On his radio show recently Glenn Beck uncorked a rant about how the Japanese earthquake and tsunami could be a message from God. In the mold of Pat Robertson, Beck went full religious zealot today, and one has to wonder just how much longer Fox News is going to put up with Glenn Beck.
Here is the audio from Media Matters (Beck goes off around the 12 minute mark):
Beck said, “We can’t see the connections here. Now look, I’m not saying God is, you know, causing earthquakes. Well — I’m not saying that he — I’m not not saying that either. God — what God does is God’s business, I have no idea. But I’ll tell you this: whether you call it Gaia or whether you call it Jesus — there’s a message being sent. And that is, ‘Hey, you know that stuff we’re doing? Not really working out real well. Maybe we should stop doing some of it.’ I’m just sayin’. And — yesterday I got home and I was thinking about all the messages that I could bring in, all the things that I could tell ya, and oh I’ve got stuff on Hezbollah. Oh, I have stuff on radical Islam in America that’ll make your eyes fall out. Or I could just tell you the answer, and the answer is: Buckle up. Buckle up, ’cause it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
He continued, “Make sure you keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times. Because, things are gonna get bumpy and, just a few reminders there at the beginning as this rollercoaster takes off, always a good safety tip: Keep your arms and legs in. Don’t do anything stupid. What do you say we follow the big top ten? You can call them Moses’ Ten Commandments, or ten rules of thumb. What do you say we start doing those things? Because the things we are doing really suck and they’re not getting better.”
Time’s Alex Altman openly speculated that this might be it for Fox News, “To attribute a natural disaster caused by seismic shifts to human fallibility — the U.S. national debt? Abortion? Japanese imperialism circa World War II? — is both vintage Beck and, perhaps, the reason his numbers are slipping. It reflects poorly on Fox, which has correspondents doing real reporting from grief-racked Tokyo. If David Carr is right that Fox is pondering life beyond Beck, this could be the nudge they needed.”
I agree with Altman that Beck’s future is somewhat on the fence at Fox News. Considering all of the other things that the network has let Glenn Beck get away with saying, it would be a little hard to believe that what finally got him his ticket out the door was remarks about Japan. After all, this isn’t the Aflac duck we are talking about here. It’s Glenn Beck, the man who kept his job after he called the President of the United States a racist. Glenn Beck is the same man who wasn’t fired after he claimed that George Soros was a Nazi collaborator.
I think it is doubtful that Glenn Beck’s pulling a poor man’s Pat Robertson is going to go down as the moment when the brass at FNC decided that it was best if the two parted ways. The truth is that Beck’s future at Fox News depends on his ratings. If Glenn Beck can’t turn things around, and stop hemorrhaging viewers, it is going to be hard for Fox News to justify keeping him on the payroll. Beck brings the shame and negative publicity of lightening rod without the viewers or ad dollars.
It is very possible that Glenn Beck and Fox News don’t have much of a future together. Beck’s doomsday Chicken Little shtick was never destined to have a long shelf life on Fox News, and it is antics like this that have to make his bosses at Fox News wonder if Glenn Beck is really worth the hassle.