Who Is Glenn Beck?

Why Is Everybody Talking About Glenn Beck?

Glenn Beck is a conservative talk radio show host, author and tv commentator on FoxNews.

While Glenn Beck had been for years a solid second-tier radio personality in the tradition of Rush Limbaugh, with a show on CNN and Headline News and his nationally syndicated Glenn Beck Program on the radio waves, it was the move to Fox News and the airing of the Glenn Beck Show that made Beck a household name.

On a cable channel known for outrageous characters and wild-eyed opinions, Glenn Beck soon stood out from the crowd with his blend of sarcasm, social commentary and over-the-top antics.

In a short time, Glenn Beck has become the most talked-about Fox News analyst and commentator. Beck has pushed aside Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity and made the two of them seem reasonable by comparison. In fact, Glenn Beck has been so outside the box of conservative comment that many Republican leaders have felt the need to denounce Beck or distance from his comments.

That being said, Glenn Beck has edged his way into the political discussion and his comments can’t be ignored. Like my aunt said, “CNN is a dirty word in our house. I listen to Glenn Beck, because he always speaks the truth.” (Let me give an explanation: I live in Texas.)

Glenn Beck Profile

Glenn Beck was born in the state of Washington in 1964, where he was raised Roman Catholic and attended Catholic school. When he was 13, Glenn Beck won a contest that allowed him to appear on the radio as a disc-jockey. Beck would work his entire life in the radio business, though this job would take him around the country.

During that time, Glenn Beck knew his share of tragedy.

When he was 15, Glenn Beck’s mother died in a drowning incident. There was speculation by the Coast Guard that the drowning might have been a suicide, but authorities on the scene stated that it was a classic drowning case.

After Glenn Beck married his first wife, their oldest daughter was born with cerebral palsy. That marriage ended after 9 years due to Glenn Beck’s troubles with substance abuse (alcohol, weed).

Meanwhile, Beck had been slowly working his way through the radio industry. Glenn Beck left Washington at the age of 18 to work at a radio station in Provo, Utah, but left after a year, because he felt out of place. From there, he moved to Washington D.C., where he met his first wife, who was also in radio.

By 1996, Glenn Beck was working at a station in New Haven, Connecticut, and taking classes at nearby Yale University, partly on the recommendation of Senator Joe Lieberman. Glenn Beck too one theology course, but dropped out almost immediately.

When Glenn Beck remarried in 1999, he took his wife’s faith and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Beck family continues to reside in Connecticut (New Canaan) to this day. By 2002, Glenn Beck had founded his own media production company, Mercury Radio Arts, which produces his radio show, publishes his online content and his books, and manages the schedule for his speaking appearances.

It was around that time when Glenn Beck became known to a much wider audience, first through his syndicated radio show, then through his appearances on television. These days, Glenn Beck makes an estimated $23 million a year on his various endeavours.

Glenn Beck on CNN

Glenn Beck worked on CNN from the spring of 2006 until the fall of 2008 and his show was a success, despite being a lonely conservative voice on a left-of-center network. Beck had the 2nd highest rated show on CNN Headline News and posted his best-ever audience the month he signed to join FoxNews. His CNN producer had left for Fox a year earlier, so it was probably only a matter of time before the move happened.

While at CNN, Glenn Beck significantly toned down his performance. Though he was known to occasionally voice outrageous opinions that were likely to alienate the progressives, moderates and independents prone to watch CNN, one could watch the Glenn Beck show and come away thinking he was a fairly mainstream conservative commentator. That all changed when the television personality left CNN for FoxNews.

Glenn Beck on FoxNews

Since Glenn Beck moved to Fox to take over the 5pm slot from John Gibson, he has positioned himself as FoxNews’s most outspoken contributor. These days, Beck is the favorite target of The Daily Show, liberal bloggers and administration officials trying to tie the conservative talk show hosts to the mainstream Republican Party.

