Politics

TheDC Exclusive: Conservatives hit Beck for taking content without attribution

Last January, Andrew Marcus of FoundingBloggers.com uploaded a video interview he’d conducted with Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa. The next morning on his radio show, Beck played a portion of the Walesa exchange, but never mentioned where it came from or who conducted the interview. “I don’t steal their stuff,” Marcus told TheDC. “They get credit, they get links and they get attribution. I think they’d be upset if people were lifting their stuff and not giving attribution. Fair use is fair use, but it includes attribution.”

It’s not only conservatives who’ve seen their work used by Beck without attribution. Last December, Beck played an interview with longtime radical Bill Ayers on his radio show. “This is an exclusive, I believe from TheBlaze.com right now,” Beck said on air, before playing the audio. “It is Bill Ayers talking about WikiLeaks. In it, he does not denounce violence of the Weather Underground.” In fact, though Beck never mentioned it, the interview was not a Blaze exclusive. It had been lifted from the liberal website, Citizen’s Radio.

In February of this year, Beck announced on the radio that he had created a new motto for his website, The Blaze. “This is the slogan that I wrote for The Blaze,” Beck said. “We’ve put it up everywhere here and we’ve written it out for The Blaze. And it is: ‘The truth has no agenda.’”

But in fact, this was not the truth. Beck did not write any such slogan for The Blaze. According to GoDaddy.com website domain name registration records, a man named Michael Opelka bought the domain “truthhasnoagenda.com” in July 2009. Beck has since hired Opelka to work for The Blaze. Shortly thereafter, Beck began selling “The Truth Has No Agenda” merchandise.

Beck’s reputation as an ungenerous user of other people’s work has occasionally surfaced in public. Conservative radio host Mark Levin recently took aim at Beck, whom he refers to as the “5-PMer,” this way: “You won’t find me putting my name on books that other people write. You’ll never find me doing that,” Levin said. “I would never, ever preach to you about principles and viewpoints that I am incapable of writing about. Never.”