South Carolina Republican Bob Inglis, frustrated by a restive crowd at a recent forum to discuss health care reform, suggested people turn off the TV when Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck came on.
Judging by the escalating boos and catcalls, squirting lighter fluid on burning coals would have been wiser. Beck is a hero to many people who are not buying the Age of Obama, and so is Fox. The network was already on pace for its best ratings year even before the health care debate sent viewership jumping during a traditionally slow month for news.
How emboldened is Fox? After President Barack Obama’s press secretary Robert Gibbs warned against “cable news” derailing health care plans, Bill O’Reilly assumed he was referring to Fox and seemed ready for a fight.
“Who’s that going to help?” O’Reilly said. “Us, that’s who. Our ratings are already soaring because we don’t denigrate the protesters, the way a lot of other TV news organizations do. They’re dying. We’re on fire.”
Read More: By David Brauder, Associated Press