Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Glenn Beck TV

Glenn Beck has this hilarious commercial on his radio program.  An Elderly Parent wants to DVR Glenn’s television show.  But he doesn’t know how to do it.  So he calls his adult son and asks him to guide him through the recording process.  The Elderly P is confused about all the buttons on the remote and the adult son is frustrated.  Finally, the announcer advises adult children not to have their Elderly Ps try to record Glenn’s program.  “On second thought,” he says, “just do it for them.”

If Elderly Ps have a problem with recording on their DVD recorders, or DVR’g a program if they have that feature, they’re going to be really confused when they learn that Glenn’s television program is going away altogether and so is his radio program, pretty much.  All his programming is going over to the Internet.

I’m not sure (since I don’t have the service myself) but I believe you can get the Glenn Beck program on Satellite Radio.  You can’t get the program over the airwaves for free anymore in the New York City market.  If you want to hear his program, you have to plug into a computer or an Ipad to hear him.

That’s a heck of a lot of new technology we’re going to have to explain to our Elderly Ps.  My own mother is just grasping the concept of the Internet.  It took us forever to get her to subscribe to cable television and an awfully long time to get her to agree to owning a laptop computer.  Since we’ve programmed it for her, she loves it.  We put our Facebook pages up for her and she has e-mail now.

But now we’re going to have to sell our Elderly Ps and even financially cautious brothers and sisters on the idea of tuning into Glenn’s program on the computer.  When I told Mom that she’d be able to watch DVDs and even live content on her computer, she said, “Why do I have to do that when my television is right there [on a convenient shelf in her kitchen]?”

We do have our work cut out for us.  Mom is really old school.  I’ve had a hard time trying to wean her off CBS News ever since Fox started broadcasting.  She’s still stuck in the 1960s when the Big Three were the only game in town.  She probably would watch Fox, but she doesn’t approve of the mini-skirted anchorettes, even if some of them do have law degrees.  She considers Glenn a cult figure and that somehow I’ve been mesmerized by this rich money-maker.

The notion that she would have to pay to watch him on a device she barely understands would, frankly, appall my Depression-Era mother.  Fortunately, I already have the Insider Extreme subscription and can easily sign on her computer with my password.  She doesn’t have to know what I pay for it.

So, the fact that Glenn will have his own television network is a good sale for the Moms of the world – no mini-skirted anchorettes.  S.E. Cupp is young, attractive, smart, and demure.  Like helping our Elderly Ps with DVRg the old television program, we might just have to do “GBTV” for them.

However, even younger people are baffled by GBTV.  So here’s what it’s all about, you guys.

You all know about YouTube.  We’ve all watched some very funny videos on YouTube.  You can also catch concerts, school games, just about anything.  Glenn Beck’s new GBTV network works on the same principle.  Advanced technology is making increasingly possible to watch programs on the Internet on your television.  Optimum Online already offers this service.  I’m not sure what the service costs.  However, one day, you may not even need cable television anymore.

We will need Glenn Beck, however.  And Fox News.  We’ve seen just how bad the Progressive Socialists are from watching their televised behavior in Wisconsin.  Those of us old enough remember the Hippies and War Protesters from the Sixties, and all the riots in those long, hot summers.  Glenn is targeting the grown-up version of the Hippies – and they’re targeting him.

They’ve wormed their way up to the head of government, as well as corporations and advertising agencies.  They’re in charge of choosing the programs on which companies will advertise.  They use their organizational powers to lodge complaints against any company that advertises on Glenn’s program.  We’ve been paying our cable television bills all these years, originally for the purpose of not having to watch or depend upon advertising.  We saw how long that lasted.

We haven’t been getting “free” programming for a very long time.  Yet we still regard Glenn’s program as free, when it really isn’t.  Producing a television program is expensive.  Advertising costs are built in to every product we buy.  So we’re paying twice for a program.  Once, when we buy a product or service, and again, when we pay our cable bills, which are astronomical, and also socialistic.  Our bills are loaded with socialistic, bureaucratic fees.  Free computers for the underprivileged.

