How Powerful Is Glenn Beck?

The Fox News host puts a notch in his belt for Van Jones and commentators debate the extent of his clout

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Glenn Beck has gone from embattled--with advertisers boycotting his show and rumors that Fox might pull the plug--to political powerhouse. After winning his two-week war against Van Jones, as the Wire has covered here and here, Beck has liberals in conniptions, demanding explanations for why he commands so much White House sway.

What's infuriating to many on the left is that Beck seemed to be in the midst of a long period of mainstream alienation, with even some conservatives shaking their heads at his misspellings and conspiracy theories. Clearly, their hopes were premature. Now liberal bulldog Keith Olbermann is trying to finish him off, begging viewers to dig up dirt to give Beck a taste of his own medicine.

How powerful is Beck?

  • A Dominant Political Player, says Glynnis MacNicol at Mediate. "Jones' resignation has arguably just elevated Fox to the role of serious political power player (maybe the town hall meme that took hold in August should have been an early warning sign), and furthermore does not bode well for the White House, who now runs the risk of appearing to kowtow to Fox. Will the big media guns take this lying down?"
  • More Important to Obama Than Progressives, laments David Sirota at Open Left. "Right now, today's White House officials answer more to Glenn Beck, Blue Dogs and Republicans than it does to progressive members of Congress and the progressive base of the Democratic Party that got them into the White House in the first place."
  • Bold Enough to Take On More Administration Targets, warns Alex Evans at Global Dashboard, citing Beck's Twitter feed in which he writes, "Watch Dogs: FIND EVERYTHING YOU CAN ON CASS SUNSTEIN, MARK LLOYD AND CAROL BROWNER. Do not link before burning to disc."
  • Dwarfed by the Maintream, says Betty Cracker at Rumproast. "Speaking to his relatively small core constituency of fellow crazies and bigots, Beck likes to intone 'We surround them,' implying that the nutters who hang on his every word make up the majority. But the fact is, they don't."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.