Whether you love Glenn Beck or can’t stand him, I think we can all agree the man has a rather shrewd flair for the dramatic. And so it was this past Saturday that the talk show host decided to reveal to a live audience in Salt Lake City that he’s suffering from macular dystrophy, a genetic disease that causes progressive blindness. Beck told the audience he could go blind within a year… or not. You can watch the video below:
If you’re too lazy to hear Beck talk about his illness, or you just don’t like hearing Beck speak, fear not. Here’s the key part of Beck’s confession for you to read. No audio required.
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A couple of weeks ago I went to the doctor because of my eyes, I can't focus my eyes...he did all kinds of tests and he said, 'you have macular dystrophy ...you could go blind in the next year. Or, you might not.' I said, did you just charge me a thousand dollars for knowing what I knew my whole life?
Coincidentally, Beck’s conservative colleague Rush Limbaugh has struggled with increasing deafness for years now. If the two men decided to live together, it would just be like watching a conservative remake of “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” (Beck would be playing Richard Pryor’s role).
I shouldn’t goof on Beck’s affliction. But Beck has shed so many crocodile tears over the course of his career (“I love my country… AND I FEAR FOR IT”) that even a personal confession as painful as this one is still bound to cause many of Beck’s detractors to accuse him of being melodramatic or untruthful. He did, after all, use his confession to take a jab at national health care reform.
In essence, Beck has made a living off of being the boy who cried wolf. Obama will steal your kids! The government will practice mind control! LIBERAL CYBORGS WILL KILL YOU IF YOU DON’T RECYCLE! It’s hard to take anything he says seriously, particularly given that Beck started out as a comedian (and still does comedy shows). And that’s a shame, because now Beck is suffering from a very serious condition. But he’s spent so much time exploiting various tragedies, that’s it’s impossible to know if he’s exploiting his own.