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THE Glenn Beck

News note: "Hall of Fame Indicts Glenn Beck."

Wait! Hold on. I misread that. It's "Hall of Fame INDUCTS Glenn Beck."

That does not seem real, does it? Do you mean THE Glenn Beck?

Why, yes. Yes, I do mean THE Glenn Beck, the white-haired reptile human impersonator.

My confusion was reinforced partly because I did not realize at first that's not a real Hall of Fame.

This is the Chicago-based Radio Hall of Fame which is the Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.

Founder Bruce DuMont spent 40 years using its him-driven awards to stroke right-wing political friends. He honored Ronald Reagan for five years as a part-time sports DJ in Iowa. And professional homophobe pot-stirrer James Dobson. (He cures the gay on radio).

He spurned Howard Stern for decades until relenting, at which Stern counter-spurned the invitation. Dumont did provide Stern with many years of on-air material: "There is no Radio Hall of Fame. It's just a guy in his basement giving out awards. His name is Bruce DuMont, and he has nothing to do with radio other than the fact that his family made radios years ago."

But the post-Dumont era Hall topped itself in 2019 by inducting "Radio Host And Pianist" John Tesh. Yes. THE John Tesh.

But wait. It gets better.

Tesh took the award home, and he promptly sent it back in a peeve.

Though that ceremony was not televised, the producers bum-rushed Tess' wife, Connie Sellecca, off the stage during her extraordinarily long, tedious and sappy introduction speech for him. Even the Radio Hall of Fame is struck occasionally by an attack of good taste.

So Tesh flies home from New York with the award in hand. And then. And THEN . . . He realizes he is outraged and mortified. And sends the trophy back with a loud, public raspberry because, well, he has to, or else.

Did we mention he was REALLY miffed about the insult to his wife after he had a chance to think about his miffness?

Shortly thereafter, Sellecca reportedly returned Tesh's balls to the "radio host and pianist."

After that fiasco, the "Hall" needed something akin to an Earthquake/Titanic/Fast and Furious/Pandemic disaster movie to surpass itself.

And darn if elevating THE Glenn Beck to the dais doesn't simulate a Vin Diesel Gone Bad movie.

As a Norwegian politician once remarked of him: Beck is a "vulgar propagandist," a "swine" and a "fascist."

And that's just his good days.

The more likely truth is that no manipulative vulgarity is beyond Glenn Beck if Glenn Beck decides it's good for Glenn Beck. The business is first and forever THE Glenn Beck.

He knows his audience. That's how succeeds by passing along anti-Semitic tropes about George Soros. Or by calling a bystander Saudi student the bag man in the Boston Marathon bombing. Or by accusing Barack Obama of racism, sparking an advertiser exodus from his FOX News show in 2009.

"This president," he had said, "I think has exposed himself over and over again as a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture . . . I'm not saying he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist."

His best-selling books all are ghost-written by someone else. His fans are so devoted that they buy the books just because his name is on the cover.

Stephen King once described him as "Satan's mentally challenged younger brother."

That's harsh and unfair to Satan's younger brother, but you wonder what sort of broadcasting standards are applied to honor Glenn Beck - using the term "honor" In the loosest way.

Regardless of celebrity, inductees to Halls of Fame generally are well-regarded for skill, and just as much for their positive transformative contributions. This is why Alex Rodriquez won't make the Baseball Hall of Fame until everyone who knows him has died.

Is Glenn Beck anything more than a Face in the Crowd Andy Griffith huckster knockoff?

Well, no, he's not. But there's no Huckster Hall of Fame, so the Chicago Hall will have to do.

But then how is he a real Hall of Famer even in a hall devoid of respectability? That's the obvious question to which there's an obvious answer.

This Hall lets citizens vote on showcase awards. So any guy with a devoted audience and a national network microphone has an edge.

Vote for me!

It was much harder for network commentator and NPR innovator Cokie Roberts to finally get noticed. She had to die.

The Radio Hall of Fame has experienced technical difficulties with every permutation of voting it has tried. At one time, it was presumed the only one casting votes was DuMont, which was literally true.

But the Hall settled on the least reputable method available - limited democracy.

It's a hall of fame version of your hometown newspaper's annual vote for the "Best Pizza Place In Town." These "best of" votes are promotional advertising scams.

That's how Beck rode in.

As he announced on his website: "The votes for the Radio Hall of Fame are in and I'm humbled to announce that I've been inducted! I can't say this enough: You are the BEST AUDIENCE THERE IS! To everyone who voted for me, I thank you so much. This is a victory for all of us!"

Indeed, it's one giant leap for man and one small step for small-minded semi-literate barbarians.

But I feel, in writing this, that I need a small vacation, as Alexander Zaitchik did during research for his biography of Beck, Common Nonsense.

Listening to Beck's audio/visual archives can damage a brain, which normally is not a skill worth granting permanent enshrinement.

"Every morning for many months, his voice was often the first thing I heard after waking up in the morning, and the last thing I heard before going to sleep.," Zaitchik told the Washington Post. "There were a few moments where I almost cracked. I moved down to Tampa [from Brooklyn] so I could write the book without any distractions. But there were days when I wanted nothing more than a large distraction. Such as global thermonuclear holocaust."

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Previously in Rutter on Beck: Glenn Beck's Turn In The Volcano.

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Recently by David Rutter:

* Kris Bryant's Future Bar Trick.

* Mansplaining To A Millionaire.

* Status Check: Chicago Sports.

* The Week In WTF Redux: Blago Is Back Edition.

* What Is A Chicagoan Anyway?

* Glenn Beck's Turn In The Volcano.

* Only Science Will Bring Back Sports.

* I Loathe The Lockdown Protestors.

* Reopening Books.

* A Return To Abnormalcy.

* I'm Having A Down Day Emotionally. Here's Why.

* So Long, Jerry.

* A Special "Trump's Bible" Edition Of WTF.

* 5 Things An Angry Old White Man Wants To Say.

* An ANTIFA American Hero.

* The Fonz Lives And Franco Is Dead: News You Can't Use.

* Gone With The Wind: My Lost Cause.

* How To (Pretend To) Negotiate A Labor Deal.

* The Mystery Of Mitch's Missing Motivation.

* Dave's French Foreign Legion Tour Of Chicagoland.

* Remember The '85 Bears? Actually, No You Don't.

* On Boredom.

* Wherever Rod Moore Is, I Hope He's Safe.

* Blackhawk's Life Mattered.

* A Blackhawks Proposal.

* Launching College Football.

* Tom Hanks Meets His Match.

* The Truth About Hamilton.

* Goodbye, Columbus.

* Who Mourns For Basie?

* The Hamburglar Of Passion.

* Da Region's Unabated Crime Spree.

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David Rutter is the former publisher/editor of the Lake County News-Sun, and more importantly, the former author of the Beachwood's late, great "The Week In WTF" column. You can also check him out at his Theeditor50's blog. He welcomes your comments.



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Posted on August 20, 2020


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