BECK’S FOX NEWS DETRACTORS…. The Washington Post‘s Howard Kurtz has an interesting item today on the animosity between Glenn Beck and “many” Fox News staffers.
With his celebrity fueled by a Time cover story, best-selling books, cheerleading role at protest rallies and steady stream of divisive remarks, Beck is drawing big ratings. But there is a deep split within Fox between those — led by Chairman Roger Ailes — who are supportive, and many journalists who are worried about the prospect that Beck is becoming the face of the network.
By calling President Obama a racist and branding progressivism a “cancer,” Beck has achieved a lightning-rod status that is unusual even for the network owned by Rupert Murdoch. And that, in turn, has complicated the channel’s efforts to neutralize White House criticism that Fox is not really a news organization. Beck has become a constant topic of conversation among Fox journalists, some of whom say they believe he uses distorted or inflammatory rhetoric that undermines their credibility.
The piece highlights a few tidbits, some of which are relatively new. For example, the Republican network is concerned enough about Beck’s broadcasts that a vice president was assigned “to help keep an eye on that program” and review its content in advance. Kurtz also notes that Beck is something of an independent operator — he’s paid handsomely by Fox News, but he doesn’t work out of the network’s headquarters, and retains his own publicist and production company, whose staffers continue to serve as Beck loyalists.
Some Fox News staffers also are willing to dish a little dirt, hinting that Beck’s on-air crying is rehearsed, not genuine.
Of particular interest, Kurtz notes that “more than 200 companies have joined a boycott of Beck’s program, making it difficult for Fox to sell ads.”
I imagine it must be difficult for someone interested in a career in journalism to see their employer’s brand defined by one clown’s deranged stupidity. But I’m afraid it’s hard to be sympathetic towards those who choose to work at Fox News, and are now worried about distorted or inflammatory rhetoric undermining their credibility as media professionals.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but these folks work at Fox News. Any sane observer already knows that the network is a Republican propaganda outlet, a detail the outlet makes no real effort to hide.
If a journalist wants credibility, he/she should work at a real news outlet with professional standards.