In the current issue of The Weekly Standard, conservative columnist and editor William Kristol scolds Glenn Beck for being skeptical of the Egyptian uprising. Kristol, a Fox political contributor himself, says the Fox News host's "rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East" are reminiscent of the John Birch Society, and that he's "marginalizing" himself through his "hysteria." Beck, in turn, lashed out at Kristol and "entrenched" Republicans clinging to power. Many are taking the two men's war of words as a sign that conservatives are turning against Beck and that his days at Fox News may be numbered. Are they? (Watch an MSNBC report about the debate)
Yes, a revolt is imminent: "Conservative annoyance with Glenn Beck's messianism has been growing" just as his ratings have been dropping, says Anthea Butler at Religion Dispatches. Kristol's criticism is just the latest evidence that the sharks are circling Beck, and that an "apocalyptic end" is coming soon for his media career. His "doomsday televangelist prophet routine jeopardizes not only his show on Fox, but any chance that he can be considered to be any sort of a king- or queen-maker in the 2012 elections."
"The sharks circling Glenn Beck"
Fox is over Beck: Kristol's criticism is "not unimportant," says Joe Klein in Time. The noted neocon is "very close to the throbbing heart of the Fox News sensibility," and "I've heard, from more than a couple of conservative sources, that prominent Republicans have approached Rupert Murdoch and [Fox's] Roger Ailes about the potential embarrassment that the paranoid-messianic rodeo clown may bring upon their brand." Beck's days at Fox may well be numbered, and "I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a mirror-Olbermann situation soon."
"How long, Glenn Beck, how long?"
Even the conservative elite is chiming in: "Kristol's words drew an approving nod from the National Review's Rich Lowry," says Ben Smith at Politico. The "conservative elite" typically keeps its aversion to Beck to itself, so a "public repudiation" is "rare" and notable.
"Beck blasts Kristol: 'Do anything to keep their little fiefdom together'"
And yet, Egypt is dividing many conservatives: It's worth noting that "Beck and Kristol aren't the only conservatives feuding" over Egypt, says Matt Lewis at Politics Daily. It's a divisive issue — just last week a conservative blog accused the American Conservative Union of being involved with the Muslim Brotherhood. Both Beck and Kristol are "advocating reasonable positions" — Kristol supports those in the streets, while Beck fears Islam will gain power — but they have gotten very "emotional" in expressing their opinions. While it's probably "frowned upon" by Fox News to have two of their employees publicly feuding, this isn't all that unusual given the situation.
"Glenn Beck hits back at Bill Kristol over Egypt"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to adopt the perfect rescue dog
- Why the poor can't catch a break on Thanksgiving
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- The lessons of Japan's latest recession
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
Subscribe to the Week