But Glen Beck also says he wants to debunk myths about swine flu. Still, he joins many - including liberal bloggers - who are wary of getting a flu shot.
Conspiracy-theorist-in-chief Glenn Back at Fox News has spent much of the week railing against the World Health Organization and the Obama administration, saying they've hyped the swine flu pandemic and the merits of a $3 billion vaccination program.
Bottom line from Mr. Beck: Perhaps Americans' safest option is to do the opposite of what the government wants them to do.
But the much-beloved/much-reviled host was uncharacteristically coy about his own vaccination plans during an hour-long show about the swine flu Thursday night: He’s refusing to say whether he will get the shot. “I’m trying to give you the facts tonight, with no opinion,” Beck said at the top of the show.
That stance contrasts sharply with his statements on a show Sept. 29, when he said his inclination was to attend a "flu party" where people deliberately expose themselves to the virus. (The thinking behind that unorthodox idea is that in this way people will strengthen their immune systems -- what they see as a sort of natural vaccination.)
"People just feel in their gut, 'I don't trust these people any more', ” Beck said Sept. 2 of the government and its representatives. “They think our government could be so incompetent that they don't have any clue as to what they are doing."
The to-vaccinate-or-not-to-vaccinate debate has been raging for weeks in the blogosphere, at water coolers, and among parents -- even causing the Centers for Disease Control to deploy "myth busters" to try to quell the public's concerns. It's a serious issue with serious implications about people's rights and responsibilities, but it's also become made-for-TV theater.
At Fox, Beck antagonist Bill O’Reilly chided him during Thursday night’s “Beck and Call” segment, noting that it’s a rare day when Beck doesn’t say exactly what he thinks.