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Glenn Beck is a talk show host with a penchant for outspoken and socially conservative views. Frequently controversial, Beck is a strong opponent of censored speech and political correctness. In addition to a highly successful radio program, Beck hosts his own news show called Glenn Beck Show on Fox News, and is also a best-selling author. His style of writing and delivery often combines humor and social commentary, despite his views being far from universal.
Beck's radio career began as a local music radio DJ, hosting a variety of styles at nearby radio stations. After leaving high school, he worked his way through the ranks, becoming the youngest morning show host in America at age 18. After many years in which he moved from station to station amid personal troubles, Glenn Beck began working in talk radio as a host on WFLA-AM in Tampa, Florida. His program experienced a radio surge and was selected by the station owner, Clear Channel, for syndication. The Glenn Beck Program now boasts a range of nearly 300 stations.
Though raised Roman Catholic, Beck eventually joined the Church of Latter-Day Saints after a long struggle with drugs and alcohol. He frequently mentions his religion in his commentary, and describes its influence on his life. In 2007, Beck aired an interview with Reverend Al Sharpton, regarding comments the Reverend had made about Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mormon faith.
Although Beck espouses a conservative viewpoint on many issues, he insists he is not a dogmatic Republican. Preferring to remain uncommitted to what many see as an overly divisive two-party political system, Glenn Beck instead focuses on specific issues to be resolved. Among his outspoken positions is a passionate belief in the right to bear arms and increased American border security. Beck also holds a pro-life position and is against euthanasia, but has recently come out in favor of the death penalty after a long history of speaking against it.
Glenn Beck is a polarizing media figure, with a great many ardent fans and passionate detractors. His humor in particular is often seen as offensive, tasteless, and insulting to a variety of people. There are few indications that he expects everyone to agree with everything he says, however, and some supporters feel that his conservative satire and sarcasm is no more offensive than the liberal-based work of comedians like John Stewart or Stephen Colbert. Detractors are quick to respond, however, that the comparison is unfair; Stewart and Colbert bill themselves as entertainers rather than authorities or journalists, and their content is meant first for laughs, whereas Beck is primarily a political commentator.
Like Glenn Beck or despise him, he has risen to become one of the most popular radio hosts in the country. His books have consistently sold well, with two publications reaching the New York Times Bestseller List. Conservatively minded people will probably enjoy the wit and passion Beck brings to his broadcasts. On the other hand, those who find themselves not remotely conservative in views but enjoy political satire and talk radio may find listening to his work occasionally may provide a refreshing point of view.