Glenn Beck Suggests That He Doesn’t Have A Contract With Fox News
On the heels of the New York Times Magazine profile that highlighted the tension between Fox News and Glenn Beck as well as Glenn Beck’s lost advertisers, people keep asking me about Glenn Beck’s contract with Fox News as well as why Fox News is keeping Glenn Beck on television.
Regarding the contract…
I think it’s fair to assume that Glenn Beck has a contract with Fox News. But, if you listen to Glenn Beck, you’re left to believe that he doesn’t have one. Back in July, he lamented the loss of integrity in business. Glenn Beck believes that contracts exist because the “content of character doesn’t matter” any longer. In order to underscore this point, Glenn Beck talked about his own experience with Fox News’ president, Roger Ailes:
You know, I didn’t take this job at first. And, I remember Roger Ailes calling me to his office and he looked at me and he said “What the hell is wrong with you? I know we’re offering you more money. I know we’re offering you better success. I know we’re offering you a great place to work. What the hell is wrong with you?”
And, I said “It’s never been about money. I haven’t had a chance to really sit down and talk to you. I need to be able to look a man in the eye and know that he understands my business and I understand his. And that we’re not going to hurt each other, and if we start hurting each other, it doesn’t matter what the paper says. I need to look a man in the eye and shake hands on it.”
He looked at me for probably 30 seconds. It was probably a very uncomfortable time for everybody in the room – and he just looked at me in the eye. He leaned in and he shook my hand and said “Sir, you will never need a contract with me.” And, I said “Nor with me, sir.”
So, uh, yea. Either, Glenn Beck has a contract with Fox News, which would mean he…*gasp*…lied to his audience about not having one. Or, he doesn’t have a contract with Fox News, which would certainly be odd.
Regarding why Fox News keeps Glenn Beck…
The answer to this question is multifaceted.
In part, it’s because Fox News’ brass agree with Glenn Beck. In the past, they’ve defended him and continue to defend even his most outrageous claims (i.e. Murdoch agreed that Glenn Beck was “right” when he called President Obama a “racist” with a “deep seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”).
In part, it’s because Fox News is so committed to propagating a political ideology that they’re willing to absorb the financial loss associated with keeping Glenn Beck because they believe his presence advances their political agenda. Not to mention, Glenn’s more outrageous claims serve as a politically useful distraction.
And in part, it’s because Fox News is in a real bind. By keeping Glenn Beck they suffer even more damage to their already tarnished reputation. But, if they let Glenn Beck go, his devout fans will lash out at Fox News. Because Fox News mishandled this situation from the get-go, they’re now left in an uncomfortable situation with no good options.
Let’s keep up that pressure.
Onward we go…
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