"Glenn Beck's rally on the anniversary and at the site of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech is drawing criticism, protests and questions about his intentions," writes Phillip Elliot at the AP.
"When Fox News and talk radio host Glenn Beck comes to Washington this weekend to headline a rally intended to 'restore honor' to America, he will test the strength - and potentially expose the weaknesses - of a conservative grass-roots movement that remains an unpredictable force in the country's politics," writes Amy Gardner from the Washington Post.
"Even as he prepares for a Saturday rally that could cement his status as an unparalleled force in conservative politics, Glenn Beck is facing quiet but persistent questions from some on the right about whether he can be a reliable partner for advancing conservative causes — or whether his main cause is advancing Glenn Beck," writes Kenneth Vogel at Politico.
We can't ignore the controversy: Beck is holding the rally at a time and place that is sure to draw scorn from a multitude of people. He's doing it in the middle of election season, adding additional political weight to his avowed apolitical rally. Beck is a huge talker, and talks a lot about things that no one else does.
But that's just one side of the coin. There are a multitude of people who believe that Beck is perfectly justified in holding the rally at that time and place, and even consider it an well-executed move. He's got solid Christian credentials, so even if the rally does leak into politics, he's built a firm foundation on which to honor our troops and focus on values. And Beck's talking isn't just background noise: his audience of over 3 million cable viewers are dedicated to his cause, and eager to spread the word.
Most importantly, let's not lose sight of the forest in the trees. Beck is motivating hundreds of thousands of Americans to get off their couch and get inspired. He's providing a venue to praise our military and focus on what's important, and no matter what your view of his political maneuverings, he's doing a very effective job.
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