Inside the Mind of Glenn Beck, You Find…Walt Disney and Orson Welles? (#69)

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“When I turned 30, I knew my life was at a crossroads. It was either over, or I was going to restart.”

– Glenn Beck [9:10]

The goal of my blog and podcast is to push you outside of your comfort zone and force you to question assumptions.

This is why I invite divergent thinkers and world-class performers who often disagree. I might interview Tony Robbins and then Matt Mullenweg. Or I might have a long chat with Sam Harris, PhD, and later invite a seemingly opposite guest like…

Glenn Beck.

This interview is a wild ride, and it happened — oddly enough — thanks to a late-night sauna session. I was catching up with an old friend, who is mixed-race, a Brown University grad, and liberal in almost every sense of the word. I casually asked him, “If you could pick one person to be on the podcast, who would it be?”

“Glenn Beck,” he answered without a moment’s hesitation. “His story is FASCINATING.”

He described how Glenn hit rock bottom and restarted his life in his 30’s, well past the point most people think it possible. Fast forward to 2014, Forbes named him to their annual Celebrity 100 Power List and pegged his earnings at $90 million for that year. This placed him ahead of people like Mark Burnett, Jimmy Fallon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Will Smith. Glenn’s platforms — including radio, tv, digital (, publishing, etc. — get somewhere between 30 and 50 million unique visitors per month.

This interview is neither a “gotcha” interview nor a softball interview. I ask some tough questions (e.g. “If you were reborn as a disabled gay woman in a poor family, what political system would you want in place?”), but my primary goal is to pull out routines, habits, books, etc. that you can use. This show is about actionable insight, not argument for argument’s sake.

First and foremost, this is a story of entrepreneurship, and whether you love Glenn, hate Glenn, or have never heard his name, there is a lot to learn from him.

After listening to this (no tirades before, please), I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#69: Inside the Mind of Glenn Beck Is...Walt Disney and Orson Welles?

At one point in this episode, we discuss billionaire Peter Thiel, who was previously on the podcast. Here is Peter and my experimental “conversation.” We delve into his principles of entrepreneurship, building massive companies, value creation, and competition, among other things (stream below or right-click here to download):

Ep 28: Peter Thiel, Billionaire Investor and Company Creator on Investing, Business, and Life

This podcast is brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results.  Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade.  Give it a test run..

This episode is also sponsored by The Tim Ferriss Book Club. In my book club, I highlight amazing books that I love. The most recent addition is We Learn Nothing by Tim Kreider. You can find all of the books at or here.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: For you, what were the most valuable takeaways from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…


Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • The story of Glenn Beck’s sole class at Yale [8:15]
  • Facing the dark periods, and how bedtime stories helped him identify his alcoholism [17:10]
  • How to avoid the temptations of the past [20:22]
  • On common misconceptions [32:15]
  • Suggestions for finding common ground during debates [37:45]
  • Glenn Beck’s most often gifted book [41:30]
  • Why Glenn has made the decision to be less divisive [45:30]
  • Advice for becoming great on radio (or in audio) [49:00]
  • “What controversial thing do you believe that few people agree with you on?” [53:30]
  • What to focus on when building a fast-growing company [1:03:00]
  • Why he sometimes asks people “How is your soul?” [1:15:05]
  • Morning routines and habits [1:17:50]
  • What makes Glenn Beck effective as the center of a $90-million+ organization [1:22:45]
  • “Who’s the first person to come to mind when you think ‘successful?'” [1:26:50]
  • Glenn Beck’s fascination with Orson Welles and the story of Citizen Kane [1:28:05]
  • On Walt Disney [1:34:25]
  • Glenn Beck’s advice to his 30-year old self [1:38:25]

Podcast Listener Questions (Submitted via My Facebook Page)

Matt Brand – “If you were to be theoretically reborn as a disabled gay woman in a poor family, what political system would you want in place?” [1:43:05]

Alex Kirby – “What are some of the things we can do to ‘rebrand’ capitalism and encourage entrepreneurship here (in the US) and abroad?” [1:39:35]

[Name sadly inaudible] – “If you were to leave people with one piece of advice, or a question they could ask themselves, what would that be?” [1:44:35]

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)

225 Replies to “Inside the Mind of Glenn Beck, You Find…Walt Disney and Orson Welles? (#69)”

  1. To question everything boldly. I never paid much attention to Glenn Beck in the past, but he gained my respect with this statement as well as how honestly open minded he seemed to be.

  2. Not finished with the entire episode, but I already love it. I used to listen to Glenn’s radio and TV shows pretty regular. Since then, for various reason, I’ve moved to the center-left politically. I still subscribe to his newsletters. I still admire Glenn and always wish him the very best. Tim, your variety of guests is perfect. Keep up the good work.

    1. “I won’t be listening to this episode.”

      Translation: “I have no interest in understanding an opposing view, nor an interest in firmly opposing that view based on fact,”

      In other words:


      1. Some people are beyond the pale. Glenn Beck is one of those people. My mind is open, but my brain is still in there.

    2. You should really give it a go. There is a very limited discussion of politics and of what there is, I think you would be surprised with his views. Fox News Glenn Beck is different than the real Glenn Beck

      1. That’s reason enough not to listen to this show. He’s a hypocrite and a liar. Why anyone would listen to him, much less give him a microphone is beyond me.

      2. Agreed. Even if this is a manipulation of his real views in some way, its an insightful and entertaining one. Who knows? Maybe this is the real Glenn Beck.

    3. Are you afraid you might hear that he is a reasonable man with differing opinions? I know the thought is troubling, but that is how we grow.

  3. I personally loved this podcast as much as I wince at times when listening to Glenn Beck I have to respect the guy. It was good to hear him talk about listening to people who are doing things differently. One defining comment he makes is when he says something to the effect

    “don’t listen to the media because they don’t include the people who are really changing the world because they know the world that they are creating does include them”.

