Book Review: Tears of a Clown

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Milbank, Dana. Tears of a clown : Glenn Beck and the tea bagging of America. Doubleday, 2010.

Casey Anthony was declared not guilty and released from prison in July.  People were outraged.  Crowds chanted outside the prison.  Facebook and Twitter exploded with emotion.  Celebrities vented their shock and disbelief.  Even Kim Kardashian said she was speechless, and it was her father who got O.J. Simpson off from his murder charge.

Many people enjoy being outraged, the intense emotion providing a rush, spiking excitement into an ordinary day.  If you enjoy raging against the atrocious, consider the book Tears of a Clown, by Dana Milbank.

Author and journalist Dana Milbank tells the story of how a self-confessed “recovering dirtbag” ends up as the deranged and/or brilliant Glenn Beck on Fox television, where he rants nightly, shouting, smiling and weeping.  Beck refers to himself as a schmo, yet he lives in a walled community in Connecticut and manages a business empire earning $32 million a year.  He calls his enemies Nazis, makes anti-Semitic remarks and lambasts the “evil SOB, Woodrow Wilson.”  Beck lies, exaggerates, and distorts the truth.  But Milbank says all the craziness is for show and Beck is a gifted performer.

Since this book was written, Beck lost his spot on Fox, because his ratings fell to rock bottom and ad revenues dried up.  His last show was on June 30.  Without a TV platform, Beck and his media business may fade into the woodwork.    But for now, Milbank’s book makes for entertaining reading.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

One Response to “Book Review: Tears of a Clown”

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