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Who is Glenn Beck?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 23, 2024
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Glenn Beck is a talk show host with a penchant for outspoken and socially conservative views. Frequently controversial, Beck is a strong opponent of censored speech and political correctness. In addition to a highly successful radio program, Beck hosts his own news show called Glenn Beck Show on Fox News, and is also a best-selling author. His style of writing and delivery often combines humor and social commentary, despite his views being far from universal.

Beck's radio career began as a local music radio DJ, hosting a variety of styles at nearby radio stations. After leaving high school, he worked his way through the ranks, becoming the youngest morning show host in America at age 18. After many years in which he moved from station to station amid personal troubles, Glenn Beck began working in talk radio as a host on WFLA-AM in Tampa, Florida. His program experienced a radio surge and was selected by the station owner, Clear Channel, for syndication. The Glenn Beck Program now boasts a range of nearly 300 stations.

Though raised Roman Catholic, Beck eventually joined the Church of Latter-Day Saints after a long struggle with drugs and alcohol. He frequently mentions his religion in his commentary, and describes its influence on his life. In 2007, Beck aired an interview with Reverend Al Sharpton, regarding comments the Reverend had made about Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mormon faith.

Although Beck espouses a conservative viewpoint on many issues, he insists he is not a dogmatic Republican. Preferring to remain uncommitted to what many see as an overly divisive two-party political system, Glenn Beck instead focuses on specific issues to be resolved. Among his outspoken positions is a passionate belief in the right to bear arms and increased American border security. Beck also holds a pro-life position and is against euthanasia, but has recently come out in favor of the death penalty after a long history of speaking against it.

Glenn Beck is a polarizing media figure, with a great many ardent fans and passionate detractors. His humor in particular is often seen as offensive, tasteless, and insulting to a variety of people. There are few indications that he expects everyone to agree with everything he says, however, and some supporters feel that his conservative satire and sarcasm is no more offensive than the liberal-based work of comedians like Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. Detractors are quick to respond, however, that the comparison is unfair; Stewart and Colbert bill themselves as entertainers rather than authorities or journalists, and their content is meant first for laughs, whereas Beck is primarily a political commentator.

Like Glenn Beck or despise him, he has risen to become one of the most popular radio hosts in the country. His books have consistently sold well, with two publications reaching the New York Times Bestseller List. Conservatively minded people will probably enjoy the wit and passion Beck brings to his broadcasts. On the other hand, those who find themselves not remotely conservative in views but enjoy political satire and talk radio may find listening to his work occasionally may provide a refreshing point of view.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for PublicPeople. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
Discussion Comments
By anon353868 — On Nov 03, 2013

Glenn Beck is far less than intelligent. The only less intelligent are people who believe him. He's an entertainer. He couldn't govern himself out of a wet paper bag. His purpose in life is making millions of dollars by working people over and juiced up with fear, emotion, guilt and racism.

By anon199235 — On Jul 22, 2011

Beck tells people not to believe him, but to do their own fact checking. That means he is not dogmatic in asking people to believe him.

And since he is on the air and can be refuted so easily if wrong, it amazes me how people will attack him, but not his positions or his facts.

By anon157646 — On Mar 03, 2011

Somebody needs to expose what's going on in this country - and Beck's the guy to ferret out hidden agendas.

By anon153364 — On Feb 17, 2011

If you believe that Glenn Beck is a comedian who does not expect to be taken seriously, then you can be forgiven for not calling him what he is: a very serious paranoid who has a scary number of followers who are convinced that he is dead serious.

If he is a comedian, he is the worst comedian in the world.

I am George, but will be seen as anonymous because I choose not to register, not because I'm hiding.

By anon152022 — On Feb 12, 2011

In the vein of previous comments, I too have looked for verification of claims that Beck makes. I have not found a single lie in one of his presentations. Seriously--I would like someone to refute something specifically. Generally, denigrating him does not prove him false. Prove him false.

By anon144774 — On Jan 20, 2011

I seldom watch Glen Beck but racing around the room and scribbling on a blackboard does not constitute a fact!

