Thursday, April 7, 2011
Goodbye, Glenn Beck
By Alan Caruba
Back in August 2010, just after Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” evangelical extravaganza in front of the Lincoln Memorial, I wrote a commentary titled, “The Great Glenn Beck-a-Palooza.” Summing up the event, I said, “I think it was about Glenn Beck. And that’s a shame.”
Among the Fox News Channel’s anchors, even Bill O’Reilly tries to keep the show about the issues of the day, as does Mike Huckabee and others, but The Glenn Beck Show was always about Glenn Beck no matter what its topic-de-jour might be. It was about his emoting, a thoroughly insincere humility, and, just beneath the surface, his apocalyptic vision of the future.
I am not arguing that Beck didn’t do a good job connecting the dots and, in particular, exposing the communists in the Obama administration, the George Soros connections to the President, the perfidy of the “community organizers” calling themselves Acorn, or any of the other links regarding a White House that threatens the nation’s future.
I got a lot of flack after I wrote, “I cannot muster the same confidence I do when others address the same topics. Veering back and forth between outrage and tears, I find him creepy.”
I wasn’t surprised on Wednesday, April 6th, when he announced he would be leaving, moving on to new ventures after a scant two years. Television industry insiders noted that Beck was unable to attract or retain the advertising necessary to sustain the show on air. That, I suggest, is “the invisible hand” of the marketplace at work. What advertiser would want his product tied to such an essentially silly person?
Beck was relentlessly silly in his manner of presentation, not in the content of what he was presenting. I recall thinking that he regarded his viewers as a room full of pre-school kids that needed to be constantly stimulated with various gimmicks to keep their attention.
I never felt that a full-grown adult was on screen, but rather that I was watching a bi-polar manic depressive swinging wildly between moments of hyper-glee and hyper-fear. Watching him was always slightly exhausting and sanity did not return until Bret Baier came on with the Special Report at 6 PM Eastern.
“I took the job two years ago,” said Beck, “because I thought I had something important to share. I really thought if I could prove my case that something wicked this way was coming, something in America was wrong, America would listen. And they have.”
Beck said, “I believe we’re heading into deep and treacherous waters,” but America exists and always has existed in a dangerous world.
We stood strong through nearly fifty years of a Cold War that followed the cataclysm of World War II. We have weathered more than two decades of the greatest hoax ever perpetrated, “global warming.” And we are now trying to cope with the fanaticism of an Islamic revolution sweeping across the Middle East and threatening the entire world.
Sensing the threat that Barack Obama poses to the nation, voters cleaned house in the House of Representatives, reduced the number of Democrats in the Senate, and now wait to complete the job in 2012. No riots in the streets, just the steady application of the electoral process to correct an error.
Beck will do some “specials” with Fox News Channel and pursue other avenues to express his apprehensions, but soon he will not have an hour’s time every weekday to ricochet between giggles and tears to do it.
© Alan Caruba, 2011