Glenn Beck was on The View today, where after being called out on a story he used on his radio show involving meeting Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters on a train, he admitted that he doesn’t check facts. Beck said that he is not a journalist. He is a commentator on life.
Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:
Beck got called out on his lie, and Barbara Walters said, “You are an investigative reporter.” Beck said, “No, I am not.” She said, “You are a reporter.” Beck said, “No, I am not.” She asked, “So, you check no facts at all?” Beck said, “No, I am a commentator. I commentate on life.” Barbara Walters then asked Beck numerous times if he checks his facts, and he wouldn’t answer her question.
Glenn Beck learned a valuable lesson today. He should never go on The View if Barbara Walters, who in a previous professional life was a serious journalist, is on the show. You can tell that her mind was blown by the idea that Beck has millions of viewers and listeners, but checks no facts. This is how television news has changed. Twenty years ago, Beck would not have gotten a job in television news without basic journalism skills.
It is not that hard to have both strong opinions and check facts. However, it is difficult to find a media figure on the right who actually uses facts instead of bluster and personality. People like George Will, and the late William F. Buckley don’t exist in any numbers in conservative media.
Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh have replaced serious conservative conversation. On the left, there are still people like Bill Moyers willing to intelligently discuss issues, but there is no equivalent on the right except for the above mentioned Will.
Since Glenn Beck doesn’t bother to fact check, this is why millions of people should not rely on him as a valid source of information. Beck has said in a number of interviews that he views himself as an entertainer, but too many people take his show for fact. I wish that I could say that was a problem limited to just a few people, but in cable news today, confrontation has replaced information, because arguments sell more ad time.
Beck blames illness, but says The View interview was ridiculous: