If you don’t know, Glenn Beck is a former morning radio disc jockey and still performs comedy in shows across the country. This year, he left Headline News to host his own news program on Fox News and has been met with incredible ratings:
Barely two months into his job at Fox, his program is a phenomenon: it typically draws about 2.3 million viewers, more than any other cable news host except Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity, despite being on at 5 p.m., a slow shift for cable news.
That’s right, he’s in third place across all of cable (take that, Olbermann!) and he has a 5:00 PM time slot.
Beck offers a performance that in emotionality is probably close or equal to O’Reilly’s, but while O’Reilly is often more angry, Beck comes off more as a fellow victim to those to whom he’s speaking. For example, Beck often cries.
Some historians believe that Beck’s popularity is similar to those who were popular in the Great Depression and that drew on people’s fear and frustrations:
[Beck] says that America is “on the road to socialism” and that “God and religion are under attack in the U.S.” He recently wondered aloud whether FEMA was setting up concentration camps, calling it a rumor that he was unable to debunk.
While the topics are serious, Beck still identifies as a nothing more than an entertainer: “I’m a rodeo clown.”
Recently, Stephen Colbert took Beck on and ripped him about 17 new assholes:
Vodpod videos no longer available.
I would love to see Beck appear on Colbert’s show only because I think they would be much better matched than Stewart and Cramer.
More: Fox News’s Mad, Apocalyptic, Tearful Rising Star (NYT)
Update: It’s not socialism that Obama is bringing, it’s non-violent fascism:
Mark my words: this guy is going to have one huge future.