By Jason A. Vigorito
I recently attended, as a live audience member, one of Glenn Beck’s last episodes for his television program on Fox News. I went with two friends, Barry Walksy and our friend Jay. The show was taped Tuesday, April 19, and aired Friday, April 22 at 5 PM.
Everyone’s asked how we got on the program. Jay, on a whim, emailed the show to get tickets. One of Glenn’s representatives, Mina, responded a day later and reserved three for us. We considered ourselves pretty lucky because, after talking with other audience members, our reservations were made quickly, whereas others waited weeks to get theirs. We were e-mailed a questionnaire asking us for contact information and wanting questions pertinent to that night’s topic: “a look at how much our country has changed in the past two years.” It was Part 1 of a three-part series. It was an audience participation, townhall-styled taping, with questions regarding: leftist/socialist players and policies, Obama’s advisors, the dollar, America’s stature in the world.
What was it like??? Well, we showed up at the Fox News building (News Corp.) in mid-town Manhattan around 5 PM. Security started screening around 5:15 and we were led to a large waiting room, furnished with food and beverages. After that day’s taping, we were led into the studio at around 6:15. Glenn was busy reviewing notes. Television does indeed make things look bigger than they actually are. The studio was small, seating 40 of us, with Glenn’s desk in the middle and three of his famous chalkboards lining the wall with their magnetic pictures of different people and organizations. (There were dozens more boards and pictures behind the studio’s temporary walls!) There were many cameras, lights, bundles of wire. The studio crew was mostly younger people, which we found interesting.
Did you really get to talk on the show??? The three of us sat right behind that night’s special guests: Kevin Williamson, an editor at National Review, and author Richard Poe. Quite a few of us got to interact with Glenn and the guests. During one commercial break Glenn asked, “Where’s Jason from NJ?” I raised my hand and he said I had an excellent question about Cass Sunstein, Obama’s regulatory czar. The people around me were like, “ Whooaa, good for you!” So, my big on-air moment was half-way through the show asking the night’s first question: what are some specific regulations Sunstein has tweaked? Glenn, Kevin, and Richard gave some lengthy answers. And during the next break, high-five’s went around.
The taping ended close to 7:30. Barry, Jay, and two women (on my left) talked with Glenn briefly and shook his hand. I was like, “I don’t need to shake his hand, I got to talk with him on national tv!” which got a few laughs. As we left the building, we were given copies of The 5,000 Year Leap and The Real George Washington, two books Glenn highly recommends. I also got to talk with Kevin, which was great.
Glenn was very friendly, cordial, and personable that night. He was down-to- earth and very sharp, deciding how to run the episode real-time during the commercial breaks without much prep. When you watch his show, you get the real deal—straight talk without pretense or acting. Our respect for Glenn Beck only strengthened that night….