If you've read Glenn Beck's "thriller" [sic] novel The Overton Window, then you know it is a work of "faction" that blends fact and fiction to portray a conspiracy that -- despite being completely nonsensical -- could very well happen in real life.
The conspiracy Beck lays out in The Overton Window is as follows: an evil PR genius engineers a complex scheme to detonate a nuclear weapon outside Harry Reid's office and blame it on a group of patriotic, tea party-like Americans who are dangerous because they love their country so much. The explosion is supposed to shock the nation into adopting a crypto-socialist form of government that an unidentified shadowy group of progressives and plutocrats want to impose because they hate freedom and are jerks. Confused? Good.
As part of his promotional campaign for The Overton Window, Beck routinely played up the "it's fiction... or IS IT?" routine, telling his audience that it shows "what could possibly be coming our way." Well -- wouldn't you know it? -- Beck has learned that the Overton Window conspiracy is really real, and -- SPOILER ALERT -- Glenn Beck is at the center of it.
Last night on his Fox News show, Beck went after Democratic pollster Mark Penn for saying of Barack Obama on Hardball a few days ago: "The president himself has to reconnect with the people. Remember, President Clinton reconnected through Oklahoma [City]. And the president right now, he seems removed. And it wasn't until that speech that he re-clicked with the American public. Obama needs a similar kind of event."
Saying that the "left need[s] this violence," Beck linked Penn's mention of the Oklahoma City bombing to Tides Foundation founder Drummond Pike's letter to Beck's advertisers asking them to drop Beck for his violent rhetoric because "no one ... wants to see another Oklahoma City." From these spindly threads, Beck saw the full conspiratorial tapestry: "They are setting up another Oklahoma City. They are claiming that one is coming. And they've already marked the one who caused it."
It makes sense when you (don't) think about it -- after all, what better way to plan a secret terrorist attack against your own country than to talk about it on cable news and in publicly released letters to major corporations?