You don't have to be a fan of Glenn Beck's moonlighting as a fiction writer to be a little stunned at the audacity of The Washington Post today. Post book editor Steven Levingston mocks the prose of Beck's new novel The Overton Window on the front of Tuesday's Style section, including its patriotic character Molly Ross proclaiming ""There's nothing I wouldn't give up to defend my country...No matter how hard it might be, there's nothing that's in my power that I wouldn't do." But then he suggests Beck will inspire the next Oklahoma City-style terrorist act:
The danger of books like this is that radical readers may take the story's fiction for fact, or interpret the fiction -- which Beck encourages -- as a reflection of a reality that they must fend off by any means necessary. "The Overton Window" risks falling into the tradition of other anti-government novels such as "The Turner Diaries" by William L. Pierce, which became a handbook of extremists and inspired Timothy McVeigh to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. As Beck tells his soldiers in the voice of Noah: "Put up or shut up . . . go hard or go home. Freedom is the rare exception . . . not the rule, and if you want it you've got to do your part to keep it."
I have not read the book, but I doubt it's a racist manifesto like "The Turner Diaries." Levingston's quotations here don't exactly suggest his characters are saying "let's blow up a federal building with an ammonia bomb."
Levingston has a blog on the Post website called Political Bookworm. Last month, he publicized two leftist authors of the book "Over the Cliff: How the Obama Election Drove the American Right Insane."