General Message Board
NEW YORK – Beck’s departure from Fox News marks the welcome removal of an incendiary talk-show host who reveled in apocalyptic shtick and the politics of incitement, writes John Avlon. Plus, the Fox-Beck divorce.
The nightly nervous breakdown will not be televised.
Glenn Beck is going off the air on Fox News.
It is a remarkable reversal of fortune for a man who one year ago was banking $32 million annually, teaching Americans how to fear-monger for fun and profit.
But with his ratings down nearly 50 percent and advertisers abandoning the show, Beck’s apocalyptic shtick has been getting rancid fast.
It’s almost hard to remember that not so long ago Glenn Beck was being taken seriously as a political figure by hyper-partisans on the far right. The proto-Tea Party rally on Capitol Hill in 2009 was directly inspired by Beck. This past summer, he filled one-third of the Washington mall with his faithful for what turned out to be a religious revival with political overtones, on the anniversary of the Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. There were even, it is now surreal to say, calls for him to run for president on a ticket with Sarah Palin—a draft movement that they had to deny.
A low-lights reel of Beck’s worst moments on Fox would take hours to watch, but it would offer a useful seminar on the politics of incitement and near-mainstreaming of conspiracy theories in the Obama era.