ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are teaming up again, this time in Alaska on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
But unlike their free August rally at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Saturday's event at an Anchorage convention center will come with a pricetag.
Tickets range from $73.75 to $225, with the priciest tickets including a "meet and greet." Organizers say most of the 4,500 tickets have been sold.
Event promoter Christopher Cox says the 9/11 date is a coincidence. Cox originally eyed Sept. 4, but didn't want to compete with the Alaska State Fair.Cox says Beck will be introduced by Palin, a potential 2012 White House contender who hasn't announced her political intentions. Palin spokesman Doug McMarlin didn't immediately return requests for comment.
So, it's a moneymaking event! Surprise, surprise. Will Bunch, author of The Backlash and a senior writer for philly.com may know more about Glenn Beck (and Sarah Palin) than a lot of us. They do it for the money. Their fans are walking ATM machines:
Will Bunch's column is here. David Barton's Wikipedia entry is here.
September 11 is a very important day for Glenn Beck. For one thing, the king of all right-wing media talks about it all the time -- more on that in a second. What's more, the horrors of Sept. 11, 2001, as pretty much the event that made the Fox News Channel host into the national lightning rod that he is today -- the vehicle that caused him to complete his journey from a Morning Zoo "rodeo clown" to a political guy who suddenly was replacing the so-9/10 Laura Schlessinger on radio outlets coast to coast and then leading a series of transparently self-serving honoring the troops rallies for Clear Channel.
But Beck has talked a lot about 9/11 over nine years -- and the highly notable exception of his bizarre September 2005 attack on the family members of victims of the terrorist attack -- the emphasis has been on extreme reverence for that day in American history. When he was getting off the ground on FNC, he used the images of 9/11 to launch project he claimed would bring Americans back together.
As recounted in my new book The Backlash, he said on his now imfamous March 13, 2009 "We Surround Them" program of the attacks that...
“[t]he skies were filled with black clouds and our hearts were full of terror and fear. We realized -- for the first time -- how fragile we really were.” As Beck addressed his coast-to-coast audience, viewers saw images of anguished, tearful women, head in hands, mouths agape, staring at the hellish fires of the World Trade Center, then a mother racing down a Manhattan byway pushing two children in a stroller, away from the deadly dust.The 9/12 Project, which devolved in a matter of days into an anti-Barack Obama backlash movement, was described by Beck as aimed:"to bring us all back to the place we were on September 12, 2001. The day after America was attacked we were not obsessed with Red States, Blue States or political parties. We were united as Americans, standing together to protect the values and the principles of the greatest nation ever created."In fact, Beck even told his much ballyhooed Restoring Honor rally in D.C. last month that 9/11 was a sign from the Almighty, presumably to turn Americans away from things like greed and back to the things that really matter:He has been sending us wake-up calls, and you can send two kinds of wake-up calls. One through fear, like 9/11. Nine-eleven woke us up, and we stood shoulder-to-shoulder for a very short period of time. Politics didn't matter. Color didn't matter. It didn't matter if you were poor or if you were rich. We were Americans together. Beyond that, we were God's human creation standing together.So, with that all as a backdrop, what matters the most to Glenn Beck on September 11, 2010, the ninth anniversary of the day that terrorists slaughtered nearly 3,000 innocent Americans and ripped apart the lives of their families and friends?
Truth be told, outrageous as Beck's latest scheme is, it's almost hard to work up the outrage at this point because to those of us who aren't drinking the David Barton-fueled Kool-Aid, this is simply who Beck is: One of the most shameless business people in America, who happens to be in the business of entertainment and warping some minds politically in the process. Beck has millions of fans -- and to him they are all walking ATM machines. He thinks nothing of selling the people who admire him overpriced gold coins or surivial seed banks and "Food Insurance" kits, none of which they need, and almost every Beck event not named "Restoring Honor" is designed around maximizing ticket prices.
Update: The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart has written about these grifters' appearance. Christopher Balfe, President of Beck's media company, is claiming, today, that Palin will only introduce Beck and will not receive a fee, and that Beck intends to donate his fee. More.