Fanatical right-wing media personalities have to keep raising the ante to hold their audiences
The blog post just prior to this one notwithstanding, I’ve paid less and less attention to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and the other giants of the far-right media over the years.
It used to be that I readily reacted to the outrageous stuff peddled by these people, especially Limbaugh and Beck. But as time has passed, I’ve come to the realization that these guys are trapped in a vicious cycle: The competition among them and others of their ilk is so intense that they have to keep finding new ways to hold their audiences, which are comprised for the most part of grumpy old white men.
Consider, for example, THIS STORY from yesterday:
Either Glenn Beck is getting a little jealous of Glenn Greenwald, or he really does have something huge on his hands. On his radio show today, Beck claimed that his staff at TheBlaze has been in touch with a “whistleblower” who could single-handedly “take down pretty much the whole power structure” of the United States.
“This country I believe is going to be rocked within the next 24 hours,” Beck began, “with some things that are going on in Washington and beyond.” He said that within the next day, he will be sharing revelations with his audience that will “greatly divide” the nation. “You are going to witness things in American history that have never been witnessed before,” Beck warned.
Describing the “whistleblower” who apparently came forward to Beck and TheBlaze, he said, “this guy is so afraid for his life” that he has said he will only tell his story on live television in front of Congress. Beck stated that the one document from the source that his team has seen would take down pretty much the whole power structure, pretty much everything.” He added, “It will take down the GOP, it will take down the Democrats, it will take down many members of Congress… the American people, you haven’t even begun to be outraged.”
Of course, the last time Beck promised a revelation that would change the course of history, it concerns the mysterious Saudi Arabian man who was questioned and released after the Boston Marathon bombings. That theory has apparently since taken a back seat to more pressing matters. If Beck does manage to “take down” the entire U.S. power structure tomorrow, we will be sure to let you know.
Beck’s strategy is different from — and riskier than — Limbaugh’s approach to riling up the geezers. Beck keeps promising apocalyptic developments, while Limbaugh merely contents himself with ever more racist and sexist rhetoric.
I say Beck’s strategy is risky because his audience might eventually tire of his crying “Wolf!”
And then there’s the threat these guys face from the increased attention paid these days to Alex Jones, a radio blabber who is so outrageous that he makes Beck and Limbaugh look like milquetoasts.