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8,000 Word NYT Sunday Mag Article: 'Being Glenn Beck'

by Mark Leibovich | NY Times Magazine
October 3, 2010

Glenn Beck was sprawled out on his office couch a couple of weeks ago, taking — as self-helpers like to say ­— an inventory. “I think what the country is going through right now is, in a way, what I went through with my alcoholism,” he told me. “You can either live or die. You have a choice.” Beck, who is 46, was in the Midtown Manhattan offices of his production company, Mercury Radio Arts, which is named for Mercury Theater, the company created by Orson Welles. He had just finished his three-hour syndicated radio show and was a few hours away from his television show. It was a Wednesday afternoon in the middle of September, and Beck had just returned from a week’s vacation in the Grand Tetons followed by a quick hop to Anchorage, where he and Sarah Palin appeared at an event on Sept. 11.

Continue reading at: NYT.com

Well worth the read. Keep your eye on Beck.

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That article was....

excessively long I'm suprised I made it through it....I still do not trust that man...

“The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had." - Eric Schmidt

Michael Nystrom's picture


We may not trust him. But we can trust him to be Glenn Beck.

He's the man.
photoshopwiz's picture

quick link to article:

this is the longest thing.

I mean you'd really have to care, one way or the other, about Glenn Beck to get through this.

I think EVERYONE knows he's in the ENTERTAINMENT business at this point. He is like Howard Stern, or Oprah, or....whoever. All of the people that make it in this particular business are fully committed to their own personal success and fame.

I often find it kind of sad when people get totally hoodwinked into "following" these meglomaniacs. I guess there is just something about unbridled narcissism that humankind, on some level really looks up to.

Michael Nystrom's picture

That is the point - keep your mind open - WIDE OPEN

I think EVERYONE knows he's in the ENTERTAINMENT business at this point.

Agreed - 100%. 1000%! And he's popular - not amongst us, but with a lot of sheeple people. Sheeple people like to be entertained. And if you haven't noticed, politics in this age has simply devolved into PART OF THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS!

The reason I posted this is to see if anyone else sees what I'm seeing. So far, no one has.

I believe that Glenn Beck is positioning himself for the perfect convergence of media & politics.

Several years ago, I remember seeing an article linked from Drudge about how Rupert Murdoch was planning a new reality show - like American Idol - only instead of competing for entertainment, he was going to do a 'talent search' for the next President of the United States!

There would be a season of shows in which the political hopefuls would 'compete' the way they do on these talent search shows (that are watched by millions). They'd be whittled down, one by one until the end of the season, when the winner was finally selected. And then, once selected, Murdoch would finance his campaign! And the winner would actually run for President, like a real candidate!

I thought it was incredible, but the link soon disappeared, and I never heard any more about it. Someone quashed it.

But that is what got me thinking...

Politics IS entertainment. It is about getting people to like you. Once they 'like' you, then they 'trust' you. Handsome/pretty, likable, some good slogans...That's what it takes to get elected now. See Obama & Sarah Palin for relevant examples.

I often find it kind of sad when people get totally hoodwinked into "following" these meglomaniacs.

Me too. Very sad. People are easily manipulated, especially by television. The way it flickers puts people into a sort of hypnotic trance by which they enter a state that is open to subliminal suggestion. Why do you think advertisers spend so much on advertising?

And as much as I'd hate to see it, you have to admit that a Glenn Beck run for the Golden Ring would be extremely entertaining. It would not only be profitable for Fox & its owner Murdoch, but it would be good for ratings at MSNBC (i.e. Keith Olbermann & Rachel Maddow). It would give people something to talk about, to be outraged about, to rant and blitch (blog & bitch - a term coined by Octobox) about.

Of course this 8,000 word essay was 'placed' by Glenn Beck's PR machine into the NY Times. That's how the press works these days. Read between the lines. No doubt Beck is using it as a trial balloon of sorts to gauge the reactions / telegraph his intentions, and check which way the wind is blowing.

Beck is positioning himself, on his TV show, as the 'guy who has all the answers.' He's now criticizing both parties, because it is popular.

I'm no fan of Beck, but I will admit that he is entertaining. And in this upsidedown, topsy turvy world that we now live in, Beck, more than anyone, understands the value of entertainment and how to leverage it. He's a screaming comet, rising from stoner pothead to uncategorizable media machine in a matter of a few years. In a time of upheaval such as we are living through today, he could be very dangerous.

Of course it sounds impossible, but what I have learned is that anything can happen, and the strangest things do.

He's got his eye on the Gold Ring. He's mulling it. He's thinking it over. Why do you think he's paling around with his new best friend, Sarah Palin?

"Wonder twin powers, activate! Size of a new third party! Shape of a 2012 power grab!

Thoughts appreciated.

He's the man.

I had no idea about Murdoch and the "Political Reality Show"!

It all makes sense doesn't it?

