You’re Right About Glenn Beck—But Wrong About Andrew W.K.
Posted on April 28, 2015
April 28, 2015 | by Bryne Yancey
The king of partying will be extolling those virtues in an unlikely place very soon.
Andrew W.K., musician, motivational speaker, author, TV show host, voice actor, advice columnist, purported partier, today announced plans to venture into radio with a new show. Interestingly, and perhaps somewhat curiously, the show will be part of conservative—sorry, libertarian!!—pundit Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network.
The show, hilariously titled America W.K., will be a two-hour program airing Saturdays and premiering May 2. Commenting via press release, Andrew said, “When Glenn asked me to do my own radio show on TheBlaze, I was shocked but excited, as I knew he would allow me the unrestrained freedom to say exactly what I wanted. I’m very dedicated to exploring and learning from different people in different places, and always with an open heart. If people never went outside their own box, life would be boring. After all, why would I only want to talk with people who already think exactly like me?” Added Beck, “My relationship with Andrew W.K. is a perfect example of how two people can come together on what unites us, and become strange bedfellows. He is open minded, honest, loves his fellow man even though he may disagree with him, and is a natural entertainer. Our mutual audiences have already begun to find commonalities. I think he is the perfect fit for TheBlaze Radio Network.”
Though the pairing definitely raises some eyebrows, it’s worth noting that Andrew’s message has been, up to this point, pretty much universally apolitical—he noted in an Oct. 2014 interview with Salon that he’s “not really liberal or conservative or anything. I just try to stay open-minded and learn as I go.” It’s also not the first time he’s been a part of a conservative-driven enterprise, as Andrew had been a recurring guest on Fox News Channel’s late-night program Red Eye, along with other people you probably still like such as the late GWAR frontman Oderus Urungus, Melvins mastermind King Buzzo and Torche.
All told, Glenn Beck is no doubt a poorly formed, shit-stirring, hate-spewing, vaguely human-shaped strawman with icy eyes, an icier heart and a propensity for bellyflopping into pools full of hackneyed conspiracy theories. But I find it extremely difficult to believe that Andrew W.K. will begin toeing a similar path as Beck with this new show. It’s surprisingly easy and strikingly convenient, depending on the conversation, to separate the shows we love and the personalities who host them from the shitty conglomerates that sign their paychecks every other week. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, for example, is owned by Viacom, an impossibly gigantic mass media company that sued normal people to take down a lot of your favorite YouTube videos and paid a Texas PR firm to edit Wikipedia pages to curry favor for their corporate message. Andrew won’t criticize TheBlaze on his show the way Stewart occasionally lampoons Viacom—such as in July 2012 when the company blacked out its shows online—because it’s neither in his nature nor is it the format of the show. But is there a way to prove that he couldn’t before the show even airs its first episode?
People are upset about this pairing because they hate Beck, but also because they’ve painted Andrew W.K. in their own minds as something he himself has never publicly claimed to be. His message, broadly, revolves around the power of positive thinking, and everyone, regardless of their political leanings, could stand to hear such a message. Maybe it’s prudent to reserve judgment until after we’ve all heard America W.K. If Andrew starts spewing hateful, counterproductive rhetoric due to an association with Beck, I’ll eat my hat.