    Or something like that, either way great podcast.

    1. What he said was closer to: “Let people see what’s really happening in America. The media is full of crap. Nobody in the media is empowered to tell the story of the people who are re-inventing the world because the world they are re-inventing does not include the people who have the power right now.”

  4. Never been a Beck fan, no matter how “successful” he is. But do appreciate the diversity in the podcast. There’s always something to learn from the insights of people making things happen. Thanks for posting.

    1. Totally agree. Pretty boring world where you only listen to people you already agree with. Not a fan of Beck’s at all – and for that reason one of the more interesting podcasts Tim has done in a while.

  5. whoa! this would be the last person I would have thought you would interview;

    this is surreal; now that’s what I call stepping out of your comfort zone!

  6. I found this fascinating. Great questions, Tim. I only knew this guy by his reputation (or the reputation of his flock), but had never listened to him speak. He’s obviously brilliant at getting things done, and asks powerful questions, both of himself and others.

    Thanks for bringing new people into my earbuds! Cheers, Allen

  7. Incredible stuff. I think most libertarians reject Glenn Beck as “one of us,” but who cares? He’s cool dude worth listening to.

  8. Honestly, you’ve never had a low from the stand point of content. You’ve maintained an association with people of class and high impact mindset. But this time, unfortunately.. I’d hate to say it, but this man, despite how he presents himself here, is everything everyone else you’ve interviewed isn’t.

  9. I know three people who’ve made appearances on Glenn Beck’s program –– three very liberal, left-leaning people –- and they’ve all told me the exact same thing, namely, that “Glenn Beck is THEE nicest guy in the world.”

    While this is great to hear –– and really, the world does need more nice people –– I have to admit that the dissonance between the “nicest guy in the world” I keep hearing about and the overtly race baiting character I see when watching the guy on TV (e.g.: “President Obama doesn’t like white people.”) is so striking, well, I have to wonder if there isn’t some sort of bi-polar disorder at play with Mr. Beck’s personality.

    Anyways, you did get some fascinating stories out of the man, and he truly is an “interesting character.” Keep bringing more fascinating and interesting folks onto the podcast

    1. Is there anyone more race baiting than an American leftist?

      You even have apartheid racial quotas in your country.

  10. Hey Tim,

    I really appreciated this interview. It is a shame that some people won’t listen to it because of their misconceptions of Beck. Sure, I don’t agree with him on things but it was a good interview.

  11. Tim, solid interview. World-class not-taking-sides. Only critique: can you edit out all the “uh”‘s? I understand fully that live-chat has all kinds of “uh”‘s but it’s awfully annoying when you’re listening to it not-live. Keep up the good work!

  12. This was an interesting interview and you did a great job with it. He adds diversity to an already impressive mixture of guests. I learned a lot more about him, and his genuine/authentic nature really shines through.

    That said, I feel that Glenn Beck is the smartest dumb person in media. He lacks the intellectual horsepower to fully comprehend the nuance involved in a lot of the issues that he weighs in on.

    People like Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh (and their liberal equivalents — like the The Young Turks guy — not partisan here) are one-dimensional enough to never have to really take too seriously in the first place. They lack awareness, and solely espouse black and white viewpoints. Spring break is bad! The Obamacare birth control lady is a slut!

    It’s clear that Glenn is really trying his best to take it all in, and to come up with what he believes to be the right answers. You could call him a bit of a “maverick” in this regard, as its not just a liberal versus conservative thing (and indeed, libertarianism does blend both elements).

    I just don’t get the sense that he can be considered an authority on anything that actually matters. It’s enlightening when someone who made 90 million dollars off of his brand last year starts off an interview with admitting that he is just bluffing his way through life. That wasn’t false modesty. He was just being brutally honest.

    One element of a worthy idea/person/etc in the marketplace is traction, but that is not the only benchmark. “The Chive” is a hugely popular website too. That doesn’t mean its the best place to get your news (though that’s exactly what millions of people do). The most commercially successful movie of 2014 was Transformers: Age of Extinction, which grossed over 1B worldwide and has a rotten tomatoes rating of 18% (with top critics, its 5%). Conspicuously, it was absent from the Academy Awards. Whereas a movie like Boyhood grossed 4% of that amount.

    An outsiders perspective can bring needed context to the establishments hivemind, but without enough intellectual capability to set its own superior boundaries, it just as easily veers off into left field, and that is where he runs into problems. He’s winging his way not only through hiring decisions and story headlines, but his entire worldview as well. A lot of the web content he repackages represents both the best and the worst of the journalistic abilities of the internet. Though he has a good soul, he’s a lowest-common denominator thought leader that should not be taken too seriously.

    1. Respect for the comment. It was balanced and focused with no character assassination.

      Weren’t you the guy that trialed low dose LSD and commented about it a while back?

      1. It’s an interesting concept for sure, and seems to be gaining some interest and momentum. Was really cool hearing Tim and James Fadiman talk about it so extensively. For people on the fence about trying this stuff, its good to know that its not all or nothing, you can dip your toes in the water first with reduced risk.

      2. I’ve been experimenting with microhits of LSD since Tim’s interview with James Fadiman and it’s been an incredibly positive experience. I’ve never been so emotionally stable, positive, loving, tolerant and patient. My gf has being doing it too and I’m blown away by how it’s helped her to embrace a mindful mindset and not let her emotions drive her behavior. She is calmer and just overall nicer to everyone.

        I’m also finding that I can work creatively for longer durations (I’m an artist, musician, and a software dev) and I find it easier to start my work. I’m developing more grit.

