Saturday, November 21, 2009


I know I should be blogging about health care, but this morning I learned from Politico that Glenn Beck has been teasing fans with the promised announcement of something he's called "the Plan," and today he explained what it is:

Glenn Beck reveals the Plan


... Today, I have stopped looking for a leader to show us the way out because I have come to realize that the only one who can truly save our us.

... While I will be explaining the entire Plan over the coming weeks and months, I did want to give you a preview of some of the highlights:

- ... we will be conducting a series of conventions. These will be full-day experiences where you will be immersed in learning about topics ranging from self-reliance, community organizing, the economy and how to be a political force in your own neighborhood and country. The first one will be in Orlando at UCF Arena on March 27th....

- I have begun meeting with some of the best minds in the country that believe in limited government, maximum freedom and the values of our Founders. I am developing a 100 year plan.... It will require unconventional thinking and a radical plan to restore our nation to the maximum freedoms we were supposed to have been protecting, using only the battlefield of ideas.

- All of the above will culminate in The Plan, a book that will provide specific policies, principles and, most importantly, action steps that each of us can take to play a role in this Refounding....

So now we see what Glenn Beck really is: He's basically a televangelist. A huckster. A late-night pitchman selling seminars and book/DVD/audio combo packages that will allegedly help you get rich through flipping real estate. A human-potential-movement cult leader who promises life breakthroughs in exchange for participation in costly "religious" or "therapy" programs.

He wants you to attend one (or, surely, many) of his "conventions." Will they be free? I strongly doubt it -- oh, maybe the first taste will be free, but after that, I'd guess no. And he wants you to buy the next book (and, surely several after that). And there's a "100 year plan" in the works -- you can't ever get off the mailing list because the good work he's involving you in is never done!

Politico's story on the announcement of this describes it as Beck's foray into direct political action:

Glenn Beck, the popular conservative Fox News television host whose broadsides against President Obama have drawn his network into a feud with the White House, on Saturday signaled he intended to branch off more directly into political activism.

... Beck wrote that he has been meeting with "some of the best minds in the country that believe in limited government, maximum freedom and the values of our Founders" to develop "a 100 year plan" to defeat "the bipartisan corruption in Washington." The activities will culminate in an August rally in Washington timed to coincide with the release of a planned Beck book....

Additionally, POLITICO has learned that Beck’s 9.12 Project is co-sponsoring a march on Washington on Sept. 11, 2010 to voice unhappiness with the agenda of President Obama and the Democratic congress, and that the group will also become involved in voter registration drives....

Yes, it has a lot to do with the midterms. But really, I think it's about having a large number of opportunities to build loyalty to the Beck brand and separate the rubes from their money.

You look at, say, Rush Limbaugh, and he may sell products on his Web site, but he's really all about the broadcasting and the dissemination of ideology. He makes a pretty penny from his main job. He's written a grand total of two books in his twenty-year career as a right-wing talker; Beck's published three books this year alone.

A while back, David Frum asked whether the righty blowhards would switch political sides if it would increase their wealth and fame. I said then that they'd regard it as an absurd question -- how could you possibly make more money on the left than on the right? I still think that -- it's like asking a televangelist based in the Deep South if he'd convert to Islam to double his revenue. He'd just look at you in disbelief and say (if he were being perfectly honest), "Why the hell would I ever do that? I do this and the money just pours in." I think that's how Beck sees matters right now -- he has four books on various bestseller lists right now, and he wants to sell even more product -- and 9.12ism is going to be his meal ticket.

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