Glenn Beck's new novel features the sort of plot liberal critics might expect from a man, who, as Media Matters notes, likes to "scrawl wild conspiracy theories on a chalkboard." In The Overton Window, socialist forces are plotting to overthrow America, and a band of plucky patriots must rise up to defend their nation. Many observers predict brisk sales for the poorly reviewed book — which the FOX News host describes as a work of "faction," or fiction "with plot rooted in fact" — but Steven Levingston at The Washington Post, for one, worries that it could inspire disgruntled radicals to commit real-life violence. Are such fears ungrounded? (Listen to Beck respond to the harsh reviews)
The Overton Window is recklessly provocative: It's easy to imagine this book "tucked into the ammo boxes of self-proclaimed patriots," says Levingston. Beck encourages radical readers to view the book's plot "as a reflection of a reality that they must fend off by any means necessary," and its "insistence on nonviolence" is "disingenuous." It risks becoming the type of "handbook of extremists" that inspired Timothy McVeigh.
"Glenn Beck's paranoid thriller, The Overton Window"
Sorry, that's just typical Leftist bluster: "I haven't read Glenn Beck's new thriller," says John J. Miller at the National Review. But even I can tell it's unfair of The Washington Post to say this work of fiction might "inspire right-wing terrorism." The review calls the book "paranoid," but "that sounds like a more accurate description for the reviewer." Why does the Left care so much anyway? I thought they believed "yahoos who cling to their guns and religion can't read"?
It's too boring and badly-written to inspire anyone: Yes, this novel "lays out the scenario" by which Beck believes progressives are running the country, says Simon Maloy at The Huffington Post. But the "nonsensical, poorly envisioned, and even more poorly executed" result will not convince anyone that it's true. It's no more radicalizing than the "conspiracies and apocalyptic rhetoric that clutter [Beck's] chalkboards every night."
"Glenn Beck's The Overton Window: A conspiracy to bore you senseless"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 29 adorable slang terms for sex (from the last 600 years)
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- Why America is duty-bound to help Iraqi Christians
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- Here's the last time Russia shot down a passenger plane
Subscribe to the Week