A new GQ profile of Glenn Beck asks whether the CNN Headline News host is the “most annoying man on TV.” But whether he is “annoying” is beside the real point, which is that Beck has a long history of inflammatory remarks on-air.
The mainstream media continue to reward Beck for his hateful, divisive rhetoric. Earlier this year, ABC’s Good Morning America hired Beck as a commentator, and Washington Post radio is now considering bringing on the right-wing pundit because he “does a good job.” Beck’s television producer admitted to GQ, “He’s a polarizing figure. That’s why we hired him.”
In the GQ article, author Benjamin Wallace claims that Beck “is less partisan soldier than channeler of regular-guy id.” A look at some of Beck’s “regular-guy id” as evidenced by the GQ article:
On the Virginia Tech shooter:
“This guy makes you have respect for suicide bombers,” Beck says, trying out today’s career-immolating zinger. “At least they’re killing themselves because they believe in something larger.”
On living in Connecticut:
In a mirrored room at CNN, on the fifth floor of the Time Warner Center in Manhattan, a makeup artist paints cream under Beck’s eyes while her colleague, idle in a nearby chair, tells Beck that she’s moving to Riverdale, in the Bronx. “At least you’re outside the vaporization zone,” Beck says.
“Really?” says makeup lady number two. “I’m still in New York.”
“You could drop a one-kiloton bomb on Lower Manhattan and be safe in Chelsea,” Beck says.
“Good to know,” the woman says.
Beck: “Did you check the blast radius?”
“No,” she says. “I was more interested in the public-school system.”
“Priorities,” Beck says.
He is kind of joking, kind of isn’t. One of the reasons he lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut, is that it’s out of reach of a nuclear explosion in Manhattan.
On work habits:
A Baltimore producer he fired named Tom Russell — who is not the Baltimore producer Beck fired for bringing him a ballpoint when he had asked for a Sharpie — recalls the time Beck seized him by his collar, hoisted him nearly off the ground, and said he would eat him “for fucking breakfast.”
In the profile, Beck also states, “If we don’t stop believing the worst in each other, we’re dead.” This is the same man who once described Sen. Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) voice as that of “a stereotypical bitch,” hosted a guest who said on-air that watching someone murder the Clintons would be “great,” and confessed that he is “afraid” to have “a lot of African-American friends.”
Rather than a “channeler of regular-guy id,” a better description of Beck might be what Jon Stewart said about him in 2006: “a guy who says what people who aren’t thinking are thinking.”
Chris Achorn at My Two Sense has more on the GQ profile.