What Exactly Is Glenn Beck Talking About?

Nobody of a more or less liberal cast knows what to do about Glenn Beck.

We don't know what he's saying. What he means. What he wants. Or really who he is.

Rupert Murdoch, who pays him, doesn't know either. Those exact questions above have worried him and he's tried to have the discussion about Beck's nature with Roger Ailes, the Fox chief who hired him, but gotten no real satisfaction. Murdoch's wife, Wendi, makes fun of Beck. She's quite a funny woman, and Beck is one of her punchlines. She says Beck's name and guffaws and follows up with waves of titters--which makes her husband scowl. Murdoch's children, with their controlling stake in News Corp., have also asked all of the above questions with some concern--and with no answers.

Without reasonable explanation, Beck has become a force in the land. Possibly a mighty one.

Or not. He's just a talk-show novelty. That's actually what Ailes told Murdoch, because Ailes doesn't like his performers, who he regards mostly as props and children, to be bigger than him. That's the tragedy of Roger Ailes. He is so good at picking strange talent that they become bigger than him. Murdoch is afraid of Ailes. But Ailes is afraid of Bill O'Reilly. (Bill O'Reilly, it is said, is afraid of Glenn Beck.)

Glenn Beck's rally in Washington over the weekend was, it seemed, conducted in a secret language. Many signals were obviously being sent but nobody whose job it is to interpret signals could interpret them.

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