Glenn Beck Is Coming After Thomas Edison

The conservative media icon is going to the movies.

National Journal
Emma Roller
See more stories about...
Emma Roller
March 10, 2014, 11:10 a.m.

Glenn Beck wants to take his con­ser­vat­ive gos­pel to the streets — or at least to a movie theat­er near you.

In a pro­file in the Na­tion­al Re­view, Eli­ana John­son writes that the former Fox host is shift­ing away from polit­ics and to­ward cul­tur­al work. “I hated polit­ics, I al­ways have,” says the man who’s made an es­tim­ated $90 mil­lion from his polit­ic­al opin­ing.

Beck said he’s plan­ning to de­vel­op three “ma­jor mo­tion pic­tures,” in­clud­ing one about the “real story of Christ­mas,” and an­oth­er about Thomas Edis­on. Beck has already penned a fic­tion­al Christ­mas book, The Christ­mas Sweat­er, but his new ven­ture would fo­cus on cri­ti­ciz­ing the hol­i­day’s com­mer­cial­ism. Writ­ing a full-throated de­fense of Christ­mas is a sure­fire way to re­in­force your con­ser­vat­ive bona fides (and your pock­et­book) — just ask Mike Hucka­bee or Sarah Pal­in.

Beck isn’t just do­ing battle against the War on Christ­mas, but against one of Amer­ica’s most revered his­tor­ic­al fig­ures: Thomas Edis­on. “I star­ted out lik­ing Thomas Edis­on. I thought he was the quint­es­sen­tial Amer­ic­an in­vent­or,” Beck told S.E. Cupp last year. When asked why he hates Edis­on, he replied, “Just Google, ‘Topsy the Ele­phant’. Just start there.” He was re­fer­ring to a cir­cus ele­phant Edis­on cruelly elec­tro­cuted in an at­tempt to shame his rival, George West­ing­house. (While Beck may nev­er have elec­tro­cuted a pa­chy­derm to prove a point, he’s no stranger to tak­ing cheap shots at his op­pon­ents). Nikola Tesla is “the real geni­us,” Beck in­sists, like an MIT fresh­man in a spir­ited dorm-room de­bate. And Tesla’s uto­pi­an view of the world is not so dif­fer­ent from that of Ayn Rand, an­oth­er hero of Beck’s.

Also on Beck’s Naughty List, for those keep­ing track: Levi’s (the “uni­form of pro­gress”), Dar­ren Aronof­sky (who dir­ec­ted the up­com­ing film Noah), Woo­drow Wilson (a “pres­id­ent you should hate”), and Sen. Lind­sey Gra­ham (whom Beck called a “piece of garbage” for ad­voc­at­ing dip­lo­mat­ic ac­tion against Rus­sia).

Mean­while, at the top of Beck’s Nice List is Walt Dis­ney, who has in­flu­enced his past pro­jects. Beck wants to build In­de­pend­ence, USA, a Dis­ney­land-like “city-theme park hy­brid” that would double as a free-mar­ket uto­pia.

Beck has al­ways framed is­sues — polit­ic­al, his­tor­ic­al, and cul­tur­al — as fables of good versus evil. He told the Na­tion­al Re­view, “We stand for stor­ies of love and cour­age where the good guys win. We are a group of people who be­lieve that the good guys ac­tu­ally win in the end.” In his mind, Beck is a great cru­sader for the soul of Amer­ica. Through his vari­ous re­in­carn­a­tions as me­dia mogul, civic lead­er, and now cul­tur­al di­let­tante, Beck has shown he has bits of both in­vent­ors in him — Tesla’s gran­di­ose schemes, Edis­on’s show­man­ship. Still, we’re wait­ing for his light bulb mo­ment.

What We're Following See More »
BACKING OUT ON BERNIE
Trump Won’t Debate Sanders After All
3 days ago
THE LATEST

Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
4 days ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
TRUMP FLOATED IDEA ON JIMMY KIMMEL’S SHOW
Trump/Sanders Debate Before California Primary?
4 days ago
THE LATEST
CAMPAIGNS INJECTED NEW AD MONEY
California: It’s Not Over Yet
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.

Source:
×