Glenn Beck's Political Appeal

Getting Glenn Beck. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank and more on what makes Beck tick and what makes him popular.

Glenn Beck at his "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington, D.C., Aug. 28, 2010. (AP)

To detractors, it’s amazing that Glenn Beck is on the air. To his audience, his followers, it’s a sign — of end times or revolution or counter-revolution, of restoration or despair.

Critics want to write him off. Followers want to follow. But where? To what? Maybe the Tea Party.

He’s a guiding light. He’s outrageous. He’s a rodeo clown. He talks Nazis and concentration camps and end of the world. He is certainly a sign of the times. Signifying what?

We look at Glenn Beck.

-Tom Ashbrook


Dana Milbank, columnist for the Washington Post and former White House correspondent for the paper. He’s author of the new book “Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America” (read an excerpt) and “Homo Politicus: The Strange and Scary Tribes that Run Our Government.”

Matt Continetti, opinion editor and columnist for The Weekly Standard. He’s author of the book, “The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star.”

Mark Leibovich, Washington correspondent for the New York Times. His article “Being Glenn Beck” ran in last week’s New York Times Magazine.

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