Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter


What, Exactly, Is Glenn Beck?

posted by douglas howe

The fine line between talk show host, newsman, media commentator, pop culture icon and spiritual leader has rarely become more cluttered than during the performance of Glenn Beck at the Washington, D.C. “Restoring Honor” event.
“Something beyond imagination is happening,” Beck told the audience at the National Mall in Washington. “America today begins to turn back to God. For too long, this country has wandered in darkness.”
While many journalists and cultural commentators are making a story out of the timing of the event–it fell on the same day as a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.–I think they’re missing a more relevant story as it pertains to faith, inspiration and our pop culture.
Beck sounded Oral Roberts-esque as he proclaimed “God dropped a giant sandbag on his head.” He sounded Jesse Zig Ziglar-esque when exhoring the crowd to “Look forward. Look West. Look to the heavens. Look to God and make your choice. Do we no longer believe in the power of the individual? Do we no longer believe in dreams?”
Moving on, he sounded Jesse Jackson-esque in this part of his speech: “Whites don’t own Abraham Lincoln. Blacks don’t own Martin Luther King. Those are American icons, American ideas, and we should just talk about character, and that’s really what this event is about. It’s about honoring character.”
And all this from a “news” man on Fox? And, further, an author and no doubt tomorrow’s tabloid sensation…especially when he stubs his toe.
Could you imagine Walter Cronkite leading a rally such as this? Ted Koppel proclaiming spiritual truth as if it was the news of the day? Tom Brokaw “reporting” on the state of our nation by making the news and reporting on it at the same time?
I do not see how our nation will ever “come together” as long as those who say they’re calling us together have clear biases, those who say they’re “fair and balanced’ are really from a particular perspective and those who say they’re neutral aren’t so neutral leaving American Andy and Alice with a void of authentic sources for news and commentary. When those who’re doing the “commentating” are really promoting themselves as stars on the rise, we really have lost our cultural footing.
I’ll be curious to see what’s next. I hope it’s for good.



  • Rob

    You don’t get it. We don’t WANT you and your liberal “authentic” lying, socialist supporting “news” media. We don’t want your cradle to grave government control. Since the lame street media isn’t reporting the news… I will keep watching Beck.

  • http://www.roulettetrick.de Roulette-Trick

    Hat jemand eine Idee wie umfassend dies verallgemeinerbar ist?

  • Ellen

    I think what Glen Beck did was racist and an insult to all African Americans and those other(white,etc)persons who believed in Dr.Kings message,fought side-by-side w/same and many of them were killed as the so-called white sheriffs and their cronies labeled them as trouble makers.At no time was I fooled into believing that Mr.Beck was trying to honor Mr.King and believed anytime about his cause,which by the way was a humane and just thing to do. Shame on him!

  • Alicia

    Glenn Beck is a poltroon. Either that, or he is Peter Finch in a Glenn Beck mask.

  • Louisiana

    All Americans are born with a terminal disease. It’s name is mortality. There is only one ending and that is physical death. That leaves one option and that is what are you going to do with the life you live. The way you live determines the way you die and where you live out your eternal life.
    Glen Beck is offering an alternate life style…that of living for others and not for self. His life style is dictated by our Creator’s desires to live through us, thus he is determining the way he will die and where he will live throughout eternity.
    Those of us who choose to politicize his remarks instead of understanding the message are doomed to failure and eternal life away from the Creator.
    Remember, Jesus the Christ,is alive, hears everything you say, watches everything you do and records it for playback at the point of your accounting for your life.

