Glenn Beck Launches Blaze, HuffPo Style Magazine

Capitalizing on the buzz from his weekend rally, talk host Glenn Beck launched a new online magazine called The Blaze overnight.

Capitalizing on the buzz from his weekend rally, talk host Glenn Beck launched a new online magazine called The Blaze overnight.

His rationale:

If you are like me, watching the news or reading the paper can be an exercise in exasperation. It’s so hard to find a place that helps me make sense of the world I see.

Too many important stories are overlooked. And too many times we see mainstream media outlets distorting facts to fit rigid agendas. Not that you’ve ever heard me complain about the media before. Okay, maybe once or twice.

But there comes a time when you have to stop complaining and do something. And so we decided to hire some actual journalists to launch a new website — The Blaze. And we moved fast. We built the team and the site in just two months.

We want this to be a place where you can find breaking news, original reporting, insightful opinions and engaging videos about the stories that matter most.

The Blaze will be about current news — and more. It’s not just politics and policy. It’s looking for insight wherever we find it. We’ll examine our culture, deal with matters of faith and family, and we won’t be afraid of a history lesson.

A decade ago, this would have filled a legitimate niche.  But there are now dozens of online news sites, many from the right, which do precisely this.

Mediaite‘s Steve Krakauer reports the site will be edited by Scott Baker, formerly of Breitbart TV and host of “The B-Cast”.

People will inevitably make the comparison to Arianna Huffington – whether Beck’s role as figurehead behind the site will make The Blaze into a conservative Huffington Post. “The one thing pretty clear around Mercury [Beck’s company] is that Glenn is not short on ideas or hesitant on input,” Baker said. “His input is already evident in how the site looks, and that’s what will continue. It will be a continual flow of tips and suggestions and encouragement.”

The “small scrappy staff” behind The Blaze include Baker as well as Jon Seidl, formerly of the Manhattan Institute and American Spectator, and Meredith Jessup, formerly of Town Hall. Also, Pam Key of Naked Emperor News will contribute as a video editor. Baker moved over to Mercury at the beginning of June and began shaping the site. He will continue hosting “The B-Cast” the daily web show, with Liz Stephans.

Aside from the ubiquitous ads from the Goldline scamsters, which seemingly undercuts the “faith and family” message, the site looks very much a right-leaning Huffington Post.    Tucker Carlson is already trying to fill that niche with Daily Caller.   But, let’s face it, Beck is a much bigger draw than Tucker.  The site has a very good chance of catching on despite the competition.

UPDATE:  In terms of the HuffPo comparison, there are at least two ways in which The Blaze thus far falls short.

First, while Beck is relying on a “small scrappy staff,” Huffington has a massive one, most of which are unpaid.  Presumably, Beck will follow suit here and, unlike Carlson, he’s well positioned to inspire enthusiasts willing to provide hundreds of pages of content every day in order to support the cause and for the privilege of seeing their name in print.

Second, while Huffington launched her site intending it to be a conglomeration of celebrity opinion — which it became — it only succeeded as a business model when she gave the audience what it really wanted.  Which is to say, celebrity gossip and soft core pornography.    While all or almost all of the stories highlighted on the front page on any given day are about politics, that’s not where the pageviews are coming from:

Given his family values platform, Beck will have a hard time copying this plank of Huffington’s success.

FILED UNDER: General,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Herb says:

    And too many times we see mainstream media outlets distorting facts to fit rigid agendas.

    It has always struck me as ironic that the answer to media bias is always….more bias.  I can’t wait to see what important but overlooked stories they’re going to push.  I suspect they won’t be all that important …which is why they’re overlooked.  Think Van Jones.

  2. Brummagem Joe says:

    Huffington is as phony as they come but she’s no fool as anyone familiar with her history would know. She was firstest with the mostest and I rather doubt Beck’s Blaze is going to turn into Huffington Conservativo but we’ll see. 

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    Rally at the Lincoln Memorial as merchandising kick-off?

  4. James Joyner says:

    Rally at the Lincoln Memorial as merchandising kick-off?

    I can’t decide whether Beck sees himself as some sort of evangelist or is simply a huckster in it for the cash.  But, either way, the timing was no accident.

  5. steve says:

    “I can’t decide whether Beck sees himself as some sort of evangelist or is simply a huckster in it for the cash.”

    The two are not mutually exclusive.

    Steve

  6. I can’t decide whether Beck sees himself as some sort of evangelist or is simply a huckster in it for the cash.

    Insert name of random televangelist here

    I’m not sure what Beck’s game really is either, though I did find some of the hints of Mormonism that were thrown into his speech on Saturday to be, well, interesting. Some have suggested that one of his goals is to make Mormonism more acceptable to Evangelicals.

