WHILE THE RIGHT has traditionally responded to its aggrieved sense of alienation with anger, Beck is not particularly angry. He seems sorrowful; his prevailing message is umbrage born of self-taught wisdom. He is more agonized than mad. He is post-angry.Page 5 on line has this paragraph
Beck rarely speaks with the squinty-eyed certainty or smugness of Rush Limbaugh or his fellow Fox News hosts Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. He often changes his mind or nakedly contradicts himself. “When you listen and watch me, it’s where I am in my thinking in the moment,” Beck told me. “I’m trying to figure it out as I go.” He will sometimes stop midsentence and recognize that something he is about to say could be misunderstood and could cause him trouble. Then, more often than not, he will say it anyway.
In the middle of his analogy to me about his own personal crash and the country’s need to heal itself, Beck looked at his publicist with a flash of alarm about how I might construe what he was saying. “He is going to write a story that I believe the whole country is alcoholics,” he said. And then he went on to essentially compare his “Restoring Honor” pageant at the Lincoln Memorial to a large-scale A.A. meeting. “When I bottomed out, I couldn’t put it back together myself,” Beck told me. “I could do all the hard work. I could do the 12 steps. But I needed like-minded people around me.”
“I find it riveting to watch,” says Anita Dunn, the former White House communications director whom Beck railed against prodigiously on the air last year after she named Mother Teresa and Mao Zedong as her “favorite political philosophers” (she says she was joking about Mao) in a commencement address. “There is that edge where you are always thinking, Is he going to totally lose it on camera?” Dunn told me.That moves Ms Dunn up in my estimation.
Moving to a favorite top of Mr Beck's, I do agree with him about President Woodrow Wilson. When I was young, in the 1950s, in South Jersey, President Wilson was a hero and those who had opposed him, especially about the League of Nations, were fools who gave us World War II. Since that time my view of President Wilson has adjusted and I have come to see him as not being the great hero of the early 20th Century.
To appreciate Glenn Beck you need to think that the nation needs redeeming. You need to think that things have gone wrong somewhere along the line. You need to think that people like Bill Ayers were wrong in 1970 and are still wrong today, but worse, you need to think that he should have been condemned and rejected by the intellectuals of this great nation. That said, due to the action of Mr Christopher Kennedy, son of the late Senator Robert Kennedy, Professor Ayers was denied "Emeritus Status" by the University of Illinois, just last week. Thank you Mr Kennedy.
The author of the piece is Mr Mark Leibovich, of the Washington Bureau of The New York Times, which might seem strange, considering Mr Beck is out of New York City.
Hat tip to Matt Drudge.
Regards — Cliff