NBC, WSJ Position Glenn Beck to Be as Relevant as Obama, Pelosi

By Andrew Gauthier 


Glenn Beck has only been on the Fox News Channel since January but in that short period of time he has set ratings records, appeared on the cover of Time magazine, and even gotten a couple of White House aids to resign. CBS News’ Katie Couric described him this week as a “one-man cottage industry” as his influence expands beyond FNC to books, public appearances, and a syndicated radio show. A live CNN report was even interrupted recently by conservative protestors shouting “Glenn Beck! Glenn Beck!”

With Republicans struggling to establish clear party leadership during the first year of the Obama administration, many have named Beck as the de facto leader of the minority party. Now, NBC News and The Wall Street Journal have cemented this popular assertion and emphasized Beck’s significant influence over politcal affairs. In a new survey, the two news organizations place the new prince of Fair and Balanced on the same level as President Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Study #6097 is a typical poll constructed to gauge the public’s opinion on pressing issues. NBC News and The Wall Street Journal compiled an extensive list of multiple choice questions that ask respondents about their opinions on the President, the major politic parties, the economy, and health care, among other things. “Buried in the cross-tabs,” though, as political analysis group FiveThirtyEight puts it, is a question about Glenn Beck.

The study has no questions about House Minority Leader John Boehner, no questions about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and no questions even about Vice President Joe Biden. According to this study, NBC News and The Wall Street Journal feel that Beck is equally–or nearly as–relevant to the current political landscape as President Obama and Speaker of the House Pelosi.

The results of the study show that 24% of Americans have a favorable view of Beck (14% strongly). The study also shows, though, that Beck may still have a ways to go in raising his stature as 42% of the respondents were not sure of who he is.