Mormons Take over the World!

March 24, 2009 | 106 comments
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Or, at least, most of Amazon’s best seller list.

The current top ten list includes one title by W. Cleon Skousen, one by Jay A. Parry, and five by Stephenie Meyer.

(HT: Jacob Findlay.)

106 Responses to Mormons Take over the World!

  1. Rivkah on March 24, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    I’m wondering why Jay Parry’s book is so popular. It was published back in 1991. Am I missing something?

  2. Alison Moore Smith on March 24, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    You’re missing the Glenn Beck factor. He promoted both the Skousen and Parry books, beginning with his “We Surround Them” special last Friday.

  3. Alison Moore Smith on March 24, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Maybe Beck will become the new Oprah of book recommendations.

    BTW, I’m reading #16, Outliers right now. Fascinating.

  4. Justmeherenow on March 24, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    “‘America You Are Not Alone’ Glenn Beck says. ‘Get started in the 912 Project with these two books:

    “‘The Real George Washington and The 5000 Year Leap.

    “‘Go buy them and read them. Then get your friends and neighbors together around the kitchen table and discuss the 9 principles and 12 values of our founding fathers.'”

    http://hubpages.com/hub/theninetwelveproject

  5. Dan on March 24, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Glenn Beck is insane.

  6. E on March 24, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Finally! We have done it! The world belongs to us! Bwahahahah…

  7. Justmeherenow on March 24, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Beck associates with a No. of Church members. (…For example, we see that in the segment of his “9-12″ special where he recommends the two books, Beck’s interview right afterwards is with Dave Checketts (who according to Wikipedia got an MBA at Brigham Young before doing a stint at Bain Capital, becoming CEO of the Utah Jazz, general manager of the NBA, prezsident of the Knicks, then prez of NYC’s Madison Square Garden)). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5Z4OZWyGRs&feature=related

  8. queuno on March 24, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Glenn Beck is the new Covey, unfortunately. But just as easily ignored.

  9. Non-Arab Arab on March 24, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    If Glenn Beck is insane, then I suppose it makes sense he’d be attracted to Cleon Skousen kookery. Oy-vey!

  10. Dan on March 24, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    On Ms. Meyer, I tried to read Twilight (got bored after ten pages—clearly not written for a guy like me). I’m glad to see Mormon writers do well. Mormon writers don’t have to write Mormon stories to be good Mormon writers.

  11. Justmeherenow on March 24, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Wasn’t there the famous incident from during the McCarthy era when (in the October 1959 Gen. Conference) President McKay read aloud from the flyleaf of Skousen’s tome The Naked Communist, “The conflict between communism and freedom is the problem of our time”?

    (An extremely interesting on Glenn Beck’s journey with regard to Latter-day Saints: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7TIiVRWHjk&feature=PlayList&p=DB301D5BD2137ADC&index=6

    (Meanwhile, ‘Variety’ has it that the Twilight saga’s third installment is to be directed by Juan Antonio Bayona — whose maiden full-length feature outing was the Spanish language flick ‘The Orphanage.’)

  12. Justmeherenow on March 25, 2009 at 1:51 am

    (Last comment. Promise.) Deseret News:

    “When Beck was to be ordained into the LDS priesthood, his name was presented to the congregation for a sustaining vote, as is customary in the church. In a highly unusual occurrence, one man opposed the ordination, later telling local leaders, “Have you heard his show?”

    http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695232408,00.html?pg=1

  13. Dan on March 25, 2009 at 4:50 am

    Justmeherenow,

    President McKay read aloud from the flyleaf of Skousen’s tome The Naked Communist, “The conflict between communism and freedom is the problem of our time”?

    Proof right there that prophets are human beings who also make mistakes.

  14. Marc on March 25, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Please watch the personal attacks. If anyone needs a refresher on T&S comment policy, see here.

  15. Mark B. on March 25, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Can’t we just keep this whole subject hidden in the closet, and hope it just goes away?

  16. Rameumptom on March 25, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I spent 20 years in the USAF, and in management classes, they quote from various Cleon Skousen books. So, at least as far as the military goes, he isn’t a kook.
    While I don’t agree with everything Glenn Beck does, I do agree with many of his points. His key principles are not that bad, for the most part.
    And given what the liberal left sometimes offers us (Bill Maher, for instance), we could do worse….

  17. Justmeherenow on March 25, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Maher: “This Glenn Beck guy, I wouldn’t even give him the time of day except he’s a big star now on Fox and a lot of people believe him, and he’s talking about FEMA concentration camps. He says, ‘We are headed towards socialism, totalitarianism beyond your wildest imagination.'”[... ... ...]
    :
    Olberman: “Can I quote Madeline Albright? He’s nuts.”
    :
    Maher: “But you know, look, I would never be the person who says you have to watch what you say[...]because a borderline person might take it and do this. I’m sorry, that’s the price of living in a free speech country, and I do want to live in one because I make my living at it. Okay, but you know, I must say, Tim McVeigh in 1995 if you recall, this was the same kind of talk that made him blow up that building.”

    http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=304323

  18. Lisa F. on March 25, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Who is Glen Beck?

  19. Dan on March 25, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Glenn Beck is the Mormon who on the air said he wondered how he could kill Michael Moore.

    And if Skousen has infiltrated the military, our future is doomed.

  20. Tom D on March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Glenn Beck must be doing something right to be stirring up this kind of deranged opposition :-).

  21. Bull Moose on March 25, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Oh, my, I almost posted a moderatable response to Dan’s spewage, but I talked myself down, Marc.

    I do want to know why the Democrats opposed to Glenn Beck’s ideas like Dan attack him personally and not his ideas -other than to say that simply talking about them will cause someone like McVeigh to bomb a federal building, which is an absurd idea, but Maher gets away with it because Dennis the Menace’s demented dad laughs at it then puts Beck on his WPOTW segment for 15 people to see.

  22. Justmeherenow on March 25, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    I’m gonna show you something, though, that’s very disturbing that I just found and I just decided to make this a thing: this is a picture of Glenn Beck and he is being welcomed, as you see by the sign, by [station] KTBB.[...]Now look at this. There are men in red shirts. Now look at the guys’ arm patch. It says BECK. Do you see what’s going on? He’s enslaving a giant Mormon race of young robots in Glenn Beck uniforms to do his bidding. That’s clearly what’s going on. How are we not frightened by this?

  23. Justmeherenow on March 25, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Lol. (The foregoing is said by The B-Cast’s Scott Baker at aprox. 30.00 here: http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=304323 )

  24. Dan on March 25, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Bull Moose,

    Because he says the stupidest things, like pondering how to kill Michael Moore. Like showing utter disrespect to America’s first Muslim Congressman. Like calling those who lost homes in the Southern California fires a year or so back anti-American, that they hate America.

    I’m not as offended by what a Bill Maher has to say because Bill Maher does not in any way shape or form share the same religious beliefs I do. Glenn Beck supposedly does. I cannot reconcile what Glenn Beck says with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Now, should I be calling him insane? No, probably not. But seeing that he has no problem insulting someone who believes the way I do, my level of tolerance for him is low, and I’ll lob things right back at him.

    Honestly, calling him insane will only cause his supporters to double down their support of him, and it will legitimize their belief in him, but that’s a consequence I have already accounted for.

    Listening to a Glenn Beck will only lead our country to more sorrow and misery. It is not a wise path. It is a path for insane people.

  25. jeff hoyt on March 25, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    “Proof right there that prophets are human beings who also make mistakes.”

    Given the track record of communism – just how is the Prophet’s comment a mistake? Skousen was correct about communism where all the “intellectuals” were wrong.

