MEDIA
05/09/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Rise Of The Crying, Emotive News Anchor

"It seems like the voices of our leaders and special interests and the media, they're surrounding us." Glenn Beck, one of America's most popular television populists, was speaking to his audience on the afternoon of Friday, March 13, during an hourlong special. At this point, he was choking back tears. This was the money shot: the moment that gave the special its title. It was good. "It sounds intimidating, but you know what?" he asked his viewers through the brave snuffles. "Pull away the curtain, and you'll realize that there isn't anybody there."

Not long ago, television news was a no-cry zone. The top newsmen were celebrated for their emotional control in the face of gut-punching developments. War, death, terrorism, plague--nothing rattled their composure. But when it happened, when an anchor couldn't help himself, it mattered.

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