With the G.O.P. suffering an identity crisis after controlling all three branches of government for the first time since the 1920’s, with similar results, the conservative movement seems void of too many serious leaders in office. Men like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck have become the voices of Conservative America, and the Democrats seem happy to point out how crazy the G.O.P. sounds these days. This makes Glenn Beck a lightning rod for liberal commentators.

At the same time, Glenn Beck’s new higher profile on the “Fair and Balanced” station has made him fabulously wealthy, as he raked in $23 million last year from his tv and radio contracts, his books and speaking tours. So you might ask yourself, “Who is Glenn Beck, that he’s become such a notable figure in American politics?”

That’s hard to answer.

Glenn Beck might be a voice of American liberty as the Obama Administration tries to bring a new era of regulation and taxation (generally called “socialism”) to the United States. Or Glenn Beck might be a flamboyant entertainer who uses rhetoric and publicity stunts to sell books and gain listeners or viewers.

Or Glenn Beck might be a right-wing radical with a desire to incite those who will listen to him to undermine the U.S. government, justifying this behavior by the assumption that only conservatives love their country. Or maybe Glenn Beck is a religious fanatic who somehow conflates Christianity with American nationalism and justifies hate by assuming anyone against him is against God and country.

Or maybe Glenn Beck is some combination of the interpretations above. We report, you decide. We include facts below to let you decide for yourself.

Glenn Beck Beliefs

  • Is a Mormon
  • Believes in the Right To Bear Arms
  • Pushes for Increased Border Security
  • Pro-Life
  • Pro Death Penalty
  • Against Euthanasia
  • Believes in Free Speech
  • Believes in a Libertarian View of Free Market Capitalism

Glenn Beck Books

Since 2007, Glenn Beck has became a prolific author, producing 8 books in that time. The Christmas Sweater is meant to be a modern Christmas story with a message and, these days, Glenn Beck is touring the country telling the story himself, like a modern day Mark Twain or Charles Dickens (which is kind of cool).

The story itself is a great deal darker and less uplifting that I would have hoped, so fair warning, for those wanting to read an uplifting Christmas tale. Glenn Beck claims the book is 90% autobiographical. Though little that happens in The Christmas Sweater appears to have happened to Glenn Beck in real life, he may be telling the truth, assuming Glenn Beck had a dream where the Christmas sweater story happened.

Read The Christmas Sweater yourself to form your own opinion.

  • The Real America: Messages from the Heart and Heartland (2007)
  • An Inconvenient Book: Real Solutions to the World’s Biggest Problems (2007)
  • The Christmas Sweater (2008)
  • An Unlikely Mormon: The Conversion Story of Glenn Beck (2008)
  • The Christmas Sweater: A Picture Book (2009)
  • America’s March to Socialism: Why We’re One Step Closer to Giant Missile Parades (2009)
  • Glenn Beck’s Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government (2009)
  • Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government (2009)

Glenn Beck Quotes

Following are some of the more infamous Glenn Beck quotes and comments, though it’s hard to compile anything close to a complete list, given that Beck is daily commenting on America and his act gets more outrageous all the time. While reading these, keep in mind this is a man who professes to have a deep Christian faith (of the Mormon persuasion).

“When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I’m just like, ‘Oh shut up’ I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining.”

“The only [Katrina victims] we’re seeing on television are the scumbags.”

“I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today.”

“The most used phrase in my administration if I were to be President would be “‘What the hell you mean we’re out of missiles?'”

“I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. … No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out. Is this wrong? I stopped wearing my What Would Jesus — band — Do, and I’ve lost all sense of right and wrong now. I used to be able to say, ‘Yeah, I’d kill Michael Moore,’ and then I’d see the little band: What Would Jesus Do? And then I’d realize, ‘Oh, you wouldn’t kill Michael Moore. Or at least you wouldn’t choke him to death.’ And you know, well, I’m not sure.” –responding to the question “What would people do for $50 million?”

Glenn Beck Quotes Accusing Americans of Fascism

Glenn Beck also has a series of quotations about his political opponents, denouncing them as Fascists or Nazis.