  26. Justmeherenow on March 25, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    The First Presidency (Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, Marion G. Romney), 15 February 1979: “To All Stake Presidents, Bishops, and Branch Presidents in the United States[....]It has come to our attention that in some areas announcements have been made in Church meetings of lectures to be given by those connected with [Skousen's] the Freemen Institute. This is to inform you that no announcements should be made in Church meetings of these, or other similar, lectures or events that are not under the sponsorship of the Church. This instruction is not intended to express any disapproval of the right of the Freemen Institute and its lecturers to conduct such meetings or of the contents of the lectures. The only purpose is to make certain that neither Church facilities nor Church meetings are used to advertise such events and to avoid any implication that the Church endorses what is said during such lectures.”

    Mark Hemingway in National Review Online WRT favorable remarks concerning Skousen made by presidential candidate Mitt Romney: “[...]I sincerely doubt that Mitt Romney believes anything near as outlandish as many of the things Cleon Skousen espoused, and to be fair Skousen wrote on numerous topics with wildly varying degrees of intellectual sobriety. In fact, as the radio host in the YouTube video notes, Skousen’s writings on original intent and the U.S. Constitution in The Making of America are compellingly argued, and to this day are often cited by conservatives unaware of Skousen’s more checkered writings. Further, Skousen’s scriptural commentaries are still very popular well-regarded within the relatively unradical world of mainstream Mormonism, insofar as Mormon theology can be considered unradical.

  27. Amy on March 25, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Wow, I guess this thread has turned into the kind of blog where we make mean fun of someone who doesn’t agree with us. It’s fine if you don’t like Glenn Beck’s views, but save the hate for your own personal blog.

    As for Maher and #19, was that before or after the part where Maher said we’d be better if Dick Cheney were dead or different from the time he said that Mormons believe that the only way a black person can go to heaven is to be sealed to a white as a slave. My point is that Bill Maher is not exactly the tool I would use to judge Glenn Beck’s merit.

    Dan, I am shocked that you would be more offended by Glenn Beck than Bill Maher. Maybe you are unaware of the hate he spews towards our religion and the lies about us that he continues to state as fact. And actually, it is possible for people to be in the same religion and believe in Jesus Christ yet have different political views. Just ask Orrin and Harry.

    And yes, Bull Moose, it is much easier to attack someone personally (how that gels w/ the argument of reconciling what you say and believing in Jesus Christ, I’m not sure) than to discuss differing opinions on issues.

  28. Alison Moore Smith on March 25, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Spot on, Amy.

    #26 Dan But seeing that he has no problem insulting someone who believes the way I do, my level of tolerance for him is low, and I’ll lob things right back at him.

    I find it entertaining that your insults are to be tolerated while Beck’s aren’t. You’ll have to have a pretty good arm to be effective.

    Better yet, discuss some issues and/or facts.

  29. Geoff B on March 26, 2009 at 6:59 am

    As long as we’re insulting everybody, could I just say that I didn’t really care for “Twilight” the book, but I actually liked “Twilight” the movie.

    My 13-year-old daughter loves all of the Twilight books, however. Target audience.

  30. Dan on March 26, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Alison,

    What Glenn Beck and his supporters ought to realize is that his incendiary language does actually piss people off. It’s kinda funny really. Those who are insulted are supposed to stay silent and not lash back, but it is perfectly okay for a Glenn Beck to be so vulgar. When will members of the church hold him to the standards of the Gospel? Or is he living the standards of the Gospel? If he is, then why is there anything wrong with my incendiary language toward him?

  31. Kent Larsen on March 26, 2009 at 9:54 am

    To get back to the topic, Julie, you should note a few things about bestseller lists:

    * Amazon’s bestseller lists are fickle and are particularly vulnerable to the kind of popular promotion that Glen Beck and Oprah and other widely-viewed programs can manage. Its sales are very sensitive to those that react quickly. IMO, it is NOT likely that these same sales are happening to this degree in physical bookstores. FWIW, Amazon is just over 10% of the book market last I checked.
    * This kind of domination of a bestseller list by Mormon authors has happened before — I think back in the late 1990s or first few years of 2000, Orson Scott Card, Stephen Covey, Anne Perry, Clayton M. Christensen and one or two others all had books on the New York Times bestseller lists at the same time. I’d say we can probably expect this kind of confluence of Mormon authors every decade or so.

    What is news here is Glen Beck’s ability to promote books — a kind of surprising development. I don’t know how far that ability will extend beyond the kind of right-wing/conservative books that Cleon Skousen and Jay Parry write.

    Long and short of this is: confluence of Mormons on Amazon list is NOT new. Glen Beck’s ability to sell books IS new.

  32. Brad Kramer on March 26, 2009 at 10:35 am

    “Skousen was correct about communism where all the “intellectuals” were wrong.”

    As a counter to this sweeping claim, I offer the following, for your reading pleasure (with a confession that, as someone who has often taken issue with Lou Midgley’s ferociousness, I find it surprisingly pleasant to see it directed at Skousen’s particular brand of nonsense):

    http://content.lib.utah.edu/u?/dialogue,3884

  33. Brad Kramer on March 26, 2009 at 10:37 am

    To be clear, if by “Skousen was correct about communism” you mean that he was correct in not liking it, then we agree. But that pretty much stretches the limits of Skousen’s correctness about communism or politics in general.

    If for whatever reason the above link does not work, try this:

    http://content.lib.utah.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/dialogue&CISOPTR=3956&CISOSHOW=3884

  34. Justmeherenow on March 26, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Despite the self-parody in Beck’s in-poor-taste — and, arguably, legally actionable — “Moore” skit (from, I think, 2004), I pretty much think everybody agrees it was waay beyond the pale of acceptable, decent behavior. Right? I agree with the poster above who hopes that Beck’s bishop called him in over it. (And I’m being sincere here!)

    (Incidentally, the context of the tasteless quote is a monologue where Beck claimed he used to wear a WWJD/What-would-Jesus-do? bracelet that would calm him down when evil thoughts popped in his head. However, Beck had taken off bracelet and… (Beck adopts a sort of funny-voice to dramatize his having evil thoughts— ) “I’ve lost all sense of right and wrong now. I used to be able to say, ‘Yeah, I’d kill Michael Moore,’ and then I’d see the little band[...and] realize, ‘Oh, you wouldn’t kill Michael Moore. Or at least you wouldn’t choke him to death.’ And— you know— Well. I’m not sure— “ )

  35. jimbob on March 26, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    I don’t like that DOM read Skousen from the pulpit. But to pretend that communism wasn’t a huge religious issue–in our church and in others across the U.S.–in the ’40s and ’50s is unsupportable to me.

    And from a doctrinal point of view, I’m not sure DOM was wrong: the cold war closed down a lot of doors, and therefore converts, that we otherwise would have had access to, and various “socialist” regimes today are doing the same. In many cases, our belief system was criminalized. I’m not sure all that can be dismissed by saying that DOM was simply caught up in the hysteria of the time.

    (And, yes, I recognize this is probably as much a nationalist issue–i.e., the world doesn’t like America–as it is a communist issue.)

  36. Alison Moore Smith on March 26, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    What Glenn Beck and his supporters ought to realize is that his incendiary language does actually piss people off…Those who are insulted are supposed to stay silent and not lash back, but it is perfectly okay for a Glenn Beck to be so vulgar.

    To be clear, Dan #30, I don’t give a hoot if you keep silent or if you lob “spewage.” What’s amusing is the “he’s being awful and mean and hateful and nasty and not “holding to the gospel standard”…so I can, too!” line of thought.