Good observation. It seems

Good observation. It seems plausible. A Beck and Palin ticket would be the perfect way to retain the status quo while campaigning on liberty rhetoric, and lead the sheeple off the cliff. That's why I've always thought of Glenn Beck as very dangerous. I hope you're wrong Mike, but it won't surprise me if we see an independent presidential run by the serpent to further co-opt the will of the American populace. Scary stuff.

Beck costs $50,000 for an on air mention

You know PRODUCT PLACEMENT. This happens ALL the time in the media. Heres the latest incident that really isn't getting much coverage.


I have heard (through reliable sources otherwise I would not post this) that Radio Media Arts (Beck)approached the Rand Paul campaign and asked for that amount. Rand's camp said "no thank you".

SarahPAC has been dishing out the cash to Beck since she quit her job in Alaska.

Michael Nystrom's picture


Interesting, thanks.

I remember reading one consultant saying that 90% of all news is paid placement. 90% sounds pretty high, but who knows.

I'll tell you this - stories like this one, and any front page business story in the NYT doesn't just get there by accident.

He's the man.

It is almost like TPTB

saw how Ron Paul had such a tremendous impact, and loyal following, but was not the most polished speaker.

GB is a repackaged RP, but is going to either lead people off of a cliff, or keep them in the corral.

It is interesting how he has lately seemed to channel Alex Jones' style, on his radio show. AJ even says that he has inside info that GB employs people to listen to his show.

I think the bottom line is that people RESPOND to what they feel is the truth. There has been so much lies and deception in the MSM, that anyone even SEEMING to be on the side of the truth, is going to be attractive.

Trust is a precious commodity these days, and GB is gaining that trust, and gatekeeping with it.

I think your perceptions are right on this one. And yes, it IS important to keep an "open mind", and watch closely. To ignore something because you just don't like it for whatever reason, is silly. We must pay attention to a lot of things, we are not necessarily going to like.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Thank you Jefferson

For reading & for the insights & support.

He's the man.

You also made

an interesting point about the effects of television.

Are you familiar with the 25th frame effect?

They have been studying this for decades. It is a is almost a perfected science.

Here is a pretty good youtube exposing some subliminal manipulation.

Speaking of Fox, and the other news channels. Watch the motion graphics in the background, The quick flashes, the speed at which they move and change, the similar colors they all use to create a mood.
Sometime if you are watching TV in the dark, turn around and watch the reflection on wall behind you, and you will see the flashes, and crazy stuff.

Ever since I have become aware of this, I have noticed some subtle symbolism on Fox News,(all the channels for that matter), but Fox especially.

"Hannity and Colmes" had a pyramid in the background that would appear over guests head, with the camera positioned just right. The same can be seen on BillO's show, with the new set he has.

History Channel has added a little pyramid with a capstone, on the lower left of their big "H" logo recently.

Now they're talking about this new 3D Television, which should be interesting as well.

"For those who have eyes that can see"

IDK, maybe I am the one going crazy.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Great video

Is that what is meant by the "25th Frame"

From what I understand, we're hardwired to notice and watch for movement and changes - apparently it comes from our ancestors scanning the high grasses on the plains of Africa, looking for the movement of predators.

I think that is the reasoning behind all the motion graphics. I don't watch Fox much, but you see it on CNBC - all those shimmering, undulating, waving colors. It is, in a way, much more satisfying than looking at a static background with stock prices (See PBS's "Nightly Business Report")

I'm sure it would be easy to embed all kinds of subliminal messages in those moving backgrounds - ala all the sexual imagery displayed in that video.

He's the man.
photoshopwiz's picture

you are not crazy

I wish I could locate the comments, but I remember when we were discussing Ron Paul early in his presidential campaign, being interviewed in a television studio. I think it was either FOX or CNN ... I believe it was the latter ... and behind him they had at least a dozen ... multiple news stories streaming in many directions and glowing in the neon blue of a fancy graphics background behind him. They were ALL doom and gloom tales of DISASTER and I believe it was apparent to several of us who were disturbed by it and observant enough to catch it.

Subliminal message: RON PAUL = DANGER/DISASTER

crazy check out Nielsen Neurofocus

No you are NOT crazy.
Check out Nielsen Neurofocus

Yes this the company that we all know an love regarding television shows and ratings.


or this:

notice CITIBANK is one of the endorsements for Neurofocus

Notice CITIBANK is one of the endorsements for Neurofocus!!

I just found that unbelievable.
Oh the tangled web...oh the tangled web...

Jefferson's theory

Can be proved just in the moods and headaches that are influenced by the refresh rate on our computer monitors.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.



it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Beck Bombs: Only 700 People Attend Restoring Honor Tour Kickoff

In the biggest sign yet that Glenn Beck’s fame is on the decline, Beck opened his national Restoring Honor tour in New Jersey yesterday in front of only 700 people in a venue that holds 8,000. Organizers were able to sell less than 10% of the tickets for the event, highlighting the fact that Beck is not the mega draw that Fox portrays him as.


