Is Glenn Beck accusing Fox Broadcasting Co. and Rupert Murdoch of engaging in Maoist activities?

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI, KIRSTIN ELLISON & MORGAN WEILAND

During his October 19 Fox News show, Glenn Beck ranted that, because of the overlap in the message of volunteerism from President Obama's "Corporation for National and Community Service and a call for more service and volunteerism" on network television from the Entertainment Industry Foundation, "[i]t's almost like we're living in Mao's China right now" and noted that NBC executive Mitch Metcalf is an "EIF board member," exclaiming, "[M]y God, it can't be." But Fox Broadcasting Co. -- which airs Fox News programming and, like Fox News, is owned by News Corp. -- is also participating in EIF's volunteer initiative, and has a vice president who sit on EIF's board of directors with Metcalf; further, News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch sits on EIF's "honorary board of governors."

Beck's volunteerism conspiracy theory: "It's almost like we're living in Mao's China right now"

Beck suggests conspiracy between White House, entertainment industry to promote volunteerism. Noting that the EIF is promoting volunteerism though its iParticipate campaign, through which "more than 60 network television shows" will incorporate "service and volunteerism" into their plots, Beck asked: "[I]s it just a coincidence that all of this falls into line with President Obama's Corporation for National and Community Service and a call for more service and volunteerism, or not a coincidence at all?" He continued:

Well, Andrew Breitbart's BigHollywood.com has published now a memo from EIF -- remember? It reads in part, quote, "President Obama has called for a new era of responsibility." Wait a minute. Hang on. I think I read about this or heard in that conference call with the NEA -- something like this.

Anyway, "A new era for responsibility, recognition on the part of every American that we have our duties to ourselves, our nation, and to our world to serve others. It is the price and promise of citizenship. In response, our television community with the Entertainment Industry Foundation will launch a multi-year campaign to inspire action and promote a new way of thinking about service."

Well, this is fantastic. It's almost like we're living in Mao's China right now. But Mitch Metcalf, an EIF board member and NBC executive -- my God, it can't be. Come on, Anita, call me. Lookit, Chairman Mao is right there ready to take your phone call. Go ahead. Call me on that one.

[...]

First, Green Week and now, Service Week. Soon we can have 52 weeks of the White House just writing scripts and tell us what we should all do.

But Fox Broadcasting Co. is part of EIF's volunteer initiative

As video Beck himself aired indicated, Fox is participating in EIF's program. Beck aired a clip of first lady Michelle Obama praising EIF's program and saying in part: "This foundation has enlisted the four major networks, ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, to take part in a week-long television event in support of national service. It's going to be a great thing." Indeed, Fox, with ABC, CBS, and NBC, is part of EIF's iParticipate initiative, "which promotes a new way of thinking about service and seeks to persuade millions more Americans to volunteer regularly. As a centerpiece, the major broadcast networks and others will spotlight service through scripted programming, segments and PSAs with inspirational messages and storylines about volunteerism. More than 60 shows have signed up to participate." [EIF press release, 10/1/09]

Fox actors part of EIF public service announcement. Actress Emily Deschanel from the Fox program Bones and Michael Strahan of Fox's Brothers and Fox NFL Sunday are both participating in a "new public service announcement that encourages viewers to tune in to an unprecedented week of television, October 19 -25, as part of EIF's iParticipate national initiative to promote service and volunteering." [EIF press release, 10/1/09]

Fox exec on EIF board of directors with NBC's Metcalf. In addition to Metcalf, who Beck noted is an EIF board member, Preston Beckman, executive vice president for strategic program planning and research for the Fox Broadcasting Co., is a member at large of EIF's operating board of directors. Additionally, Vanessa Morrison, president of 20th Century Fox Animation, which is owned by News Corp., is an at-large member of EIF's operating board of directors. [EIF Leadership Web page]

Rupert Murdoch sits on EIF's "honorary board of governors." A "backgrounder" for EIF lists News. Corp chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch as sitting on the group's "honorary board of governors."

Fox executive: "It's just heartwarming to see how everyone embraced this" and left out politics. An October 12 USA Today article about the EIF service announcement quoted Beckman stating: "It's just heartwarming to see how everyone embraced this. ... It's great when you can find something that unites all of us, regardless of our political views." USA Today also reported that Fox is "incorporating I Participate into scripted series and PSAs for other shows, including Bones, So You Think You Can Dance and COPS."

Fox reaching "out to its affiliates as well as sister cable nets for support." Variety reported on October 18 that "Fox scheduling topper Preston Beckman said the network reached out to its affiliates as well as sister cable nets for support. 'It's a team effort,' Beckman said. Exec said Fox stars participating in PSAs include Tamara Taylor ('Bones'), Lance Reddick ('Fringe') and Nigel Lythgoe ('So You Think You Can Dance')."

Transcript

From the October 19 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: When you're watching TV this week, you might notice a common theme on some of your favorite TV shows -- service and volunteerism. You might think if you're an average viewer, "Gee, that's a coincidence. Look at how much it's popping up."