    It stands to reason that if YOU think his behavior is horrendous, you should probably display DIFFERENT behavior. Or at least set an appointment with the bishop to confess your lack of “holding to the gospel standard.”

    What would be more interesting, however, than the name-calling and insult-lobbing, is for you (perhaps in a different forum or thread?) to address the actual issues he discusses and explain where they err and what the correct viewpoint is.

  37. Raymond Takashi Swenson on March 26, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    A couple of years ago, Glenn Beck was brought out to Idaho Falls by Frank Vandersloot, president of Melaleuca and a co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s campaign, to speak to the annual Republican barbecue. He was a tremendous draw, with 5 times the normal attendance. He spoke for 45 minutes. He made jokes about Republicans and Democrats both, but I didn’t hear anything that was defamatory or outside the range of remarks that members of Congress utter every day about their political opponents. In fact, I thought he came across as far more rational than Nancy Pelosi. After all, Beck does not have the power to subpeona you to testify before Congress and then sic the prosecutors on you if they don’t like what you say. Beck does not pass unconstitutional Bills of Attainder to punish people he doesn’t like for doing things that are not criminal and which were explicitly allowed by Congress in legislation it recently passed. Beck ridicules a lot of people, but this Congress and Administration is what we in the military called a “target rich environment” full of hypocritical blowhards who do bad things to people who tick them off.

    As to the communist threat back in mid 20th Century, the left wing in American universities is still promoting marxism and socialism. How else does a faculty hire someone as a professor who admits to having set off bombs? The fact that only a few innocent people were murdered by his group testifies to their technical incompetence, not their good intent. When Skousen was talking about the rising threat of communism, the left wing in America was saying the same thing. They only differed on whether it was desirable or not. The failure of communism to bring material wellbeing does not deter the true believers in American academe.

    Beck use a lot of hyperbole. He is not a deep thinker. He is a humorist first. But the same could be said of John Stewart, who is one of the favorite “news” figures of the left wing. No one with a sense of humor really thinks Beck is a physical threat to anyone, or that his listeners would be such. Rather, the left wing, which lacks a sense of humor (especially about itself) tries to seize on such hyperbole to slander and suppress critics like Beck. Left wingers like Maher cannot take a joke, and they especially cannot stand real criticism. They are always ready to destroy anyone who disagrees with them. They think that anyone who criticizes their own statements is an enemy of free speech, while the critics’ speech is dangerous demagoguery that must be taken off the airwaves.

  38. blamo on March 26, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    I am not a big fan of Skousen but him on a best seller is a positive thing. His ideas are not entirely detrimental and his kooky doctrinal opinions are mild. Why not have him on there? It could be worse as a lot of people have noted.

    I checked today and Steve Harvey, a def jam dirty comedian, is number 2. We might not like Skousen but I would have all his wacky books on there before I would want the public to read most of the garbage that the public reads…

    If Skousen spooks you guys don’t read early church history.

  39. Dan on March 26, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Raymond,

    There’s a huge difference between making jokes about one side or the other, even rather crude jokes. What Beck (and the worse Michael Savage) do is not joke around. They purposely insult and inflame others. If Jon Stewart were to start calling people anti-American (who otherwise are not), then you would have a comparable point. But Stewart doesn’t do that. Because he knows it is dumb. There’s plenty of great humor without getting stupid. But Beck isn’t just a humorist. He’s really a revolutionary. He’s trying to change the world. But he is so dim-witted that what he will end up riling up will be terrible for America.

    Alison,

    If you wish to discuss the merits of his position, then please answer, for what purpose would someone like Beck get on the air and contemplate exactly how to kill Michael Moore? Should he do it with his own hands? Should he hire someone? What kind of reason is there to make such statements on the air, except unless you were, in fact, certifiably insane?

  40. blamo on March 26, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    What are you talking about, insulting people is their business. Stewart is a comedy news show and guess what, so is Beck’s. Stewart is as outspoken as they come to pointing out people who he believes are screwing up America. While Beck makes a joke about killing Moore, Stewart makes dirty jokes that are only funny to people who desperately wish that they were not in the church so could join in the fun.

    This blog is great but it is filled with individuals who are pretty messed up…

  41. blamo on March 26, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Now that I have thought about it. Stewart is terrible! I blame prominent leaders who went on his show early on giving him credibility.

  42. Dan on March 26, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Brad Kramer,

    Thank you for sharing that (#32 and #33). I’ve never read The Naked Capitalist (nor anything else by Skousen). I’ve read reviews and bits and pieces here and there, but my goodness, the man was a hack! In all honesty, how the heck did he get to be favored by a prophet! How the heck did he get BYU professors to force his garbage down the throats of the students there? What an awful piece of work he was!

    And Glenn Beck will take over his work. What an awful shame.

  43. Dan on March 26, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    blamo,

    I guess to each his own humor eh? You think it is great to laugh about killing a man, and I think it is great to laugh about someone publicly contradicting himself. No difference between the two.

  44. jeff hoyt on March 26, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Dan;

    Good of you to let us know that someone “favored by a prophet” was not worthy. Perhaps you can let us know what other advice is suspect as people like me are liable to assume everything a prophet says from the pulpit makes sense.

    Reagarding communism, I must admit a little frustration with the left giving a wink and a nod to 100 million murders by communist governments of their subjects. Oh well, they meant well. If ever an ideology deserved to be completely and utterly discredited it is communism, but spend any time on any college campus in this country and you will see plenty of true believers willing to overlook a few indiscretions.

  45. Dan on March 26, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Jeff,

    Surely you agree with me that if a prophet holds up a book at General Conference and says everyone should read it, that that book should get scrutiny. And if that scrutiny turns out to show that the book is filled with falsehoods, then one has to question why that prophet held that book up in General Conference for all to read.

    As for communism, please share why you think any of the commenters on this blog would give a “wink and a nod” to communism. I think you are going along with the same ideology as a Skousen, that one must show equal anger and hate at those who support communism around the world in order to show that they don’t think much of communism.

    As for the number of murders, well, that number means very little to me. As capitalist countries have warred on numerous occasions as well, killing whoever they felt a threat, it means little to me to get angry that communists did the same.

  46. Trenden on March 26, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    So, communism was bad but 100 million murders doesn’t really matter much because other non-communist countries have done bad things too. Am I getting Dan’s logic correct?

  47. kevinf on March 26, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Hmmm, our Mormon best sellers list consists of stuff recommended by a talk show host who I respect but don’t particularly like his politics or viewpoints, and Stephanie Meyer’s “literary works”. I always have known I was different, but this just confirms it. Beck is like Rush; the more outrageous he is, the higher his ratings amongst his fanboys and fangirls.

    Meyers is interesting, with a story that has somehow caught the imagination of millions of women, primarily, with her stories of chaste vampires. I got distracted about halfway through “Twilight”, but couldn’t muster the commitment to finish.

    Unfortunately, for all of their good traits, all of these folks have achieved a larger fame and presence than their slightly above average talents normally would attract. Skousen is a figure from my childhood that I generally lump together with Joseph McCarthy. Meyers reminds me more of Stephen King in his worst books, only with a strict desire not to offend anyone. And Beck? Good entertainer if you like that sort of stuff. I find him and Bill Maher as both equally unlikable to me. Can’t say as I have much respect for either one’s politics.

