Much has been made of Glenn Beck’s choice to hold his “Restoring Honor” rally this past weekend at the same site where Martin Luther King, Jr. assembled the critical mass of the civil-rights movement, a seeming attempt — forty-seven years later to the day — at co-opting King’s legacy. And it was a day filled with cognitive dissonance, this Beckapalooza here, every mention of Dr. King met with applause from the conservative faithful, despite the reverend’s calls to end the war in Vietnam, to extend government aid to the poor, and to unionize workers — all positions that would land him today in Beck’s extreme notion of a socialist universe. And so, fueled either by the backwards nature of his following or his own mind, it seems that Beck will press on by emulating someone else: Barack Obama, the man with whom his fate is inextricably linked.
Before Obama won the presidency, Beck was doing pretty well, hosting a widely syndicated radio show and an evening program on CNN’s Headline News. He poked fun at liberals and served as a cheerleader for the Iraq war. But with the launch of his Fox News program the day before Obama’s inauguration, Beck became a household name, filling his coffers with an estimated $32 million per year.
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