Saturday, September 26, 2009

Glenn Beck is the new Oprah

I have been a Glenn Beck fan for a while, mostly because I tended to listen to anyone from the right willing to criticize Bush, but recently, his show is getting wierder, and I like it less. I still enjoy his radio show, and I loved his CNN show when he still had it. Beck's Fox News TV show is becoming more popular, and I couldn't put my finger on what I liked less about it. Then yesterday, he had his patriot moms show, where he had a bunch of conservative moms, most of whom homeschooled their children, on for a conversation with them. They complained about issues that they faced with society and government, and he listened to them. You could feel his empathy, and the moms were obviously glad to have a voice and feel a part of something. Several of them had very real problems of harassment by bureaucrats at various levels of government. Then it hit me. Glenn Beck is using the Oprah Winfrey model to go after Oprah's viewers. He gives a voice to the voiceless, talks about problems that average, everyday women face, and gets viewers that care about those problems. Just like Oprah, he gets viewers that are involved in the show beyond just viewing. When he recommends a book, it flies to the top of best-seller lists. He challenges viewers to do something to make a difference in their world. And hundreds of thousands of them show up to Washington at his suggestion. Beck's new job as housewife hero is powerful one for entertainer/newsman, but that with that power comes great responsibility. I pray that Beck will keep his legions of followers pointed in the right direction.

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