The NEW New Glenn Beck

It’s time again for one of those periodic “Glenn Beck is sick of politics and is now reinventing himself as something completely different” articles. This time it’s in the National Review, where Eliana Johnson informs us that he’s now going to be making movies or rap videos or something something something.

Glenn Beck is tired of politics.

“I think politics is a game, and I think people watch politics as a game, like they watch the NFL,” he tells me, leaning back in his chair. He once thought Washington politicians “actually believed in something.” Now, he says, “I don’t think they do.”…

Beck’s disenchantment with news and politics aren’t just for show. Though best known for his flame-throwing political commentary, he is turning his attention to cultural projects like plays and movies. His years in TV, he says, have taught him that news is secondary to culture. “News,” he says, is simply “what the culture allows.”

Oh no, this time it’s totally for real.

A former top-40 DJ, Beck tells me that his foray into TV news wasn’t meant to be permanent. “I hate politics, I always have,” he says. He was working on a TV drama along the lines of HBO’s Newsroom — about the news of the day and the people who put it together — when, in 2006, he got a call from Headline News, CNN’s sister network.

“We thought, well, might as well get in and figure out how television works and learn on somebody else’s dime,” Beck says. When Fox News came calling in 2008 — he was lured there by Joel Cheatwood, a former CNN executive who had jumped to Fox and who has since joined Beck in his new venture — Beck says he considered that gig a temporary one, too. “I walked in and I really thought, I’ll do this for a while because somebody has to ring the bell and then I’ll get out, and I’m still waiting to be able to pass the bell on to somebody else. Haven’t found him yet, but . . . ” He trails off.

Oh come on, seriously? Who is going to believe that? He got an offer from CNN and he took it. Why? Fame and money, of course. He left CNN for Fox News. Why? More fame and more money.

Beck became the country’s leading anti-progressive when, in a series of shows on Fox, he stood at his signature blackboard and explained why Wilson’s ideology was the progenitor of the sort of liberalism embodied by Barack Obama.

“I was so curious about it that I was teaching myself,” he says. “I wasn’t a professor at the chalkboard, I was a citizen at the chalkboard saying: ‘Look what I just found, look at this. I can’t believe I’m finding this stuff and it’s right here in the open. Why isn’t anybody else doing it? I really lost my naïveté, because I really believed that if you could make a case and you could back it up, then the press . . . ” He trails off again. “Oh no, they don’t care. They don’t care. Same with Washington.”

Let me suggest an alternate hypothesis: You didn’t make your case. You babbled incoherently and played a rousing game of six degrees of separation and did some really third-rate Dan Brown symbolic analysis (which was already third-rate to begin with) and ended up with a big pile of bullshit. That’s why no one other than the most ignorant and credulous took you seriously.

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