Cringing, wincing and even sulking just little a bit, conservative shock-jock and part time conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck recently joined host Megyn Kelly on Fox News to revisit clips and memories of his time at the conservative infotainment clearing house. In the course of conversation, despite Kelly’s enthusiasm for his work, Beck seemed to lament his time and many of his statements with the network, in much the same way many of his detractors have:
[box type=”shadow”]”I look back and realize, if we could’ve talked about the uniting principles instead of just the problems, I think I would look back more fondly.”[/box]
Beck’s tempered regret, couched in the admission that he did enjoy his time and “had fun” at Fox, seemed to counter the joy with which Kelly recounted some of his more cartoonish gags and themes. Generally shrugging off compliments paid, both to the content of his old show and that of his most recent independent media venture The Blaze, Beck recounted his role as a right-wing lightning rod, saying that looking back, he’d wished he had talked more of unifying and uniting topics, as opposed to that which he knew would be divisive.
[box type=”shadow”]“I remember it as an awful lot of fun and that I made an awful lot of mistakes, and I wish I could go back and be more uniting in my language. I think I played a role, unfortunately, in helping tear the country apart and it’s not who we are.”[/box]
His admission comes just on the heels of other surprising comments, wherein Beck claimed that he would stand as an ally with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination (GLAAD) and the LGBTQ community against what he labeled as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “hetero-fascism.” Additionally last June, Beck offered a similar mea culpa for his role in fueling the now bitter and heavily entrenched division in America.
Among Beck’s more notable themes at Fox News and in much of his own programming, were routine references to Hitler and the German Nazi Party, which he would often invoke while attempting to draw comparisons between the Obama Administration and American progressive politics. Hyperbolic, divisive and often drawing criticism, Beck’s program enjoyed phenomenal ratings during his time at Fox, becoming one of the leading voices for the increasingly extremist right wing as it thundered into the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.
While Beck’s surprisingly lucid calls for unity do have many scratching their heads as to the reason for the sudden turn-around, some media analysts and commentators are beginning to speculate that it was more a matter of commercial success, as opposed to any sincere or dedicated belief in his particular brand of ‘conservative-crazy,’ which drove the talk show host on throughout his tenure at Fox. Though such fringe-derived divisiveness and bitter partisan rancor still pours regularly from the likes of Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh, the apparent turn around of this once front and center conservative lunatic does give one pause to wonder just how invested in their hate and orthodoxy such wealthy and commercially viable pundits as these truly are.