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Be Careful What You Wish For: Glenn Beck Is Now Unchecked

What if Fox News was actually reining in Glenn Beck? Now accountable to nobody, could he become even more dangerous?


As you know by now, Glenn Beck is on his way out at Fox News. Shamed by a loss of nearly a third of his audience in the past year, as well as a growing list of displeased advertisers, the network's most infamous talking head is packing up his chalkboard and moving on. Beck compared himself to Paul Revere in his exit speech, and he vowed to "continue telling the story."

As you might expect, many liberals are claiming a victory. Though Beck has yet to say just when his program will end, according to David Brock, chairman of Media Matters, which has been working towards Beck's ouster harder than anyone else, Beck leaving is "a victory for civil discourse." And a headline on the Huffington Post read, simply, "It's over."

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Glenn Beck's Audience Is Getting Vastly Smaller, Older

Only your grandparents watch Glenn Beck these days.

If you can't stand the blubbering mess that is Fox News juggernaut Glenn Beck, chances are you're not a senior citizen. That's according to new Nielsen data that, if true and not ignored by Fox executives, could mean that Beck is on his way out of the national spotlight.

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Overload: Bill McKibben Learns He's a Communist, a Climate Scientist Turns the Tables, and More

The first-ever edition of Overload, a daily round-up of all the energy and environment news that's fit to link, by GOOD environment editor Ben Jervey.

Today I'm taking a page from Nicola's playbook (and Yglesias and Marginal Revolution and countless others before her) and starting a daily round-up of all the news that's fit to link. In other words, these are the tabs that accumulate on my browser over the course of a normal day's media saturation that I thought were really important but I didn't have the time to actually write about. (Today's will actually have some stuff that's gathered over the past week or two.)

Until I think of something better, I'll be calling it Overload, because it's the best vaguely energy-related term that was at all relevant to these sorts of posts. From now on, I'll wrap up every day with one of these round-ups on GOOD's Environment hub. And now, without further ado...

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Video: Conservative Film Says Environmentalism Is "Deadly to the Gospel of Jesus"

If Resisting the Green Dragon is to be believed, you working to prevent climate change is outright blasphemous.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEqSe9fR-64

Heads up, environmentalists: You may be headed for hell—at least if the makers of this new documentary are to be believed.

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Media Matters to Lunch with Rupert Murdoch: Will a Food Fight Erupt?

Liberal media watch dog Media Matters for America paid $86,000 in a charity action for its CEO to lunch with Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch.

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America followed the wisdom of that age-old adage when they paid $86,000 on a charity auction website to win a lunch with News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch (pictured above).

According to a press release on MMA's website, the nonprofit's founder David Brock and five invited guests will sit down for a "friendly lunch" with Murdoch, the conservative billionaire who owns Fox News. No date or restaurant has been set yet, nor has Brock announced which guests he'll bring or what he hopes they'll discuss.

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This week, on his mesmerizing FOX News show, Glenn Beck discussed the idea of doing away with the Department of Education. (Honestly, if no one actually took him seriously, Beck would be a satirist on the level of the writers behind South Park and The Simpsons.) Beck discussed the topic with The Cato Institute's Chris Edwards, author of Downsizing for the Federal Government, and Stephen Dubner, the former New York Times reporter and co-author of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics.

Beck argues that the Education Department, which is relatively new (founded in 1979), wastes $94 billion per year. Edwards hops on the bandwagon, explaining that the Department was initially created to fund poorer schools under Title I. However, he says, schools in his tony D.C. suburb of Fairfax, Virginia, are getting Title I funds. (The Education Trust, an advocacy organization that focuses on achievement gaps experienced by minority and low-income students pointed out recently that Title I funds are being misspent all around the country.)

While Dubner didn't get into abolishing the Department of Education, he did dispute Beck's characterization that schools in this country are "educational palaces." (I seriously doubt the thousands of teachers whose classrooms are in trailers that abut a school would agree with Beck's point.) He does, however, refer with some reverence to the schools run by KIPP and School of One.

Dubner then turned his comments on teachers:
Now, I think here's the thing: If you ask a lot of educators, a lot of the honest educators, what matters most in a school — OK, you got classroom size, dollars per student. What matter most? They all say — all the ones I've talked to and who do research, say one thing: teachers' skill. All that really matters, the teachers' skill.\n

Nixing the Department of Education is a Beck pipe dream, but eyes from both sides of the aisle began glaring at teachers and the unions that support them. There's not much else that Glenn Beck and a New York Times reporter (even a former one) are going to agree on.

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