Entries Tagged as 'Glenn Beck'

Lest We Forget

David Frum December 29th, 2011 at 9:51 am 49 Comments

As the gold market tumbles, time to recall: even if the price of gold had remained high forever, people who trusted in Glenn Beck would still have been cruelly cheated.

I’m trying to recall a worse case of media ethics malpractice than Glenn Beck and Goldline, but thus far I draw a blank.

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No Rush for Christie

September 29th, 2011 at 2:06 pm 59 Comments

Chris Christie’s speech last night has produced a schism on the airwaves. Whereas conservative talkers from Rush Limbaugh to Sean Hannity would previously fawn over Christie’s every YouTube moment, and Glenn Beck would even go so far as to label audio of the New Jersey Governor taking on opponents as “common sense porn,” now the discussion on the AM dial has suddenly become more subdued.

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Gold’s Value? It’s What We Give it.

September 28th, 2011 at 11:04 am 47 Comments

Eli Lehrer misrepresents my intentions in his most recent piece. To be clear, my article was not making a case for buying gold going forward per se. Trading in commodities is a volatile and highly leveraged activity, and I would not presume to advise the general public on it. As I said in my previous article, I disapprove of celebrities offering investment advice for a fee.

However, the fact remains that Glenn Beck and other conservative commentators’ past recommendations of gold as an investment were the correct call at the time they were made. That is just an empirical fact. The charts don’t lie.

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Numbers Don’t Lie, Gold Has Done Well

September 27th, 2011 at 1:49 pm 89 Comments


Kenneth Silber recently called out Glenn Beck and others for their perpetual bullishness on gold. However, even a cursory glance at a gold chart shows that one would have been handsomely rewarded for following Mr. Beck’s advice.

From the time the Fed began its cheap money campaign back in 2001, the price of gold has increased from $265/ounce to a whopping $1650/ounce. In other words the dollar’s value has plummeted from 1/265th of an ounce of gold to 1/1650th. Even with the recent correction from it’s latest market high of $1,825/ounce , this represents a roughly 18% annual return on your investment in a decade that saw equities, real estate and other asset classes in turmoil and eventual decline.

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Beck Didn’t Warn Me Gold Can Fall!

September 27th, 2011 at 12:13 am 76 Comments

The gold market meltdown — with prices plunging in recent weeks from over $1, healing 900 an ounce to under $1, seek 600 — is a reminder that the precious metal is a volatile, speculative commodity. It also signals a bear market in credibility for the many right-leaning cable-news and talk-radio hosts who have touted gold relentlessly in recent years as a hedge against economic calamity.

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I Stand With Glenn Beck

August 28th, 2011 at 11:45 pm 26 Comments

The UN and the so-called human rights NGOs “have become bullies and grotesque parodies of the principles they pretend to represent. They criticize free nations and spare the unfree. They denounce nations like Israel and America, purchase who have high standards for freedom, treatment and leave alone nations that have no freedom at all. They are nearly comical in their double-standards. Whatever moral force they once had is spent.”

If those words of truth and common sense had been pronounced by Tzipi Livni, Israel’s mainstream media would be applauding.  But since those words were pronounced by Glenn Beck near the Temple Mount during his “Restoring Courage” event last week, we are told that they reflect insanity and constitute an obstacle to peace.

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Glenn Beck Wants A Whiter Spider-Man

August 3rd, 2011 at 1:25 pm 111 Comments

Glenn Beck has a problem with the new Spider-Man, and he thinks Michelle Obama is to blame.

In one of Marvel’s comic series, Peter Parker has been killed off and the mantle of Spider-Man will be taken up by a new character: Miles Morales, who is half-black and half-Hispanic.

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Fox’s “Five” Should Take Five

July 15th, 2011 at 6:05 pm 3 Comments

After two-and-a-half years of dominating the early-evening leadoff on FoxNews, Glenn Beck bid a typically tearful farewell his audience in June, following a messy public divorce with Fox due to irreconcilable differences.  While the cancellation of Beck’s show is surely the greatest loss to American culture since the day they stopped making My Mother the Car, its FoxNews parent is bravely soldiering on with a new series called The FIVE, airing (when else?) at 5pm EST (2pm Pacific), and featuring a panel of five Fox regulars as the series stars.  The program debuted on Monday, following Beck’s farewell performance and a (perhaps faintly oxymoronic) “Best of Glenn Beck” marathon the following week, while the new show ramped up.

Any self-respecting political TV junkie can see that whatever resemblance The FIVE might have to the legendary and long-running weeklyThe McLaughlin Group is completely intentional.  Yet it’s equally obvious that the two other shows that FoxNews had their eye on when they created this format were ABC’s long-running hit The View and CBS’s more recent and equally successful homage, The Talk — both of which feature panels of newswomen, comediennes, and actresses dishing and discussing the events of the day.  (And the format is spreading — after ABC ankled All My Children and One Life to Live, one of the shows set to replace it is a food show actually titled I’m not making this up – The Chew.

