Last week Glenn Beck went utterly berserk on his radio show when a caller challenged his opposition to the Obama healthcare reform plan. Last night Beck appeared on Bill O'Reilly's show to explain his ridiculous on-air behavior. Let's discuss it.
If you've heard the clip of Beck's freakout, you know that it was epic and childish and over the top and a million other things, but more than anything it felt like something that was painfully staged. When I first listened to the now-infamous audio clip, I remember being overcome with the feeling that Beck went on the air that day fully planning to go off on the first person to challenge him, just to get people talking about him, which is why I personally opted not to post it after it'd been passed over by our day editors, despite a steady flow of email tips alerting us all to it.
I tell you all of this to get to a larger point, which is this; working as the night editor here I'm sort of forced to watch Beck and occasionally post clips of his ridiculous antics. As much as I wish we could just all ignore him, the fact remains that he's a guy who's given a considerable amount of airtime to express his views each day on the nation's highest rated cable news network, thus, since this is a website that chronicles the media (among other things), attention must be paid to Glenn Beck, sadly. But it's something that's becoming increasingly hard to do, not only because I feel that by doing so that I'm sort of feeding the beast, but also because I just don't believe this guy is for real anymore. Sure, I do believe he's a conservative, but I just don't buy that he's as much of a wacko conservative as he makes himself out to be on his show. I've gone back and forth in my mind for a while and have finally come to an absolute conclusion—I think that Glenn Beck is a guy who looked out across the vast expanse of America and saw a nation filled with paranoid dipshits waiting to have their irrational fears confirmed and exploited by an expert modern charlatan, a role he's been all too happy to fill.
So I guess what I'm trying to say here is that Glenn Beck's lack of authenticity, or, better stated, my perception of his lack of authenticity, is really beginning to bug the shit out of me. And that's just freaking sad, isn't it?
Anyway, Beck tells O'Reilly that his rant on the radio last week was real. Needless to say, I don't believe him