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Daniel Ruth

'Honor' is big moneymaker for the dishonorable

Looking to right-wing-nut elitist drive-by bloviator Glenn Beck for guidance on anything remotely having to do with the concept of "honor" is like looking to the Blazing Saddles' Mongo as a role model for table manners.

This guy wouldn't grasp the meaning of "honor" if it was wrapped in a red, white and blue box and presented to him by Sgt. Alvin York, Pat Tillman and Nathan Hale.

But there he will be next week on the National Mall surrounded by his fellow tea bag travelers, sycophants and gofers promoting a cause near and dear to the Lord Haw-Haw of the FOP News Network: Glenn Beck himself.

The Father Coughlin-ultra-lite will be the ringmaster for a "Restoring Honor" rally on Aug. 28 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial — the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech on the exact same spot.

This would be like Yoko Ono coming onto the stage after Luciano Pavarotti. Don't be surprised if the Great Emancipator has a giant brown paper bag over his head.

Beck, a three-card monte grifter with a microphone, has insisted the date for the rally was merely "Divine Providence," as if the Almighty reached down through the heavens, tapped the former disc jockey on the shoulder and intoned — "Glenn, pick the weekend of Aug. 28 — the Redskins will be out of town."

Aside from seizing an opportunity to fondle his ego in public, Beck has promoted the event as a fundraiser for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a perfectly respectable group that assists the families of those who have lost loved ones who served in special operations military units.

Expenses for the rally are estimated to be about $2 million — to be borne by SOWF. In the itsy-bitsyest, tiniest, almost indiscernible fine print on the organization's website, the SWOF notes it will only benefit from funds raised at the rally after it covers the costs of the event.

Costs? How much does a sedan chair for Glenn Beck cost?

And so Beck, who earns an estimated $18 million a year by way of his daily radio and television Star Chambers, which makes Bill O'Reilly look like Eric Sevareid, couldn't cough up the $2 million for an event which will only serve to promote his broadcasting and publishing interests? How "honorable" is that?

Beck probably drops $2 million a year just on his crying towels.

Also appearing with the Judge Roy Bean of broadcasting will be failed vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who pulled a Barney Fife and ran away from her responsibilities as Alaska's governor to hustle money on the book and lecture circuit. The Mommie Dearest of Radical Fringe also just signed a $1 million-an-episode reality television show deal to exploit a dysfunctional family that makes the Borgias look like the Waltons. And she couldn't help to defray some of the costs in honor of all this honor?

Some of the auction items being offered for the rally include $75,000 for a helicopter ride to Beck's Connecticut mansion, $30,000 to have breakfast with Palin and $27,000 to visit the Lipton pin-up girl herself, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and a tour of the capital by the dubious self-styled academic David Barton, who is to reputable history scholarship what finger-painting is to Renaissance art.

As for honor, thousands of snookered Beck followers will show up to idolize a man who once called up a radio rival's wife on the air to belittle her recent miscarriage. They will show up to pay homage to a man who used Terri Schiavo to boost his radio ratings, including accusing her husband Michael — on the air — of murder.

They will show up to fawn over a cruel, boorish man who was so disliked, so despised during his years at 970 WFLA-AM, that on the day he thankfully left the station a box of doughnuts he sent to the station's newsroom as peace offering went untouched as a matter of principle, an act of defiance and self-denial rare in a radio newsroom.

At the same time Beck's self-indulgent predicate for his hubris rally is simply …wrong, hardly a rare occurrence for the Ann Coulter in pants.

Tell the returning soldiers from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan their "honor" needs to be restored. Where did it go in the first place? Tell the inner city high school teacher, who does more for this country before homeroom begins than Glenn Beck sobbing over his microphone, that he or she has an honor problem that needs remodeling.

When there is a crisis anywhere in the world — a flood, an earthquake, a tsunami — what country is first on the scene to provide aid and comfort? This country, which in Glenn Beck's simplistic view, has an honor deficit.

If there is any "honor" that needs to be restored it can found in the bathroom mirror of a Connecticut estate, paid for by exploiting people's fears, anxieties, prejudices and ignorance. And, oh yes, their checkbooks, too.

'Honor' is big moneymaker for the dishonorable 08/19/10 [Last modified: Thursday, August 19, 2010 8:28pm]
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