Glenn Beck Is Done Being a TV ‘Cartoon Character’

glen beck
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/newscom

It was a Christmas miracle.

There was Samantha Bee, a comedian who has savaged Donald Trump and the far right, and Glenn Beck, town crier of the liberal-induced apocalypse, putting aside their differences to sit side by side on a couch. The two even managed hold hands and smile as they sorted through the wreckage of a divisive presidential election in order to find common ground.

“We disagree on some pretty big things,” Beck says in an interview with Variety, “but there’s more we agree on than disagree. I just felt that’s where we need to go as a country or we’re going to eat each other alive.”

JAKE CHESSUM for Variety

Video of the confab quickly went viral when it debuted last month, attracting more than a million views on YouTube. The Bee-Beck sit-down was played for laughs — both participants wore garish holiday sweaters, and the piece ended with them devouring a cake adorned with pastry versions of the two of them lying in bed. But there is a serious underpinning. Beck seems sincere about his desire to bridge the political and cultural divides currently roiling America, even at the expense of his own career.

His appearance on “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” is the latest stop on a mainstream-media apology tour. He has spent the past few years talking with the likes of The New York Times and Vice, offering up mea culpas for calling Barack Obama a racist, and for what he describes as his role in “tearing the country apart.”

As he winds his way through the lion’s den, he presents himself as softer and wiser — a man who once used his airtime pointing to chalkboard doodles outlining elaborate George Soros-backed conspiracies, but who stared over the precipice and then renounced his former ways. Declining to offer up specific statements he regrets having made, Beck argues that he has changed and wants others to learn from his example.

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“It’s time to say, ‘Let’s not focus on the things that happened five years ago,’” he says. “Why don’t we focus on the things that are happening right now. Can we change the things that we’re doing right now? Each of us.” He adds, “I’m not the man I want to be. I’m not the man I need to be. But, thank God, I’m not the man I used to be.”

While the rise of Trump has been a boon for conservative outlets, Beck and The Blaze, his new media company, have struggled to keep pace. Beck’s radio show still reaches an audience of 3.6 million — making it the third most popular talk-radio program — but that’s down from the 9 million listeners it attracted in 2010.

The issues have spilled over online. In November 2014, The Blaze had 27.4 million unique visitors, according to Quantcast, whereas the number for November 2016 was 8.8 million. There have been layoffs, and The Blaze has cycled through four CEOs in two years. Beck downplays the issues at the company, saying that with 234 employees, it has nearly as big a staff as it did when it launched in 2011.

“Thank God, I’m not the man I used to be.”
Glen Beck

“It seemed that I was supposed to be out of business two years ago. And then somebody reported last August that I was definitely out of business by the end of August,” he says. “There are jobs that we’re filling. I don’t think that’s a sign of despair.”

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He does acknowledge, however, that digital entrepreneurship is a challenge. “It’s tough, and you risk a lot, and you take it on the chin a lot, and you make a lot of mistakes,” he says.

Part of the issue is that Beck was one of Trump’s most vocal critics, throwing his support to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and opting not to vote for Trump after the billionaire businessman sewed up the Republican nomination.

You could argue that Beck backed the wrong horse. After all, other conservative outlets, such as Breitbart and InfoWars, saw their profiles rise after they enthusiastically got on the Trump train. Beck argues that his position “stunted” the company’s growth but is adamant that he won’t back down from criticizing the new president.

“I was against him as a candidate,” he says. “I am for my president, but, just like Barack Obama and George W. Bush, I will judge him on his actions. And when he’s president, I will either speak out for his policies or against his policies. But my ruler will be the Constitution.”

Despite his talk for greater civility, Beck hasn’t sanded off all of his rough edges. His most recent book, for instance, was entitled “Liars: How Progressives Exploit Our Fears for Power and Control.”

“A), Don’t judge a book by its cover,” says Beck, “and B), For anybody who has ever written a book, you don’t necessarily get to chose a title. The publisher is heavily involved in that, and they are looking for a provocative title.”

He points out that the book takes shots at Republicans as well as Democrats, with targets that include Trump and Theodore Roosevelt.

“When he’s president, I will either speak out for his policies or against his policies. But my ruler will be the Constitution.”
Glen Beck

Beck still hasn’t abandoned his pessimistic worldview. He continues to believe that the Republic is in mortal danger, that the Fed is wreaking havoc on America’s financial system, and that the United States will eventually be brought low by the national debt. “I’m still a catastrophist,” he says.

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He also scoffs at the idea that his extended apology tour is motivated by commercial considerations. There’s not a lot of overlap between Beck listeners and, for example, the readership of The Times, so it’s difficult to see him suddenly earning a lot of converts among the left.

“Let’s see, I’m going to take an uber-conservative audience and piss them off, to then go to a group of people that wouldn’t trust me for anything and somehow rope them in,” he chortles.

“There’s no evil genius to this. That doesn’t work. If somebody knows how to make that work, please contact me.”

