Beck and Limbaugh: newsmen or showmen?

As anyone who reads this column regularly already knows, I hate Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. I’ve never dedicated a whole piece to them until now, and there’s a reason for that. It’s becoming more and more difficult to get really angry at what they do because they do it so often that you just grow numb to them.

Saying Rush Limbaugh is an ignorant waste of a human being is like saying the sky is blue at this point. His attacks against the left are so repetitive and predictable that there are no surprises with him anymore. There’s no point in demanding that he stop, because he makes $30 million a year. Why should he care what his critics say? People who like Limbaugh and people who hate him listen to his show for the same reason: to hear what he says next. He wants people to get mad at him, because it brings him a ton of press. He’s a showman, no more and no less. Hopefully more people will realize that as long as he’s popular, he’s not going to change his ways.

It’s also hard to stir up a ton of anger for Glenn Beck because he’s just too crazy to take seriously. I know I compared him to a terrorist a few weeks ago, and that was a mistake on my part. How can a guy who cries on his show regularly and believes that there’s communist propaganda in the artwork at Rockefeller Center (which the Fox News building is technically a part of, by the way) be considered a threat? He’s just out of his mind. He’s no different than those homeless guys you see on city street corners raving about how Armageddon is upon us.

Beck, Limbaugh, and others of their ilk are just media hounds. They thrive on publicity, positive or negative. They say outlandish things to get people talking about them. Occasionally it backfires, like when Beck lost most of his sponsors with his "Obama is racist" comments. But it still brought him into the national spotlight.

A similar figure who I forgot to mention earlier is Michael Moore. Sure, he’s a populist who I agree with on certain things, but he’s also a showman. His movies are full of exaggerated information and dramatizations that border on propaganda. He has to make sure people actually go see his movies, because truth isn’t a strong enough selling point. You can’t go to these people expecting truth and honest opinion. They just want fame at any cost. When they say hyperbolic things, we should remember what Al Pacino said in "The Godfather." "It’s not personal, it’s just business."

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