It's a refrain Glenn Beck hasn't stopped singing. The folks at his 8-28 "Restoring Honor" rally were "regular working stiffs, moms and dads, people just like you who care about America." He stressed the point tonight on his Fox News show by contrasting the 8-28 attendees with the "radicals" who showed up for the 10-02 rally this past weekend on the Mall, whom he called "communists, revolutionaries, people who have called for the destruction of America."
Beck said he knew they were radicals because they were "carrying giant signs bragging" about being socialists -- unlike at 8-28, where "there weren't any signs because the people who came weren't professional protestors or agitators." Excuse me?
Beck spent weeks telling his Fox News viewers not to bring signs to the rally for fear that the "message" would be lost. For example: [from Nexis]
- July 26: "Are there racists in tea party? I'm sure there are. Are there racists in coffee clutches? I'm sure there are. Are there racists in the NAACP? I'm sure there are. There are racists throughout all of society. But they are infiltrated. This is why I say you don't want to bring the signs to 8/28 in Washington. It will be much easier to find out who is who. Bring your kids. Because all they ever show are the signs, and then the message gets lost."
- August 5: "Stand up. Come and join me, arm in arm, the steps of Lincoln Memorial, 8/28. Leave your signs at home. Bring your children."
- August 10: "8/28 in Washington, at the steps on the feet of Abraham Lincoln. Grab your family. Leave your signs at home. You grab your family and you join me there."
- August 11: "[W]hat is going to happen on 8/28 will be a miracle. This is something that you do not want to miss. Bring your children. Leave your signs at home. Bring your children. Come as you are, but leave far more powerful."
And the week of the rally, Beck became more forceful, telling those who planned to bring signs to just stay home:
- August 24: "Come as you are. Leave your signs at home. Bring your children. Bring your spirit. And let me tell you something, you come as you are, but you leave there much more powerful. See you Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C."
- August 25: "We're in Washington, D.C. on Saturday. I'm going to be right there and you can see this is shot of the Lincoln Memorial you see where they are building Restoring Honor - those are two of the video towers over there. They're building the stage in front. It is quite amazing. Make sure you are here Saturday. Bring your kids. Come as you are. Leave your signs at home. Come as you are and leave stronger."
- August 26: "Let me just say this: If you are planning to drive here from -- I don't care if it's across the street or 1,000 miles, to hold up campaign slogan sign, go home. Save your time. First of all, no signs. Don't bring your signs. Bring your hearts. Bring your open minds. That's it. Bring your kids. Your kids are important. If you bring a sign, you're going to be disappointed. No signs."
The people at his 8-28 rally may not have been "professional protesters or agitators," but what would have happened if Beck hadn't told them to leave the signs at home? We would have seen signs like these, a fact Beck himself seemed to acknowledge when he bragged afterwards that there were no "racist signs" for the media to cover because he had told his followers, "Don't bring any signs."