Jack Hunter on Glenn Beck

I know I just said stop talking about the talking heads – but I think that Jack Hunter is on to something in this post.

First off, let me just say that before Beck moved to Fox I watched him on CNN occasionally, and to be quite frank – I actually enjoyed his show.  He seemed like a decently smart guy who was maybe just a bit over the top in a few areas – perhaps a bit too passionate about self-reliance and such (he often had Mr Self-Reliance himself – Ted Nugent – on his show).  He didn’t seem as divisive as many other talking heads, though, and he was entertaining and bright.

When he debuted on Fox he was a changed man.  “Melodrama” is the word Jack uses, and that’s exactly right.  Melodrama, wild-eyed conspiracy theories, shock value.  And yet…

Jack writes:

1. Beck is not simply a blind Republican partisan. Sean Hannity does not believe in limited government– he simply believes big government is best managed by Republicans.

2. Beck is not a constant warmonger. Says Hannity with a straight face “you can’t deny that Bush was conservative on foreign policy.”

I’m not saying Beck has always been a libertarian, or is even sufficiently so, and during the Bush years he said all sorts of nasty things about Ron Paul, supported the PATRIOT Act and so on. But how many Alternative Righties are former Dittoheads? Plenty. Now imagine it was all caught on tape.

What good, exactly, does it do to constantly bash neocon-leaning conservatives whose minds are beginning to change, when you could instead help shepherd them in the Right direction?

What good indeed?  This is something I’ve long been pondering.  Anti-movement conservatives do pass up an opportunity to own the movement by constantly bashing members of the movement rather than “shepherding” them in the right direction – nudging them through better ideas, through example, and so forth.  I admire what Jack does because he is able to maneuver both sides to some degree, to navigate between the movement and the fringes.


See also the estimable Richard Spencer.  (P.S. Richard – I love Takimag, but I’d read it more if it didn’t load so slowly for me.  What’s the deal?  It used to be snappy.  Then again, after yesterday’s meltdown here, who am I to talk?)

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7 thoughts on “Jack Hunter on Glenn Beck

  1. One thing the Sub-Prime Crash should be telling the Libertarian Right is that the American Dream, if ever it existed for a majority, has been subverted by a Cult of Selfish Individualism. Yet here we have Beck and Limbaugh banging on that its all the fault of Big Government when in reality government has actually been subverted by the Cult. This is not perceptive analysis especially after somebody a very, very long time ago once said elite capitalists will always compete against each other to sell the rope to their executioners.

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    • One thing the Sub-Prime Crash should be telling the Libertarian Right is that the American Dream, if ever it existed for a majority, has been subverted by a Cult of Selfish Individualism.

      It’s a little more complicated than that, but to the extent that conservatives or libertarians wish to put blame solely on government housing policy (or even the Fed policy along with it), I think they are horribly misguided.


      I can do some very perceptive analysis on the causes and problems of this crisis, but I wouldn’t call Wall Street’s influence to get the SEC to allow them to lever up like hedge funds anything having to do with individualism. When interest groups like that that effectively hold control over the regulators they are supposed to control, individualism is not the problem. Not even close.

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  2. The leaders of the Chinese Communist Party are chortling over the diversionary antics of the Good Ol’ Boy Fascists Beck and Limbaugh. The Party has managed to get the once mighty US of A in a mutual half-throttle with US bond purchases in only two decades. Now they are sitting comfortably looking to buy up strategic American industries by playing the Sweet and Sour Chicken Threats game. This is the one where they threaten to stop buying US bonds at their usual rate to finance the bailout, stimulus and unemployment packages generated by the not so tactically clever Wall Street Masters of Greed Cultists. The Party Leadership is looking forward to a very one-sided game of Chinese Checkers!

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  3. Being right about some things, or “moving in the right direction,” doesn’t change the fact that Glenn Beck deliberately misleads his audience on a nightly basis. Are we really at the point where rather than attacking pundits for 1 minute of indefensible monologue, we are defending pundits based having on 1 minute of defensible monologue?

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    • Conor – I don’t think this stacks up to a “defense” of the pundits. It’s a small point that Jack made and I echoed, that to me is saying – we shouldn’t blanket judge, or spend too much time casting judgment. Now, my reasons are more clearly articulated in my last talking heads post. I just think stooping to their level and fighting their fight is borderline nonsense. Does that mean I like Beck or Limbaugh? Hell no. I just don’t see it as constructive to constantly point out the obvious. And beyond that, I think Jack has a point that Beck at least – though far from perfectly – is not simply a dittohead. (Though that was more true once upon a time – he has slowly sunk into crazier and crazier…)

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