Rightwing Pundits Belong on the Fiction Lists

Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin have crafted paranoid masterpieces
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2009 2:04 PM CDT
Radio host Glenn Beck has been a fixture in nonfiction bestseller lists for much of this year.   (AP Photo/Mike Mergen, file)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) Salon writer Steve Almond has seen the future of literary fiction and it looks like Glenn Beck. Right-wing pundits like Beck and Michelle Malkin have dominated non-fiction bestseller lists since President Obama took office, Almond notes. A close read finds that their works aren't the "psychotic, fact-challenged rants of the mad" they may seem to be, but "carefully crafted metafictions" that belong to a fine literary tradition.

Beck and his ilk have created works "in which the mundane terrors of cultural dislocation are recast as riveting epics of paranoia," Almond writes, creating a counternarrative to reality in which an election loss is actually a sinister coup d'etat. The narrators "Glenn Beck" and "Michelle Malkin," with their multiple neuroses and paranoid worldview, are plainly satirical characters crafted by masters, Almond concludes, and will be much discussed by the literary historians of the future.