Group wages battle against Glenn Beck

February 9, 2011

By LISA RIZZO

A group of San Luis Obispo County residents, prompted by last month’s shootings in Tucson, Ariz. that left six dead, has mounted a campaign to pressure local radio stations to limit what they call “hate talk.”

Since January, outspoken critics of the Glenn Beck Show began campaigning to local radio station KVEC 920 AM to change its programming. They initially contacted KVEC management and have progressed to asking KVEC’s sponsors to halt advertising until the nationally syndicated Glenn Beck program has been dropped from the station, which airs weekdays at 12 noon.

“We believe the violence is connected to the nasty rhetoric that they are supporting. They have nine hours a day of fanatics which is way too much,” said Pete Evans, founder of Alliance for Positive Programming (APP).

Another critic contends Beck’s incendiary political rhetoric is dangerous.

“The history of Glenn Beck’s incitement to politically-motivated murder of Michael Moore, Nancy Pelosi, Charles Rangel and others he wants to ‘beat to death with a shovel’ or ‘line up and shoot in the head’ is well-documented,” said David Broadwater in an electronic letter that is circulating to numerous local advocates, KVEC management and advertisers.

The Jan. 8 Tucson shooting spree that killed six people and wounded another 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), has prompted criticism of inflammatory language by some conservative talk-show hosts like Beck.

News media, blogs, and twitter have been rampant with accusations that conservative talk radio, particularly “right-wing rhetoric,” may have influenced the mentally unsound Tucson shooting suspect and have created a climate of hate in America. While investigators have yet to prove this theory, the shooting has prompted a new wave of backlash against extremism in conservative radio.

Evans said he would like the station to offer counter programming, such as the Clark Howard Show, a syndicated show about saving money and finance that the station aired for about a year and a half before it was canceled last July because of falling ratings.

Last summer, the station swapped Howard for Beck and within six months and the station’s ratings were back to pre-Howard numbers.

When asked for a comment by CalCoastNews, KVEC’s management did not respond.

However, KVEC talk show host Dave Congalton, who is also a contributing editor at CoastCoastNews, said that while he cannot speak for the station’s management, it is apparent that the Glenn Beck Program is widely supported on the Central Coast.

“It is not my job to defend KVEC programming,” said Congalton, who is in his 20th season on the air at KVEC. “We offer programming choices and the listeners decide.

“San Luis Obispo County overall is very conservative and conservative talk radio does very well on the Central Coast,” Congalton continued.

“In contrast, the liberal-oriented Air America station in San Luis Obispo limps along from year to year, barely registering in the ratings. What does that tell you?”

The alliance and its supporters plan to continue its campaign to persuade KVEC to remove Beck from its airwaves “due (to) his most explicitly documented record of advocating politically-motivated assassination.”

“This station runs nine hours of nationally syndicated loud and angry right-wing rhetoric every day, yet touts itself as ‘hometown radio.’” Evans said. “These talk shows often promote violence and would tend to convince the already unbalanced to take up arms against innocent people. We have seen this over and over during the past decade.”

Congalton argued the group is made up of “far left-leaning liberals” and has yet to make an impact. “I know they’ve contacted some of our advertisers, but we haven’t lost any clients due to this so-called campaign,” he said.

In a January letter, Beck defended himself against the backlash. “While Americans are grappling to understand the Arizona tragedy, the absolute vacuum of leadership on both sides is staggering,” he said.

“Far too often, we have seen in our schools and in our post offices, acts of violence from misfits of society. Turning these horrific events into an opportunity for a political attack is a very childish response to a very grown-up problem,” Beck said. “This is not about winning a political blame game.”

Beck continued by saying he denounces violence regardless of political motivation

Within the last few months the conservative commentator’s program has been dropped by several radio stations including one in Philadelphia where he got his start.


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OsborneCox

Personally, I think Glenn Beck is a clown, but trying to silence him goes a little too far. He does exploit the dimmest among our population for the purpose of ratings – and money – but it bothers me even more that so many Americans take the guy seriously.


