The Glenn Beck media empire continues to swell. On Monday night, the conservative Fox News host launched TheBlaze.com, a political news and opinion site. It will be edited by former Breitbart TV editor Scott Baker and the news is already shaking up the blogosphere. In a blog post published at midnight, Beck explained the impetus for the site:
Too many important stories are overlooked. And too many times we see mainstream media outlets distorting facts to fit rigid agendas... 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.
Will The Blaze be the latest jewel in Beck's radio, print and live events empire?
- It Will Probably Be Wildly Successful, writes Steve Krakauer at Mediaite: "The true test will come in the weeks and months as the audience gets used to coming on a regular basis and the tone and style take shape... If it’s like past Beck media ventures, it’s probably headed for major success."
- I'm Not Optimistic About This, writes libertarian blogger Patrick at Political Byline: "My fear and realist intuition tells me... that this site will most likely be; and I do hope that I am wrong — just another Conservative echo chamber for the right. I think one of the biggest issues with the Conservative Blogosphere, is that there just is not any critical thinkers or intellectuals anymore. All you have are these people on the far-right, who stick to the normal talking points. There are exceptions to this rule, such as this site here. But the majority are just a part of the echo chamber."
- This Website Isn't About Conservatism—It's About Glenn Beck, writes Max Read at Gawker: "It's like they know exactly which stories matter! Like for example, stories about newspaper columnists writing complimentary things about Glenn Beck—I can't wait to read 'NY Times Columnist on Beck: 'I Underestimated the Man,' and 'Kurtz Defends Beck: He's Not Like Al-Qaeda.' Maybe they could just devote a whole section of the site to articles about articles about Glenn?"
- Not Necessarily, counters Lacey Rose at Forbes: "By launching a site propped up by a team of journalists rather than just a hub for his own (popular) rants, Beck appears to be making good on another promise: to expand the Beck empire without simply serving up more Beck. Though there’s still a tremendous amount of him out there –and it’s hard to believe his presence won’t be known on the new site– The Blaze seems an effort to not only build his farm team but also promote his larger themes without risking his own overexposure, not to mention wreaking (further) havoc on his already dizzying schedule."
- How Is He Monetizing It? wonders Ellen at News Hounds: "The guy never seems to sneeze without figuring a way to earn money and promote himself so it's hard to believe that some self-aggrandizing, profit-making scheme won't be far behind this launch." Will Bunch at the Philadelphia Daily News has an answer: "The site -- which is already live -- is already running ads for Goldline International."
- Looks Like It's Off to a Good Start, writes a sardonic Josh Duboff at New York magazine: "There's really no reason to think that Glenn's fervent fan base... won't take the leap online with him. Glenn’s introductory message posted tonight had generated over 200 (mostly fawning) comments within an hour, such as user Memphis' 'Hurray For The Blaze! Set Huff Po ON FIRE!!!' and commenter Philo Beddoe's aesthetically-focused "Finally a site that I can easily read and not squint... God Bless Glenn Beck."