, 2010
Journalism Needs Government Help
This system needs to be revised and its resources consolidated and augmented with those of NPR and PBS to create an American World Service that can compete with the BBC and other global broadcasters. The goal would be an American broadcasting system with full journalistic independence that can provide the news we need. Let's demonstrate great journalism's essential role in a free and dynamic society......................

Ironically, we already depend to some extent on publicly funded foreign news media for much of our international news--especially through broadcasts of the BBC and BBC World Service on PBS and NPR. Such news comes to us courtesy of British citizens who pay a TV license fee to support the BBC and taxes to support the World Service. The reliable public funding structure, as well as a set of professional norms that protect editorial freedom, has yielded a highly respected and globally powerful journalistic institution.

There are examples of other institutions in the U.S. where state support does not translate into official control. The most compelling are our public universities and our federal programs for dispensing billions of dollars annually for research. Those of us in public and private research universities care every bit as much about academic freedom as journalists care about a free press.

Mr. Bollinger is president of Columbia University and author of "Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open: A Free Press for a New Century" (Oxford, 2010).


Let's be clear about something where there is a firm absence of public funding in the media, as is the case in the United States where there is no state media, because the plutocrat owned media has demonized any state controlled media to the point of what some people believe has become brainwashing! Wherein any meaningful intellectual discussion of state owned media in the American marketplace is no longer even possible, because of the way that the plutocrat owned media has demonized any publicly owned media option. This may prompt some to ask has no public option in media created no public option for medical treatment of America's 59 million uninsured, and 132 million dental uninsured persons. A public option in anything in America has become a stigmatized, brainwashing exercise by the plutocrat owned media.

This prevents any serious, successful discussion to put any public option on the table for anything that would benefit the American working class, which has no voice in the plutocrat American owned media, whose purpose indeed is not to inform, but rather to sell commercial advertising space. Just like in the days of old when only the court jesters in the king's court were allowed to tell the truth without losing their jobs or their heads, so it is today that one of the main news sources in America have become comedy shows like the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Colbert Report and Bill Maher, because only comedians can be allowed to tell the truth in America without losing their jobs in the plutocrat owned media.

This has led, given the lack of state owned media in America to the ascent of hate radio Fox news and perversions like Glenn Beck and the American Tea Party's hate filled rants.

"Full of Hatred: The Tea Party, that group of white, older voters who claim that they want their country back, is angry. Fox News host Glenn Beck, a recovering alcoholic who likens Obama to Adolf Hitler, is angry. Beck doesn't know what he wants to be -- maybe a politician, maybe president, maybe a preacher -- and he doesn't know what he wants to do either, or least he hasn't come up with any specific ideas or plans. But he is full of hatred."


European media sources like the German mainstream magazine Der Spiegel seem to agree that it's not clear whether Glenn Beck is a wanna be politician or preacher. The British newspaper the Guardian thinks Glenn Beck is a preacher and politician who is trying to channel Father Charles Coughlin.

The bottom line is if we want to put hate radio out of business in America, the market will do that for us with a robust public media option. If America continues to want to give people like Fox news, Glenn Beck and the Tea Party free reign to the American airwaves, you will continue to see the type of Tea Party led stunts that we are now witnessing through the efforts of Governor Walker in Wisconsin going national. The key is if we don't want to live with the semantic perversions of Glenn Beck, the Tea Party, hate radio and Fox news, we have to support state owned American media in a BBC type system in America, wherein a robust public option in media will allow a fair and balanced debate in American elections, and issues of a public option in health care to become part of the American body politic again. Otherwise the Tea Party union busting antics of Wisconsin Governor Walker are in danger of taking root nationally in what can only be described as a Tea Party national union busting frenzy designed to destroy the American working class and the American working class dream.  

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(Cross posted by author from the Daily Kos.)

Sorry, who is glen beck, and why does anyone care what he says?  I put this in the category of people who deny the laws of physics, sure, they might get a few followers, but the laws of physics don't care and continue on regardless.
by njh on Thu Mar 10th, 2011 at 04:53:36 PM EST
Well, yes, but surely it cannot have escaped the perceptions of the crowd on this site that America is one vast cartoon, perhaps with aspirations of being a video game.

Our best commentators are comedians.

Our major philosophers have been cartoonists. Who has ever nailed the American character with the perception, profundity and pith of Pogo Possum , in his "We have met the enemy and he is us" ?

There is far better thinking on the cartoon page than on the editorial page of any American newspaper.  

NPR is valuable, one of the better sources for real information, but I have been watching a video block for several days which states that only 2% of NPR funding comes from the government anyway.

Giving up 2% to regain your soul seems like a good deal.

The American government will never set up a subscription model for permanent, non-supervised funding for NPR like the BBC. We might, however, find some deep-pocketed benefactors who could set up a trust to permanently fund truth from dividends, leaving the principal undisturbed.

