Yet while this is all to Mr. Beck’s credit, it is not quite responsive to the question. It is possible, after all, to reject one conspiracy theory while espousing others, and the claim that “our politicians are capable of being Bernie Madoff” is, to say the least, a rather sweeping indictment.

Mr. Beck’s answer: “I believe the conspiracies, quote-unquote, that are happening now are happening all out in the open. All you have to do is track their actions. Their actions speak louder than their words. It’s easy to throw out, ‘Well, he’s a conspiracy theorist.’ Why do you say that? ‘Well, because they say they’re not doing that.’ But their actions show that they are.

“TARP, stimulus—a stimulus package that makes no sense whatsoever. No sense whatsoever! TARP, stimulus, health care that is behind closed doors, where they’re giving Medicaid free to states, where they’re saying, ‘We’re going to pay for it by reducing the cost of Medicare while we expand Medicare.’ When you look at all those things, and you know that the people who are in and around the planning of those things believe in [welfare activists Richard] Cloward and [Frances Fox] Piven, believe in [“Rules for Radicals'” author] Saul Alinksy—that’s not a conspiracy. That’s a pretty good educated guess.”