What’s Next for Glenn Beck?

“Restoring Honor” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

After weeks of speculation, Fox News has finally dropped the Beckster from their evening lineup. It’s a cause of rejoice for many and dismay for some. But for most, myself included, it’s just a little bit puzzling. In spite of, or perhaps because of, all the trouble he likes to cause, Beck’s show has continued to garner high ratings and remains one of the most popular programs in cable news. Sure, some viewers have grown tired of his antics, but he’s still doing better than most of the competition.

 

So why would Fox News make this decision? As it seems, they were more worried about their “brand” then their viewership. Beck’s show was good while it lasted, a virtual money-machine, but chances are it wasn’t going to last. Advertisers have been leaving in a hurry, and viewers, 80 percent of whom think the Tea Party is full of racists and conspiracy theorists, have followed suit. Trying to distance itself from some of the more radical (read: ignorant and absurd) elements of American conservatism, Fox had no choice but to sever ties with their de facto leader. And besides, watching a grown man cry does get old after a while.

 

So what’s next for Glenn Beck? For a man who has made a living reinventing himself- going from drug addict to born-again Mormon, spending years on the cable news periphery and then exploding alongside the Tea Party- the transition shouldn’t be too tough. His trademarked blend of paranoia and conspiracy theory won’t be missed for long, and chances are, the Beckster still has a few more tricks up his sleeve.

 

Tom Hauch