  48. blamo on March 26, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    I don’t think I said I condoned murder, in reference to Beck’s comment nor do I remember singing Beck’s praise. In regards to each his own humor, would you feel comfortable watching the Daily Show with Jesus? :)

  49. Raymond Takashi Swenson on March 26, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Jon Stewart does take himself seriously. I personally think that when he realized that his show was actually influencing how people viewed the real world, around the time of the 2004 elections, he decided it was his mission to be a warrior for his version of the good and true. He transitioned from being an acerbic commenter ridiculing the human frailties of all and sundry into someone dedicated to ridiculing only those whose heart is not in the right place. I used to make a point of catching The Daily Show each evening in preference to the 30 minutes of editorializing on network news, enjoying how he and his team punched the windbags of both left and right. Sadly, he has abandoned his mission of entertainment, and assumed the mantle of H.L. Mencken. He has become a windbag among windbags.

    Personally, I can only take so much of Glenn Beck on the radio, and never watch his TV show. I applaud his enthusiasms, and he can be funny, but I do not find his discourse intellectually stimulating or enlightening. My son sent me his book on CD, and I skipped through several chapters. The most impressive thing I have heard him say was about his own reformation and conversion. Certainly, one does not get points as a national radio personality for being LDS. And he does not brag about it or make a point of it when talking about politics on the air. He does not use his membership in a bid for credibility, nor does he claim he is any better than anyone else because of it. It seems to me that his membership and religious commitment is the one thing that keeps him anchored.

    My preferred conservative talk radio program is Micheal Medved, a Jew, who actually offers intellectual reasoning and historical facts to justify his political views. He has generally been very supportive of Mormons and articulately defends us against callers who denigrate us. It is a mystery to me why he ever supported Huckabee over Romney. Medved is an egotist, but anyone who puts himself under public scrutiny 15 hours a week has to be. He likes to have callers who debate him, and he often has guests who disagree with him and is very civil with them and reasoned in his discourse.

  50. Justmeherenow on March 26, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Concerning Beck’s current Oprah’s-Book-Club-like tear:

    I’ve myself never read it but from what I’ve picked up from reviews (http://www.amazon.com/5000-Year-Leap-Miracle-Changed/product-reviews/0880801484/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1 ), the crankishness quotient in Skousen’s 5000 Years would appear to be comparitively low — more along the lines of his The Making of America?

    In any case, Beck’s bugle call to conservative revolution (by which I mean something like: believing such revolutionaries’ intentions to be toward a greater conservation of individual rights vis-a-vis whatever the various collectivist encroachments thereon”) is indeed cribbed from Skousen’s own.
    ___

    Which…. (that is, Skousen’s schemata from the book Beck is promoting… Let’s see… ) appears to enshrine certain basic Principles as believed to be embodied within America’s original Constitutional experiment —- eg basically
    – Belief in the human rights inherent in so-called Natural Law, – Belief in the ultimate sovereignty of a nation state’s own citezenry
    – Belief in the people’s responsibilities to each other to adhere to a highly evolved code of moral or ethical behavior
    – Belief that the above principles mean that family structures should should be respected/strengthened (I’d suppose: especially more traditional of ones?)
    – …as should be the rule of law
    – ….and (last but certainly not least!) property rights

  51. Justmeherenow on March 26, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    (Not to get too far afield, but — )

    IMO America indeed WAS revolutionary in advancing the property ownership and values of a self-reliant Middle Class, instead of the mutual dependency of landed gentry and peasantry. (But, then, didn’t this impulse and spirit pre-figure, in a way, the American, economic so-called “liberalism” that evolved into collectivist social programs and stuff, too?)

  52. Dan on March 26, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    blamo,

    In regards to each his own humor, would you feel comfortable watching the Daily Show with Jesus? :)

    Actually yeah. Except I think I would cringe at the swearing. But the humor is acceptable.

    Raymond,

    Michael Medved is a good example of a conservative commentator that hasn’t jumped the ship like Beck or Rush. I respect him and his views.

  53. jeff hoyt on March 26, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Dan:

    “As for communism, please share why you think any of the commenters on this blog would give a “wink and a nod” to communism.”

    Because some make comments like this:

    “As for the number of murders, well, that number means very little to me.”

  54. Kaimi Wenger on March 27, 2009 at 1:03 am

    It is clearly correct that communist dictators killed a very large number of innocent people.

    The estimates vary (especially as to China), but the numbers killed are staggering by any estimate:

    Mao: About 40 million, and maybe many more (the estimates on Mao vary widely).
    Stalin: About 20 million.
    Pol Pot: About 2 million, 1/4 of the population.
    Lenin / Russian Civil War: About 5 million (though they weren’t all killed by the Reds).

    In comparison, some of the worst non-communist mass killings of the 20th century:

    Hitler: About 15 million — 6 million Jews, 9 million others (the majority Russians)
    Japanese in World War II: About 15 million
    Belgians in Congo, turn of the century: About 8-10 million.
    Armenian genocide: 2-3 million.
    Congo/Rwanda/etc civil wars: 5-6 million
    Civil wars in Sudan, Mozambique, the Iran-Iraq war: 1 million or so each

    World War I deaths: about 15 million
    World War II total deaths (mostly from non-communist countries): about 50-60 million

    It’s clear that some communist regimes have been incredibly brutal, on a level that exceeds the worst capitalist regimes. On the other hand, there have also been many non-genocidal regimes. Brezhnev was the second longest ruling Soviet leader, and he didn’t do anything like Stalin’s purges. (He did invade Afghanistan, but the numbers on that are minuscule compared to Stalin, Mao, etc.) And there have been some very bad non-communist regimes as well.

    Thus, there is evidence for any of a number of conclusions. Skousen, Beck, et al. can point to Stalin and Mao and say, look, that’s communism.

    On the other hand, Stalin-variety communism is essentially defunct as a governing system. So, what’s the point? Railing on Stalin seems of limited utility.

    And the extensions of anti-communist argument quickly become silly.

    “Stalin was a communist, Stalin killed millions, so communism is very bad. Labor unions are kind of like communism, so they should be avoided.”

    It is a very big logical leap to suggest that joining a union, or receiving social security, would lead to any sort of Stalin-esque abuses.

  55. Ray on March 27, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Well, I’ve read all of the comments, and I’ve forgotten what the point of the post was. I’m going to have to go back, read the post and skip about half of the comments.

  56. Justmeherenow on March 27, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Here’s a summary.

    JMSmith: Whoa check it out! Skousen/Parry/Meyer

    Dan: Beck’s an ijut

    Posters: yeah but he’s OUR ijit

  57. Dan on March 27, 2009 at 8:29 am

    that’s a pretty good summary. :)

  58. aloysiusmiller on March 27, 2009 at 9:44 am

    When people disagree on issues with a conservative, even a hyperbolic one like Glenn Beck, its just a disagreement. When someone goes off on a conservative like Glenn Beck I see a dysfunctional boob who probably has issues with everyone in his life. I would bet on it.

    Criteria for my assessment of dysfunction: (three or more of the following)
    At least one divorce
    Rejection of faith in God
    Rejection of organized religion
    Estrangement from one or more parents
    Estrangement from one or more siblings
    Estrangement from one or more teenage or adult children
    Termination from employment for cause at least once
    Termination from employment (no cause) more than twice
    Substance abuse history
    Gender confusion issues

    If you qualify you are have about a 90% probability of having a victim complex and a leftist orientation.

    If you are a liberal who doesn’t qualify please don’t flame on me. There are intellectual foundations for your liberal confusion that I don’t agree with but that I can understand. I grew up in a liberal household that was fully functional. Mom and Dad loved each other and us. We are all on good terms with each other (even our one faithful liberal sister) and almost all the grandchildren have had or are likely to have temple marriages.

    If you do qualify your flame is expected and your qualifications are assumed.

  59. Mark B. on March 27, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Complaining about the people in the United States Senate, one wise commentator reminded us that when Caligula named his horse a Roman Consul, and therefore a member of the Roman Senate, at least he appointed the whole horse.

    aloysiusmiller makes me wonder where the other half of the horse is.

