An earlier version of this post quoted Beck saying the “Pit of Despair” was at Fox News. In fact, he was talking about his time at CNN when he made that remark. I’ve corrected both the article and the headline to reflect that.Ha ha ha. Would that have been the headline if the mistake hadn't been made?
Before coming to Fox, Beck worked at CNN, where, he said, he had an office that looked out on an open-plan office area where producers and reporters had their desks. “I used to call it the Pit of Despair because there are all these people plunking out stories like, ‘I just want to hang myself, I just want to hang myself,’” he said.*Even as Lucy wanted to get into show business, Glenn Beck wants to roam free.
Among his frustrations at both networks, he said, was the rigid, formulaic thinking about how to produce a talk show. “Most of what we do on television was developed by Desi Arnaz” in the 1950s, he said. “There’s no reason we still do it that way, except that it works. It drives me out of my mind that they are still using what’s called the Desi shoot, three cameras on the floor.”
For Beck, who loves to amble around as he talks, it was an unwanted constraint. “I moved, and they couldn’t follow me,” he said. “I said to them, ‘Get me a sports director, please. Get someone with experience producing sports. Just tell them I’m carrying a ball. I think they can do it.’ But everybody in news was saying, ‘You’re supposed to stay here.’”