Terrance Heath

Glenn Beck: Countdown to Meltdown

Filed By Terrance Heath | March 24, 2011 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Fox News, Glenn Beck, television

Last night, Parker asked me to show him some videos of what was going on in Japan. We were sitting on the couch, and I had my laptop handy, so I showed him some of the videos and explained to him what was going on in them.

There’s one or two that I made sure not to show him.

I’m guessing those M&Ms are the kind with nuts. I didn’t show the to Parker, for obvious reasons. His immediate reaction to the ones I did show him was “We should donate to Japan,” which is just the kind of response I want to encourage in him.

But I had to watch the Beck video for myself. Why? The same reason many of us can’t tear our eyes away from a train wreck.

Just for comparison, here’s Rachel Maddow explaining pretty much the same thing.

On the rare occasions that Glenn Beck comes up in my house, his name is closely followed by a word that begins with “D”. No, not the ones you might be thinking of. No, because my hubby’s a shrink, Beck’s name is usually accompanied with words like “De-compensate.”

Or “Dissociate.”

Unsettling? Definitely. Unanticipated? Can’t say that in this case. I cant’ begin to pinpoint where it was that Beck’s relationship with reality became a long-distance relationship. I only know that he hasn’t been in touch for a while, and reality is beginning to think he’s just not that into her anymore.

There have been plenty of special moments, but I think this is the one that made reality think this jerk is never going to call back, and finally start seeing other people.

In our house, it’s not a question of if, but when, Beck finally makes a complete break with reality. He’s already loaded with paranoia and emotional instability. A meltdown at some point seems almost inevitable.

I’m betting that when Glenn Beck finally flames out, it will be very public, spectacular, and damn near operatic. Something like this, but far, far less controlled.

I just hope when he goes over that cliff, he doesn’t take too many people with him. He won’t go quietly, but with any luck he’ll go alone. First, if hasn’t already he’s bound get to the point at which a sizable chunk of his remaining audience throws up its hands and says, “Oh, come on now!”

And then there’s Fox. They have a slightly less tenuous relationship with reality than Beck (They’re know each other, ride the same bus sometimes, or pass each other in the grocery store, but they’re not on a first name basis.) But they’re business people, and it looks like they’re not feeing Beck’s all that good for business anymore.

How could a breakup between Mr. Beck and Fox News -- a bond that seemed made in pre-Apocalyptic heaven -- come to pass? They were never great friends to start with: Mr. Beck came to Fox with a huge radio show and had been on CNN Headline News, so he did not owe his entire career to Fox and frequently went off-message. The sniping between Fox News executives and Mr. Beck's team began soon after he went on the air in 2009.

Many on the news side of Fox have wondered whether his chronic outrageousness -- he suggested that the president has "a deep-seated hatred for white people" -- have made it difficult for Fox to hang onto its credibility as a news network. Some 300 advertisers fled the show, leaving sponsorship to a slew of gold bullion marketers whose message dovetails nicely with Mr. Beck's end-of-times gospel. Both parties go to some lengths to point out that that the discussion has nothing to do with persistent criticism from the left.

Fox has credibility as a news network?

Anyway, Beck seems to be getting the message, and is hinting he may not be back.

Glenn Beck returned from weeklong vacation on Monday and addressed the rumors swirling about his Fox News contract situation — on his radio show.

And while he did not say specifically he won't be returning to Fox after his contract ends, it sure sounded like his bags are already packed.

Beck first praised Fox chief Roger Ailes. Via the Huffington Post’s transcript:

Yes, my contract is up at the end of the year. Contracts do that. Fox and I have had a great relationship and the current contract does come to an end in December. My admiration for the people that work at Fox and the people that have built Fox cannot be overstated. In short, Roger Ailes has built not only the most powerful name in news in America but he has built the most powerful name in news on planet Earth. And much to the left's amazement and chagrin, he's done it all without bashing America. Isn't that weird?

Weird, did you say, Glenn? Yup. Weird.

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He may be weird, but he's making upwards of $30 mill. a year doing it. Maybe that could explain some of his ravings?

? 30 million? I'll do the show for a million and even kick in my own tin foil for hat makin!

John Gagon | March 25, 2011 3:47 AM

Glenn's gushy style grates on me. I mean, I used to cringe at times with Dane Cook and George Carlin but Beck takes the cake, soaks it, flings it around with such shallow bits of Jerry Springeresque "wisdom", I can't bear to watch the whole thing. I mean he makes Robin Williams look deadpan. What is this man trying to say other than "buy my next book" and "give this whore a little more attention please please please".

Let's hope they finally shitcan him, but they're making scads of money off his lunacy - and as you say, they're business people first & foremost.

Susan Jordan | March 25, 2011 1:10 PM

They may be business people but they are also running a network that is the mouthpiece of the Republican Party.