Glenn Beck is taking a cue from the MTV generation, and it’s actually working.
The former Fox News host and would-be media mogul is encouraging conservatives and libertarians on social media to demand that their cable or satellite providers carry his television network, TheBlaze TV.
â€” Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) January 21, 2014
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The hashtag #IWantTheBlaze shot to the top of Twitter’s trending topics on Tuesday, with tweets pouring in at about 30 per minute. Users tweeted at various telecom giants with unchecked aplomb, asking companies to carry the fledgling network and giving them plenty of reasons why they should. TheBlaze TV is already carried on Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), and some customers of other providers threatened to jump ship and sign up for Dish if their requests weren’t fulfilled.
â€” Josh (@SnideRemarx) January 21, 2014
â€” Silent MajorityVoice (@LiberTnJustice) January 21, 2014
â€” Steve Klein (@SteveKlein62) January 21, 2014
â€” Chris Balfe (@cbalfe) January 21, 2014
â€” Skip LaCombe (@skiplacombe) January 21, 2014
Readers of a certain age will remember the “I want my MTV” ad campaign of the early 1980s, which is credited with helping to propel the music channel to cable-TV prominence during its infancy. The campaign was the brainchild of the famously gruff ad man George Lois, who said in the documentary “Art & Copy” that his plan was simply to “get thousands of rock fans to drive cable operators crazy” with phone calls.
If Beck has his way, #IWantTheBlaze could be the social media equivalent to that legendary advertising stunt. Fans are not only taking to Twitter, but also bombarding the Facebook pages of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and others. And they’re getting plenty of high-profile help. Earlier on Tuesday, Fox News’ Sean Hannity tweeted the hashtag to his 900,000-plus followers.
â€” Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) January 21, 2014
Since his departure from Fox News in 2011, Beck has been on a mission of sorts to become a right-wing answer to Oprah Winfrey, with forays in TV, radio, publishing and online. Earlier this month, TheBlaze.com announced that TheBlaze TV will be added to Buckeye CableSystem and Shenandoah Telecommunications Co.
In the meantime, some tweeters fighting back against #IWantTheBlaze, using the same hashtag to tell their providers not to carry Beck’s network.
â€” Nate Chapman (@nkchapman) January 21, 2014
The only question left is which side can tweet the loudest.