Sunday, June 27, 2010

Beck critic, Alexander Zaitchik, explains Glenn's motivation

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Alexander Zaitchik, author of the recently released Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance, sat down with David Weigel, then a The Washington Post blogger, for an interview. Weigel was the Post's blogger on conservatives in the news, but he resigned after he had sent messages that conveyed his views about Drudge and the Washington Examiner on a private listserv called Journolist. Journolist was run by Post reporter Erza Klein, and he has since shut that e-mail list down.

In this interview with Weigel, Zaitchik underscores Beck's motivations which "are, and have always been, money and fame. If Beck has a true religion, it’s not Patriotism. It’s not Mormonism. It’s cross-platform self-marketing." He continued to elaborate.

Zaitchik: The one constant in his life has been enormous ambition. His business and brand will never be big or successful enough—hence the new projects never stop coming. But I don’t think Beck’s self-image as a businessman is at odds with his beliefs about religion and politics. He doesn’t know enough about the world to understand why his grand-unified theory of a 100-year progressive plot is a laughingstock outside of his own TV and radio studios. I think he actually believes God wants him to make all this money and fight dirty for right wing causes. Does he really believe God is speaking to and through him? I don’t know. But in one of his books, he describes Heaven as a place where everybody “can make as much money as they want....”

Beck is a Mormon, which of course is a Christian sect. In the Bible, Jesus is told of having proclaimed the difficulty of rich men getting to heaven. Beck is ignoring that fundamental tenement of his beliefs as have many Christian capitalists since the Protestant Reformation. Beck is a man out for himself; and all of his fans are his market niche, i.e., conservative and mildly reactionary patriots who fear tax increases, big government and believe that people who are victims of economic forces beyond there control should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps. As if that were possible.

Note: Zaitchik was kind enough to give The Glenn Beck Review permission to reprint his entire Salon article,"The Man Who Changed Glenn Beck's Life." It's a story about Cleon Skousen, Mormon author of The 5,000 Year Leap, a spiritual fantasy about the founding of the United States.

Unlike David Weigal, while at The Washington Post, The Glenn Beck Review is not constrained by the strict limits of objective journalism. Beck is either  as misinformed as he portrays himself to be, or he's a consummate liar. Either way, he has a following that is loyal beyond reason, even beyond imagination. However, to see Beck is to believe him just so long as you don't know much or don't check his facts and claims. That's clear reading their responses to remarks on a conservative blog, Flogging Aces. Check this out:

Sharp tools?

Beck doesn't care about "truth" or "you" as he claims; Beck cares about money and influence. At any other network, he'd become a liability given the extent of the boycott working against him. Under the auspices' of Rupert Murdoch, the faction of one, anyone who pushes the agenda to the right is worth the lost revenues of advertisements and diminished reputation as a brand name. 
sharp tool

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SoloPocono said...

Ooops, sorry, hadn't seen this yet when I wrote the email!! My eye's had a rough day today. No, not "Beck syndrome", but glaucoma- a small part of the "pre-existing" I mentioned.

Daniel Rooney said...

I have read some of the excerpts from his lecture. I know better of the character after understanding his explanation.
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