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Media Matters Hires Angelo Carusone, Leader Of 'Stop Beck' Movement, To Ramp Up Campaign Against Fox WASHINGTON -- The battle between progressives and Fox News just got hotter. Liberal watchdog Media Matters has hired one of Glenn Beck's key nemeses, a man who has been working behind the scenes (and more publicly on Twitter) for the past year to convince advertisers to drop the right-wing icon. December 9 at 6:53am · Ariel Kass likes this. Jeffrey C. Smith If you dislike him, ignore him. The more attention drawn to him the more you feed his influence! December 9 at 8:23am · Like Andrew Wienick Would you have people ignore Goebbels if he was around today? Or would you rather people call him on his vitriol and lies? December 9 at 8:56am · Like Jeffrey C. Smith heh, you're not seriously comparing a short, chubby, loud-mouthed, political commentator who condemns violence to a Nazi leader, are you? I was trying to help out your cause, but keep drawing attention to Becky if you like! And for the record, I don't care for him either, thus, I ignore him =) December 9 at 9:20am · Like Andrew Wienick Principle is the same. And yes, I am. Lies are lies, no matter if from the private sector or the public. December 9 at 9:31am · Like Jeffrey C. Smith Feel free to point out what you like, I just think doing so undermines what you're attempting to do. The severity and object of "lies" (as you call them) matters tremendously. Otherwise we should all be running around paranoid with everything that anyone with an audience says. December 9 at 9:45am · Like Andrew Wienick search/201012090001 Seems pretty demonizing to me December 9 at 11:34am · Like Jeffrey C. Smith Again, not my point. But somehow I think my point will continue to be avoided, so I'll simply conclude with this important tale: m/toons/A+Walk+In+The+Woods/ December 9 at 12:13pm · Like Derick Loafmann Pardon my interruption, but having one (large) segment of the population simply ignore somebody that another (somewhat smaller, though relatively sizable) section of the population is rallying around hardly seems like an effective strategy at this juncture. If a particular viewpoint already has a firm grasp on a segment of the population and continues to feed misinformation (a nice way of saying "lies") in an effort to stoke public alarm and increase its numbers, letting that voice go unchecked is a sure way to allow those numbers to increase. In a culture which seems to value speed over detail, Beck's surface-level reports and attention-grabbing proclamations have served him well (obviously). What has caused Beck's ratings and support to decline has been pointing out the details that he · Like · Comment · Share

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ignores. Highlighting Beck's errors and ridiculous claims (e.g. that Obama, whose mother and maternal grandparents were white - not to mention a large number of his staff and advisors, hates white people) and exposing Beck's underlying motivations have hurt the influence he has over a lot of people. Abandoning the strategy that has been and is proving to be effective would be disastrous at this point. Eventually, I hope that Beck's influence becomes minimal enough that ignoring his hysteria is a more effective method of dealing this self-aggrandizing, irresponsible jerk. I just don't believe we've reached that place yet. Jeffrey, I don't know you at all, so please don't take this personally. I just happen to disagree with your strategy. Perhaps we simply disagree on the amount of influence Beck has. Does that address your point directly enough? December 9 at 7:40pm · Like Jeffrey C. Smith Ahh, now we are getting somewhere. I'll jump back in the ring... Derick, to a large degree we have to take both your claims and mine anecdotally, for lack of statistical evidence. You argue that attacking Beck diminishes his influence, I argue to the contrary. I don't follow his ratings, and without building an incredibly complex regression model that's beyond my skills we can't quantify things easily, but let me use a similar example to show why I think my analysis holds true. Take the simple example of earlier this year when the illustrious Robert Gibbs, Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, and even Obama all decided to repeatedly denounce Fox News for all sorts of similar reasons to what is being raised against Beck (lies, biased, slanted, etc. etc.). What was the result? Ratings spiked for Fox over that span. Indeed, even the liberal political strategists I listened to admitted it was a bad strategy to attack the media, it's never worked for any administration, it's only helped their adversaries. Admittedly, there is a slightly different element involved, given that it's the White House in that case and not special interest groups, but it's