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Glenn Beck, merchant of fear

Let me finish tonight with Glenn Beck.

Let me finish tonight with Glenn Beck. It appears he's getting his scripts from the John Birch Society.

Here's what editor William Kristol just wrote in the conservative/ neo-conservative magazine, The Weekly Standard.

"Hysteria is not a sign of health. When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists - invents? - the connections between the caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one as much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He's marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s."

Now the John Birch Society is not a thing of the past. It exists and speaks in the present.  It speaks the words that Glenn Beck then broadcasts.

On Janaury 31, last week, the CEO of the Birch Society put out word that what's really happening in Egypt is due to the policies of the Obama administration, including the State Department of Secretary Hillary Clinton. It's not just Moscow and Beijing that's doing it - it's Washington, D-C.    Here's Glenn Beck three days later:

I plant my flag in this soil. Groups from the hardcore socialist and communist left and extreme Islam will work together because they want chaos.

The charge that he's talking like the John Birch Society of the early 1960's is close to the mark. The mark is that he's talking like the John Birch Society of last week.

Where would he get this notion that the left is behind the protests?  The John Birch Society. Is anyone else trying to tie together the left and the situation in Cairo?

Why are they doing it?  Because it sells to people who lived through the Cold War and want the comfort of seeing things through old glasses, because people who are afraid are ready to believe their current villains are really their old villains, and their old villains are the enemy within. That is always the best conspiracy theory for the simple reason -- it's the most horrible.

Glenn Beck spends his life denouncing what scientists believe to be true while selling wild theories that appeal to those who suspect science, but might buy what they hear sold on their radio. We've got a real merchant of fear here -- whose only defense, only moral defense is that this guy has himself been dancin' a little too close to the cliff.