WiseGuy

This is a tricky situation, as I do believe KVEC does do some good in our community through it’s offering of very high quality LOCAL programming. Not only is the Dave Congalton show a rare gem of a local talk show, there are other programs such as “Mortgage Matters”, and “Motor Mouths” that originate right here in the local KVEC studio and far exceed the quality of so many radio “infomercial” programming.


Unfortunately, KVEC management employs these shows as a cheap and easy way of demonstrating “diversity” of programming, attempting to insulate themselves from criticism of broadcasting trash like Beck and Limbaugh. The fact that management would replace the highly popular Clarke Howard show with Beck, lends credence to conspiracy theories that Beck’s show is subsidized with backroom payoffs to radio station programmers who give Beck’s show a slot on their station.


Radio, potentially one of the most cost-effective and dynamic and powerful of the mass-media, has become bloated and weak. Radio 2.0 is long overdue. And for it to succeed and restore dignity and respect to the radio industry it will have to focus on LOCAL PROGRAMMING.


There is a whole new style of local radio programming waiting to be pioneered. But, as most everybody involved with radio will already know, it’s management and ethos over the last several decades has been among the most lame,lazy and whorish of any industry. Radio is the sleazy used car salesman of the media world. It needn’t be that way. KVEC could be a leader. Instead, it’s loser with broke down cadillac and an audacious 14-K gold filled chain dangling from its neck, living in the past. Too bad.


zaphod

“The radio business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.” H.S.T. /??


kettle

“I don’t know the percentage of the Internet that’s valid, do you?

Jesus, it’s scary.” — Hunter S. Thompson


http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/dubiousquotes/a/hunter_thompson_2.htm


SnakePliskin

Good for Mr. Broadwater. This shouldn’t even be a controversy, hate mongers and fear merchants like Beck and O’Reilly should be shunned by all.


On a side note CCN should distance itself from Mr. Congalton. Good for animals and interviewing normal people about mundane things but that’s as far as he goes.


undertow

CNN should distance itself from Congalton? and put who in his place the NPR team? Why are you afraid of hearing the truth?


moe

I have listened to Glenn Beck a number of times. I have never once heard him speak of waging violence on anybody. The Friday before the shooting, I listened to his show for about an hour. What I remember hearing was based upon Glenn saying it was time to come together and find a diplomatic solution to the current problems and working together instead of against each other.


I admit to hearing A LOT of joking around on his show, which happens to be why I enjoy it. It has that same tone as a morning fm channel radio show, but politics based. They joke, and make fun of people and things all the time. Sarcasm is something not everyone can take. I happen to find it funny, my Mom thinks it’s horrible, so I listen and she doesn’t.


I think the worst thing about this group is they are taking responsibility away from the man who committed the crime. Listening to that radio show did not make me go out and shoot people, nor could it ever. Every time I turn around these days people are looking for someone or something to blame. The lesson that needs to be learned is indeed responsibility- but it is not Mr. Becks.


WiseGuy

How about citizens of SLO County “taking responsibility” for what is broadcast on our local public airwaves?


Hey, “moe”, you claim to have never heard Glenn Beck “speak of waging violence on anybody”. Well, you may have tuned in his show, but it is obvious you haven ‘t been listening very well. Here’s a good example of Beck encouraging American’s to kill people they “think” may be their enemies, without bothering to give them a chance to prove their innocence. Beck, in one form or another, frequently encourages deadly public lynchings. The other example, where Beck makes a crack about poisoning Nancy Pelosi is another way that Beck promotes violence and murder in America (with the help of KVEC):


http://shutfoxdown.com/?p=18141



Typoqueen

Not to mention the constant comparisons of liberals to Nazis, terrorist, communists etc.. This didn’t cause the crazy man in AZ to shoot those people but it does help fuel the fires of hatred. This nut probably would have killed anyway, after all it’s so easy to get a gun these days so any loony can get them. But the constant brain washing of the gullible by people like Beck will no doubt end up in tragedy.


