Going Public: I was the victim of Glenn Beck content theft and I'm proud of it

By Sam Foster

I see the blogs are abuzz with news of Glenn Beck's content theft.


A number of conservative activists and bloggers say they’re furious at media magnate Glenn Beck for what they call content theft. Over the past several years, Beck has relied on video, audio and written content from others to fill his radio and television shows, as well as his websites. Often he has credited his fellow conservatives for their work. Yet in many other instances say dozens of conservative journalists who spoke to The Daily Caller, he has not, often taking elaborate steps to cloak the origins of the material.


Jimmie at Sundries Shack was a victim and he opines:

Though the author didn’t contact me, I’ve had a post stolen by Beck as well. The only attribution I got was a context-free link on his web page, which Beck’s staff felt was appropriate. That was more than I expected, actually — I’d heard plenty of stories from other bloggers about Beck — and I was sure to thank him for the little credit he did give me. What else was there to do? Beck is a big media guy, which means he pretty much gets to do what he wants. Out here in the world of new media, the first law is the Law of the Jungle, and, as Jeff Dunetz notes with several personal examples, my experience was far from unique.


At least Jimmie was linked at GlennBeck.com, we never received any such linkage ourselves. RightKlik and I have also been victimized by Glenn Beck content theft. Last July, Left Coast Rebel featured a story about a scurrilous video made by Think Progress. Our work forced a retraction at Think Progress. We obtained our own thread at memeorandum and were linked by a number of large blogs.

The next day, Glenn Beck did a segment using the content and meme we featured:



Stacy McCain points out that the blame might not fall specifically on Glenn Beck. However, though it appears that we were victimized, I really couldn't care less and ultimately don't understand the outrage. TV just doesn't make a good venue for hat tipping left and right. I've never heard him attribute to the NYT, Washington Post, LA Times, WSJ, etc..., but I'm sure that he gets material there as well. Even though I love bloggers and do trust well-researched articles, I'd be skeptical of any news host who was regurgitating so much content off the internet. I mean, you just can't believe everything on the internet *Cough Alaska liberal Bloggers Cough*

So Glenn, you are absolved as far as I'm concerned.

But, if there is any doubt that attribution is boring, it doesn't seem so over the radio. Contrast Beck to Rush Limbaugh who is pretty good about attribution, although he never seems to credit Robert Stacy McCain. Rush did credit Bungalo Bill and Left Coast Rebel online before.

Quite frankly, I see my content theft from Beck as a badge of honor. Especially since Glenn Beck seems to have been using content from some really great blogs and apparently we were a equally great in having our own content lifted. Like a link from Media Matters.

Update:

Commenters seem to agree with my position, that attribution from Beck is small potatoes.

KOOK says:



I started doing this purely to do my part in waking people up. To educate people in what little I have been able to learn from studying and to learn more myself. IF someone like Rush or Glenn Beck lifted content from us (and I have wondered before) then super duper. That is why I DO it.


Teresa says:


I think the fact that Glenn Beck or whomever among his staff is lifting information from conservative bloggers is a good sign. Think about it, this is proof that Beck is paying attention to bloggers and thinks that we're important and doing a great service in educating others. More power to him and his staff.


John Points out:

Are we not all Patriots working towards Freedom?!


However, I understand why many bloggers, trying to make a living blogging are interested in getting credit. I myself do this as a hobby, others for their livelihood. So, for my part, I don't mind not getting a shout out on Beck's TV show. But, I wouldn't complain if I did.

10 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Hey, the way I always figured such things, that was why we did all of this. Not for the credit, not for the glory, I don't know about you, but I don't do it for tons of money. Even if I did it would likely only be enough to order off the dollar menu at McD's
    I started doing this purely to do my part in waking people up. To educate people in what little I have been able to learn from studying and to learn more myself. IF someone like Rush or Glenn Beck lifted content from us (and I have wondered before) then super duper. That is why I DO it. I should almost say did it, but I am trying to straighten out some things in my personal life, everyone needs balance

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  3. I think the fact that Glenn Beck or whomever among his staff is lifting information from conservative bloggers is a good sign. Think about it, this is proof that Beck is paying attention to bloggers and thinks that we're important and doing a great service in educating others. More power to him and his staff.

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  4. Are we not all Patriots working towards Freedom?!

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  5. We were told this happens at the Internet activist gathering in DC the day before 9/12/09. Kook said exactly what I was going to say. Consider this: Thomas Payne never made a dime of Common Sense. Money and fame wasn't his motivation. Waking up society to the obvious path to future success (and a deep hatred of the Brits) were his true motives. Kook pointed out a few people who lifted my posts and I went to their blogs and thanked them for thinking my writing worth reposting. Kook and I have a policy that anyone who wants to use all or parts of our material can. If they want to do the right thing and give us cred, then great, and if they don't, shame on them.
    The people Beck and others use for talking points often use the smaller blogs more because of the anonymity and originality. Those folks read your stuff as do politicians and media outlets. Most house and senate members now have at least a dozen or so staffers dedicated to reading blogs to get a better idea of the pulse of the people and to find talking points. This began when bloggers destroyed a winning conservative candidacy in VA known as the "incident." This caused them to fear the power of the blogger and Beck, with the "we surround you" movement exposed this and opened our eyes to that fact.

    You see this the right way. It should be a badge of honor when beck or limbaugh say what you wrote almost verbatim. It means you are either a prophet or somebody on their staff read your stuff

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  6. You folks do realize that people like beck, limbaugh and (possibly) hannity have rather large numbers of staff that dig up info. If they credited every source they use, they would no longer be exclusive and would likely stir up repercussions such as retribution from Soros supporters. In case you dont know, those folks don't exactly play nice.

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  7. I guess I agree with what you are saying, although I don't like the idea of Glenn Beck making fun of people who've criticized. I think that's really unhealthy and not in keeping with the character which Beck has built his little empire on. Scrubbing a video is really bad, though, considering it takes actual effort to remove it. It's not like he just didn't mention the source. I admire your attitude though. The blogs circulate the same basic material, and you get various viewpoints that way so some of this is bound to happen.

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  8. @teaparty at Perrysburg: many smaller media outlets share info with bloggers that they don't want to print for whatever reason so the stories gain traction. This is true with many issues. Two of note in recent years are the "truther" and "birther" issues. You may have regular readers in the media. I know LCR does.

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  9. HEY! A "shout out" from LCR is a highlight in my day!

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  10. What KOOK said.

    There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit.

    ~ Reagan

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