Plots and Thoughts

What Would Happen if Fox Fired Glenn Beck?

Posted in Analysis, Observations by Captain Optimistic on November 18, 2009

As Glenn Beck gets crazier and crazier, I found myself asking this question.  Just look at his latest bit of extra-crispy sanity at play.  David Neiwert has a point:

There’s a reason the ADL officially dubbed Beck our national “Fearmonger in Chief” this week. And there’s a reason militias are springing up like mushrooms everywhere.

And the reason is that Glenn Beck has a national TV network show on which he is not only permitted but encouraged to promote complete wingnuttery whose sole purpose is to make Americans fearful, paranoid and angry.

I don’t see Glenn getting any milder as 2012 draws closer.  So what if at some point Fox News responds to the pressure and decides he is enough of a liability to fire him?  Or what if, in the more likely scenerio, Fox realizes what a coup it would be to fire Glenn Beck?

Fox is, at this point, utterly committed to fostering fear and hatred of the current government.  Firing Glenn Beck would allow them and Beck to play the victim (of the liberal elites), drive viewers and listeners for Glenn’s radio program and Fox’s news shows as everyone capitalizes on the self-referential publicity.  It would also position Beck to become even more of a voice for those who feel alienated and targeted in the utter absence of evidence since they would now have an event – “Liberals Censor Our Beck!!!” – to unite around.  Meanwhile Fox could use the firing to simultaneously seek to appear more responsible while, in their commentary, directly appealing to Beck’s audience by painting the decision as regrettable and forced.

At the moment it looks like Glenn Beck could directly incite a riot and Fox wouldn’t bat an eye.  But in the event they respond as CNN recently did with regards to Lou Dobbs, it will be important to maintain an awareness of their motivation and the actual impact of the decision.


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