Critics of Fox News’ Glenn Beck might be stunned that he can speak for more than an hour without spouting even one juicy conspiracy theory.
“I think we’re gonna make it,” said Beck in his own State of the Union address, beamed into movie theaters nationwide Saturday night. Beck shared his newfound optimism during a telecast of “The Bold and Fresh Tour” over the weekend. The show, which Beck co-headlined with his Fox News colleague Bill O’Reilly, let two of the country’s most polarizing pundits analyze President Barack Obama’s SOTU speech and the continued fallout from Scott Brown’s election shocker in Massachusetts.
O’Reilly may still be the news channel’s ratings czar, but the crowd squeezed into South Florida’s Sun Dome (where the show was performed live Friday night) clearly favored Beck’s red-meat theatrics. The show proved as partisan as expected, with both Beck and O’Reilly hammering the likes of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Barney Frank. But while Beck had no compunction about taunting President Barack Obama, O’Reilly took a softer approach with the commander-in-chief. That might work on the small screen, but audiences were hoping O’Reilly would take the gloves off.
Beck’s portion of the show featured his trademark blend of political chatter and shameless mugging. And no tears were shed in the process.
On the State of the Union address: “Lemme start with something nice … gimme a minute,” he deadpanned. “He’s just one of the most humble men I’ve ever seen.”
“How does anybody take this guy seriously?” he asked to sustained applause, shifting gears — awkwardly at times — from humor to more sober fare.
Beck also slammed MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for his recent comment following Obama’s SOTU speech: “I forgot he was black for an hour.” Beck dug in for the satirical kill, offering up several scenarios in which a person might say such a line. Each time, it sounded worse — a comic approach as sharp as anything on The Daily Show.
Beck also played to his populist roots, decrying those who insist our national leaders have elite colleges on their resumes. “Harvard and Yale is what got us here. Whaddaya say we try a community college?” he asked, referencing part of Gov. Sarah Palin’s maligned educational history.