Opinion Brief

Battle of the rallies: 'One Nation' vs. Glenn Beck's 'Restoring Honor'

As many as 200,000 liberals marched in Washington over the weekend. Did their turnout trump Beck's?

Tens of thousands of progressives gathered on Washington's National Mall on Saturday for the "One Nation Working Together" march, an implicit answer to Glenn Beck's Aug. 28 "Restoring Honor" rally at the same spot. Beck's large, ostensibly apolitical event was widely interpreted as a sign of Tea Party strength. So what did the "One Nation" rally — organized by 400 unions, civil rights groups, Christian denominations, and other left-leaning groups — achieve? (Watch The Week's Sunday Talk Show Briefing about the rally's impact)

This is the best all those unions can muster? The "One Nation" organizers "are proud of their diversity," says Byron York in The Washington Examiner. And the march was diverse, if you count the number of union locals bussed in for the event. But despite the clear determination of the organizers to outdo Beck, all that union "organizing muscle... couldn't turn out as many people as one man on talk radio and Fox News."
"At 'One Nation' rally, a unionized show of unity"

Liberals beat Beck at his own game: "One Nation" not only drew more people than Beck's "much ballyhooed" rally, says Nicole Belle in Crooks and Liars, but did so "without the benefit of months and months of advertising and promotion on Fox News." The "corporate media" is so enamored of the Tea Party that it will underplay this event. But if this "massive" rally is any hint, progressives are plenty energized ahead of the midterm elections.
"'One Nation' rally draws more attendees than Beck's 'Whitestock'"

Numbers don't equal relevance: The "impressive enough" turnout won't alter the media's midterm narrative, says Steve Kornacki in Salon. Nor should it. The Beck/Sarah Palin rally mattered because of Beck and Palin, whose success "perfectly represents this moment in American history." Face it, the Tea Party is just more interesting than the Democratic base. Is there a "relevant" liberal antidote to Beck? Watch Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity."
"Ed Schultz, you're no Glenn Beck"

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