A friend in the TV industry whose business it is to know these things has a persuasive theory about why Fox News dumped Glenn Beck: Beck simply wasn't toeing the company line. Whereas other Fox News personalities dutifully parroted the preferred mantra about Obama and the White House being a bunch of left-wingers, Beck — after initially targeting administration figures (Van Jones, etc.) and winning huge ratings — consistently departed on his loony flights of fantasy about caliphates, SDS, and even fish sticks (stick with me here). My friend wasn't just spit-balling; he had evidence to back it up. He'd kept a list of about two months' worth of the tease headlines for Beck's show. He also had a similar list for Bill O'Reilly, whom he perceived as representing the Fox News baseline. It makes for a fascinating contrast — and if you plug it into Wordle, one you can visualize.
Well, it turns out Green's friend is also a friend of mine, and he emailed this morning to alert me to this. "A fun little side project of mine that you might find interesting," he said. And you might too. Click the link to see how Beck's brand of lunacy just wasn't quite the brand that Fox wanted.