Bottom Line: No Clown

The Clown will be leaving the building! The one thing that really talks at FOX News is money! You can forget all about high-sounding principles, conservative causes and saving America, bottom line at FOX, if you can’t make money, you’re out!

And so it was on April 6: Roger Ailes of FOX News and Glen Beck, it’s in-house clown-prophet, parted ways.

April Fools Day? No. Go ahead, exhale. It’s not a joke.

Despite disclaimers all-around, the “it’s over” announcement finessed it as a mutual “parting of ways, with new projects on the horizon,” even Beck couldn’t spin it to his advantage. Deciphering FOX’s wording into actual English, Ailes really said to Beck, “Get out. We’re overstocked with clowns and you’re not a cash cow anymore.” I’m sure the newest GOP Presidential hopeful Donald Trump chimed in, “You’re fired!” Not mentioned was Ailes possible jealousy that Beck was making more than him on side adventures while using FOX as a platform and backdrop.

Beck, who had a meteoric rise from his talk radio niche, climbed the FOX ladder by bad mouthing everything Obama. His crash has been even faster. Even Beck, who has made a career out of trying to turn fiction into fact, was not able to prove that by loosing half his audience – down to 2 million from 4 million – that he now had 6 million listeners! Thanks to Color of Change, the group who initiated a boycott of Beck advertisers, the number of advertisers who didn’t want their name connected to Beck was said to be 500. Ailes, who is always thinking, “Show me the money,” got depressed. Beck had to go.

Beck is an amalgam of opposites. A converted born-again Mormon who was able to hit-up Evangelicals for everything from his Comedy Tour to gold investments. A news entertainer who could weep on cue like the televangelists he tried to emulate. A man claiming the Latter Day Mormon gift of speaking with God and the spiritual advantages of divorce and alcohol and drug addiction. A self-proclaimed scholar (See, he wears geek horn-rimmed glasses.) who never let facts support his conclusions.

If Beck was only an entertaining entrepreneur – sort of like a Donald Trump without the hair-flap – that would be benign. But he wasn’t. Not only was he shameless (think Lindsay Lohan trying to hawk replicas of the necklace she reportedly stole on Home Shopping Network) he was tirelessly hateful. Beck was someone who tried to out-hate anybody and everybody when it came to President Obama. (Does Beck believe what Mormon religious dogma has taught that God created people black as Divine punishment?)

The mainstream media gave him his 15 minutes of fame – over and over again. And, like his counterparts in Hollywood, the spotlight got too hot and he imploded. Anyone witnessing his recent programs, especially Beck explaining the involvement of the Presidents Senior Bush, Clinton, Bush Junior and Obama, in working to establish a Muslim Caliphate in ancient Babylon, had to know that Beck had gone from being on the edge to flying over the edge. Did he think God had given him wings?

carl matthesThe conservative right has many Americans lining-up as possible candidates for the Republican Presidential nod. All are possible but none are viable. Is this an opening for Beck? Tea Party folk might think of Beck as a Wild Card to be paired with Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann or Donald Trump.

Only one missing in a field like that would be Charlie Sheen.

It’s great to feel this sense of relief, Beck is off the airwaves. Remember, though, that Roger Ailes is no slacker. Who has he found to take Beck’s place?

Carl Matthes

Published by the LA Progressive on April 8, 2011
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About Carl Matthes

Carl Matthes is a native of Los Angeles and has lived in Eagle Rock for 45 years. He is the current president of UGLA, Uptown Gay and Lesbian Alliance, a grassroots organization in Northeast Los Angeles which provides a support system for gay men and lesbians and education for individuals and the community-at-large on the true nature of homosexuality. He is a former columnist and a current advisor to the Lesbian News, the oldest lesbian publication in America, which is owned and published by his sister, Ella. He was editor of the GLAAD/LA (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) newsletter, a former GLAAD National Board member and served as a GLAAD/LA representative on the LGBT/LAPD Advisory Board. Carl has also been a Board member of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

In July, 2008, Carl was legally married to Carl Johnson, his partner of 45 years, by Los Angels City Councilmember Jose Huizar. It was a unique gay/lesbian double ceremony as Carl's sister Ella and her partner Gladi were also married by Jose.