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Glenn Beck Leaving FOX News

Details are sketchy right now but NPR’s David Folkenflik reports that Glenn Beck is ending his weekday show on Fox when his contract ends in December but will perform “special projects” for the network.

Bill O’Reilly had this to say on Don Imus’s show yesterday:

I mean, this guy is building quite an empire…like him or not, he’s a savvy business guy…I don’t know if he’s going to do that or not. I mean, television for me is my main deal, but not for him.”

O’Reilly said Beck’s radio show is “pretty powerful in the middle of the country,” and that Beck could also focus on the many personal appearances that he makes. “It’s a business decision that he’s going to make,” he said.

Speculation has been that Beck would form his own media company. Writing at Forbes, Marc Babej thinks this would be a non-starter.

So what about the prospects of a Glenn Beck TV channel? Look at it this way: with OWN, Oprah Winfrey has made a play for a personality-driven network. However, Oprah has four key advantages: she’s associated with entertainment, not politics; she’s almost universally liked; she has been around for a long time.

Fourth, and most importantly, Oprah has a proven track record of minting money for those who invest in her. Beck, meanwhile, is having a hard time in that crucial department. Despite high ratings, Beck’s FNC program  has failed to attract advertisers comparable to rivals CNN and MSNBC in the same hour. In the last week of February, for example, Beck attracted 39 advertisers – none of which is a true A-lister. We’re talking the likes of Goldline or SeniorPeopleMeet.com.

I think that’s right. Crazy can attract eyeballs. But blue chip companies don’t want to be tainted by the association.

Update (Doug Mataconis): The New York Times reports that the speculation that James Joyner notes above has been confirmed by Fox and Beck:

Glenn Beck will end his daily Fox News Channel program later this year.

His departure was jointly announced in a statement on Wednesday by Fox and Mr. Beck’s company, Mercury Radio Arts. The statement did not specify an end date for the show, called “Glenn Beck,” which has been telecast at 5 p.m. on Fox News since early 2009. Mr. Beck’s contract with Fox ends in December.

Fox News and Mercury Radio Arts, which have sometimes clashed over the making of “Glenn Beck,” will “work together to develop and produce a variety of television projects for air on the Fox News Channel as well as content for other platforms including Fox News’ digital properties,” the companies said in the statement.

As expected, a senior Fox News executive, Joel Cheatwood, will join Mr. Beck at Mercury Radio Arts starting later this month.

The statement was briefly posted on The Blaze, a Web site owned by Mr. Beck, but it was then taken down. Representatives for Fox and Mr. Beck did not immediately explain why.

So Beck isn’t really leaving Fox so much as he’s stepping behind the camera in some manner. As for the reasons why, there have been plenty of stories about tension between Fox and Beck that don’t need to be retold but it’s also worth noting that Beck disclosed some time ago that he was suffering from an illness that would cause to him to eventually go blind.

Also, Howard Kurtz provides a behind the scenes look at the relationship between Beck and Fox News, which had deteriorated over the past year (not unlike the manner in which the relationship between Keith Olbermann and MSNBC fell apart in the end when you think about it.)

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. John425 says:

    “But blue chip companies don’t want to be tainted by the association”.

    By “tainted”, you mean harassed by leftist threats of boycott, don’t you?

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  2. James Joyner says:

    @John425: Ideology doesn’t much figure in. I’m guessing Bill Maher, Don Imus, and others have similar issues. Companies want to be associated with likable, uncontroversial figures.

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  3. michael reynolds says:

    He’s being fired from Fox, however much they might try to avoid saying it. H’e nuts and he’s so nuts he’s tainting a network run for the benefit of nuts. His ratings are dropping, the demo is even worse, and as you say, who the hell would buy time on this guy’s show?

    Smart move by the smart Mr. Ailes. They don’t want him around for the election.

    “Special projects” is just another phrase for “more time with family.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. Ron says:

    “Crazy” and “Nuts” are easy, lazy throwaway Ad Hominems (greatest of the Logical Fallacies)

    Maybe you’d like to comment on his at-bat-average for actually having been eventually proven-out as ‘correct’ on any number of the points he’s been dismissed-as-a-crackpot over?

    Just a thought – facts, y’know.

    – Ron

    P.S. James – do I really need to point out the threats against businesses by union-controlled organizations, for not posting signs in their windows supporting the unions in Wisconson? Or the similar threats in California over Prop-8? Or any number of petty retorts from TheWon that prove out his earlier proclamation of “We’re keeping score, brother?”

