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Political Punditing: Glenn Beck

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Yeah, that Glenn Beck. He looks a bit like spectacle-less Drew Carey, ghostly pale with a boot camp buzz cut and he acts like he’s on an overdose of freshly minted Adderall. It’s sometimes hard to keep up with his pie charts, his ping pong table full of pennies demonstrating our deficit, his open consumption of toll house cookie dough on air (while he’s speaking), his massacred whole salmon flesh and an array of dry erase doodles complete with converging arrows. He’s on Fox News now *gasp* but I followed him over from CNN’s Headline News, where he was the political bookend to Nancy Grace’s crime related and similarly rant-infused show. (I’m still working at 5 p.m. and usually watch the second showing late night.) He’s also wildly popular online.

Okay, so the guy sobs openly on TV. Real tears, I think. He might be incredibly human or he might be giving an Academy Award performance. I can deal with it. He’s an entertainer, and he’s also a catalyst. Like me, he is wary of all politicians, no matter which party affiliation they claim. He can be downright scary when outlining conspiracy theories, and that’s one reason why I like him. Watching his show is like taking the rickety 100-year old wooden roller coaster at Cedar Point, it’s a thrill a minute. At least he has the cojones to ask the questions, off the wall as they may be, in the first place.

Why else would I like him? Well, he’s not as prickly as Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Anne Coulter or Rush Limbaugh. When he’s not crying, Beck’s smiling. Broadly. At least he’s good-natured about our current crisis, which is coincidentally how I view the world (yes, even with my bitching). He appears to be genuine, unattached to any one party, and I like how he questions the mentality and ethical fiber of every politician who seems to be morally bereft. Lightning rod? You betcha. That’s what happens when you don’t believe all you hear and dare to question authority.

(Shades of the late ‘60s early ‘70s!)

I picked up Glenn Beck’s Common Sense over the weekend as I perused the $4 book offerings at Sam’s Club. Since making the pledge to stay away from television (snow storms, school closings and tornado watches the exception), I read more – a lot more. (The book was a few pennies more than my usual $4, but not as much as what it would have cost on Amazon.) With only six chapters, Glenn Beck’s portion of Common Sense is a quick read; I’m still mulling over Thomas Paine’s Common Sense which Beck has so conveniently placed behind his own version. Paine’s musings were a tad shorter, but not by much. Both books encouraged the citizens to take control of their future.

The book is aptly titled. Common sense around the Beltway appears to be in uncommon short supply these days. The first few pages of Beck’s book were directed at people like me, people who work hard, do the right thing, and who are still getting royally screwed by our government. Here he’s preaching to the choir. It’s not known if anyone else who’s getting screwed by the government (like everyone else who isn’t a politician, isn’t married to a politician or is without a politician in his/her hip pocket) has read the book or is affected by it.

Unlike Barack Obama who writes like the angelic orator he is, Beck’s writing is like his speaking voice. It comes at the reader from all sides and all at once. There was so much information packed into so little space, and while it took me only an hour to read, I was thoroughly exhausted by the end of it. I then needed a cool glass of lemonade and an Olde English dictionary to tackle Thomas Paine.

The one thing worthwhile thing that I take away from his raves is that despite the direction, this is still a free country. We are free to voice our opinions even if our voices are those of dissent. In fact, we should all wake up and ask "why" – often and with gusto. We are not mindless sheep to be led down the garden path by a collection of herders with bloated law degrees.

Beck, who also does stand up comedy, might be better served to take his message to the indie screen, a la Al Gore. He would need an expert handler who can rein in the enthusiasm and channel the message to keep it on track.

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About Joanne Huspek

I write. I read. I garden. I cook. I eat. And I love to talk about all of the above.
  • Good deal. I will be there.

  • As they say at the local Kingdom Hall, “AWAKE!”

  • 11 PM? Good God, I’m asleep by 8:30.

  • Yes, Ma’am. 11 PM on the East Coast, 8PM on the West. And if Bill O’Reilley’s minions are reading this (as I hear they do), get ready. Bill-O is going Down-O

  • Silas, I want to hear your show. Is that 11:00 pm EST?

  • Come listen to me Thursday night on BlogTalk Radio, Baronius. I’ve got an agenda and the GOP ain’t gonna be happy!

  • Baronius

    There is a real difference between conservative talk radio hosts. This morning I tuned into Laura Ingraham’s show. I normally enjoy her, but she was really angry and making over-the-line insults about Obama. We get to the commercial break, and sure enough, a voice announces that Tammy Bruce is filling in for Laura today.

    I’d say that there are two camps. Limbaugh and Ingraham are reasonable. Hannity and Bruce are nuts. I don’t know where Beck falls.

  • Actually, I’m in the process of interviewing a local pundit, very interesting guy. I hope to have the article complete by next week.

  • Sorry, Doc has apparently moved on.


  • Beck is naive, hysterical and not particularly bright.

    BTW – Are we sure that the photo that is currently on the left below here that of Doc Watson, or could it be Dave Letterman moonlighting as a blues singer?


  • I like Glenn Beck, he seems real and makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the insight to his book, Joanne.

  • Baronius

    Dread, it’d be a great idea. For one thing, it would bump “On The Road To 2008” off the features list, which makes this site look antique. The topic would be pretty interesting too. Dave could write about that Jones guy, and Glenn and Obnoxious could do pro- and con- Chris Matthews articles. Sounds fun.

  • ‘Political Punditing’. This would make a good series for BC, I think. Each one focusing on a different idiot… I mean maniac… I mean pundit. Sorry.

    Don’t worry, Joanne. I’m not volunteering you. The series wouldn’t have to have a single author.

    Wotcher all fink?

  • Baronius

    I haven’t heard Beck often, and I’ve never seen him. He seems ok, although he was awfully enthused about Romney, a fellow Mormon. I admit I have a bad impression of Beck just because people that like him also like Michael Savage, who is terrible and crazy.

  • Horace Mungin