Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance by Alexander Zaitchik | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance

Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance

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by Alexander Zaitchik
     
 

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Who is this guy and why are people listening?

Forget Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity—Glenn Beck is the Right’s new media darling and the unofficial leader of the conservative grassroots. Lampooned by the Left and Lionized by the far Right, his bluster-and-tears brand of political commentary has commandeered attention on both

Overview


Who is this guy and why are people listening?

Forget Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity—Glenn Beck is the Right’s new media darling and the unofficial leader of the conservative grassroots. Lampooned by the Left and Lionized by the far Right, his bluster-and-tears brand of political commentary has commandeered attention on both sides of the aisle.

Glenn Beck has emerged over the last decade as a unique and bizarre conservative icon for the new century. He encourages his listeners to embrace a cynical paranoia that slides easily into a fantasyland filled with enemies that do not exist and solutions that are incoherent, at best. Since the election of President Barack Obama, Beck’s bombastic, conspiratorial, and often viciously personal approach to political combat has made him one of the most controversial figures in the history of American broadcasting.

In Common Nonsense, investigative reporter Alexander Zaitchik explores Beck's strange brew of ratings lust, boundless ego, conspiratorial hard-right politics, and gimmicky morning-radio entertainment chops.

  • Separates the facts from the fiction, following Beck from his troubled childhood to his recent rise to the top of the conservative media heap
  • Zaitchik's recent three-part series in Salon caused so much buzz, Beck felt the need to attack it on his show
  • Based on Zaitchik's interviews with former Beck coworkers and review of countless Beck writings and television and radio shows
  • Explains why Beck is always crying, why he has so many conservative enemies, why he's driven by conspiracy theories, and why he's dangerous to the health of the republic
  • A contributing writer to Alternet, Zaitchik's reporting has appeared in the New Republic, the Nation, Salon, Wired, Reason, and the Believer

Beck, a perverse and high-impact media spectacle, has emerged as a leader in a conservative protest movement that raises troubling questions about the future of American politics.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

* ""A gripping and thoroughly researched Beck biography.""
—Joe Conason, Salon

Common Nonsense will tell [his fans] more than they’ve ever known about Beck, but it will challenge the premises of his stories and his crusades. Zaitchik defends ACORN and environmental activist Van Jones from the pounding Beck gave them — at times, the reader feels that he’s watching a medic team pick up wounded bodies from the culture war.”
—David Weigel, The Washington Post

“Fox News host Glenn Beck delights in provocation — see his well-publicized spats with James Cameron, Rep. Anthony Weiner and others — and, according to Alexander Zaitchik's new book, he's always had the knack. Indeed, the book, which Firedoglake calls, ‘careful and studious...part biography, part deconstruction,’ reads like an extended list of all the folks the outspoken conservative pundit has irked during his rise from local radio host to national media icon.”
The Week

“A superb book… Alexander Zaitchik shows how Beck’s blackboard schemes are fiction—part of what [Zaitchik] calls ‘the oceanic audacity of his self-serving ignorance.’”
—Mark Schmitt, The American Prospect

“A sharp and informative smackdown.”
—Mark Lilla, The New York Review of Books

“A tough critique of the host’s history, philosophies and methods, aimed at separating fact from hyperbole [t]hrough detailed interviews, an examination of Beck’s public statements, and a look at public records.”
—St. Petersburg Times (Florida)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470557396
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
05/24/2010
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

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Meet the Author

ALEXANDER ZAITCHIK is a freelance journalist and contributing writer at AlterNet.org. His writing has appeared in the New Republic, the Nation, Salon, Wired, Reason, and the Believer. He lives in Brooklyn.

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Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance 2.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Trent Sears More than 1 year ago
I did not buy the book, but if the rest of the book is like the sample it is just the leftist version of what the author says beck does. He says Beck just plays on peoples hate and fear for personal gain. This would be more convincing if there was less name calling and if the book was free. Always interested to hear other view points and I dont always agree with what beck says, but this was far from anything other than name calling for profit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had pretty low expectations for this book, expecting nothing but name calling. But it turned out to be full of rich information about media, conservative politics, and the man Glenn Beck. I don't think I'll ever watch his show the same way again.
deTocqueville More than 1 year ago
Just another attack by the left on someone who doesn't agree with their socialist vision of America.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WE ARE NOT A DEMOCRACY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
$14.27 For the E-BOOK?!?! And you're calling Beck a money grubber who's only in it for the cash? Moron.
RodgerIL More than 1 year ago
I'm a Glenn Beck supporter, but I always read both sides of the isle. (You know, keeping the enemy closer!) I found this typical, and rancid. It was unfortunate that I couldn't finish it...It just wasted my time. Maybe one day, when I can't find an opposing view that logical, sane, and a true dialog of opposition, I may pick it up again. Beck isn't perfect by far, and I don't always agree, but this wasn't even worth buying it in a few years with a "remainder" mark on the bottom.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I onkygave this one star because you cant go any lower, this was horrible dont waste your time or money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not only does he try to save us from ourselves but also twists and manipulates facts to prove his pointless views and arguments. Again another right wing zealot that tries to convince us that we are to stupid or ignorant to think and thus shouldn't even have the right to vote. Not surprisingly again us conservatives are all painted as ignorants or racists.
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