Glenn Beck vs. Fox News: A Visual Guide to the Divorce

What it looks like when a talk-TV host goes off the rails

A friend in the TV industry whose business it is to know these things has a persuasive theory about why Fox News dumped Glenn Beck: Beck simply wasn't toeing the company line. Whereas other Fox News personalities dutifully parroted the preferred mantra about Obama and the White House being a bunch of left-wingers, Beck--after initially targeting administration figures (Van Jones, etc.) and winning huge ratings--consistently departed on his loony flights of fantasy about caliphates, SDS, and even fish sticks (stick with me here). My friend wasn't just spit-balling; he had evidence to back it up. He'd kept a list of about two months' worth of the tease headlines for Beck's show. He also had a similar list for Bill O'Reilly, whom he perceived as representing the Fox News baseline. It makes for a fascinating contrast--and if you plug it into Wordle, one you can visualize.

To establish what Fox News is aiming for, here's O'Reilly's word cloud (teases below):


And here is Beck's (I missed his show about fish stick...are they Muslim?):

O'Reilly's teases:
  • Has the tide turned against the American left?
  • President Obama's message not getting through
  • Another bizarre twist in the Arizona murder case
  • Repealing Obamacare, part 10
  • A fissure between President Obama and the left-wing
  • Will illegal aliens decide 2012 presidential election?
  • Are things getting better in America?
  • Winning the future
  • Battle between conservatives and liberals intensifies
  • More danger in the Muslim world
  • The far left and Egypt
  • Michael Waltrip opens up about deadly
  • Dale Earnhardt crash in new book
  • President Obama talks Afghanistan, civility and Fox News
  • Power shift in America
  • A Mubarak double-cross
  • Finally some good news for America overseas
  • President Obama and spending our money
  • 'The Factor' solves the deficit crisis
  • Budget brawl gets personal
  • Insurrection in Wisconsin
  • Is Janeane Garofalo a hypocrite for her acting roles?
  • Far left losing battle in Wisconsin
  • Pro-union forces step it up in Wisconsin
  • Is it possible to cover the union controversy fairly?
  • President Obama takes big hit in leadership department
  • Why Obama hasn't gone to Wisconsin
  • Is Obama on top of the Libya chaos?
  • Do Americans understand union uproar?
  • The bad guys win
  • Is liberal America going to win union controversy?
  • Will NPR and PBS lose tax funding?
  • Far left steps up to help union workers
  • Who's afraid of the jihad?
  • The media wars continue
  • Gov. Walker wins in Wisconsin
  • Death threats in Wisconsin
  • High drama in Japan
  • Is the nuclear threat growing in Japan?
  • Is Japan misleading world about nuke danger?
  • Obama catching it from both sides over Libya
  • Conservative talk radio opens up on Obama
  • Would you stand by and watch someone be murdered?
  • Libya, hypocrisy and doing the right thing
  • Examining President Obama's leadership War and money
  • Crazy violence from fanatical Muslims and an insane Christian
  • President Obama in reverse
  • Pinheads on parade
Beck's teases:
  • China is overtaking America in every direction
  • Some folks believe you can't think for yourself
  • How will China treat deadbeat borrowers?
  • How the White House is making Congress irrelevant
  • The solution to ending violence is not silence
  • What's the difference between 'investing' and 'spending'?
  • Like fish stick cookies, Reagan and Obama don't mix
  • Politics won't solve our problems
  • It's critical that you understand the crisis
  • Who wants a caliphate in the Middle East?
  • New caliphate? Author claims jihadists want to surround Mecca, Jerusalem
  • While Egypt is on fire ...the TSA is unionizing
  • Who stands against Islamic Socialism?
  • Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?
  • Red-Green Alliance: Troubling coalition unites against common enemy
  • Egypt is free ...Now what?
  • Inflation and you: We're on an unsustainable path
  • Beware of Google: Search giant too cozy with government and hard-core leftists?
  • Who is the 12th Imam? Author Joel Richardson weighs in
  • Busy Week For Radicals: SDS ready to party like it's 1968
  • Pain at the Pump: Oil prices at mercy of world events
  • Lasting Lesson: Insight from my meeting with Billy Graham
  • Nine days into the Libyan revolution and finally, the president speaks
  • Soros Resurfaces: Billionaire activist claims he knows who the real Puppet Master is
  • Tipping Point: As the nation faces a perfect storm, where do you stand?
  • Hiroshima vs. Detroit: Which city embraced the American Dream?
  • What's the American Dream? Equal opportunity or equal outcome?
  • Seeds of Socialism: Propaganda creeping into our schools?
  • Equal Justice or Social Justice: Obama administration makes its choice?
  • Wisconsin police stand with Van Jones?
  • What lessons can we learn from failed revolutions?
  • Get government out of oil market?
  • Elites Love Al-Jazeera: Media, administration officials trip over themselves to praise Arabic news source
  • Constitution Ignored? President's troubling reversal on Gitmo
  • Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely
  • Who's afraid of the jihad?
  • The media wars continue
  • Moore Declares War: Filmmaker, activist sets sights on Wall Street fat cats
  • Standing with Japan ... Against opportunists looking to take advantage of crisis
  • You don't want to use coal, oil or nuclear power? OK, now what?
  • Lasting Lesson From 'Three Little Pigs' The message is clear: prepare
  • Violent Rhetoric in Wisconsin: Richard Trumka promises 'you ain't seen nothing yet'
  • Set an Example: Be a beacon of hope, truth and friendship
  • Good vs. Evil: Union protesters promise to 'release all hell'
  • Radicals reveal their true agenda
  • President quickly making Congress irrelevant
  • Who stands with Israel? Key ally being left high and dry?
  • Iranian regime prepping for the 12th Imam?
  • Taxpayers funding terror? Financial jihad being waged against America?
  • Progressives ready to 'fight back'? Unions hold 'We Are One' rallies
  • Cutting $40 billion from the budget isn't 'dangerous.' It's a clerical error
  • Wait. I thought we had to close Guantanamo Bay?
  • My future and Fox News: Prepare to be a leader
  • New World Order? Is America being squeezed out as global players form new alliances?
Presented by

Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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