        I think the key is the you have to want these things in your life. They don’t just magically appear because of the drug. Or maybe it does. I’m not a scientist :P. I’ve been actively working to improve all aspects of my life – especially my psyche – for years now. Fuel was added to the fire after my first mushroom trip, then I got a leg up from books and more recently podcasts, then mindfulness meditation, and now microdosing. It seems to be the most potent catalyst or amplifier so far. But then again I’m starting the experiment with some momentum so it’s hard to say if it would have been as effective if I did this years ago. I’m also aware of the placebo effect but I really don’t care if that’s in part here at all because the end results are real and enjoyable.

        I haven’t been mediating much lately so I’m excited to see where that takes me once I get back into the routine. Before microdosing, mediation was the best tool I had for seemingly permanent mental improvements. I want to blog about my experiences since March 20th but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to connect my name to a log of my ongoing drug experiments. I’ll have to look into that.

    2. The 90 million he made is no bluff and must be at least faintly comparable to experimentation with low-dose LSD in terms of last year’s accomplishments. And I do respect him for not weighing in on things that really matter, such as box office receipts, a tacit admission that he lacks the intellectual horsepower to process such lofty matters.

    3. Todd S, the problem with your comment is that you think you are a brilliant intellect and therefore qualified to identify other brilliant intellects. But, you don’t stop there, you also feel the need to advise us on who we should and should not take seriously. I think we can make that decision for ourselves. A little humility would go a long way…

  13. I’m not surprised at all that you interviewed Glen Beck. You are a high integrity guy, and you walk your talk. Great interview, great quotes from Glenn Beck.

  14. Can you post text of these interviews? I read 10x faster than I listen, so audio is an inefficient communication medium for me.

    1. Also, I’m hearing impaired and can’t listen to interviews. I’ve been interested in EVERY one of these, and I keep looking to see if there’s transcripts. It’s sad when there aren’t. I’d pay for them.

    2. I am Mexican and proficient enough in english, but the rest of the people I know would, with difficulty, take years to be able to understand spoken english. In lieu of translations, if english is your second language, it is much more easier to read it instead of hearing it. If this blog is to have waaaay more impact, and especially impact in the places it is needed the most, a collaborative volunteer project to transcript the podcasts should emerge, much a la TED. Unfortunately, I do not possess the energy to start it myself.

    3. Agreed. Podcasts make sense for when someone is in a car or just going on foot somewhere listening – well it can be a bit dangerous. For those at home with family, or that want to spend less time while reading. It is also faster to “rewind”.

      Podcasts forces people to spend too much time generaly.

  15. Tim, thank you for conducting an interview that was not aimed from the outset at proving some pre-conceived notion correct. It’s a quality that dreadfully few interviewers share with you these days (and I’m reflective enough to realize that includes interviewers of all types).

  16. I was impressed with Glenn–thoughtful, open, smart — but was also really impressed with Tim’s interview skills — good questions and tremendous preparation. Really remarkable.

  17. Tim, this was possibly your most important show, in terms of stretching yourself and your audience. The pace of the questioning and how you pushed for more detail at the right moments was on the level. Well done. I specifically was moved by his personal story e.g. losing his mother. I know you like data, so wanted to let you know that I listened to the whole show in one-sitting.

  18. Thanks for interviewing Glenn. As likely one of the few fans of yours who values his input and work, it was nice to get a deeper look at the guy. Your questions brought out a lot that I didn’t know about him. Definitely good material.

  19. Of course he’s interesting. Narcissists have charisma and personality. Character and ethics? Ehhh…..not so much. This is the stuff that fuels the so-called renaissance in TV entertainment today. Hello, BREAKING BAD, MAD MEN, GAME OF THRONES. Egomaniacs run amok. Oohhhh, how we just lap that up! They provide us a fantasy world to imagine ourselves playing with our darkest impulses. If Glenn Beck is NOT a confirmed narcissist, I’ll eat my hat.

  20. Most valuable takeaways: principles unite and interests divide, and seek out others who are making new systems

  21. Excellent interview. You humanize a person who is to many, a cartoon. I think you should do more controversial polarizing figures. Because like Beck said, “I can tell you don’t have an agenda”. That makes all the difference – you just seek to learn, explore and dig, and that attitude disarms people and causes them to open up.

  22. Tim,

    I’ve been a Glenn Beck fan for years and I can tell from this interview that you don’t know the man very well and yet you got stories and answers to questions that I’ve really wanted to know for years. That is stunningly impressive. I’m gonna have to listen to more of your podcasts.

    I will tell you why I’m a Glenn Beck fan as an answer to your first question to him of “what do your friends think you are world-class at?” He speaks the truth no matter where it leads him. He is committed to researching and verifying the accuracy of the news. He is hacking at the roots of evil when others are plucking off a few leaves. He has an excellent gut feel for what news stories are truly important, and the stories that we as listeners can do something about. And he does it with flair and humor and authenticity. IMO no one else in the media even comes close. Which is too bad because all our media should be full of the truth, but sadly it just isn’t.

  23. I am new to this blog, found you (Tim) out today, but immediately I was very interested in you, but if I had to ask one question (about something I have been researching) is what is your personality type. Like everyone I am interested in I want to learn things about them. I am not even sure you read these comments or not, but I will continue to read your blog.

  24. Why does Tim so heavily preface Beck’s interview? Does Tim think his own audience will reject it?

    1. I love Tim, but… yes – I wondered about this too. This thing is more heavily prefaced than a lawn darts manual

    2. Found it frustrating but wrote it off to living in Cali. 😉 Of course part of the audience will disagree with GB, as a portion will of just about every guest. I tend to disagree with something in every interview and am fine with that. (OK, maybe no disagreements with Matt M – I was wow’d.)

  25. Glenn Beck is trying very hard to reinvent and rebrand himself as something different from his previous versions. Glenn Beck v2.0 makes for a good interview and he successfully comes across as a ‘decent’, ‘tolerant’ and ‘open’ man.