And don't waste your time trying to decipher Glen Beck. He is one of a piece with Father Coughlin and Aimee Semple MacPherson, and will be of interest in future years only to historians of trivia.

by greatferm (greatferm-at-email.com) on Thu Mar 10th, 2011 at 09:57:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure Helen would agree about BBC funding being non-supervised, even if only de facto.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 02:22:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The BBC sort-of-is and sort-of-isn't supervised. The funding is always a political football. Even though Labour are more sympathetic to the broad aim of unbiased broadcasting, no government has ever been entirely happy with the reality and invariably seeks to shackle it in some way.

however, the BBC always tends towards Reithianism, which is to represent the government's (small case deliberate) view, ie that of the Establishment elite, rather than that of the majority of the country. Most of the time it doesn't matter, but occasionally it's glaring

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 05:38:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
forgot to write: Great comment.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 02:23:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Note to European Media: do not feed the troll.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 02:32:43 AM EST
there is a question, which came first; the chicken or the egg ? Or more relevantly, which came first: Fox  or the Tea Party ?

tbh the USA has always been a repository of strange right wing views; McCarthy didn't come out of nowhere, neither did Goldwater. When Nixon said "if the President authorises it, it's legal", he was articulating one of the many strands of uniquely american philosophies of Government. And we only need to look at corporate personhood to realise just how wacky things can get.

So, Fox didn't start this, neither did Limbaugh or Beck. However, wheras previously the Republican party has been able to hide its madness away and label it a "minority view", Fox and Beck let it all hang out and show america just how deranged mainstream republican thinking is.

I like Glenn Beck, long may he continue to broadcast Republican reality to america and scare the bejeezus out of 'em. He is definitely not pushing the Overton window

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 05:56:27 AM EST
What DoDo refers about Bild Zeitung in his diary Spiegel vs. Bild applies to right-wing media everywhere and to Fox in particular
quote from the open letter of Judith Holofernes, lead singer of the band Wir sind Helden (for a background see story in the Salon):

Die BILD -Zeitung ist kein augenzwinkernd zu betrachtendes Trash-Kulturgut und kein harmloses "Guilty Pleasure" für wohlfrisierte Aufstreber, keine witzige soziale Referenz und kein Lifestyle-Zitat. Und schon gar nicht ist die Bild -Zeitung das, als was ihr sie verkaufen wollt: Hassgeliebtes, aber weitestgehend harmloses Inventar eines eigentlich viel schlaueren Deutschlands.Bild is not a trash culture item to be observed with a wink, nor a harmless "guilty pleasure" for well-coiffured upstarts, no funny social reference and no lifestyle citation. And least of all is Bild what you want to sell it as: a loved-hated but mostly harmless inventory of an actually much more intelligent Germany.
Die Bildzeitung ist ein gefährliches politisches Instrument -- nicht nur ein stark vergrößerndes Fernrohr in den Abgrund, sondern ein bösartiges Wesen, das Deutschland nicht beschreibt, sondern macht. Mit einer Agenda.Bild is a dangerous political instrument -- not just a strongly magnifying telescope into the abyss, but a malicious entity, which doesn't describe but makes Germany. With an agenda.

:: :: :: :: ::

Bild is also a close equivalent to The Sun, another Murdoch beast. The pattern is pretty clear, and their social influence, if unchecked, is dangerous.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:22:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A mailcious entity without doubt, but a describer, not of america as it supposes, but of Republican America. And the more the rest of america gets to see it for what it is and not as the other Beltway media pretend that it is, the better

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 06:45:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do agree with Holofernes about

doesn't describe but makes Germany

...and the same applies to Fox.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 02:32:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and it won't go away when he does. Broadcasters who are willing to feed the dark places in people's souls will be with us in every media market that is not either stringently regulated, or governed by some sort of ethics.

He couldn't get away with a lot of his stuff in Europe, because of hate speech laws. Assuming someone mining the same vein, but staying on the right side of the law, were to turn up, which broadcasters in which European countries would give him air time? Any suggestions? Or who would come closest?

This is important, because what people say on TV is an important part of defining what is acceptable, not only in public discourse, but in everyday life.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Mar 11th, 2011 at 11:18:55 AM EST
I like reading cross-posted diaries here. The difference in responses is very interesting.

Personally, I find people like Beck terrifying because they appeal to non-thinking, lizard-brain, narrow-minded knuckledraggers. And there are few things more frightening than a mob.

The power and money behind people like him and O'Reilly and Murdoch are causing a lot of short-term, and possibly longer-term, pain in the U.S., and yes most U.S. politics is of the cartoonish variety. Most of the population is editorially and economically illiterate, too, so I wouldn't dismiss the Becks and O'Reillys out of hand.  

by Mnemosyne on Sat Mar 12th, 2011 at 07:37:32 PM EST

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