TVNewser is reporting that Fox News has sent Glenn Beck on a forced vacation this week in an attempt to take some of the heat off of the host he has seen almost two dozen advertisers leave his show. Rumor has it that Beck himself was telling people that FNC forced him to take the week off. The network and Beck’s publicist have denied the report.
TVNewser posted, “Tipsters inside Fox News tell us Glenn Beck’s vacation this week from his Fox News show was not planned. We hear Beck was told to take this week off to let some of the heat surrounding him die down.” The heat was caused by Beck’s charge that President Obama is a racist. This claim resulted in the group Color of Change applying pressure on Beck’s advertisers to drop him.
Although it would not be unusual for a talk show host to go on vacation during the slow days of August, it is ironic and a bit suspicious that Beck goes on vacation after Wal-Mart dropped their advertising from his show. This kind of successful advertiser boycott is highly unusual for Fox News. The network is used to activists protesting them, but there has never been a pressure campaign against advertisers that has had this type of impact.
Glenn Beck pulls some of the biggest ratings in cable news, so he is not going anywhere, but if the brass at FNC needed time to let things cool down and devise a counter strategy, so sending Beck in vacation makes a lot of sense. Of course, Fox News is going to deny sending Beck on vacation, because they don’t want to admit that the Color of Change campaign is having an impact.
Beck’s publicist, Matthew Hiltzik, called the story bogus, “It’s sad and disappointing that despite denials from all parties involved — Fox and Glenn — and with objective proof that plans were made months ago, that someone continues to peddle this completely bogus story.” Beck’s people can deny it, but their story doesn’t quite pass the smell test. If this was a planned vacation, it could not have come at a better time for Beck and FNC.