  • Tim in Colorado

    Let me first say that I have become a Glenn Beck watcher. Only fair. I do agree that it is also a fair question as to who he is. But I don’t think it’s right to hold him to the standards of broadcast journalists like Walter Cronkite, Ted Koppel or Tom Brokaw, since at least on the evening news we—supposedly—expect objectivity rather than subjectivity, and Beck has never claimed to be other than a pundit from the opinion column. Even so, each of the newsmen Idol Chatter cites have proven to be, to one degree or other, ideologues.
    Walter Cronkite has come out in favor of many liberal causes; he identifies himself as an Episcopalian, has contributed to the Huffington Post and supports one-world government by way of a global federation almost akin to what you’d see in an episode of Star Trek. Tom Brokaw’s known for his book and TV miniseries about what he dubbed “The Greatest Generation,” and he also sits on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and the mostly apolitical International Rescue Committee relief organization with progressive thinkers like Madeline Albright, Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, Kofi Annan Elie Wiesel.
    Ted Koppel might have said much with which Glenn Beck would agree in his address to the 1987 graduating class at Duke University when he uttered the following:
    “We have actually convinced ourselves that slogans will save us. ‘Shoot up if you must; but use a clean needle.’ ‘Enjoy sex whenever with whomever you wish; but wear a condom.’
    “No. The answer is no. Not no because it isn’t cool or smart or because you might end up in jail or dying in an AIDS ward—but no, because it’s wrong. Because we have spent 5,000 years as a race of rational human beings trying to drag ourselves out of the primeval slime by searching for truth and moral absolutes. In the place of Truth we have discovered facts; for moral absolutes we have substituted moral ambiguity. We now communicate with everyone and say absolutely nothing. We have reconstructed the Tower of Babel and it is a television antenna. A thousand voices producing a daily parody of democracy; in which everyone’s opinion is afforded equal weight, regardless of substance or merit. Indeed, it can even be argued that opinions of real weight tend to sink with barely a trace of television’s ocean of banalities.
    Our society finds Truth too strong a medicine to digest undiluted. In its purest form Truth is not a polite tap on the shoulder; it is a hallowing reproach. What Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai were not the Ten Suggestions, they are Commandments. Are, not were.”
    Perhaps this might put things in slightly better perspective?

  • R veal

    You are wrong about the rally, Glenn is dedicated to racial equality and you would know that if you were open minded enough to research what he said in his speech. No race was excluded from the rally, if you wanted to be there all you had to do is show you. Beck has done whole shows on black history and they were his most watched. I am sure only a racist would bring to the forefront the black founders that are not talked about I history classes. There were more black speakers and guest on stage than whites ,surely that makes it racist. MLK’s niece was a featured speaker at the rally is she racist or is the one that held her and prayed with her before she came on a racist.

  • RexdiPardi

    Thank you, Rob, Louisiana, R veal, and (especially) Tim in Colorado, for expressing yourselves as cogently and articulately as I wish I could. I made the trip to D.C. from St. Cloud, FL, in an old Toyota with my girl and a disabled navy vet, and the crowd (that’s 1/2 million, folks!) was like “family”, (as, indeed, in a Christian sense, they were). For the Liberals, I try to be uncritical… I mostly have pity for people who are God-less, humor-less and, if you depend on the mainstream “news” media, tragically misinformed.
    I have been listening to Glenn Beck since the late 90’s, when he filled a time-slot on NewsRadio 970 WFLA in the Tampa area. He had no agenda other than providing his opinions of mostly local matters with the humor of a “morning show DJ” and the honesty to be transparent about his own life-struggles, one of which was recovery from alcohol addiction, the same as me.
    At that time, his passion was directed towards an issue involving “Terri Schiavo” (I hope I spelled that right), who was laying comatose in a local hospital. The husband wanted to pull the plug and her parents were painfully begging not to. (Who had the final say?, the issue was). Anyway, this became a national story, which begat a complex moral argument ’round “water coolers” all across the land. This might have been his first BIG foray into the “parsing” of sensitive subjects, which spawn both support and disdain.
    Anyhow, I’m going on and on… Over the political debates of the past 2 decades, I have educated myself as much as my tiny brain would process; in this time I have concluded that I am a Conservative Constitutionalist (as well as Christian). The “Republican” label is merely a loose garment anymore. In these disturbing times, I have come to regard Glenn as a Brother and a beam of light for those of us seeking the truth and battling the “giants” (hurts, habits & hang-ups) of this world, such as it is.
    Please, if you read, pick up “The 5000-Year Leap”, “Atlas Shrugged”, and “Slouching Towards Gomorrah”… seriously.
    I pray for you, Ellen and Alicia. You’ve been duped and mal-informed.

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