As The FIVE wraps up its first block of five, here are the bullet-points that splintered across the windmills of my mind, as I watched opening week in your service:  (Noah Kristula-Green, previewed the opening night here.)

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Fox News Struggles to Replace Glenn Beck

July 11th, 2011 at 7:12 pm 18 Comments

How do you replace Glenn Beck’s bizarre and rambling hour of television? If you come up with programming on Fox News, you decide that 5pm is a great time to do a conservative version of the The McLaughlin Group, call it “The Five” and roll with it.

FrumForum will be providing more coverage of this new show later in the week, but I wanted to provide a few comments about the hour that I watched.

The current show feels like a placeholder. Rather then replace Beck with a host, Fox News plans to rotate through a long roster of hosts and see which ones stick and which ones don’t. Once they find out which hosts work best, presumably they will be the ones who will stay with and host is long-term.

By just sticking with Fox News commentators they already have, the show feels a bit lazy. However, after having Beck bounce of chalk boards and play with puppets, having five conservatives sit around the table and compete to see who has the best grasp of that morning’s talking points is refreshingly mundane.

On the premier episode, the five hosts were Eric Bolling, Andrea Tantaros, Greg Gutfeld, Dana Perino, and Bob Beckel. Bob Beckel’s job was to be the token liberal who can be ganged up on by the four conservatives. Media Matters staffer Seth  Michaels (one wonders how many people in that office volunteered to watch this show) tweeted that a better name for the show would be “Hannity, Hannity, Hannity, Hannity, and Colmes”

The episode opened up with a discussion about the debt ceiling negotiations. Four of the panelists lamented how irresponsible Obama had been for all his spending and making the deficits soo big. Bob Beckel said that Grover Norquist was responsible for the Republicans being unable to reach a deal and added that Norquist should be sent to Guantanamo Bay.  Beckel was self-aware enough to grumble and complain about the group-think of his co-hosts but it’s hard to take that seriously when you’ve agreed to go on the network in the first place. Still, his continued dissenting from the group made the conversation a little less lock-step.

The gimmick on “The Five” is that each host gets to lead off a short segment of the show. Eric Bolling began the debt discussion, Dana Parino talked about the ban on incandescent lightbulbs, and Greg Gutfeld got to talk about Perp Walks (like the ones that Casey Anthony and Dominique Strauss-Kahn had to do). Gutfeld was tasked to consider an important question: do perp walks make potentially innocent people look guilty? Does this harm our system of justice?

Greg Gutfeld usually hosts the Fox News “Red Eye” show at 3am which is more irreverent then the usual news. He provided the insight that pert walks: “makes you look guilty, but sexy.”

Fox News has decided that the best way to replace Glenn Beck was to just stick five commentators at a table and see what happens. With nine commentators on their roster, there are 81 possible combinations of host that they can try out. Maybe one of them will be amusing and interesting.

When Talk Radio Listeners Buy Into The Persuasion Machine

David Frum June 18th, 2011 at 9:41 am 44 Comments

At the Economist blog, Will Wilkinson has a useful amplification — and correction — on my piece about talk radio pay-for-play.

He perceives the construction of a whole new system of reality creation.

What we’re seeing is a set of once disparate pieces coming together into a powerfully unified persuasion machine. Rich and not-so-rich people give to think tanks and advocacy groups because they believe, mostly correctly, that these organisations can do more with their money to promote their political values than they can do on their own. But the influence of these organisations is limited both by their budgets and their ability to get their messages out. Conservative talk radio has proven itself an incredibly popular and powerful persuasive force. They offer Washington politics and policy shops both a huge potential donor base and a megaphone. It helps Heritage immensely to have Mr Limbaugh citing their studies on air. But the persuasive force of their message is even greater when Mr Limbaugh’s listeners choose to literally “buy in” to the Heritage Foundation by becoming donors. Over time, Heritage’s financial support subtly and not-so-subtly shapes Mr Limbaugh’s message. He, and thus his audience, comes to think ever more like Heritage. And his audience, who become ever more personally invested in Heritage, become correspondingly more receptive to his Heritage-influenced messages. The partisan public has its independent general policy instincts, but it tends to adopt its more specific policy opinions from trusted partisan elites. Traditionally, these elite opinion-leaders have been politicians. But I think we’re witnessing a process through which professional “movement” elites in Washington, DC political non-profits are actively shaping public opinion via sympathetic mass-media intermediaries. Conflict between the Republican “establishment” and the tea-party movement may well reflect this shift in the balance of elite persuasive power.

And one might add: unlike the politicians, this new opinion elite is not very concerned for the functioning of the American political system as a system. They are willing to do more radical things, and run bigger risks (e.g.  debt default), in pursuit of more aggressive ideological goals.