JONATHAN CHAIT APRIL 8, 2011
There's something funny about the tone of Jennifer Rubin's blog item kicking Glenn Beck as he heads out the door:
Glenn Beck announced his departure from Fox News this week. It was no surprise. His ratings have been tanking, his shtick has gotten old and he has become a clownish figure, each “gag” more extreme than the last.
In short, Beck is out of fashion in a time of increasingly mature conservative leadership. Yes, there are entertaining talk show hosts who educate and encourage the conservative base (Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved and Bill Bennett come to mind). They make positive contributions to the conservative movement. Beck isn’t one of these. Now is not the time for rants and conspiracy theories.
The time for rants and conspiracy theories was 2009, apparently.
But that is what she's saying, right? Beck served a couple purposes: He got conservatives revved up about Obama and out on the streets to attend Tea Party rallies and town hall meetings. He established a new standard of right-wing craziness that so was crazy that some pretty nutty right-wingers wound up looking comparatively sane. But his nuttiness has simply grown so obvious that he's outlived his usefulness to the movement. He's now "out of fashion." But fashions can always come back into style.