Since the World Cup began Glenn Beck has been at war with soccer. First, Beck claimed that America hates the World Cup, and then he equated the World Cup with the bubonic plague, so why does Beck hate the World Cup? The answer is in the ratings. Almost 3 million Americans are tuning into the World Cup compared to the 1.7 million who watch Beck sinking show.
This all started on Beck’s June 11 radio show when he proclaimed that he and America hate the World Cup, “It doesn’t matter how you sell it to us. It doesn’t matter how many celebrities you get. It doesn’t matter how many bars open early. It doesn’t matter how many beer commercials they run. We don’t want the World Cup. We don’t like the World Cup. We don’t like soccer. We want nothing to do with it. You can package it any way — you can spend all kinds of money. You can force it on our television sets. We will not enjoy the World Cup.”
On his radio show on Friday, Beck compared the World Cup to the bubonic plague:
Beck said, “I want to make a statement to all of the soccer fans in our listening audience. I have been getting an awful lot of heat. We’ve had a ton of mail, much of it from overseas, and I have been asked to address it, so if I may just take this time to say that when I said that World Cup soccer was something that would never interest Americans. It is a loser sport. I meant it, and I want you to know that the retraction will never come out of this mouth…But I want you to know, but especially you Europeans, you’ve done so much for the world. You’ve brought us socialism. You’ve brought us two world wars. You brought us the bubonic plague, and now you bring us World Cup soccer.”
I originally thought that Beck hated the World Cup, because it was something that he felt that “real Americans” should not associate with, but it turns out that Mr. Beck’s hatred may actually be jealousy. If your follow the television ratings, or at least read us here, you know that Glenn Beck is hemorrhaging viewers. Viewers are fleeing his show each week. It is getting to the point where every week brings Glenn a new all time low in total viewers.
Contrary to what Beck has said Americans are enjoying the World Cup, and the ratings back it up. According to the AP, Friday morning’s US-Slovenia match was watched by 5.2 million Americans. First the first 23 matches in the tournament through Friday, an average of 2.95 million Americans have watched on ABC/ESPN. An additional 3.4 million Americans have followed the matches live on the Internet.
Unlike Beck, the World Cup is has been pulling record ratings. I know that Beck is trying to play to his audience of stereotypical right wingers who reject anything foreign as un-American, but perhaps, we can learn something from these ratings. Maybe, just maybe, Americans aren’t as closed minded as Glenn Beck hopes, because from the look of it, Americans are a whole lot closer to rejecting Glenn Beck and his divisive hate speech, than they are to rejecting the global unity and cooperation which is represented by the World Cup.