He has gained one friend from the experience — Bee. Beck says the pair bonded over their concern about Syrian refugees, and that he’s talked to the television host about traveling with him to Haiti, where he’s working with charitable groups to stop sex slavery.

“We have things much bigger than politics in common,” says Beck. “That’s the point. We have to start seeing each other for how we really are. Not the cartoon character that she is on television, or that I am.”

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  1. fuzzbuster says:

    Why does Glen Beck even speak to Samantha Bee? She’s a man-hating, Canadian jerk. She is not pro-choice, but pro-abortion. She advocates for the strong-armed collection and confiscation of all guns by the federal police. She hates men, all men, even her beard-of-a-husband. But, worst of all, Bee is simply not funny. No matter how much money George Soros throws at Jax Media or Samantha Bee, she doesn’t resonate with Americans and is devoid of anything designed to make a person laugh.

    Trump, on the other hand, has accomplished over 50% of what he said he would in the first week of his presidency – Glen Beck should tip his hat to Trump and thank him for propelling the Republican agenda that Beck’s favorites couldn’t seem to get off the ground. Beck talks about uncontrolled immigration – Trump tacked it. Beck talks about a strong military – Trump’s on it. Beck talks about conservative values – Trump has trumped Beck on this.

    So, Glen, why don’t you let Ms. Bee tightly wrap her pig-tail ties around your nut-sack so you can fall in line behind George Soros, Jax Media, Samantha Bee and Amy Schummer. You’ve done nothing but try and hurt Trump, yet Trump has done everything you and the Republicans you backed were crap-your-pants scared to do.

  2. Beck was a true blue ne0-con before and he is a true blue ne0-con now; he has not changed where it matters. Ne0-cons pay lip service to the Constitution but come up empty-handed when it comes to the POTUS taking the US to war, maintaining a standing Army, or sending tax dollars to Israel. Every…single…one of them.

    Any change in his behaviour is just to keep his business from going under as the ne0-cons attempt to return to the demorat party and bring the War Party mantle with them.

  3. Beck went Looney long before Mr Trump won his first primary. MAYBE it was his health issues, or maybe the looney invented the health issues, I don’t know. I Was going to comment that the perfect radio home for him would be “coast to coast AM” but you know that would be an insult to coast to coast… now I think he is just trying to keep his face and voice being heard…. even if he’s talking about cat food… he is trying to say employed…

  4. Tara Vargas says:

    Glenn’s ruler is the constitution? HAHHAHAHAH…. funny! Apparently he forgot the constitution when he endorsed CANADIAN SNAKE OIL SALESMAN TED CRUZ….

  5. harold says:

    Read the whole article, First time in a long time I have read that much of GB. For some reason I just lost a lot of interest in GB when he was busted smearing Vicks under his eyes.

  6. IT--II--IT says:

    ————————————- – – 100% Intel RUN – — MASON – – —————————————

    STEP AROUND

    STEP AROUND

  7. Jacob K says:

    i could respect someone’s position against trump. what i don’t respect are the blatant lies and hate speech bandied about – an opinion based on fiction is subversive propaganda, not democracy. it is the “politics” practiced during communist russia or fascist germany – it is shameful that this is the politics of 2016 AMerica!

  8. Kummin says:

    This guy is becoming more irrelevant by the day. Our local talk radio station just dropped his show and put Kilmeade and Friends in its place.

  9. Glenn, what a disappointment. The man you were and the man you purport yourself to be now are both disingenuous shell game shysters.

  10. John W says:

    Beck is number 3…in Fantasy Land…he’s been number 5 for years now…his conservative schtick has run out…time for a new scam…

  11. Lance Brown says:

    His finger is always in the air…whichever way the wind blows towards Money. He’s always been a con artist. Just an entertainer faking earnestness. Wake up peeps.

  12. Chuck Darney says:

    Since Beck has ruined his credibility with the new majority of the right, made up the religious and nonreligious alike, he is now cozying up to the left in an effort to stay relevant. He showed his true colors as one who would prefer to live in a theocracy instead of a constitutional republic but since that didn’t work out he will now sell out and will become the former conservative who has “seen the light” and swung to the left.

    The crying actually works better for a lefty…best of luck Glenn

  13. It’s really a shame that America has become so polarized. There is so much good that we can accomplish together– and when I read the comments people leave on articles like this, it just seems like the human race has gone backwards almost to the point where they are in the survival mode…it’s very sad.

  14. For the first time in well over a year, I tuned into Beck to see if his sanity returned. It lasted less than a minute before changing the channel. Beck: “It’s crazy to call Trump a Nazi, he’s just not, but Steve Bannon is a Nazi…alt right, blah, blah”

  15. James P. Dunlop says:

    Now is Glenn saying he not the man he use to be, or the man he use to be last year use to be years ago. He goes through reformations every once in a while and I was just checking.

  16. It’s difficult to take anything Mr. Beck says at face value with his long history of distorting reality to fit his current narrative. For instance, he spent months attacking an innocent victim of the Boston Marathon terror attack, only to try to redefine his actions recently by saying the point of his conspiracy theory was to expose nefarious activity on the part of of our federal government. The facts don’t support that assertion. One can’t expect to have any credibility when they’re constantly redefining who they are and making up new excuses for their past transgressions.

