As the government verges on shutdown and radio active waste pours into the Pacific ocean, we can at least be grateful that the conspiracy theory circus otherwise known as the ‘Glenn Beck Show’ will be coming to an end at Fox, and Beck will be packing his things to look for employment elsewhere. Writes Howard Kurtz in The Daily Beast:
Despite his monster ratings, Fox News is bidding farewell to Glenn Beck as tensions between the incendiary host and the top-rated cable news channel have led to a near-total divorce.
I say near-total because the two sides announced a deal today in which Beck’s production company will produce occasional content for Fox. But insiders say this will amount to a handful of specials and that many senior Fox executives are relieved to be rid of Beck, whose ratings have dropped 40 percent.
Beck, too, has tired of the friction with Fox and is said by people close to him to be happy to end the partnership.
Whatever the genesis, for Beck to give up his daily 5 p.m. program, which at its peak drew more than 2.5 million viewers, is a case study in how even the most successful broadcast personalities can become too hot to handle.
This is fantastic news for the corporate media that has taken a tentative step back towards some semblance of sanity. Beck represented the epitome of ‘for profit news’ – the culmination of years of market driven programming at the expense of serious reporting, and well, seriousness. Beck appealed to paranoid white suburbia, a demographic starved of education, culture or reasoning and a prime target for greedy media executives. The folks at Fox saw a goldmine of scared consumers willing to buy into the rantings of a deranged but highly watchable madman – and it worked for over two years. That was until advertisers caught wind of exactly what he was saying and began to pull their products from his show one by one. An ardent fan of the free market, Beck should learn something from his dismissal. He did not ultimately survive in the world order he advocated so strongly, so he must be, by his own logic, an utter failure.
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.