Sep
19

Who Changed Glenn Beck’s Life?

By David

If you’d like to know more about where Glenn Beck’s current conspiratorial political philosophy came from, meet Cleon Skousen, a fascinating revisionist historian who wrote the bible on which Glenn Beck rests his sociopolitical soul. The article below is excerpted from Salon.com.


Meet the man who changed Glenn Beck’s life

Cleon Skousen was a right-wing crank whom even conservatives despised. Then Beck discovered him

By Alexander Zaitchik

Sept. 16, 2009 | On Saturday, I spent the afternoon with America’s new breed of angry conservative. Up to 75,000 protesters had gathered in Washington on Sept. 12, the day after the eighth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, sporting the now familiar tea-bagger accoutrements of “Don’t Tread on Me” T-shirts, Revolutionary War outfits and Obama-the-Joker placards. The male-skewing, nearly all-white throng had come to denounce the president and what they believe is his communist-fascist agenda.

Even if the turnout wasn’t the 2 million that some conservatives tried, briefly, to claim, it was still enough to fill the streets near the Capitol. It was also ample testament to the strength of a certain strain of right-wing populist rage and the talking head who has harnessed it. The masses were summoned by Glenn Beck, Fox News host and organizer of the 912 Project, the civic initiative he pulled together six months ago to restore America to the sense of purpose and unity it had felt the day after the towers fell.

In reality, however, the so-called 912ers were summoned to D.C. by the man who changed Beck’s life, and that helps explain why the movement is not the nonpartisan lovefest that Beck first sold on air with his trademark tears. Beck has created a massive meet-up for the disaffected, paranoid Palin-ite “death panel” wing of the GOP, those ideologues most susceptible to conspiracy theories and prone to latch on to eccentric distortions of fact in the name of opposing “socialism.” In that, they are true disciples of the late W. Cleon Skousen, Beck’s favorite writer and the author of the bible of the 9/12 movement, “The 5,000 Year Leap.” A once-famous anti-communist “historian,” Skousen was too extreme even for the conservative activists of the Goldwater era, but Glenn Beck has now rescued him from the remainder pile of history, and ……

Read this article in its entirety at Salon.com

Comments

  1. Tom Degan says:

    It always saddens me to see a “Child Left Behind” – all grown up. Glenn Beck would be a text book case. Back in the spring on his unintentionally uproarious FOX Noise program, Beck told his television audience:

    “First they came for the bankers, and I did not speak up because I was not a banker. Then they came for the A.I.G. executives, and I did not speak up because I was not an A.I.G executive.”

    He then looked the camera dead in the eye and ominously told his clueless viewers that eventually “they” (He never specified exactly who “they” were) would be coming for them. It was a gross perversion of the famous Martin Niemoller poem. It was a none-too-subtle effort to compare the Obama Justice Department’s prosecution of corporate criminals to Hitler’s persecution of the Jews seventy years ago. Nice.

    Recently he has been trying to pump up his brain dead masses by flatly stating that Barack Obama is a racist who hates white people. The fact that our president’s lineage is fifty percent European and that he was raised by his very white mother and grandparents apparently never occurred to this jackass. Fill the people’s minds with hate and fear; that’s all that matters. Incredibly, it’s working. An alarming percentage of the American people actually believe that Obama’s goal is to turn the United States into a Socialist police state.

    MEMO TO THE REST OF THE PLANET EARTH:

    Most of us here in the states have an I.Q. higher than that of your average half-eaten box of Milk Duds – Really, I promise!

    A few months ago I wrote on my blog that, being a tad crazy myself (in a lovable and endearing way, I assure you) I have the ability to pick up on the crazy vibe of others. Some people have a subtle, barely perceptible form of craziness – others have crazy to spare. Our boy Glenn is in the latter category. He likes to describe himself as the modern day equivalent of Howard Beale, the character played by the late actor Peter Finch in the 1976 film “Network”. It’s an apt comparison when you think about it:

    He’s mad as hell.

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan

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