With a deadpan, Beck insists that he is not political: “I could give a flying crap about the political process.” Making money, on the other hand, is to be taken very seriously, and controversy is its own coinage. “We’re an entertainment company,” Beck says. He has managed to monetize virtually everything that comes out of his mouth. He gets $13 million a year from print (books plus the ten-issue-a-year magazine Fusion). Radio brings in $10 million. Digital (including a newsletter, the ad-supported Glennbeck.com and merchandise) pulls in $4 million. Speaking and events are good for $3 million and television for $2 million. …
“I don’t necessarily believe that [what Beck says] is reflective of his own personal politics — I don’t even know if he has personal politics,” says Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers, a trade magazine devoted to talk radio. “I see him as a performer.”
It’s all about the money for Beck, the entertainer, who made $32 million last year. I guess this means we don’t have to take him seriously when he says things like this: “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.” It’s just his shtick, strictly for entertainment purposes. No harm, no foul, right?
So the mask is off. Does this mean that Beck’s portrayal of himself as a true-blue, all-American patriot is false? No, it doesn’t. Beck is a money-grubbing charlatan who doesn’t give a “flying crap” about the political process. How quintessentially American is that? It describes many of our recent presidents. Freedom, democracy, the Constitution, these are just empty symbols that are invoked whenever a politician wants to get elected or a president wants to take us to war. Devotion to those things doesn’t make you a patriot, it makes you a schmuck. Look at presidential campaigns. Any earnest Dennis Kucinich-type who holds up the Constitution and insists that we actually abide by it is immediately considered a non-viable candidate. On the other hand, any millionaire twit like Mitt Romney who can stutter out a few Reaganesque cliches is deemed a potential statesmen. At the very least, the pundits will assure us that he “looks presidential” and can “grow into the office.” It’s all about the money glow. We worship Mammon, not Madison.
Glenn Beck faithfully represents this creed. That he makes his money by deceiving ignorant and paranoid rubes just adds another count to the indictment. In fact, his talent for deception makes him downright presidential.
He is the perfect American patriot, which makes him perfectly repulsive, doesn’t it?