Glenn Beck has become America’s right-wing sweetheart. The boisterous, overly emotional faker has captivated dim-witted audiences for years, and has ventured into the “non-fiction” and fiction realm of print, and even had the audacity to publish a children’s book. Although on the surface his anger and positions may seem sincere, and has surely mobilized a new generation of right-wing nut-jobs known as the “Tea-Party,” Beck has admitted that he only looks for two things: money and fame. And he will do whatever it takes to get it.
Shortly after the news of the Norway Bombing and Massacre was released, Beck called the idea of having a politically-oriented summer camp “disturbing” and likened those attending to members of the Hitler Youth, the Nazi Party’s youth wing.
“There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler Youth, or whatever,” Beck said. “I mean, who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics? Disturbing.” You can hear the clip here.
In the same show, Beck tied Anders Behring Breivik, the man who confessed to carrying out the two-pronged massacre, to supporters of “big government.”
“He is doing the work of a madman. He is doing the work of what all people who want big government always do, and that is commit terrorist acts,” Beck said.
If Beck had taken the time to read the manifesto, or even skim the thing, he would realize that this is the opposite of what Brevik urged. An ideological ally of Becks, albeit one who is actually willing to put his hateful words into hateful actions (unlike Beck who just wants to see the meony), Breivik was a Christian, anti-Muslim, anti-Marxist, small government, right-wing, lunatic. Sound familiar?
After being vilified for this by nearly every sane person, Beck shot back on Tuesday’s show and, rather than addressing the criticism outright, he used his favorite tactic; calling everyone and anyone opposed to him a Nazi. He compared the Obama administration’s approach to the present US debt crisis and the early days of the Nazi government in the late 1930s, saying: “I’m telling you – it’s the same situation. Hitler and all of the people in the Third Reich – they were all doing the same thing,” he said. This is Glenn Becks preferred tactic. When the going gets tough, or the viewers yawn, bring up the Nazi’s or cry.
Who is Glenn Beck?
Born in Everett, Washington, Glenn Edward Lee Beck, eventually moved to Sumner, Washington with his mother and attended a Jesuit school. On May 15, 1979, his mother, according to Beck himself, apparently killed herself by intentionally drowning. After her death, Beck moved to live with his father in Bellingham, Washington, and began drinking heavly. After graduating high school, seeing his calling in radio, Beck moved to Provo, Utah, the epicenter of American Mormonism, which Beck was later to adopt. Leaving after just six months, Beck moved to Washington D.C.
During his time in Washington, Beck abused alcohol and other drugs, got married had two children, and got divorced. Having lost nearly everything due to this abuse, Beck contemplated suicide in 1994. Eventually attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) he became more acquainted with Christianity – which is at the center of AA – and claims to have stopped drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana in November 1994.
Having no real college education Beck sought out a simple subject with only one real reference book: Theology. Beck enrolled in an “Early Christology” course at Yale, but soon withdrew because he simply could not hack it. He would never to return to formal education. For those of us who have attended college full or even part-time, this is simply laughable, especially given Becks consistent insistence of his vast understanding of politics, economics, history, and theology, which is often factually incorrect.
Not begin able to hack real college; Beck then began a “spiritual quest” in which he “sought out answers in churches and bookstores”. Apparently seeking to create what the rest of us get through four years of intense schooling, Beck chose to review just six authors which included: Alan Dershowitz, Pope John Paul II, Adolf Hitler, Billy Graham, Carl Sagan, and Friedrich Nietzsche. While surely unable to put these authors and subjects together coherently, one can see the beginnings of how Beckism (the hodgepodge, pseudo-critical approach to politics and economics) began to form.
Getting into Every Household
After his conversion to Mormonism, Glenn Beck’s star began to rise. Having been mostly a morning shock-jock failure, by 2000 Beck began to devote more and more time, and eventually the entire program, to his political ranting. Taking pointers from Limbaugh and Hannity, Beck combined his over-the-top style, which got him fired from nearly every job he held previously, with his simplistic and largely incorrect political and historical rhetoric which made him incredibly popular, and incredibly rich. By April of 2010, Forbes Magazine said “Glenn Beck has managed to monetize virtually everything that comes out of his mouth.”
Citing the success of his radio show, Beck was asked to host a commentary show on CNN and after just two years, and countless controversies, found what he thought would be a safe place at Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News. Having the niche audience, already
saturated with Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly yet craving more, Glenn Beck became the princess of Fox and by September of 2009, Beck’s program drew more viewers than all three of the competing time-slot shows on CNN, MSNBC and HLN.
Forbes Magazine, revealed that Glenn Beck Inc, made $32 million between 2009 and 2010. In an interview Beck admits to being nothing more than an “entertainer,” and does not “give a flying crap about the political process.” In February of 2010 he told USA Weekend that “you’d have to be an idiot” to “not notice the temperature change” caused by global warming, and that he thinks mankind may play a significant role in
the phenomenon. Beck has previously described himself as “a rodeo clown” and conceded, “If you take what I say as gospel, you’re an idiot.”
The Problem and the Missing Beck of the Left
The plain truth is that the idiots are out there, and they are listening. Glenn Beck epitomizes how the ruling elite can – through the right mouth, on the right face and with the appropriate amount of disinformation and theater – dilute and confound the working class. Playing of fears of Nazism and Communism (Becks two favorite misunderstood fetishes) and compiling a completely incoherent historical framework, Beck has – along with his compatriots at Fox News and Rush Limbaugh – bamboozled working people into believing that they have the same interests as Rupert Murdoch and the wealthy elite.
Glenn Beck is a threat to the American people. He lies, misinforms, side-steps and does not apologize, even for his most outlandish statements. The campaign of disinformation aimed at completely diffusing working class consciousness has been a rousing success. If ever this were more evident, one only needs to review the Tea-Party movement. Filled with ordinary working people who express the interests of the well-to-do, while dispelling their own, the Tea Party aims to dismantle the very support system which allows its members to survive.
What Beck shows is that with the right amount of charisma and elitism, people will sallow just about any pill, no matter how bitter. The left, and certainly the radical left, has been unable to muster someone like him. Partially because of the dedication to truth telling (something Beck does not worry about) and the inability to present said truth in a Beckist type of way, the ability to reach people in nearly the same way as Beck, is completely lost on the Left.
We need a Glenn Beck for the working class, and so far they appear to be waiting in the wings. However, in the age of watered-down, online content and the tall and strictly controlled totem pole of cable news anchors and pundits, the ability for a thoughtful, truthful and reasonable Beck of the Left to come forward is retarded by the interests of the elite who own newspapers and cable stations. This is also why Beck has been so successful. Those of us who wish to challenge the elite and their interests are not given the opportunity to do so through modern censorship. Therefore, we must reach people through unconventional means, and perhaps if the owners of cable news network’s see a buck in it, they will give us a chance.