The penance of Glenn Beck

Many media personalities are far from noble. As in any field, there are those consumed by ambition and possessed of dubious ethical bearings.

And in an arena where influence is measured by ratings, views and followers, the pressure to increase those metrics can get the better even of men and women with weather vane convictions.

It simply becomes an issue of wealth and power, two of the oldest corrupters in the human experience. Part of the job of opinion makers is to be provocative. One could express it this way: illuminate, elucidate and agitate.

But chasing provocation is a dangerous thing. It often leads you further out on a limb than is wise or safe. Columnists aren’t immune to this problem, either.