Ten points that don’t fit the narrative.
Journalists work hard, but the “media” is lazy. Coverage teams in the media draft history before it happens, and report events against a preconceived narrative. I understand this perfectly: As a writer, I draft an outline of how events should unfold in my fiction, so that conflicts emerge where they should to present a self-consistent story with a climax.
Here’s what I didn’t expect before watching Glenn Beck’s rally:
1. Diverse crowd – people from near and far who can’t be pigeonholed as just Tea Party, or dittoheads, or marching-in-step Republicans/
2. Friendly people – everyone I met spoke openly and politely. None of these conversations took a political turn. (My prompting question was “so what do you think you’ll remember from this rally?”)
3. Obama never mentioned – according to Politico, not once in 3.5 hours. Fits the civility.
4. More God, less Party – the Republican party stayed away. Obama and Democrats were not the target of the typical vitriol of Glenn Beck’s regular gig. (But in line with the media’s portrayal, focus was #1 Patriotic, #2 God, and #3 Money from my observations).
5. Vets honored more than they’re supported – The fundraiser for Special Operations Warrior Foundation (Glenn Beck’s Org) raised $5.5M, but this money will only go to support vets AFTER the rally itself is paid for. Glenn Beck and co. will pay none of the costs. This is legal and common, but I suspect that a lot less money would have been raised if they were upfront about what the money was being raised for.
6. Local’s not paying attention – Some of my frisbee buddies on the mall shouted sarcastic taunts at the pro-Freedom lot, without listening or thinking that this group wasn’t like the people who counter-protested the anti-war protests I organized in 2003 in DC. I am speaking from experience when I say these folks were fair, friendly, and worth listening to – even if I don’t plan to ever listen to Glenn Beck himself.