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Posted by on Aug 25, 2011 in Media | 3 comments

Is Glenn Beck Fizzling Out?

Is Glenn Beck fizzling out? It certain seems like the noise we hear is a fizzle and not steam coming out of a teapot. To wit:

One year after hosting a mega rally in Washington, D.C, conservative pundit Glenn Beck gathered supporters near a holy site in Israel Wednesday. The event, which was not without controversy given its location and host, was smaller than some of his past assemblies, but that did not stop Beck from a full display of rhetoric.

“In Israel, there is more courage in one square mile than in all of Europe,” Beck said in his keynote address. The event, titled “Restoring Courage,” was billed as a rally to declare support for the Jewish state.

“Restoring Courage” sounds like a rally to bring back Dan Rather on CBS.

“In Israel,” Beck continued, “there is more courage in one soldier than in the combined and cold hearts of every bureaucrat at the United Nations. No country is perfect. But it tries, and it is courageous. Today, the world needs courage more than ever.”

….Israeli religious and political figures both on the left and right came out against the rally, presumably as a reaction to Beck’s track record of controversial remarks. There was even a Facebook page called “Glenn Beck Stay Home” created in protest.

But in the end, 1,700 supporters showed for the sold-out event, and an additional 3,000 gathered at a nearby viewing station where it was beamed in live, a spokesman for Beck told The Cutline. The Guardian, among others, contested those figures, reporting a “surprising number of empty seats belied the organisers’ claims that demand for tickets had outstripped availability.” Many of the attendees were evangelical Christians from the United States, according to reports.

The Beck spokesman also said there were 100 reporters on hand to cover the rally. Nevertheless, it didn’t manage to spark quite the media frenzy as Beck’s August 2010 “Restoring Honor” rally in the nation’s capital, which reportedly drew some 100,000 people to the National Mall. (A late-summer jaunt to Israel, of course, was probably not realistic for many of Beck’s core supporters in the states.)

To an extent, Beck has fallen off the radar since his departure earlier this summer from Fox News Channel, where he was the 5 p.m. anchor.

Indeed (to use a word MSNBC’s Martin Bashir uses far too much): without a national cable show Beck has to scream louder than before to be heard. He is indeed off at least part of the radar screen — the entertainment radar called television.

Yes, the web is up and coming.

But it is not equal to a Fox show.

All entertainment goes in cycles and, for now at least, Beck seems to be in decline.

If Beck isn’t oh, so yesterday yet, he is oh, so last night.

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  • slamfu

    Some time ago it was pointed out to me that the pro-Israel support from some conservative christian groups stems from the fact that apparently they are supporting Israel because they are trying to set the stage for Armageddeon. Now Im not 100% on this, it does sound pretty crazy, but I’ve read a few things that make it sound sorta credible. If true, it scares the hell outta me that people are actually motivated by that.

  • JeffP

    I think Pat Bagley’s cartoon summarizes what slamfu refers to above.

    Picture worth a thousand words…

  • I don’t really expect him to go away. His radio show still gets a large audience. I do think he miscalculated when he decided to make Israel his shiny new toy, but that’s a rare mis-step for someone who is, quite frankly a smart entertainer. He knows his schtick, and he’ll figure out how to bring it back. The issue is whether the schtick as a whole has run its course, and whether a more consiberal dialogue is starting to emerge instead of all the far-right hijacking that’s been going on for years.

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