Glenn Beck is coming to your neighborhood to teach you how to be a “political force”. Here’s his theme song! http://ping.fm/GJSO9
Details are in the New York Times
Glenn Beck Stakes Out a More Activist Role in Politics
Glenn Beck, the popular and outspoken Fox News host, says he wants to go beyond broadcasting his opinions and start rallying his political base — formerly known as his audience — to take action.
To do so, Mr. Beck is styling himself as a political organizer. In an interview, he said he would promote voter registration drives and sponsor a series of seven conventions across the country featuring what he described as libertarian speakers.
On Saturday he held a festive campaign-style rally in The Villages in Florida, north of Orlando, in which he promoted his recently released book, “Arguing With Idiots,” and announced another book to come next August filled with right-leaning policy proposals gathered from the conventions.
Mr. Beck provided few details about his plans for the tour, making it unclear if he truly intends to prod his audience of millions into political action or merely burnish his media brand ahead of a book release.
Mr. Beck did say the conventions would resemble educational seminars, and he emphasized that while candidates may align themselves with the values and principles that he espouses, he would not take the next step to endorse them.
In describing the conventions, he told the crowd on Saturday: “You’re going to learn about finance. You’re going to learn about community organizing. You’re going to learn everything we need to know if you want to be a politician.”
His staff would not say whether particular candidates for office in the 2010 midterm elections would be invited to speak at the conventions or the August rally.
As for the question of Mr. Beck’s intentions, “He might just be trying to sell books, but there are much simpler ways to sell books,” said Ari Rabin-Havt, a vice president at Media Matters, the liberal media monitoring group. He said Mr. Beck sounded more like a presidential candidate than a pundit.
Mr. Beck, having used his television and radio pulpit to lay out his list of the country’s impending problems — deficit spending, health care legislation that will “destroy” the economy, a dearth of “personal responsibility” — says he now wants to also provide solutions.
In the interview, Mr. Beck, a frequent critic of President Obama, chose his words carefully but made clear that he intended to help elect politicians aligned with his limited-government world view. “We’ll be looking for ways to get people involved in politics,” he said.
Mr. Beck is not the only media firebrand trying to mobilize Americans disaffected with a Democratic-controlled government. The radio host Laura Ingraham is inviting candidates to sign a 10-point pledge on her Web site. Sean Hannity, on his afternoon radio show and prime-time Fox News program, is promoting “Conservative Victory 2010,” his name for the map on his site that will spell out questions for candidates.
And the former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who has a show on Fox News, has steered viewers to his Web site, where they can contribute money to his political action committee in support of conservative candidates.
Pundits have used their media stages to encourage political action before, but people like Mr. Beck and Mr. Hannity are taking on outsize roles now, political experts and conservative commentators say. One reason, they say, is the weakened state of the Republican Party.
The media figures’ roles may exacerbate the ideological feuds that are already roiling the party. For the diffuse tea party movement that taps into anti-government sentiments, “the media guys are the closest things we even have to a leader,” said Adam Brandon, the vice president for communications at FreedomWorks, a conservative advocacy group.
These efforts are reminiscent of the Contract With America pledge made by conservatives during the 1994 elections, though some Republicans who are uncomfortable with media personalities taking on new political roles note that that effort originated with lawmakers.
When asked about Mr. Beck at a conference last month, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said: “Here’s what I worry about. How many people in my business are going to be controlled by what’s said on the radio or in a TV commercial?”
It was not lost on Mr. Beck’s fans that the Saturday rally and book signing were held in Florida, where the Republican governor, Charlie Crist, has been sharply criticized by conservatives as he runs for an open seat in the United States Senate. Mr. Crist’s challenger, Marco Rubio, has already signed the pledge on Ms. Ingraham’s Web site, as have a smattering of other conservative candidates.
Already, Mr. Beck’s page on FoxNews.com features what it calls “In or Out 2010,” a “simple challenge” for lawmakers. It includes a pledge to back a freeze in government spending; oppose all tax increases “until our economy has rebounded”; and support stricter immigration enforcement.
Amy Green contributed reporting.
My favorite quote is on Newser.com I have begun meeting with some of the best minds in the country that believe in limited government, maximum freedom and the values of our Founders. I am developing a 100-year plan.– Glenn Beck
I have to go read the First Amendment now to remind myself that the whole free speech thing is actually good, and not evil. And I have to go watch the epic film “Network”. I do believe Howard Beale is coming to life and he wants to be President.
And should you not know the work of Mr. Beck, please enjoy this snippet from his Fox News show, wontcha…