    The frequent pauses and constant searching for the ‘correct’ responses, indicated a more calculating and insincere undercurrent. The stories confirmed a concrete fact: he can live a lie and no-one will notice. He’s a born showman…the show must go on!

    1. I took the pauses and halting responses as indication he was trying to respond as honestly and thoughtfully as possible, not trying to hide something.

  26. Sadly, Tim you demonstrate one of the greatest shortcomings of the success and self help movements, namely, treating success as a morally neutral endeavor.

  27. You should get Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame. His recent book, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life” is right up your ally, and he’s just over in the east bay. Reading it, it’s clear he was going to get rich somehow, but that it was drawing a comic was largely luck. Some good thoughts on how to decided if you should give up on something or keep going, as well.

  28. Excellent interview! Never new much about Glenn, didn’t really give him much notice before, but this conversation was really worth listening to.

  29. Really unfortunate this individual would be getting more air-time then necessary. With pre-emptive justifications provided for why this interview went ahead, seems to open doors to interview a host of other individuals with discriminatory exegesis – this is not another perspective, just more oppressive, offensive drivel. I am very disappointed.

  30. It’s a fantastic idea to bring more diversity into your podcast. Aside from the occasional woman or person of color, the vast majority of people you interview are white, straight men between 20-50 years old. Not exactly diverse. I really enjoy many of your podcasts, but it gets boring after awhile listening to similar perspectives over and over again.

  31. When I first discovered that you conducted an interview with Glenn, it made me feel uncomfortable and confused that you would bother considering him as a worthy candidate of the Tim Ferriss Show. Then I began listening and I realized, probably like many others, that I actually have no idea who Glenn really is and just made assumptions based on his time with Fox as well as with his religious beliefs.

    Thank you; this was enlightening and a great interview generally, with a tone that was more serious than expected at times– a bit refreshing, as I do enjoy the comedy and lightheartedness that most episodes contain, but it was a nice change of pace to listen to what was said in this one. Understanding Glenn’s Dark periods in life and how he reacted to them uplifted me as I personally maneuver a current low in mine.

  32. I have to say — I didn’t know much about Glenn Beck, but I hated him. After this podcast I have a better opinion of him.

    1. This is a VERY important comment: “I didn’t know much about Glenn Beck, but I hated him.”

      Why did you hate him? Who convinced you that he should be hated? How does being taught to hate someone that you don’t know limit you personally? How does it affect the country?

  33. I downloaded the interview with Mr. Beck. Thank you, Tim, for doing it. It was fascinating. I learned a lot. And I find that I really like the guy.

    I wouldn’t agree with everything he says, of course, because how would that even be possible for two people to do? But I lean to the basic principles that he (and you) talk about.

    This interview made me think about how I approach my day in a constructively critical way. I’ll listen to it again, more than once certainly.

    Thanks again.

  34. – Hate everything this guy stands for.

    – Love Tim’s podcast.

    = Going to give this episode a listen. Maybe i’ll learn something. Always keep your door ajar.

  35. Love this episode. Does anyone know which version of “Stone Soup” Glenn referred to, or which author? It is not in the show notes and there are several versions on audible and amazon to choose from. It was mentioned as “essential reading” for any entrepreneur…

  36. As someone that dislikes Beck’s sometimes pompous behavior I will admit that this was one of the best podcasts I’ve listened to in a long time. Very informative and down to Earth. You did a great job showcasing his fascinating story and humanity. Kudos, Tim.

  37. I found it really interesting, a lot of people have gone through a similar crisis and question their upbringing and beliefs, read the same books he did and come to a rather different conclusion. They become more rationally minded, and often become atheist and skeptical. Maybe because he was more of a ‘gut guy’ he went the other direction, becoming devoutly religious and in some ways a bit of a crank.

    Skeptics and cranks can be like two sides of the same coin, much like libertarian progressives and conservatives.

      1. Precisely like Freedom and Equality are opposites. A Progressive is someone that forces their “view” in others by every way possible. A Libertarian is someone that let others live and accepts difference.

  38. Great show Tim, appreciate the open mindedness! I’ve not be exposed to Glenn but I read your book years ago and have been compelled to join your list and dive in. I’m a God guy too, thanks for asking the questions that we all had/have.

  39. Blown away by this interview. Two firsts (I think): 1. Entire episode without one F-bomb. 2. First time I realized Beck and I agree on a whole lot. Who would’ve though? Great job, probably my favorite interview.

  40. Excellent interview!

    I have always enjoyed listening to Beck. It’s nice to see that he’s not perfect. I am also very concerned with the state of America and the whole Iran/ISIS situation that is growing like crazy!

    It’s scary to see Americans focused on petty disagreements and ignoring the real threat in the world (Nuclear Warfare)

    Thanks for this interview, Tim!


    Seth Riley

  41. Carl Sagan’s name is mentioned — I must listen to this episode to hear what the relationship between the names Glenn Beck and Carl Sagan are. I never would have associated those two names in a million years!

  42. Tim,

    Thanks for having Glenn on the program. I, like your friend, was hoping you’d interview someone like him — mostly to add some diversity of thought to the program, plus he does have a lot of cool stories. I think he’s widely misunderstood by the public and this interview helped break down those misperceptions.

  43. I did not have 5 FREE MINUTES today. But I started listening to your Glenn Beck interview — and listened all the way through — twice. Your were an absolute pro, and Glenn was absolutely fascinating. I have always wondered, is Tim going to deconstruct religion someday? Thanks and keep up the podcasts. PP

  44. This exciting…like taking a trip to revitalize… especially when you have suffered a financial disconnect in life…you have this sense of challenge that gets you the latent energy from nowhere to gets you somewhere with a virtual connect to the energy others have used to become global men of influence.

