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FOX Won't Fire Glenn Beck: Here's Why

By       Message Mark Karlin       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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Glenn Beck is here to stay -- as far as Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch are concerned --far into the future. It would take an abrupt end to the largely FOX-led right wing hysteria to disappear before you will see Beck canned. And that won't be happening anytime in the forseeable future.

That's due to many reasons. I'll try to enumerate a few:

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  • Beck is becoming an increasingly key factor in inciting the hateful mobs, and his seemingly crazed incivility and jaw-dropping antics that we find abhorrent are exactly what FOX finds valuable in him. He's breaking away with record audiences in a non-prime time spot, rising recently to surpass Hannity's audience. In fact the brilliant boycott led by ColorofChange.org is giving him more publicity and driving more confused, television-fed simple minded white Americans to his program.

  • FOX will carry Beck indefinitely with small time ads -- even ads for FOX divisions as they are doing now -- because: 1) they hope to eventually shift other FOX advertisers to his program; 2) they hope that some of the more than 30 companies now not advertising will come back when the heat dies down; 3) FOX would lose credibility with its entire red meat audience if it backed down from a fight; 4) it would make FOX vulnerable to boycotts in regards to its entire propaganda network programming; and 5) Beck is doing exactly what FOX wants him to do, which is distract the confused white masses from blaming corporations for their economic plight to blaming scapegoats -- in this case non-whites.

  • FOX is Rupert Murdoch's main vehicle for ensuring the continued and unquestioned greed of the corporate ruling class, and Beck is the most successful gutter carnival barker in terms of churning up hateful and igniting emotions that they have. He touches something so evil and primal in the chronically confused and white-firsters that he makes Hannity appear civil. Beck is a strategic thespian of both the most skilled and basest sort: this makes him a star to FOX, not a pariah.

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  • As BuzzFlash has noted many a time, Naomi Klein many years ago awoke us to the concept that many big corporate advertisers back the right wing media shills to insure that the heat for fleecing the American economy is diverted to blaming the government, liberals, minorities and immigrants. Many top advertisers are not so much selling products through advertising as they are financing a political strategy of diversion through the winger media megaphone. FOX understands this and knows that eventually it will find companies that are not as consumer-oriented to "advertise" on Beck's program, because they are buying insurance on using mobs and creating a "frame" that stops legislation that would impede their gross profiteering and abandonment of the American worker.

ColorofChange.org has been brilliant in executing its boycott. If nothing else, it lets consumer-dependent corporations know that "a silent majority" of the nation will no longer be silent. But it also requires the people who sign petitions and make calls to actually boycott these companies. BuzzFlash can assure you that the Beck advertisers who have temporarily pulled out are looking at how effective the calls for a boycott have been in actually decreasing sales or canceling policies.

But furthermore, we return to the game plan that has been essential in making the right wing control the frame of the political debate in America for decades; utilizing mass media to create artificial, false "truths" that take hold in the public mind and even in the outlook of the mainstream media.

A recent article on the Air America website noted that many large corporations "boycott" Air America for political reasons, while supporting right wing programming:

Three years ago, a group of corporate advertisers informed ABC that they didn't want their commercials run during Air America programming. Media Matters reports that those companies will run ads during conservative shows.

In 2009, General Electric, Farmer's Insurance and Office Depot have financially supported Glenn Beck's racism and threats against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the radio; Bayer, Chattem Pharmaceuticals and Wyeth have given Lou Dobbs money to continue his radio-based support for the Birther conspiracy theorists and his portrayal of the current Administration as alternately Socialist, Fascist and Communist; and Home Depot, JC Penney's and Office Depot are helping provide Rush Limbaugh promote his racist, divisive commentary on a daily basis.

If ColorofChange.org were to create enough economic denting into the sales of companies that support right wing media, they might pull some companies off all political programming. But that would take a massive uprising of people who would follow through on financially, not just verbally, boycotting a corporation. And for companies of these sizes, you need an enormous commitment to not buy products or to cancel policies, enormous.

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Beck has been engaged in insurrection activities and incitement of the most bizarre -- but effective for his audience -- actions for some time. He crossed the mainstream media line when he went from coded exhortations to actually calling President Obama a racist. For that, ColorofChange started the "boycott" and FOX allegedly asked Beck to go on vacation for a week so things could "cool down."

FOX won't be firing Beck. He's a key player on their team of protecting corporate rule through playing the Pied Piper and leading the misinformed off the cliffs while the companies pickpocket them.

ColorofChange.org did the correct and exciting thing, but nothing has changed FOX's influence yet. The criticisms from the likes of Media Matters make us feel better and vindicated, but they just feed FOX's growth (and FOX "News" is way up this year in viewership). FOX could care less what Media Matters says, as long as the FOX "News" audience is growing, not contracting -- and it is growing.

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Mark Karlin is founder, editor and publisher of BuzzFlash.com, a website providing headlines, news and commentary to over five million people a month. He is a gun control activist with a focus on Illinois.

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