Posted by: Sam Carson | 28 November, 2006

Who the hell is Glenn Beck?

Who the hell is Glenn Beck?

I’d never heard of him until I saw him on US CNN last month. Outside of North America, CNN has to tone down the rhetoric a little bit, as the international world is less keen on divisive, absolutist, ill-informed American jingoism (I have some theories as to why). So we don’t get the full US treatment, no Nancy Grace, none of this Beck guy. The America-at-war shtick is softened a little. It still has that constant graphical overlay and transition, as in American Football games, which I find insensitive and insulting; so I don’t actually watch CNN at all. BBC has less hoopla, and seems to have more balance to its opinions.

So it was the first time that I had seen Glenn Beck, and I could not believe it.

I was enraged by this, truly enraged. This is blatant propaganda. It is an abuse of broadcasting power. Its not Glenn Beck that I’m angry at, I wouldn’t waste my time. It’s CNN. What is the point of giving this moron a microphone. As soon as you do that, you have declared your bias. CNN is not even bothering to pretend that they are news anymore. Its all entertainment, propaganda and conjecture, and its blatant.

I went to Beck’s website. His credentials are that he was a Disc Jockey for several years. Then he got drunk. Then he found God. Not the kind of background in Middle Eastern analysis that one would expect to be headlining primetime on Headline News. Can’t they get anyone with a clue? Neither of the two producers, nor anyone else listed in the about page shine with International Relations credibility either.

There was once a time when the opinions that came from media institutions had to reflect the journalism. It had to be informed, as objective as possible, and based on the idea of educating. So, what has happened? I know very little about Middle Eastern politics, but I do know you cannot reduce the whole thing to simple good vs. evil. Our side vs. theirs. Israel can do no wrong vs. Islamic Fascists.

Jeff Cohen, from on

TV Blowhard Barks at Iran: Let’s Hold CNN Accountable

  • His name is Glenn Beck, a smiley-toothed monologist and proselytizer who is a recovering alcoholic, talk-radio host, convert to Mormonism and self-described “rodeo clown.” His crude rants would be easy to ignore except that CNN — part of the Time Warner conglomerate – has chosen to give Beck a primetime platform which he uses day after day to cheer on a confrontation with Iran. (Imagine what an informed foreign policy critic could do with such a nightly forum.)
  • But who is holding CNN accountable for hiring such a blusterer?
  • Three years ago, our country was driven to war in Iraq by a deceptive White House, abetted by blaring advocates echoing into every American household and car radio – courtesy of a half-dozen media conglomerates.
  • And in the middle of that media propaganda onslaught was Glenn Beck. From his talk show distributed by radio giant Clear Channel, Beck sparked “pro-America” rallies across the country, some organized by Clear Channel stations. He wished violent death upon Michael Moore and Congressman Dennis Kucinich, and called Cindy Sheehan a “big prostitute.” All this was known to CNN when it hired Beck.
  • Today, the war-hawks are back, as Target Iraq has become Target Iran. And none of them – including Beck – are held to account for having been so deadly wrong when they urged on the last war.
  • But how can we hold media leaders accountable – those talking heads and “experts” and news executives who steamrolled us into war? How can we change the faces of those who speak for us in the media? We need a media consumers’ revolt to match the voters’ revolt. We must raise our voices to demand balance – and dissenting hosts and experts – on cable news and PBS and NPR and elsewhere.
  • A good place to begin is with CNN and the Glenn Beck issue – urging that a progressive host (like Amy Goodman or Laura Flanders or Michael Eric Dyson or Jim Hightower) be added to the lineup. A good time to begin is now. . .before any new military adventure in Iran.


  1. […] In a land that can produce marvels like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, a nation that broadcasts Glenn Beck on a news channel.  The more time spent admiring sacred reason, is the less time kicking […]

  2. […] In a land that can produce marvels like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, a nation that broadcasts Glenn Beck on a news channel.  The more time spent admiring sacred reason, is the less time kicking […]

  3. Simply incredible: “I know very little about Middle Eastern politics, but I do know you cannot reduce the whole thing to simple good vs. evil.”
    Surely you jest Mr. Carson. Maybe you ought to listen to Glenn Beck and people like him a little more to understand much more about the Middle East so you can make more informed opinions about the most important issue of our time. It is not fear-mongering to lay out the fact that radical Islam wants a World caliphate. This isn’t theory, this is fact—based on Islamic leader and cleric words. Grow up, wipe the dribble off your mouth and listen and learn before a War with Iran is a necessity rather than a choice.

  4. I do not jest. Glenn Beck does not transmit to the UK, and even the most hawkish British tabloid would not go so far as to make the claims that he makes.

    I don’t understand where he gets his facts from, and it contrasts to any other international-oriented news coverage, or academic research, or the experiences of journalists, bloggers, and other individuals who have traveled to Iran or the Middle East.

    So, please make the case to me: why should I lose sleep over a barely developed nation with fractious political base that has lost the only war it ever fought?

  5. Hey there,

    Thanks for making this post. I don’t watch the news much here in the US [i don’t have cable tv]. I mostly listen to the radio and read. The other day I saw some clips from Glenn Beck yelling about something on the internet, but I don’t think I’d ever seen him before. I literally just typed in “Glenn Beck credentials” and your blog came up.

    It’s a very curious thing when people are swayed by someone who’s in this position. Granted I don’t know who his writers are but he’s not a historian or someone who’s devoted their life to law. He’s someone who’s devoted his life to running his mouth.

    When you see someone on a news station, there’s a sort of subconscious trust that they’re giving you correct information, and that they’re informed. But in this ridiculous 24 hour news cycle we have in the US there’s more of a scramble to get SOMETHING on the air.

    These people boil down our issues to “liberal” and “conservative” and yell at each other about it; when our whole two party system is fundamentally ridiculous [considering that there’s many issues that have more than just 2 plausible sides]. This goes for newscasters on the “right” AND the “left”. They don’t even allow all candidates who are running for office who meet all benchmarks for debates attend televised debates [enter kucinich who you mentioned earlier]. Though I suppose our system is constructed totally to be this sort of all or nothing setup; you can’t even vote in a primary election unless you’re all ready a member of the party who’s candidates you want to vote for. Essentially people aren’t allowed to change their minds, or be won over, for the elections that count. That’s a bit off topic though.

    I actually enjoy listening to the BBC news broadcasts to get information about what’s happening in my own country sans bias.

    In any event thanks for bringing this up!!! It’s a very valid point about the newsmedia in general and how the newish 24 hour news channels have stretched themselves so far!

  6. I know it is beside the core argument of the article, but Glenn Beck is on Fox News not CNN. It is hard to take an article such as this seriously with such a repetitive and simple mistake, do your research.

  7. Matt Weber,
    Look at the date of the post. Glenn Beck was on CNN Headline news until last year. This was written in 2006. Do your research.

  8. Fun to look back at this stuff. Glenn Beck has been proven correct on the Iranian threat. Now everywhere you look former generals and high ranking political heds are talking about military actions to stop Iran from furthering it nuclear program.
    Lost the only war they fought and are nothing to worry about? Hardly.
    Now it appears Beck, the CNN nut job, had some serious foresight.

  9. I think other site proprietors should take this website as an model, very clean and excellent user genial style and design, as well as the content. You’re an expert in this topic!

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