October 6, 2009

Glenn Beck seems to be irked at the people digging into his past. But then, that's because his past is truly a disgusting thing to behold. I wouldn't want people looking at it either, if mine were anything remotely like Beck's.

He ranted about it last night on his Fox News show. He thinks we should be paying more attention to his phony "scandals" than to just what kind of character we're watching implore us to seek greater moral goods (as he sees them) every night.

He's no doubt thinking of Alexander Zaitchik's impressive three part series in Salon, the first of which does indeed point out that his mother's death remains a mystery -- and that Beck's own later assertion that it was a suicide was a peculiar event.

It was an incredibly revealing series -- particularly this nugget from the second part, describing Beck's antics when he had a falling out with a former radio-show partner named Bruce Kelly, who became a competitor in the Phoenix market. Beck was known as "the king of dirty tricks," including an invasion of Kelly's wedding.

The animosity between Beck and 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."

You have to wonder if Kelly contemplated returning the favor when Beck's second daughter was born with cerebral palsy.

But then, he'd have been forced to sink to the level of Glenn Beck to have done something like that.

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