Discussing Glenn Beck's comments that "there's a message being sent" through the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, Time magazine's Alex Altman likened his statement to Pat Robertson's comment that last year's earthquake in Haiti was attributable "to the old, apocryphal tale that Haitian leaders made a pact with the Devil in the 18th century to throw off French colonial rule." Altman added:
The comment isn't that surprising, I suppose; Beck has made a fortune sussing out conspiracies most of us can't detect. That doesn't make it any less odious. The death toll in Japan is expected to top 10,000. Thousands are still missing, whether trapped in rubble or submerged in the ensuing tsunami. To attribute a natural disaster caused by seismic shifts to human fallibility -- the U.S. national debt? Abortion? Japanese imperialism circa World War II? -- is both vintage Beck and, perhaps, the reason his numbers are slipping. It reflects poorly on Fox, which has correspondents doing real reporting from grief-racked Tokyo. If David Carr is right that Fox is pondering life beyond Beck, this could be the nudge they needed.