a very close analogy none the less. Remember the old maxim that in the media world, all press is good press (okay, most of the time). Attacking one's media enemies using the media seems to only work against the intent. I at least can't think of any good examples of it being effective, but if you have some I'd be interested to hear them. And I mean that sincerely, for I am willing to reconsider if that evidence & examples are overwhelming. The core issue (I think), that indeed Andy and I seem to end up sparring on regularly, is that I view the greater issue is attacking ignorance and encouraging critical thinking in people, not trying to decide what news sources, op-eds, talk radio, etc. that they shouldn't listen to and attacking those sources. Or put another way, I think that energy is better spent on the former goals, not the latter. Lies and vitriole never stand the test of time. I simply argue to keep encouraging people to think critically, and let the free market of ideas raise up the good voices and bury the bad ones. Oh, and you do know me, somewhat. We graduated from Barrington together, but I was in lots of classes with Andy and I don't think you and I had any courses together. But then again, someone I/we apparently went to high school with, who works at Trader Joes, knew exactly who I was the other day at the check out counter and I was a complete blank. So maybe you and I shared half of our the same schedule in high school and I'm just completely forgetting? Who knows!

December 9 at 9:13pm · Like Derick Loafmann Thanks for jumping back into the ring! We all seem to think a good discussion/debate on vital issues is important. Preface: Jeffrey, we may know each other and just don't recall each other at the moment. I didn't have a ton of classes with Andy. Maybe our schedules didn't overlap. BHS was a big school. I didn't realize how big until I went to a college that was smaller than my high school. Okay, to the vital issues. I guess my first contention is that I don't believe the old maxim that all press is good press (which, to be fair, you also acknowledge in the parentheses), particularly with branding. Glenn Beck is, in addition to being a pundit, a brand. What this anti-Beck movement is doing is using a marketing strategy. They are asking whether or not businesses want to be associated with the "Glenn Beck" business. Look at the language used by the companies involved. Kraft said it didn't want to be associated with Beck's brand. It's not about Beck's journalistic integrity (if you can call it that), it's about his business, Glenn Beck's TV and radio shows. On these shows, Beck makes controversial and often inflammatory statements. A lot of businesses don't want to be linked to that kind of attention. It would seem that they don't believe that all press is good press either. Actually, this strategy isn't trying to censor anyone. This strategy is about analyzing whether or not associating with Glenn Beck's brand is good business. No one is telling him that he can't say, believe or even broadcast his ideas. They are saying that they don't want to be a part of those ideas. But that's not really what's at issue here, I think. Leaving Andy out of the equation because I'm not Andy, so I can't speak for him, the reason I like this "Stop Beck" sentiment is that I believe Glenn Beck's irresponsible behavior needs to be addressed. That's really what you and I are debating at this point, right? This debate started because you suggested, "if you don't like him, ignore him." That addresses how information and sources are handled. Frankly, I don't see how "ignore him" promotes critical thinking. In fact, ignoring Beck for long enough would lead to ignorance of his tactics and motives. Neither of us want ignorance (despite the old maxim that "ignorance is bliss"). Furthermore, I would argue that highlighting his massive errors in analysis and critical thinking would endorse the very thing you and I seem to agree to be most beneficial and most needed: critical thinking. The fact is that a person can read, watch, listen to any source he/she pleases, but it is tremendously important to consider the motivation of the source, particularly when discussing politics. Beck's neutrality and journalistic credibility were tremendously undercut when, after Glenn Beck frequently asks his audience to "follow the money" in an effort to discover "liberal conspiracy," his employer donates a large sum of money directly to a political party. Yet Beck is not critical of Fox News. Hypocritical, no? That was critical thinking regarding Glenn Beck's credibility and interests. I wouldn't have been able to do that if I was ignoring him. I wish to vaguely dispute the notion that everything we're discussing requires complex regression models. Honestly, I'm not even sure what that is. I'm assuming it has to do with influence, which I do agree is anecdotal. However, ratings are statistics. Given a rather short amount of time to research a few memorable controversies from Beck's show (finding out dates and ratings numbers) and a few reaction stories to these controversies (again, dates and Beck's ratings numbers), I'm sure you could