  45. Great show. I really enjoyed the conversation.

    One question: Glenn says he doesn’t care about what other people think about him, but he cares deeply about what God thinks about him. Then he says the redemptive power of baptism/belief could be a complete sham, but that’s ok because it works for him. Does this imply that his belief in God is a means to achieve some other end?

    1. I think that was his way of trying to make it clear he’s not trying to force his concept of God onto everybody else. His faith is based on/confirmed by his personal experience, but he’s telling you it’s ok if you don’t accept that and allowing for the theoretical possibility that it “could be a complete sham”.

  46. I’ve read all three of your books Tim and listened to everyone one of your podcasts including your show with Kevin Rose and this interview along with Arnold’s were the best of the bunch. I appreciated the sincerity, the stories and would ask for a round 2 with Glen. Seems like he has many more stories to tell.

  47. It was great to learn about the real Glenn Beck. I especially enjoyed his discussion on avoiding attachment and impermanence. Favorite podcast thus far – incredible job with the impartial and revealing interview Tim!

  48. The #1 thing people who are not regular listeners of Beck don’t understand is that he is honest enough to be transparent as he has changed over the last 15 years. His critics want to portray him as the same guy who was on Fox News years ago, yet his outlook on the world has changed significantly since then. Today, he is all about love and finding common ground with each other–he has mostly left the political world and its games behind, and if you don’t get that you won’t get Beck.

    1. After listening to Tim’s podcast with Beck this morning I tuned into Beck’s radio show to find him deriding the President of the United States in the most juvenile vicious manner. He’s a horrible person who hasn’t changed one bit since GETTING FIRED ( he lied about that to Tim) from Fox “news”. He called President OBAMA a racist and, after a tireless letter-writing campaign started on Twitter, 300+ advertisers pulled their ads from his show and he was kicked to the curb. I find Beck reprehensible and, cloaked in his religious self-righteousness, he’ remains so cruel and incredibly petty.

      Tim conducted a very respectful interview but Beck is way beneath him. And, because Glenn Beck can’t tolerate anyone who disagrees with him he’s had me BLOCKED on Twitter for almost 4 years. A bully who can dish it out but really can’t take it.

      1. You realize the President is a racist though, right? The only way he isn’t is if you have one definition of “racism” for whites and another for everyone else. (The dual definition is common in modern liberalism though.)

        “And, because Glenn Beck can’t tolerate anyone who disagrees with him …”

        Is this a REAL complaint? Again, like the dual-definition of racism, the CORNERSTONE of the modern Democratic party is to hate, despise and lie about anyone different or who disagrees. It sounds like you’re a leftist but perhaps you’re not. But if you are then you really need to check your excuses/reasons for not tolerating Beck. They don’t hold any water if you’re a liberal.

  49. Tim, you’re a definitely world class interviewer because even from Glenn Beck you extracted the best of him.

    69 episodes… and I’m still dreaming of when you will interview Elon Musk?

    I heard in one of episodes that you saw Jeff Besos but didn’t want to disturb him with his family.

    I just hope you didn’t become “shy” and still are the “hungry” Tim Ferriss of 2007.

    If Kevin Rose did interview Elon Musk, why Tim Ferriss couldn’t?

    1. An Elon Musk interview would be insane. He’s the polar opposite of the 4 hour workweek, since his workweek has been 100+ hours for years! But despite working all those hours he’s still mega-productive.

  50. Tim, is there any way you can have your podcasts transcribed? That would save me a lot of time and still give me the chance to digest your content.

    1. No…and people stop you know how expensive that is. How do you not understand difference between podcast and article. Really funny people keep asking. They want to save time. Do you not have an hour a week? In a car, train, coffee shop… Try putting your podcast on higher speed. At 1.5 to 2 you’ll save a lot of time.

  51. Great interview. I think you were picking Glenn’s mind. Actually, much of what he does is so convoluted that I don’t think anyone can pick his mind. As he often says, he’s riddled with ADD. I wish I had a little of his ADD, although I think I might go out of my mind if I had it. Each to his own. I might be wrong, but I think Glenn worked himself up to being sick. No one can be on automatic pilot without having to get off it for a while, and taking the plane into your own hands. I think that’s what he is doing now. I think he’s fine tuning everything.

    I don’t always agree with all of Glenn’s politics, especially on Ukraine and Russia, because he’s a little myopic on those topics, however I do have great respect for his honesty and directness. He also has this way of talking to only you, like you are in a conversation, one on one.

    Glenn’s knowledge of American history is really amazing, and I learned alot of history from him. He excels in storytelling and he brings history to life like no other person I know. For instance, I loved his book Dreamers and Deceivers.

    I have entered new territory myself, because of listening to him and watching his shows, and I have been doing my own research into topics in history that interest me. Through social media you can now go directly to the sources that you could never have done even a decade ago.

    I believe his Blaze TV has been extremely successful partly because of something he says, maybe because of habit, just about every day. “This is the network that you are building.”

    And so, together, we have!

  52. I enjoyed the interview but wished you’d called Beck on his statements when he says “we must all stop spreading hate, we all just have to get along” (paraphrasing)… when it comes to spreading hate, Glenn Beck is an expert… always spewing the Nazi references to gays and socialism, etc… he’s a smooth talker and a snake oil salesman… when he says he doesn’t care about the money, LOL… gimme a break

    For $150, Glenn Beck Will Help Women Realize Their God-Given Right ‘To Feel Pretty’

    Beck: Criticism Of Indiana’s ‘Religious Freedom’ Law Will Lead To Concentration Camps

  53. Tim,

    I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but let me just tell you that your interviewing skills are mind-blowing. After listening to one of your podcasts, I find listening to most other interviewers and hosts to be difficult and even sometimes uncomfortable.