    Tell me again about how ‘ideology doesn’t much figure in’, or how we don’t actually have enough examples of how it does, for advertisers to reasonably expect it to happen again…

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  5. michael reynolds says:

    Ron:

    You know, I don’t really think it’s a logical fallacy to call a crazy person crazy. It’s simply descriptive. See, the alternative would be to deny there’s such a thing as crazy, or that people can be crazy. If on occasion there are crazy people then it’s not illogical to call them crazy.

    Right?

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  6. Nikki says:

    P.S. James – do I really need to point out the threats against businesses by union-controlled organizations, for not posting signs in their windows supporting the unions in Wisconson? Or the similar threats in California over Prop-8?

    Oh good lord, can we please end the whining about boycotts? I have been boycotting Fox News ever since it first broadcast! You are not required to spend your money or time with any business you feel advocates against issues that matter to you. If you don’t want anyone boycotting a business, then tell business to stay out of the advocacy game.

    Boycotts – the most bang for your protest dollars!

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  7. michael reynolds says:

    I’m boycotting Jersey Shore. And that’s why The Situation isn’t getting an endorsement deal for Bulgari. Because of the boycotting.

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  8. G.A.Phillips says:

    Harry you crazy…

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  9. G.A.Phillips says:

    If you don’t want anyone boycotting a business, then tell business to stay out of the advocacy game.

    Nikki, how is not putting a stupid neo marxist propaganda sign in your window and getting boycotted because you refused to all that carp that you just said?

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  10. Drew says:

    “If on occasion there are crazy people then it’s not illogical to call them crazy.”

    Indeed. And I invite everyone to read Reynold’s mostly bizarre, and often racist screed over the last 6 months here and at GE.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. jwest says:

    I’m not a Beck fan, but this appears to be a business decision on the part of Beck.

    His radio show brings him close to 30 million a year, as opposed to the television show that pays roughly 4 million. His books, website, appearances and other income producing work bring in more each year than the tv show also, so if something needed to go, the Fox show would be it.

    Although the liberals would like to think he was fired, people who get fired normally don’t get offered other projects at the same network. Beck’s numbers were always vastly better than the other cable combined, so I’m certain Ailes is sorry to see him quit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Ron says:

    Michael,

    It is a logical fallacy, when you use the statement of his alleged insanity as a blanket dismissal of his arguements.

    If you were just making a straight statement concerning his being-crazy, that would be one thing, but “He’s being fired from Fox, however much they might try to avoid saying it. H’e nuts and he’s so nuts he’s tainting a network run for the benefit of nuts.” isn’t just that – you’re saying that he’s being fired for what he says, and that what he says is…nuts.

    That’s not an arguement against his assertions or any particular point or prediction that he’s made – that’s an Ad Hominem attack intended to dismiss his words out-of-hand, in order to avoid ‘the need’ for any sort of intellectually-honest debate.

    By labelling him as ‘nuts’ you seek to obviate the need to actually disprove anything that he’s said – and then you layer on an extra level of distance from any responsibility to back-up your own assertions by also dismissing Fox itself as ‘nuts’, since it’s created/run for the ‘nuts’ viewing public – very convenient if all you’re in for is name-calling, less so for actually making a rational arguement against something/someone you disagree with.

    Not unlike responding to facts concerning Soros’ earliest history as a Nazi collaborator, by dismissing those facts as ‘having come from an anti-semite- while also blithely ignoring that the basis for the standard of ‘anti-semitism’ in question is the very calling-out of that collaboration, which is – in this case – a criticism against a Jew.

    It’s just an intellectually-dishonest attack-response.

    – Ron

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  13. john personna says:

    Ron, when people can run un-cut clips of a guy, as comedy, without commentary required, that says it all. Beck has become the easy story for late night, entertainment, comedy round-ups. Just show him doing what he actually does.

    Now, if you are asking us to ignore the crazy, and look for the gems … I’ll skip the earthy similes.

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  14. michael reynolds says:

    Drew, if it’s racist for me to call a racist racist, then it follows that if you really think I’m a racist, you’re a racist for calling me a racist. See the problem there?

    Stick to arguments involving dollar signs and selfishness.

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  15. michael reynolds says:

    It is a logical fallacy, when you use the statement of his alleged insanity as a blanket dismissal of his arguments.

    Uh huh. And which of his “arguments” did I address?

    See how the answer is, “none?” See how that kind of guts the rest of your rant?

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  16. michael reynolds says:

    Although the liberals would like to think he was fired, people who get fired normally don’t get offered other projects at the same network.

    Actually, that happens all the time. It’s face-saving. Ailes can’t piss off the whack-jobs who watch his network by firing the nut, but at the same time he can’t have the nut around during a national election cycle actively distracting from the Republican message.

