Glenn Beck’s 8-28 Rally: The Wager and the Controversy
*Pictures and commentary from the rally here*
On Wednesday Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck had a conversation where Bill promised to have Glenn anchor The Factor’s 8pm time slot. The wager is based on O’Reilly’s projection that only 15 or 20 thousand people will show up for Beck’s 8-28 Restoring Honor event. Glenn is hoping for well over 100,000
So will Beck see a mass of humanity or will even those in the back of the crowd have a great view? It’s impossible to estimate, but some available information can serve as a lower-end guideline to the number of people that might show up. At GlennBeck.com, they have a map with markers to show every bus that has registered with them. This does not represent every bus that’s going, just every bus that has told the organizers that they will be there. Here’s a screenshot from 8-21-10 around noon EST.
I went to the map and zoomed in to see if I could count the number of registered buses when I quickly realized the error in my approach: the map has a single pin per group. I know for a fact that one of the pins represents six buses not one, but there is no way to know that from the map. Many of these pins probably represent 6 or more buses. We’ll break it down by area:
From the Richmond Tea Party:
UPDATE: WE ARE COMPLETELY SOLD OUT OF BUS TICKETS. WE HAVE 10 BUSES GOING TO THE 8/28 EVENT. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CHECK INTO OTHER OPTIONS, PLEASE EMAIL PHIL SCOTT AT [email protected]
From the Triangle Conservatives Unite:
312 Yes · 20 Waiting, .. buses have 56 seats
Using the 56 seats per bus, one could conclude that they have 6 buses going, although the site only says 5. I contacted the organizer, Laura Long, to confirm the sixth bus and will update this post with her response should she comment. This post does seem to indicate a sixth bus.
*Update*: Laura Long of Triangle Conservatives Unite did respond to a few questions I had left for her. The delay is perfectly understandable as coordinating six buses full of excited patriots has got to be time-consuming. Although, not a smooth transition in the article, anyone that has done so much for Conservatism deserves a little spotlight. Here’s the interchange:
Rich: How many buses have you arranged for the 8-28 Restoring Honor rally?
Laura: I have arranged for 6 buses (56 people per bus).
Rich: If you had to guess, how many people do you think will be attending the event?
Laura: I heard from the RFK stadium today that there are over 1,000 buses registered, so bus attendees alone will make up 50,000 people, I could easily see 100,000 people showing up
Rich: Why are you personally going to the event?
Laura: I am attending this event to honor those who fought for and continue to fight for our country and our way of life – our wonderful military. I think our freedom is at stake as the government seizes more control of our lives, usurps more of our private property and taxes more of our hard-earned dollars. I am attending this rally to stand shoulder to shoulder with Americans who want to see an end to corruption in our government and a stricter adherence to our Constitution.
There are also the possible attendees that are impossible to count:
- The tens of thousands that live in the D.C. area that will attend a local, free, historic event because of the relatively light effort.
- Those flying because a bus ride will take too much time to cross the country both ways
- Those driving themselves
- Buses and vans not registered with the site
- Those attending for other major events or on vacation who may decide to drop in – 3.6 Million people visit the Lincoln Memorial each year – the low end estimate would put an additional 10,000 people from just daily visitation.
Of course the city will already have a large incursion of individuals as Al Sharpton is organizing a rally to commemorate Martin Luther King’s original “I Have a Dream” speech. A worthy cause that will hopefully interact in a positive and peaceful manner with the Restoring Honor event – they are both seeking the same end. I would hope those going for the perspective events, might seek to attend the other if possible. In this article, Sharpton said as much.
Sharpton, who has planned a march that day to commemorate King’s legacy, says Beck’s rally contradicts King’s legacy. “For Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin to have a march, they have the right to do so. Many of us suspect they are using the symbolism of that day in a way that does not reflect what the day is about,” Sharpton said. “At no point will we interchange. We will not desecrate the march and what King stood for.”
The attendance may also be boosted by less-than-honorable causes as counter-ralliers like this group from Butch Femme Planet
Let’s CRASH Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally!!!
This is an outrage- pure and simple. Honestly, we do need to make noise about this!!! Some coverage has been on MSNBC lately…. but not enough!! This is slated to happen during the annual MLK commemorative festivities in DC.
Beck has stated that Republicans are responsible for the civil rights movement in the US and that they are going to take it back!! Yes, he is crazy… but crazy like a fox (pun intended), has mojo going with the ultra-conservative right, has a TV and radio show, and people listen to him! Hitler was crazy, too…. let us not forgot the kinds of people that desire power and adoration and what they can do especially in times of economic decline.
Forget about old Rush…. Beck is really a dangerous human being!
And a group that is calling themselves “Celebrate the Dream”
On August 28, 1963, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a modern-day Founding Father, delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
On the 47th anniversary of King’s historic proclamation, far-right fearmonger Glenn Beck will hold a self-serving press event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. He’s trying to co-opt King’s Dream, with a Nightmare message to his throng of followers.
Don’t let this buffoon diminish a day that belongs to all Americans. Join us to Celebrate the Dream and Reject the Nightmare.
Glenn’s counter to this inflammatory statement:
“It was not my intention to select 8-28 because of the Martin Luther King tie. It is the day he made that speech. I had no idea until I announced it and I walked offstage and my researchers said, New York Times has already just published that this is (the same day as the King speech) — and I said, ‘Oh, jeez.’ ”
He went on to say: “I believe in divine providence. I believe this is a reason (the date was chosen), because whites don’t own the Founding Fathers. Whites don’t own Abraham Lincoln. Blacks don’t own Martin Luther King. Humans, humans embrace their ideas or reject their ideas. Too many are rejecting the Founders’ ideas. Too many have forgotten Abraham Lincoln’s ideas and far too many have either gotten just lazy or they have purposely distorted Martin Luther King’s ideas of judge a man by the content of his character. Lately, in the last 20 years, we’ve been told that character doesn’t matter. Well, if character doesn’t matter, then what was Martin Luther King asking people to judge people by?”
If registered buses alone will be responsible for 50+ thousand attendees, I image double that number will fly, drive, or use the local mass transit systems to attend. Tack on all the counter-rally publicity and this will be an event of historic measure. I am personally attending the rally. I am attending as a journalist and an American. I will be taking in the events for myself and to share with every one of you. If you aren’t part of it, will you be left saying, “I wish I had”?
*Update: Wanna know what I saw of counter-protests at the rally? First hand account with pictures HERE*
If you are going to the rally, please consider this video on what to bring and what not to bring.