The former Fox News host generates tens of millions with his indefensible style -- and staffers who unexpectedly achieve a higher standard.
The Glenn Beck Program began Monday with its host driving a red golf cart while singing, as if to himself, "The hills are alive with the sound of music." As he stepped from the vehicle he removed a pipe from his mouth and stood before us in high definition, clad in a dark blazer with a 1789 crest on the left breast, a shirt and tie, tan slacks, and black athletic shoes with white toes. "These are the institutions you trust," he said, turning to a black chalk board with a list written on. Derived from a Gallup poll, it cataloged America's most trusted institutions, with the military at the top and the rest in descending order: small businesses, religious organizations, and doctors all rank highly. Less trusted are the media, banks, big business, big labor, and politicians.
"It's interesting when you look at this," Beck said, launching into his signature rhetorical maneuver, the inevitable half-baked conspiracy theory that ties everything on the chalkboard together. "It's almost like Congress, colluding with insurance companies, big business, organized labor, the banks and TV news, are all trying to consume the military, small business, police, church and religion," he posited. To bolster his thesis -- that the least trusted institutions in America are trying to destroy the most trusted -- he mentioned the Cartegena prostitution scandal that implicated members of the military and the Secret Service. "When have we ever questioned the Secret Service before?" he said. "Here these guys are trained, tested, and all of this is happening?"