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FOX News Won't Give Event Coverage To Beck's 8/28 Rally

Reported by Ellen - August 23, 2010 -

Co-authored by Aria

On his August 17th radio broadcast, Glenn Beck confirmed that his 8/28 rally will not be given event coverage on FOX News. Instead, he said he was told, he will receive "news segments.” Beck quickly claimed that he didn't know why the decision was made, but the rushed, resentful tone of voice suggested that whatever he had been told he did not like.

FOX News’ Executive VP of Programming, Bill Shine, has proven to be fairly enigmatic about the reasons as well. He told Mediaite, “FOX News has nothing to do with the rally – we will cover it as a news event alongside other news throughout that day.” Shine apparently declined to elaborate further. However, the event is controversial in that Beck – who notoriously called President Obama a racist and has since lost advertisers and come under scrutiny for other questionable racial attitudes – is holding the rally in the same place and on the same date as Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. One of Beck’s own colleagues, Greta Van Susteren, suggested he move the event, saying "It does not help heal the country on so many fronts if we poke a stick in eyes.” Countermarches and demonstrations have also been scheduled, some headlined by noted civil rights leaders.

Although Fox News has relentlessly promoted other conservative demonstration, including the Glenn-Beck-inspired 9/12 demonstrations, this one would have been an obvious headache for Fox, still maintaining that it is “fair and balanced,” and still reeling from its role in the Shirley Sherrid fiasco. And though they won’t admit it, Beck is already a PR problem for Fox. Would Fox air coverage of Beck's protest only? Give equal time to the counter protests? Given Fox News' track record on civil rights, it's doubtful they'd choose the latter. But the former would probably be a headache, too. It's easy to see why they decided to sidestep the issue.

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