Today is Glenn Beck‘s last day on FOX News.
In the last 29 months Beck has managed, through timing and talent and theatrics and platform, to tap into the zeitgeist like no other person on the media landscape. He is, for lack of a better description, the Oprah Winfrey of the Obama era.
A whole bunch of people are rejoicing in his departure for various, familiar reasons: he’s divisive, he’s a hate-monger, he’s spent the last 29 months speaking in “ugly” and “reckless” terms, he’s become boring.
The people who aren’t rejoicing his departure have likely already signed up for the new GBTV.
Here’s what cable TV will be like when Glenn Beck leaves: a great deal less interesting. Whether the level of ridiculous cable TV rhetoric will diminish now that he isn’t around to act as its (sharper) Overton Window — how many websites and TV shows have anchored their coverage on his? — is unclear (signs point to no).
In the meantime, here are 10 of his most Beckian moments…as chosen by me.
This is the first post that every single person mentioned to me when I asked them what their favourite Glenn Beck moment was.
In 2009 Beck, in an attempt to demonstrate something about the economy, boiled a frog. It was a fake frog, but it looked very real. The next day he clarified.
Remember this? My lord what an amazing train wreck.
In 2010 Beck conducted a live and utterly mesmerizing (in the car crash sort of way) interview with embattled congressman Eric Massa because Beck thought Massa was getting a raw deal. 40-five minutes in -- Bull crap! Bull crap, sir!! -- Beck cut off the interview and, turning to the camera, apologized to America for wasting their time.
Poor David Bruckner. During a chalkboard segment on Beck -- before he became daily viewing for the entire media world -- he fainted. 'Think of the ratings!' Beck later joked when Bruckner apologized.
Here is Beck, at his entertaining best, responding to Time's Joe Klein.
In January, following the uprising in Tahrir Square, Beck pulled out his chalkboard and declared there was a new Caliphate coming. The term dominated Googe Trends, and most of the media, for days.
Woody Guthrie is a communist and the pie in question is the 'twice-fried cherry pie' from a Brooklyn restaurant called The Chip Shop
Here is is Beck's lengthy, over-the-top response to the media rhetoric following the Gabby Giffords shooting. Or the rhetoric against the rhetoric. Beck lists all the words, phrases, childhood icons, rock bands, national holidays, and box stores we may have to rename to keep them from sounding violent. Also, Yoda.
At some point in 2009 Beck installed a red phone on his set so that the White House could call him directly to explain themselves. Alas, they never called. However! One day a sharp-eyed viewer spotted the phone number on the bottom of the phone and did.
Beck, who was almost continually in hot water for his language regarding Obama -- Nazi comparisons and 'he's racist against white people' -- set off a firestorm of anti-semitism accusations when he cast George Soros as the ultimate villain in his world view.
It began when he said Soros had 'helped send Jews to death camps.' Unlike other occasions when he'd said idiotic things and shortly thereafter apologized, Beck merely doubled down on Soros. Then this spring he announced he was throwing a rally to restore freedom in Israel.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.