Moe, I wouldn’t call what he does ‘joking’. He’s not funny at all. Although it’s very juvenile and he’s really not good at, he’s very sarcastic in a very rude way. He constantly attempts to be condescending but once again, he ends up just sounding juvenile. I expect him to stick out his tongue and say neener neener neener. I have heard him over and over talk about how there’s going to be a revolution and he appears to promote that. I would consider promoting a take over of our govt. violent.


thinkaboutit

Hmm. That wasn’t “divisive” at all…


south

Hey Typo – the Nazi’s and communists only existed or exist because of their ability to silence opposition and spew propaganda through state controlled media. Your and Wiseguy’s opinion is that if one doesn’t like what one hears, it should be silenced and replaced with something that YOU like. Sounds like you are more on the propaganda side of the fence than you will probably admit. Try this instead – get Keith Olberman to do a radio show and try to sell in SLO. Then let the market decide. I predict a 3 week run.


If you don’t like KVEC programming, go to KCBX. You will get all the left slanted news and anti American programming you can stomach.


WiseGuy

Actually, it is Glenn Beck who is following the Nazi script and utilizing radio as a propaganda tool very much the same way as the Nazis did, by spreading fear and demonizing certain groups of people, including “liberals”. Maybe if more people had spoken out early against the Nazi’s use of the radio airwaves, less people would have been murdered.


Typoqueen

Good point WG.


Typoqueen

Geez,,it’s pretty basic. The Nazi’s and communists existed because of their governments. Propaganda and state controlled media are just what you said ‘state controlled’. The state is not controlling what these people are doing. As crazy and paranoid as the extreme right are you probably think that this is a conspiracy by our Prez to ‘silence opposition’. I’ve got news for you, my grandfather, my father, my mother, my sister, my brother and many more in my family fought to give these people the right to do exactly what they are doing. If you don’t want them to have that right then perhaps you would prefer to move to Iran, then you wouldn’t have to worry about people such as the ones in this article practicing their right to demonstrate/protest.


So now you and the rest of your extreme comrades want to take away our freedom to demonstrate,,,sorry that won’t fly.


moe

Because I like to form my own opinion based on facts, I listened to the clips you posted. I have to start by saying referring to a website called “shut down fox” most likely wasn’t the best place to go. Try stepping back and listening to the clip as a whole. “If I were president and was talking to the American people, I would tell them yeah, were shutting down GitMo so from now on we are going to just shot them in the head.” (YES, I am para-phrasing, just trying to make a point).. Though I am not in agreement with the way prisoners are treated there- where would you prefer them to go? Where would you like them held? In the prison next door? No thank you. No where in that clip did I think he was seriously suggesting shooting them in the head. he was making a point. I have to ask what the rest of the conversation sounded like. You can take a 2 minute clip of a 4 hour long show and make it sound however you want, try listening to the whole thing for a change.


Aside for arguing about his merits let’s look at facts; the stations ratings have gone up since switching to Beck. As a loyal Clark Howard listener I was a bit heart-broken when they took him off for Beck. The radio industry as a whole is a dying breed. I worked in the radio industry for many years, and the thing that stayed constant was the declining market. Ratings are everything, radio stations need to air what sells, even if you don’t like it- obviously someone does.


WiseGuy

What is this crap about KVEC’s “ratings”? The ratings “system” for a market like this is an absolute joke. If you actually are in a position to known and understand how these “ratings” are calculated, can you honestly say you are confident that they are 100% fair and accurate?


But if you are not an expert, I’ll tell you: They are a joke, a scam, or, more generously, a “close approximation, open to debate but treated seriously by the radio industry in lieu of anything better”.


