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Salon: America is bored with Glenn Beck


Maybe his audience is dwindling because it won an election, and now it needs a break from caring about politics 

March 8, 2011- Have you heard? Popular medicine show entertainer Glenn Beck is a bit less popular than he used to be. His show -- already something of a loss-leader for Fox News, as it's lost most of the better class of advertisers -- has lost a million viewers since last summer. It's still doing well, but any random frothing talk radio windbag could pull the same numbers on Fox at 5 p.m., and without the advertiser-worrying controversy.

In the New York Times this weekend, David Carr addressed a few of the possible reasons for the drop-off in Beck's popularity: his shtick has gotten depressing, he's less fun than he used to be -- but he's always been gloomy, apocalyptic and relentlessly repetitive.

Sure, the novelty's worn off. Lots of people have probably just gotten bored with him. I am kind of bored with him, though his efforts to spin the recent Middle East upheavals have been impressive, even for him. (Without the guiding light of the late Cleon Skousen's skewed history lessons, Beck has to improvise his take on world events, which can be fun.)

Last week, Adam Serwer offered his theory, that Republicans aren't worked up anymore:

I think the answer may be in this Pew poll Ben Smith flagged yesterday showing that the number of people "angry at the federal government" has declined by 9 percent. According to Pew, "much of the decline" comes from "Republicans and Tea Party supporters." Republicans have calmed down, and Beck has stayed high-strung.

In other words, they won the election, saved America from the socialists, and are back to watching "NCIS" reruns at 5. It's not necessarily that Beck has changed -- it's that the Republicans are done riling up the rubes, and the rubes need a break from getting riled up.

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