Was it the ratings plunge? The exodus of influential sponsors? The pressure from network execs to dial it back?
Whatever his reasons, (he says it was because he had more to do) the departure of Glenn Beck from Fox News is nothing short of a sign of relief for moderate conservatives (who found him an embarrassment to their brand), and nothing short of a major victory for progressives who endured his rhetoric on TV for over two years. They also thought he was embarrassing, for humanity.
Not that Mr. Beck is going away, really. He will still have his radio show, and chances are (and he's already hinted at) that he'll land a TV talk show somewhere else, albeit a much more remote locale compared to Fox. He mentions a web-based program on GBTV. (Green Beans for TransVestites?, Great Big Tennis Volleys?, George Bush's Too-soon Victory?)
One of my biggest concerns with Beck is how easily he blends patriotism and nationalism with religious fervor. As if being Proud To Be An American is a virtue of Christendom. [Editor's note: I like how Chuck Norris-y Lee Greenwood looks at the beginning of that video]
It's difficult for me to place U.S. patriotism and affinity to Jesus in the same basket. The Jesus I've learned to follow wasn't too big on empires or pride, and spent a lot of time blessing others instead of asking for blessings for himself.
So when Good Boy Glenn makes claims that Christians should leave churches that preach social justice, because he believes it is a scourge to our democracy, I have a really hard time taking the bait. I don't see the two in relationship that way. Rather, I see the moral issue of care and concern for the poor, elderly and other vulnerable groups of society as both a religious and societal imperative. One problem being tackled from multiple viewpoints. Not necessarily working together, but toward the same goal.
I see the social justice issue as religious in the sense that the Jesus I have come to understand made it very clear that we have a responsibility to look after the well being of all people. And I see this again as a responsibility for society in large part because of what history has shown us - that
But additionally, countries that do not make important strides in caring and providing for their citizens in meaningful and important ways end up with massive debt, huge disparities between income groups, and a disjointed and toxic political climates. Oh wait, that's the United States of America.
One of my favorite comedians is John Fugelsang. You'll remember him as the funny man to Daisy Fuentes' funny girl on "America's Funniest Home Videos" from '98-'99, following Bob Saget's near decade reign.
Lately he's been lighting up twitter with commentary about Glenn Beck's last broadcast on Fox:
If Glenn Beck were any more unbalanced he'd be Cubist.
Beck says Christians should leave a church that wants Social Justice; Beck should leave a church before bursting into flames.
Anyway, peace out Glenn Beck; thanks for adding fuel to the fire that's burning the country to the ground. May you fade into oblivion and be forgotten.