Glenn Beck Leaving Fox News Is a 'Huge Victory' for Media Watchdog Group
Though Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck’s final show aired on the network Thursday, media watchdog group ColorOfChange.org executive director Rashad Robinson, tells The Hollywood Reporter that their work is far from done.
The organization, who along with Media Matters (who toasted Beck's departure with a party in Washington D.C. Monday), takes credit for convincing over 300 advertisers to pull their ad dollars from Beck’s show after the host called President Obama a “racist” with a “deep-seated hatred for white people or white culture” in 2009, says that they are now focusing their anti-racism campaign on bigger fish within the Fox News Chanel.
“This is really about Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes,” says Robinson. “This is about Roger Ailes ignoring and supporting racism being on his network and this is about Rupert Murdoch being very comfortable profiting off of racism on his network.”
Beck, ended his show Thursday with little fanfair (but some chalkboards), saying his reason for leaving was simple: there is more that he wants to do, citing both his new two-hour online streaming-video show GBTV, and other yet-to-be-named projects, directing viewers to GlennBeck.com. He also rebuked reports that his ratings slipped significantly this year (14 percent in the current quarter), saying "This program broke every single record in the 5PM timeslot."
Robinson says ColorOfChange.org, which boasts more than 750,000 members, plans to continue to monitor on-air media and will be planning public demonstrations to fight against Fox’s “race-baiting.” They’ve also highlighted another on-air host, Fox Business Network anchor Eric Bolling, as another target in their campaign against racism.
“We want to continue to help Americans understand in an array of different ways why what [media personalities] are saying on air goes beyond politics,” explains Robinson. “They’re utilizing people’s fears and their discomfort with race to drive us apart.”
No doubt, Fox’s talk show The Five, which was named as the network’s temporary replacement for Beck’s time slot just two hours before his final broadcast, will also come under close scrutiny.
But, all of this forward-looking talk doesn’t mean ColorOfChange.org is planning to forget about Beck, who's launching GBTV September 12.
“They’ll be a lot of conversation today in the media around Glenn Beck going off and doing whatever he’s going to be doing in the next chapter of his life, but what won’t be happening [in the near future] is he won’t be on television reaching millions of Americans each and every day,” says Robinson. “I think it’s a huge victory. It shows, not only our base that when they come together that they can make a difference, but it helped advertisers be accountable for how they’re utilizing their dollar and it pushed Glenn Beck outside of the mainstream.”
Watch Media Matters' Farewell Party: