Sunday, April 18, 2010

exposing glenn beck as a dangerous fraud



Glenn Beck interviews Sarah Palin.

HuffPo | Orson Welles, one of Glenn Beck's broadcasting heroes. In fact, the name of Beck's production company, Mercury Radio Arts (officially known as Glenn Beck, Inc.), is based on Welles' CBS radio show -- the radio show that famously aired one of broadcasting's most legendary hoaxes: The War of the Worlds.

Unlike the various Glenn Beck shows and publications, the Mercury performance of the H.G. Welles classic featured a disclaimer at the end (quoted above), formally noting the fictitious nature of the broadcast. Imagine if, unlike Beck, Welles had never broadcast a monologue postscript revealing that what had unfolded on the radio was purely theater. It's not a stretch to suggest that the ensuing hysteria during and after the show would've been far greater.

Every day, for four hours a day, Glenn Beck is playing out a Welles fantasy -- leaping out from behind an array of Carrot Top-meets-Gallagher props and gizmos while shouting BOO! at his audience without taking the slightest responsibility for the ensuing hysteria. In Beck's case, the "boo!" comes in the form of Joe McCarthy style red-baiting and Lee Atwater style race-baiting -- insisting with wildly incomprehensible chalkboard scribblings that Marxists and communists are lurking under our beds waiting to steal our money. Money that's better served feeding Glenn Beck's empire of fraud. I mean, just look! Those random words on the chalkboard spelled out the acronym "OLIGARHY!" Run for your lives, and all that. It's an OLIGARHY!

No disclaimers letting the audience off the hook like Beck's hero, the vastly more responsible performer Welles did. Beck, like several other Fox News Channel actors in Roger Ailes' ratings-at-all-costs strategy, presents his show as an honest assessment of the truth without any sort of in-show sign that it's almost entirely farcical.

One of the most common e-mail responses I've received from Beck supporters so far has been, simply: "Prove it." Suffice to say, I never would have started down this road without some sort of confirmation that my theory about Beck was on the right track. So prior to typing a single word, I spoke with some sources close to and within Fox News Channel and they confirmed exactly what I suspected: Glenn Beck is "a bullshit artist." A faker. A phony.

But don't take their word for it. After all, these are anonymous sources and their words ought to be evaluated accordingly.

For proof, I've tracked down an on-the-record source who says Glenn Beck could give a flying crap about the political process. Glenn Beck himself from last week's Forbes profile:
"I could give a flying crap about the political process." Making money, on the other hand, is to be taken very seriously, and controversy is its own coinage. "We're an entertainment company," Beck says.
And there you go. "I could give a flying crap about the political process." Given the hyperkinetic poo-flinging on his show every day, Glenn Beck knows flying crap. There's really no gray area here. It's all about the entertainment value inherent in ginned-up controversy. And right now, anger and insanity sells with Beck's white, conservative, Christian audiences.

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