Two people fear Glenn Beck: President Obama and Rush Limbaugh, said Michael Calderone in Politico. At least that’s what GOP strategist Mark McKinnon says, and he's got a point: With his “9/12” protests, the ouster of Van Jones, and the “czar” flap, “Beck is on a huge roll”—and the cover of Time, too. “Where does that leave Rush?” The king of conservative talk radio is “still large and in charge”—with a much bigger audience—but Beck’s power is growing “exponentially.”
After the Van Jones resignation, Fox News host Beck is now the “premier commentator on the contemporary right,” said Donald Douglas in American Power. It’s “amazing” how fast he’s come to have “a dramatic effect” on top-rung politics—“almost like All the President’s Men without Deep Throat.” If "Democratic malfeasance" damages Obama, people will thank (or blame) Beck, not Limbaugh.
Look, Glenn Beck is doing “tremendous work,” said Dana Pretzer in Scared Monkeys, but he has “a long way to go in both sustainability in the media and message” to match Rush. If anything, Limbaugh might finally be getting a “comparable ally” in Beck—or, to put it another way, maybe Beck is “cable TV’s Rush Limbaugh.”
Limbaugh and Beck are both “media dynamos,” said David Von Drehle in Time. But the “nervous, beset, desperate” Beck better captures the fear and “political weakness” of today’s conservatives. Limbaugh was suited to a different time—he “found his place as the triumphant champion of the Age of Reagan”—as was “macho Sean Hannity,” who “captured the cocky vibe of the early Bush years.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- An open letter to #brands about Gamergate
- The most sensible GOP alternative to ObamaCare comes from a Senate candidate who is almost sure to lose
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 'Having it all' has officially jumped the shark
- Did Republicans overshoot on the Ebola panic?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
Subscribe to the Week