Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Going After Glenn's Sponsors

Does anyone else think it's lame of the Daily Kos to target Glenn Beck’s sponsors? It seems weak to me, and it irritates me that it is working. If you want to challenge someone on ideas, great, go to battle. But going after an ideological opponent's well-being, or trying to shut them up by narrowing their platform makes me question the confidence you have in your own rationale. If Glenn Beck has demonstrated anything to us, it's that integrity is not a prerequisite to successful mob incitement.

American companies believe in making money, so they’ll respond to public pressure. If Glenn Beck goes away because of this (he won’t), It doesn’t mean you've won the argument. It means you’re better with the thumb-screw.

Personally, I’m thinking of boycotting any company that gives into the Kos’s bullying.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

"If Glenn Beck has demonstrated anything to us, it's that integrity is not a prerequisite to successful mob incitement."

I'm a little confused by this statement. i really hope you are not saying that glen back has no integrity. I would love a clarification

Spencer Troxell said...

I can't speak about Glenn Beck on a personal level, but as a public persona, I find his particular brand of rabble rousing political theater to be without integrity. It's possible that it's not an integrity issue with Beck so much as it is an issue of personal delusion. I suspect it's probably somewhere in between. I listen to Glenn fairly regularly, and much of his message is built on the 'if this were the case, then couldn't THIS also be the case?' kind of veiled Art Bell thinking. He also relies on a lot of platitudes and 'just a coincidence?' inferences. The worst thing about him is his reliance on the 'us versus them' dichotomy, with the 'them' being kind of an amorphous version of whatever the listener views their ideological opponent to embody. That's the reader's digest version of my complaint against Beck. I've also said the following about him in a previous post:

'Glenn Beck is a conspiracy theorist who views himself as prophetically instrumental in some kind of upcoming--LDS flavored--American Revolution fantasy. He is also (understandably) struggling to find meaning in his life after suffering several substantial personal tragedies: He takes the lessons he learns on this journey (which should be a personal one) and projects them onto global and national political events.'

I'm not going to get into a flame war with you over this, Anonymous. I've been listening to Beck since a little after 9-11, and have had lots of time to digest his method, an analyze his intent. We agree on some things, and disagree on many, but I don't think Beck is one of conservatism's (or libertarianism's ) best voices. For an honest & lucid conservative voice I might look to someone like George Will, Andrew Sullivan, Pat Buchanan, or Bob Inglis to get the inside scoop. If I want a taste of what is animating the latest wild-eyed mob, I'll flip on Glenn's show until I get the point. It usually happens pretty fast.

Willie Y said...

I wrote emails to some of Becks sponsors and I think there has to be some push back on people who lie and mislead people. Beck has millions of listener who hand on every word this guy says and they believe his rantings about the government has internment camp or that government health care is going to kill seniors or that Obama is a racist or that the liberals will end life as we know it. There are plenty of websites that point out his lies, but are the Beck viewers searching out these sites, I don't thinks so. In my little world when he starts losing sponsors for his craziness I say maybe it will show some of his listeners, that hey maybe this guy is a little crazy. If a sponsor is willing to stop advertising on Becks show, were there are millions of viewers, there may be something to all this, let me take a better look. I don't want to stop real dialog on anything. I just want it to be based on the truth and not some crazy thought in someones crazy mind that has a TV show. Like I said if the lost of sponsors is the opening of peoples eyes then show me were to sign.

Go here to see some statistics on who believes some of the myths on health care and who they get their information from.

Spencer Troxell said...

I understand your frustration Willie, but I don't think Beck losing sponsors is going to phase his supporters. In fact, if Beck goes down because his sponsors were targeted, I would suggest that it would invigorate them even more, because they would think that 'they' had finally got their man. In fact, Beck occassionally peppers his diatribes with warnings about the day when his voice goes away, telling his listeners that he 'may never say all that he believes, but he will never say anything he does not believe', implying that some kind of coded messages may need to be passed back and forth between him and his audience at some point.

I think the best way to deal with Beck is to calmly refute his points if you feel the need to, but otherwise to ignore him. He can't possibly keep people this hyped up over a prolonged period. His audience (hopefully) will decline as large portions of it realize that they're not going to need to bury their guns, the government doesn't want to kill their grandparents, and we're not going to be forced to give quarters to British soldiers in our homes. There will always be an audience for this kind of stuff, but history shows that it will peak at a certain point, and then gradually decline into obscurity*.

