But he doesn’t leave the Republican leaning network with the most sparkling of records: in the last year, his viewership has declined by a third and over 300 advertisers fled in the face of a massive and sustained boycott.
Despite that, Beck’s audience was frequently more than all his competitors’ combined, topping out in the millions with every broadcast. But numbers or none, “later this year” it’s all coming to an end.
Here’s just a handful in the litany of quotes that some would say were Beck’s craziest. A reader poll with open nominations is below.
10. “God is giving a plan I think to me that is not really a plan. The problem is that I think the plan that the Lord would have us follow is hard for people to understand. Because of my track record with you who have been here for a long time. Because of my track record with you, I beg of you to help me get this message out, and I beg of you to pray for clarity on my part.” – April 20, 2010
9. “I don’t think we came from monkeys. I think that’s ridiculous. I haven’t seen a half-monkey, half-person yet.” – May 18, 2010
8. “I know the progressives are using progressive tactics. They’re not using Nazi tactics. The real answer is the Nazis were using early American progressive tactics. And that’s not my opinion, that’s historic fact.” – Jan. 20, 2011
7. “You know, we all have our inner demons. I, for one – I can’t speak for you, but I’m on the verge of moral collapse at any time. It can happen by the end of the show.” – Nov. 6, 2006
6. “This president I think has exposed himself over and over again as a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people, I’m saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist.” – July 28, 2009
5. ”There are a lot of universities that are as dangerous with the indoctrination of the children as terrorists are in Iran or North Korea. We have been setting up reeducation camps. We call them universities.” – Sept. 1, 2010
4. “I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out. Is this wrong? I stopped wearing my What Would Jesus — band — Do, and I’ve lost all sense of right and wrong now.” – May 17, 2005
3. “The only [Katrina victims] we’re seeing on television are the scumbags.” – Sept. 9, 2005
2. “You know, it took me about a year to start hating the 9/11 victims’ families. It took me about a year. Just like, oh, shut up. I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining. [...] I didn’t think I could hate victims faster than the 9/11 victims.” – Sept. 9, 2005
1. “They [Democrats in Congress] believe in communism. They believe and have called for a revolution. You’re going to have to shoot them in the head. But warning, they may shoot you.” – June 9, 2010
Bonus quote: “Let me tell you this. They shut me down on radio, that’s fine, I’ll do TV. They shut me down on TV, that’s fine, I’ll do Internet. They shut me down on the Internet, that’s fine, I’ll do stage shows. They shut me down on stage shows, that’s fine, I’ll go door to door. You will have to shoot me in the head. We are not stopping.” – May 18, 2010
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