From the Editors
Islamophoberia, a place millions of Americans call home, will get a lot colder come 2012 because the main gasbag is being shut down in December. The decision of Fox News to cancel The Glenn Beck Show will leave the idiosphere scrambling for a new source of fuel to motor anti-Muslim ranting. Sure, there are alternative sources, like bacon-bookmarked Qur’an burning proponent Ann Barnhardt, who admonished her blog readers: “Go out, buy a Koran, video yourself burning it and post that on YouTube. Do it NOW. Show the muslims [sic] how utterly futile it would be to kill me.” Her burning and taunting was a gesture of “foursquare” solidarity with the mega- mustachioed Pastor Terry Jones, whose public Qur’an burning has been linked to the multiple reprisal murders in Afghanistan. But crazy-on-crazy Youtubism goes nowhere toward filling the soon-to-be-Beck-less void on Islamophoberia Central, Fox News.
The Beckmeister (as his fellow Fox pundit Bill O’Reilly likes to call him) didn’t want his viewers to imitate his shtick or to act spontaneously in anger; he wanted them to follow him. And follow him they did: His loonapalooza in Washington, DC, on August 28, 2010 (a date chosen because it was the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech), attracted hundreds of thousands of people to the National Mall. And he wanted them to learn from him, which is why so many of his shows featured multiple chalk boards where he could map the various evil alliances that were conspiring against “us.” He warned his viewers about the civilization-destroying collusions among communists and radical Islamists, funded by George Soros and facilitated by Google. At the start of a three-episode series dedicated to fear mongering about the Egyptian revolution, Beck said: “We’re going to talk about one word…that brings together all of it…Caliphate. Caliphate. Most Americans don’t know what a Caliphate is. You have to educate your friends and neighbors. It’s like an empire.” Yes, it’s like an empire, and if you believe Beck, it’s coming soon to your neighborhood.
Now that Beck’s prime time days are numbered, where will Islamophobes go for their daily dose of cabled ranting? Let’s face it, Youtubing Qur’an burners and Muslim bashers can’t match the production value that the citizens of Islamophoberia have become accustomed to.
Sure, the the US House of Representatives provides an excellent set for Islamophobic fulminating. But Rep. Peter King can’t book the House on a nightly basis. One might even speculate that his wad is already blown. Sen. Dick Durbin’s counter-hearing on discrimination against American Muslims was a throw-down under the dome, and the King has yet to stand up after that blow. Anti-Park 51 is so last month. Yawnophobia.
The oh-my-god-the-shari’a-is-coming bloviations from nut jobs across the land are thriving, and will surely survive the end of The Glenn Beck Show. But legislation aimed at barring America from becoming a “shari’a state” won’t amass the kind of public support for passage without the teachings of Professor Beck.
The other losers who will suffer Fox’s decision to cancel Beck’s show are the late night comedians and their loyal fan base. Beck was the marshmallow spread to comedians’ peanut butter of humor. It made such a delicious mockery sandwich. No one, in my opinion, made that sandwich better than The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, who is already mourning the void.
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