There has been a flurry of speculation over an event in Anchorage this Saturday. The date of course is important -- 9/11. But it's the dual appearance of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin that has led to all kinds of questions. The most common have to do with politics. Will Palin announce a presidential bid? Will Beck? Is this a new dream ticket? Would this be the worst ticket ever? Will they sing?
I've posed some of these questions to Glenn Beck and I did receive a response of sorts. More on that in a moment.
The Week has pulled together their five favorite theories. They acknowledge what Glenn said on the radio: "I'm gonna give a speech up there, and Sarah's gonna give a speech, too, but that's it." But then add:
Beck's coyness, along with Palin's silence and the provocative date, have only amped up the speculation about this "mysterious" event.
Number five on their list is the conclusion of Salon writer Alex Pareene:
Either Sarah Palin is running for president, or she and Glenn Beck are just embarking on another of the money-making schemes that they are both deeply devoted to. Almost certainly the latter.
Almost certainly. Roger Ebert, though, is focusing much more on what he thinks the message will be:
Beck and Palin speak about "taking back America." The buried message is that they will take it back from Muslims. This is a heartless misuse of the tragedy of 9/11 and its victims.
This is a lot to process. And I have a new theory. It won't be so much of a joint appearance as Beck and Palin passing briefly like ships. I concocted this theory to justify the posting of a leftover picture I have from 8/28.
Or is that a sign that someone else may be joining Dancing With the Stars?
I am interested in the venue however. The Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center. Who are the Dena'ina? According to Wikipedia:
Glenn has talked about Native Americans on TV recently. Some saw theological import in that. And the 8/28 event paid tribute to Native Americans. Beck and Palin were both there. As they will be at the Dena'ina Center on Saturday. Coincidence?
My investigation, though, reveals trouble. Note this from the Dena'ina Center website:
So far so good. But then you see this:
See the problem? First I think we'll all agree that this event likely fits the categories of Talks & Lectures in the first image. But in the second image we the listing of "comedians" & "personalities." I realize some may disagree with with any notion that Glenn could ever be intentionally amusing. But personally, I think he fits in BOTH categories And look if you buy the pricey seats up front the tears make it kind of like going to see Gallagher. However, the actual problem is in the very last line. "Nearly 200 stations nationwide." Uh oh. Either Glenn recently lost half his affiliates, or someone in Alaska didn't get the news:
With the addition of Los Angeles' KRLA-AM on July 6th, Fox News host Glenn Beck's radio show will now be carried by 400 affiliates nationwide. When the program launched in 2002, it was carried on just 47 stations.
Got it people? That's 400. But Glenn is used to being undercounted (hello CBS News!).
Many of the "mainstream" media outlets have missed what is happening on 9/10 at the Dena'ina. The appearance of actual comedian Carlos Mencia.
Coincidence? Is there a chance that the Mind of Mencia may meld with the Tears of a Clown? Please let there be a chance.
I will also tell you that I was curious about one other listing:
What is this production of Souvenir all about? Only this:
A heartfelt, wickedly funny look at self-perception and friendship.
Then it hit me -- that is probably the exact message Beck/Palin (it's the Cold/Fresh tour -- get it? Alaska -- cold?) will bring on Saturday night!
Still -- wickedly funny might not be the perfect vibe for 9/11. There has to be something more. Right?
I did decide to pose a few questions to Glenn Beck via late night e-mail. I hold some sway. I am the Managing Editor. Surely, I'd get straight answers. Glenn responded that the event is "a speech that I agreed to give." And he said Sarah Palin would speak too. Great. I got the same answer that he gave on the radio. But then he added that his talk will mention 9/11, but that 9/11 will not be the focus. He said he intends to "go farther."
Go farther? What does that mean? I guess wickedly funny is out of the question.