With rise of Egypt, Glenn Beck's popularity falls

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In response to the Egyptian uprising, Glenn Beck is getting crazier and more extreme than ever with predictions of  a worldwide conflagration and implosion.

Beck's apocalyptic and deeply racist vision sees the rise of an Islamic "caliphate" or republic joined by "Marxists" in Europe and Asia. In his own words "When you take the Marxists and combine it with radicals of Islam ... the whole world starts to implode."

Interestingly, Beck's extremism coincides with a big drop in his January ratings - the largest dip for a cable TV show.  Deadline Hollywood writes, "In January, Beck's eponymous talk show posted the steepest ratings declines for any cable news program. Glenn Beck averaged 1.8 million viewers, down 39% vs. January 2010."

For younger viewers, the decline was even deeper. "In 25-54 [category], the drop was even bigger, 48%, to 397,000."

Notwithstanding Beck's  August event on the Washington mall, the TV performer and ideologue's popularity seems to have peeked two years ago in 2009 with 2.8 million viewers.

In recent months however, Beck, who called President Obama a racist,  has took a huge hit: first from civil rights groups, like colorofchange.org who organized a highly successful campaign to get advertisers to boycott his show - some 200 withdrew ads - and secondly from listeners who may have grown weary of his extremes - a factor that may paradoxically cause him to become even more acerbic.

The reason for this the drive for advertising dollars coupled with a decline in popularity of cable news shows. In this regard already two years ago commentator David Frum wrote "conservative talkers are responding to a collapse in advertising revenues. According to Scott Fybush, the proprietor of North East Radio Watch, talk radio has lost 30-40% of its ad revenues."

Frum continued, "In this environment, radio hosts believe that anger is their only path to survival."

Other cable shows have also shown a decline says, deadline.com .  "Also hard hit in January was Fox News' On the Record with Greta (1.5 million, down 36%; 333,000 in 25-54, down 49%). Other cable news channels with big ratings declines include CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 (595,000, down 34%; 174,000 in 25-54, down 43%) and CNN's Parker Spitzer (478,000, down 39% from last year when Campbell Brown was hosting the 8 PM hour; 125,000 in 25-54, down 46%)."

Last week, Jewish leaders took out an ad in Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal sharply criticizing Beck and other Fox News commentators' blasts at George Soros and comparisons of President Obama to Nazis.

Photo: Creative Commons

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  • I think a steep decline in cable news is a good thing. People should look elsewhere for quality information, and they should form their own opinions. TV pundits are rarely policy experts.

    Posted by Griff, 02/12/2011 11:41pm (3 years ago)

  • now is the time to really turn up, in an organized way, the national boycotts of the hate-monger. a number of natl organizations that pushed for calling the companies that advertise on Beck's show. one that surprised me is the Vermont Teddy Bear Co. turns out that they are extreme right wingers. I'd think they'd be particularly vunerable, depending, as they do, on people's good nature! please check out Beck's sponsors & let's really bang on them!

    Posted by bruce bostick, 02/09/2011 8:19pm (3 years ago)

  • Glen Beck is a clown, but it would not be wise of the left to dismiss him too quickly. Many Germans dismissed Hitler as a buffoon and failed to act till it was too late. Glen beck is an opportunist feeding off the strands of paranoi in the body politic.

    Posted by Ron Johnson, 02/09/2011 4:53pm (3 years ago)

  • MSNBC did quite a bit on how the right wing respectable conservatives are coming out against Beck and how he is attacking everyone and soon will be attacking Fox. That might do him in! His paranoia conspiracy theories are beginning to lead him to not trust anyone, starting with the left the bolshevics the Moslems etc. As he runs out of groups he is moving towards members of the right who criticize him and then it will have to move on to the extreme right and he will go full circle to Fox and all its phony reporters. Then Down he will go. most Americans support the revolt in Egypt and Beck is so confusing in terms of his theories that I believe he will spin himself in circles of hate and get fired finally. He really does a terrible disservice to the American people.

    Posted by Viviana, 02/08/2011 1:06pm (3 years ago)

  • As a professor of History, I sometimes "tune-into" Beck to see what perversions of American history he is shouting each week. Beck and his researchers need to take an 11th grade American History course. Beck is wrong on dates and events and his views, in my professional opinion, are totally at variance with what actually happened in the past. I find it insulting that he tries to pass himself off as an historian, especially when his statments take on a racist ethno-centric tone. Finally, maybe the people are seeing him for what he really is - an entertainer trying to make a lot of money.

    Posted by Norma LaSalle, Ph.D., 02/08/2011 1:03pm (3 years ago)

  • I hope that perhaps the shootings in Tucson had a lot to do with the decline in Beck's viewership. Maybe his saner viewers are beginning to see where his violent, hateful rhetoric ultimately leads.

    Posted by John Whiskey, 02/07/2011 5:32pm (3 years ago)

  • thanks for a good story i hope he continues to decline. let's not underestimate the power of murdoch and others of the more reactionary sections of the ruling class to come up with more racist anti working class anti labor liars like rush limbaugh who undortunately is still #1 in ratings for talk shows in solidarity jim

    Posted by jim, 02/05/2011 7:59pm (3 years ago)

  • If we have to hear anything at all about Glen Beck, Rupert Murdoch, and Fox News; this is the best. Congratulations to Sims also on superb writing.

    Posted by jim lane, 02/04/2011 6:38pm (3 years ago)

  • The former Morning Zoo shock-jock puts his own special spin on the classic song from The Jam, "That's Entertainment," as he screams into the mic. He is a voracious carnival barker of T-shirts and other goodies, though.

    Posted by RDC, 02/04/2011 5:40pm (3 years ago)

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