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GLENN: There are three stories on the front page of GlennBeck.com that are the, may be the only three stories that I have read that I think try to tell the truth, and two of them are written by nonfans of mine. One is written by a foreigner. The first one comes from the BBC: Once Glenn Beck starts speaking the language once Glenn Beck starts speaking, the language becomes restrained, moderate, even a hint of euphemism not even a hint of euphemism or innuendo. Indeed an assistance that his audience must reach out and persuade their political enemies, not hate them. But the warm up is a different matter. And it goes on to say I spoke at an event in Indiana and there were all these speakers. They were a couple of hours beforehand and he goes on to say that, you know, other speakers say that, you know, we're speaking for God and blah, blah blah, blah blah, and they're you know, they have some inflammatory things that they, you know, they say on stage, yada, yada, yada. And then it says, at his Washington rally Beck and his political oratory with lengthy meditations of the greatness of George Washington, the power of religious belief. Afterwards it is said that he had been self critical and vowed to focus much more on the religious message alone. In Angola, Indiana in less than a full sports hall at a local university, this is what he did. Beck spoke for an hour and 30 minutes to an audience of about 2,000 paying for a seat of $125. Having been whipped up by the previous speakers and the videos showing images of D day, with 9/11 and Fallujah, they are now whipped down by Glenn Beck. His website The Blaze had already warned followers to desist from wearing historic costumes and touting self scrawled banners open to the accusation of bigotry. So the crowd were mainly wearing Beck T shirts and smiles. Here's a summary of Beck's speech: Miracles are coming. He means them literally, not metaphorically. We've achieved a lot by putting the tea party candidates in the front seat for November 2nd but now we have to go further and stop haranguing our opponents also looking crazy on the streets. America's problem started in 1915ish with Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson who attempted to destroy, Beck writes in capitals on a white board, Americans' faith, history and Constitution. George Washington was the greatest human being ever, maybe next to Jesus Christ. A number of anecdotes are recounted from Washington's life, of questionable relevance to the matter under discussion. Whenever Beck discusses Washington, he bursts into tears no, I don't which he okay, weepy, I don't burst into tears which he always manages to quickly stem by returning to the theme of bashing the progressives and the doctrine of social justice.
PAT: Sometimes you burst.
GLENN: Sometimes. Beck here is cutting against the instincts of the audience.
Now, this is what this is what I don't understand, and I actually, to be honest with you, I wrote Sarah Palin a letter last night about 2:00 in the morning and I said, Sarah, I don't know if I'm doing more harm or more good. I don't know anymore. Because I have a different read on the audience. And maybe I'm wrong. Because I'm getting a lot of pushback from my own audience. Beck here is cutting against the instincts of the audience. The only real standing ovation moments come on the two or three occasions you can get three standing ovations, but I'm cutting against the instinct the two or three occasions when he lets fly the rhetoric of take our country back from the progressives and communist variety. For the most part he is not only trying to damp the enthusiasm but also confront the almost totally white, over 45 Christian small town audience with the limitations of their current strategy. He also insists tellingly that they should love their enemies, not hate them, and they should not claim to speak on God's behalf but understand that God speaks on theirs. For this reason the audience is for the most part subdued.
Is that accurate, Pat? You were there for the three speeches.
PAT: No, I don't think so at all. Which, which speech did he attend?
GLENN: He did the Indiana speech. Remembering this is America where a 30 second TV commercial is considered long. This feeling is growing in the audience towards the end of a 90 minute Beck on stage. The looks of puzzlement are abound. There is seasoned political operators in the audience and they, however, are not puzzled. Coming in the same week Sarah Palin is calling for unity in the Republican Party, the depoliticalization of Glenn Beck's rallies together with his move against the tea party street image singles the intent to harness the movement within the confines of mainstream party politics. No. No, I'm not trying to confine anybody. I'm just, I'm just telling you what I think. The only overt political passage in Beck's speech was private is always better than public. I'd rather go to a private hospital than a public one, sending my kids to a private school than a public school and using a private toilet than a public toilet. In urging a return to charity and sacrifice, Beck is not slow to give the sharp political edge as well. He warns his followers, you may have to give up your pension plan, your Social Security so the next generation is not burdened with the debt. A half a mile away, however, in the protest area designated by the police, about 20 local opponents of Glenn Beck hold placards saying hate is not an American value. But there is no hate in the speech I heard.
Remember this is the BBC: There is no hate in the speech I heard. There is very little politics. In the process of becoming the figure head for the American right which I don't agree with. Sarah Palin I believe is leading that charge Beck has found new depths within his own personality and got religion even more than he had it before. The ideological heavy lifting is being done by the warm up speakers and the paraphernalia vendors. And then he goes back into George Washington and why do I cry all the time. And he would like to see me on a psychiatrist's couch and see why I'm doing that all the time.
