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Saturday, July 3, 2010
Patten's Sycophantic Promotion of Beck Book
Topic: Newsmax

David Patten's July 2 Newsmax article on Glenn Beck is sycophantic fluff -- half fawning review of Beck's new "faction" book "The Overton Window," and half softball interview of Beck.

Patten's "review" might as well be a press release. He begins it by pointing out that it "debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller list – marking six consecutive occasions that a Beck book has grabbed the top position." Patten then baselessly claims a book-reviewing double standard:

Left-leaning authors who resort to the simplistic stereotypes of conservatives common to Hollywood movies are free to conjure the most grotesque global-Armageddon scenarios imaginable. That's just fine.

But when Beck proposes a rather toned-down variation on that theme, it's a different story. In fact, one reviewer suggested a well-thumbed copy of “The Overton Window” might one day be found nestled among empty ammo cases belonging to the next Timothy McVeigh-style extremist. 

There, that should teach that Beck guy to write best-sellers! 

Patten offers no evidence to back up this claim. Then again, he's too busy slobbering over Beck's book:

A fanciful tale? You might think so, until you page through its 28-page afterword, with authoritative sources and notes that suggest Beck is dead serious when he calls the book "faction." He defines that as "completely fictional books with plots rooted in fact."

Indeed, when Newsmax asked the Fox News host how close he believes the nation really is to an Overton Window shift, he replies without hesitation: "I think we're living in one now."

Given that Vince Flynn, Nelson DeMille and Brad Thor all have heaped praise on “The Overton Window,” it goes without saying that the book is an entertaining, thought-provoking read.

And with every book that flies off the shelves, readers receive an extra bonus: The certain knowledge that their purchase will help to drive Beck's critics crazy. 

Patten's "exclusive Newsmax interview" with Beck is no less fluffy, with Patten serving up softball after softball. Like:

  • How close are we to a real Overton Window-type event in our country?
  • Why is it when progressives write something, it's reviewed and accepted, but there's a tremendous double standard for a conservative writer.
  • Considering the cheap shots taken at your book and the work of other conservatives, do you perceive a Saul Alinsky approach, using ridicule to destroy your opponent?

Needless to say, Beck serves up the answers you'd expect. There's no way he would have agreed to be interviewed Newsmax if Patten was going to ask anything remotely challenging or uncomfortable.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:41 PM EDT

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