  60. aloysiusmiller on March 27, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Mark B. thanks for your efforts to prove my point.

  61. jeff hoyt on March 27, 2009 at 11:42 am

    The mass murders of communism are but one evidence of its depravity. When I was about 12 years old (40 years ago) my family visited Key West. On a tour of the island we were shown the collection of “rafts” that had been used by brave souls to traverse 90 miles of open ocean in escaping from Cuba. They were little more than pallets, and these were the ones that made it. You can argue that some communist regimes are less brutal than others, but why is it not obvious that any system that cannot survive without imprisoning its people is a mystery to me. How can thugs like Castro and Che be heroes to the left in this country? Come to think of it, religious freedom is not abundant in communist countries either. But hey, capitalism allows some income disparities so I guess I shouldn’t make a judgement that one system might be superior.

    By the way, I have never read any Skousen (but did know one of his daughters and found her to be very astute) and could count on both hands the number of times I have listened to or seen Beck’s show. My preferences are Prager (although he is pretty weak on economics) and Medved, largely because they focus on engaging with those that disagree with them. I would listen to leftists if I found one that likewise routinely had guests that were on the right. Let me know if any exist.

  62. Rameumptom on March 27, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    I turn 50 this year. I’ve learned in that time that there is not a single soul on earth that I agree with 100%. In fact, I don’t agree with everything I believed when I was 45 years old.
    Having been on blogs and email lists for 20 years now, prior to most people knew what an Internet is, I can say that Glenn Beck is no different than most of us, except that his audience is a bit bigger.
    You should have seen the Bill Hamblin’s email group Morm-Ant melt down as Lou Midgely and Brent Metcalfe. Bill stayed away from most lists for over a decade after that sad experience.

    I’ve seen melt downs on many LDS and non-LDS lists, if they have anything to do with politics or religion.

    I watch Glenn Beck because he is entertaining, and has some good interviews with a variety of people. But I’m not his Morgbot. I also watch other shows and read others opinions to determine where I stand. While I agree that Beck can sometimes be very insulting, at least he’s not a shill for either political party. Second, I do like the concept that he’s attempting to reintroduce principles and values that our nation severely lacks today.

    I hope his voice continues, as well as others voices, so that a true conversation can occur – something that just isn’t happening in Congress right now.

  63. Rameumptom on March 27, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Sorry for the incoherent sentences in the previous. I’d blame it on the user, but it’s obviously the computer’s fault.

  64. Dan on March 27, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    jeff,

    I would listen to leftists if I found one that likewise routinely had guests that were on the right. Let me know if any exist.

    Jon Stewart for one. Rachel Maddow another. Maddow is very respectful to her guests, particularly if you compare her to Glenn Beck.

    As for the other part of Communism’s ugly history, I am actually personally aware. I was born in Romania in 1974. My mother was tortured by the Romanian Secret Police. I’m quite well aware of what they did. But I’m not going to share my outrage in the same fashion as the Skousens of the world. I don’t have to. That’s not where wisdom lies. I am shooting for a world where extremism in all its forms (from the likes of Mao to the likes of Skousen) don’t have much sway in the mainstream world.

  65. aloysiusmiller on March 27, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    When I was a kid Skousen was a crazy man–to me. Every year he seems saner and saner. I am not ready yet to call him sane but as I watch the world become crazier and crazier he seems almost prophetic.

    Perhaps I have been a sucker to the left who always deride their opposition as insane. Brezhnev locked up his critics in insane asylums.

  66. Dan on March 27, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    aloysiusmiller,

    Look, Skousen’s book The Naked Capitalist is a bunch of bull crap. His only source is a guy named Quigley, who was writing a history of the first half of the 20th century, using sources not normally used for a history. These people were the ultra rich of the world, who used their power and influence and money to try and direct the world in the direction they felt best. Skousen puts many words in Quigley’s mouth that Quigley himself never asserted. But that’s typical for a guy like Skousen. Just look at his background. Hardcore conservative. Working for the FBI during the Red Scare under the most frightened person ever, J. Edgar Hoover. Conspiracy theories abounded. Heck, many prophets got scared too during that time. It was easy for a hack like Skousen to take a rather benign history book and turn it into a revelation of the world’s most powerful secret combination, so dastardly and evil that they’re getting away with controlling the world!

    Left on his own, few would really care what Skousen had to say. But he tied it to the Mormon religion, tied it to our theology, and now in the eyes of many many Mormons his views ARE the Mormon views of the world around us.

    He was not sane. He was a man afraid of those who thought differently than him. He was insecure.

    People like Skousen think it is easy to control this world. But it really isn’t. No one man, nor even one group has the ability or power to control this world. Many many have tried, but the most they have ever succeeded was at most one fifth of the world. Look at Genghis Kahn, or Alexander the Great, or heck, today’s bankers. Look at how quickly America’s banks went down. Right now the three largest banks in the world are Chinese. Poof, just like that. There are many competitors out there in a bid to control the world. One like-minded group will always have competition from somewhere, be they a terrorist group, or another bank, or another nation-state. The Skousens and Becks of the world do not understand the complexity of this world. I know they would love that the Mormon church be in charge, but that just won’t happen for a long time to come. Others want to have a say in what goes on. There is no monopoly, nor an oligopoly. There may be in the Western world, but that group’s influence in China and India and Arabia is minimal at best.

    I wish those on the hardcore right would learn a little more about the world around them and not be so afraid all the time.

  67. Umm . . . no. on March 27, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    He was a man afraid of those who thought differently than him.

    Ah. How many of his books have you read, again?

  68. Dan on March 27, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Umm…no,

    I have not read his books, but not out of fear. Having identified the premise, it’s quite clear the man does not know what he is talking about, and it would be a waste of my time to bother reading him.

  69. Alison Moore Smith on March 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Dan #39 If you wish to discuss the merits of his position, then please answer, for what purpose would someone like Beck get on the air and contemplate exactly how to kill Michael Moore?

    Happy to. Link me to a vid or audio of the full show in which he said this. I’ll listen and post what I find. But I’ll say up front that I don’t find a “position statement” in the quote at all. And I think you know the purpose already. But I’ll humor you.

    kevinf #47Unfortunately, for all of their good traits, all of these folks have achieved a larger fame and presence than their slightly above average talents normally would attract.

    Doesn’t this apply equally to the vast majority of those with “fame and presence”? Oh, no, that’s right. Mealoaf is an amazing vocal talent.

  70. Bull Moose on March 27, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    So, Dan, let me just say the following: I didn’t hear Glenn Beck talk about strangling Micheal Moore, but reading the transcript, I could imaginge the way he would have said it, and while it repulsed you (probably the same way Michael Moore’s libelous films repulse me!), I have to admit, I probably would have chuckled – because I understand Beck. Was. Joking! Get it? Probably not, because you haven’t listened to or read the mounds of evidence he has compiled to demonstrate pretty convincingly that Michael Moore hates America. (Not that that justifies murder, but if Communist regimes get a pass on mass-murder to achieve class equality, I’m pretty sure that a radio personality gets a little leeway when discussing how to take care of a libelous filmmaker whose goal appears to be the destruction of traditional American values.)

    Second, you’re upset because Beck showed “utter disrespect to America’s first Muslim Congressman” which begs the question: How much respect is due this Congressman? More than any other, because he’s the first Muslim? Why?

    But back to your beef, it appeared that Beck was simply using the “everyman” approach in asking a delicate question about how Rep. Ellison’s faith intersected with his views on Iraq. Feel free to recite the MediaMatters.org line on how an out-of-context previous quote from Beck’s radio program somehow makes him anti-Islam and that proves he does not respect the Congressman.

