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

170860342-conservative-radio-and-television-commentator-glenn
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.
Advertisement

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

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Why Time Is on Our Side in the Fight Against Ebola

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

Catacombs Where You Can Stroll Down Hallways Lined With Corpses

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.

Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The U.S. Has a New Problem in Syria: The Moderate Rebels Feel Like We’ve Betrayed Them

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Trending News Channel
Oct. 1 2014 1:25 PM Japanese Cheerleader Robots Balance and Roll Around on Balls
  News & Politics
Crime
Oct. 1 2014 4:15 PM The Trials of White Boy Rick A Detroit crime legend, the FBI, and the ugliness of the war on drugs.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 1 2014 4:55 PM Blood Before Bud? Must a gentleman’s brother always be the best man at his wedding?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 3:02 PM The Best Show of the Summer Is Getting a Second Season
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 4:46 PM Ebola Is No Measles. That’s a Good Thing. Comparing this virus to scourges of the past gives us hope that we can slow it down.
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?