I thought it was interesting to see that the word caliphate (as noted here at Dictionary.com) was a barely searched for word until Glenn Beck mentioned it on his program which originally ran at 2 p.m. on February 1. Right about that time Google searches for the word spiked significantly.
Beck said on his program that his theory is that some radical Islamic groups yearn to create a Muslim caliphate in the Middle East that ultimately would spread to the rest of the world. He said this is his theory, he backed it up with proof, and then he said, "Dont' take my word for it. Look this up for yourself. You can find your own evidence to prove it or not. You can come up with your own decision."
Apperently people are doing their own research, which is great. Chris Matthews said it's terrible that "Fox News" is spreading conspiracy theories. Yet I disagree with this on two fronts:
1) It wasn't Fox News, it was Glenn Beck,
2) It's never bad that information is evaluated and "theories" formed. They should all be taken seriously, especially when lives are at stake, and
3) A theory is just that, a theory. All theories (including the caliphate theory and global warming) should be recognized just as that: a theory. They should be respected, yet not cast aside by any means (unless they are proven false, as the theory that the moon was made of green cheese was ultimately proven false).
I think it was awesome for the good folks at Dictionary.com to realize the spike and make this nice acurate definition. There's nothing ever wrong with getting all the facts on the table.