Writer Alexander Zaitchik sat down with mediabistro.com for a “Hey, How’d You Do That” feature interview about his new book, Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance. Here’s an excerpt:
You sold this book in March 2009, just a couple of months after Beck’s launch on Fox News. How did you get the idea to write a book about him so early?
I was having lunch with an editor at Wiley & Sons, discussing another proposal that couldn’t have been more different, something about India. At some point, we started talking about American politics. This was around the time of Beck’s famous “We Surround Them” special on Fox, the one where he opened by crying and mumbling about how much he loved his country, and feared for it, et cetera. It was already a YouTube classic, and we laughed about how weird it all was. But that was it. I went home that day thinking I was headed back to India. That night I started looking into Beck and saw that there was this subculture developing — Beck viewing parties, Beck meet-ups, stuff like that, all across the country. And this was a full month before Rick Santelli got the Tea Party thing going. It was obvious that something was bubbling underneath Beck’s demo that was unique, more Palin than Hannity.
The full interview can be read here if you’re a mediabistro.com AvantGuild member.