03.30.09 5:58 AM ET
The Mad Genius of Glenn Beck
He rants, he raves, and he can cry hysterically on cue. But what actually makes Fox News star Glenn Beck a phenomenon? Watch the nine principles behind his meteoric rise—complete with goofy noises
Principle #1: I Will Constantly Reaffirm My Ineptitude
Beck is quick to point out all the reasons why he’s underqualified to host a talk show. Sometimes it’s hard to disagree.
Principle #2: My Point Is Best Expressed Through Incomprehensible Noises…
We can only assume all those years of hard partying fried the better part of Glenn Beck’s brain. What other explanation could there be for, well, this:
Principle #3: …or Talking Like a Muppet
On Planet Beck, everyone who isn’t Glenn Beck talks like a hybrid of Kermit the Frog and Yoda. Watch, you must.
Principle #4: I Will Keep the Spirit of Joe McCarthy Alive
Are you now or have you ever been so completely detached from reality that you saw the creeping specter of Karl Marx everywhere? Once you get past the wacky shenanigans on Beck’s program, you start to realize he has a tendency to espouse fairly radical ideas, like his firm belief that we’re on the road to socialism and/or communism.
Principle #5: I Will Lust Not for Flesh, but for Candy, Sweet Candy
Apparently, Stephen Colbert’s commenting on the “ chin-to-Beck ratio” hasn’t done much to discourage Beck’s sweets fixation. Perhaps the most surreal Glenn Beck moment to date comes when Beck sits eating M&Ms with Chuck Norris. Yes, Chuck Norris.
Principle #6: I Will Launch a One-Man War Against the “Global Warming Myth"
Many things seem to annoy Beck—liberals, facts, people who hate candy—but few things seem to hit his buttons as hard as global-warming activism. He even went so far as to compare Al Gore to Hitler.
Principle #7: I Will Needlessly Employ Visual Aids
Beck has a tendency to employ a fascinating array of visual aids that are starting to put Jim Cramer to shame.
Principle #8: I Will Ceaselessly Espouse My Own Personal Belief System
For weeks, Beck teased out information about the cryptic origin of his nine principles and 12 values, promising he would reveal the true meaning behind his labyrinthine set of rules meant to help you live the life you want to live, not the life those Commies in Washington want you to live.
And now a brief word from Shepard Smith…
On March 13, 2009, Glenn Beck aired a special called “We Surround Them, You Are Not Alone,” which drew 993,000 viewers. Prior to the special’s airing, Shepard Smith, who is one of the more moderate voices on the right-leaning Fox network, seemed to be having a bit of fun at his colleague’s expense.
Principle #9: I Will Co-Opt a National Tragedy to Further My Personal Agenda
Finally, during his live special, Glenn Beck launched his 9/12 project, meant to guide America back to its core values by invoking—yes—September 11.