    And your last claim about the SoCal homeowners being Anti-American or whatever MediaMatters.org claims, I don’t have time to look into that, but please share the transcript and I’ll get back to you.

    In the end, I’ll still listen to him when I get a chance because he cracks me up (have you heard “Moron Trivia”???), and because he forces me to reexamine my views (not that I always end up agreeing with him). I have no problem with him using absurdity to demonstrate the absurd (a tactic that Rush Limbaugh perfected in the late 80s/early 90s) because I can think for myself.

    If he suggests a book, I have the courage to read it, think about it myself ,and then come to my own conclusion.

    Or, I could always just go to mediamatters.org and have them tell me what to think about Beck and his shows. It’s so much easier that way.

  71. Dan on March 28, 2009 at 7:31 am

    Alison,

    According to the Media Matters link, he said this on his May 17, 2005 radio show. This youtube video has the audio recording.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctwqnkWdCJg

    The youtube video is of course anti-Beck, mind you. I don’t know if Beck’s website has a link to the full show on that day (and I don’t really care). His thoughts are not taken out of context. They are clear as day. He says he’s lost his ways of right and wrong. He doesn’t care “what would Jesus do?” Now, if that’s humor, well…

    Obviously he’s not really contemplating on how he actually would kill Michael Moore, and that he is really only joking. After all, he’s on the air talking about premeditated murder. But, again, what kind of Mormon (a true believer in Christ mind you) jokes about strangling the life out of an innocent person with his own hands while watching the life go out of the victim? That’s some kind of sick!

  72. Dan on March 28, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Bull Moose,

    I have to admit, I probably would have chuckled – because I understand Beck. Was. Joking!

    I don’t question that he was joking. I question the mind of someone who jokes about killing another man. I think I am right to question his sanity.

    Probably not, because you haven’t listened to or read the mounds of evidence he has compiled to demonstrate pretty convincingly that Michael Moore hates America.

    Ah, we get to the motive. In your eyes, you are saying that it is okay to joke about killing someone who “hates America.” You know the logical conclusion of that path, Bull.

    How much respect is due this Congressman? More than any other, because he’s the first Muslim? Why?

    At least enough respect not to ask, as the very first question, if this new Congressman is working with America’s enemies. That wouldn’t be the first question out of my mouth. Beck is purposefully incendiary, because that’s where the money is for hardcore right wing talk/tv show hosts.

    On the SoCal homeowners, the link actually comes from Huffington Post (not that it matters if it comes from Media Matters of anywhere. Media Matters quotes accurately from their sources)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/10/22/beckwatch-as-wildfires-b_n_69466.html

    Of course he is quoting from Media Matters. :) But here is what Beck told his listeners:

    When I say on the air, and I’ve said it a lot lately, that we need to come together and we need to get back into the center, we’re being pushed on to the edges — I want you to understand, that is not on policies. I don’t mean that we come in the center on policies. We come to the center on principles. We come back to the center of the melting pot, that we’re all one America, that just because I disagree with you doesn’t mean you hate America, and I love America. We all love America. We just disagree on how we should function, what we should do, big government, small government. It doesn’t mean you hate America. I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today.

    So he’s talking about coming as one America, and then for some odd reason he says that there is a handful of people who hate America, and a “lot of them” are losing their homes in a forest fire that day. Is that even funny?

    Or, I could always just go to mediamatters.org and have them tell me what to think about Beck and his shows

    Media Matters links to the original sources dude. They don’t tell me what to think anymore than Beck tells you what to think. But at least they are nice and respectful.

  73. Craig W. on March 28, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    To Dan, and all others given to “spewing” venom about those with whom they disagree, maybe they (we) ought to follow the example of our leaders. The churches response to the “Big Love” controversy has demonstrated how we need to behave in the wake of the actions of those who attack or demean us. If we can’t stick to issues and civility, then maybe we should just remain silent.

  74. Dan on March 28, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Craig,

    That’s nice when you ask that of liberals. I wonder if you can hold Glenn Beck to that standard too, please. Ask him to stick to issues and civility. This Mormon has had enough of his bile.

  75. Craig W. on March 28, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Dan
    I do.

  76. Craig W. on March 28, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Dan
    My observation is that you want to hold others to a standard that you won’t hold yourself to. It is almost as if you won’t do the right thing until Glenn Beck, or anyone else you disagree with, does the right thing. It is because of this kind of behavior that I am less likely to listen to talk radio or watch the news or even read blogs. Frankly, for me, people who behave like this have no credibility. And yes, I apply this standard to myself.

  77. Alison Moore Smith on March 28, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Dan, I had already heard that excerpt. Obviously it doesn’t help with context at all. So, like I said, if you want to link to an audio of the whole segment, at least, or preferably the whole hour, I will do as I said earlier.

    Let me tell you what else I find interesting about your position. You want to vilify Beck because he doesn’t hold to a particular LDS standard that you have given (even though you, yourself, don’t hold it either). Yet you give a pass to liberal “spewers” because they don’t “share” your beliefs.

    Do you see the inherent problem here? All one has to do to pass your “acceptability test” is to refuse to claim any values at all. Once they do that, they are free from ever being deemed a “hypocrite” and, therefore, free to behave however they choose. (Since we all know, there is NOTHING worse than being a “hypocrite”!)

    FWIW, I don’t think anyone “deserves” respect for merely existing or holding some kind of position.

  78. Jacob F on March 28, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Dan, you’ve argued your point and linked your blog. I think it may be time to give it a rest.

  79. Dan on March 28, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Jacob,

    Um, where did I link to my blog besides my name? I’m not here to get publicity for my blog dude.

    Alison,

    Maybe I have too high of an expectation for what is appropriate humor, particularly for one who professes a belief in Christ. As many have noted, Beck usually says incendiary things to get a laugh out of people, but how can someone laugh at a comment like the one where he said that people who hate America lost their homes in those SoCal fires. Beck says that we should revert to good old fashioned values, but what kind of values does he represent when he contemplates how to kill an innocent man? As I noted to Raymond, Michael Medved is a good example of a conservative host who I respect, though I do not agree with. Why? Because he doesn’t say stupid things like Beck does. Should we not expect some level of decency from someone who calls himself a Mormon? And if you say that I should hold that standard, I would like to see you hold Beck to that standard too. There should be a consequence to such vile language. I see a consequence to my words here, but apparently the same consequences cannot be shared by someone like Beck who has a louder bullhorn than someone like I do. A simple blogger cannot use hateful language toward him, while he can, with impunity, use whatever language he wants to without consequences. Something is wrong with this picture, Alison.

  80. aloysiusmiller on March 28, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Dan, I am sure you’re right but don’t you think you’re getting a bit worked up?

  81. Alison Moore Smith on March 29, 2009 at 3:45 am

    …what kind of values does he represent when he contemplates how to kill an innocent man?

    Michael Moore innocent? Stop! You’re killing me! (Oh, wait, and I’m innocent…that makes YOU a…)

    Dan, since neither you nor I have heard the actual segment in question, it’s rather meaningless to (a) discuss the context we don’t know and (b) continue to frame sarcasm and hyperbole as if it was serious analysis. We both (I assume) are savvy enough to know it wasn’t an actual murder plot. So we both know your above statement is inane (if not insane).

    I suggest you either find an actual audio of the whole segment or move on.

    Should we not expect some level of decency from someone who calls himself a Mormon? And if you say that I should hold that standard, I would like to see you hold Beck to that standard too.

