Glenn Beck fired back today at conservatives who criticized his full-throated defense of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The radio talker dismissed his critics as “progressives on the right” and argued that Facebook skews left simply because more leftwingers use social media.
Last week, Beck and 16 other conservatives met with Zuckerberg at a damage control meeting the tech billionaire called following reports from several Facebook whistleblowers that the site’s news curators actively suppress conservative stories in their “trending” news section while simultaneously boosting the signal of leftwing causes like Black Lives Matter.
Tucker Carlson, who also attended the meeting, described Beck’s behavior as “the most extended assiduous suck-up I think I’ve ever seen a grown man commit.”
Carlson told Politico that Beck “acted like he was auditioning to be Mark Zuckerberg’s manservant.”
Beck fired back at Carlson this morning, accusing him of wanting to force “quotas” on Facebook, which, according to Beck, makes him a “progressive.”
“What [Tucker Carlson] is saying about what he said at the meeting is not true,” Beck stated. “It was quotas that he was talking about — quotas. Three percent of the population is Mormon. That was his quote — three percent. So I’m not saying that we go there that far, but shouldn’t it be representative of how many conservatives there are? Shouldn’t you hire that way? That’s a quota. Quotas don’t work. Quotas don’t work. And the only ones that believe that are progressives on the right and progressives on the left. And they’ve already exposed themselves. Progressives are who progressives are and they always will be.”
Carlson, however, claims that he was simply suggesting that Facebook hire news curators with a broader “diversity of views” in order to avoid the sort of leftwing bias they’ve been accused of. His suggestion is in keeping with decades of conservative media criticism and activism from respected organizations like Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center and Breitbart’s own Big Journalism.
Beck also argued that Facebook has a leftwing bias simply because it is “by design a social platform,” and he believes people on the left use social media more than conservatives.
“That means, there will never be balance or fairness on Facebook, no matter what technology and what the technology team does,” he said. “Any wholly-open platform like that will always tend towards left-leaning ideas and themes getting more attention. If it is truly open, it will still lead to more left-leaning ideas. Why? Because this is the psychology of the left. People on the left need to be heard, need to be validated. In order to feel whole, they have to be.”
He added, “Have you ever wondered why conservatives don’t use social media? That’s why. It’s not that we’re just busy. We’re busy validating the ideas that work in reality.”
However, Beck’s suggestion that conservatives are uninterested in social media belies the fact that right-leaning Fox News is #4 in the world among top Facebook publishers; the center-right Daily Mail is #9; and, of course, Breitbart is #15 in the world on Facebook.
In fact, Breitbart has clawed its way to being a top Facebook publisher for the last six months, despite being identified as one of the conservative sites Facebook’s news curators routinely suppress.
The most recent Facebook rankings show that in addition to being #15 in the world for total Facebook engagement, Breitbart is #13 in the world for Facebook shares, and we leapt from #10 to #7 in the world for Facebook comments.
Breitbart’s success shows how engaged conservatives are on Facebook, and one can only imagine what our ranking would be if Facebook’s news curators weren’t also putting their thumbs on the scale to our disadvantage.
Read the complete transcript of Beck’s monologue here. Listen to the audio below:
Follow Rebecca Mansour on Twitter @RAMansour