Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What did Glenn Beck buy w/ the $300K from "charity" event that was supposed to go to struggling Ohio town?

As Media Matters noted over the weekend, the Wilmington Journal in Ohio recently reported that Glenn Beck has yet to make good on his pledges to make big donations to the struggling Ohio town. Did Beck, who earns $32 million annually, misplace his checkbook, or has he had second thoughts about honoring his pledge?

You'll recall in December, Beck made a big media push by traveling to Wilmington and broadcasting his syndicated radio show and his Fox News television show from the middle-class town in hopes of raising awareness about his unemployment struggle.

But as usual with Beck, whatever good intentions he may have had were quickly overshadowed by his inability to tell the truth. (About anything.)

Even more upsetting now is the news that, to date, Beck has stiffed Wilmington in terms of the charitable donations he and his producers claimed the host would make following his widely publicized visit. Incredibly, last week when the Wilmington Journal tried to get answers about the no-show donations, the paper was ignored by Beck's producers.

It's possible that Beck will one day honor his word and make the donations, but right now this looks really, really bad.

From the Journal [emphasis added]:

Beck's live television broadcast at the Murphy Theatre sold out all 860 seats at $125 apiece. By that count, the box office income alone could have exceeded $100,000. (Producers from the Glenn Beck Program did not return phone calls or email messages seeking comment or clarification.) And an early morning breakfast with the talk-show host cost 70 of his fans $500 a plate.

Danny Mongold, the president of the Murphy board of trustees, said he received a check from Beck's production team last week covering the rental fee for the theater. The city was paid $10,780 for police overtime and other related costs, Curliss said.

So, for the live TV broadcast Beck banked more than $100,000 in ticket sales. (Question for Fox News execs: Do you often allow hosts to charge fans money to attend a Fox News taping?) Then there was the VIP breakfast with Beck banked another $35,000. Pretty simple, right? Beck should take all that money, subtract the cost of the theater rental and the police overtime, and write a big check to Wilmington and various local charities. I'd say $100,000 sounds fair.

But that actually only represents a portion of the money Beck pulled in that day while he was, in theory, trying to help a town racked with high unemployment. Beck also sold tickets to the live radio broadcast from Wilmington that day, which Media Matters pointed out at the time, did not sell out. But let's say that Beck sold half the theater for the radio show. That would represent another $50,000 in box office income. And then don't forget Beck also staged a one-man "Christmas" performancein Wilmington, which came after his TV show was taped in town. That did sell-out, which means Beck banked another $100,000, or so.

Do you get the picture? Beck swooped into Wilmington supposedly on a mission of good will. But during his one day in town he likely generated nearly $300,000 in revenue from ticket sales. That's okay, his handlers insisted at the time, because the money's going to charities to help Wilmington's down-on-their-luck residents.

Except that one month later none of that money has gone to charity, and Beck's producers aren't answering any questions.

So I'll ask again: Did Glenn Beck lose his checkbook?

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