What Ever Happened to Glenn Beck?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 19 2011 10:39 AM

What Ever Happened to Glenn Beck?

glenn beck
Photo by GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images

Remember when Glenn Beck mattered? It was almost exactly one year ago that an irate Fox News and radio host was able to fill half of the National Mall for a rally to "Restore Honor." He got Sarah Palin to give a short speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. He inspired Americans for Prosperity to schedule a conference nearby for the weekend, FreedomWorks to host a party at Constitution Hall, and Michele Bachmann to hold a micro-Tea Party rally on the mall after the event.

And now he's trying to repeat his success in Israel, and watching lawmakers bail on it.

[Joe] Lieberman -- who originally announced his attendance during an appearance on Beck's now-cancelled show -- will have to lend his support in absentia, it seems.

"Senator Lieberman supports this event and wishes he could be there in person to express his support for a secure and free Israel, for Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, and for a rock-solid US-Israel relationship based on shared, eternal values and common current interests and enemies," the spokesperson said.

Separately, the office of Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Vir.) told me that the House majority leader -- who's currently in Israel with a delegation of lawmakers -- also won't be able to make it the Beck rally.

Though Cantor's attendance was initially announced by Beck (who apparently just added random names to a list without checking with anybody), the top Jewish Republican will be travelling back from Israel on Wednesday, exactly when Beck's rally is scheduled taking place.

Beck's news site, The Blaze, is doing fairly well, but I've never heard a peep coming out of Glenn Beck TV, and only Media Matters seems to notice Beck's radio show. Post-Fox News, I meet conservative activists in primary states who say they miss Beck. Without Fox, his imprint on the culture is barely noticeable. Of course, Beck's mission in life in 2009 and 2010 was to weaken the Obama presidency, and a case could be made that his empire's doing better than that one.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


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