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Clint Eastwood on Criticism, Gay Marriage

17 Jul
Clint Eastwood on Criticism, Gay Marriage and his Daughter’s Boyfriend |

Ellen asks Clint to define “libertarian” in this post-GOP convention 2012 interview.

How do I Libertarian you? Let me count the ways…

14 Jan
Last week Glenn Beck upset some libertarians by saying he was going to create a libertarian TV network:
Glenn Beck Relaunching The Blaze As Global Libertarian News Network

Beck takes a shot at Fox as he expands his news network with foreign bureaus and a new show. “I consider myself a libertarian… I’m a lot closer to Penn Jillette than I am to Chuck Hagel.”

Glenn Beck announced plans Tuesday during his online television program to expand the news operation in his media company, The Blaze, and refocus it as a libertarian network, opening three foreign bureaus, debuting a nightly newsmagazine show, and relocating his New York staff to showy new offices.                   
Beck introduced his ambitious plans by standing in front of a split screen with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on one side and Fox News’s Sean Hannity on the other, and bemoaning the fact that cable news has devolved into the “far left [and] far right… yelling at each other.”
“We’re not gonna play in that crazy space as a network,” he said, adding, “I consider myself a libertarian… I’m a lot closer to Penn Jillette than I am to Chuck Hagel.”
He said over the next 60 days, The Blaze will open three foreign bureaus in cities that are “important to America.” He will also relocate his New York staff from their current midtown offices into a building that will “send a very clear message to everyone in New York… it will piss everyone off.”
Beck also showed a teaser for a new nightly 30-minute newsmagazine show calledFor the Record.

“Our Nightline will be a nightly half hour broadcast to update you on a topic that no one else quite frankly has the balls to do. I will,” he said.
The trailer for the show — which he said will be “the most expensive show on the network, including mine” — featured future episodes exposing the NSA for turning America into a “surveillance state,” and warning that the UN “want[s] your guns,” both big issues in libertarian circles.
After the in-your-face trailer ended, Beck chuckled, “Security is going to be a real issue for the people in our company.”
The Blaze also has plans to hire investigative journalists and plans to produce more documentaries, Beck said.
“We are currently looking for our own Woodwards and Bernsteins,” he said. “Maybe they don’t exist anymore, and if that’s the case I don’t really care. We’ll grow our own!”
Beck launched his online TV network, then called GBTV, in 2011, and has brought all his media properties — including a news and opinion site, a monthly magazine, and an online radio network — under umbrella of The Blaze brand. Last year, the network began airing on a Dish Network channel, and last week, Beck revealed that he tried to buy the channel currently airing Al Gore’s Current TV — a sign that he hopes to expand into cable soon.
But Beck’s decision to orient the network’s programming around libertarian politics — or at least brand it that way — could be a play for younger, conservative viewers, who find the Republican Party, and the network that most closely aligns with its ideals, Fox, distasteful.

I’ve been watching Beck since he was on HLN in the late afternoon, long before he went to FOX News.  I was unhappy to see FOX cancel him, as I thought he was the best thing on their show.

It was fun but awkward to watch him back then when he interviewed Penn Jillette.  He clearly likes Jillette; one suspects he appreciates his showmanship, since Beck is very much the showman, much more than most TV presenters.  (Beck is probably more skilled than Oprah at the medium of television, and his talent simply isn’t, and probably cannot be, recognized by those with partisan blinders.)  At least once I have seen Beck ask if Jillette would invite him into his home even though they disagree about religion, opining that he (Beck) would invite an otherwise agreeable atheist like Jillette to meet his family; on one such occasion Jillette pulled back and seemed to announce that his atheism was orthodox and biblical in its ritual purity, with no mixing of mystics and non-mystics in the home, and no otherworldly influences allowed on his children.  Awkward!

I can see how libertarians could get in a snit (here/) over Beck creating a libertarian TV network.  Libertarianism is becoming more popular.  When it does you can’t control who will be representing it and what spin they will put on it, and  some people who really aren’t libertarian on every issue (but are way libertarian compared to the political establishment), will call themselves libertarians.  Ron Paul had his past odious associations, including those newsletter authors; and still he brought people into the movement.  Rand Paul may not be a libertarian on every issue, and once or twice has said things he shouldn’t have; and yet he still is so far superior to what we have now that I think it is silly and counterproductive to criticize him.  Why not let go at Jillette or Drew Carey as well for some reason or other – not being great beauties or being “too” critical of religion?  I think we may be repeating the Rand/Rothbard problem, where instead of simply criticizing each other’s ideas, drama, high dudgeon, and calls for ostracism abound.

Given all that I think it is funny that I keep coming across people around the world naming their ventures “Libertarian” when they have even less to do with politics or policy than a TV network would.

Here is a milliner in England who makes fanciful hats, who calls her company The Libertarian:

And then there is a property management company, that calls itself The Libertarian:


The Libertarian is a family owned and managed commercial property company based in London Bridge. We have properties in London Bridge and Romford.

Why come to us?We are 100% family owned so our sole priority is with our tenants rather than external investors. We are open, flexible and always responsive to our tenants’ requirements. We have a hands on approach where you will always have a direct line of communication with us to make sure you have the easiest and most stress free transition into your new home for your business.Nick Riley, Director/Owner – started in the business from an early age, when instead of being taken to football matches by his father, he was taken to work and given a shovel. He graduated with a Masters in mechanical engineering in 2000 and spent the following years working as a Project Engineer/Manager for Tyco Infrastructure and Bovis Lend Lease in Australia. He assumed the role of director and company secretary of The Libertarian in 2009 and has steered the business towards the acquisition of further property and the modernisation of the existing stock. Nick is co-owner with his sister, Melissa Riley.

So Beck wants to call his TV network libertarian?  What’s the problem?  He’s been evolving in a libertarian direction for years.  He’s almost the only TV presenter (aside from Stossel, Napolitano and Cavuto) who has a clue about inflationism and deficit financing of state expansion and how it causes business cycles, the core and major and unremarked political issue of the past century.

The problem of a growing liberty movement is not going away.  For example, every time a state Libertarian Party gets permanent ballot status (as my Congressional campaign just produced in the District of Columbia), control of that party rests with organized groups of people who choose to register as Libertarians, whomever they may be.  If you don’t like their positions you will actually have to educate and persuade them, beyond telling them they are not libertarians.