The 'I'm Just an Entertainer' Excuse

We've heard this from Glenn Beck and others quite a bit. Despite the fact that they air their shows with a serious tone, and despite the fact that many of them are on a network called Fox News Channel (as opposed to, say, a comedy network), many of the wingnut talkers throw around the "entertainer" excuse as soon as they're cornered.

In the case of Glenn Beck, it's more than just about whether or not Beck is an "entertainer." Beck is orchestrating a fraud, and needs to fess up. So in addition to making it perfectly clear in both description and content that he runs an entertainment show, he has to make it perfectly clear that he's playing a character -- an amalgam of Dr. Gene Scott, Lee Atwater, Scott Shannon, Rush Limbaugh and Joe McCarthy.

Sullivan, in the context of a conservative debate about High Pitch Mark Levin, writes:

Ah, yes, Limbaugh is just a comedian. Beck is just a showman. Palin is just a hockey mom. Screw that. It's the lamest excuse imaginable. Either these people are making political arguments or they are not.

In other words, are there any authentic and serious high-profile voices on the right, or are they all media goofballs? I say the latter.