We many never really know what went down internally that led to the end of Glenn Beck’s show on Fox News Channel, but the controversial, conservative host sure put one heck of a spin on things as he bid adieu yesterday.
Once a ratings magnet with approximately 3 million daily viewers, Beck saw his ratings decline and his standing at Fox erode. His right-wing agenda, which mostly included rants against President Barack Obama, were viewed by many moderates and members of the media as over the top and a bit of an act. He oftentimes broke down in tears to show how emotionally vested he was in the state of the country.
But Thursday’s departure was apparently more about vindication for Beck than anything else, especially when he proclaimed, “For those members of media who are celebrating [the end of the show] … you will pray for the time I was only on the air for one hour a day.”
He then went on to say that his mission wasn’t coming to an end but merely changing platforms: “This show has become a movement,” he told viewers. “It’s not a TV show, and that’s why it doesn’t belong on TV any more. It belongs in your home; it belongs in your neighborhood.”
I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of any political talking-head telling me how I should think, but that regretfully is what 24-hour news channels have done to the TV climate. Whether it’s the perceived liberal slant on MSNBC or the supposed conservative agenda on FNC, it seems like we are constantly subjected to hosts spouting off their views. The million-dollar question is who are these people really swaying, because more often than not they seem to be preaching to the choir.
Perhaps Beck’s departure, coupled with the recent departure of liberal host Keith Olbermann from MSNBC, is a sign that the news networks are trying to hide their alleged biases a little more. If so, it will be interesting to see The Five, the roundtable show that will be filling Beck’s timeslot beginning on July 11.
According to Fox, five personalities will “discuss, debate and at times debunk the hot news stories, controversies and issues of the day.” Included in the rotation will be Greg Gutfeld, Juan Williams, Dana Perino, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Geraldo Rivera, Andrea Tantaros, Eric Bolling, Monica Crowley, Bob Beckel and Kimberly Guilfoyle, as well as occasional celebrities and sports figures.
The good news for Beck fans is they can still find him online and on the radio. And for those who found him to be nothing more than a blowhard, you probably aren’t affected since you most likely weren’t watching anyway.