Friday, August 22, 2014

Will the Real Glenn Beck Please Stand Up!

Glenn Beck seems to have undergone a change of heart, not so much politically as personally.  Beck no longer wants to serve as the conservative lightning rod.  Howard Fineman speculates that this kinder, gentler Beck is trying to appeal to more cable companies to carry The Blaze, his video-streaming television channel.  It has proven quite lucrative, pulling in about $20 million a year for him, but could do much better if more cable companies carried it.

The talk show host had already expressed some remorse in an interview with Megyn Kelly earlier this year, saying "he played a role, unfortunately, in helping tear the country apart," not realizing how "fragile" people were.  He would now focus on "uniting principles."

Glenn Beck credits Mormonism for this, but he had converted back in 1999 (thanks to his future wife Tania), when he attempted to break his alcohol and drug dependencies once and for all.  However, it seemed he replaced one addiction with another, and has only recently come to realize that his antics were more a product of his previous substance abuse than they were his religious conversion.  He produced a video, The Unlikely Mormon, in 2008 on his conversion, but it seems there are still doubters within the tight-knit Mormon community.

Having a (second) family does seem to have toned him down a bit.  So too the Sunday School classroom, where he said in his interview with Fineman that he encounters intense teenagers, who come from liberal families, that have taught him to be humble.  He donates a considerable amount of money to various causes, and even provided relief supplies through churches and other organizations to stranded children on the border at McAllen, Texas.

It is also worth noting that he did warn viewers about embracing Cliven Bundy, whereas Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh immediately rushed to old Cliven's defense, and turned it into a crusade against the federal government in the form of the Bureau of Land Management.  So, it seems Beck has become a better judge of character if nothing else.

All this may make Glenn Beck a better man, but his politics still appears to be in all the wrong places, to paraphrase country singer Johnny Lee.  He still views "progressives" as a diabolical force hellbent on imposing a socialist order upon us.  Hence, his threatening open letter to Andrew Cuomo.  Beck splits time between Dallas and New York, but apparently no longer feels welcome in the Big Apple after Cuomo's bellicose words a few months back.

Seems Beck's brand of politics appeals more to the Lone Star state anyway, where his Restoring Love show sold out Dallas Stadium.  Maybe he imagines himself assuming the mantle of Billy Graham.

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