I have to admit, I got choked up watching Glenn Beck walk away from his blackboard for the last time today. As he signed off the Fox News Network with the final segment of The Glenn Beck Show, I couldn’t help but think back on so many misty water-colored memories. Like the time he called President Obama a “racist” who “hated white people.” Or the time he illustrated his opinion on U.S. energy policy by dousing a guest in gasoline and lighting a match. Or, just a few months ago, the time he predicted that the world was coming to an end. Turns out it wasn’t the world – just his TV show.
Obviously, I’m not all that sorry to see Beck go. But even so – let’s be honest here – Beck’s final episode was hardly up there with M*A*S*H in terms of historic TV finales.
Like every episode since it went on the air in January 2009, it was a long, meandering filibuster that veered wildly from one far-flung topic to the next. There were set decorating secrets (“There was a time when I was going to get rid of the blackboard…”); stories about meeting Bono backstage at Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway; and vague hints about a secret plan to “fix America one person at a time” through a mysterious new venture Beck referred to as “Mercury One.” Mostly, though, Beck talked about why he was ending his show. Rumors of his firing, he insisted multiple times, were greatly exaggerated. The real reason he was leaving: “This show is a movement,” he said, glaring into the camera. “It doesn’t belong on TV.”
I don’t know about the movement part, but I do agree with Beck about one thing. His show didn’t belong on TV. But what about you, PopWatchers? Do any Beck fans out there want to call me a communist?