|About the Book|
Who is this guy and why are people listening?Forget Rush Limbaugh, Bill OReilly, and Sean Hannity—Glenn Beck is the right’s new media darling and the unofficial leader of the conservative grassroots. Lampooned by the left and lionized by the farMoreWho is this guy and why are people listening?Forget Rush Limbaugh, Bill OReilly, and Sean Hannity—Glenn Beck is the right’s new media darling and the unofficial leader of the conservative grassroots. Lampooned by the left and lionized by the far right, his bluster-and-tears brand of political commentary has commandeered attention on both sides of the aisle.Glenn Beck has emerged over the last decade as a unique and bizarre conservative icon for the new century. He fantasizes aloud about killing his political opponents and encourages his listeners to embrace a cynical paranoia that slides easily into a fantasyland filled with enemies that do not exist, and solutions that are incoherent, at best. Since the election of Barack Obama, Beck’s bombastic, conspiratorial, and often viciously personal approach to political combat has made him one of the most controversial figures in the history of American broadcasting.In Common Nonsense, investigative reporter Alexander Zaitchik explores Becks strange brew of ratings lust, boundless ego, conspiratorial hard-right politics, and gimmicky morning-radio entertainment chops, separating the facts from the fiction, following Beck from his troubled childhood to his recent rise to the top of the conservative media heap. Zaitchiks recent three-part series in Salon caused so much buzz, Beck felt the need to attack it on his show.Based on Zaitchiks interviews with former Beck coworkers and review of countless Beck writings and television and radio shows, the book examines Becks high-profile obsessions (Acorn and Van Jones) as well as his lesser-known influences (obscure Mormon radicals like Cleon Skousen.) Zaitchiks writing has appeared in the New Republic, the Nation, Salon, Wired, the New York Times, and Alternet.