But this is the main thing that he gets right: Decoded. This is what I think Beck is trying to communicate. We've come a long way. We've changed the game. We've become power brokers in the Republican Party that one I think is beyond it we have to become less extreme, look less unusual, reach out and make alliances with the nondevout right and conservative Democrats. And in the process of doing this, we've got to drive hatred and extremism out of your ranks and speech. We need a powerful and selfless leader to enact a second American Revolution that breaks free of Wall Street, social justice, progressives, and go back to the Constitution. Uh, yes. That is the BBC. He says, I joined in line to shake his hand afterwards as a way to get a question to him on camera. He is not doing any interviews. Does he want to be the leader of this movement? No, was the gist of his answer. I'm just a reminder, he insisted.
I think that's the closest any reporter has come.
PAT: It's amazingly fair, I'll tell you that.
GLENN: Did you see the other one, Stu? Did you read the other one I sent out last night about the guy who, I don't know if he's a libertarian or if he's a liberal or what. But he hated my guts and he went to the speech in Chicago this weekend after the speech?
STU: Yeah, one key difference there, a she.
GLENN: Oh, she.
STU: But yeah, she went there, was not a fan and talked to you about your speech, pretty interesting thing. She said there was a lot of God stuff, yes. There were a few jokes. But let me be really honest here. From the perspective of someone who has come to believe the hype surrounding Glenn Beck's slow descent from conservative talking head to university reviled public figure and someone who frequently answers questions about Glenn with, quote, I understand what he's doing but I don't think he's moving anything in the right direction. I actually left inspired. It was weird. I didn't I wasn't weirded out, I didn't feel like I had listened to Adolf Hitler deliver a speech or Father Coughlin. I wasn't offended, shocked or even surprised. In fact, I wasn't even bothered. And apparently he's very polite to boot. The protestors outside started to look fearful and even, dare I say it, ignorant. What was it about this man seemingly content to deliver a universal if not universally boring message of faith, hope and charity that was driving people to freak the hell out on the lawn of world stadiums? The part where Beck blamed the establishment for driving a wedge between Americans? The part where he asked his audience to contribute 10% to a charitable cause? The part where he cried? And, yes, he cried, of course.
GLENN: George Washington.
STU: Of course. I just didn't get it. I'm not going to go out and get a cardboard cutout on my bedroom ceiling or anything. I don't watch his show because it drives me bananas. I'm not going to go out and buy his books or delve any further into the Glenn Beck world but I will say that I left with a little more respect for the man and a lot less respect for his most vocal detractors.
GLENN: That's amazing.
GLENN: That is amazing.
PAT: Wow. It's kind of a trend. Because the guy who took us around in Chicago wrote a little piece, blogged about you as well. He said, I had the unique privilege of being assigned as Glenn Beck's escort for this event and this was the one in Chicago at the Hoffman Estates. He says, I want to start out by saying I was that I was waiting expectantly for that wild, zany and passionate guy we all know on TV to come bursting through the doors. When he arrived, I can tell you I was not disappointed but intrigued. I was impressed with the politeness, sincerity, and friendliness of this man. He's very conscientious, a very conscientious man. He was visibly exhausted with a voice that was about to go hoarse at any moment oh, that's true. However, he went out of his way to greet people. When we walked together through the lower level, he would ask if he could stop to say hello to the production crew or other volunteers along the way. Many folks asked to have their picture taken with him throughout the evening. He would stop midstream and take that photo. I did not see him turn down one individual. I did not see him get irritated one time. He truly appreciated Right Nation's efforts in putting this event together. And it was a great event, by the way. They did an incredible job. When an hour of preshow photos were finished, he didn't want to retire to the green room to relax and wait for his turn in the show as some would do. He asked instead if he could watch the show after peeking in and commenting how impressed he was. He truly appreciated everybody's effort. It was not all about him. I slipped upstairs to find a vacant suite. We slid in unnoticed, kept the lights off as to be incognito. There he watched and appreciated a great show.
We talked about this a little bit yesterday. One of the most enjoyable moments of the show came when Herman Cain spoke. I was moved, Glenn was moved. He asked me if I would be kind enough to invite Herman to visit with him in the suite. He did not demand. He did not order. He did not expect. He would simply request, very politely.
GLENN: That's great.
PAT: That's, I mean, good stuff.
GLENN: I mean, look. Last night I was up and I there's a change happening with me and I don't know what it is, yet. I don't know where I'm going to end up. I don't know what the future I mean, I'm very good at seeing forward. But I certainly and I'm getting pushback, you know, you notice that both of those that the two reporters said that, you know, the speech was boring and I'm going against the audience and the audience doesn't get it and everything. I don't think I believe that but I don't even know. I don't know. Because it is a different message. But I just want you to know that I'm trying to do my best. I'm doing what I feel I'm supposed to do and say. And I certainly don't mean to cause the tea party any trouble or anybody else any trouble. I don't. The time for trouble is over, and the time to be the best version of ourself is now. Is now. And I am a flawed person just like you, and I never guessed I would be standing where I am and I'm trying to do the right thing every day, but I fail every day. But I'm trying. And it's going to be an interesting year because I don't know where I think for the first time I just cannot tell you where I will be .