23 September 2009

The Making of Beck

If you've ever read this, you know I hate Glenn Beck. I always thought he was just some whimpering nutjob from Tampa who had been doing his little AM show for years (my stepmother loves him), but it turns out he has a whole long and filthy story.

A Salon series has just been released by Alexander Zaitchik, examining his past. Fifteen years of smoking weed every day and cranking out on whatever else, a brilliant career as a morning DJ in the "zoo" format that crashed and burned, and an adult convert to Mormonism (who the hell does that?) have shown me what led to the eye-bugging fearmonger we know today. And there are some goddamn disgusting stories.
The animosity between Beck and [rival DJ] Kelly continued to deepen. When Beck and Hattrick produced a local version of Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" for Halloween -- a recurring motif in Beck's life and career -- Kelly told a local reporter that the bit was a stupid rip-off of a syndicated gag. The slight outraged Beck, who got his revenge with what may rank as one of the cruelest bits in the history of morning radio. "A couple days after Kelly's wife, Terry, had a miscarriage, Beck called her live on the air and says, 'We hear you had a miscarriage,' " remembers Brad Miller, a former Y95 DJ and Clear Channel programmer. "When Terry said, 'Yes,' Beck proceeded to joke about how Bruce [Kelly] apparently can't do anything right -- about he can't even have a baby."

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

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