This is not a joke. Glenn Beck’s The Blaze is being awarded the Charles Darwin Prize by the Tribeca Film Festival for being one of the most disruptive innovations.
Along with The Blaze, others being honored are South Korean singer Psy’s “Gangnam Style” video, the book “I F*cking Love Science,” and the innovative city planning of Manchester, England. The film festival writes, “The Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards (TDIA) celebrates those whose ideas have broken the mold to create significant impact.”
The fourth annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards take place in downtown New York on April 26th.
The Tribeca Film Festival explains :
Founder and Owner, The Blaze
Charles Darwin Prize, presented by The Economist
Radio and television impresario Glenn Beck has led a fascinating yet controversial career. What is not controversial is the highly disruptive innovation he has launched with The Blaze, a new and all-encompassing media source focusing on the internet and television, that may disrupt the traditional media business model. With majority ownership and accountable to his viewers and himself The Blaze is being closely watched by the media industry for its groundbreaking innovation
Beck certainly has been successful with The Blaze, which he launched in August 2010. As of last year, The Blaze had 9 million monthly visitors to the site, and 300,000 subscribers to The Blaze TV. Yes, it’s Glenn Beck, but The Blaze did partially debunk James O’Keefe’s NPR videos, which found their natural home on a Breitbart site. Dave Weigel of Slate wrote at the time, “Glenn Beck’s website The Blaze analyzes and partly debunks the NPR sting.” You can imagine how some on the right felt about that.
So, a disruptor he is. It’s the Charles Darwin prize that’s getting me. Darwin was the British scientist responsible for the foundation of the theory of evolution. He transformed the way we think about the natural world. He wrote On The Origin of the Species, the debate over which led to a movement to secularize science.
“Can we doubt (remembering that many more individuals are born than can possibly survive) that individuals having any advantage, however slight, over others would have the best chance of surviving and procreating their kind? On the other hand, we may feel sure that any variation in the least degree injurious would be rigidly destroyed. This preservation of favourable individual differences and variations, and the destruction of those which are injurious, I have called Natural Selection, or the Survival of the Fittest.”
– Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species (1859)
Beck took a theology class at Yale after getting a recommendation from former Senator Joe Lieberman and signed up for a class on Early Christology, but withdrew from it. That is the extent post-high school education, though he educated himself with “the library of a serial killer”, as he called it. That library encompassed: Alan Dershowitz, Pope John Paul II, Adolf Hitler, Billy Graham, Carl Sagan, and Friedrich Nietzsche. He described himself once as a “borderline schizophrenic.” A scientist he is not.
A prize named after Charles Darwin is going to a religiously oriented conspiracy artist, who made a killing selling gold and crazy chalkboard theories on Fox News. Now he’s taken it to the web, quite successfully. Evolution, along with mutation, migration, and genetic drift… It’s natural selection, only in reverse. “Survival of the unfittest,” if you will.