another daily beast

Five pages with background on Glen Beck. The Good Beck, The Bad Beck, a window into his personal life:

Beck was channeling the decade of excess, doing cocaine, driving a DeLorean, and cultivating a collection of thin ties.

Beck’s mood swings were alienating colleagues; one remembered him as “a sadist, the kind of guy who rips the wings off flies.”

“Every day I prayed for the strength to be able to drive my car at 70 mph into that bridge abutment.”

He isn’t even a Republican but an independent conservative—a former Top-40 radio DJ, self-described “borderline schizophrenic” and recovering drug addict turned Mormon convert with a taste for confrontation and confession. He presents a manic mix of politics and religion, loftily billed as “the fusion of entertainment and enlightenment.”

One thing is certain: The man is crazy like a fox. The best way to get a sense of where Beck might steer the conservative debate in 2010 is to study his past—it’s a story of ambition and addiction, mixing politics and religion. He recycles old fears with apocalyptic urgency, polarizing for profit, making himself the Pied Piper for a new generation of angry, anxiety-ridden, and alienated Americans.