    I think it goes without saying that your preparation for each guest is impressive and your questions are on point yet simultaneously unconventional enough to produce genuinely unique and interesting answers.

    More impressive to me, though, is your acute awareness of the flow of the interview and the state of your interviewee. You never seem to smother, but you also don’t leave them grasping at straws when a question draws them too far into unfamiliar territory. This is the part that so few interviewers seem to get right. You seem to have really mastered when to shut up and let them go, and when to jump in and help steer.

    Is it all self-taught? Or are there any particularly great interviewers you strive to emulate?

    Either way, kudos!

    Bonus on-topic: Glen Beck surprised me. He is far more insightful and grounded than I would have expected based on his public image.

  54. Hello! I just discovered your podcasts about a month ago and am loving all the excellent content and the variety of guests on the show! That said, I was shocked by the choice to invite Glen Beck on your show but was willing to hear the conversation. I listened to every second of the interview and was surprised by all that I learned. Though we don’t have many political ideologies in common, I have a renewed respect for Glen, his honesty in this interview and his motivations. As always, thank you, TIm, for another solid interview. Keep doing what you’re doing!

  55. This isn’t the first time this month someone I thought was a bigoted moron, turned out to be a perfectly reasonable human being with really interesting lives and both actually community contributers. I thought I was reasonable and slow to judgment, and now I feel like a dick. Thanks Tim

  56. I was glad to see this interview. I appreciate entertaining opinions and viewpoints that don’t align with my own.

    Tim did a great job. It was also great because it gave me an extended format to challenge my assumptions, and ultimately conclude that, yes, Glenn Beck is definitely a phony, or if you prefer, ‘showman’. Which is fine. It became clear as the interview went on. I’m sure this was a calculated effort to expand his listener/viewer base (no shame in that!) as one of the other commenters mentioned, part of the GB 2.0 roll out.

    When he mentioned Nazi parties on the rise in Europe, something that I’m informed about, I understood just how enormous a grain of salt one must take along with his bombast. While technically true, he’s really painting with broad strokes here. That one comment was illuminating and called any credibility he may have gained – and I’ll admit, he was gaining some! – into question.

    Again, kudos for the interview and look forward to more of this type!

  57. Wow! Totally amazing interview. I took so many things from it. Based on his reputation I had assumed that Glenn Beck was the last person I would agree with about anything. Thank you Tim for revealing another side of this very interesting man.

    Several great quotes, especially the one from a lady who helped save Jews from the Nazi’s in World War II:

    “Glenn, remember, the righteous didn’t suddenly become righteous, they just refused to go over the cliff with everybody else”

    And his comment that humankind is facing its greatest challenges in all of history and we are distracted by petty arguments – that is a great insight.

    Thank you Tim and thank you Glenn.

  58. Tim:

    Shame on you for being “apologetic” or providing “justification” for interviewing a conservative.

    [Quotes above]

    “The goal of my blog and podcast is to push you outside of your comfort zone and force you to question assumptions.”

    “This is why I invite divergent thinkers and world-class performers who often disagree.”

    “First and foremost, this is a story of entrepreneurship, and whether you love Glenn, hate Glenn, or have never heard his name, there is a lot to learn from him.”

    I have read all of your books, and followed your posts for nearly seven years. I know you’re a bleeding heart liberal (How can you live in SF and not be?], but I still read your blog and listen to your podcast. There is no need for you to apologize to your other liberal friends for interviewing a conservative. If the role was reversed and one of my fellow conservatives had interviewed a liberal, they would not be apologizing.

    You did not apologize for interviewing Schwarzenegger (granted he is not as conservative as Beck being just right of center) who is also a political figure. Please do not ever apologize again or justify for why you’re interviewing someone to minimize whatever conflict you are trying to avoid.

  59. Anyone who would interview Glen Beck is an immediate “unsubscribe” . For all the reasons everyone knows so well.

    1. What’s the world like when you only listen/accept views that are precisely like the ones already have? I bet it’s a lonely world full of bitterness.

  60. Beck was fired from Fox after losing 300+ advertisers as a result of a letter writing campaign that I helped spearhead. After calling President Obama a racist ( and a nazi, mocking Michelle Obama and the Obama children with vile ugliness and vicious malice and basically being a hateful bastard) a group of us on Twitter found eachother and started StopBeck- He could’ve been honest about this important detail had he any intention of changing the very low opinion so many still have of him. His mean-spirited daily radio show proves that nothing has changed and he’s just gotten richer off of his brand of hatred. I reviled him before this interview and it didn’t move the needle for me one bit. However, I respect you for treating him with dignity and allowing him every chance to be truthful had he chosen to do so. Thanks Tim- I think you are terrific.

    1. lisafirebarness, can you hear the hate and anger coming out your mouth? I feel sad that you have to live with that, but I can totally understand why Glenn doesn’t want that static in his life.

      1. 4–Beck vs Everyone else at 5pm combined

        FOXN Beck 462

        CNN Situation Room 210

        MSNBC Hardball 168

        HLN Showbiz 78

        Note: Along with the note above on Situation Room, these numbers include Hardball’s 7pm rerun, which raised its average significantly. Still, Glenn Beck defeated all other cable news shows combined at 5pm, even in a supposedly terrible quarter. As a TV executive I was speaking with recently told me: “Glenn Beck is the highest rated regularly scheduled show in the history of cable news at 5pm.”

        Lisa, the truth is always available if you are willing to look for it. But, if you want to consider yourself a giant killer or get some sort of self-importance by telling yourself you “got Glenn Beck fired”, knock yourself out!

  61. I have not yet listened to this, but it’s a brave thing to interview someone like Glenn Beck, who could easily rile up your audience. It’s the reason I like your podcast (in your own words): “This show is about actionable insight, not argument for argument’s sake.” Well done, Tim.