The Clark Howard show is a quality show and a near perfect fit for our local demographics. If KVEC can’t “sell” that, then that’s the fault of KVEC. Any lazy, jerk-off program director and associated sales weasels can put in an order for “Glenn Beck Show” and coast on that river of B.S. for a couple years. But if that’s the best one can do, hang it up and let someone have a go with the license.


moe

I have already stated I wold rather listen to Howard than Beck. But anyone running a business can tell you if you cannot sell the product- Don’t carry it! Advertisers want to see ratings reports. Trust me- I’ve had to show them many times. I AM NOT an expert-but DO have experience in the field to know what I am talking about. Beck brought listeners back to that time slot. ‘Nough said.


Citizen

These are snippets, taken out of context, from the Shut Down Beck and Shut Down Fox News web sites. They are part of satirical jokes.


moe

Exactly!! You can take a minute clip from 4 hours of ANYONE’s show and make them out to be whatever you want.


lakerhater

Typical leftists, silence someone you don’t agree with….


WiseGuy

No one has said anything about “silencing” Glenn Beck. If he wants to spew hate speech all day long, he has that right. But the public should not be required to provide him a forum for doing so. In our community, KVEC is that forum, but that forum is built upon a limited public resource that the PUBLIC licenses to companies. That license is not a “right”, it is a privilege. A growing number of citizens now believe KVEC is abusing that privilege and that it would benefit the community as a whole to offer that privilege to a more responsible, less destructive, less “whore-ish” organization.


lakerhater

If you don’t like it, i suggest you and the “groeing number of citizens” turn off the radio. Listening to KVEC is not mandatory. NPR is a public forum, KVEC is a privately held business. Free speech is guaranteed whether or not you agree with it.


hotdog

How about ‘typical right wingers are so stupid they can’t read or understand simple English’? How about that?

All those who propose the dumber than a back of rocks attitude I am responding to above won’t even understand my reply but for those with a bit of gray matter left here it is, and will be repeated oodles of times to allow the fools to catch up.

The effort poorly articulated in the story, as I understand it, is a matter of whether the citizens want a (sadly) popular radio host, using our airwaves, to drum hate and lies into the pea brains of those foolish enough to listen to his drivel. That hate talk often leads to physical violence.

Beck is a liar, hypocrite and hate monger. You and others idolize him. You will never hear any words, or proof to the contrary. But other mentally challenged (even more than his usual listeners) people might take his childish rantings for reality and do something drastic with it, like physically injuring someone . Is that OK, is that free speech?

Those who will be shouting the loudest, and dumbest, on this site about this issue would probably like to solve problems with a gun, or by shouting their adversary down. We have sunk to new depths…


CitizenB

My opinion is that Glenn Beck is a man with the skilled delivery of an old-time revival preacher (or snake-oil salesman), no wisdom, and just enough knowledge to be dangerous. However, I believe in freedom of speech, and that he has the right to say what he says.


However, my dad, who was a WWII hero and a deeply conservative man, was appalled by some of what he heard from right-wing talk radio — just because he felt that all life was sacred and to even joke about the taking of a life was a horrible evil thing to do, that joking about killing cheapened the importance of that gift from God and served to reduce our horror when the taking of a life actually occurred. I find it odd that the same people who can be so righteous over the subject of taking life when it about abortion can then turn around and “joke” about how they would like to murder someone they disagree with.


Typoqueen

@Dave, of course the ratings are better with an idiot like Beck. People listen for the same reason that they slow down and stare at a car accidents. The man is a train wreck. So yeah, even I a bleeding heart listens to Beck once in awhile simply because I can’t believe the cr@& that comes out of his mouth.


Sooner than later he’s going to have some type of mental break down, he’s not all there. The thing that bothers me about Beck is that so many righties like this guy. It tells me that we have a population of extreme righties that aren’t really that bright. They follow him mindlessly. The things he says are simply crazy. According to him I’m a Muslim socialist. He’s racist and ignorant. But I do believe in freedom of speech even if it’s hate speech. I also believe in these peoples right to try and kick off,,no matter how futile it might be. People like Beck, insHanity, Palin etc. do nothing for this country but cause divisiveness. They have absolutely no redeeming qualities.


rogerfreberg

Well, well, well… the sensors and clerics of pure thought are at it again.


