Being a staunch supporter of legal recognition of same-sex couples, this lengthy love letter from 1970s porn star John Stossel to glass-eyed future Federal courthouse bomber Glenn Beck does not offend me on those grounds. Mr. Stossel's burning, animal lust for Mr. Beck is his own business and whatever hot, sloppy things he wants to do to the World's Angriest Mormon in the back room at a gun show is fine with me. But I don't understand what he hopes to gain by making his love letters so public ("A Refreshing Spin on Cable TV"). If you are ready to see a grown man and alleged journalist re-define the adjective "masturbatory" in a fawning paean to a professional colleague, this is not going to disappoint.
Few of us had heard of Glenn Beck a few years ago. Now the conservative talk-jock is everywhere.
Forty years ago, few of us had heard of AIDS. Now that shit is everywhere. Based on World Health Organization data and John Stossel's logic, the sudden and widespread popularity of AIDS means that it deserves our praise. Salut, AIDS!
His radio show reaches eight million people.
Howard Stern has 20 million daily listeners. Just imagine the numbers Beck could put up if he had lesbians, an embarrassingly Uncle Tom-ish black sidekick, and rampant audible flatulence during his show.
He's performing live before sold-out crowds on a comedy tour.
Two shows. Two! He did two shows which were telecast in movie theaters around the country. He also didn't tell any jokes, unless we count the rape skit as a joke.
He's had No. 1 bestsellers in both fiction and nonfiction
Other #1 best-sellers from recent years include Who Moved My Cheese?, numerous entries from the Left Behind series, the Tori Spelling autobiography sTORI Telling, and You Can Run but You Can't Hide by Dog the Bounty Hunter.
plus a new book, "Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government" came out this week.
Book titles are italicized or underlined, shooter. Also, wow, what a subtle plug! In the first four sentences too! Impressive.
If you think this is fawning, well…John's just loosening up his jaw here. You haven't seen anything yet.
And now he's host of his own Fox News show, which, even though it airs in the ratings desert of late afternoon, has a bigger audience than every show on the other cable news channels.
"And he can ride his bike real fast and he scaled Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen and he can dunk a basketball from the free-throw line and he's hung like Seabiscuit and you haven't lived until you've tried his paella! GOD I just want to blow him. Why won't he like me?"
Why is he so popular?
Why is John Stossel such a colossal tool? Some questions simply have no answer.
Now watch as he unhinges his jaw like a snake and really gets down to business.
Beck says it's because he really believes what he says. I don't buy that. Rachel Maddow and Lou Dobbs believe what they say, but their audience is a fraction of Beck's.
Have we not long since established that liberal talking head shows (remember Air America?) do poorly while mouthbreathing please-digest-my-food-for-me conservatives literally can't get enough of being brayed at like the jackasses they are?
I hope he's popular because of what he says, like: "Both parties only believe in the power of the party"; "if we get out of people's way, the sky's the limit"; and the answers to our problems "never come from Washington."
God, how insightful. It's like Jesus and Kierkegaard had a baby.
Much of the mainstream media despises Beck.
Huh. I wonder if they feel humiliated to be associated with him.
"The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart quipped, "Finally, a guy who says what people who aren't thinking are thinking." MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has repeatedly named Beck "worst person in the world," and one of his MSNBC colleagues compared his TV show to watching a "car accident." On "The View," Whoopi Goldberg called him "a lying sack of dog mess."
It was nice of them to go easy on him.
Some of his critics dislike Beck because they consider him a Republican lapdog, but he attacks both parties. He criticized the Bush administration's spending and bailout of AIG. He says that politicians from both parties are "lying to the people that they're supposed to serve," "flushing our country down the toilet for power" and ignoring the Constitution.
Ah, the ol' "he gives it to both parties" bullshit. This is often cited to make extreme right-wing media figures appear non-partisan. It doesn't really count when his criticism of the GOP is that it isn't conservative enough. That's not indicative of fairness or non-partisan status. It's a sign of mental illness and it makes him a curiosity worthy of gawking, like that guy you see in a restaurant who puts half a shaker of salt on his food but you can't stop staring because holy shit he keeps putting more salt on it.
He points to the takeovers of General Motors and AIG as examples of government grabbing power it doesn't legitimately have. "We're giving our freedoms away," Beck says. "The American experiment was about freedom. Freedom to be stupid, freedom to fail, freedom to succeed."
My God, where does he come up with this kind of fresh, innovative rhetoric? You've sold me, John. Make room, I want to blow him too.
Though Beck is a success now, he struggled for years with serious personal problems. His parents divorced when he was a teenager. "My mother was an alcoholic and a drug addict," he told me when I interviewed him for a "20/20" profile. She later committed suicide.
In most human beings this experience would produce something known as "empathy." For Beck it's just an anecdote cited to defend why he is so fucking crazy.
"When I hit 30, I was going down that same path. I tried for almost two years to stop drinking. I was a jerk. I fired a guy one time for bringing me the wrong kind of pen," Yet, Beck says, "I'd look myself in the mirror every day, and say, "You're not an alcoholic. You don't have a problem."
I liked this story the first time I heard it from, oh, every celebrity windbag in the past fifty years who went public with his or her "brave struggle against addiction." Dick Van Dyke did a much better job with this material, Glenn.
(snip: pointless "I was such a drunk" anecdote)
That night he went to Alcoholics Anonymous. Not long after, he became a Mormon. I asked him why.
Yes, Glenn, please tell us why you took the monumental step of religious conversion during adulthood. What deep spiritual quest led you to Mormonism, the mightiest and least plausible of all religions?
"I apologize, but guys will understand this. My wife is, like, hot, and she wouldn't have sex with me until we got married. And she wouldn't marry me unless we had a religion." I asked Tania Beck about that. She laughed, saying, "He's not joking."
Awesome. I just checked my groin and I am in fact a "guy," yet for some reason I am not quite "understanding" this powerfully retarded and puerile anecdote/life lesson.
Now Beck says that Mormonism has grounded him, so he's grateful to his wife.
Yeah, he sounds profoundly spiritually moved by the whole experience. He's really grateful to Joseph Smith, the angel Moroni, and his smokin' hot wife with her fat-ass Mormon double-D's. You'd understand this kind of religious re-awakening if you were a guy.
Whatever grounded him, I'm glad something did. Because it's good to have a super-successful cable-TV host
"Wow, I'm really giving him the business down here! I hope you're enjoying this as much as I am. By the way, on a completely unrelated note, does anyone have a mint? Maybe some gum?"
arguing that life would be better if government — Democrats and Republicans — just left Americans alone.
I hope he copyrighted this novel message of hope and self-absorbtion.
"We should reject big government and look inside ourselves for all the things that built this country into what it was," Beck says.
Yes, the many things that made us great – subsidized highways and subdivisions, a welfare state which made today's elderly the wealthiest such group in the history of civilization, the GI Bill, the regulatory state, and a now-extinct belief that we could solve problems collectively. No? OK, I guess Glenn is just talking about white male hegemony. And probably slavery.
So now that we've reached the end, can anyone tell me what in the flying hell was the point of this column? This piece is like the perfect hybrid of a ham-fisted sales pitch for Glenn Beck the brand and gay erotica written by a serial killer. It's bad, even for
Town Hall Intellectual Chernobyl. If I wanted to read 700 words' worth of a hirsute, mustachioed white guy fellating a Mormon I wouldn't have cancelled my subscription to Boys on a Mission: Under the Magic Underwear.