By anon134863 — On Dec 16, 2010

The effects of hate within a varying cultured community, how those effects, when compiled together, cause mayhem and destruction, and how that mayhem and destruction will ultimately lead to the end of the world.

Going by the history of where hate originated to how common it is today, the anticlimactic “hate-pocalypse” is seemingly inevitable. It does not matter where in the world one may be, hate is an emotion found in every culture. And unfortunately for the world, it is expressed in ways the human population may not be able to handle anymore.

It is understood that every person in America has the right to free speech and expression. It is no secret that people take advantage of those rights. It is also needless to say that these major players, in particular, Glenn Beck, who has taken full advantage of his rights is also many a reason as to why the world is the way it is.

Their influence over a limitless fan base has fueled a fire that has already burned out most of the nation. It is in times like these, when someone else’s opinion becomes a crutch to point out the flaws in our society, that hate grows into a thick rage and sweeps over the nation in waves.

It takes over our airways, our television, our beliefs, and in the end, the human populace is deemed helpless. Hate will be the reason our world, as we know it, becomes obsolete.

By anon118790 — On Oct 15, 2010

Becks' fan base is funny. They see him ranting with a piece of chalk in his hand and never question what comes out of his mouth. "He must be a teacher, maybe if I keep watching I can get a GED." I try watching his shows to understand his social impact, and feel dumber each and every time. He is not a historian. He is not a teacher. He is not a journalist. He is not impartial (or politically neutral) by any means.

How the government is trying to control you? Look people: if Beck wasn't clamoring on years ago about the Patriot Act, a trillion dollar illegal war, the profiteering of Halliburton and Blackwater, and the downward spiral caused by a full on economic attack of our own middle class, then he is not neutral nor a patriot.

By anon114299 — On Sep 28, 2010

wake up, people! why would you want to listen to an ex drug/alcohol addict.

By anon111828 — On Sep 18, 2010

Barack Hussein Obama is a godsend to Mr. Beck. Without the American people electing our President, no one would really care less about Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, Rove, Morris, Miller and all of the rest.

These Obama bashers who did everything, but they could not serve this nation in the military. Kind of strange eh? The magical chalk board, the crying, the guests on his show (who only agree with him).

I'll admit he has damn good writers and he reads off of the teleprompter with ease. But in all reality Mr. Beck couldn't hold a candle to a real patriot, a real red, white and blue American! Slamming and blaming gets nothing done! Big bucks though! Honest common sense people paying to hear this charlatan talk! Millions of dollars to hear what? nothing! He instructs people to go home and look yourself in the mirror and be truthful to yourself?

Restore honor? Get down on your knees and pray! Follow all of these commands and what do you get? Nothing! Take a pledge! He paid Sarah Palin a hundred thousand to tell intelligent Americans that they are Americans! What a scam! Become a silver member, a gold member, a diamond member on his web site. Only in America.

By anon106658 — On Aug 26, 2010

Glen Beck scares me. He may be speaking the truth or not. It depends on your own perspective. Yes, I do my own research and some I don't have to. I see it with my own eyes that he is so full of it. He is a fear monger. And people like him are just as whacked and are a danger to this country.

Too bad there are so many like this that listen to him and take his word as gospel. And if I hear him say that since he is a recovering alcoholic as a reason for him knowing so much about this world, I am going to send him a six-pack to get him back to the real world.

By anon88727 — On Jun 07, 2010

Good to see that Mormons are stirred up by Beck. it is people such as this who are not facing the truth. just look at their screwy religion. They talk about "pay, pray and obey" but don't "think for yourself". At least Beck can think for himself!

By anon86103 — On May 23, 2010

Again, you liberals don't hold a candle to Glenn Beck and other conservative commentators when it comes to the arena of ideas and debate. All you can do is huff and puff and resort to childish name-calling.

You say he is full of lies, half-truths, and distortions. But you never get specific and tell us what he said that is a lie or distortion. Face it - liberal ideology has been a massive failure every every every time it's tried. The USSR was, essentially, an ultra-liberal utopian society and it absolutely killed freedom and individual prosperity. Any society that squashes the individual also destroys itself from within.

