Why I Don't Like Glenn Beck

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The End (plus ratings summary)

As you’ve noticed by now, my blog didn’t get too far before I wore out. There’s an endless stream of misinformation coming from Glenn Beck, and I realized that it simply wasn’t worth my time to try to keep up with all of it. I’ve got better things to do.

I was happy to hear that Glenn ended his show at Fox, though he’ll certainly continue to work on expanding his media empire (to watch Glenn Beck now, it’ll cost you $5/month, or $10/month for the extra bonus material. If he gets 1 million subscribers and everyone buys the cheapest package - that’s at least $50 million a year. I don’t know how much he made at Fox, but it seems reasonable to say that this might be more).

By the way, here’s the final graph of Glenn Beck’s ratings at Fox (the black line is a 30-day moving average):


All in all, I think it’s safe to say that Glenn Beck failed to gain any momentum over the past two years. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Take care, everybody.


Here is Glenn’s take on his ratings (he only compares his show to other shows).

Filed under Glenn Beck Beck Fox Fox News Ratings

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Crowd Estimates

Glenn Beck on the attendance at his 8/28 rally:

The number is at least 500,000. The high estimate I have heard is a million. I don’t personally believe that. I believe that it could be as high as 650, maybe 700, but I think the number is probably closer to 5 to 600,000.

Only CBS News said it was 87,000, which is just I mean, look at the pictures… 87,000? Wait, how did you even come up with that?

Glenn’s pal Stu commented:

It’s insulting and whoever made that estimate literally should shutter the doors of their company, terrible. 

Some of the visitor comments on Glenn Beck’s websites include these:

The media, particullarly CBS, evidently think we are idiots or blind. Even I can look at the crowd photos and see several hundred thousand heads. And CBS thinks they can talk it down to 87 thousand. Some media.

i was there-under the trees- there had to be well over a million people there. Compare the overhead pictures.

Any way, I remember one particular rally, the crowd was about halfway down the reflecting pool, and the estimate was 250,000. Therefore, I it is my guess that it was at least 500K. 

The amount of people can easily be calculated….The reflecting pool is 2000 feet long…..each side of the pool is about 50 feet wide before you enter the treeline. So, 100x2000=200000 sq feet. A person needs approximately 4 square ft to stand comfortably. 200000 divide by 4 = 50000 people standing by the reflecting pond. Extrapolate that out with the pictures you see and you will have a pretty good approximation of the total.

87,000………………hahahahaahaha……….lol!!!!! That is funny! I was there, maybe 87,000 in the first 1/8 of a mile.

The aerial views of stadiums during the superbowl show crowds of, what, 70,000 and that would be a smidgen of what the photos of the rally show.


Glenn Beck also said:

"We’ll never know the exact number, but anyone with eyes can see this number was in the hundreds of thousands." (reference)

Many conservative bloggers wrote similar, disparaging remarks about the CBS estimate.

You’ll notice that all of their arguments go something like this: “Just look at the photos! Any dimwit can see that there are at least half a million people there! Obviously CBS didn’t notice the people under the trees.”

Everyone’s a scientist.

But as it turns out, the CBS estimate, from AirPhotosLive.com, was the only independent, scientific crowd estimate made. And they did count the people under the trees (they’re professionals). You can read more about it here

Another professional estimator came up with a very similar number - 80,000. He used the exact same method to provide an estimate for President Obama’s inauguration - which came out at 800,000. His “low” estimate was ignored by the left and widely approved of by the right. Now, his “low” estimate of Glenn Beck’s rally is being ignored by the same folks who loved his inauguration estimate.

The rally was a great move by Glenn, PR-wise. With very few companies still willing to advertise on his show, he needs to demonstrate that he holds sway with Americans. Obviously he’d want to make the numbers sound as large as possible.

Filed under Glenn Beck Rally 8/28 CBS

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Cue ominous music:

Then let’s look at this. I don’t know what it is. I couldn’t tell you. But there’s an alarm bell in me ringing so loudly on Google. Something’s not right with Google. I don’t know what it is and quite honestly I haven’t had time to research it. 

