Glenn Beck Launches GBTV By Comparing Himself To Walt Disney And Showing A George Soros Cartoon
A couple days ago, while writing about Glenn Beck’s new GBTV venture, I made some bold proclamations about Beck delving into what may be the future of broadcasting. Yeah, I know. That Glenn Beck. However, I’ve believed for a while that the idea of people subscribing to the content they like directly from the providers and not having to pay for packages from the likes of cable company middle men is the direction we’re heading in so, I stand by those proclamations. This, of course, also means that I need to back those words up and actually check out what this brave new world looks like. So, when Glenn Beck launched GBTV last night with a 52 minute special, I watched it. Now I’m going to describe the thing to you in detail because, really, if the future involves Glenn Beck ragging on George Soros for an hour, I don’t blame anyone for wanting to hold back in the present for a little while longer.
The special was available for free while the network will cost a monthly subscription fee. For those of you interested or those of you who want to play along with me at home, you can watch it here.
Well, shall we begin?
0:23 – Well, there you have it. A cartoon of George Soros is Glenn Beck’s “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Not only that, the cartoon and the text that accompanies it appear to be done in Flash animation style, akin to what was filling up websites like Shockwave and Ebaum’s World in the early days of the Internet. The question of whether this was done to pay respects to his new medium or because it’s one of the cheapest, easiest animation style around is something I’ll leave for you all to ponder.
1:00 – Cartoon over. GBTV is now airing the same promo commercial that was released a few days ago in which a bunch of regular Americans (one of whom is even black!) talk about not having any source from which to get the Truth. The wait is over, friends!
2:09 – “The truth lives here” is a good slogan for a news and opinion network.
2:40 – Glenn Beck: “One of the most common questions asked of me for the past two years is, ‘Ok, I’ve got it, Glenn! I know the problems! Geez, you won’t shut up!”
In my early days of recapping Beck, I became fascinated with how good an entertainer he is. No matter what he was talking about, the dude knew how to host a TV show. While I feel like he’s lost his way a bit lately as he’s completed his strange metamorphosis into the cable news equivalent of an Evangelical preacher (thus rewarding everyone who made those Howard Beale comparisons when he first appeared), there’s one trick that he’s never lost; his mastery of the art of self-deprecation. It’s hard to be “just one of the folks,” when you’re in a TV studio (and now giant office with its own studios) festooned with your name and initials. However, Beck knows how to sprinkle in just enough references to how he’s a chubby blowhard in each episode (I’d guess an average of 3.5 fat jokes per week) to make it work. I’m serious. There’s an artistry to this.
5:00 – While Beck is talking, my eyes wandered to the side of the screen and noticed a link to an interview he did with David Mamet. David freaking Mamet! I feel like theater communities have been buzzing for a while about Mamet’s gradual conversion to conservatism but I feel like an appearance on Beck’s radio show will be more offensive to those people than 10 Oleanna‘s.
ps. A note for college students, don’t tell a co-ed you love Oleanna while on a first date.
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