While polls show more people drifting away from acceptance of “global warming,” the newest superstar among conservatives – Glenn Beck – is embracing it, according to an interview story in a leading national Sunday-newspaper magazine.
“You’d be an idiot not to notice the temperature change,” he says.
He also thinks it could be caused partly by man’s activity.
At home, he’s going green by using energy-saving products.
“I’m willing to do anything but use the CFLs,” he says of compact fluorescent light bulbs. “I put them in once and couldn’t stand the way they lit up the room.”
The kinder, gentler, greener and warmer side of Beck, known as a firebrand conservative, came to light in an interview in USA Weekend, which is distributed through more than 600 newspapers.
On his top-rated nationally syndicated morning radio show and Fox News Channel television program Beck has been a frequent critic of scientists and advocates such as Al Gore
who contend man is causing catastrophic changes in the Earth’s climate.
On his Feb. 15 Fox News show,
he chastised President Obama for moving forward with the
“cap-and-trade” environmental bill in Congress, despite a recent string
of revelations casting doubt on the science behind the legislation.
Beck also has lots of friends on the other side of the political spectrum, he reveals in the USA Weekend piece. He calls George Clooney “a good, honest man.” Beck says the two of them had an extended conversation about the genocide in Darfur.
“We came to an immediate, completely wholehearted agreement about the situation,” Beck says. “That is, to put aside the politics and give troops what they need to protect people over there. He’s a good, honest man who believes passionately about doing something about it.”
Beck’s personal publicist, Matt Hiltzik, is a Democratic power player who helped get Hillary Rodham Clinton elected to the U.S. Senate, says the magazine report.
“And let me tell you about Liz Julis, the editor of my magazine, Fusion,” he says. “Every year, I match charitable donations that my employees make. She ends up giving her money away to some hippie hemp farm somewhere, and she loves to rub it in that I’m writing a check for something like that. She’s one of my favorite people because we hardly agree on anything, but we challenge each other.”
Beck also explains how he chose Mormonism as his religion.
He was raised Catholic and wasn’t practicing any faith when he met his current wife, Tania, says the report. When she insisted that a church needed to be a part of their family’s life, they began church shopping.
“We tried ’em all,” Beck says. “Unitarian, Episcopalian, Baptist, even a synagogue. We ended up with the Church of Latter-day Saints because I took my daughters from my first marriage there, and they said, ‘Dad, this place makes us feel warm and welcome inside. Can we come back?'”
Beck also reveals he’s no fan of Ronald Reagan whom he blames for driving up the deficits.
“Republicans sold the American people out,” Beck says. “I’ve always said I was a Reagan-style conservative. But I don’t think Reagan was a real Republican. He just maintained some shared values.”
‘I don’t think I said them’
On his morning radio show Friday, Beck discussed the USA Weekend story with regular on-air figures Pat Gray and Executive Producer Stu Burguiere.
Referring to the story’s listing of “10 things you never thought you’d hear from Glenn Beck,” Beck said, “In fact, I read it, and there are like four things in there I never thought I’d hear from Glenn Beck, because I don’t think I said them.”
In the transcript of Friday’s conversation posted on his website, he doesn’t mention global warming, addressing only writer Dennis McCafferty’s “totally bizarre”
handling of his comments on Reagan and his use of flourescent bulbs.
Gray asks: “When did you say Reagan wasn’t even a Republican? I don’t remember that.”
“I have no idea,” Beck replies.
Burguiere offers: “I guess he was saying something like, you know, he really cared about principles over parties although, you know, he definitely they …
Beck jumps in: “But I don’t think that’s the way it was written. I mean, it was written in a way that I was like, yeah, I mean, we had a couple of things in common, but I don’t even think he was a Republican. What?”
Beck says Reagan was the only president since Calvin Coolidge to not have “real progressive roots in him,” referring to the left-leaning, big-government movement that began with Presidents Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt.
On fluorescent light bulbs, Beck explained that the bulbs were there when he bought his house, and he removed them.
“There’s no way I put those fluorescent light bulbs in my house. I hate them.”