Glenn Beck’s big Restoring Courage rally in Israel is set to happen next Wednesday.
We’re told the event has long been sold out (about 1600-1700 seats) but turns out one group of people will not be attending: Members of Congress.
On Beck’s radio show yesterday Rep. Joe Walsh revealed that a group of Congressmen had hoped to travel to Israel for the Restoring Courage event and meet with Israeli officials, but were rejected by the House ethics committee.
Among other things the House Ethics Committee felt the Beck “portion of the fact finding mission had the appearance of a political event.”
Needless to say Beck did not take kindly to the refusal:
“This has been going on now for a couple of weeks and I haven’t said anything because I wanted it to play out in the system, but Speaker Boehner, you should be ashamed of yourself. The Republican party should be ashamed of themselves. They don’t have to attend my event. Let them come to our biggest ally and the only friend we still have in the Middle East in their hour of need. They don’t have to attend my event.”
Congress won’t be the only one skipping the event. Joe Lieberman, longtime Beck fan and vocal supporter of the event has now backed out. Citing the age-old “family commitment” Lieberman nonetheless reiterated his support for the event. Eric Cantor isn’t going either.
Meanwhile, over at Slate, Dave Weigel seems to think Beck’s time in the spotlight is done.
Beck’s news site, The Blaze, is doing fairly well, but I’ve never heard a peep coming out of Glenn Beck TV, and only Media Matters seems to notice Beck’s radio show. Post-Fox News, I meet conservative activists in primary states who say they miss Beck. Without Fox, his imprint on the culture is barely noticeable.
A couple of things worth nothing. The Blaze clocked 54 million page views last month which, considering it’s less than a year old, is more than ‘fairly’ good.
GBTV doesn’t launch properly until September, or at least that’s when Beck premieres his show there.
And Beck’s radio show, which was always more popular numbers-wise than his Fox show, has remained so appears to be making the exact same waves it did before.
I have no idea whether Beck will retain his cultural influence (infamy?) in a post-Fox world. And certainly based on the limited amount of coverage his Israel rally is receiving Stateside one wonders if the entire endeavour wasn’t a badly thought out and presumably expensive way for Beck to attempt to repair the damage his George Soros comments did last year.
However, considering the first book out of Beck’s new S&S imprint, which he promoted heavily on his radio show, just hit the top of the NYT YA bestseller list it’s probably fair to assume he hasn’t quite disappeared yet.