The Entertainment Industry Foundation, EIF, a major Hollywood charitable organization which has been around for almost 70 years, raises money for health, educational, and social issues, is suddenly interested in being volunteers.

This week, you will see it all over your television set, on more than 60 network television shows -- 60. And not just a public service announcement, but service and volunteerism will be worked into the plots.

Your favorite character might volunteer at the dog shelter or at the park or whatever. The EIF says their multi-year iParticipate campaign will, quote, "promote a new way of thinking about service and seek to persuade millions more Americans to volunteer regularly," end quote, in education, community health, environmental conservation, financial security, and support for military families. Oh, that's great. Thanks for the military tip of the hat.

That sounds great, doesn't it? I just have one pesky question -- are we running out of volunteers in this country? I mean, Americans are some of the most generous and giving people in the world. Are we trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist? Are we creating a problem that doesn't exist, to have an emergency that doesn't yet exist? Or is it just a coincidence that all of this falls into line with President Obama's Corporation for National and Community Service and a call for more service and volunteerism, or not a coincidence at all?

Well, Andrew Breitbart's BigHollywood.com has published now a memo from EIF -- remember? It reads in part, quote, "President Obama has called for a new era of responsibility." Wait a minute. Hang on. I think I read about this or heard in that conference call with the NEA -- something like this.

Anyway, "A new era for responsibility, recognition on the part of every American that we have our duties to ourselves, our nation, and to our world to serve others. It is the price and promise of citizenship. In response, our television community with the Entertainment Industry Foundation will launch a multi-year campaign to inspire action and promote a new way of thinking about service."

Well, this is fantastic. It's almost like we're living in Mao's China right now. But Mitch Metcalf, an EIF board member and NBC executive -- my God, it can't be. Come on, Anita, call me. Lookit, Chairman Mao is right there ready to take your phone call. Go ahead. Call me on that one.

This can't be true, right? An NBC executive? Told the L.A. Times, "We came up with this idea over a year ago," and quote, "We were lucky that the Obama administration happened to think that this was a worthy cause."

I can't even read this with a straight face. And the first lady, in particular, is behind this general effort. We're certainly not servicing the White House. No, no, not at all. And it's not like the first lady has an interest.

MICHELLE OBAMA [video clip]: And today I'm also pleased to announce one outstanding example of that, an initiative created by the Entertainment Industry Foundation, an organization that harnesses the power of Hollywood to raise awareness of and money for pressing social causes. This foundation has enlisted the four major networks, ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, to take part in a week-long television event in support of national service. It's going to be a great thing.

BECK: Oh, it is. You love me. You really love me. This award means so much. Thank you. First, Green Week and now, Service Week. Soon we can have 52 weeks of the White House just writing scripts and tell us what we should all do.

Last month, when the mayor of New York was celebrating a Day of Service -- you know, instead of a day offer remembrance to mark 9/11 -- all of the celebs were out there to push for volunteerism, even Ashton Kutcher.

KUTCHER [video clip]: Volunteering is, when we really break it down, is working for free. It's like I got -- and I'm thinking that's not my -- I gotta go out and tell people, "Yeah, get excited to go to work and not make any money," and get -- especially when it's tough to come by money. And I'm like, "How am I going to really encourage people to do that?"

BECK: I don't know. You should read some Marx. He'll help you on that. Thanks for the info, Ashton. Volunteering is working for free -- remember that. Glad you're part of this movement. But Disney is getting behind this, too -- oh, the owners of ABC Television.

They have a new program starting in January. If you put in a day of service, you get a free day at Disney World or Disneyland. Hang on, I'm using -- Ashton's words are coming to my head, now -- isn't it working for free? Wouldn't that not then be volunteerism, because you're getting paid with a day at Disney?

Celebrities are coming together to make it cool to volunteer. Disney gives you a free day at the park. This is all fine, but doesn't it seem a little bit convenient that all of this comes out now at the same time the Obama administration is calling for it?

Obama controls the message through the media he holds in his pocket, or his little hand, that soon, if you disobey, he'll just go [slaps hand].

Now, the message will be embedded in television shows. Isn't that great? Aren't you proud of what we're doing? Oh, this certainly is change. Remember, during the Bush administration, the media slammed the administration for paying a conservative columnist for supporting the Bush administration's education plan.

Remember? They did their job then. Where are you now? Why do we need government, Republican or Democrat, feeding us propaganda, and propaganda to volunteer? I mean, I'd rather hear a message of service from a church or a synagogue or a mosque, you know, where a free trip is not part of the deal. Wouldn't you?

Oh, gee, there I go again. I'm sorry, Anita. I'm sorry, Mr. President. Am I asking too many questions again?

Information control -- I'm going to break it down for you. And I believe by the end of the week, you'll be shocked.

Posted In
Government, The Presidency & White House
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Glenn Beck
Show/Publication
Glenn Beck show
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