Monday, August 30, 2010

ReasonTV: What We Saw at the Glenn Beck Rally in DC

On August 28, 2010, Fox News host Glenn Beck held his "Restoring Honor" rally at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The aim of the event, explained the lachrymose TV personality, was to "come celebrate America by honoring our heroes, our heritage and our future."

As the Washington Post reports,

"For too long, this country has wandered in darkness, and we have wandered in darkness in periods from the beginning," Beck said, at times pacing at the memorial. "We have had moments of brilliance and moments of darkness. But this country has spent far too long worried about scars and thinking about the scars and concentrating on the scars.

"Today," he continued, "we are going to concentrate on the good things in America, the things that we have accomplished - and the things that we can do tomorrow. The story of America is the story of humankind."

Despite the presence of former Gov. Sarah Palin and many Tea Party trappings, the event was not political, or at least not in any conventional sense. Rather, the speakers called for bringing religion into the public square and using it as the guiding force in all aspects of American life. was on hand to take in the day and talk with some of the thousands of people who showed up (crowd estimates were unavailable at the time of this writing, though the crowd felt thinner than the one at last year's Tea Party rally). Most of the people we talked to were openly skeptical of politicians of both major parties and agreed strongly with the religious bent of the rally, often arguing that some sort of religious orientation was necessary for what that saw as a return to national greatness.

"What We Saw at the Glenn Beck Rally in DC" was shot by Jim Epstein with help from Josh Swain. Edited by Epstein and Meredith Bragg. Hosted by Nick Gillespie.