By: Gerald Loeffers
Yes, it is time for a more lighthearted article after my last three heavy duty ones. This will be a happier article on our favorite self made man, self-admitted rodeo clown, recovering Jack Daniels lover — Glenn Beck. A man who is known by not only the enemies he has made, but by the lives of the many regular people he has touch and changed. A man who went from top 40 radio, to becoming the top rated number three spot talk radio host in the country and who left one uncomfortable gig at CNN to go to FOX NEWS. He then threw all his dice on the table to start up his own network, newsletter, publishing house, clothing line, speaking engagements and company… all within a short three year time period. So, let’s look at the son of a Washington state baker and the trials and success this funny guy has been through, as well as the lives he has touched on so many levels and let’s look at how fast his hair got so gray in the eight short years I have been a fan, lol.
ADOPTING A LITTLE SUPER HERO
The first time I had heard of Glenn, it was a total accident. I was going through radio station channels one day in 2006 and I found this one guy talking about him and his wife getting adoption paperwork done and how excited they both were about getting their little super hero. I noticed first off he had a different style. Let’s say that of RUSH or of G. GORDON LIDDY.
He had a more personal connection to his audience, whether it concerned a news story or a bit about his day to day life. Glenn was very different. Then I found out he was a Mormon who thought differently on many things and thought outside of the box, which was delightful. I enjoyed his biting wit and his satire of politics. MORON TRIVIA was always a good time. Then one day, I was at my favorite book store and there in one section was Glenn’s first book — THE REAL AMERICA. I had seen it before, but I never made the connection. These days, I have most of his books and can’t wait for his new one coming out next month.
A LIFE THAT RISES
Glenn Beck was born in Washington state. Sorry… I forget which town. His father was a baker who had a small bakery business in town. At age eight, he was taught the value of work by washing pots and pans at the bakery and watching his old man work his magic up front. Glenn has said that his mother had suffered from mental illness and committed suicide, so I won’t get more detailed than that out of respect. He had a pretty incredible grandfather, whom he looked up to and Glenn learned much from him and his values and strengths. It left a lifelong impression with Glenn that would help him out later in life.
Glenn, at the ripe young age of 15, wanted to work in radio. He was enamored with it, so he started on the low rung and worked his way up through many different radio gigs, all the way through the 1980 and 1990s. Glenn got married and had a couple of kids. He moved from one job to the next and during this time things were not going well. He had a drinking problem and experimented with cocaine at one time. He was a bit hard to work with. He talks about how he wasn’t a pleasant guy to be around in this stage of his life. Then something happened to Glenn. It seemed every other radio job he got was with this guy from Texas, who would be his future best friend — PAT GRAY. This guy was a Mormon himself and saw in Glenn the pain he was in. He tried many times to just help him out and let Glenn know he wasn’t alone as he felt. Then Glenn lost it all at once. The drinking was so bad, his wife divorced him. He had just lost a good radio gig and was in a crappy apartment — he was very desperate and was asking himself whether he should live or die. What could he do? And then…
HOPE AND CHANGE
Glenn had decided then and there to pick himself up and change things around, but it was a bit slow. That’s okay… you can’t really clean up over night. One time at a convention of radio broadcasters, as Glenn was at the bar, he saw a woman who would change his life for the better. All Glenn was thinking about… well, he said to himself: “I would like to ask her out. If she says yes, this will be my last drink.” They met there and he put his last drink down for the rest of his life. Then in early 2000, things were looking up for Glenn. He got a radio talk show going and he had converted to Mormonism. A couple of years earlier, PAT GRAY and STEVE (STU) BURGUIERE came to be his dynamic duo from radio to TV and RUSH had even had Glenn guest host his show at one time. How fun that was. Then in 2008, Glenn got a TV gig at CNN HEADLINE NEWS and being the conservative Republican he was at that time, we found out later from Glenn that that was a hellish experience and a black hole of despair for him. His time at CNN was the longest two years of his life and something else changed as well with him when Hillary spoke about being a 20th century “Progressive.” What was that? Even Glenn didn’t know at the time. This is when his started reading history and researching. It would change everything he thought he knew and would change his views years later down the road.
