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Irrelevancy expert weighs in on Glenn Beck

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One of the nation's foremost experts on being irrelevant, Joe Scarborough, has weighed in on Glenn Beck's decision to transition off his daily program on Fox News.  The Morning Joe host seemed exceptionally pleased with himself during his observation that without Fox News, Glenn Beck would be nothing. He and his incredibly uninteresting panel all agreed that Beck would 'fade to irrelevance' and learn the lesson the hard way in the coming years.

Normally people ignore Scarborough’s advice – but in this instance it’s worth giving a listen considering he knows a thing or two about being in the media and completely inconsequential to the national dialoge all at the same time.

Here's the clip - if you are still awake or haven’t changed the channel by the end of it, further analysis is below: WATCH

First of all, I love how Scarborough desperately tries to portray an air of such elevated importance that he doesn’t bother with petty details like what channel Glenn Beck is on and the name of the company that keeps track of television ratings. As if he’s not posting on TV Newser and Mediaite using the alias ‘ImKindofaBigDeal’ during 90% of his off hours. He reads the ratings. He just doesn’t know how to get them.

But I don’t want to rain on Joe’s parade – after all, he’s got a big anniversary approaching. On April 26th, Joe Scarborough’s WABC radio program commemorates it’s 1st full year since going into ‘hiatus’ in order to ‘redevelop’  into a new three hour show.

Don Imus correctly described what the ‘hiatus’ really was:

“His radio show is canceled. They’re not revamping anything! He will never ever be on WABC in New York again, ever!”

I can just picture Scarborough in the office of WABC brass, on his knees (watch out for the desk! I hear that can be a hazard) begging them to print anything, ANYTHING other than the show was canceled. What an epic fail. A radio show going on hiatus is like Helen Thomas saying she’ll be back in the WH press corps when her body is in prime bikini shape. Not gonna happen.

He’s so concerned about what his elitist buddies in NYC think of him and so desperate to get any attention – he’ll take it wherever he can get it. Bashing Glenn only wins more adulation from the left, hence the frothing at the mouth over his possible demise.

But there’s another factor at play. I stopped by Joe’s website today:

As you can see, Joltin Joe isn’t exactly en fuego. That’s his own site and the latest ‘in the news’ post is from May of 2009 – ouch. In fact, the only way Scarborough is able to generate any media buzz is by commenting on Glenn Beck– which likely only aggravates him even more. So there’s probably a little jealousy there.

But what Scarborough doesn’t get is that Beck is not like him. He doesn’t define ‘success’ by how much money he makes or by what television channel he is on. Beck is not afraid of being ‘irrelevant’ the way Scarborough is. The only thing Beck cares about is relaying what he believes in and delivering that message to anyone willing to listen – even if it’s 4 people at a backyard BBQ. If you don’t buy that, then clearly you’ve never pitched doing an hour on Woodrow Wilson and the roots of modern Progressivism to a cable TV news producer. Or Founders Friday, lengthy segments devoted to largely forgotten historical figures like Edward Bernays and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, etc etc.

I can’t predict the future. Maybe Joe is right and all 500,000 people at the Restoring Honor Rally were only there because of Fox News, and they will all abandon Beck as he fades into the distance.

But something tells me that won’t happen. I can’t put a finger on it, exactly. Maybe it’s the fact that Beck still has a thriving media company featuring a radio show with over 430 affiliates, hugely popular websites, sold out live stage shows and more.  Maybe it’s the fact that Sarah Palin is still a newsmaker – and she’s just a mom with a Facebook account (Glenn has one too - with 1.8 million fans. Scarborough's has 11,000). Maybe it’s the fact that the left has become obsessed with commenting on everything Glenn Beck. Maybe it’s the fact that bloggers and columnists know that including the name ‘Glenn Beck’ in a web article generates page views.

Maybe it’s something even more simple: Millions of people love Glenn Beck and want to hear what he has to say.

Who knows, I could be wrong. But even if Beck is all alone in the end – it doesn’t matter in the least. He’s doing what he thinks is right. He’s doing what he believes he was called to do.

Does anything else really matter?

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