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  17. Jay Tea says:

    Interesting definition of “fired,” michael. He’s working out the remainder of his contract, and then entering into a new, different agreement that will preserve his working relationship with Fox.

    Normally, when one is fired, they leave the job before the end of their contract, and they don’t get more work from their employer.

    In your definition of “crazy,” does that include the concept of “so nuts, he believes his own bullshit?” Cuz, if it does, then I gotta say something about pots and kettles…

    J.

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  18. michael reynolds says:

    Let’s say you and I have a contract for you to mow my lawn. And it’s contract renewal time.

    And I say, “You know what, Jay? How about you stop mowing my lawn. And how about I stop paying you to mow my lawn. But, hey, if you ever want to try and sell me a nice garden gnome, you know, as a “special project,” come on by and show it to me.”

    Think I’d have just fired you? Because I think I would have.

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  19. Jay Tea says:

    Bad metaphor, michael. Let’s try something different.

    You hire me to haul away your garbage. We’ve got a contract through the end of the year. (Not so seasonal.) In the beginning of April, we start talking and we agree that I’ll keep hauling away your garbage for the next nine months, and then I’ll walk your dogs or something else.

    The flaw in your metaphor is that it’s NOT Beck’s contract renewal time, that’s at the end of the year.

    Nice try, michael.

    Well, not really, but I’m feeling nice. I kind of spoke inappropriately on another thread, and I’m trying to make up for that.

    J.

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  20. Jay Tea says:

    For a Beck theory that is a bit more in touch with reality than michael’s fantasy, try Ace Of Spades’ take. Short version: Beck’s TV show is very energy-intensive, and pays a fraction of what he makes from radio, so he chose to realign his priorities before he burned out.

    I’ll put a lot more stock in Ace’s observations than michael’s nocturnal emissions.

    (Sorry, but Ace’s style really, really leaves its mark.)

    J.

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  21. michael reynolds says:

    It’s sweet the way you try to defend your heroes, Jay. But it would take a lot less work if you didn’t choose imbeciles and frauds to worship.

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  22. [...] Lonely Conservative, MyDD, Blue Gal, Liberal Values, News Hounds, Suburban Guerrilla, Atlas Shrugs, Outside the Beltway, Washington Monthly, Hot Air, Jack & Jill Politics, Runnin’ Scared, Daily Kos, Ben [...]

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  23. Jay Tea says:

    I certainly respect and admire him, michael, and yeah, sometimes I try to emulate him, but I’d hardly call him my hero.

    Oh, hell, who am I kidding. Ace is my blog-hero.

    Oh, you meant Beck? Sorry, don’t watch him, almost never listen to him. But Ace’s take made a hell of a lot more sense than yours, based on the known facts, and pointing out when you’re utterly talking out of your ass never grows old.

    Come on, michael. Show us how Fox fired Beck, then let him remain on the air for nine months more. How they fired him, but will honor the rest of his contract. You claim to be a great writer; spin us a tale.

    Or does your cheap shot at me constitute admission that you have nothing else to say?

    J.

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  24. Ron says:

    Michael,

    “Uh huh. And which of his “arguments” did I address?

    See how the answer is, “none?” See how that kind of guts the rest of your rant?”

    Um…no,… actually, it *makes* the rest of my rant – and thank you very kindly for pointing out how you dismissed the man as a ‘nut’ without actually taking anything he’s said to task.

    It’s always nice when someone lends an unbidden-hand like that – sort of renews my faith in humanity.

    – Ron

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  25. michael reynolds says:

    It is a logical fallacy, when you use the statement of his alleged insanity as a blanket dismissal of his arguements.

    I don’t address his arguments, which means the above paragraph is meaningless.

    If you were just making a straight statement concerning his being-crazy, that would be one thing, but “He’s being fired from Fox, however much they might try to avoid saying it. H’e nuts and he’s so nuts he’s tainting a network run for the benefit of nuts.” isn’t just that – you’re saying that he’s being fired for what he says, and that what he says is…nuts.

    No. I’m saying he is personally nuts. I also do think he says nutty things. But I think Limbaugh says nutty things and yet I don’t think Limbaugh is nuts. I think Limbaugh’s smart and a bit evil. I also think on occasion Olbermann says nutty things. Don’t think he’s nuts. Beck, however, is nuts. Beck is the Charlie Sheen of news: he both says nutty things and is actually nuts.

    Do you deny that a rational person can say nutty things? Presumably not. So you accept that being nuts is not identical to saying nutty things. Which means you accept the distinction I made.

