In Depth: Alex Pareene vs. Mediaite…

Salon’s Alex Pareene ridicules Mediaite over its treatment of Glenn Beck and his new book…

Shortly before this review ran, of course, Krakauer and Mediaite posted their exclusive Q&A with Beck! They asked Beck which character he saw himself as, praised his ability to insert “present-day details” into a book he clearly had his staff knock out in a month, and asked him what he thought about New York.

“You guys are like the only people really that I read about me – everybody else is so boring and trite,” Beck told Mediaite!

Mediaite is the media website launched by Dan Abrams, the media consulting company CEO and NBC legal analyst described by Keith Olbermann — apparently inaccurately, because they do not seem to like each other — as “a fired MSNBC employee.” So congrats, Dan — Glenn Beck likes your media website. The experiment worked! All you had to do to get an exclusive with a major best-selling author is to be consistently, entirely uncritical of everything the man does.

Like all things controversial, and rest assured a lot of the MSM Media writers are paying attention to Mediaite’s “controversial” Glenn Beck obsession – I’ve heard from some – the truth lies somewhere in between what Pareene charges and what Mediaite would likely respond.

First of all, let’s be clear about one thing, there is no quid pro quo or anything close to a quid pro quo at work here and Pareene is dead wrong in implying as much. Of that I am certain. There are elements at Mediaite who truly believe that Glenn Beck is a transcendent media figure. They are wrong of course (I’ll get to why in a moment) but they really believe it. So the website’s obsessive coverage of Beck – you could be easily forgiven for believing that if Beck had a hangnail it would get a Mediaite mention – is rooted, however mistakenly, in this belief that Beck will transcend his political stomping grounds and achieve mainstream appeal. And Mediaite wants to be there when that happens, which is why readers are inundated with all things Beck. It’s a high stakes gamble for the website. Guess right and Mediaite looks positively Nostradamus like. Guess wrong and Mediaite has big time egg on its face, the kind of egg that doesn’t come off easily with a host of competitors at the ready to stick it to them as these sites are wont to do. Beck sees Mediaite’s coverage so of course he’s going to give them an exclusive. Can’t say I’d blame him. I would too if I was in his position. But this isn’t a you scratch my back I’ll give you an exclusive scenario. It’s more of a two people in the same boat scenario where their mutual interests intersect.

It would be interesting to see Beck try to become a transcendent media figure but that’s all but impossible and anyone who believes such is in denial of both reality and history. Glenn Beck is a political animal, a bomb thrower of the first order. In order for him to transcend and cross over into mainstream acceptability he needs the support of mainstream advertisers of the wholesome image variety; advertisers who wouldn’t hesitate in looking for someone with mass appeal across a wide spectrum of people of differing beliefs and views. The safe bet.

And therein lies the rub for Beck is not and never will be acceptable to a wide spectrum of people of differing beliefs and views. He napalmed that bridge with the first controversial thing he said, and he’s said plenty more controversial things since then. Any time he tries he’ll be met by advertiser boycotts of the first order and the advertisers will cave. Without mainstream advertiser support, any attempt at transcendency will fail. You won’t be seeing Beck at the Oscars except maybe as the guest of an invitee. You won’t see Beck announce the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade…or even show up as a featured guest. You won’t see Beck at the Tournament of Roses Parade. You won’t see Beck at the MTV Music Video Awards or Movie Awards. You won’t see Beck make a guest starring role on some hit TV show (not airing on Fox Network anyways). These are all things that transcendent media figures can do but advertiser scaring bomb throwers are barred from.

But don’t take my word for it. Instead look at another controversial media figure who has made numerous attempts at transcendency only to fail time after time. Two words; Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh took a stab at a syndicated TV show (helmed by a pre-FNC Roger Ailes) but was not able to successfully break through and the show only lasted a few years. Limbaugh tried to break through again with ESPN as an NFL commentator. The outcry was huge and then there was the Donovan McNabb incident and Limbaugh quit. Limbaugh allegedly tried to buy into the NFL with the Rams and the resultant outcry nixed those plans. Limbaugh is still pretty much where he was when he started all those decades ago; an influential amongst conservative circles talk radio bomb thrower and author who can’t expand his horizons beyond those limited confines because of the very opinions he espouses.

If Limbaugh has tried unsuccessfully for decades to achieve transcendency, what chance has Glenn Beck got? None, I would postulate.

13 Responses to “In Depth: Alex Pareene vs. Mediaite…”

  1. That..was a history lesson. Nice work, Spud.

  2. starbroker Says:

    Alex screws the pooch with this statement:

    All you had to do to get an exclusive with a major best-selling author is to be consistently, entirely uncritical of everything the man does.>

    Uncritical of everything Beck does? Glynis, Tommy and the others are obsessed with attacking Glen for anything he says or does. Alex must have only read Kraurers review and missed all of the obsessing hatred of Glen on the site.

    Of course I don’t know how we go from Alex getting that wrong to Glen Beck the transcendental star. Or all things Rush.