  62. This interview was a big risk, given that so many on the left absolutely hate Beck. Yet, Tim has demonstrated himself as world class at interviewing. It was fascinating!

  63. Very surprised by this interview! Definitely makes you question everything you hear from the media. Keep up the great work, Tim.

  64. The Glenn Beck podcast was one of your best. I have disagreed with him on almost everything socially and politically in the past, but still found tidbits to takeaway. I appreciate the good questions you asked and his thoughtful answers. More like this please. Hyperbole aside, I think dialogues like this between seemingly disparate personalities are the key to a better future. Great work.

  65. The Tim Tim Talk Show has been on a Hawaiian bread roll as of lately. From Amanda to Glenn and then a dip of the toe in the waters of the mystics… damn son, keep up the amazing work!



  66. I was raised Mormon and every time I heard GB on Fox, I cringed at the impression he was making on the world as a well known Mormon. In addition to that I hated that he was so divisive in a way that felt like he was in it for the money. This interview opened me up to a more diverse understanding of Mr. Beck. For that I am grateful. A lot of pull-worthy quotes in this interview. I am hopeful that he is sincere in his candor. Thanks for the interview and the opportunity to see things from a differing perspective.

  67. I loathed Glenn Beck but this was such a great interview. It actually dramatically changed how I see him, and I realized that I had projected a lot of assumptions on him that weren’t true. I still don’t agree with much of what he says, but I don’t hate him any more 😉

    Such a fascinating listen, I loved it.

  68. Loved your Glen Beck interview. Truly loved it.

    Open minded, sound philosophy on business, encourages Americans to be … American.

    Really good questions as well.

  69. I’m disgusted you would pick such a person to interview. He does not deserve the publicity you have provided him.

  70. I mean this in the most considerate way possible: I had never really thought about Glenn Beck. That is to say, I knew what people thought of him but I had never made up my mind about him one way or another. After listening to the episode, I found him insightful and his story compelling. I thought his ‘how is your soul?’ question to be powerful and that has stuck with me. Also, his reasoning behind ‘enjoy it while it lasts’ was productive. Strong episode. Thanks!

  71. This is the real Tim Ferris at last revealed that I have been waiting for. The 4 hour work week rocked the New World Order by destroying the brainwashing of Henry Fords 40 hour slave week. Now Tim out of covert operations, and

    fighting out in the open fields to Change the World, and Change Himself.

    Tim Ferris takes on everybody including Mormon Superstar Glenn Beck!

  72. I enjoyed the interview and I listened to it with an open mind, however keep in mind that Glenn Beck is a master manipulator. He knows Tim’s audience and he knew what we wanted to hear. If you go back and listen to any of his radio shows or youtube clips of him you will hear him say exact opposites of things he said today on Tim’s show. Don’t be fooled. This guy is very clever.

    1. Something Glenn is fond of saying is, “don’t take my word for it. Do your own homework.” You’ll find that this interview was very consistent with the real Glenn Beck, and not the Left’s caricature of him. But do do your own research.

  73. This was a great interview and I think your questions while challenging were also disarming. What I thought would be an interview full of disappointing rhetoric was actually very authentic and informational.

  74. One of your best interviews. Lots of deepness and character from GB and you let him talk and gave some great prompts. His message about tolerance and being non-judgemental is something that I wish more people would take to heart. Would be great to see more of these types of interviews. Your audience is less biased than you may think, keep pushing the boundaries.

  75. Tim I listen to your podcasts because they educate me on how successful people think and operate. I have recommended a few of your podcasts to specific friends. I sent your Glenn Beck interview to nearly a dozen people I know straight, gay, atheists and religious liberal and conservative. You did a great job on the interview. For your demographic accountability I’m a 58 year old former Air Force Officer who now is on the slow carb diet. :o)

    I really enjoy your work and have read all three of your books.

    Thank you for your work. RM

  76. Great interview Tim, just keeps getting better. I was blown away by Glenn’s sharing of personal issues.

    Leading up to the next election I think it would be fun to deconstruct some excellence in public policy every so often. Maybe focus on excellence from other countries? Although I have heard Joe Stiglitz and Steven Chu (ex Dept of Energy) and they are both really interesting.

    Keep it up Tim!

  77. What I love about this podcast is Tim’s long exhales after Mr. Beck goes on one of those surreal diatribes on Jesus or what not. Anyhow, if you really want to get a taste of what’s wrong with America listen to this episode very attentively. Image you just came from mars and really pay attention. It’s almost all there. Deep deep delusion, paranoia, arrogance, stunned religiosity, an unreal sense of historic self-importance, false humility, righteousness. It’s all there. The fact that this man has a media network with 10’s of millions of hits a month has got to give any thinking person serious pause. Anyhow, hats off to Tim for tolerating that much delusion without doing more than choking on his own breath. I wouldn’t have had the patience.

    1. “Deep deep delusion, paranoia, arrogance…”

      As a wise man once said. “We don’t see what is real, we see what we are.”

      Steve, you were seeing yourself. A little real humility would do you good.

  78. Wow, I am very impressed with Glenn’s personal story. Uplifting. Touching. I don’t agree with him on many political thing. But his personal drive and creativity is astonishing. I listened twice. Thanks! Loved the interview.

  79. I know I’m probably “the minority within the minority” on both Tim’s comment thread here and politically. However, I’ve always appreciated Glenn Beck’s opinion from the beginning because it’s too similar to ignore. Also, thank you so much, Tim for providing a forum for differing views as well as for your book, 4HWW. It has changed my life. Peace and blessings to you and my fellow 4HWW’ers.

  80. This was a surprisingly great interview. It definitely changed my perspective on Glenn and I hope to see you bring on more guests of this caliber, Tim.

