A revealing magazine article (that you're not likely to come across in the mainstream media universe) extensively profiles Glenn Beck and finds him...a staunch defender of liberty, equality, the Constitution, and the First Amendment.
No surprise to those who're familiar with Beck's stances.
But when friends of Cecilie Gamst Berg — the author of "Fighting Beck: The man the liberals love to hate" which appears in Sunday's South China Morning Post Magazine — found out she would be traveling from Hong Kong to Salt Lake City to meet Beck at his Man in the Moon event, they were aghast.
- “Oh no – not Glenn Beck! I hate him.”
- “Beck – you mean that Glenn Beck? That conspiracy theorist? Can’t stand him.”
- “What are you seeing him for? He’s an awful, right-wing, fascist, Nazi, Zionist … redneck.”
But as is common with those who get a chance to meet Glenn and find out who he is and what he stands for, the author came away with a decidedly different impression.
"It’s hard to understand why Beck is such a red rag to the leftist bulls because he mostly talks about what all lefties worth their salt used to defend: liberty, justice, equality under the law and all that," she writes.
"Beck’s insistence on the importance of upholding and protecting the American Constitution, honouring the principles of the Founding Fathers and, above all, protecting the First Amendment (freedom of speech) has done little to endear him to the people who see themselves as the arbiters of everything that’s correct – politically correct, that is."
Berg, who writes that she's been following Beck for the last four years, adds that his Mormon faith also makes him a target.
"Christianity in general is not very popular with the in-crowd and many in America voted for President Barack Obama the second time because, although they didn’t like him much, at least he wasn’t the worst kind of Christian," she writes.
"Sober, hard-working, committed to creating prosperity and helping others, responsible, family oriented … in today’s anything-goes climate, what could be worse than a Mormon?"
More from Berg's piece:
Who are my kind of people now that I am a born-again conservative dabbling in Christianity?
It used to be that the people who hate, vilify and ridicule Beck were my kind of people. Growing up in Norway as your common or garden variety 1970s radical, I had the same posters of Mao Zedong and Che Guevara as everybody else, went to all the big anti-everything demonstrations and believed in no responsibilities and free stuff for everyone.
After moving to China in 1988 and seeing communism up close, I had to admit it was perhaps not the great solution to … well … almost everything that I had been taught (in school; although even then I noticed that really devout Marxist-Leninists were incredibly earnest and dull).
After September 11, I started reading up on Islam and world jihad (holy war), and found that communism was just like a fundamentalist religion and radical Islam just like a militant ideology – in each there’s the same pathological need to control every aspect of other people’s lives, with the same promise of a spot of light killing in the afternoon.
Eventually I stumbled across Beck, in 2009. Among the documentaries doing the rounds about honour killings, stonings and the beheading of infidels, he stood out. There he was: Glenn Beck – passionate, zealous, a human dynamo, drawing lines between seemingly unrelated incidents around the globe, using his knowledge of history to find connections where few others could be bothered to look. He predicted the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and its eventual takeover of Egypt, he warned about the economies of Greece, Spain and the rest of Europe collapsing, he predicted the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) data spying scandals – and was roundly ridiculed.
To read more about what Berg discovered about Glenn and Man in the Moon (as well as those she encountered at the event), check out the compelling feature story right here.