Once someone else starts paying our bills, freedom goes out the window.  The Progressives have managed to force Glenn’s program off the air.  Advertisers refuse to underwrite the “risk” of running Glenn’s program.  Fox News can’t afford to keep losing advertisers.  What’s more, Roger Ailes has to put the kibosh on a lot of Glenn’s content.  So much for freedom of speech.

In Ailes’ defense, he also needs on-air talent that’s going to show up and Glenn has been on the road quite a bit.  Finally, they decided to part ways.   Cable television is pretty much sewn up and hemmed in now by regulations, advertising dollars, and politics.  But cable’s days were already numbered anyway once YouTube hit the scene, making it possible to view content online.

Enterprising businesspeople have come up with ways to make computer content viewable on television sets, which have different screen dimensions.  The Internet is largely unregulated, for the time being.  The start-up costs, as Glenn, has noted, are expensive, but the long-term benefits for both producer and viewer are enormous.

Right now, he does have to charge a fee in order to make viewing his program possible.  Remember – we used to have to pay a fee for advertising-free cable television as well.  But then production and regulatory costs rose, and in came the advertisers.  Subscription is the only way for free speech to survive.  You don’t get magazines for free, but you only get the ones you want.  Internet TV will be no different.  Freedom isn’t free.  Eventually, this melding of the television and the Internet will catch on.  Popularity will drive down the cost but will drive out free speech and Glenn Beck, and his successors, will be forced to pioneer new mediums.

The Glenn Beck TV title is confusing right now because you’ll be viewing him on your computer or Ipad not your television, but one day, it won’t be, because he’ll be back on regular television sets, but they’ll be new televisions with a different way of broadcasting. The change will be hard on lower and middle-income viewers, and the elderly, especially in this bad economy.

I remember when color television sets first came out.  We were very poor and couldn’t afford one.  We had to make do with black and white.  We only got a color television set about the time cable television came into being, which we subscribed to almost right away.  By that time, I was working at my first job and could afford the bill.  At that time, it was only $9.95 a month.  Now, it’s over $120 per month, although that includes my telephone and computer bills.

In another week, our company is going to make an announcement about office closings.  The prospect is quite grim for our office.  By this time next year, I will probably be making decisions about budget cuts of my own.  On consideration, I suspect what I will be dropping is not my internet connection, but my cable connection.  I’m not a big eater, my mortgage is nearly paid off, and I’ll have more time to cut coupons and bargain-hunt.  I’ve made sure that my needs are few and have saved a survivable sum for the future.

My most expensive habits are books and DVDs, and blood pressure medication.  I’ve eliminated all the salt I can.  I’m hoping maybe one day I won’t need them.  I have quite a collection of DVDs.  I always bargain hunt, and the number of times I’ve watched most of those movies has more than made up for the rental fees.  I class my books in the education category.  Since I never went for my graduate degree, and couldn’t afford one now even if I could get past the GREs (and that’s sure not going to happen), I feel the cost of the books is justified.

My other justified educational costs are my magazine subscriptions and the subscription to Glenn Beck’s program and Rush Limbaugh’s newsletter.  I already know most of what Glenn knows, but not everything.  I consider his and Rush’s important voices in the struggle for freedom, and I’m willing to underwrite them as long as I’m able.  Their voices need to be heard, one way, if not another.

Even if we have to pay to hear them, what they can tell us and tell America, especially America’s brainwashed younger generation, is a solid investment in our future.  You can buy a used car.  I’m within walking distance of every store I need to shop at.  The New York City bus stop is a three-minute walk (even closer than the stores).  I can lower the insurance on my car, watch more carefully my use of electricity, buy cheaper goods.  I do have to replace my kitchen sink and cabinets, which are rusting away, but everything else in my home, I can make do with.  Even if I have to replace yet another water heater or refrigerator, I can find a way.

But once freedom, truth, and honor are gone, all the money in the world can’t replace them.  Subscribing to Glenn Beck’s Internet TV program is like taking out an insurance policy on your liberty.  You can play it cheap.  You’d certainly have reason to and no one would blame you.  But do you really want to take that chance?

(A note to Glenn Beck - I've done my part here.  Now enough with the jokes about workers who listen to your program.  How else are we going to drown out the dreadful Muzak?)

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