The Demise of Glenn Beck

| Fri Sep. 9, 2011 2:35 PM EDT

Hey, whatever happened to Glenn Beck? Didn't he hold a rally in Israel recently? How come I didn't hear anything about that? The answer comes from Glenn Beck himself: "I don't believe Fox was there," he said on his radio show.

Imagine that! No Fox, no coverage. Paul Waldman draws a broader conclusion:

What this illustrates is the continuing power of TV, not so much as a medium of persuasion but as a medium of status conferral....That's because even if they aren't actually watching it, being on television signals to those people that you're a member of the most elite club, and you can't be ignored. That's true despite the fact that cable audiences are tiny — Beck himself always reached many more people on the radio than he did on television, even when his TV show was at its apex. But now, no matter how many fans he retains, he isn't on TV so he might as well not exist.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? Good question. Now try this one: If a ranting lunatic doesn't have a show on Fox, does anyone know he exists? Apparently not. For some reason, we have bestowed this power to define who matters and who doesn't on Roger Ailes and Fox News. Why?

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