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Glenn Beck and the Ground Zero mosque

Glenn Beck has said his “restoring honor” rally at the Lincoln Memorial this weekend — on the same site and date as Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech — has “nothing to do with” the controversy over the building of an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero.

But in the essay, Alison Stewart points out that there is, in fact, a connection. Both situations bring up painful memories and, no matter who or what you support, in these two cases, you can’t really argue that.


  • Regina 1959

    Glenn Beck is so entertainment it isn’t funny. He’s only doing this for the money – he’s said so in a recent interview. He said, “I don’t give a flying crap about politics, we are an entertainment company.” So anything he says is just to hear him speak, not that he has anything intelligent to say. Just another voice like Bill O’Reilly – entertainment guru.

  • robert thompson

    Accepting the right of a Muslim group to develop a cultural center in Manhattan (the distance from “ground zero” is not relevant to their choice of a site.) I can support their right to do that and that does not “logically” require me to accept Glenn Beck’s self-promoting antics done for political provocation at a site selected on the basis of its historical and cultural elements. Sorry, Alison, but your logic and rhetorical argument skills are not up to PBS standards. Do better.

  • korrectamundo

    I would trust Groucho Marx more than I would Glenn Beck.
    Despite Beck’s recent assertion that he might be more about entertainment than politics, the fact is that he does nothing to correct the mistake, embraced as truth by many citizens, that he has something worthwhile to say about anything in particular.

  • DK 1960

    Your attempt to smear Glenn Beck is nothing more than 5th grade pretzel logic. If I support building the Ground Zero Mosque next to the site of the worst Islamic led massacre in U.S. history, I MUST support Glenn Beck’s right to speak at the Lincoln Memorial. Why? Because there will probably be some tea party members in attendance, and of course someone at a tea party rally held a sign making fun of President Obama earlier this year. Of course! Murdering 3,000 innocent civilians = making fun of President Obama! Got it.

    If you can direct me to anything on video or in writing where you criticize those who mercilessly savaged President Bush for eight years, I will gladly send a donation of $100 to PBS.

    Give me a break Alison. This is why I throw my PBS fund raising letter in the trash every year.

  • DianeElizabeth

    “Sorry, Alison, but your logic and rhetorical argument skills are not up to PBS standards. Do better.” So true…her argument was so vey lame it caused my brain to hurt.

  • Fred

    Restoring Honor, August 28,2010, Washington, D.C.
    Honor is a great respect given and received.
    Our country’s founders had a great respect for God!
    Throughout history America has seen many great leaders and noteworthy citizens change her course. It is through their personal virtues and by their example that we can live as a free country. On August 28th, come celebrate America by honoring our heroes, our heritage and our future.

  • Michigan99

    Although Alison’s argument that if we support the building of the islamic center in nyc, we must then be in support of beck’s “freedom” rally in dc – this argument is a little weak, but it does serve as an excellent example of the hypocrisy of the tea partiers and beck fans who so vehemently oppose the islamic center yet dismiss the mlk anniversary.

    To “DK 1960″ above, to say “probably be some tea party members” is dismissive of the fact that this is predominantly a tea party event – the FreedomWorks Tea Party organization and many others are coordinating with Beck for this weekend. This is basically a huge Tea Party vacation. And further, “making fun of President Obama!” is again dismiss of the types of signs and slogans and tone and outright angst expressed in the those signs – it is pure hate. So yes, the murdering of 3,000 innocent civilians is an expression of hate and what you call “making fun” is an expression of hate.

  • Chris Gossett

    Ultimately it is a question of propriety and details. First, lets remember that it is not a Mosque being built but an Islamic center; also the center is not at Ground Zero but near it. However Glen Beck will be at the exact location where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his infamous ‘I have a dream’ speech. It’s hard to directly compare the two different events because each has its own specific details to take into consideration. Given the details of both different situations it’s easy to see that the propriety of an Islamic center being built near Ground Zero is not the same as Glen Beck giving his speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Sure we have the right to do many things in many places, unfortunately we also have the right to be wrong.

  • Andrew

    You have got to be……….. I’m not going to finish the statement because you can not fool logical trains of thought. I can not subscribe to an ideology of one sided journalist perspective that does not look at larger whole. Pointing fingers at individuals (Beck) is not substantive reporting. Try this on for size…… A large majority and minorities’ agree with the content of our freedoms, but can you report on the diversity of the content?

  • P.F. Bruns

    I am not required to accept Glenn Beck or anything he says in any way, shape, or form. He has a right to speak, but I am not required to listen. He has a right to choose a venue, but I have a right to criticize it. By the same token, I am not require to accept the word of the Koran, but I do not have the right to block a lease taken out at any location based on any religious grounds.

    However, to Glenn Beck and his Tea Party supporters and to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his group building the Islamic cultural center two (large) blocks from the World Trade Center site, I give you all the words of Chris Rock:

    “Yeah, you can do it… but it don’t mean it’s to be done! [Expletive]! You can drive a car with your feet if you want to; it don’t mean its a good [expletive] idea!

    Yes, he was channeling Albert Einstein, and he was discussing single parenthood at the time, but the principle is pretty much universally applicable.

    Glenn Beck speaking on the site of the “I Have a Dream” speech on its 40th anniversary is about as appropriate as me showing up at Dealey Plaza in Dallas on November 23 dressed as a zombie version of JFK. Yes, you can do it. Yes, you can do it. But that don’t mean it’s to be done.

