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September 29, 2010

Glenn Beck: The Picture of Innocence

Nigel Parry for The New York Times

You get a nice take on Beck’s “angel” self on the cover of this coming Sunday’s NYT Mag. Really, he’s just an enthusiastic guy, always looking forward and up — an innocent and wholesome guy, almost a throwback to the fifties; moreover, he’s a sweet, friendly guy who always wears his heart on his sleeve.  Until he goes insane.

Article: Being Glenn Beck.

(Update: slight revised: 12:50 pm PST)

  • cmac

    I think he looks like a smarmy pimp.

  • cmac

    No, more than that. He’s the guy who made up stories to get other poeple in trouble in grade school – the kid who stole your homework and then said you’d copied his – the kid who punched you in the stomach and told the principal you’d kicked him. He was the kid everybody hated for a good reason – because he was hateful. Maybe he had a dysfunctional family and we’re supposed to feel sorry for him, but I just have a nearly uncontrollable urge to kick him in the shins.

  • boomerangst

    The thought balloon coming out of his head should say:
    I’m the smartest man in the room, I could not care any less about any of this political, historical stuff–just pay me, pay me, pay me. And when you’re done paying me, pay me some more. I’m gonna ride this shtick as long as you fools will pay me…..

  • Enoch Root

    Doesn’t Glen Beck hate the New York Times? Or rather, ‘hate,’ in the sense that he’s glad to say they’re liberals who will destroy the country, but utterly glad to be accepted by them, enough to be on the NYT Magazine cover.

    So here’s Mr. Beck, dressed up and not weeping about global conspiracies, so they’ll say nice things about him.

  • Roschelle

    this dude is laughing all the way to the bank!

  • Vvoter

    1950s, yes. A portrait of money, religion, mass media, and politics-as-public entertainment, converging in the image of Glenn Beck.

    Is his look nerdy or intelligent? country club or sunday school? fraud or god? This much we do know, that the answers to these questions depend on who you think you are. I want to see Beck-as-Other, but what if, in Beck’s universe, Beck really is innocent?

    Recent years in US politics has witnessed a lot of vilification. I began noticing it in my small liberal town when Bush haters made their sentiments public, or visible. Today we have the vilification of Obama by the visible right wing.

    Each comment in this thread flirts with vilification. Only flirting, though.

    As soon as I start admitting to myself that Beck is a hateful, lying, money-grubbing tool, and therefore deserving of vilification, I wonder how well that description fits other public figures, even perhaps ones I support.

    Beck, like ourselves in our own personal universes, probably thinks that what he’s doing is right.

    What are we going to do with this guy? Use him as our anti-selves? Don’t we wish he’d stop using Obama as his anti-self?

    • g

      Beck probably thinks that what he’s doing is lucrative.

  • gmoke

    1950s definitely

    Stan Freeberg

    Biff from Back to the Future (with glasses)

    Letterman compared him to Bobby the Brain Heenan from the wrestling world while interviewing Jon Stewart.

  • acm

    reminded me of the 1950s intellectual circles (Harvard swells et al) lampooned by Mike Nichols and Elaine May back in the day. all full of their own sass, but quick to tears over their own lot….

    the cartoon exclamation point makes me think of TV Batman, with all those cuts to POW! and the like. not sure if they really think he’s cartoonish, or if this just fits with the sassy 50s/60s intellectual trope they’re invoking here…

  • Brian

    Gag me with a spoon

    • Mac

      I just might do that. Maybe then you’d see the light.

  • Paul_D

    A great visual example of self confidence substituting intelligence.

    • Mac

      Substituting intelligence? Hardly. I believe he went to Yale…

  • Nemo

    A flawed, empty, salesman who would probably use the NYTimes as birdcage liner if he ever got around to buying it. Yet the Times wasted paper and ink on this person.
    The cover may say ‘Father knows best’ but he is smarmy.

  • tinwoman

    Beck is the kind of person who would sweet talk his beaten down wife into coming back to him, then tie her to the bed and set the house on fire to “teach her a lesson”. Yes, that’s exactly the kind of person he reminds me of.

  • Jen D

    Uh Beck took one course in theology at Yale.

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