    Rush failed in the syndicated show because it simply wasn’t very good. It ran from 1992-1996. It wasn’t because of lack of advertisers but because the viewership wasn’t there. The TV show never had any kind of success at all that the radio show had.

    That’s no different than Bill O never really being a success on radio and he got creamed by Rush, Sean and others.

    Rush and ESPN. Whites can’t say ANYTHING critical about black athletes etc. But a Charles Barkley can be as racist against whites as he wants to be and he will be allowed to keep spewing his racism all day long. He can drive drunk etc but he’s black so the media look the other way.

    But Miller was great on MNF. Dan Fouts s t u n k. But even if a game was a blow out you could stick around to hear something like:

    “That punt was higher than Marion Berry on a fact-finding tour of Cartagena.”

    Too many of his jokes probably did go over the heads of a bunch of drunken Giants and Eagles M O R O N S.

    As far as Rush and the NFL–alot of it had to do with Skinny’s husband being an I D I O T. But what do you expect from a guy who wants to take the SB over to London. I mean NFL Films etc had enough problems just doing a regular season game over there. Yeah, lets take the SB there. NOT!

    Roger caved because he let alot of big mouth black NFL union reps mouth off.

    But all these threats of boycotts that don’t work. Remember how no team would sign Michael Vick because everyone was going to boycott the team that signed him? They’d lose all these sponsors etc. Huge pickets at games. You name it. Of course… fell flat. Just like the boycotts against Glen Beck haven’t worked.

    But the boycotts have helped with publicity. And as FNC readies to renegotiate its carriage agreements from .75-.80 to the next round $1.25….$1.50 or more… you can bet one of the reasons they will be able to get that will be because of Beck.

  3. joeremi Says:

    ^Calling that comment rambling and incoherent would be an insult to incoherent rambling.

  4. stevemg Says:

    I visit the Mediaite cite every week or so and they’ve run numerous critical stories on things Beck says.

    Usually the criticism has merit (Beck is, after all, a bottomless source of off-the-wall statements); sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s certainly there for anyone to read.

    For Pareene to say tha Mediaite has been “consistently, entirely uncritical of everything the man does” has no basis at all.

  5. mediasurvivor Says:

    @starbroker if you think FNC is going to get $1.50 per sub, you are dreaming. The ONLY networks to get more than a $1 are sports channels like ESPN and the regional sports nets.

    TNT and Disney Channel have come close, but have been met with stiff resistance from the MSOs.

    USA has been the #1 network on cable for years and it is struggling to get $0.90

    Also: TNT, USA, ESPN and Disney Channel are “safe” nets, with very little controversy, apolitical programming and are appealing to a wide variety of demographics.

    FNC has none of those qualities.

    FNC may get more than CNN, but it won’t be cracking $1 anytime soon.

  6. imnotblue Says:

    The Pareene article is poorly researched… simple as that.

    Mediaite is highly critical of everything Beck, and is (9 times out of 9.1 times) more favorable to ideas from the left, then they are from the right. The site is written by a host of former HuffPo folks, and known left-wing ideologues (that’s not an attack, that’s just their political position). There are a few non-partisans —or less-partisans— but as a whole, the site tilts strongly leftward.

    It seems (and this isn’t really surprising) that a publication like Slate want’s a more rigid presentation of information. No criticism of MSNBC, KO, or left-wing commentators. Perpetual and ruthless attacks on FNC, Beck, and right-wing sources. And any wandering from that, even slightly, is not to be tolerated.

    I hear Media Matters isn’t big fan of Mediaite either. However, that hardly means they’re not left-wing.

  7. Pareene is still the same self-impressed d-bag he was at Gawker, and Wonkette before that.

  8. lonestar77 Says:

    I read mediaite everyday and it’s rare that a day goes by that someone over there doesn’t bash Beck. Who are these loons like Alex Pareene? Where do they pull this stuff from. Five minutes of research would completely debunk the lies this person put forward. Mediaite is a left-wing website. There’s zero doubt about it.

  9. Wow BW, you have a good memory. Is BHDC even still around?

  10. Doubt it, since the article in question wouldn’t come up through the Google link and had to be put through the Waybackmachine.

    This guy was such an anus on Gawker, and one of us remembered this story making the rounds when he first started there.

  11. starbroker Says:

    Of course mediasurvivor you are trying to compare when TNT currently gets etc with what they will get in the future.

    FNC could grow to that in the next round by the time its done.

    There’s no reason for CNN/HLN to grow at all. But the current deals for FNC that grow to .75-.80 is way underpaying FNC for what it delivers.

    Especially when you compare FNC viewership with ESPN which goes to $5 a month in 2012.

    Also its not like the bargaining for dollars is equal.

    FNC is always in the top 3 most watched cable networks. Before XM/Sirius merged… the FNC channel was in the top most listened to channels on both networks.

    The problem USA/ TNT etc will face in the future…more and more will be viewing their content online making those channels less valuable.

  12. realreal10 Says:






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