If you are thinking about getting a net and a straight-jacket and trying to capture Glenn Beck so that he can be admitted to an asylum…..get in line.
For years Beck has been alienating even those who would be regarded as ideological allies. Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs denounced Beck as “an alcoholic, weeping, ranting, creationist talk show host who idolizes John Birchers and Ron Paul.” Eric Burns, formerly the host of Fox News’ News Watch said that he was glad that he does not “have to face the ethical problem of sharing an employer with Glenn Beck.” And former colleague Jane Hall said that Beck was a factor in her decision to leave Fox News.
But since his bizarre rendition of the events in Egypt earlier this week, Beck’s critics are rushing to disassociate themselves from him and his patently insane foreign policy delusions.
Here is just a sampling of the reviews:
Reason Magazine Senior Editor, Michael Moynihan:
This is seriously the dumbest thing ever broadcast on (non-cable access) television.
Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish Senior Editor, Conor Friedersdorf:
…Fox News Channel puts this man on the air fully understanding that large parts of his program are uninformed nonsense mixed with brazen bullshit.
U.S.News & World Report, Scott Galupo, former John Boehner aide:
The man has finally blown a gasket. His pattern-recognition machine is spewing smoke and shards of metal. In Beck’s bizarro world, the Ayatollah Khomeini and Abbie Hoffman are like the Ponch and John of anti-Americanism. All that rolling around naked in the mud at Woodstock was really a harbinger of Western women one day being forced to wear burqas.
David Frum, FrumForum:
Many people have suggested that since the crisis in Egypt began Fox News’ Glenn Beck sounds crazier than usual.
William Kristol, Editor, Weekly Standard:
[H]ysteria is not a sign of health. When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He’s marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s.
With all of these conservative analysts bailing out on Beck, it is notable that he still has the support of two very important people in his life: Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch. Ailes and Murdoch are toughing it out. They are amongst the last to still believe that Beck is a credible voice of conservatism. As such they must be regarded as agreeing with Beck’s fantastical theories of Muslim domination of Europe and America, and the worldwide implosion that is imminent. Remember, Beck has stated on several occasions that if anything he said was untrue, Murdoch would have fired him:
“Do you think he’s going to let a guy at five o’clock say a bunch of stuff, put this together, it’s completely wrong, and stay on the network? Do you think he became a billionaire because he’s stupid? No, so that’s not it. Because Fox couldn’t allow me to say things that were wrong.”
Neither Ailes nor Murdoch have ever disputed that statement. In fact they have both affirmed their agreement with Beck. Consequently, they must not think that there is anything wrong with what Beck is saying. Therefore, it is as if they are saying it themselves.
So if Glenn Beck is crazy, as is apparent, what does that make Ailes and Murdoch?
[Update:] Joe Klein, Time Magazine:
“I’ve heard, from more than a couple of conservative sources, that prominent Republicans have approached Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes about the potential embarrassment that the paranoid-messianic rodeo clown may bring upon their brand. The speculation is that Beck is on thin ice.”
Joe Klein is not the most reliable source, but it is encouraging to hear nonetheless. Two questions spring up: 1) Who are the “prominent Republicans” Klein references? And 2) What about the embarrassment that Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes bring upon their brand?