come up with a fairly decent idea of how much of an effect the disputes have had on Beck's ratings (for and against). I'm sure you'd find that sometimes, the old maxim about no bad press hold true. I'm also sure you'd find that sometimes it doesn't hold true. Since Beck's numbers seem to be down of late, I would hypothesize that you'd find the maxim is far less true. This would be by no means a conclusive study, but it's also not completely without measurement. Finally, there's a problem with the paragraph about lies, vitriol and time. Actually, a few. Lies and vitriol don't need much time to do a lot of damage. Do I expect that, if unchecked, Beck's ravings would spark the kind of lies and vitriol that controlled much of Europe in the 1920s-40s? No. But it doesn't need to reach the level of fascism to be damaging. Simply ignoring Beck denies critical thinking on Beck's rants a voice in the free market of ideas. Leaving Beck's irresponsible, inflammatory info -taiment as the only voice on the subject not only robs the market of a good voice, but also of the most useful tool in burying bad ones. December 9 at 10:28pm · Like Jeffrey C. Smith Hi Derick, Wow, we're getting thorough here. Let me see if I can summarize the main issue that was originally discussed, then I'll try to go through each subpoint in a little more detail. I'll try to be as brief as possible, but obviously we are unpacking a lot here, so bear with me. My original/main point, which you dispute for a variety of reasons, is really whether attacking Beck (or anyone with an opinion -based show for that matter) is a worthwhile strategy. I argue that most of the time it is not, as it generally 1) polarizes people further (just look at the message boards on for evidence), and 2) draws even more attention towards someone. In other words, you can't control whose attention you will attract when you lash out at Beck, and the more you are out there attacking, the more people take notice, and sheer randomness ensures that a percentage of them will find him attractive to listen to regardless of what you say. Does that mean attacking someone never works? No, but I still believe that most of the time one is better served spending energy letting people say whatever they want and focusing on one's own positive message instead. I whole-heartedly have no issue with, the Huffington Post, Media Matters, or anyone else putting out whatever critical commentary they want, I'm simply trying to say I think it undermines what they intend. I think the strategy is, on the net, flawed. Regarding my comment about regression models, that was just a fancy way of saying that we can't really quantify the effects of any efforts on this easily. There are probably ten thousand factors that go into what influences Beck's ratings. You can't say, without a bunch of statistical data: X occurred ( attacked), Y happened (Beck's ratings dipped), therefore X caused Y. Beck ratings are a function of Y,Z,A,B,C,M,L,J, etc. etc. My point is simply that we have to resort to anecdotal evidence, which is generally less desirable, but that's what we have to work with. Regarding censure, you are correct, this is technically not directly on the table here. It is, arguably, being raised indirectly because going after one's revenue source (advertisers) represents an attempt to get one's views off the air, i.e. censured. However, my comments draw mainly from other instances I've observed on other matters, but I am fine leaving that discussion point

aside as it's not really the main thrust of what we are talking about. Now, to the "ignore" discussion. Again, that ties to my strategic comments above, but let me clarify one key point you raised. One can ignore a source after one has heard it, analyzed it, and found it to be lacking in some way. For example, I used to listen to/watch Beck, mainly out of curiousity regarding what all the fuss was about. And while I think peoples' complaints about him are WAY overblown, I don't think most of his content is very interesting or thorough, and his delivery drives me a little nuts. Therefore, I am very comfortable saying that in my ignoring of Beck (I do now) it's not based on him saying stuff I don't like, or fear, it's based on a reasonably informed opinion and experience. People can, and should, not waste their time ingesting bad information sources on a regular basis. They should, however, not ignore them so much that they can't even make an informed decision that they are bad information sources. I think you and I completely agree that