Last night, on The O’Reilly Factor, fellow Fox News host Glenn Beck made an appearance to advocate a federal investigation, for purported voting fraud and corruption, of the group ACORN. Using Barbie dolls (video via Gawker):
This, actually, is why I find it easier to watch Beck than Fox’s raft of other political hosts. Sure, he may be selling a sensationalistic message of paranoia and social breakdown. But politics, or basic responsibility, aside, he has an entertainer’s sense of play with the medium of TV that O’Reilly, or perpetual sourpuss Neil Cavuto, don’t. (Watch O’Reilly, in this segment, try to play along by dropping that lead-balloon YMCA joke—he just doesn’t have it in him.) There’s this livewire sense of unpredictability to his show, a compulsion to constantly put on a show—be it with Barbies, cutting a cake to illustrate the budget, or building a Jenga tower—that is at least a corrective to being growled at by Papa Bear for an hour.
Of course, it is also a grown man whipping up a vague conspiracy on national television by playing with dolls. So there’s that. But there’s a part of me that has to respect Beck for at least being willing to own his nuttiness.