    That’s the point, Dan. I’m not holding a particular standard to either of you. I’m simply asking YOU, a Mormon, to hold to the same standard you are demanding of Beck in his Mormonness. If you have a particular belief in a standard, whether or not I hold Beck or anyone else to it should have no bearing on your behavior.

    Still, I find it troubling that the only folks who get blasted for being imperfect are those who actually believe in any values at all. Those who toss God and morals on the trash heap are simply being true to themselves or something–no matter what that happens to look like.

    Maher, for example, called Catholicism a “cult” that promoted “organized pedophilia” (compared them to FLDS, actually). He said the world would be a better place if Dick Cheney were dead. He compared communion to oral sodomy. And he openly mocks God all the time and makes a living debasing Christianity.

    But Maher isn’t offensive and you really don’t have a problem with him. Because he doesn’t go to church.

  82. Dan on March 29, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Alison,

    Michael Moore innocent? Stop! You’re killing me!

    As Michael Moore did not pose a threat to Glenn Beck’s life, yes. He is an innocent man. Or, you really don’t want to tell me Alison that you do not understand what it means to be innocent in the eyes of the law. I’d find Michael Moore just as abhorrent if he said the exact same words about Glenn Beck.

    continue to frame sarcasm and hyperbole as if it was serious analysis

    Alison, it seems you are having trouble understanding my point. I already said Glenn Beck was trying to make a joke. On numerous occasions I have stated that. I question the sanity of someone making such a joke. But, based on your reaction to my calling Michael Moore innocent, my guess is that, if you heard that out of Glenn Beck’s mouth, you’d chuckle and think it was funny, that Glenn Beck considered giving up his WWJD, lost his sense of right and wrong and thought about how he would strangle the life out of Michael Moore.

    Now, Glenn Beck’s website does not have audio clips from 2005, but here is the day’s subjects

    http://archive.glennbeck.com/archives/05-17-05.shtml

    Funny, nothing about Michael Moore… I think even he realizes it was not his finest hour. When I did a search on google, the wikipedia of Glenn Beck came up, but when you look at Beck’s wikipedia page, he has scrubbed it of any reference to this particular incident.

    Still, I find it troubling that the only folks who get blasted for being imperfect are those who actually believe in any values at all

    I know. I get blasted all the time. ;) So does, incidentally, Bill Maher.

  83. aloysiusmiller on March 29, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Poor Dan, Glenn has really got your goat. Look everyone knows that Glenn is a hothead. No one I know likes his style. Everyone knows he is a hothead with a troubled past. None of us want to identify it as Mormon. We don’t want to identify Harry Reid or Orrin Hatch as Mormon either. Mostly we like where he sits on the political spectrum and the fact that he has an audience for conservative. I have watched less than 5 minutes of his shows and read part of one incredibly boring book.

    You are about to pop a gasket over someone that ought to be a triviality. Just let it go.

  84. Dan on March 29, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    ought to be, but not is.

  85. Alison Moore Smith on March 29, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    I’d find Michael Moore just as abhorrent if he said the exact same words about Glenn Beck.

    Just not Bill Maher. I want a special dispensation like that.

    Alison, it seems you are having trouble understanding my point. I already said Glenn Beck was trying to make a joke.

    Yes, you say it. And then you take it back when you reframe the incident by saying such things as, “…what kind of values does he represent when he contemplates how to kill an innocent man?”

    BTW, don’t try to guess what I think. You know what they say about assumptions.

    …that Glenn Beck considered giving up his WWJD, lost his sense of right and wrong and thought about how he would strangle the life out of Michael Moore.

    Oh, I think you forgot again. Remember, you said it was a joke.

    So does, incidentally, Bill Maher.

    Ah, I see the confusion. Let me clarify. When Senator Larry Craig did his little public restroom number, those of both party blasted him out of office. When Clinton did his little Oval Office number, the republicans blasted and the dems, by and large, said it was a personal matter. It’s the selective blasting that I find to be the problem

    So, again, you blast Beck for tasteless hyperbole–because he’s Mormon. But you’re good with Maher who created his act by modeling himself as closely as possible to the inhabitants of the great and spacious building as anyone possibly could–because he’s areligous. Makes sense to me. Or something.

  86. Dan on March 30, 2009 at 2:46 am

    Alison,

    So, again, you blast Beck for tasteless hyperbole–because he’s Mormon. But you’re good with Maher who created his act by modeling himself as closely as possible to the inhabitants of the great and spacious building as anyone possibly could–because he’s areligous. Makes sense to me. Or something.

    You just about hit the nail on the head. :)

  87. mlu on March 30, 2009 at 11:47 am

    I like Glenn Beck’s style. He’s a rodeo clown, as he says. He doesn’t traffic in refinement and subtlety but neither does over half the electorate.

    I attribute his sudden rise to the same source as Limbaugh’s earlier rise: he starts saying out loud things lots of people are thinking.

    I don’t mind his hard criticisms of people in public life, nor do I consider them necessarily out of sync with the gospel. I don’t know where the line is between being kind and being honest about those who govern us, but I know that candor matters:

    Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense, make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

    Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

    Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which do indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanliness.

  88. mlu on March 30, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Bill Mahr I like a lot less. He doesn’t just mock those in power–he mocks sacred things, including the idea that anything is sacred.

  89. Rameumptom on March 31, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Dan wrote in #66 that Skousen’s Naked Capitalist is a bunch of “bull crap.”
    Interesting, I’d like to see your indepth and documented reasons why, not just your opinion.
    As it is, both the Naked Capitalist and the Naked Communist were used for years by the military in their instruction on communism. Having been retired for 7 years and the Cold War is over, I’m not sure if those have been replaced by the Naked Terrorist or not.
    So, while your commentary is obviously against anything conservative, there are enough military scholars around that found enough value in the books to use them to teach (or would you prefer the term “indoctrinate”) soldiers and airmen about Communism?

  90. Dan on March 31, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Rameumptom,

    You think that having the military study that book gives it more credibility? It actually says that the military had a profound lack of understanding of communism. If you wish to understand a communist, read the works of a communist. If you wish to understand how a capitalist perceives a communist, read a capitalist writing about communism. Ironically, the military believes in the phrase “know thy enemy.” We’re terrible at “knowing our enemy,” particularly if we read books by such hacks as W. Cleon Skousen.

  91. Justmeherenow on March 31, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    The NYT attempts (at least) neutrality of sorts in its straight news reporting. And it’s front pager, from yesterday (just below the fold and also accompanied by a color photograph of Beck) does go into some detail with regard to the Beck-versus-Beck’s-critics controversy (with the Times’s mentioning a number of folks in this regard, yet singling out Maher in Mayer’s, well, yes, pithy association of Beck as fomenter of Tim McVeigh-like, libertarian, Christianist right wing terrorists).

    Yet the Times also quotes an academic whose analysis is that Beck’s commentary tends to /incite/ Americans who feel their values are under attack, and sort of instills in them a sense that they should do something about it. (OK, sorry — the actual quote is,

    (//“Jeffrey Jones, a professor of media and politics at Old Dominion University and author of the book ‘Entertaining Politics,’ said that Mr. Beck engages in ‘inciting rhetoric. People hear their values are under attack and they get worried. It becomes an opportunity for them to stand up and do something.'”//)

    …But the Times reporter doesn’t editorialize about this quote. The academic doesn’t say Beck is fomenting anything, precisely. He just lays it out there that folks feel passionate and that they feel Beck is giving them a voice and an outlet sort of. (Of course there is a subtle undercurrent to the quote that seems to be saying that such populist voices are potentially dangerous. But this is only implied and in the end remains subject to thoughtful interpretations….. No?)

