Glenn Beck used his final Fox News broadcast to take a trip down memory lane while also defending his voluntary decision to leave the network to the mainstream media that has suggested otherwise.
Beck’s opening monologue, which clocked in at 21 minutes, featured video comments from young people praising Beck’s show, a run-down of a chalkboard list titled “Things We’ve Learned,” and a jab at Daily Show host Jon Stewart, whom Beck chided for his large writing staff (Beck then brought his two writers out on stage).
He praised Fox News, particularly for its support of his “Rally to Restore Honor” last August. He also denied reports that he was pushed out by Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, citing the fact that his final show was broadcast live as proof that he was not fired.
Beck characterized his decision to leave the network as completely voluntary, supported with archive video footage of himself from last year talking about wanting to try something different. He announced earlier this month that he would take his show online-only at GBTV for a $4.95 per month subscriber fee.
“This show has become a movement, it’s not a TV show. And that’s why it’s not going to be on TV anymore,” Beck said of the move.
He spent a great deal of time criticizing the mainstream media, some of whom have suggested that Beck was dismissed from Fox due to sagging ratings.
“I want the record to be clear. I want you to know which news organizations you can trust,” Beck said, following with a warning, “you will pray for the time when I was only on the air for one hour every day.”
Beck’s website address, GlennBeck.com, was teased many times during the broadcast, and visitors to the site will find a link to Beck’s new online home, GBTV.com. He conducted his first broadcast for the site Thursday following his final show.
But in the end, Beck’s final farewell was anti-climatic, and the often-sappy host didn’t shed any tears. Instead, the show, which doesn’t usually roll closing credits, faded out on the list of Beck’s TV production crew written on, what else, a chalkboard.