Glenn Beck's Reading List

Jonah Goldberg has a strange defense of Glenn Beck against Matt Continetti (because Beck liked his book, one imagines). Friedersdorf interjects:

What Mr. Continetti "seems" to be doing, Mr. Goldberg writes (italics indicate weasel words), isn't "incorrect" or "poorly argued" or "confused" -- it would be perfectly fair, if wrongheaded, if Mr. Goldberg used those words -- what he seems to be doing is "an odd thing for a conservative writer, particularly one at the Standard, to do." It is never a good sign when an argument moves from "you're wrong for these reasons" to "I will now use an intellectual shortcut, demonstrating that your argument is wrong by insinuating that it is not conservative."

Continetti defends himself:

While Beck is introducing many excellent authors to his radio and television audiences, he is also introducing crank conspiracy theorists such as Carroll Quigley and Cleon Skousen.

Goldberg concedes that Beck has a “conspiratorial streak,” but then says that I “might overstate my case.” I’m sorry, I don’t. Take, for example, Beck’s June 22 television show. His guest was Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, who has written a new book on the Weimar banker Sigmund Warburg. "His family is conspiracy central, right?" Beck asked Ferguson, and then referred, once again, to Quigley’s 1966 Tragedy and Hope.

Tragedy and Hope, as I write in my piece, is the bible of conspiracy theorists. Why? Because in it Quigley, a Georgetown professor for many years and a man of the left, “admitted” that most of world history since the early twentieth century has been the design of secret societies.