Garry Becker was born Franklin Bean, and because of his name, he was teased often and called Franks-N-Beans by other children, and even from some adults. He escaped his mental torments by discovering magic. Not actual magic, of course, because he simply lacked that ability, but he learned the old vaudeville magic... the art of slight-of-hand deception. His deceptions were not always well-received, though, and after one trick backfired on him, he dropped out of high school.
He took what little money he had to escape his small Midwestern town, eventually making his way east peddling himself as an amateur disc jockey and sideshow magician under the name Glen Ross (based on a theater poster he once saw for"Glengary Glen Ross"). He eventually convinced a local radio station to give him a job working the weekend late-night schedule after the previous DJ walked out over an argument that he covertly had a hand in creating.
He was a fair disc jockey, but what he excelled at was salesmanship, and he often spent his time hawking the products of the station's various sponsors, especially the local auto dealership. This led to him hosting a weekend car show, until it was discovered that he was using it to run repair scams with the dealership. He managed to talk his way out of it, and eventually he made his way to Paragon City, where he legally changed his name to Garry Becker and managed to get himself another weekend show, this time as a talk show host for PNN Radio.
He reinvented himself as a populist, twisting Statesman's conservative stances to an absolute degree, poking fun of the Vindicators as the "Sidechick Brigade", constantly taking issue with Frostfire being let out of prison, constantly calling for the Zigursky Prison warden to be fired, and to continually call for the tearing down of the War Walls.
In 2008, PNN gave Becker his own TV show on their channel. Even though it only aired during the mid-afternoons, it became a quick success. He also published a book which characterized his new populist crusade: "I Want MY Paragon City Back!" It became an instant best-seller, although there is some speculation that the success was attributed more from conservative groups buying the books in bulk than in actual readers.
His running shtick is to not only cry, but to cry "rivers of patriotic blood". He doesn't really bleed from his eyes, as the tears are faked. But it does serve as a great visual tool.
Becker plays an integral role in Shadowborn's "Project:Limelight" in being the one that initially accuses Midnight Arachnia of being an Arachnos agent. He is the one that stirs up the audience and calls for Midnight Arachnia to be arrested and prosecuted for treason. After she flees the country, he then calls on other members of the Guardians of the Dawn to be charged as well, forcing that organization to be suspended.
Becker would try and convict Midnight Arachnia in the court of public opinion and even asked the audience how she should be executed for treason. However before he could express his own preferred method (burning at the stake), a pirated video cuts into his broadcast feed and provides proof that Midnight Arachnia was not an Arachnos agent, but rather working for Legacy Chain. His broadcast feed resumes, catching him using a four-lettered word prohibited by the FCC.
Becker was fined $250,000 by the FCC and suspended from the air by PNN for a month.
Back on the Air
In Issue #15, Becker took issue at Maximus Rex's past as the former sovereign of an alternate Earth. In a rant reminiscent of the McCarthyism era, Becker demanded the Rex appear on his program and publicly swear a loyalty oath to the United States.
During the 2011 Special Election for District Attorney, Becker was quick to give his personal endorsement on Deputy District Attorney Edward "The Trust" Vance, promoting Vance on the air during his rants. This caused some controversy since PNN had a policy of being politically neutral. It was hesitantly tolerated since PNN gave the unprecedented offer of free air-time for all candidates.
Two days before the special election, Becker gave an ultimatum on the air to his viewers. Becker firmly believed that Vance would be the winner to the point where he put his own career on the line. After again criticizing the credentials of leading candidate Alex Wentworth and condemning the polls showing him with a strong lead, Becker announced that if Wentworth was elected that he would quit his job with PNN. He justified this by saying that he could no longer "speak for" a city that would forsake him.
As seen in the "Guardians of the Dawn AFTERMATH" special, Becker was forced to live up to his promise and quit PNN, submitting an editorial to the Paragon Times newspaper saying that "My Paragon City has abandoned me." He believed he would be able to get a new job in New York for a certain cable news channel, but before that could happen, Galaxy City was destroyed by the Shivans.
Seizing an opportunity to keep his name relevant, Becker started a quick website and launched a podcast demanding an immediate investigation of the incident. Not long after, Mr. Cyril began to blame members of the Guardians of the Dawn, which gave Becker renewed ammunition against the newly-disbanded supergroup.
As of late 2011, "The Garry Becker Experience" is still running in repeats on PNN, as it still draws a steady amount of supporters (not to mention it was a part of Becker's contract). This has infuriated rival Rona Cosell, who was, for a while, unaware of Becker's departure since he is still getting attention for his antics. PNN General Manager Kenny "KC" Emerson had been planning on finding a show to replace "The Garry Becker Experience".
In "The Guardian Powers", it was revealed that Becker's new career as an Internet radio personality came courtesy of a mysterious benefactor, who also arranged to have a one-time special broadcast which intentionally sabotaged the debut of his PNN replacement. Afterward, he returned to the abandoned building he was both living in and broadcasting from.
Return to PNN
As revealed in "The Guardian Powers" #15, Garry Becker was eventually able to return to the Paragon News Network, but only for their radio station, in what he calls their "palatial basement". After airing the public apology from Richard Cyril concerning the Guardians of the Dawn, Becker resumed his on-air ribbing of hero groups starting with GGRRR.
His TV repeats have finally been taken off the air.
Relationships in PNN
Becker is considered to be many things in the halls of the PNN building, and not many of them good.
Despite his continual claim of being a "broadcast journalist", his associates at PNN dismiss him as being either a buffoon, a fraud, or a dangerous soothsayer.
Rona Cosell continually refers to him as a crackpot conspiracy wingnut and uses him as the scapegoat for her unfulfilled theories.
He has attempted to ask Robin Steed out on a date on several occasions, but she politely rebuffs him, saying that she does not believe in workplace relationships. Faith Nottingham considered Becker to be funny, and sometimes amusing, but also keeps herself at arms-length from him. And when asked about Becker, Sally Carson-Ramirez simply says she's glad that she's married.
Executives bristle at his antics, however they continue to keep him on the job because he is popular with the conservative crowd and his first (and so far only) book is still a best-seller.
Link to Shadowborn
Although he had not openly admitted to being a member of Shadowborn, it is believed that he is at least involved in some elements of that organization, as was demonstrated by Lord Geddy's refusal to allow his organization to pay Becker's FCC fine.
It would also explain how his book would be considered a best-seller even before it was released.
In Issue #15, Becker's position in Shadowborn was made clear in a conversation between Lord Geddy and Simon Barrister after one of Becker's ramblings. Geddy firmly asserted that Becker was a member of Shadowborn "whether he knows it or not".
In "AFTERMATH", it appears that Becker was well aware of his membership in Shadowborn, believing that they would rig the special District Attorny election so Edward Vance would win, which was why he bet his job on the turnout.
Powers and Abilities
His primary ability is Illusion Control. His mastery of illusions allow him to convince people to see what is not there.
His secondary ability is Sonic Resonance. His skills in communication as a media personality, in addition to his access to PNN technology, allow him to use sound to his advantage
Note: Although his considered a hero and operates in Paragon City, make no mistake, he is FAR from heroic.
Reference in Media
The character is a pastiche of several current conservative and neo-conservative talk show hosts in the media. His resemblance to Glenn Beck (including a parody of his name) is intentional.