In his Sunday Washington Post column, Dana Milbank cites last week’s new Gallup poll about the public figures most admired in America. As we noted Wednesday, President Barack Obama easily won the Most Admired Man title with 30% of the vote, while Glenn Beck came in fourth place, above Pope Benedict XVI and just behind Nelson Mandela. And that makes Milbank scared.
“As Glenn Beck likes to say: I fear for my country,” he writes.
But beyond the catch phrases, Milbank makes some salient points, contending that “All ages have their charlatans. The fact that Beck’s stew of venom and fabrication has been such a triumph probably says less about Beck than about us. He has merely captured the moment.”
The Post column both chips at Beck’s soapbox and concedes his influence in a deft balancing act:
But if Beck isn’t a true believer, he’s a brilliant entertainer, and he has calculated, correctly, that a large number of Americans would turn on cable news for more of the insults and conspiracies they get online.
In terms of the political culture, he’s more parasite than host. Yet, by any measure, he’s had a huge impact on the body politic.
Dare we say Milbank’s column is as full of soundbites as an episode of Glenn Beck’s show? Read it for yourself.
(h/t Pat’s Papers)
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