Glenn Beck’s visit to Michigan

From the coverage in the Detroit Free Press, it sounds as though FOX News personality Glenn Beck may have dialed down his anti-Obama rhetoric a bit while addressing members of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce this afternoon. I don’t know if all of our calls to members of the Michigan Chamber had any impact on the content of the 60-minute presentation, which reportedly cost the Chamber in excess of $25,000, but, according to the first-hand reports I’ve heard thus far, it doesn’t seem as though Beck took the opportunity to further demonize our radical, racist, Marxist, Fascist President. At least it sounds as though, in this particular address, he was careful to point out that the problem, as he sees it, isn’t just with the Obama administration… The following clip is from the Free Press:

…But Beck said he doesn’t have much use for Democrats or Republicans.

Both parties operate in Washington like they are members of an alien life form, he said, spending too much, lying about what they’re up to and jeopardizing American freedom.

“There is a great and growing cancer in our country. It will be terminal if we don’t stop it,” Beck said.

“If we don’t stop it dead in its tracks, (we’re) finished.”

Oh, and it’s worth noting that our Democratic State Representative Alma Wheeler Smith, along with every other Democrat who had initially agreed to participate in the day’s events, ultimately refused to do so.

If you happen to see pictures, video or first hand accounts from the event, please leave a comment.

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  1. Mop Top
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    You’ll find lots of good photos on this conservative site. (Just don’t read the accompanying text.)

  2. Mr. X
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 9:44 am | Permalink


    EAST LANSING — Glenn Beck, whose penchant for saying controversial things has led dozens of companies to pull their ads from his nightly show on Fox News in recent weeks, delivered a speech to a Michigan Chamber of Commerce dinner at the Kellogg Center on Tuesday evening that was surprisingly short on shocking pronouncements.

    Despite the presence of protesters and his own history of making angry and emotional statements, Beck’s talk contained little that could be called controversial. He spoke for about an hour, expounding upon themes of patriotism, America, and pulling oneself up by the bootstraps. Beck said America was at a crossroads where it needed to make a decision.

    “There is going to come a time you will have to step up to the plate and decide what you really stand for,” Beck said.

    “Poor Michigan. You guys are being beaten on the rocks,” Beck said. “Greed has failed.”

    Beck took both Republicans and Democrats to task, saying that both parties needed to get their own houses in order before attacking the other.

    “I hate the Republicans almost as much as the Democrats,” he said.

    He did offer one opinion that might be considered controversial in Michigan, even among Republicans. Saying that failure is good because it leads to success, Beck argued that businesses like General Motors — for which he was a paid spokesperson — should have been allowed to fail, rather than given a bail out by the government.

    “The Republic is at stake. It could not be sustained the way the Republicans ran it. And it cannot be sustained the way the Democrats run it,” he said. “We’re allowing [elected officials] to play games.”

    “This is not a country of Republicans. This is not a country of Democrats. This is a country of Americans,” Beck said.

    “You can’t tear this country apart. And I know that people who are protesting today feel like that is what I do,” he said. “I have nothing to gain from this.”

    Beck’s speech was met with protesters outside the venue, holding signs and pointing out some of Beck’s past statements. Citing Beck’s claim that President Obama is a racist and his continued promotion of the idea that health care reform would create death panels or give illegal immigrants health care as examples, MSU College Democrats President Mitchell Rivard said, “This is something where we wanted to bring out as many people as possible — concerned students and citizens — and challenge the lies he continues to spread.”

    But Rivard’s group was not alone. About a dozen or so people held up signs supporting Beck. Among them was Okemos resident Kaye Lani Walters stood alone holding up a sign encouraging people to say no to socialism, which she believes Obama supports. She said she supported Beck and his message.

    Asked if she believed Beck’s allegation that Obama was a racist, Walters did not answer directly.

    “I feel like Obama is a man stuck in his own environment since he was a young boy,” she said. “He could have some redeeming qualities.”

    The protesters Tuesday night were not the only ones to express their disagreement with the Chamber’s invitation to Beck to speak. Two Democrats scheduled to speak, Michigan House Speaker Andy Dillon of Redford Township and State Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith of Salem Township, both skipped a panel they were supposed to serve on earlier in the day, Crain’s Detroit Business reported, because of Beck’s appearance.

    While the protesting continued on the street in front of the swank hotel and conference center at MSU, including political theater from a group calling itself “Coal Barons for Beck” and another group calling itself “Millionaires for Beck,” Chamber of Commerce members and guests were socializing over wine and drinks.

    About 500 people attended Beck’s speech. Among them were such notables as Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop of Rochester, Republican State Sen. Alan Cropsey of DeWitt, Republican State Rep. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge and Democratic State Rep. Robert Jones of Kalamazoo. Bishop and Cropsey sat at the same table as Beck for dinner. Also present was Attorney General Mike Cox, a Republican gubernatorial hopeful.

    Beck was not made available for interviews and was quickly escorted into the dining room and exited it via a kitchen.

    As with last weekend’s 9/12 protest in Washington, D.C., an event inspired by Beck himself, there were exaggerated reports of how many protesters were present. The MSU College Democrats put out a press release saying more than 200 people were there to protest Beck, while Beck claimed, to the delight of the audience, that he had been told there were 29 anti-Beck protesters and 41 pro-Beck protesters. Michigan State University Police Department Sgt. Dan Munford put the number at 150.

  3. Chaely
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Also interesting to note: I sent a letter to several important people (and their executive assistance) at the MI Chamber asking them to explain why they chose such a controversial keynote speaker and didn’t even receive a stock form-email in response. In fact I heard absolutely nothing. Very nice to see the people on top listening to the little people.

  4. Robert
    Posted September 17, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I hear the protest in East Lansing was pretty big. EOS and BA told me there were something like 9 million people there.

  5. Tam
    Posted September 17, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think that Beck has made any comments about Obama being racist and having something ‘against white culture’ since he was on that morning show. I think that losing 60% of his advertisers took some of the wind out of his sails. It doesn’t surprise me that he played nice here in Michigan. He knows how far he can go, and what the limits are. He’s tested the waters.

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