David Carr of the NY Times has written an article suggesting that chief conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck may well be on his way out at Fox:
He still has numbers that just about any cable news host would envy and, with about two million viewers a night, outdraws all his competition combined. But the erosion is significant enough that Fox News officials are willing to say — anonymously, of course; they don’t want to be identified as criticizing the talent — that they are looking at the end of his contract in December and contemplating life without Mr. Beck.
If this is true, this is the best bit of news the American media could have. The pernicious effect Beck has is evident by hugely distorted opinions most Fox viewers have, and the massive focus on personality over substance. Beck rants and raves about Islamic caliphates in Europe, Communist worker uprisings in America, and a coming apocalpyse that only he understands on a daily basis, whipping up fear and hatred while raking in an untold amount of money. His viewers, in the past at least, have swallowed it up and fuelled the rise of one of the most dangerous charlatans in mainstream media history. According to Carr though, all is not well in Beck’s fantasy world:
The problem with “Glenn Beck” is that it has turned into a serial doomsday machine that’s a bummer to watch.
Mr. Beck, a more gifted entertainer than most cable hosts, can still bring it, lighting up with characters and voices. But much of the time, there is sense that the fatigue from always being on alert, tilting forward in the saddle against the next menace, is starting to wear him down.
What had been a fast and loose assault on all things liberal has grown darker and less entertaining, especially with the growing revolution in the Middle East, a phenomenon Mr. Beck sees as something of a beginning to some kind of end.
While the world will likely recover from the political revolutions in the Middle East and the growing dissatisfaction with corporate capitalism, thankfully, Glenn Beck’s show might not. Because after all, Beck needs to bring in ratings to stay on television, and losing viewers and advertisers doesn’t cut it in America – an ironic glitch Beck probably never saw coming.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.