Monday, July 27, 2009

Glenn Beck and the Trashman

Last week I decided to stop recording Glenn Beck. After his show moved to an earlier time on Fox News, the only way I could watch it was to record it.

I find Glenn entertaining. I agree with most of his viewpoints. I enjoy listening to most of his guests. The problem I have with Glenn is a complete focus on negative news. I call it the "Trashman effect".

Most trashmen (or waste management engineers ;-) probably have the perspective that the average citizen is very wasteful. Tons of new evidence is provided everyday.

I experienced a similar effect during one of my jobs as a college student. I delivered summons for an attorney service in Los Angeles. There were tenets suing landlords, landlords suing tenets. Businesses suing customers, customers suing businesses. Even neighbors suing neighbors. My perspective was that everyone in LA was suing everyone else, or at least trying to use the law to get something from someone else. I had my life threatened 3 times. LA seemed very ugly during this period. Five years earlier, I was a volunteer for the 1984 Olympics and LA was a beautiful place. The difference wasn't the five years, but instead what I was focusing on.

Back to Glenn Beck. I feel like his presentation of the news has a similar effect.
The trigger for me was a story on CIT, a major lender to small and medium size businesses. CIT announced that they would be filing for bankruptcy. Glenn posed the question as to why the Federal government wasn't offering to bail out CIT, since small businesses provide about 70% of all jobs in the US. Of course he didn't really want a bailout for CIT, since he's opposed to bailouts.

The next day, CIT bondholders agreed to provide a $3 billion dollar emergency loan. Glenn never mentioned this follow up story. I thought it was a perfect example of how failure should be dealt with. If a company is worth saving, the stake holders should try to save it. A perfect opportunity for Glenn to say "this is how it should be done". Instead of providing some good news, he went on to more bad news that day. The "trashman effect".

I'll miss you Glenn.

Now if I can only find news online that isn't trash...


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