TLP: The Dangers of Being a Little Too Impressed With Yourself
What's so difficult about enjoying a little bit of success? Maybe it's my lazy nature, but I'm pretty happy to have work, the opportunity to hang out here (as long as I behave) and enough money for what I need and a bit more for what I want (which often has to do with not behaving.)
That's why this slow implosion of Glenn Beck is curious in a way and expected in another. And also not unique: you can see the same kind of thing happening just about anywhere money and ego collide.
Here's how it hit Beck, according to the NYT:
The negotiations that led Glenn Beck to announce his departure from the Fox News Channel on Wednesday ended with an expression of “let’s part as friends,” according to several people with knowledge of the talks. But behind that moment was a torrent of acrimony that underscored just how fractious the relationship between Mr. Beck and the network had become during his three-year run on Fox.Beck used to be entertaining when he was content to be on the radio, from Florida, I think. He could tell a good story and make his listeners think. May not have been a millionaire, but no one was calling him a nut job, either. Rush Limbaugh was fun to listen to, also, back in the early Clinton years, before he started broadcasting from a mansion, overdoing it with the hillbilly heroin and taking creepy island excursions. Somehow, all that stuff became necessary, in sort of the same way Beck felt compelled to publish a pile of preachy books and take to the Lincoln Memorial.
Mr. Beck’s official departure was preceded by conversations over a period of months with the Fox News chairman, Roger Ailes. Even as Mr. Beck and Mr. Ailes described how much they liked each other in an interview with The Associated Press, the message conveyed between the lines by both sides was that, despite ratings that would normally bring about an automatic contract renewal, this was a relationship that had grown cold — and run its course.
On Wednesday, the two sides made it official, announcing that Mr. Beck would end his top-rated show at some unspecified point later this year. His contract with Fox ends in December, but he is expected to sign off well before then.
Hired away from CNN’s Headline News in 2008, Mr. Beck found a home at Fox News, giving voice to disaffected Americans who were deeply troubled by President Obama’s election. He reached as many as three million viewers on some nights, setting time-slot records for Fox. Although his ratings have since declined — he averaged 1.9 million viewers in March — he still dominates the 5 p.m. hour among the cable news networks.
Notably, Mr. Beck became a daily broadcast platform for a libertarian strain of politics that is also evident in the Tea Party, a movement he embraced. Critics loudly condemned him for living with his own facts — but that only seemed to widen the conspiracy that he outlined each night, aided by a growing number of chalkboards in his studio.
Same kind of thing goes for Keith Olbermann. Not that he had to stay on Sports Center, but he ended up pushing it too far, too, by the time Countdown ran out and he left MSNBC for whatever it is he's got going now. Haven't paid attention; it is Twitter or some web thing? More teevee?
Like I said, nothing wrong with success. But, fuck, is it really necessary to overdo it? Give lazy a try. You just might like it.