Glenn Beck's Last Show: What Critics Say

5:36 AM PST 07/01/2011 by Lindsay Powers
Alex Wong/Getty Images

While one writes his ratings will be "difficult to repeat," another notes his last hour on Fox News was “quiet, banal and kind of pathetic.”

Glenn Beck ended his show on Fox News Thursday. What are the critics saying about the controversial host, who will launch a paid Internet channel called GBTV?

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"Glenn Beck's last hour on Fox News Thursday after 2 and 1/2 years of considerable controversy, was relatively quiet, banal and kind of pathetic," writes David Zurawik in the Baltimore Sun.

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"My favorite loopy sequence involved Beck going through a stack of money and talking about each of the men on the various bills with the same kind of silly, schoolboy history he used at his rally in Washington," he went on. "When he came to Washington on the the dollar bill, he said, "Oh, can we eat some cherry pie? I cannot tell a lie." He used one of the voices in his head that only Beck hears."

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The Huffington Post
's media editor Jack Mirkinson noted that Beck "kept the chalkboards to a minimum, and shed no tears. He also shied away from too many specific recollections about his show. Instead, he broadly reminisced about what he said he had learned from the experience, repeatedly praised Fox News for allowing his show to air and professed his excitement for his next step: the Web TV channel known as "GBTV."

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"The show featured many of the things that made Beck famous—long monologues, high emotion, mentions of God and Hitler—but, in some ways, was hardly representative of the show that made him, for a few years at least, a cultural icon and a lightning rod," he added.

The Los Angeles Times' Andrew Malcom also wrote that Beck "did not cry once during his final show…  He did, however, pat himself on the back, he reviewed an odd list of things he and his audience learned over the 30 months on the network, and he gave his trusty blackboard a good working over."

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Beck was "defiant until the end, comfortable in his role as underdog," added Malcom.

Malcolm quoted Beck -- "I'm the only host who is supposedly the most dangerous person in America because of my influence and the least influential person in America because my ratings are supposedly declining" -- and then called him out for "not mentioning the annoying detail that he has lost more than 1 million viewers over the last year."

The New York Times' Brian Stelter noted that Beck could be tough to replace.

"In spite of his sometimes rocky relationship with Fox News, Mr. Beck’s ratings success will be difficult to repeat," he wrote. "Although Mr. Beck’s daily ratings have diminished somewhat this year, he remains a remarkably influential figure, making his departure from Fox after two and a half years all the more interesting."

Lindsay.Powers@thr.com

Twitter: LKPE

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