A Bad Week for Glenn Beck’s Grift

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 21 2014 8:29 AM

A Bad Week for Glenn Beck’s Grift

He's on a mission from God.

Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Glenn Beck is nothing if not enthusiastic. FreedomWorks has (controversially) paid Beck to help promote its candidates and causes, and he has fulfilled his end of the deal. He talked up Kentucky's Matt Bevin as a "founder-quality" candidate. He showed up at FreedomWorks' FreePac, a wan echo of its 2012 Texas rally for Ted Cruz, to tell activists that they were on a mission from God. He's consistently sided with the current FreedomWorks leadership over the departed Dick Armey, telling listeners that the ousted guys "didn't like the fact that FreedomWorks is cleaning house in the GOP."

Well, Bevin just lost his race, and McConnell, who always polled around 60 percent of the vote, won around ... 60 percent of the vote. This would be embarrassing enough for Beck, who climbed far out on a limb, if he weren't also taking friendly fire from people who participated in the (even more misconcieved) "Operation American Spring" rally in D.C. only to see Beck's channel make fun of them. Via Brad Friedman:

“Operation American Spring was BECKSTABBED and then TheBlaze has the nerve to mock them for low turnout,” said one furious commenter at The Blaze. “Of course glenn [sic] did not endorse it, it wasn’t his PARTY,” said another in response.
And on and on it went. While many Blaze readers predictably blamed the usual “commie” or “Muslim” or “liberal” or “government” operatives for undermining the event, the most vitriol in The Blaze’s hundreds of comments on the one article seemed to be reserved for Beck himself.
Reading through them, one finds many calls for an armed or otherwise violent overthrow of the government. Some commenters complained they hadn’t heard about the event until it had already failed, while many blamed Beck for that as well.

When this year's over, I'd expect Beck—who's very adaptable, and can easily siloo his crazier stuff into books that sell pretty well—to rethink his alliances.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.