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Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck rose to nationally syndicated television and radio host with his knack for creating controversy.
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CNN's new man didn't disappoint, earning ratings that were second at Headline News only to Nancy Grace. But Beck had his detractors. As he had on radio, the TV version of Beck seemed especially good at creating controversy. On his CNN show, the host went after the 9/11 widows, lambasted a segment of Katrina survivors as "scumbags", and likened Cindy Sheehan to a "tragedy pimp."
In October 2008, Glenn Beck was on the move again,
when he announced he was leaving CNN for a new job at FOX. There, in the wake of President Obama's election, Beck found himself with an even bigger microphone, stoking the fears among the political right about the new president's agenda. His radio and television programs contributed to the Tea Party protests that popped up around the country in the summer of 2009 in response to a proposed healthcare ovrerhaul. Beck also spearheaded what he called the 9/12 Project, which he pushed as an effort to recreate the unity that had enveloped the country in the wake of the terrorist attacks. The project revolved around nine principals and 12 values that the talk show host had outlined himself.
In July 2009, Beck turned faced controversy once again when, during a guest appearance on Fox & Friends he pointedly called President Obama a "racist" with " a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture." As a result, several advertisers on his FOX show withdrew their support. But the remarks, and Beck's refusal to run away from them, helped his ratings to swell to some of the highest numbers the show had ever registered.
After returning from a vacation that Beck made clear was not a suspension, he went back to the business of attacking the Obama Administration and what he called "the radical wolves about to destroy our republic." One of his biggest targets was Van Jones, a green jobs expert and special adviser to the president, whom Beck alleged had formed strong communist ties as a younger activist. The talk show host's repeated attacks and the anger he built up within his base about Jones' appointment eventually played a big hand in the adviser's decision to step down in early September 2009.
In his addition to his radio and television work, Beck is also the author of several books, including three New York Times Bestsellers. He currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife.
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