At a rally Saturday at a massive retirement community in central Florida, Beck is planning to unveil what he has billed as a “big plan” for 2010, which is expected to involve the 9.12 Project, the group he started earlier this year and named for the day after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, when he says the nation was unified.
“Coming this January, my whole approach changes on this program,” he hinted cryptically on his Wednesday show. “This next year is going to be critical and I think it's going to change and I think we are going to set it right, at least set our course right. And if that means the Democrats or the Republicans are destroyed along the way, well, good. Good.”
Beck's Saturday rally, which is set for 3 p.m. will be broadcast live on Fox, and is timed to coincide with the kickoff of a tour promoting his new book, “Arguing with Idiots.”
After Beck unveiled his 9.12 Project, dozens if not hundreds of local 912 groups sprung up across the country and some have merged in purpose and tactics with the Tea Party movement of conservatives that exploded onto the scene this summer. Though the local 912 groups clearly look to Beck as their de-facto leader, they maintain no formal ties to Beck’s 9.12 Project.
The 9.12 Project is co-sponsoring a march on Washington on Sept. 11, 2010 partly to protest the policies of President Barack Obama and Congress. A source said the talk show host is not going to attend, but is planning to become more involved in 912 movement activities.
The 2010 march – called the “We the People Restore Our Constitution March, Rally and 9/11 Memorial” – is planned for Washington’s National Mall. Its other co-sponsor is an online activism group called ResistNet.com.
ResistNet’s Darla Dawald credited Beck with setting in motion the march, but said he’s not involved in its planning. “Glenn doesn’t want it to be about him – always about the people,” Dawald, who is leading march planning for ResistNet, wrote in an email. “He wanted the 9.12 Project people (grassroots) to be involved and step forward – not him.”
Christine Drawdy, a Florida event promoter involved in the Tea Party and 912 movements who is listed as the travel coordinator for the 2010 march, said the permit for the march is in the name of The 9.12 Project’s administrator, Yvonne Donnelly.
Though Drawdy stressed that Beck “is not the leader of” the 912 movement, she added “all he has to do is say something and they’ll jump.”
ResistNet’s Dawald said she was asked to join the march planning effort by Donnelly, who works with Beck on the 9.12 Project website but did not respond to an email message.
Beck has emerged as a potentially potent populist force in conservative politics, as evidenced by the response to his broadcast in March urging viewers to try to recreate a united America, calling out politicians for leading the nation astray, and unveiling the 9.12 Project.
Local 912 groups sprang up, and many credited Beck’s on-air promotions with the huge turnout at the Sept. 12, 2009 “Taxpayer March on Washington,” where some waved “Glenn Beck for President” and said Beck spurred them to become politically active for the first time.
But Beck’s 9.12 Project played no role in sponsoring or planning this year’s march, nor did he attend it. He has mostly not involved himself personally in any of the 912 movement activities, and has downplayed characterizations that he is leading the movement.
Nonetheless, Fox News has drawn fire from media ethicists and liberals alike for breathlessly promoting Tea Party marches, and for whipping up the crowd at the Sept. 12 rally.
The 912 Project website, which is maintained by Mercury Radio Arts, Beck’s production company but hosted by Fox News, lists the march among many other upcoming 912 events, and provides a link for subscribers to sign up.
The FoxNews.com logo adorns the lower right hand corner of the 912 Project homepage, which indicates it is “Brought to you by FOXNews.com” and links to the network’s website.
Publicists for Fox News and Mercury Radio Arts did not respond to questions about the announcement, or the roles of Beck, Fox or Mercury in The 9.12 Project or planning the march.
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