Aug 31 2010

Beck’s Rally, Not So Honorable

Feature Stories | Published 31 Aug 2010, 10:14 am | Comments Off on Beck’s Rally, Not So Honorable -

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Glenn BeckFox News Shock-Jock Glenn Beck’s so-called Honor Rally over the weekend in Washington DC, drew, according to Beck, between 300,000 to 650,000 people. Ultra-conservative Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann insisted more than a million people were present. But CBS News hired a firm that estimated the crowd at less than 100,000. The rally was held on the same day and location as the 1963 historic March for Jobs and Freedom where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his legendary I Have a Dream Speech attracting more than 200,000 Americans. While Beck insisted that his rally was held on that day coincidentally, he has spoken about “reclaiming the civil rights movement.” In his only post-rally interview on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Beck apologized for calling Obama a racist who hates white people about a year ago. But he went on to criticize the President’ religious views, saying they were based on liberation theology. The “Honor Rally” was advertised as being non-political and focused on honoring US Troops. But many attendees identified as members of the Tea Party movement that has assailed President Obama as a dangerous socialist. Beck himself did not mention Obama or Speaker of the House, Pelosi, and instead used heavily religious language calling on Americans to “turn to God.” The rally is the latest expression of a right-wing hysteria that seems to be sweeping some factions of American society. At stake is the political balance in Congress with the approaching mid-term elections. Republicans are hoping to make big gains in November, buoyed by the fever pitch of today’s right wing rhetoric. But what is often unsaid is how a handful of billionaires are bankrolling the extreme right and public events like Beck’s Honor Rally.

GUEST: Chip Berlet, Senior Analyst with Political Research Associates, has been studying the extreme right for the past 25 years

Read more about Berlet’s work at www.publiceye.org.

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