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Glenn Beck Talks Donald Trump, Russia and the Realness of Fake News

4 minute read
Belinda Luscombe is an editor at large at TIME, where she has covered a wide swath of topics, but specializes in interviews, profiles, and essays. In 2010, she won the Council on Contemporary Families Media Award for her stories on the ways marriage is changing. She is also author of Marriageology: the Art and Science of Staying Together.

The conservative broadcaster whose star turn at Fox News made him a household brand for divisiveness explains his apparent change of heart

First question: Who are you and what have you done with Glenn Beck?

I’m still the same Glenn Beck. I’m interested in talking to people after the election to say to the left, The way you’re feeling right now, I understand. And to the right, Please don’t mock or dismiss the real fears of people on the left. They’re just as valid as the fears that you had with the last President. We made it through. And we’ll make it again if we don’t demonize each other. If the left doesn’t make the mistakes I made and the right doesn’t make the mistakes that the left did.

Doesn’t it seem a bit disingenuous for you to say, “Let’s not demonize the other side” when for several years, you made a good living doing just that?

I’m 52, I’m older, I’m wiser. We all should be. This is not a sudden change. I’ve been moving in this direction for five years, hard. We have to stand together on principles, learn from the mistakes of the past and be peacemakers.

After opposing Donald Trump’s campaign, you called him. Have you heard back from him?


What would you say to him?

“How can I help you?”

What do you think of his actions as President-elect so far?

My greatest concern is I think Russia is clearly an enemy. Perhaps he’s playing some grand negotiating scheme I don’t understand. He is supposedly one of the greatest negotiators in the world. I’ll wait to see it play out. But I am fascinated by the lack of self-awareness from the left who is now preaching to me that Russia is an enemy, when they called me a fearmonger when I said that before.

To come together, we need a source of news that both sides agree is reliable. What is your go-to media?

I urge my listeners and viewers to follow whatever it is that they don’t think is relatable, because we must listen to each other. There are far more points where we agree than disagree. I’m amazed to hear conservatives say, Well, the mainstream media hasn’t covered this. And I say, You just think it hasn’t because you don’t read it. But I could also go to where Barack Obama said doctors are cutting off diabetes patients’ feet for the extra money. That wasn’t reported almost in any so-called mainstream media. [Editor’s note: In 2009, Obama proposed new financial incentives for preventive diabetic care while noting surgery cost more. He did not say doctors amputated for extra money.]

You settled with Abdulrahman Alharbi, who sued you for implying he was involved in the Boston bombings. In the light of fake news, have you changed the way you or the website you own, the Blaze, operate?

Not in the least.

But it’s quite clear he wasn’t the bomber …

I’m not going to litigate this with you.

What kind of marks would you give President Obama?

On his constitutional steadfastness? I’d give him a D. On his ability to move forward a progressive agenda, I’d give him an A+. On his willingness to engage with people who disagree with him, I’d give him an F.

What did you think of Roger Ailes’ exit from your former employer, Fox News?

Well, as sexy as I am, he never hit on me, so it came as a surprise.

On that subject, where do you get those cardigans?

At the store. They remind me of my grandfather, who was a big influence in my life. That’s not exactly a turn-on for my wife, but it is what it is.

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