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Friday 8 April 2011

The Vanishing Beck

When the news came, it was no surprise: Glenn Beck was to “transition off” his weekday TV show, which at present airs at 5pm ET on Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse). As I noted recently, Beck has been shipping ratings, and some of his more off-the-wall utterances have not only proved embarrassing – even to Fox – but have also provoked an advertising boycott.

So the Beck show will end its three years on Fox at the end of this year. We are assured that the relationship between presenter and broadcaster remains good, and that Beck will be seen on Fox from time to time in the future. But the chalkboards, the hectoring rhetoric, and the wacko conspiracy theories may not.

But what will continue – for the next few months – is the speculation as to who will succeed Beck, who, whatever your view of him, is a one-off. Fox have retained the services of Lou Dobbs, who I thought may have been taken on to do this job, but I’m not so sure right now.

Roger Ailes may also consider shuffling his existing pack of presenters and give the 5pm ET slot to someone less established, but who has done the fronting and interviewing, and who has taken on board The True Fox Way. So my “credible outsider” is current America Live host Megyn Kelly, who is presentable yet combative. She is well versed in the workings of the Fox “opinion” strand.

And the reaction to Beck’s departure? For many who find the combination of Fox and Beck to be anathema, there has been quiet satisfaction rather than celebration, especially as the news was not unexpected. But the unintentional hilarity has come from those somewhere out there on the right, whose love for Beck has only grown over the recent past.

Loving Beck and throwing his rattle out of the pram with a rant to satisfy the most discerning connoisseur is James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole in his Maily Telegraph blog. Del Boy, in a piece titled “I Heart Glenn Beck”, loses it in spectacular fashion as he assails his echo chamber of devoted readers (Sid and Doris Bonkers).

"The head of Glenn Beck on a platter is like Kwaanza come early for Keith Olbermann and George Soros and Barack Obama and CNN and CNBC and the New York Times and all the rest of that rag bag of Islamists, eco-loons, progressives, communitarians, and Gramsciites who would be so much happier if you didn’t know about their plans to steal your freedoms, take more of your money, swell the size of government and destroy your liberty” he whines plaintively.

Aw bless!

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