    That’s not an arguement against his assertions or any particular point or prediction that he’s made – that’s an Ad Hominem attack intended to dismiss his words out-of-hand, in order to avoid ‘the need’ for any sort of intellectually-honest debate.

    By labelling him as ‘nuts’ you seek to obviate the need to actually disprove anything that he’s said – and then you layer on an extra level of distance from any responsibility to back-up your own assertions by also dismissing Fox itself as ‘nuts’, since it’s created/run for the ‘nuts’ viewing public – very convenient if all you’re in for is name-calling, less so for actually making a rational arguement against something/someone you disagree with.

    Oh, I’m perfectly happy to come back at another time and detail the ways in which his statements are nuts. But that’s not what I’m doing here. I’m saying: he’s nuts.

    Not unlike responding to facts concerning Soros’ earliest history as a Nazi collaborator, by dismissing those facts as ‘having come from an anti-semite‘ – while also blithely ignoring that the basis for the standard of ‘anti-semitism’ in question is the very calling-out of that collaboration, which is – in this case – a criticism against a Jew.

    It’s just an intellectually-dishonest attack-response.

    Riiiight. Okay. And I’m going to go talk to sane people now, okay?

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  26. Jay Tea says:

    Nice try, michael, but the topic isn’t your opinion of Beck’s sanity, but your opinion of the circumstances of his departure from Fox. You know — the fabrication you pulled out of your nether orifice and tried to pass off as unvarnished truth.

    Talking about how crazy you think he is doesn’t change that one bit.

    J.

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  27. SteveCan says:

    Gotta go with Jay Tea on this one …”You know — the fabrication you pulled out of your nether orifice and tried to pass off as unvarnished truth. Talking about how crazy you think he is doesn’t change that one bit.”

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  28. Ron says:

    Michael,

    First, let me applaud you and say ‘Way to Back-Pedal’ – I haven’t seen footwork like that since the Obama’s post-racial Attorney General started going on about how voter intimidation isn’t voter intimidation until it reaches his subjective measure of what “His People” experienced 40 years ago – really, Bravo.

    Second…

    “Riiiight. Okay. And I’m going to go talk to sane people now, okay?”

    If by “sane people” you actually mean ‘Other people who have also chosen to remain ignorant of the things Soros, himself, has admitted to in interviews’ - then “okay”, you go on & do that.

    It seems like a group you’d probably be more comfortable with.

    – Ron

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  29. michael reynolds says:

    From a sane person:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2011/04/06/AFNEgnqC_story.html?hpid=z3

    You boys stick with your stories. And remember them over the next couple of weeks as the truth slowly dribbles out. Beck is a mental case and Ailes had had enough.

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  30. anjin-san says:

    The first time I saw Beck I remember thinking that his target audience had to be folks who are mentally ill, or sort of borderline. Hard to imagine anyone with a firm grasp of reality taking that drivel seriously.

    But then it is possible George Soros has implanted a mind control device in my skull. ACORN may be involved as well.

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  31. move along peolpe, nothing to see here! says:

    people, y’all need to get a life, or better yet, get laid!

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  32. Jay Tea says:

    michael’s devastating rebuttal is a piece by “Dana Milbank, Opinion Writer.”

    So, obviously, if Milbank’s opinion agrees with michael’s opinion,, why, then, that’s as good as a fact!

    One slight problem: it’s all conjecture and speculation based on a whole bunch of things, not the least of it the biases of the opiners. And all it takes is one or two inconvenient facts to poke massive holes in their fantasies.

    Facts such as how Beck will continue his show through the duration of his existing contract.

    Now I’m going to engage in some speculation of my own, but unlike michael, I don’t confuse it with facts.

    I speculate that since Roger Ailes has been proven, time and time again, both a master manipulator and a brilliant businessman, his contract with Beck has numerous clauses that would allow him to fire Beck for a variety of reasons. And I further speculate that “Beck has gone batshit crazy,” “Beck is driving away advertisers,” and “Beck’s ratings are tanking” are all among reasons that Ailes could use to end Beck’s contract and remove him from the air.

    The simple fact that Beck’s contract has not been terminated, and he will continue his TV show through the remaining duration of that contract, is very, very strong evidence that said contract was not terminated, and Beck was not fired.

    michael’s insistence that Beck was, indeed, fired is very, very strong evidence that he has serious issues differentiating between his fantasies and reality, and tends to prefer his fantasies over reality.

    Just out of curiosity, michael… in your world, who won the presidential election in 2000? How many Democrats voted for the Iraq war in 2003? How many allies did we have in that invasion?

