In an interview on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Glenn Beck hyped his independent media venture while trying to divert attention away from his recent and past paranoid fantasies and conspiracy theories.
In an August 8 interview with host Brian Stelter labeled “the evolution of Glenn Beck,” Beck appeared to discuss his network, The Blaze, and a move to a less political brand of talk, but Beck’s own comments in the interview and recent work show his act hasn’t really changed at all.
Beck told Stelter that he has been moving away from political issues and focusing The Blaze more on apolitical initiatives, but Beck has recently promoted the idea that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “may be our Ronald Reagan,” declared him The Blaze’s “Man of the Year,” and appeared with Cruz at a charity event at the southern border.
In an interview with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Beck suggested ways that Republicans can win over young voters and expressed his support of internally reforming the Republican Party.
Beck has also engaged in advocacy for 2014 Republican primary candidates on The Blaze. He launched what he described as “Operation Defeat Lindsay Graham,” offering up free airtime on his show to “anyone willing to run” against the incumbent South Carolina Senator.
Beck described Matt Bevin, the primary challenger to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as “called by God” to win his election, adding, “This is a guy we prayed for, and the choice is him or Mitch McConnell? Are you kidding me?” Discussing his support for Bevin, Beck told his listeners that “We have to get out and do our part. We have to go out and actually vote.”
Discussing David Brat’s primary victory over then-Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Beck told Politico it was “a team effort with our millions of listeners coupled with the extraordinary efforts of Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin.”
Beck also just released a movie and book attacking the Common Core education standards, and has rallied opposition under the slogan “we will not conform.” Beck has asserted that the standards will create “millions of slaves that are dependent on someone,” and compared himself and other activists who oppose Common Core to Martin Luther King, Jr.
In another segment of the interview with Stelter, Beck decried the harsh tone that has contributed to what he characterized as a “civil war” atmosphere in America. Despite this posturing, his network recently aired a skit called “RAPE!” which tried to mock the epidemic of reported sexual assault on college campuses and claimed that it was “completely untrue.” When he faced criticism for the skit, Beck said, “I stand by it … I double down on it.”
Beck also recently complained that the “thought police” were preventing him from saying “fag the new nigger,” the title of a poster he was featuring on his web program.
Stelter did not bring up, nor did Beck mention, the ongoing litigation in which a man inaccurately described by Beck as a co-conspirator in the Boston Marathon bombing (a fact, Beck falsely alleged, that was beingcovered up by the government) is suing Beck for defamation in federal court.
At one point in the interview, Beck mentioned that while he didn’t agree with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on any issues, he could respect him because he did not shy away from labeling himself as a “socialist.” But neither Beck nor Stelter mentioned that when Sanders was first elected to the Senate, Beck said that Vermont should be “vote[d] out of the union” because Sanders won.
Beck also told Stelter that his prediction of an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East was coming true with the recent successes of the militant group ISIS in that region. Beck has been warning about a caliphate for years now. He had previously predicted that the caliphate would take over the United States by March 3 of 2011, while also warning that the caliphate would control Egypt after the Arab Spring. Beck cited the first Arab Spring protest in Tunisia as an “Archduke Ferdinand moment” which would presage a global caliphate. He has been patting himself on the back for this theory for years now.
Beck returned to one of his favorite conspiracy theories, the imminent global collapse of the financial system. Stelter gave Beck an opportunity to repudiate his past fear mongering and incorrect predictions on the topic, but Beck refused to budge. He admitted that he had use theatricality to promote his viewpoint, but insisted - still - that a day of reckoning is coming for the global finance system. This was a centerpiece of Beck’s work at Fox News, and while the global economy is considerably improved from where it was when Beck made his first problematic predictions, his rhetoric has not changed at all.