The irony of Glenn Beck

Again, I give you all my sincerest apologies as my aforementioned bar-exam-related “brief hiatus” suddenly morphed into a new-baby-related break which ran into my new-job-related break and thus almost two months without a serious post.

I guess I was excited back in 2006 when I heard that an active Mormon was going to get his own prime-time news show on a major cable news network.  I mean, since we lost Jane Clayson in the morning and Ken Jennings in primetime, major national television was relatively Mormon-free.  Unfortunately, it only took a couple of episodes for the shine to wear off.  I mean, I understand that bigotry and igorance is acceptable and practically de rigueur for talk radio these days, but on CNN HN.  I mean, isn’t Lou Dobbs enough for the Ted Turner media empire?!

Of course, he is obviously attracting some viewers since his show is still on the air, and based on conversations I’ve had, I think that a number of Mormons find his really-conservative-but-not-Republican shtick to be attractive. Which brings me to what is the somewhat confusing irony of Beck’s notoriety: he is a terrible public example of a Mormon, and yet represents so many Mormons all too well.  I think that his views on immigrants, Muslims, and climate change (among other issues) are perfectly appalling, but I fear that too many of my co-religionists hold similar sentiments.  So do I lament Beck’s fame as an public Mormon figure because I do not want either myself or my church to be painted with his brush, or rather do I lament the fact that he is so shockingly typical?


14 thoughts on “The irony of Glenn Beck

  1. We have a Glen Beck clone in a smaller local radio market and in my branch. It is very alarming how often his Mormon fans view him as a great missionary asset–from the local missionaries (perhaps fans from his SLC show) who use him as a fellowshipper, to the local Stake PR muckety mucks who have him introduce all of our events.I cringe that he is the face of Mormonism in this area.

  2. I completely agree with you on this issue. I think that Glenn Beck is an absolute nightmare. He spouts such hatred and shows so much ignorance that it is surprising so many members embrace his shameful rhetoric as gospel…pathetic really.

  3. I am embarrassed when I listen to his show. I have a suspicion that the “shockingly typical” response for many Mormons has to do with the gospel-like devotion that so many Mormons put into their talk-radio listening experience. The political influence on opinions of Mormons, I would argue, comes directly from Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck. More than any other source, these shows have created and everyday reinforce the good versus evil mentality that is between conservatives and liberals. In their view, liberals are immoral evil secularists who are destroying the world, and Mormons believe every word of it, nodding their heads in agreement, all while stuck in rush hour traffic, alone, in a Chevy Suburban.

  4. I lament both of the things you suggest in the end. Glen Beck is a nightmare. On a related note that might be of interest, the Canadian comedy sketch show, “This Hour Has 22 Minutes”, parodied Beck pretty well a couple of years ago with a character named Ben Gleck. Scroll down to Nov. 14, 2006 at this link to check it out.

  5. His views are not as appalling as your overgeneralization that his views on all “immigrants [and] Muslims” are bigoted. Of course, if you actually listen to him, you’ll hear that he speaks out against radical fascist Islamicists (and plays the children’s shows from Iranian t.v. that indoctrinate kids with a Mickey Mouse-like character to teach them that jews are animals, not human). How bigoted of him!Seriously though, aren’t you eagerly anticipating another season of Moron Trivia? No?Hmmm, Rush had it right 18 years ago. Liberals lack a sense of humor. The “popularity” of Al Franken and the demise of Air America prove that in spades.

  6. I don’t have a (major) problem with Beck’s politics. As to his personality/behavior, I’m a little ambivalent. He certainly is a breath of fresh air compared to your average buttoned-up Mormon. On the other hand, notwithstanding his phenominal conversion story, I’m just not sure how I feel about someone as . . . abrasive as Beck becoming the public face of Mormonism.

  7. Anon,I hadn’t heard about that, but I saw the video of him smoking on the air. Frankly, charges of him being a hypocritical Mormon don’t worry me very much. In fact, if we can write him off as a bad Mormon and disown his ideas, that might actually be helpful. It is after all, his ideas and the vehemency and nastiness of his rhetoric that concern me.

  8. AHLDukeActually, I’m not charging Glenn with being a hypocrite – I’m one of his sick, twisted fans. I just thought it was funny because he is a well known Mormon and tatoos are so taboo in our culture.

  9. [5 Anonymous comments have previously been deleted. Anonymous commenters, you were warned (see Comment Policy on front page)]Funny how all the cowards in the world have the same name…Anonymous. Their mothers must not love them.

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