    Anyway, Beck is quoted in the article as saying that people who attempt to harm others are as terroristic as the jihadists, etc. (And he also identifies himself as merely a rodeo clown whose schtick is often designed merely to drive his ideological enemies to charge blindly at the dancing figure before them, in order for observers to marvel at — or, I dunno, to chuckle at or to be entertained by or whatever — the spectacle, as they themselves consider the political topics of the moment being remarked upon. Or whatever…. lol. (The NYT:

    (//“‘I’m a rodeo clown,’ he said in an interview, adding with a coy smile, ‘It takes great skill.’

    (//“And like a rodeo clown, Mr. Beck incites critics to attack by dancing in front of them.”//

    (……Also, toward the end of the article is some mention of Beck’s [non-academic] background of his long apprenticeship of being a radio personality:

    (//”[...]Mr. Beck has long been a performer. His roots are in comedy — he spent years as a morning radio disc jockey — and continues to perform comedy on stages across the country.

    (//”He got into the radio business to ‘share my opinion in a humorous way’[...].”//)

    (//

  92. Justmeherenow on March 31, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Then on the first page of the business section of yesterday’s NYT is yet another article on the cable news networks. In it, David Carr, the Times’s media business observer, calls Beck a “popular atavist” — while he humorously characterizes O’Reilly as “on the hunt for new enemies every day” (lol), while he describes Olbermann as “freakishly partisan” and Matthews as “obsessive.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/business/media/30carr.html?ref=media

    Of course, Times and Seasons’ commenters scooped the NYT on much of its observations concerning Beck, eh?! commentary.

  93. Justmeherenow on March 31, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/business/media/30beck.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

    I’d commented just above on the Times’s front pager (ALSO from yesterday) that’s solely about the Beck-versus-critics-of-Beck controversy…but my post apparently got sent to T&S’s spam queue.

  94. Justmeherenow on March 31, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    I myself admire congressman Ellison very much. However, Ellison certainly shouldn’t be shielded from political scrutiny.

    Eg one of a number of paragraphs convering controversies concerning Ellison is this, from his college years (from Wikipedia):

    //While a law student in 1989 and 1990, Ellison wrote several columns as Keith E. Hakim in the student newspaper, the Minnesota Daily. In the articles, he defended Louis Farrakhan against accusations of antisemitism, and suggested that affirmative action served as a “sneaky” way of paying reparations to African Americans for slavery.[68][69][70] In another article, he purportedly suggested the creation of a separate state for black residents.[71][72]

    //In 1997, when Joanne Jackson, executive director of the Minneapolis Initiative Against Racism (MIAR), allegedly said that, “Jews are among the most racist white people”, Ellison, using his religious name Mohammed, read a statement supporting her on behalf of the The Minneapolis-St. Paul Study Group of the Nations of Islam.[73][69] Ellison later suggested that he used the controversy to “[speak] out in favor of increased dialogue between the Jewish and African-American communities.” In 1998, during his Minnesota State Legislature House campaign, Ellison asserted that he “rejected anti-Jewish attitudes”.[74]

    //Questions about Ellison’s involvement with the Nation of Islam arose during his 2006 campaign. After winning the Democratic party nomination in May, he wrote a letter to the local Jewish Community Relations Council where he reportedly “asserted that his involvement with the Nation of Islam had been limited to an 18-month period around the time of the Million Man March in 1995, that he had been unfamiliar with the Nation of Islam’s anti-Semitic views during his involvement with the group, and that he himself had never expressed such views.”[69][75] He also stated that he was never a member of the Nation of Islam, but only worked with it to organize the Minnesota contingent to the Million Man March.[68][69]//

  95. Justmeherenow on April 1, 2009 at 1:37 am

    Political Rorschach test: What make ye of the following line of inquiry[/blather?]?

    (Beck): “May we have five minutes here where we’re just politically incorrect and I play the cards face up on the table?”

    (Ellison): “Go there.”

    (Beck) “OK. No offense, and I know Muslims. I like Muslims. I’ve been to mosques. I really don’t believe that Islam is a religion of evil. I — you know, I think it’s being hijacked, quite frankly. With that being said, you are a Democrat. You are saying, ‘Let’s cut and run.’ And I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, ‘Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.’ And I know you’re not. I’m not accusing you of being an enemy, but that’s the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way.”

  96. Justmeherenow on April 1, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    (Last post. Really.) Colbert launches “The 9.13 Project”

    http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/full-episodes/index.jhtml?episodeId=223275

  97. Kent Larsen on April 1, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Colbert’s satire of Glen Beck was fabulous. I especially loved the Adult diaper part.

    But, Justmeherenow, you’re off a little. Colbert’s is the 10.31 Project, not the 9.13 project.

  98. Justmeherenow on April 1, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Oops! you’re right Kent. (And Steven Colbert’s nationally televized check of his gut on issues of importance to his country is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Grp0EByrLoE )

  99. aloysiusmiller on April 1, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    We are closing in on 100 and Sister Smith will soon cut this off but I am curious. For all of you who have gone off more than once on Glenn Beck how do you score on the quiz in my comment 58?

  100. Kent Larsen on April 2, 2009 at 4:17 am

    aloysiusmiller, I’m surprised that you brought that up. The assumption behind your “quiz” is kind of offensive, I’d bet that most of those who “went off” on Beck wouldn’t answer, just like most people in the population who would answer yes to any one of your questions likely wouldn’t answer — at least not the way you have framed it, which implies that answering yes to any question makes you a bad person some how.

    Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if fans of Glen Beck were more likely to answer yes to one of your questions than those who “go off” on him.

  101. Dan on April 2, 2009 at 5:10 am

    100

    I guess this can now be closed. :)

  102. Aloysiusmiller on April 2, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Well I dare anyone to self report. Of course I designed the quiz so I didn’t choose any criteria that applied to me :)

  103. Justmeherenow on April 2, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I like Glenn Beck. He’s able to pull off being outspoken and yet a bit humble about the degree of import his stands or ideas ULTIMATELY deserve. Or something. And also gets kudos in my book for his efforts (at least according to his image) of trying to be a stand-up, family kinda guy, yeah!

    But in any case (rather than put my OWN self out there per your suggestion, Aloysiusmiller) let’s double check your list against what we know about these two stand-up comedians turned political opinion hacks, Monsieurs Glenn Beck and Bill Maher.

    (A)

    * Beck. Family guy. Nuff said.

    — Yet let’s also note that creative types, such as these two obviously are, do tend, on average, to be more atypical compared to folks within more mainstream of occupations maybe. Meaning being politically right of center politically or (NOT analog to this) being on the staid, family-type-person end of the societal spectrum is less the norm among such folks than it would be uh normally. Right?)

    And, so

    * Bill Maher. Never married, yet famously generally has had romantic relationships with ex-porn star types (who after breakups take him to court, alleging somewhat vaguely that Maher had belittled them his attitude; or something). Anyway, a lifestyle I guess more libertine than what’s extolled by social conservatives.

    (B)

    * Beck. Religious.

    * Maher. Somewhat against organized religion(? lol)
    ____
    ….Interesting point, maybe — yes…..

  104. Justmeherenow on April 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm
  105. aloysiusmiller on April 3, 2009 at 8:03 am

    One of the problems with any person who seeks the public stage and limelight (like Beck and Maher) is that they tend to have some dysfunction. Beck’s own biographical information suggests that he has had a difficult past. Without real data I wouldn’t suggest any more detail but he may not pass my quiz.

  106. Justmeherenow on April 6, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Beck’s sensibilities resonates with many — as can be seen by much of the online chitchat following a profile of him in the current New York magazine’s webpage: http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/encounter/55857/comments.html