Last night was the final episode of the Glenn Beck show on Fox News. I realize that Glenn Beck is a polarizing figure. People either love him or hate him, but I don’t think that people can deny that he is one of the top influential people in media today.
I first found Mr. Beck on the radio nine years ago. Back then, 1590 AM would only play two hours of the show and then pick up the Ludlow show. It has been amazing to see him grow from those days to where he is now.
In the last three years on Fox News, I have learned so much. I’ve learned to “question with boldness.” This motto of his came from a quote from Thomas Jefferson that reads, “Question with boldness even the existence of God; for if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blind fear.” Another motto of Glenn Beck is that “the truth has no agenda.”
He has challenged his audience to get involved. During the first few months at Fox he urged people to gather with friends and neighbors with a “We Surround Them” party. I hosted such a party and much of my involvement in local and national politics happened because I dared to get out of my comfort zone that night. Mr. Beck started the 9/12 movement and is partly responsible for the emergence of the Tea Party. That is a big reason for the love/hate relationship that he has experienced.
Glenn Beck has challenged us all to become educated. My bookshelf is now full of books like the 5000 Year Leap, The Forgotten Man, A Patriot’s History of the United States, and America’s Prophet — Moses and the American Story.
Another lesson that we have learned from Glenn Beck is to follow your gut instincts. It was Beck’s gut that told him that America needed the Restoring Honor gathering at the mall in Washington, D.C. and his gut tells him that Israel is increasingly under attack and the same world that once said, “Never again” in reference to the holocaust needs a Restoring Courage gathering in Jerusalem.
Glenn Beck’s instincts have also told him to leave Fox News to start Glenn Beck Television, which is available on the Internet, even though his show has beaten all of the records for a 5 p.m. cable show and he was constantly in the top 5 in ratings until the end. In my opinion, limiting Beck’s audience to people who want to pay $60 a year to subscribe to GBTV is limiting Beck’s influence. Media Matters thinks so, too, and have thrown a party celebrating Beck’s departure from Fox. Time will tell if his gut or mine was correct.
Thank you, Glenn Beck, for your time on Fox News. I wish you well in your new venture.
Written by Bill Waller. Mr. Waller is a author and contributor local blog, Southwest Georgia Politics. He enjoys writing, traveling, and researching history. He currently resides in Albany, Georgia.