If this group had come to hear Greg Lukianoff on ‘free speech’ and contributing to open discussion at Cal Poly two nights ago… well, maybe they would realize that this isn’t ‘hate’ talk just because they say it is…


Here is a few links to Greg’s talk:


http://www.rogerfreberg.com/blog/?p=3671


Roger Freberg


WiseGuy

Mr. Freberg, you seem to ignore the fact that these are PUBLIC AIRWAVES that KVEC uses and are, in fact, a limited resource. Beck and Limbaugh waste and pollute that limited resource.


Citizens have the right to use a public resource such as the ocean, but that does not give them the right to pollute it.


People who say, “If you don’t like Beck on the radio, just change the station”, don’t understand fundamentals about radio broadcasting and licensing in the U.S. . If someone is pissing in the public water supply, you don’t tell people “just drink from some other water supply, or go buy beer instead.”


KVEC has had the privilege of using the public airwaves for decades. If that station can’t shape up, it’s time to give the license to a more responsible organization. As it is, KVEC doesn’t deserve the privilege. KVEC is misusing the privilege.


WiseGuy

By the way, Mr. Freberg, Glenn Beck absolutely DOES deal in “hate speech” by any reasonable definition of the term. I’m not saying he doesn’t have the right to do so, but I’m also saying that stations that broadcast his crap are not guaranteed the privilege of doing so in perpetuity.


KVEC paid little or nothing for its broadcasting license and the station demonstrates its appreciation for that privilege by stinking up our airwaves with despicable people like Beck and Limbaugh. I think it’s time to consider giving that license to a different organization that can make better use of the public resource.


danika

It’s people like you who give humans a seriously bad name. I like KVEC the way it is, providing a wide variety of topics to interest the many, not just the few, specifically you. So my vote counters yours. Isn’t America truly GREAT!!??!!


undertow

Your right on, next time MSN or yahoo shows pics of a 19 year old girl buried up to her head and stoned to death we should all revolt. Limited resource? what about NPR, a tax funded leftist spew machine I refuse to hear yet I have to pay for this waste of limited air resources? So you know what I do? I turn it off, easy as that. How you people tie what happened in Arizona into being a right winger is beyond most civilized peoples ability to comprehend. Gee lets not forget who killed MLK who was a Republican himself, it was a democrat by the name of James Earl Ray, so its fair to say then all democrats are murderers?? not hardly. Stop stereotyping a few wing nuts into something their not, it makes you look and sound like a fool. Sticks and stones people, just like Oberman and his hatred speaches,its his right to it, if you don’t like it turn it off.


hotdog

Way lame response. What would you say if someone falsely shouted !FIRE! in a crowded theater and your child was trampled to death? You would want that person wiped out. What if someone accosted you on the street and called you or your family a ghastly name, and rattled their whole day and even perhaps shattered their fragile emotional world?

Your defense of Beck seems just an outlet to get your name in lights. Or maybe you don’t know much about him, which is the truth with the masses, pro or con. He has encouraged killings and spreads hate and lies far and wide. And you support that? Is that free speech, on OUR airwaves?

Isn’t it free speech for some to encourage advertisers to take note of what they are doing?


undertow

Ah…. Mr. Broadwater, the king of biosolids land application elimination. Some advice for you, if you dont like Beck don’t listen and if you dont like biosolids on the ground stop using the toilet. Hopefully when NASA invents a sludge shuttle to haul your odorless poop away you can be its commander.


WiseGuy

Undertow, you obviously don’t appreciate Mr. Broadwater’s scholarship and wisdom and concern for the health and safety of the public in regards to his stance on “sludge” and the dangers it poses. I consider David Broadwater a local hero who is trying to protect people, including you and others ignorant about the facts of “sludge”.


danika

Who is David Broadwater? Never heard of this “local hero”. I grew up here. Guess that makes me “sludge”. S’okay. I can live with it.


Turquoise

Absolutely right, WiseGuy. David Broadwater is a hero, though not the kind of guy who tries to get his name in lights. I respect David enormously.


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