Since I stayed home with Bernadette a couple of days last week, it afforded me an opportunity to catch a couple of Glenn Beck shows on Fox News. It’s the first time I’ve really been able to see more than a few minutes of the program since he started, and I was a bit curious. He’s no longer on the radio here in DC, so it’s really the first time I’ve seen or heard Beck at any great length in some time. A few thoughts.
- For the first time in my life I thought to myself, “Gee, I could really go for a commercial break right about now.” I believe the first segment on each show ran for almost 20 minutes uninterrupted. I often complain that most talks shows – both political and sports – run far too many commercials, but that was just too much unfiltered Beck to take in one sitting. Maybe MTV, even though I haven’t watched it in about 12 years, has spoiled the way I look at television. Whatever it is, there needs to be more breaks in the action just to slow down the pace of the show. I realize that part of the problem is the idiotic bycott aginst Beck, but man, just throw it back to the studio or something if you can’t find advertisers.
- Beck’s at an 11. He needs to be at a 7. I appreciate the emotion, and it makes for an entertaining program. But the constant drumbeat of “OH MY GOD WE NEED TO GET THESE RASCALS OUT NOW GRRRRRRR!!!!” combined with the hammy over-performance and the “I’m on the verge of tears and/or a nervous breakdown” is again too much to take.
- That said, I do not think he is a threat to the republic. Yeah, he is a bit of a ham who tends to over-dramatize things, but I’ve seen far worse. We’ve got bigger issues than whether or not Beck is an over-the-top performer.
But he does make me appreciate the truly good talkers like Rush, Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin all the more. I have mixed emotions about Beck, quite frankly. I appreciate his fortrightness and his true passion for trying to restore some of our Founding ideals. But in a lot of ways he reminds me of Hannity – though, to be sure, he’s much better than Hannity. Neither really offers up any unique insight. It’s sort of the same old stuff packaged in a different way. Rush, Laura, and Mark – say what you will about them – have unique takes on any given topic and offer fresh perspectives. They go a little deeper and really make interesting connections. Beck is more about throwing out the red meat. There’s a place for that, but in the end it’s actually just a bit boring.