March 15, 2010

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Howard Kurtz has an interesting piece today about how some Fox News employees seem to think Glenn Beck taints their brand. Isn't this sort of like the madam in a brothel worrying about her reputation for virtue? The real shock in this story is that there are people at Fox News who still consider themselves "journalists" - funny, considering how they must already work within the ideological confines of Roger Ailes' famous daily memos:

In just over a year, Glenn Beck's blinding burst of stardom has often seemed to overshadow the rest of Fox News.

And that may not be a good thing for the top-rated cable news channel, as many of its staffers are acutely aware.

With his celebrity fueled by a Time cover story, best-selling books, cheerleading role at protest rallies and steady stream of divisive remarks, Beck is drawing big ratings. But there is a deep split within Fox between those -- led by Chairman Roger Ailes -- who are supportive, and many journalists who are worried about the prospect that Beck is becoming the face of the network.

By calling President Obama a racist and branding progressivism a "cancer," Beck has achieved a lightning-rod status that is unusual even for the network owned by Rupert Murdoch. And that, in turn, has complicated the channel's efforts to neutralize White House criticism that Fox is not really a news organization. Beck has become a constant topic of conversation among Fox journalists, some of whom say they believe he uses distorted or inflammatory rhetoric that undermines their credibility.

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