What went wrong? Analysts suggest that Beck’s antics got to be too much – the tears, the conspiracy theories, the “Obama is a socialist” drumbeat.
“In recent months, it seems, Beck’s theories became so outlandish that even conservatives – both viewers and media personalities – were having a hard time stomaching them,” writes TNR’s James Downie.
He cites a theory by unauthorized Beck biographer Alexander Zaitchik, who says that Beck was caught in a vicious circle: “To keep viewers coming back, he had to keep creating new, more intricate theories. Last November, in a two-part special that indirectly invoked anti-Semitism, he accused liberal Jewish financier George Soros of orchestrating the fall of foreign governments for financial gain. During the Egyptian Revolution, Beck sided with Hosni Mubarak, alleging that his fall was ‘controlled by the socialist communists and the Muslim Brotherhood.’ ”
In another recent example, Beck warned viewers not to use Google, saying it’s “deep in bed with the government.”