ignoring something out of fear, ignorance, myopia, etc. is not good, and I don't mean to convey something to the contrary. One can't consume endless amounts of every media source, it's just not reasonable. But I'd venture that most of the supporters, have very very limited experience watching Beck, and the support amounts to cheerleading against something they don't like because it represents a political opposition to their beliefs. Beck is "the enemy" in their minds, even if they don't fully know why, so anyone supporting his demise is good. He's a lightning rod for political debate, mainly because of his popularity and bizarre delivery, more so than the lies and "lies" that get dragged around. I'll believe that entities like are being non-partisan, as claimed on the website, when they go after someone on the left. I listen to enough liberal talk shows to hear a mountain of partial truths, name-calling, and fear-mongering (evil Republicans are out to take money from you and give it to rich people!). That's part of what makes me just scratch my head at all the opposition to Beck and anyone else. I can think of plenty of opinion -based shows, especially locally, that are of lower quality than Beck's, but I don't think it's productive to spend time attacking them and trying to get them pulled from the air by going after their sponsors. Here, perhaps we can summarize agree on this: Journalistic integrity, regardless of the source, is highly desirable, and attempting to present facts as accurately as possible, even if only to promote one's cause, is extremely valuable to the promotion of good ideas and thought. And we should all promote critical thinking amongst each other wherever possible. Perhaps we will always disagree on what to do when the above isn't happening, hopefully this summary is the core common ground we can find. December 10 at 9:53am · Like Derick Loafmann Shoot, I really want to read this thoroughly and respond accordingly, but I'm at work (on break) and can't risk it at the moment. After work, I have a friend in from out of town, so I may not get to this tonight. I promise I'll respond in the next day or so. It's looking more and more like we simply have a difference of opinion on strategy, but that's just from skimming your response. December 10 at 10:22am · Like Jeffrey C. Smith No worries, I burned too much of the work day myself. Take whatever time is needed, Facebook isn't going anywhere. Meanwhile I'll taunt Andy during intermission:

http://senorgif.memebase.c om/2010/12/10/funny -gifs-e verybody-dancenow/ December 10 at 10:26am · Like Derick Loafmann Okay, still haven't read your recent response in detail (two show day today + laundry = little free time, but at least Derick no longer smells like a foot), but I thought I'd post this critical analysis on Glenn Beck's recent radio claims that the number of Muslim terrorists is closer to 10% than 1% as well as his assertion that 0.5% of Americans want to violently overthrow the government. /video/us/2010/12/10/gps.witw.glenn.beck.cnn? hpt=T2 In a way, it's actually kind of funny... well, as funny as CNN gets. December 11 at 9:56pm · Like Andrew Wienick Nothing like race-baiting and Islamophobia to get you called out by Fareed, eh? He, as, always, does a fine job whenever he puts pen to paper or opens his mouth. Hopefully people took notice when this story broke… Yesterday at 7:07am · Like Derick Loafmann ​@Andy, yeah, Fareed is good. And reasonable. He seems to examine multiple sides of an issue to help further understanding and that's vital in this climate, if you will. @Jeffrey- you and I agree about journalistic integrity, yes. We also agree that the best way to approach news is with an open mind and a critical eye. And we will probably never agree on the ratio of time ignoring is more effective than voicing critical analysis. It would also appear from your #2 in your second paragraph that we still disagree on the "all press is good press" maxim. And I understand what you mean by your regression model. It's very complex and certainly no one event will obviously account for prolonged ratings drop most of the time, regardless of whose ratings they are. Furthermore, I don't wish to dispute the effectiveness ignoring Glenn Beck has had in your personal dealings with him. If that works for you, great. If not, also great. However, I will say that just because you made up your mind to ignore him a while ago doesn't mean that things he says now should be ignored. As stated earlier, he has a fair amount of followers and your ability and my ability to discern that Beck is fairly non-sensicle has apparently left them unaffected. I would highlight your point about Beck's show being an "opinion-based show." While you and I certainly are aware that it is. And Glenn Beck is certainly aware that it is. The way he promotes those opinions is done in