  7. narciso says:

    Like with Warren Buffett, he doesn’t recommend a product that he doesn’t use himself, he’s probably had to rely more on sponsors like Goldline, precisely because of the four disparateboycotts directed from allies in and without the administration. Now the Huffington Post’s as is “Crooks and Liars’ is to poison the well, in the first place, so they have a different function than Blaze or the Daily Caller, They carry the Journolist’s talking points as with most other appendages of the Soros apparat.

  8. reid says:

    Great, another source of slanted news in the Partisan Wars.

  9. Brummagem Joe says:

    narciso says:

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 10:23 

    “Like with Warren Buffett, he doesn’t recommend a product that he doesn’t use himself, he’s probably had to rely more on sponsors like Goldline,”

    The difference being that Buffett’s products are kosher while Goldline is a scam.  

  10. G.A.Phillips says:

    ****Capitalizing on the buzz from his weekend rally, talk host Glenn Beck launched a new online magazine called The Blaze overnight.****

    lol yup there was no buzz concerning Glenn Beck till last weekend……wow…Gold line is a scam….wow…

    ****Some have suggested that one of his goals is to make Mormonism more acceptable to Evangelicals.****wow…

     This site is becoming sad, and delusional…..

  11. G.A.Phillips says:

    Have you ever sang Amazing Grace along with 500.000 Patriots and Veterans at the Lincoln memorial? Would you? I would. man it must have been Awesome!!!!!!

  12. <blockquote>Have you ever sang Amazing Grace along with 500.000 Patriots and Veterans at the Lincoln memorial? Would you? I would. man it must have been Awesome!!!!!!</blockquote>
    Because remember, only people who agree with Glenn Beck can be patriots.  The rest of you are fake americans, moral reprobates, and probably in league with Satan.

  13. James Joyner says:

    lol yup there was no buzz concerning Glenn Beck till last weekend……wow

    I’m not implying that Beck was previously an unknown. Obviously, the fact he was able to get a huge number of people to rally at the Mall is evidence otherwise.   But it’s undeniably the case that he got a lot of attention for the rally.  And, surely, the site was planned to take advantage of that fact.

    Gold line is a scam….wow…

    Wow, indeed.

    Beck tells his audience to go to Goldline and buy whatever they recommend. Serious investors buy bullion coins, which are standardized coin-shaped chunks of gold valued entirely for their metal content. Wouldn’t you know it? Goldline is pushing collector coins instead of bullion. The value of these so-called numismatic coins depends heavily on their appeal to collectors, which in turn depends on their aesthetic and historical properties. Guess what? Goldine is selling old gold coins of minimal collector value. If you want to invest in gold, the worst place to keep it is inside a numismatic coin.

    More to the point, Goldline is vastly overcharging its customers for these trinkets compared to its competitors. Ripping off your customers isn’t necessarily illegal, however. All kinds of stuff is vastly overpriced in this great free market of ours. What did our ancestors fight and die for if not our right to pay through the nose for overpriced crap?

    Beck has a conflict of interest regardless. He’s using his show to steer his viewers towards a lousy investment. A congressional investigation found that the coins are so overpriced that they’re useless as a hedge against inflation. The price of gold would have to nearly triple before the buyers of Goldline’s American Eagle coin could even break even. Beck is helping his sponsor fleece his audience.

    See also my previous post, “Glenn Beck – Goldline Scam” 

  14. BTW, I look forward to the coming trademark infringement lawsuit given that there’s already a large online news and opinion site named “The Blaze”.  Especially since <A HREF=”http://blaze.gaynewsnetwork.com.au/”>the site in question</A> is one of Austrailia’s largest gay and lesbian newspapers.

  15. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***Because remember, only people who agree with Glenn Beck can be patriots.  The rest of you are fake americans, moral reprobates, and probably in league with Satan.***ya this has a lot to do with me pointing something that happen at gathering besides the crowd size and how they were all white people.

    ***Beck tells his audience to go to Goldline and buy whatever they recommend.*** um im gonna have to call bullcrap right about here…

    If you want to attack goldline and it’s better business rating go right ahead.

    I could careless, but I would hardly call it a scam.

    *** he doesn’t recommend a product that he doesn’t use himself, he’s probably had to rely more on sponsors like Goldline, precisely because of the four disparate boycotts directed from allies in and without the administration.*** this is pretty on the spot.