Posted by: Rick | Friday, September 25, 2009

Glenn Beck’s “Arguing With Idiots”: A Flop?

I’ve been in the retail book business for years, and I’m not thrilled with the sales of Glenn’s latest effort. I know it’s early — the thing only came out on Tuesday — but I don’t quite feel the blockbuster vibe I felt with The Christmas Sweater or An Inconvenient Book.  Those were monsters right out of the gate.

I do like the cover (Nazi officer? East German polizei?  Who cares?  In a media season featuring Inglourious Basterds, Beck definitely looks cool here), but it smacks a bit of desperation.

Don’t get me wrong.  Arguing With Idiots will wind up under the Christmas trees of half the wingnuts in America.  I just think the thrill might be gone.  Glenn might have shot his political wad with his paperback Common Sense and his ensuing teabagger crusade to kill “Obamacare.”

Here are two analagous authors: Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern.  They both published a couple of major hardcover bestsellers, and then realized that their fans had read enough.  Rush and Howard went back to full-time oral bullshitting, and their income streams didn’t suffer at all.

Glenn Beck’s politico-literary career may be winding down.  I see an edgy general interest talk show in his future, once he’s done separating today’s Obama-hating wingnuts from their beer money.



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