    What color is the sky?

    I’m sure I’d be fascinated to glimpse into the fantasy world you live in, and occasionally leave to visit us in reality…

    J.

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  33. michael reynolds says:

    And here’s another:

    “Half of the headlines say he’s been canceled,” Ailes said. “The other half say he quit. We’re pretty happy with both of them.”

    He also seemed to imply that Beck’s show might have been getting a little tired.

    “We felt Glenn brought additional information, a unique perspective, a certain amount of passion and insight to the channel and he did,” Ailes said. “But that story of what’s going on and why America is in trouble today, I think he told that story as well as could be told. Whether you can just keep telling that story or not … we’re not so sure.”

    Pretty happy with “Canceled.”

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  34. michael reynolds says:

    Why do you bother, Jay? You never win. And the truth is just going to keep leaking out: Ailes was sick of Beck’s crazy.

    In a few months we’ll hear that Beck is in rehab.

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  35. Jay Tea says:

    First up, michael, you’re citing Puffington. More interestingly, an unsigned Puff Piece. So I’m going to ignore that and go straight to the source they quoted and see what was actually said — in what was a joint interview with Beck and Ailes by AP, lifted by the Puffers.

    OK, here are more quotes that the Huffers didn’t think relevant:

    Ailes dismissed the financial impact of the boycott but expressed some frustration with it.

    “Advertisers who get weak-kneed because some idiot on a blog site writes to them and says we need to stifle speech, I get a little frustrated by that,” he said.

    “Call CNN and MSNBC and ask them if they’d like to have Glenn’s ratings at 5 in the afternoon,” Ailes said.

    Ailes emphasized that Fox and Beck will continue to work together.

    “We like each other,” he said in a dual interview with Beck. “We’re not drawing pictures of each other on the walls, having staff fights and stealing each other’s food out of the refrigerator or any of that stuff.”

    Sounds to me like Ailes didn’t want to give any credence to the “Beck was fired” BS, so he gave a non-answer. Nothing new there.

    So… how many fired people hold joint interviews with the guy who fired them? Don’t recall too many precedents…

    Say, michael, are you paid by the number of times you say “Beck’s crazy?” Or per variation thereof?

    michael, if you want to convince me, here’s one hint: stop using opinion pieces by opinionated assholes whose sole criteria is that their opinions jibe with your own. ‘Cuz if you think that qualifies as “evidence,” then you got even bigger problems than I thought.

    Or even thought possible for someone as seemingly-functional as you.

    One more point: I’m not saying Beck wasn’t fired. I’m saying that all the facts — that’s “facts,” not “opinions” — point against it. You’re the one asserting that he was fired as a fact, based on… well, whatever you are pulling out of your ass.

    J.

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  36. michael reynolds says:

    No, genius, I cited an AP story quoted on HuffPo.

    And when Ailes says he has no problem with it being reported as a cancellation your storyline is done and over and all gone now. Poof! Beck was fired, and he was fired because his ratings were drooping and he was scaring off advertisers and because he would complicate the GOP message.

    And Beck does all those things — lose viewers, and lose sponsors, and complicate the message, and finally lose Ailes — because he’s nuts.

    Like I said.

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  37. Nolo says:

    I don’t understand how people can call someone nuts and so strongly seem to believe it even though they do not mention one reason why they think that. What has Glenn Beck said or done that was so crazy? I do know however many of the things he predicts end up coming true after people like you and the rest of the leftish media bash him with no apology after the fact. He backs up his statements and predictions with facts in these peoples own words and all you can say is he crazy? Common sense says hes not… He tells the truth and gives you his own oppinion for his viewers to look into and find their own beliefs.

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  38. Jay Tea says:

    No, you gibbering dolt (I don’t feel like sarcasm), you linked to a HuffPo opinion of a HuffPo reprint of an AP story. I bypassed the opinion (that echoed your own) to the direct reprint, and pulled a few quotes that you and the doofus you subcontracted your thinking out to found inconvenient.

    You also quoted Ailes as saying that he was happy people said Beck quit. So, I guess, he quit, and he was fired? Which first?

    I don’t have a storyline. You’re the one with your own own little fantasy, and scrambling for something — anything — that will give the slightest credibility to your fable.

    Including twice citing opinion pieces as if they were fact.

    Apparently someone never explained the first rule of holes to you. Fine with me; kicking dirt down into your face never gets old.

    J.

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  39. [...] a new contract. I see this as a big deal, but time will tell how this unfolds for Beck post-Fox. Outside the Beltway offers a good overall coverage of this [...]

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