Glenn Beck's public image as a grandiose paranoid ex-drunk is so unshakable that now he's hoping his publicist Matthew Hiltzik's good reputation will rub off on him: He's got such a nice flack, he can't really be a monster, right?

The Washington Post's Jason Horowitz offers a who-put-this-chocolate-in-my-foul-rancid-tub-of-weeping-peanut-butter profile of leftie PR operative Hiltzik, pegged to the fact that he works for Beck. It's crazy, because Hiltzik is a liberal Democrat who worked on Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign, Eliot Spitzer's 1998 attorney general campaign, and Harvey Weinstein's lifelong megalomania campaign. So how can such a mensch, with all these Hollywood liberal friends, work to advance the career of an increasingly popular nativist demagogue?

The close friendship and lucrative business relationship that has developed between the 45-year-old conservative firebrand and the 37-year-old former Democratic operative shows how partisan media personalities get discovered, promoted and catapulted into the political stratosphere, even when the talent and the talent broker have opposing ideologies. But for Hiltzik's former Democratic allies, the alliance is still mostly shocking.

It is truly a puzzle. It's almost as though Hiltzik is more interested in making money, or accumulating power, than in devoting his life to advancing the political ideals he has claimed in the past to endorse. What sort of self-respecting flack would work for a client whose ideas he doesn't personally advocate and live by?

And how can someone who has flacked for souls as pure as Hillary Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, and Harvey Weinstein turn around and offer his services to a monster like Beck? It's a crazy, crazy world.