Keep in mind that the definition of a traditional Fascist is an extreme nationalist who wants an aggressive foreign policy to bring civilization to the less cultured nations, who wants to outlaw the trade unions and other workers’ causes at home and who wants an alliance between the business elite and the government (“syndicates”, as they were called) to control the various industries of the nation, to better control the economy by limiting competition between firms and limiting the bargaining power of individual citizens or workers groups to the detriment of the working classes of that nation, in order to unite towards one goal: the national will (usually war potential).

Many Fascist governments, from Hitler to Mussolini to the Spanish Falange, sought legitimacy through alliances with religious figures (generally the Pope). Fascists also tended to confuse the differences between socialism and communism, assuming one was the same as the other.

When you’re reading these accusations, ask yourself whether Glenn Beck’s politics or the liberals’ politics are more in line with Fascist beliefs.

“So here you have Barack Obama going in and spending the money on embryonic stem cell research. … Eugenics. In case you don’t know what Eugenics led us to: the Final Solution. A master race! A perfect person. … The stuff that we are facing is absolutely frightening.”

“Al Gore’s not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them. It is the same tactic, however. The goal is different. The goal is globalization…And you must silence all dissenting voices. That’s what Hitler did. That’s what Al Gore, the U.N., and everybody on the global warming bandwagon [are doing].”

“Everyone is Hitler, except for me!”

Glenn Beck Quotes – Maybe It’s an Act

But you know, maybe Glenn Beck is just an entertainer who uses politics to entertain, like John Stewart or Steven Colbert. If you want evidence that’s the truth, read a few of the Glenn Beck quotes below.

“You can get rich making fun of me. I know. I’ve made lots of money making fun of me.”

“Life is what you make of it. There’s always fun and laughs right under your nose if you’re willing to open your eyes to see it.”

Or maybe Glenn Beck is a man of his word and he’s practicing the right to free speech in the greatest sense of the tradition. Free speech isn’t about protecting the thing we all agree with; free speech is about protecting all speech, including the speech we find offensive or crazy. To show Glenn Beck isn’t a hypocrite when it comes to this issue, here’s a quote you might find interesting.

“The thing I can say about Ted Kennedy is, at least he never flinched on what he believed in, and that’s the way America…the thing you need to take away from Ted Kennedy is, he stood up, and never flinched. Americans need to stand up and, without flinching, without fear, be a lion, and stand up for what they believe in. I didn’t agree with anything he believed him, but I admired [him]. Absolutely. That’s what this country is all about. Stand up for what you believe in.”

“All men are created equal. It is what you do from there that makes the difference. We are all free agents in life. We make our own decisions. We control our own destiny.”

Glenn Beck Opinion

Here’s my opinion about Glenn Beck.

Glenn Beck is a conservative with heavy libertarian ideas, like many conservatives from the Western half of America, and he believes he’s exercising his right to free speech. A large part of Glenn Beck’s act is to get enough attention to sell books and make a lot of money, and if he can affect the political discourse, that’s a big bonus, too. Believing in America as the Land of Opportunity and believing in his right to free speech, Glenn Beck likely assumes there’s no harm in what he does, and he probably assumes he’s doing some good.

I disagree, of course.

Glenn Beck’s theories about race, socialism and the motives of the progressives in this country are half-baked, and he has the platform to influence millions of Americans who, like my aunt, think Glenn Beck speaks “only the truth”.

Given that many people refuse to listen to two sides of a debate, that kind of cloistered thinking, where one only listens to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and only reads their books, leads to a form of self-inflicted brainwashing.

After a while, listening to Glenn Beck try to convince you that Barack Obama wants to turn America into a fascist state doesn’t sound so crazy after all.

So when you ask “Who is Glenn Beck,” I would say that Glenn Beck is a lot of things: some bad and some not-so-bad. One thing the two of us agree on is that he has every right to speak his mind on the state of American society and politics. At the same time, I have every right to say Glenn Beck is full of it and that his presence does more harm than good to America.

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