CBSN

Glenn Beck disagrees with fellow conservatives about Facebook

Conservative pundit Glenn Beck is criticizing his fellow conservatives after a group of them met with top Facebook executives to discuss how the company could be more diverse and include right-wing voices.

"I sat through a meeting that, to me, felt like I was attending a Rainbow Coalition meeting, that people (not me) had come with a list of demands," Beck wrote in a blog post on Medium Thursday. "It was like affirmative action for conservatives."


The highly-scrutinized Wednesday meeting, hosted by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's headquarters, involved more than a dozen conservative media leaders, including Beck, who broadcasts a TV show, a radio show and owns TheBlaze. The gathering was a response to the Senate Commerce Committee's recent investigation into allegations of liberal bias in Facebook's "trending topics" website feature.

"Any attempt by a neutral and inclusive social media platform to censor or manipulate political discussion is an abuse of trust and inconsistent with the values of an open Internet," said Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, in a statement earlier this month. Facebook's CEO denied the accusations of liberal bias in a post on the social media site, saying they found "no evidence" that the report was true.

But after meeting with Zuckerberg to assess how the company could improve its product to be more conservative-friendly, Beck left the Facebook meeting with his beliefs about the social media company intact -- "that it was a good, if not perfect actor."

"Walking out of the meeting, I was convinced that Facebook is behaving appropriately and trying to do the right thing," the radio and television host wrote. "[I]n my opinion, there is no evidence of a top-down initiative to silence conservative voices."

He also turned on his fellow right-leaning media leaders for some of the demands they made of Facebook.

"I looked around the room, I heard the complaints, I listened to the perspectives, and not a single person in the room shared evidence of any wrongdoing," Beck said.

Here are some more complaints from his lengthy blog post:

"I sat there looking around and heard things like:

1) Facebook has a very liberal workforce. Has Facebook considered diversity in their hiring practice? The country is 2% Mormon. Maybe Facebook's company should better reflect that reality.

2) Maybe Facebook should consider a six-month training program to help their biased and liberal workforce understand and respect conservative opinions and values.

3) We need to see strong and specific steps to right this wrong."

Beck said the overall tone of the meeting "felt like the Salem Witch Trial."

"When did conservatives start demanding quotas AND diversity training AND less people from Ivy League Colleges?" Beck questioned. "I sat there, looking around the room at 'our side' wondering, 'Who are we?' Who am I?'"

Beck predicted his take on the Facebook meeting would be met with criticism.

"I know I will be blasted by people for my position on this. I will be called a sellout," he wrote. "I will be accused of taking money or cowering for fear of retribution."

The Daily Caller's editor, Tucker Carlson, who also attended the meeting, did indeed blast Beck.

"[Beck] began the most extended assiduous suck-up I think I've ever seen a grown man commit. He acted like he was auditioning to be Mark Zuckerberg's manservant -- it was awe-inspiring," Carlson told Politico's Hadas Gold.

Carlson, who had made the diversity suggestion in the meeting, also said that Beck had mischaracterized the idea. Diversity, Carlson argued, is more than skin-deep.

"You can look different but have the same values," he told Politico. "That's not diversity; it's conformity. ... You want people with different life experiences as a backstop against bad decision."