Last year, Glenn Beck's television network TheBlaze TV emulated the serious tone most other networks have taken in covering the president's annual State of the Union address.
"We had to convince the television industry and everybody else that we could cover things exactly the way they can," Beck said on his television program Tuesday. "A bunch of rookies can do this."
This year, TheBlaze TV is adding some levity to the equation, and treating the event like a circus put on by P.T. Barnum.
"Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! Step right up to the greatest show on Earth, the circus of presidential proportions!" Stu Burguiere called in an amplified voice at the beginning of Beck's show. "This is what you will see tonight, a complete and total suspension from reality!"
Burguiere was dressed in a garish red costume, surrounded by ponies, a clown, a cotton candy machine, and even a fire-eater. Classic circus tunes played in the background.
Beck explained: "We're not here to cover things for the people in Washington. We're here to cover things for you. And ... there's nobody on our staff that believes the State of the Union is important, or is anything other than cakes and circuses, clowns and ponies."
Beck proceeded to read a number of statistics, saying 68 percent of the country says they feel stagnant or worse off than before Obama took office, and asserting that "the true state of the union" is that Americans are describing the country as "downhill, deteriorating, and divided."
"Tonight, the rest of the media is going to try to sell you tickets," Beck told his audience, "to the most expensive clown show in the history of the world ... But this network will tell you the truth."
TheBlaze's writers, editors, and on-air hosts will begin an interactive live chat on the State of the Union at TheBlaze.com/Live, and on Twitter using the hashtag #TheBlazeSOTU, at 8:30 p.m. ET. Click here for your complete guide to TheBlaze's State of the Union coverage.