Professional wrestling fans won’t see Glenn Beck tonight when they tune in for Monday Night Raw.
The WWE franchise invited Beck to appear on tonight’s show after the talk show host and conservative pundit panned as “stupid” a character with links to the Tea Party.
“Unfortunately I am currently booked doing anything else,” Beck said, according to the Blaze, the news and commentary Web-site he started in 2010. Raw is set to film live tonight before an audience of 12,000 in Dallas, where Beck’s production company, Mercury Radio Arts, has offices.
The feud erupted last week after WWE reinvented character Jack Swagger as “a xenophobic ‘Real American’ who delivers anti-immigration ‘State of the Union’ addresses,” according to WWE’s Web-site. Swagger acts as an antagonist to WWE world champion Alberto Del Rio of Mexico, whom he taunts along with mentor Zeb Colter as a “man who only came into this country to reap the rewards of our motherland.”
Beck called out the story-line for “demonizing” the Tea Party. World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. has conservative ties, formerly headed by Linda McMahon, a Republican who last year lost her second U.S. Senate bid in three years in Connecticut.
While an article in The Blaze said many conservatives were “disgusted” by it, the story-line may connect better than Beck thinks, given the franchise’s fan base. As Swagger and Colter said in their videotaped invitation to Beck as they stood in front of a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, 20 percent of the show’s 14 million weekly viewers are Hispanic.
“WWE is in the entertainment business, creating characters and stories that revolve around our Superstars as well as culturally significant current events,” it said on its Web-site.