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Beck's High-Priced Wilmington, OH Tickets Are Supposed To Benefit A Hard-Hit Community

Reported by Ellen - December 13, 2010 -

I posted earlier today about Glenn Beck's high-priced tickets for his upcoming appearance in Wilmington, Ohio on Wednesday. According to Beck, Wilmington is a town of about 12,500 people, with about 7,500 people unemployed. Beck's appearance there is supposedly an attempt to help out Wilmington. His website states that the "net proceeds" from the expensive tickets ($500 to "meet and greet" Beck or $125 to watch his radio show broadcast or his "America's First Christmas" show) will go to "local non-profits" in Wilmington. But the bottom line is that it's unlikely the very people Beck is supposedly there to help will be able to afford to see the show that's there to help them.

Presumably, Beck is hoping that some of his well-heeled fans will arrive in town and spend lots of dough elsewhere in Wilmington besides just in Beck's coffers. But those fans may be a tad peeved to find out that they have been deceived if they believed Beck's description of Wilmington as a town that rejected federal assistance.

As Media Matters reported, Beck has touted Wilmington as having "turned to faith, hope, charity" rather than "looking for a handout.“ The reality? Not so much. Media Matters said:

Wilmington and its surrounding county have, in fact, received $6 million worth of federal funds via the 2009 stimulus bill; a bill that Beck, of course, has derided as evil and un-American. And as Politifact.org noted, in the wake of the DHL pull out of the area, Wilmington received $7 million in emergency federal funds.

So in total, approximately $13 million in federal funds have flowed into Wilmington in recent years. But Beck pretends the town isn’t accepting “any money from the government.”

But here’s another punch line: On Dec. 15, Beck will be appearing live onstage at Wilmington’s downtown Murphy Theater. And guess what? Last year Wilmington’s local Republican Congressman secured nearly $300,000 in federal aid to cover the cost of repairing the theater’s heating system. That’s not all. The GOP representative is now petitioning Uncle Sam for an additional $1.5 million (in the form of an earmark no less!) to pay for refurbishing the theater.

Last month, Beck promised his visit to Wilmington would not be "extravagant" or "big." He also told his Fox News viewers, "I'm going to do a show in actually one local theater that last year they did a show in -- because they do it every year. They do a show about the history of their town, and the furnace went out. And people came, but they were sitting in jackets. But they still came."

Maybe $500 a pop is chickenfeed for a guy like Beck. But for those Wilmingtonites who might be on a more stringent budget than Beck, there is an alternative. They can watch the show at the soup kitchen at Sugar Tree Ministries. Beck told his viewers today, "They've set it up and we've provided a access to the broadcast so you can watch it there." Also, a pizza place will be broadcasting live. They can also watch it on Glenn Beck's subscription-only website.

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