This isn’t a question I spend a lot of time contemplating, but if you were to ask me to name a radio host who makes Sean Hannity look like Walter Cronkite, I’d immediately answer, “That’s easy — Glenn Beck.”
WOWO picked him up in Fort Wayne when I was still there, and it took about seven seconds before I pegged him as yet another contender for the Formerly Fat Man’s throne, should he ever feel like retiring or dying of a drug overdose. He came to town to lead one of these “Rallies for America” before Fort Wayne started sending its young men off to Iraq — flag-waving whoop-de-dos with lots of purple mountain majesties and Republicans.
But it was in Ohio where Beck made a big splash, grilling the mayor over a case of violence in Columbus Public Schools. I was discussing this case with a friend, and got as far as that previous sentence — “he grilled the mayor over a case of violence in Columbus Public Schools” — when he interrupted me with the obvious question: “What does the mayor of Columbus have to do with how the schools handle their affairs? That’s the school board’s job.” What an excellent point. Unfortunately, the mayor lost his temper when he should have just hung up, and oh my, but many points were scored.
So who, then, does CNN hire for a new show? But of course. I’m a couple days late with this, but I think San Francisco’s Tim Goodman sums up CNN’s problems pretty well:
Meanwhile, CNN’s Headline News has hired talk-radio host Glenn Beck, who is just to the right of Attila the Hun. The network tried to pass him off as some kind of affable conversationalist. That lasted about four, maybe five seconds, until all kinds of media watchdog groups pointed out Beck’s hate speech — calling Hurricane Katrina victims “scumbags” and saying he hated some of the family members who lost relatives on Sept. 11 because, well, they complained too much.
Sorry to start with the bloggage and not have any same ol’ same ol’ today, but yesterday was a socks-on-the-lampshade sort of day and today is going to be of the nose-to-the-grindstone variety. I took an assignment thinking it was something I could accomplish with one hand and a few enjoyable phone calls, and I’m now realizing it’s going to take actual, you know, hard work.
I hate when that happens. And it happens every day. But you know what? I still wouldn’t give it up. It occurred to me the other day that while I’m not yet making a living, I am making a life, and that counts for a lot.
More later, maybe. It’s time you learned the truth: I do all this while waiting for phone calls to be returned.