On his radio show today, Glenn Beck continued his attack on Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity. Beck claimed that that unless Stewart draws a million people, the rally is a failure. Beck said, “If there’s not a million people at the mall…There should be 300 million people on the mall or they are absolutely the most powerless people on the planet.”
Here is the audio via Media Matters:
Beck said, “I love this. Barack Obama is going on The Daily Show. If there’s not a million people at the mall. They have Oprah. They have Barack Obama. They have The Huffington Post, all paying for these trips. There should be 300 million people on the mall, or they are absolutely the most powerless people on the planet.”
In Beckian Logic, Obama’s appearance on The Daily Show on the week of the rally means that the only way the rally is successful is if millions of people show up, because apparently this is now all about the power of Obama to draw people to a rally that isn’t political, and that he won’t be attending. In Beck’s mind if Barack Obama does not inspire a million people to attend Jon Stewart’s rally, then Obama is powerless, and the rally is a failure.
Just to make it clear, Obama is not going to be at the Rally to Restore Sanity. He is going on The Daily Show the week of the rally. Oprah Winfrey is not going to be at the rally. When Beck said “they have”, he implied that these people are going to be there. They aren’t, because the Rally to Restore Sanity is not a political rally. Beck regularly compares himself to Jon Stewart, and claims that he boosts Stewart’s ratings. Never mind the reality that Stewart’s Comedy Central has more averages more viewers than Beck on Fox News.
What Beck also doesn’t mention is that all of his rallies have been promoted by Fox News and corporate special interest front groups like Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity. These groups have always paid to bus people in to his rallies. Beck wants to pretend that his rallies are organic gatherings, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is laughable that Beck is proclaiming that it is a million people or bust for Stewart/Colbert, when his own Rally to Restore Honor was a total bomb that could only draw roughly 100,000 people.
Beck knows that the 10/30 rally is going to not only humiliate him, but also expose his weakness of his movement. This is why Beck has spent weeks attacking or trying to frame attendance expectations for Stewart’s rally. Last month, Beck labeled the Stewart/Colbert a progressive plot. Since that didn’t catch on Beck is now trying to lay the groundwork for labeling the rally a failure.
The Rally to Restore Sanity presents a huge threat to Glenn Beck and every other millionaire right wing media star that has made their fortune by engaging in extremism and fear. Needless to say, sanity is bad for Beck’s business. Glenn needs to keep the narrative alive that the country is in peril, and he is our savior. When hundreds of thousands of people show up in support of a message of reasonableness and sanity, it will be a direct repudiation of Glenn Beck.
Jon Stewart might draw a million people to his rally, but it is a given that the attendance figures for the Rally To Restore Sanity will blow away Beck’s Rally to Restore Honor. Even though the Stewart/Colbert event is not a political rally, it will hopefully put to rest the myth that the far right wing of American politics represents a majority of the country. On October 30, we are going to see the “real America,” not a small gathering of die hard conservative extremists who still haven’t gotten over the fact that they lost the 2008 election.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association