FOX TROTTING A TRAIL TO BLAZE
Well, as all things at CNN ended, Glenn got an offer from FOX NEWS, which was an easy thing to decide on. This is where Glenn got serious with the history of America and of the world. He focused on cycles of history and where we are now. He looked at all politicians with a different eye than in times past and noticed that both parties had the same problem, but were offering the same ideas at different speeds. In 2009, I started to do my own history reading and thanks to Glenn, I have so many books on different subjects, I could almost start my own history class. Glenn experienced a funny part of his life when he went on tour with his friend BILL O’REILLY — THE BOLD AND FRESH tour. This showed more and more that Glenn was changing his political views on the Republican Party and their Progressive viewpoints. My personal favorite was his UNELECTABLE show, where he talks about the bull crap candidates think you want to hear and not what you need to hear. Then we found out later that FOX NEWS wouldn’t let Glenn talk about certain subjects or say certain things. That’s like, wow! He drove FOX NEWS crazy with that. Then there was Glenn’s incredible RESTORATION events in DC, ISRAEL AND DALLAS. The usual media decried them all as failures or that Glenn was just crazy. What was true with all these events, is that they brought more people from all walks of life together. More so than our divisive president could ever think to do and the media is also afraid of this. They should be. Now they are losing their viewership faster than a falling rock.
HE IS ALL IN!
Three years ago, Glenn made the biggest, and I think scariest move, for anyone who could have just played the comfortable gig at FOX NEWS. He stayed there for a long time and played it safe. But Glenn would say later he was being told to “PLAY THE GAME.” You know… take your pound of flesh and then you have dinner with these same people — no harm, no foul. Glenn wouldn’t play the game; he wasn’t there for that. So, as his time with FOX and his contract was running short, he started his own network. As he was planning to leave FOX, he was getting his resources ready to start an Internet broadcast service for news, talk radio, children’s educational shows and other programing — but all on his terms. With his own money and shouldering a few sleepless nights, GBTV was born with plans to expand. This service started out slowly at a reasonable price. I had signed up for GBTV until my last computer crashed. But with my new computer, I am a year long THE BLAZE PLUS subscriber and happily so. The change and unbridled hutzpah of Glenn these days is great! I mean, he’s still funny as hell (Sorry Glenn… I can’t help saying that, but you are.) and the fact that he’s getting 19 million views at THE BLAZE web site and 10 million subscribers to THE BLAZE should scare the media and I am glad about that too. Glenn has been accused of being a Republican operative. I find that funny, because like me, he has changed in so many ways and he is more Libertarian on most issues. Glenn also has an incredible charity group called MERCURY ONE, which does disaster relief, feeds the hungry and does other volunteer work in the service of our fellow men and women. Part of the way he supports MERCURY ONE is with his clothing line, 1791 SUPPLY CO. They carry American made jeans, t-shirts and western shirts that are designed like PAUL NEWMAN’S OWN FOOD line, which pays for his charity foundation. What a great idea!
ARE YOU ALL IN?
Glenn has been a tremendous influence on me. I have failed at a history podcast radio show that I was keeping up and running. Well, it was a good 13 week run, lol. Much to the displeasure of my parents, who don’t understand that things are changing around them and one cannot simply ignore it and wish it away. Glenn is always telling us to do our own research and homework; find out for ourselves what is really going on. The more I learn, the more I know what I DON’T know, if that makes any sense. So, are you just going to stand there and do nothing, or are you going to do something to help someone else? Are you going to teach what you know, pass on an idea or maybe mow a lawn at a monument during a convoluted government shut down? I will say that right now, Glenn Beck has walked the walk and talked the talk and has proven that one guy can make the media and politicians shake in their boots and at the same time, bring hope to traditional America… reminiscent of the one he grew up in and the one we as a united America have to work to keep.