What Fox loses with the talk show host's departure.
Yesterday was Glenn Beck's last day on Fox. In his run there, which began in 2008 after Fox hired him away from rival network CNN, Mr. Beck was a lighting rod for relentless progressive vitriol. Perhaps only George W. Bush and Sarah Palin have been subjected to more criticism than the controversial TV and radio host. Yet despite the controversy, Beck leaves behind a solid legacy in two arenas: his attention to the far-left's alliance with Islamic radicalism, and his exposure of the breathtaking degree of leftist radicalism that permeates the Democratic Party.
Beck has done yeoman's work with regard to exposing radical Islam, as demonstrated by a a six-part series of videos (available here, here, here, here, here and here). In fact, Beck's ongoing exposés of that radicalism remain unmatched by most in the mainstream media. Yet when Beck offered his rationale connecting Muslim radicals with the "hard-core socialist Left," he was not only taken on by the Left, but conservatives as well. For instance, the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol accused Beck of "hysteria," and National Review's Rich Lowry called it a "well-deserved shot."
The leftist/Islamist alliance is in fact quite ubiquitous and there are many disturbing examples of it that Beck took care to document. The radical leftist group Code Pink, which has forged ties with Hamas, did indeed spend time in early 2011 agitating in Cairo and at the Egyptian Rafah crossing, a border which many Egyptians believe Mubarak closed because he was a pawn of the Israelis. It was Code Pink founder Jodie Evans, along with leftist Weather Underground terrorists Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, who helped organize last year's Free Gaza Movement which launched the "peace" flotilla attempting to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. This year's 11-ship flotilla, with the same objective, includes a boat named the "Audacity of Hope" and carries American leftists, including author Alice Walker, who this week called Israel and America "terrorist states" (as the Iranians do). Beck also created a video montage of leftist organizations mingled with Islamic radicals, all promoting the same anti-Semitic message. Ironically, that video begins with Chris Matthews mocking Beck for making the connection.
Yesterday, on the same day Beck's Fox career was coming to an end, he may have received one of the more satisfying vindications of his assertions: Commentary Magazine reported that the Obama administration is reversing a five-year ban on contact with the Muslim Brotherhood. That would be the same Muslim Brotherhood which spawned Hamas, whose charter is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and calls for the extermination of Jews. "We believe, given the changing political landscape in Egypt, that it is in the interests of the United States to engage with all parties that are peaceful, and committed to non-violence, that intend to compete for the parliament and the presidency," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Perhaps Beck is equally vindicated by another revelation which occurred recently. Left-wing Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), despite assertions that his statements had been "mischaracterized" by the Syrian media, was caught praising President Bashar Assad as a man "thinking about the different ways that would be the best way to address the needs of the people...And frankly, that’s a positive development.” How has Assad been addressing the needs of his people? By gunning them down in the streets for daring to stand against his thug regime. Over 1,400 men, women and children have been murdered so far.
Glenn Beck also made the Left hysterical when he took on one of its cherished icons, George Soros. Beck contended that Soros has a five-step plan to bring down America, a charge which was greeted with contempt. One of those steps, according to Beck, was to "control the airwaves." Once again, Beck was vindicated when an in-depth Fox report revealed that Soros "has ties to more than 30 mainstream news outlets--including The New York Times, Washington Post, the Associated Press, NBC and ABC." The breadth of Soros' media connections are explained in great detail, but nothing sums up his influence better than this:
Readers unhappy with Soros’ media influence might be tempted to voice concerns to the Organization of News Ombudsmen--a professional group devoted to 'monitoring accuracy, fairness and balance.' Perhaps they might consider a direct complaint to one such as NPR’s Alicia Shepard or PBS’s Michael Getler, both directors of the organization. Unfortunately, that group is also funded by Soros.
The response to Beck's efforts to expose Soros were characterized as anti-Semitic, with Daily Beast columnist Michelle Goldberg calling them an "updated Protocols of the Elders of Zion." ADL leader Abraham Foxman piled on as well, calling Beck's coverage of Soros’ actions as a boy during the Holocaust (when he aided Nazis in the confiscation of Jewish property) as "completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top." Yet a 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft is where this information originated, and most of the controversy surrounding the interview has to do with Soros' near-sociopathic lack of guilty for his conscription: “No feeling of guilt?” asked Kroft. “No,” said Soros. “There was no sense that I shouldn’t be there. If I wasn’t doing it, somebody else would be taking it away anyhow. Whether I was there or not. So I had no sense of guilt.”
Of course, Beck's exposure of the control of the far-left over what's left of the Democratic Party, facilitated immensely by Soros, was monumental. From Obama's czars, such as dedicated Marxist Van Jones and the FCC's chief diversity czar and Hugo Chavez sympathizer Mark Lloyd, to the president's spiritual advisor and self-admitted Marxist Rev. Jim Wallis, Beck has sought to shine the light on the assortment of radical elements that form the basis of this administration and its defenders.
For that he has been routinely excoriated by the American Left, various elements of which have actively worked toward or endorsed the abridgment of Beck's free speech. Even to the end, as yesterday's piece in the Baltimore Sun indicated, there will be no letup. Writer David Zurawik stated that Glenn Beck "will leave a TV legacy of reckless, divisive and ugly speech in his wake," and that "he and Fox News should both feel some shame for the harm they have done to the national political discourse -- how they have taken an hour of dinnertime each weeknight and used it to help polarize us with paranoid and angry words."
Despite such obtusely hyperbolic detractors -- who consistently and bizarrely level more vitriol and hysteria toward Beck than the very "hate" they purport to despise him for -- Beck remains popular. Even with a forty percent drop-off from his ratings high-water mark, Beck's remained the most popular show on cable news in his time slot, with almost two and a half times the number of viewers as his closest rivals, CNN's Wolf Blitzer and MSNBC's Chris Matthews. And contrary to published reports that he was fired, Beck is leaving Fox because his contract is up, and his business and creative teams at Mercury Radio Arts prefer to get out from under the grind of producing his 5 p.m. show amid the corporate bureaucracy "where most ideas must be generated, spelled out in pitches, run by producers, budgeted, then run by more producers, approved by senior executives, etc."
His next venture, GBTV, will be a web-based TV network, with two hour shows broadcast on weekdays from 5-7 PM EST, beginning on Sept. 12th. The show will also be available on demand. Subscriptions will cost $4.95 per month for access just to the show, or $9.95 for premium member access to all of the site’s programming. Advertising will provide additional revenue. “Lots of people are talking about the digital content revolution, but few are willing to risk it all and place a huge bet on the future,” said Christopher Balfe, President & COO of Mercury Radio Arts in a statement. “With GBTV, Mercury is doing just that. Fortunately, our incredible team at Mercury, as well as our industry-leading business partners, makes me confident that we will once again build something extraordinary.”
On his last show, Beck explained the reasons for his success. “I contend that is the reason we are successful here…because it’s true,” he said last night. “It seems as though there’s no truth anywhere anymore. We’ve made a lot of enemies on this program. We’ve taken on every single person we’ve been told not to take on…because the truth has no agenda. It will lead us where it leads us. This show has not only survived; we have thrived." He then explained where he was going. "I have given up on admiring the problem. I am focused solely on the solution...I’m running to something. I know exactly where I'm supposed to be."
Will Beck remain a controversial figure? Undoubtedly. Yet despite his well-publicized foibles, Beck was more than willing to take on the sacred cows of political correctness and their defenders, often by the most devastating method possible:
Their own words.
Arnold Ahlert is a contributing columnist to the conservative website JewishWorldReview.com.