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Glenn Beck lists St. Pete as number six on a list of cities to avoid

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Glenn Beck is urging his conservative followers to avoid St. Pete “like the plague.”

Beck issued a list of 15 cities to avoid because they were the “least religious.”

“And if you look at that list, these are the cities that already having trouble (sic),” Glenn said on his website.

St. Pete falls at number six on the list behind left-leaning cities including Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver and Phoenix.

Before announcing St. Pete in the number six spot, Beck said, “sorry to break it to you.”

But St. Pete’s mayor isn’t put off by the ranking. Instead, he’s proud of it. Rick Kriseman took to Twitter saying, “Woke up, sun shining, & @glennbeck lumping #StPete in w/ Portland-San Fran-Seattle-Denver-Phoenix as cities to avoid. An honor! #ThanksGlenn.”

Beck’s non-specific reasoning for the list included only that they lacked religious freedom and were having problems. He didn’t say what any of those comments were.

Likewise, a co-host on the show echoed that St. Pete has experienced “trouble for a number of years.” He started to explain what those troubles were but was interrupted and the subject never went back.

Another co-host trying to guess Beck’s methodology said he was surprised St. Pete was on Beck’s list before learning why it was there.

Beck is a Mormon who converted from Catholicism and readily criticizes what he sees as attacks on Christian faith.

Beck wields influence across the nation through his syndicated radio show and his website, TheBlaze. His radio show can be heard locally on WFLA, 970AM, along with numerous other conservative hosts.

Based on Kriseman’s tweet that Beck’s dig was actually a compliment, it’s a safe bet that anyone who strongly disagrees with Beck’s brand of politics may not be too sad if his followers avoid us “like the plague.”

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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