a deceptive manner. The inflammatory comments he's made are ill-informed at best. The Obama Is A Racist comment that I mentioned in my initial response is prime example using fear to promote his disapproval of the president. When confronted with this, Beck first defended it, then changed his answer (which, to his credit, was right to do). But when he changed his answer, he pushed the blame to "liberation theology." Unfortunately, Beck defined "liberation theology" incorrectly. You can even ask a priest for the definition. Nevertheless, Beck has railed against his imaginary version of "liberation theology" and particularly "black liberation theology," which he linked to extremist groups of the New Black Panthers (who much of the old Black Panther leadership has actually disavowed, but that's not the point) when they suggested killing white babies. So, essentially, Beck "apologized" for his racism comment, then went on to call Obama racist in a more creative and threatening manner. Beck did not present any of these points as opinions, but as

facts. That's flat-out deceit. As for the non-partisanship aspect of the discussion, that's not the point, is it? Irresponsibility exists on both sides of the spectrum and just because it comes from one side as opposed to the other doesn't make it okay. I think we can agree on that. Is the possible motive for StopGlennBeck choosing to target Glenn Beck the fact that he was the biggest rising star of the opinion -as-fact pundits ? Given that the stated aim of the website is to hold Beck responsible for his "continued recklessness," I'd have to say it's more about the manner in which he states his opinions than the opinions themselves. As a matter of fact, the site states this. If the rising star of irresponsible journalism was from the left side of the aisle, you'd better believe that there would be a similar effort to hold that voice accountable. I'd even bet that some, though not all (there's a whole other topic here about vocal extremes influencing outside perception, which addresses the some of the message boards at StopGlennBeck and on Glenn Beck's own site), of the people who support StopGlennBeck would support an effort to stop whichever a fearmonger from the left. You could count me in, for one. But again, this is more tangential to our discussion. So it seems we continue to disagree, which is, of course, fine. And we probably will for a long time, particularly in a media culture that is dominated by punditry. Not because either of us is particularly partisan, but because it a climate like this, it's harder to find and agree upon what defines a nonpartisan source. Yesterday at 7:11pm · Like Jeffrey C. Smith Derick, Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'll be a little rambling and random here in my response , since most of this debate is effectively resolved to one degree or another, if only to agree to disagree. First, I'm shocked you'd call me non-partisan! I don't think of myself as Republican, but most of my political views happen to align with a conservative philosophy, a philosophy that presently, at least in theory, is best represented by the Republican Party. I don't have any affinity for the party itself, but as long as their members more closely align with some of the core conservative principles and political issues that I value, than I will more closely align with Republicans. I trust this isn't a shock, especially if you read through Andy's posts. I do pay too much attention to the political landscape in this country, especially what goes on in the political commentary world. Ironically, after several years of more intense focus on this, I find the vast majority of such commentary quite useless, or so hopelessly slanted and predictable that it's borderline worthless. Fresh thoughts & ideas are hard to come by, political grandstanding is not. Beck is one of a long list falling into the latter category. I guess I am just surprised that he garners so much attention from left-leaning entities (or anyone for that matter). Okay, time to go buy some gold, vacuum-sealed rations, and learn how to grow my own vegetables. Jeff 8 hours ago · Like Derick Loafmann Jeff, It's been nice having a discussion about a hotbutton topic that didn't involve foaming at the mouth from either side (of the debate, not the mouth). You and I may sit on opposite sides of center (though neither of us seems too enthused about the current state of our representative

parties) and disagree about a number of things, but it would appear that we share a common value here. That's a very good thing. Well, I'm off to hug a tree, redistribute some wealth and, strangely enough, learn to grow my own "vegetables." Derick (who is apparently into parenthetical statements this evening) 2 hours ago · Like Write a comment...

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