First, let's take a look at Beck in his newly bestowed honor as Media Matters misinformer of the year. I would have voted him as misinformer of the decade.
So how do Beck and Gribble compare?
Gribble's political views are described as such:
Dale is highly suspicious of all levels of government and ardently defends his Second Amendment rights, once remarking, "Guns don't kill people; the government does." Dale also refuses to pay taxes, does not vote ("The Perils of Polling"), and occasionally prints his own currency (Hank Hill typically appearing on the "Hundred-Gribble bill"). He runs away and sweats a lot when the IRS comes knocking on his door. In the episode "Movin' On Up", he refused to give Hank his social security number so the quartet of friends could rent a house on the block to use as a clubhouse. In another episode, he believed the government had tested "deadly placebo drugs" on Bill, supposedly made by "Puh-fizer"
Let's take stock here.
- Suspicious of all gov't - check
- Second Amendment defender - check
- Refuses of pay taxes - Glenn is very anti-tax but hasn't yet said if he pays or not
- Does not vote - Beck hasn't ever stated whether he voted last November or not
- Prints his own currency - Beck loves gold above the dollar, so to that end he seems very anti-currency
- Runs away from the IRS - considering Beck's stance on taxation, it's a fair assumption he wouldn't want to have dinner with them
- Protective of personal information - check
- Gov't tests drugs on people - Beck's been quoted as being very anti-H1N1 vaccine, so that's an affirmative to that one.
Considering the vagueness of a few of these, I'd say that Beck and Gribble are a pretty good political match.
From completely misunderstanding things like internet, medicine, as well as both being purveyors of wild conspiracy theories, and talk-radio hosts ( thought Gribbles fizzled out after some time ) it's almost like these men are brothers of a sort. Also, the two like to draw American flags and are obnoxiously patriotic.
But the part where the two deviate is key to the reason that Dale Gribble - a cartoon character - is actually smarter than Glenn Beck - allegedly a real person. Dale usually doesn't let his hubris get the best of him. Many times, after realizing the full impact of what he is doing, he can quite honest and forthcoming - often trusting his friends more than his own judgement. Beck isn't like that at all.
There is, however, a sense that Glenn Beck knows what he's doing, that it's all just an act. It's been alleged that Sean Hannity is this same way. Keith Olbermann even stated on his program that Hannity once approached him laughing and stated "people actually think we hate each other". Is Beck this same way - is it all just smoke and mirrors? If it is, then millions of people have been duped. If it's not, then Beck will go down in history as the Right's version of Alex Jones.
As an after-thought, wouldn't it be great to see an episode of King of the Hill where Gribble watches Beck's Fox program and listens to his radio show and has some life changing experience where he suddenly sees he's not a crazy as people think he is - that Beck is the mecca of insanity.