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Saturday 4 June 2011

Beck Barking Off – Soon

A while back, I observed that the increasingly wayward Glenn Beck, “star” of Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) was going to “transition off” his 5PM ET weekday show. At the time I assumed Beck would carry on until year end, but apparently not: his last show will be on June 30, less than four weeks away.

There is still talk of Beck working on “new content” with Fox, and of half a dozen “specials” on the network, but the ratings keep falling – Thursday brought just 1.372 million, the lowest Fox figure in the 5 to 10PM segment – and the show’s content remains a strange mix of conspiracy theories, supposed prophesies, and televangelism.

And the latter term puts the finger on why Beck and Fox are parting company: not only is Beck just too loose a cannon for Roger Ailes to accommodate, but he is also effectively a competing brand. With another Beck “event” coming up, this time in Israel, Fox management have had their hand forced: they don’t need to be associated with this particular Beck circus.

Anyone not yet familiar with Beck’s insistence on portraying himself as some kind of modern-day prophet would do well to listen to this audio from his radio show. The recording was taken from Thursday last, and in it the Great Man tells that he has “been given the gift, the blessing or the curse, to see slightly over the horizon”.

Across the USA, there are significant numbers of people who lap up this kind of thing, and even a few in the UK (pace James Delingpole). But most Brits will hear Beck’s words of wisdom and conclude that he has journeyed beyond Barking and is en route to Upminster.

Meanwhile, Fox will find a replacement host – could be Lou Dobbs, could be Megyn Kelly – and carry on the right leaning hatefest rather as before.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Oh dear. The promise of 'specials' from networks is a tired old ruse designed to help the sacked party save face while they are quietly edited out of the line-up and escorted from the building. I recall it being satirised by the classic ABC series 'Frontline' as far back as 1995. Anyone actually in the industry would have been aware of this trick long before this, and would have to be a complete idiot to... oh, I just realised I don't have to finish this sentence