Pat says, I know I can research it; I don’t even have to. I’ll tell you what the problem is. There’s something wrong, there’s something wrong with what’s happening with Google. There’s too many things that are happening, violations all across the world. Google just bought a spy helicopter. Did you hear about this?

The head of Google just bought a it’s like a predator drone. It’s a spy helicopter. Yeah. 

Yeah, that’s weird. And they are saying that it’s just for Google Earth, et cetera, et cetera. Something’s wrong. (reference)

Here is the article that Glenn Beck presumably got this information from.

And here are some articles that refute it.

Long story short: A Google executive bought a drone for personal use, and the CEO of the manufacturer used it as an opportunity to drum up some publicity.

But Glenn Beck’s fans will never know that. All they know now is that Google is evil.

Filed under Glenn Beck Google

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Context 2

Glenn Beck frequently mentions Barack Obama’s desire to “spread the wealth around.” He played the following cut-together clip from Obama’s speech at G20:

A strong and durable recovery also requires countries not having an undue advantage. I think we all have the same interest, and that is the United States can compete with anybody as long as we’ve got an even playing field.

Glenn then proceeded to his chalkboard to explain Obama’s plan:

Well, the President thinks it’s better when you spread the wealth around. He doesn’t believe that it’s only true here in America; he believes that it’s also true globally. Look at all of the income inequality around the planet. Let’s level it out! …What we do is we just get a big bulldozer, you see what I mean, cause it’s so unequal. …What do we have to do? Well you just have to start at the high spots, get rid of some of this, okay, and just spread it over. Bring it over here. Now everybody’s happy! 

…We’re not talking about Bill Gates’ wealth, we’re talking about your wealth, we’re talking about $47,000 a year - that’s the average salary in the United States. In Kenya - $730 a year. That’s an undue advantage. Not very equal or fair. We’re gonna have to level things out. Bulldozer just comes over here, takes all this wealth… and then we just take all of our money, and send it to the rest of the world. (reference)

Wow! Glenn squeezed a lot of mileage out of those first two statements by the President. But before we get too carried away, let’s take a look at what Obama really said:

A strong and durable recovery also requires countries not having an undue advantage.  So we also discussed the need for currencies that are market-driven.  As I told President Hu yesterday, the United States welcomes China’s decision to allow its currency to appreciate in response to market forces.  And we will be watching closely in the months ahead.

Market-driven currencies! It’s capitalism! Glenn Beck ought to love that! The “undue advantage” was all about currency regulation - not about rich people and poor people.

Q:  How long do you expect people like Senator Charles Schumer and American manufacturers who’ve lost so many jobs so quickly, how long do you expect them to wait?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, Hans, we’re not going to have a colloquy here, but my expectation is, is that they’re going to be serious about the policy that they themselves have announced. 

Now, what I’m going to do is I’m going to work with people like Senator Schumer, manufacturers, workers who are affected by these trade imbalances.  And I think we all have the same interest, and that is the United States can compete with anybody as long we’ve got an even playing field. (reference)

Hey, Obama was talking about how to make American manufacturing more competitive! Evening the playing field with China so that the USA can do better!

Wait a second. How did Glenn Beck take this and decide it meant that Obama wants to spread our $47,000 salaries around to other countries? Umm…

Filed under Glenn Beck Barack Obama Obama Context China G20

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Shill 2

When asked about his modern-day heroes, Glenn Beck named Tyler Perry

[Perry] has the luxury of not doing the political stuff, which is really where I want to be as a company …I just happen to believe the Republic is on fire and it wouldn’t be as effective if I had Pluto come out with a cartoon fire hose to put it out. (reference, emphasis mine)

Filed under Glenn Beck Tyler Perry Shill

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Glenn Beck recently said:

everybody wants to call me Joe McCarthy. I’m a private citizen! I do not have the power of the state behind me.

I’d like to remind Glenn that when we mention McCarthy, this is what we’re talking about:

McCarthyism: …the use of tactics involving personal attacks on individuals by means of widely publicized indiscriminate allegations especially on the basis of unsubstantiated charges; broadly: defamation of character or reputation through such tactics

McCarthyism: Unscrupulously accusing people of disloyalty (as by saying they were Communists)

McCarthyism: 1. The practice of making accusations of disloyalty, esp. of pro-Communist activity, in many instances unsupported by proof or based on slight, doubtful, or irrelevant evidence. 2. The practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, esp. in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.

