Fox News, Glenn Beck part ways
While there was heated opposition on Capital Hill this week, Fox News and Glenn Beck parted ways amicably. According to a New York Times article, Beck’s leaving seems to be a mutual agreement between Beck and Fox News. Some of the reasoning behind Beck’s leaving could be the advertisers who have boycotted the show as well as Beck’s steady stream of controversial remarks. According to the Wall Street Journal, 400 advertisers had boycotted the show. Given the fact that Beck wasn’t advocating violence, racism or other blatant morally objectionable things this seems like a petty high school popularity contest move on the part of the advertisers.
Beck’s announcement that he will be discontinuing his television show has sparked an interesting national dialogue across the country. Some are thrilled that he no longer will be able to use Fox News as a soapbox to spread his opinions. Some in the conservative movement think that he was a major liability that made the right look crazy. Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post said that it was a good thing for conservatives that Beck was leaving.
“It is entirely fitting that he should leave this week. This week belonged to the grownups in the conservative movement,” Rubin said.
If people view Beck as a journalist he appears ridiculous. Some of his speculations can be very far-fetched, and lot of what he talks about could hardly be considered solid fact. Beck hosts a talk show, not the nightly news. The reason people watch his show is to hear how he thinks, his speculation and prediction on current events. So if conservatives want to tout him as serious news, then he makes all of them look foolish. If he is viewed for what he is — a commentator — then his enthusiastic rants can be entertaining.
Beck has accomplished some good for the conservative movement. His Restoring Honor rally generated a great deal of enthusiasm for the right. Even though there is controversy as to the actual number of people in attendence, the rally was still impressive. He has also generated quite a following. The New York Times described his show as “top rated” and dominating the 5 p.m. hour on cable news. According to their article Beck’s average nightly audience was 1.9 million. Although these ratings are significant, this iproves to be a decrease in ratings. Beck set records for Fox News for his timeslot with having some broadcasts over 3 million viewers, according to the New York Times. Some of his views lack sufficient evidence. However the enthusiasm that he and others were able to stir up could possibly account for the huge turnover in the House and Senate last November. People were motivated to generate change of their own. Instead of the typical grumbling about how bad things were in Washington, people got involved and voted, campaigned and did things that they may not have done otherwise. Beck must be evaluated for what he is — a motivator and entertainer.