I'm sure his followers are

I'm sure his followers are going broke paying for tickets to see him, buying his merchandise, subscribing to his magazines, etc. However, I do feel compassion for those that follow him, for they seem lost and scared. This NYT article pointed that out to me more than ever.

Interesting but I wonder how true this is.

After all, the story originated at Media Matters, known more for politically-motivated distortion than truth.

New Hampshire and Ecuador.

Star Trek: The Automatic Generation, Star Laundry. Paid by Word?

Tracking Political Stars & other Celestial Objects

Paid by the Word?

Mark Leibovich, Political Star Treker, NY Times

Suspect: Beck. News automatically generated by random association with hot topics. Automatic generation!

Beck rising star power being tracked by NY Times Star Treker. Start Tracker?
Mark Leibovich Sample Sentence:

[In person, Beck is sheepish and approachable, betraying none of the grandiosity or bluster you might expect from a man who predicted “the next Great Awakening” to a few hundred thousand people in late August at the Lincoln Memorial or who declared last year that the president has a
“deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”]

[Twain-Mark: That literary torture was page 1 of the disgorgement.

Next 8K automatically generated words deleted. The conclusion will suffice.]

Conclusion of 8K word essay:

[Beck told me that he recently threw away all of his old tapes from his Morning Zoo years, so his kids could not hear them. He has no idea what his role is in the political firmament. The notion seems to bore him...

He is fragile, on the edge. There is no template for him or for where he is headed. “I have not prepared my whole life to be here,” Beck told me from his plush couch, his face turning bright pink. “I prepared my whole life to be in a back alley.” I expected him to cry, but he did not.]

[Twain-Mark: Help wanted. Please offer your services. Lest NY Times will need an obituary.]

About the author (Bio from NY Times):

Mark Leibovich is a reporter in the Washington bureau of The Times. He last wrote for the magazine about Mike Allen of Politico.

Recent work:

Few Rules, No Curfew: The Pauls' Libertarianism Began at Home

WASHINGTON -- In keeping with their position as the First Family of Libertarianism, the Pauls of Lake Jackson, Tex., did not have many rules around their home.
June 6, 2010

[Twain-Mark: The "Ron Paul" article was one of his better literary works. He probably enjoyed meeting their family. ]

Assumptions Go Asunder as Gores Split

Al and Tipper Gore’s decision to separate underscores a truism about marriages, especially political ones: You never know.
June 2, 2010
[Twain-Mark: Star Treking.

2006, Oldie, mildly insulting NY Times Front Page
Senators-Only Elevator Overrun by Journalists, Illiterate Tourists

New York Times | Mark Leibovich | August 2, 2006

The front page of the Times today brings urgent news:

Turns out the "Senators-only" elevator at the Capitol is being "overrun by the unelected."


Please forgive my long postcard. Tried to keep it under 8K Word, NY Times limit...

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

Michael Nystrom's picture

No doubt these big articles in NYT

Are the result of Beck's PR machine paying for play.

I'm suspicious of any huge feature that shows up in any large newspaper. This weekend there was also a long article defending Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook in the NYT.

But like I always say, you have to read between the lines.

This, Mr. Twain, is an excellent example of helping people to read between the lines.

If one reads a long ass story in the NYT on Glenn Beck, the natural response is (at least mine was), 'WTF? What is this doing here?'

Going back to the conclusion of the the 8K article, I see this as Mr. Beck floating a trial balloon via his PR firm who paid to get this story into the Times. Will Beck's transformation lead him next on a quest for the Golden Ring? I think he wants to find out if it is a viable option.

He's the man.

Appeared Often in the New York Times, Never Paid a Dime! Never!

Dear Mr Nystrom,

You write unsupported accusations. Of course, me too. I like yours better than mine; but, it matters not.

The only material published in the New York Times that I was sure of, I wrote and submitted it myself. After the invention of the typewriter, I submitted typed pages, so they wouldn't blame my handwriting for their editorial opinions.

Never paid a dime. When they published my work or tales about me it was of their own free will or stupidity.

New Your Times is automated rubbish:

  • Author is a Star-Tracker (aka: Star-Trecker)
  • Often writes against the Puppet-of-the-Day.
    • "Get you act together, or find another puppet theater!"
  • Occasionally writes invitations to leaders with high integrity
    • "Please come an join our Puppet Show."
    • "We need strong leaders like you!"
    • "We need integrity on our front page."
    • "...for we have none of our own." [Citation needed.]
  • Found zero hard hitting investigative reporting.
  • Current event personality parader.

The sentences captured from the introduction & conclusion are hard to stomach. Indigestion. The message was humiliating to beck supporters, should any read it.

Again, I suggest the author was paid by the word. Content automatically generated from hot topics of the day.

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul