In the spirit of Christmas, Glenn Beck will be bringing his radio and TV shows to economically devastated Wilmington, Ohio tomorrow, and he is even inviting residents to join him at his radio show taping. Of course, Beck being the “populist” that he is, will be charging the residents of a county where unemployment is at 15.8% $125 to attend.
To the surprise of no one, except maybe Beck himself, Glenn is having a bit of trouble selling tickets. Despite the fact that his appearance is tomorrow, seats are available starting in the seventh row of the 999 seat Murphy Theatre. This fact has more to do with the $125 price tag of tickets to watch Beck tape his radio show than it does the popularity of the Fox News host.
You see, Wilmington, Ohio has been devastated by the Great Recession. The town lost 10,000 jobs when their major employer DHL closed down in 2008, and is still mired in an economic nightmare.
Here is the background from CBS’ 60 Minutes:Fast forward to 2010, the unemployment rate in Clinton County, where Wilmington is located sits at 15.8%. The overall unemployment rate in Ohio is 9.9%. Into this daily struggle for survival, steps Glenn Beck to spread a little holiday cheer for the small price of $125, or $500 if you would like to personally meet the conservative embodiment of populism. Beck gave a preview of his message to Wilmington today on his radio show.
Beck told the people of Wilmington, “We’re going to go do a show there tomorrow, and we’re going to show the nation that you don’t have to be depressed. You don’t have to hold your hand out and cry about it. You can stand up, and stand together, and pull yourself up, and that is exactly what Wilmington is doing. The small towns are going to give us the answer and the way out, and Wilmington, Ohio is going to lead the way.”
As Media Matters pointed out, in his feel good conservative story of self-sufficiency, Beck neglects to mention that Wilmington has received $13 million in federal funding, “So in total, approximately $13 million in federal funds have flowed into Wilmington in recent years. But Beck pretends the town isn’t accepting “any money from the government.”” The real kicker is that the very theatre will Beck will be taping has $300,000 in federal aid, and is set to get $1.5 million tax payer dollars to cover the cost of refurbishing.
Glenn Beck sells himself as the everyman populist, but only an out of touch egomaniac would attempt to go to a town where unemployment is running rampant and literally sell the message, at hundreds of dollars a pop, that these people need to stop whining and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. It is an insult to every single unemployed or economically struggling family in that county that Beck would dare charge $500 for the chance to meet the Pasty Prince of Propaganda in person. Beck claims that his appearance there tomorrow has gotten an overwhelming response. I guess selling six rows worth of seats is what passes for overwhelming in the imagination of Glenn Beck.
If Beck was a true Christian or actually cared about the plight of the people in Wilmington, he would be putting money back into the community, instead of trying to extract rare and precious dollars out. Why isn’t Beck appearing for free? Why isn’t he donating the cost of tickets to see him to help feed the hungry over the holiday season? The answer is that two things matter to him more than anything else, money, and Glenn Beck. Many of us have known for a long time that Beck is a fraud and a phony, but stealing from the poor during Christmas is something straight out of A Christmas Carol. America, it is my great displeasure to introduce to you Glenn Beck, the multi-millionaire media Ebenezer Scrooge.
Note Beck’s website claims that all “net proceeds” will go to local non-profits. It should be noted that Glenn is not donating the total proceeds, but the net. This means that after all costs associated with the events, some local unnamed likely politically allied with Beck non-profits will get a small cut after Beck takes his for appearance fees and expenses. Don’t be fooled. There is a big difference between donating ALL proceeds and net proceeds. Beck will make sure that he gets paid.
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