The NYT’s poll of Tea Partiers today offered some concrete answers to the question of who these folks are. More detail on that later, but the top line is they’re often white, male and at least consider their finances to be in good shape. Maybe that’s why Glenn Beck has turned his financial empire toward them so aggressively. Forbes magazine’s current issue has an excellent cover story on Beck’s “cash machine.” “We’re an entertainment company,” Beck tells Forbes bluntly. He made $32 million over the 12 months ending March 1. As Forbes reports,
He has managed to monetize virtually everything that comes out of his mouth. He gets $13 million a year from print (books plus the ten-issue-a-year magazine Fusion). Radio brings in $10 million. Digital (including a newsletter, the ad-supported Glennbeck.com and merchandise) pulls in $4 million. Speaking and events are good for $3 million and television for $2 million. Over several days in mid-March Beck allowed a reporter to follow him through his multimedia incarnations, with one exception, his 5 p.m. daily show on Fox News, which attracts just under 3 million viewers. (FORBES has a relationship with that channel via Forbes on Fox.)
It’s fun to focus on the anger and the wacko stuff both Beck and the loudest Tea Parties have introduced to the public conversation. But the reality is a lot of folks are plain profiteering. Beck’s clearly among them. Check out our timeline of Tea Party history for examples of others.
Photo credit: Greg Skidmore