McCarthyism: 1. The practice of publicizing accusations of political disloyalty or subversion with insufficient regard to evidence. 2. The use of unfair investigatory or accusatory methods in order to suppress opposition.

Sound familiar?

While we’re on the topic, here’s a portion of Edward R. Murrow’s terrific report on Senator McCarthy in 1954:

the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one and the junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind, as between the internal and the external threats of Communism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason…

 The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it - and rather successfully. Cassius was right. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

Good night, and good luck.

Filed under Glenn Beck McCarthyism

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Am I the Only American?

Glenn Beck can count on his audience to believe his statements without any real proof. He’s managed to pull this off, in part, because he speaks in a way that’s intended to make his audience feel like they’d be un-American morons if they didn’t believe him.

Am I the only one outraged by this? I’m the only one that I know of — please call and tell me that you’ve heard somebody else say this. I’m the only one that is watching this saying, wait a minute! (reference)

How dare you? How can you sleep at night! Some of us, some us actually care about our country.  (reference)

America, it’s time to draw a line in the sand. How many times will you allow them to lie to you?  (reference)

And then, please tell your friends, watch all this week, because somebody has got to tell you the truth. Somebody has to show you what’s coming in the future. (reference)

When will America wake up? …But why am I the only one bringing you this? Why will no one bring this information? The answers that I can come up with, either they are afraid and I understand that or because they think it just doesn’t matter. Am I the only American, just you and me? Is it just us? (reference)


Filed under Glenn Beck

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Nobody is Saying That

Glenn Beck isn’t saying that Obama is Hitler.  

…It’s the same as carrying signs that show Hitler on it. Nobody is saying that Barack Obama is Hitler. Nobody is saying that. What they are saying is that the Nazi regime started in very much the same way. I mean, it started with an economic trouble, it started with a guy who said one thing but meant, well, meant what he said, actually meant something. You go back and you read Mein Kampf. He laid it all out. But the people wouldn’t believe it. (reference)

Glenn Beck is saying that Obama is like Hitler.

Filed under Glenn Beck Hitler Obama Nazi

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Context 1

As part of an ‘inspirational’ video, Glenn Beck edited this quote from Obama to make it sound like it was the original quote:

The original Constitution, I think it is an imperfect document, and I think it is a document that reflects some deep flaws in American culture, the colonial culture nascent at that time. I think we can say that the Constitution reflected a enormous blind spot in this culture and that the framers had that same blind spot. It also reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day. (reference)

Here’s the full quote, with the cut-out portions emphasized:

Well, you know, I think it’s a remarkable document. [Host - “Which one?”]  The original Constitution, as well as, as well as the Civil War amendments - but I think it is an imperfect document, and I think it is a document that reflects some deep flaws in American culture, the colonial culture nascent at that time. African-Americans were not - first of all, they weren’t African-Americans. The Africans at the time were not considered as part of the polity that was of concern to the framers. I think that, as Richard said, it was a nagging problem in the same way that, these days, we might think of environmental issues or some other problem that, where you have to balance, you know, cost-benefits, as opposed to seeing it as a moral problem involving persons of moral worth. And, in that sense, I think we can say that the Constitution reflected a enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on until this day, and that the framers had that same blind spot. I don’t think the two views are contradictory to say that it was a remarkable political document that paved the way for where we are now, and to say that it also reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day. (reference)

While I’m not perfectly happy with what Obama said, it’s pretty obvious that the flaw he was referring to was slavery. Glenn Beck’s version leaves the flaw very ambiguous and skips the parts where Obama said it was a remarkable document.


Glenn Beck fans, and Beck himself, frequently claim that he’s telling the truth because he has video and recordings to prove it. Most people seem to be unaware of how easy it is to take quotes out of context - changing or obscuring the originally intended meaning. In the future I will add more posts to my “context” series.

Filed under Glenn Beck Obama Constitution Context