Glenn Beck was sprawled out on his office couch a couple of weeks ago, taking — as self-helpers like to say ­— an inventory. “I think what the country is going through right now is, in a way, what I went through with my alcoholism,” he told me. “You can either live or die. You have a choice.” Beck, who is 46, was in the Midtown Manhattan offices of his production company, Mercury Radio Arts, which is named for Mercury Theater, the company created by Orson Welles. He had just finished his three-hour syndicated radio show and was a few hours away from his television show. It was a Wednesday afternoon in the middle of September, and Beck had just returned from a week’s vacation in the Grand Tetons followed by a quick hop to Anchorage, where he and Sarah Palin appeared at an event on Sept. 11.