Get Real Blodget; News Corp. Won't Fire Glenn Beck

09/20/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Charles Warner Blogger at Media; Teacher at The New School, NYU

In the lead post Wednesday on Silicon Alley Insider, Henry Blodget wrote a blog titled "News Corp. Should Fire Glenn Beck."

I'm a regular reader of SAI and think that Blodget often has penetrating insights into and analysis of internet and media companies. However, I think his emotions got the better of him when he wrote about Glenn Beck's stupid remarks about Obama being a racist. News Corp. not only is not going to fire Glenn Beck for his remarks, his bosses, Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes, head of Fox News, are probably going to give him a raise for generating so much publicity.

Plus, knowing that Ailes is an arch-conservative Republican operative (he worked as the media advisor for the Nixon campaign in 1968), he probably agrees with Beck. If Ailes disagreed with Beck's remarks, he would have publicly reprimanded Beck or fired him immediately and he would not be actively negotiating with Don Imus to do mornings on Fox Business News.

When Imus made his racist remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team being "nappy headed hos," MSNBC fired him. CBS also fired Imus, but waffled so long that it appeared to be kowtowing to Al Sharpton's protests. It's never good public relations to give in to the camera ravenous Reverend Sharpton, because it encourages his blackmailing techniques. Fox News won't make that mistake and defended Beck's right to voice his opinion -- in other words, supported him.

What Ailes and News Corp. want are ratings, as pointed out by Jeff Bercovici in his blog on AOL's Daily Finance titled "Sorry, Fox News boycotters -- Glenn Beck's not going anywhere." Controversy gets ratings and with all the current publicity, Beck's ratings will spike up at least for a while, maybe permanently.

Those who hate Beck, want him fired, and are urging advertisers to cancel commercials in his program should keep in mind that Beck's racist remark was stupid. Anyone with any brains at all and who watched the campaign coverage of Obama knows he doesn't hate white people -- his mother was white and he adored her. He doesn't hate the white culture -- his white grandparents raised him and he adored them.

What Ailes, Fox News, and Beck are doing is attributing their own motives, values, and opinions to other people -- in psychology it's called projection. By projecting their prejudices and racism on Obama, Fox News's intention, therefore, is meant to appeal to racist people -- Fox News's and Beck's loyal audience -- the same people who make Fox News the highest rated news channel make WWE professional wrestling the top rated entertainment program on cable TV. They seem to like and identify with overblown personalities spewing rage.

Thus, I'm sure Roger Ailes and Fox News are delighted with Beck. He reflects their values: ratings, rage, and racism.