By anon84028 — On May 13, 2010

Free speech anyone? Don't like, do not watch.

By anon82653 — On May 06, 2010

"He doesn't speak for anyone but himself and his grandiose impression of himself is laughable."

Yeah, he's only constantly poking fun of himself.

He is pure entertainment but certainly not intelligent. Racism is rarely intelligent.

Yeah, he quotes Gandhi and MLK Jr., and has dedicated many meaningful hours on his television program to minorities.

It's fun to just say whatever the hell you want, regardless of truth.

By anon79829 — On Apr 24, 2010

Mr. Beck is an actor. He performs in a theatrical manner, offering these facial expressions that might earn him an Oscar, but he is really so stupid when it comes to people.

He doesn't speak for anyone but himself and his grandiose impression of himself is laughable. He is pure entertainment but certainly not intelligent. Racism is rarely intelligent.

By anon78953 — On Apr 20, 2010

I am a Glenn Beck supporter, but I don't have to listen to him to know that this country is going down and fast. People better wake up.

Where is the transparency? Obama says we have to have rules, but who is making them?

The government is supposes to be working for the people, but we are working for the government.

For all the religious folks on here, who gives you the right to judge others and call names and be so mean?

By anon77452 — On Apr 14, 2010

If you haven't found him to be wrong on anything, you aren't really looking.

There are sites dedicated to debunking Glenn Beck, and they have a lot of content. It's good that you guys hope that he is wrong, because he is.

You aren't going to see people debunk him on Fox. Roger Ailes has prohibited personalities from doing that. He claimed it was (paraphrase) "shooting inside the tent from inside of the tent."

Wake up, people.

By anon74502 — On Apr 02, 2010

What I'm afraid of is that what he says may be true. I keep waiting for someone to debunk him and prove him wrong. If they could, they would get to talk on every news network in the country. I would certainly feel better about my children's future if Beck is delusional.

By anon72837 — On Mar 24, 2010

Glenn says on nearly every show, "If I'm wrong, tell me where. I hope I am wrong." He invites government reps to call him and set him right. And over 50 percent of his TV show is just video and audio of what other people have said. And not five second snips, whole statements to show context.

I hope he is wrong also. But I do my own research. I have not caught him in a lie yet. Could one of you post one thing he said that is wrong? Just one?

By anon59304 — On Jan 07, 2010

not so sure that Glenn polarizes anything. funny to see Americans attached to con men: Beck, Madoff, blah, blah, blah, blah.

By anon59303 — On Jan 07, 2010

Glenn Beck is hilarious. His right wing following is just as funny. If there was a god, Glenn and his cronies would not be welcome by her or his family. 23,000,000 a year, drugs, rape -- all sorts of great stuff Glenn may or may not be doing. Have to wonder about all those that find inspiration from Glenn.

By greenlake — On Jan 04, 2010

I am a Lutheran and I like Glen Beck. All Glen Beck does is broadcast the Dems in their own words and voices on what they have said in the past and then again what they have just said. It is always true and the Dems don't like it when he shows them as the hypocrites that they are.

By anon55450 — On Dec 07, 2009

I am also a member of the LDS Church, and one of the core tenets and requirements of membership is being '..honest with your fellow man...'. Mr. Beck should be excommunicated.

Please, please, please do not think that he speaks for the church, or for LDS people as a whole. His distortions, half-truths, insinuations and outright lies have no place in the life of any LDS person, let alone one with as wide a forum as he has. Mr. Beck, you should be ashamed.

By anon52579 — On Nov 15, 2009

I'm a member of the church of jesus christ of later day saints and feel proud that he is a member also. On evening while talking to my son on the govermenment issues, i asked him why when we are told in the church to study the scriptures, that we read of how history is repeating itself, I said that when in bible times when the people are told of coming danger there is a prophet that comes forth to warn the people so then why hasn't a prophet came forth to remind us of oncoming danger? he said there is. his name is Glenn Beck. just listen to him and he will tell the truth about what is going on with the government and how they are trying to control you.

By anon21812 — On Nov 22, 2008

Btw, I'm a member of this Church and I'm ashamed of having people like him in the Church.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
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