the strange, sad case of glenn beck

You may remember him from about a decade ago. He was the dude who got famous for scribbling on a whiteboard while racebaiting and yelling out conspiracy theories. I just looked for a clip, but there are so many Glenn Beck videos on youtube that I didn’t have the patience to find a funny one.

Because I do find what happened oddly funny. And he lives in sort of a weird space that I find pretty absurd. He’s not a lunatic like Sean Hannity–but really, who is?–and he can’t fake his way into sounding like a serious thinker like Bill O’Reilly sometimes can. He’s just this weird guy who scrolls through the internet and believes literally everything. Or at least that’s how I imagine his life is.

Anyrate, right before the election, he sort of re-emerged on the political scene, getting interviews and talking points out with all kinds of outlets (another sign that should’ve illustrated to everyone how worthless US news media has become). The word for what he did is rebranding.

He was changing his image. He vocally stepped away from his own past. Basically repudiating his entire career, or at least trying to cast it in a new light. As a journey from fringe conspiracy theorist to a gentler, more empathetic political thinker.

Like every major media outlet, Glenn Beck was vocally against Donald Trump. This was only of interest to people who still cared about his opinion and to liberals who wanted to shine a light on him and say, EVEN THIS WACKO THINKS TRUMP’S GOING TOO FAR.

To me, it seemed clear that he was hoping to leverage his new gentle and empathetic persona into a job at MSNBC, which is among the most useless news networks around. But it would give him a big platform and audience to say things, and that’s what typically matters to the pundit class. I mean, it’s hard to be a pundit when there’s no one watching your dumb face for an hour every day.

At the time, it seemed inconceivable that Trump would be president. I mean, even the day of the election, most media outlets were estimating that Clinton had somewhere between a 70% to 95% chance of winning.

We know how that turned out.

And why I find this funny is that Glenn Beck placed a bet on the future of his career. He saw a Clinton victory as inevitable and maybe a way for him to get back on television with his whiteboard where he could yell about conspiracies that Democrats would believe. He gambled on the Clintons and the DNC and he seriously lost.

So what is Glenn Beck to do now? This gentler, more sympathetic and empathetic man? We’re in Trump’s America now, where Breitbart is now State News, and white supremacists and militarists flood Trump’s Whitehouse, along with some of the wealthiest people in the country who support policies like increasing mass surveillance (which has bipartisan support, by the way–something the Obama Administration just signed into law literally today) and a Muslim registry (which also has bipartisan support, which goes to show how worthless Democrats are–also, the Muslim registry has existed since maybe before 9/11, so it’s not even a new idea, nor is using it to assassinate Muslims all over the world with drones [thanks, Obama]) and massive tax cuts for the wealthy, which will cripple the middle class and impoverished class (that impoverished class is now about 50% of the country).

I didn’t mean to get political there, though. I just think this Glenn Beck situation is a really funny thing.

Glenn Beck sold himself down the river only to find his new brand as worthless as the old one. And maybe the funniest thing is that he could have risen to prominence on his old shtick, because if there’s someone who loves a good old unverified conspiracy, it’s our next president, Donald Trump.


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