Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bottom Line

Raise your hand if you have "a deep-seated hatred for Glenn Beck." If you've got your hand up an you feel alone sometimes, that makes sense. Mister Beck is quite the ratings phenomenon. His tends to outdraw the competition on CNN and MSNBC with his little show over there on Fox "You Snicker, We Deride" News. Now he'll have to put on that same show with a few less advertisers.
CVS, UPS, and Clorox are just a few of the companies who are voting with their feet and hopping off the Glenn Beck Crazy Train. A spokesperson for Clorox said, "we do not want to be associated with inflammatory speech used by either liberal or conservative talk show hosts." That will make it kind of tough to find a spot to sell bleach on any of the twenty-four hour news channels. Maybe they can buy some time on The Weather Channel.
But getting back to Glenn Beck, who has described himself in these terms: "I am like Howard Beale. When he came out of the rain and he was like, none of this makes any sense. I am that guy." Howard Beale was the news anchor played by Peter Finch in the movie "Network" who, after he was fired and threatened suicide on national television, became a sensation and given his own show to rant and rave because "it was good television." Eventually, Howard gets called into the CEO's office because his rantings and ravings are having a negative effect on the bottom line: advertising.
Arthur Jensen: The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that . . . perfect world . . . in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.
Howard Beale: Why me?
Arthur Jensen: Because you're on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.
"Network" was made in 1976 as satire. Glenn Beck is on Monday through Friday, just like his hero Howard Beale. I do not know if he knows he is satire. Stay tuned. Or not.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And what if we all stopped listening and watching? After a while, even a train wreck isn't that interesting.