*so long as no one gets killed.

GbiZ said...

your asterisk says everything.

Spencer Troxell said...

I hope not.

Lodo Grdzak said...

I absolutely commend anyone who writes to a corporate sponsor of a talk show or TV show if they are offended by the content. That's just basic free speech.

Now, is Beck really worth getting all roused-up about? I have my doubts. The best thing you can do if you really dislike guys like Beck is the same thing that happened to Rush Limbaugh. That is, let 'em become really successful. Let 'em get soft. Used to making that big money and that power. No offense, but you dont think Beck's banging at least (1) transvestite hooker somewhere in the world? Please. You don't think he's got skeletons galore in his closet? Please. Just let 'em keep getting more successful, 'cause they higher they rise the harder they fall.

In the end, all these political guys prove to be pin-dicked, overweight, blubber boys who need Viagra to get a hard-on as they exploit...whatever gives them a hard-on to exploit. I'd say Beck's got about (8) more symbolic minutes of fame left before he's exposed. But for now, the media needs him as the face and name of everything moronic. Saturday Night Live needs someone to parody. If he wasn't around they'd just invent a new one--which they'll have to shortly.

Spencer Troxell said...

I mean, I don't think it should be illegal to write letters of complaint if you don't like some program's content, but really, don't you have something better to do?

Wouldn't it be more in the spirit of free speech to simply change the station if you don't like something? It seems like writing letters with the intent of getting someone kicked off the air is much more contra free speech than finding something else to listen to that better suits your taste.

Lodo Grdzak said...

If they broadcast pitbull fighting on ABC, ratings might be sadly high, but I wouldn't just turn the channel and leave it at that. Everybody's got their core issues. I'm not saying I'd call in simply because I disagreed with someone's views. I wouldn't. But if someone's getting ahead on the back of someone else--exploiting. That's not cool. And a corporation shouldn't sponsor minority bashing or dogfighting or...exploitation of anyone simply for profit and market-share. Very uncool.

Willie Y said...

Should the Germans just have turned to a different channel on Hitler?

Spencer Troxell said...

Lodo: Well, okay. I guess there are some extreme examples that might warrant some kind of public outcry, but I don't think the voicing of opinions (even crazy ones) should be among them. I heard someone on NPR the other day say something to the effect of 'the cost of living in a free society is that you sometimes have to endure some silly and (even occassionally) dangerous circumstances. I agree with that thought, and think that it's an overall fair trade.

Willie: As is usually the case when a Hitler/Nazi analogy shows up, I'm pretty sure it doesn't apply here.

Willie Y said...

Sorry about the Hitler reference. It just make me scream out loud sometimes how people can be led down a path with lies.

Spencer Troxell said...

No worries Willie, although you might want to apologize to Hitler. He worked very hard at being a bad guy.

Plus, his organizational skills were far superior to Beck's.

Lodo Grdzak said...

Ha!

Yeah, again Beck hasn't made me too angry 'cause I'm quite certain most people think he's just playing the fool for big bucks. There's always been a Glenn Beck in American culture and always will be. Usually more than one. But truth be told, if over 45% of Americans said they thought Beck was right on, then I'd definitely write-in my opinion.

Problem for secular society is that we're not gonna get all self-righteous and write-in to the networks over every little thing. We don't have that cohesive bond and self-righteousness that the religious/right-wingers seem to need to keep going. For every secularist who hates porn or guns or whatever--there's another who loves it. Or them. We're diverse. So I think (in fact, I know) the networks see skewed opinions of shows and specials since only the most heated of viewers take the time to write-in.

But let me say one last thing that I know in my heart is true. If FOX network told Beck to either tone it down or lose his gig, he'd tone it down in a heartbeat. Daddy loves his milk money! True Republican a-hole.

GbiZ said...

if over 45% of the american people thought Glenn Beck was right on, wed be living in Thunderdome.

Anonymous said...

Damnit Spencer, you're right. They shouldn't be targeting sponsors. If this is not something people want to be hearing then let their rating do the talking. I don't care if his ideologies are ignorant and prejudiced, that doesn't mean he should be censored. It all starts with things that people find offensive and it can escalate. Even though Hitler was a despicable bastard, he shouldn't have been silenced. People need to take more damn responsibility and think for themselves and make their own decisions on things. This kind of targeting that leads to censorship is a form of terrorism and if anything, this should be the stuff that is not tolerated.