    DK 1960: Show me where Alison Stewart “smeared” Beck. Where was anything she said less than absolutely factual. Her point was that many of us think of Glenn Beck with the same level of respect and credibility you accord Muslims. Now, Islam does not have a Pope the way the Catholic Church does, and even if it did, there are enough different sects of Islam, just as there are dozens of different denominations of Christianity, that a central leader would be impossible.

    For that matter, look at Timothy McVeigh, the person behind the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing. Do we deny Constitutionally guaranteed rights to other Army veterans because of his heinous crime? Other Catholics? Other…Republicans? NO! Do we deny those rights to members of militias? Unless those members singly or together create a crime, we do not. The Ku Klux Klan was allowed to adopt a highway, for Heaven’s sake (though they were later forced to relinquish it and take down their sign because they were no good at keeping their highway clean), and nobody likes them except them.

    As such, ascribing the terrible attack of September 11, 2001 smacks of religious prejudice and bigotry, and as such, I invite you to retract your statement.

  • Gil

    Reasoned arguments is what real discussion should be about – Alison Stewart’s lack of mental acuity is shocking. I was embarrassed for her, that someone involved in the show didn’t point out that what she was saying was just plain wrong. Wow.


    We fight in other countries to give them rights and freedom form oppression, but we act like tyrants here at home, what a bunch of crap America.

  • Alan

    Ms. Stewart looks great, sounds great and can be an impressive interviewer. Unfortunately, this particular editorial did not showcase her skills. I would have to respectfully disagree with some of the other commenters: her argument wasn’t wrong. In the words of Wolfgang Pauli, it was “not even wrong.” A coherent argument is one in which the pieces stick together, i.e., cohere. Ideally, a coherent argument would follow a logical sequence and would include a conclusion following from major and minor premises. If the idea was that to reiterate that the U.S. Constitution protects freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, why not just say so. I don’t think the appeal to emotionalism at the end was meangful or indicative of any fresh insight. Nevertheless, why not cut her some slack? No one is articulate and coherent all of the time.. have you checked the other channels lately?

  • Phillip Blaney

    I do not agree with or support the rightwing ideolgy that seems to spew from your nation.I’m from your northern neighbour Canuckistan so I don’t watch Fox news,so don’t really know to much about Mr. Beck.The most amusing thing about him is how he seems to become the story on any issue.I think he just might have all of America fooled both right and left.He could very well be the Andy Kaufman of our time.Laughing at all the hicks and the establishment and making a fortune off both.

  • Charles

    I have only read some of the comments. I enjoy watching Need to Know on my PBS station. Ms. Allison and her co-anchor, John, usually do a great job. I was taken off guard by her comments today regarding Glenn Beck. Beck may be “entertainment”, there are many entertainers this day and age. Beck does provide information like it or not. I’ll pick and chose what I believe to be the right information with further background. The Reverend Sharpton held a rally the same day. I’ve heard no comments on that rally. Reverend Sharpton couldn’t carry Dr. King’s sack lunch. And; Groucho Marx was a sharp critic of our politicians, he didn’t have the venue. I believe Dr. King would have supported Beck’s call to rally, the capitol belongs to us all. The Mosque can be built anywhere it is legal to do so. Respect though would place it in a place of less controversy. Allison, please leave the snide remarks to Andy.

  • Alison

    I am amazed at the ignorance of Alison Stewart. She should do her homework. It is Glenn Beck, actually at the suggestion of Al Sharpton, who did a series of spots on his television show highlighting the role African Americans played in the founding of our country. Who else has done that? Certainly not our public schools. How many of our black leaders are even doing that? Glenn Beck is not the founder, organizer, or leader of the tea party, though he is well admired by them. Dr. King’s niece also spoke at the rally. The rally was about restoring honor and faith to this country and honoring our military. They also raised money to support the families of our special forces troops wounded or killed in the wars. None of this information was difficult to come by. Another fine example of poor journalism. If you are going to editorialize, please base it on the facts.

  • C J

    So, let me get this straight Ms Alison Stewart. Because the people who might wish to come and listen to folks at the Glen Beck gathering happen to pick the wrong day of the year… the day that Martin Luther King and his admirers now own out of the 365 possible days of the year… and at a place that has belonged to all Americans way before King ever came along… but Martin Luther King and his admirers now own just because he was allowed to give one of his speeches there… and because there might be a couple pissed off “Tes Party” members who might show some signs of a certain back guy recently elected as President (even though nobody really knows if the folks holding sign are even “Tea Party” members at all or just folks holding signs THEN somehow that makes it a bad idea andmight hurt some Martin Luther King and his admirers who love to hold ralleys every chace they get in Martin Luther Kings name and they don’t want the rest of us to do or say anything on their day??

    Is that what you are trying to say with your brillian little essay? Dumb… dumd, da-da dumb, dumb.

  • Todd

    It doesn’t bother me that Glen Beck is up to his usual foolish babbling in front of crowds. He does it all the time in front of the “Fox Box”. However what does scare me is that he has a following of kool-Aide Drinkers that believe in everything that this idoit has to say. While there is the freedom of speech the Glen Beck’s of the world push it to it’s limits. We should follow Canada’s example where “Hate Speech” is illegal and punishable. While Beck kept his speech fairly clean there has been times he hasn’t with the rest of his blow-hards on Fox.

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  • Görüntülü Sohbet

    Sorry, Alison, but your logic and rhetorical argument skills are not up
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    caused my brain to hurt.

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