RSS
Glenn Beck: The alcoholism question
At least one prominent columnist thinks that Beck's public persona—as displayed at his D.C. rally—is rooted in his personal history of addiction
 
Is Glenn Beck's prior alcoholism the key to understanding his recent rally and his drive?
Is Glenn Beck's prior alcoholism the key to understanding his recent rally and his drive?
Corbis

The only way to understand Glenn Beck's big 8/28 rally in Washington is as "a 12-step program" straight "out of the Alcoholics Anonymous playbook," says Kathleen Parker in The Washington Post. And in fact, understanding Beck's much-mentioned struggle with alcohol addiction is key to understanding him—his drive, his agenda, his "paranoia" and "messianic" grandiosity, and his evangelical fervor. Is Parker right? (Watch Joy Behar discuss Beck's past addictions)

So Beck fans are all alcoholics? Alcohol addiction is serious business, and it's "not meant to be the punch line of an 'I hate Beck and Palin' opinion piece," says William Teach at Right Wing News. But that seems to be the only point of Parker's "disgusting op-ed." How else to explain her bizarre suggestion that the hordes who watched Beck's rally, live or on tape, "are simply the same as alcoholics"?
"Chatty Kathy Parker compares Beck ... rally to a 12-step program"

Beck is treating the rest of us like alcoholics: "Parker has a point" about Beck and alcoholism, says Steve M. in No More Mister Nice Blog, but "she doesn't examine all the implications." He calls on America to "sober up," but what is he urging his followers to give up, or offering to give up himself? Wealth? No. "Fiscal sobriety"? Not if it hurts. No, unlike AA, Beck's "core message is that we're the people who need to get clean," not he.
"Let's you and him sober up"

Beck's less a recovering alcoholic than a "megalomaniac": Beck talks about his alcoholism, and other self-perceived shortcomings, all the time, says Scott Galupo in U.S. News. But he used to do it with "apparent humility, personal and intellectual." How'd that guy become the "full-blown personality cult" on display at the 8/28 rally? So no, this wasn't about alcoholism, it's all about Beck.
"When did Glenn Beck become a megalomaniac?"

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week