  17. And to think I used to like this guy! Oh how the mighty have fallen. You disgrace yourself Glenn! What a pity.

  18. jdlredskin says:

    Do you mean the kind of man that had an audience and people believed in you and thought you were honest?

    • Pryor Cartler says:

      I don’t understand this…just because Glenn didn’t bow down to Trump doesn’t make him a traitor and a sell out. I’m a Trump supporter…I standed in line for hours at one of his rallies, but this bashing of Glenn for (God forbid) having another opinion is ridiculous.

    • Steve says:

      jd, You’re so right. Wow I knew he lost a lot of audience last year with the non stop Trump bashing, but I had no idea the numbers were so large. At one point I kinda liked him a few yrs back, but when he went after Trump like that I saw the kind of man he really was.

  19. Tymtrvlr says:

    beck, fading fast, a has been that deserted his beliefs. Bought the marxist lie and will now try to push their useless agenda. glenn, you used to be a man of conviction, now, you are a worthless excuse of a human. Onto the burning, stinking dung heap of marxism with you, fool.

    • Chuck Darney says:

      People like Beck will be whatever they have to be to make a buck…conservative today and commie tomorrow.

      He’s like one of those TV preachers who somehow convince people that if they just send him a little more money, god will answer their prayers.

  20. Glenn Beck has always been ahead of the curve. He is years ahead of the media. Agreeing to the Samantha interview, didn’t change him…it changed her!

  21. Cry as much as you like. Trump will still be president.

  22. Why did they post a pic of Buddy Holly for the Rachel Maddow article? LOL…

  23. Truth Seeker says:

    Glenn Beck reminds me of the creepy sniveling kidnapper dude in Paul Walker’s movie Running Scared

  24. Glenn Beck is still a cartoon character.

  25. Glenny boy, skip the article and read the comments, you are hated and loathed. And it is all deserved, you sold out, and we ain’t stupid enough to ever trust you again. Bye bye Glenn you’re irrelevant

  26. ImaHippyBurning says:

    I’m somewhat disappointed in Beck, but then again everyone is entitled to their opinion as am I! That said I think the rest of the Snowflake Celebs need to either pull with us or get the Fruck out of the way as there is an awful lot of work to do and frankly The Time Is Now For America First….

  27. Chris Clark says:

    Stick a fork in Beck.

  28. David Foley says:

    Dan Rather – “fake but accurate”

  29. Lucius Sejanus says:

    Glenn Beck is a psycho.

  30. elisebabe says:

    I lost all respect for Beck some time ago. I hope he gets Dixie-Chicked.

    • GenTwo VMax says:

      I think he already has been dixie chicken, just look at his listeners and web traffic to his site from this article. According to this article he has lost almost 2/3rds of his listeners and web traffic in the past few years.

  31. Diane says:

    A Judas and a fool who has forsaken the truth for the right narrow path.
    Did he ever consider Heidi Cruz is a member of the CFR?
    Grow up Glenn quit being Peter Pan.

  32. karl says:

    Glenn Beck is mispelled in both quotes

  33. John Henry says:

    What a wacky-doodle! Hope there’s a rubber room waiting for him somewhere!

  34. Joe Wazzzz says:

    Simply put, he thought he was going to singlehandedly put Ted Cruz in the white house and at any and all costs. Lost me as a listener and I got nothing against Ted.

  35. Mr. Beck has always been what’s know in the government propaganda business as “the controlled opposition.” His job is to inflame and “out” those who oppose globalist goals, and then turn them into objects of ridicule by pretending to be one of them.
    This serves the surveillance state in two ways: First, it brings patriot dissenters into the open, so that the globalist Psy-Ops operatives can concentrate their efforts. Second, Beck can then “flip the script,” and falsely open a whole segment of decent and honest people into objects of ridicule for propaganda purposes. Discrediting perfectly reasonable beliefs, and delegitimizing useful and right value systems.
    Beck was given a career, orchestrated by his intelligence handlers–he sold his soul to his NWO overlords, for boatloads of cash.
    It’s most likely that he is being blackmailed as well–for something despicable.
    This is just his latest assignment.
    Think this is not true. Get you head out of the sand and consider everything that has come to light recently about the globalist efforts to destroy our nation! Beck is part of their master plan.

    “You shall know them by their fruits.”
    –Matthew 7:16

  36. Jim says:

    Beck was fine with Hillary winning. So, for that, he’s dead to me and I believe many others.

  37. Martin Weiss says:

    Beck has always been a cartoon character. His only change is to become more pandering. Nothing but a self-absorbed P.T Barnum.

  38. Steve says:

    I believe in redemption. I’ll give him a chance.

  39. Larry Hays says:

    A man without conviction, blowing in the wind. He will change his tune again, and again.

  40. Johnny Sins says:

    Can’t wait til Beck and his group disappear from the airwaves. Tomi L better jump ship while she can.

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