I confess that I've never actually sat down and watched Glenn Beck's show on Fox. I'd watch a show if only for the purpose of writing this post, but G. and Sophia wouldn't stand for it. From plenty of sampling in the media I had a pretty good idea that conspiracy rhetoric was a big part of the schtick. You know, where you draw the sinister and shadowy connections. So I hopped on over to YouTube to have a look and sure enough I found evidence that this was a theme.
Well, "big deal," right? Except that Glenn Beck works for the Australian Rupert Murdoch, who owns Fox. Mr. Murdoch owns Star TV, the biggest station out of Hong Kong, and he works closely with the government of the People's Republic of China. These deals are of Chinese government influence over content on his channels in exchange for access for Mr. Murdoch to the $50 billion advertising revenue of Chinese state-owned TV. (Here is an Esquire magazine article on the topic with lots of good links, although it embarrassingly repeats over and over the error that Murdoch is "an American businessman"). In fairness to Rupert Murdoch he has publicly asked the Chinese government to open up to the world's media. Those who know him smile and say he wants the money. Glenn Beck works for the same people who produce television news for the Chinese Communist Party. Literal fact.
All paranoia aside, it may be that Mr. Murdoch's worst crime here in North America is his hugely successful "Fleet Street"-ization of American TV news, turning it into a tabloid media more familiar in the UK and Australia, patently biased, patently exploitative. The counter-argument is that it's good that we know what we're watching. And Glenn Beck is nothing, after all, compared with what people are going through in Central Asia.