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Soundbite: Glenn Beck Is “A Snake-Oil Salesman’s Dim-Witted Assistant”

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“Watching Beck, who sometimes resembles a snake-oil salesman’s dim-witted assistant accidentally promoted to the top job, makes a foreigner wonder just what’s happening to American conservatism … I don’t want to seem forward or rude, but one can’t help but ask: Have you people lost your minds?”

Alex Massie, a Scottish journalist, writing about Beck’s introduction to the UK for The Daily Beast.

As we noted last week, Glenn Beck is off to a slightly bumpy start in the UK: high-end supermarket chain Waitrose dropped all advertising from News Corporation’s Sky News in response to customer complaints about Beck’s syndicated program.

Over at The Daily Beast, Alex Massie throws his two cents in, analyzing Beck from an international perspective. He does not like what he sees, which is a xenophobic, ignorant charlatan who has somehow been granted political authority. His claim is that the emergence of Beck proves that America’s hyperpolarized political system is out of whack: “Increasingly, British Tories wonder what has happened to their American relatives. It’s as if your favorite cousin had a nervous breakdown, found religion, and became an evangelist for an apocalyptic cult prophesying the imminent end of the world as we know and love it.”

Massie is one person, and can hardly claim to speak for the UK, much less Europe. As a former contributor to The New Republic and National Review Online, he not exactly a neutral outside observer of US politics; in particular, the veiled dig about evangelists has a Bush Sucks circa 2004 ring to it. Nevertheless, his well-written, provocative critique of Beck and the loony nation that spawned him is worth checking out.
(h/t Howard Kurtz)

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