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Bill Maher compares Glenn Beck to ‘Scientology’ founder

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Comedian Bill Maher likened conservative media personality Glenn Beck to the founder of the Church of Scientology Sunday.

“I think he’s doing what some people before him have done, like — L Ron Hubbard was a novelist and decided, ‘You know what? It’s a much easier gig to be a religious leader,'” Maher, the host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, said.

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“And tax exempt,” Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s GPS, quipped.

“Tax exempt, and you already have people — I mean, there’s a reason they call them the flock,” Maher added, ‘”because they are the sheep and they’ll believe anything.”

Zakaria brought up Beck’s religiosity to Maher in the context of Beck’s rally, which the CNN host described as “being mostly about religion.”

“I think Glenn Beck is segue-ing from what he was, which was mostly a political preacher, to a preacher-preacher,” Maher, the star of the film “Religulous,” said. “It is an easier gig and you make more money — Jim Bakker kind of money.”

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Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally took place at the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th anniversary of civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s visionary  ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

Rev. King, who received the Nobel Peace Prize for using nonviolent civil disobedience to help end racial segregation in the US, was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, while supporting the unionized black sanitation workers on strike for higher wages and better conditions.

Beck has been criticized by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann before for using religious-based symbols and mannerisms to sell precious metals through Goldline International.

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“Pat and I both went home and prayed,” Beck went on portentously in April. “We both opened our Bibles, and we found something the next day that I think is important for you today to understand. He found one thing. He found the first piece, I found the second piece. The message was the same, but I think the message is for you today.”

But instead of actually revealing his message from God, Beck glanced to one side and quickly switched gears, saying, “I’ll give that to you in one second. First I have to break for our sponsor, Goldline.”

“That’s the plan!” Olbermann laughed. “Buy more gold over the Internet. Hallelujah! We’re saved!”

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Beck has also attacked progressive religious activists, such as Dan Nejfelt, a communications associate with advocacy group Faith in Public Life, for running Christian radio ads quoting scripture as a way of encouraging believers to stop paying attention to the right-wing Fox News personality.

“Not only are you wrong, the vast majority of people of faith know that you’re wrong,” Nejfelt said, lobbing his words directly at Beck in an exclusive interview with RAW STORY. “We’re going to keep doing what God tells us to do. We’d appreciate it if you’d stop doing what you’re doing.”

With reporting by David Edwards, Muriel Kane, and Stephen C. Webster.

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This video is from CNN’s GPS, broadcast on Dec. 5, 2010.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump has been ‘insulated’ by his wealth to never have to learn from his mistakes: biographer

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President Donald Trump's inherited wealth has meant he's never had to learn from his mistakes, Trump biographer Tim O'Brien told MSNBC's Brian Williams on Thursday.

"Bloomberg Opinion writer and our next guest Tim O’Brien writes today, 'Yes, of course, you need a certain kind of appalling narcissism to be comfy promoting yourself as heaven-sent in a televised press briefing and as a deity on Twitter. It’s doubly unhinged when you’re doing this as president,'" Williams said. "He goes on 'The Trump of the past few weeks is the same disordered figure of the past several decades with, I suspect, a big dollop of something new blended in: unbridled and unmanageable panic.'"

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‘Both Putin and Xi will be voting Trump in 2020’: NYT columnist says Russia and China want ‘turmoil and chaos’

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The Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China are both rooting for President Donald Trump to win re-election in 2020, a New York Times columnist argued on MSNBC on Thursday.

Thomas Friedman was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell on "The Last Word."

"What do we know about how the leaders of other countries see Donald Trump at this stage in their dealings with him?" O'Donnell asked. "Especially this weekend, when it comes at the end of a week in which they’ve heard him call himself the King of Israel, they have heard him say he is The Chosen One. They have heard all the crazy things that everyone here has heard the president say."

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Trump is ‘not a stable genius’: GOP strategist says the president ‘doesn’t remember who and where he is’

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President Donald Trump's mental fitness is lacking, a top Republican strategist explained on "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Rick Wilson, the author of the 2018 bestselling book Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever, blasted the commander-in-chief.

"Rick Wilson, your assessment of where the president stands as he heads off to the G7 summit?" O'Donnell asked.

"I think Donald Trump has had a week in which he is proving that this isn’t 87-dimensional chess game, this isn't some masterful strategy of communications or persuasion," Wilson replied. "This is an old man who is sick and who has problems and who has mental disconnects and who has aphasias and who has moments where he doesn’t remember who and where he is."

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