  81. Awesome episode, although I didn’t have any pre-conceived opinion to battle with. I didn’t realize so many people did. Whether you agree with him or not on whatever it is that people agree with him on (or not), it’s a different ball game when you can trust the person’s character. It’s great to have exposure to people like that in the political realm. I find GB admirable, and I really appreciated this episode. I even got my wife to listen to it. And, now that I think of it, this episode finally pushed me over the edge on leaving a review in itunes, and making a comment here on the blog. Not that the podcast didn’t deserve it before…but I make the observation that this is when it actually happened.

  82. Great podcast. I’ve been getting your newsletter for ages and have never listened to anything before, and I’ve never even heard of Glenn Beck, but it was so interesting and I really liked what he had to say. Great and interesting listening. My knowledge has now been broadened and I’m better for it. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  83. Tim! I love all of your podcasts, but this one was really interesting because it gave me some insight into someone who I had judged, and actually knew nothing about. Excellent.

  84. This podcast was one of the few places where I heard talking about the singularity and religion in the same context. Great show. Highly interesting guest. Kudos Timbo! 🙂

  85. This is amazing. Very interesting to see same famous people in such different medium as podcast and interviewed by you, who is not a journalist. It makes a huge difference, as TV and print media (especially in USA) seem all to have their own format of portraying people and news and it is very rare to see something other than scandalist, viewer-attracting perspective.

    I think with some of the last episodes, Tim Ferris show is entering a whole new realm. It has evolved a lot and it is very interesting to see the journey (from two hour drunken talk with Kevin Rose on Tim Tim Talk Talk, to this – long way).

    Now we need someone interviewing you to see how have you changed and evolved as a person through your podcast journey.

  86. Thanks for posting this, Tim. I think Glenn Beck presents himself very well here as a decent person, and if this is all I ever heard him say I would think he’s a great guy. But when I listen to his show (and I do, because I want to know if the “liberal media” are right about him), I feel like he is divisive, inflammatory, petty and everything he says he’s against in your interview. Not sure where I stand now. Marie Le Pen here in France is trying to distance herself from her father to capture more of the mainstream voters, but all one needs to do is listen to what she says to her followers to know she’s still promoting hatred and “them vs us” mentality that is getting us nowhere.

    Perhaps it would be great to have Beck back on your show and ask him harder questions, not to be rude but to point out that some of the statements he has made on your show are completely the opposite of things he says/does on his own show (listen to a week of it, you’ll find plenty of examples).

    In any case, keep up the good work, Tim!

  87. Hi Tim, wow , thought provoking, inciteful, honest, bold and people you really want to spend time with … thanks Chris Kelly

  88. I live in Japan and don’t watch much US TV so this is my first encounter with Glen Beck and I have to say, My God is he a narcissistic blowhard. I hope he’s only in love with the tone of his voice and not the actual diarrhea flowing out of his mouth.

    1. I’m sorry but I have to post once more. Did Glen Beck really say that the height of his alcoholism was when he blacked out only to wake up the next morning and discover that he had told his children the best bedtime story ever?!

      Oh My God, the Horrors!!

      The Horrors!!!

      The Horrorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs!!!!!!!!

      But I did really enjoy the interview because I like learning what famous personalities are thinking.

  89. I’m from Argentina and I didn’t know about Glenn Beck before this interview, so I have virgin view about him. His life story has been motivating to me since I’m looking to reinvent my self at almost the same age he was at his turning point.

    On the other hand, anyone who is able to practice love as spiritual as he does, should makes us pause and reflect about the essential of life.

    Thank you very much Tim for all the great lessons and knowledge you are providing us.



  90. I’ve never been so moved by a podcast interview, with or without Glenn Beck. Thanks for the comfort zone challenge — I thought about skipping it briefly and I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m starting to have hope again for the world. As in, actual hope. That’s really awesome. Thanks man.

  91. As ever, Glenn lights up my whole brain in that fucking crazy way he owns. He reminds me of a guy like George Bush who is proof positive that ANYthing is possible…HOW Mr. Beck reaches his theo-philosophical, et al conclusions tracks seamlessly with an ADHD/addiction neurotransmitter cascade and not much different than a bull in a China Shop on acid–all good.

    Weirdly attractive as I deeply empathize with his addiction perspective mind, the suicide through addiction of a parent and, “I’m just doin’ this, so fuck you” swagger.

    STILL think he’s a dick, (takes one to know one) and would love to meet him, interview him (Sober Conversations) and become good friends.

    Thanks for another Whoa.

  92. 1. Glenn keeps saying he’s a “libertarian”, but he bounces around on the issues and often does not take the libertarian stance, i.e. he is okay with the government going to war with stolen citizen loot, and I believe he supported Romney in 2012.

    2. I’d love it if you would give your opinion a little more. I know you don’t want to make the show all about you, but I like interviewers who will add their opinions to the answers of the interviewees. A few times I thought you jumped right to the next question when a little comment on Glenn’s answer would have been interesting to hear.

    3. I’m curious why you think so many people HATE Beck. I’m not a hater nor a fan, but find him interesting.

    4. I think some fact checking is appropriate. Glenn said he was against the Iraq war and called for Bush’s impeachment. My memory is of him being pro-war and when he had Ron Paul on the show he said he completely disagreed with Paul’s idea of a non-aggressive foreign policy- so I think he is a bit disingenuous here.

    5. I thought your question about his religiosity keeping him sober was amazing, you asked him if he thought it was the theological concepts or the communal aspects. I felt that he weasled out of this one, and went right to “faith in god”.

    Nice work. I’m really enjoying the show and looking forward to what’s next!

    1. I actually started this comment with “I really liked the interview Tim! You asked some great and interesting questions that made GB think. I have a few comments:”

      I accidentally deleted this part as I was having hard time posting with the WP system.