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Glenn Beck To Announce Charity On Aunty Em’s Birthday

Reported by Aunty Em - May 29, 2011 -

Who wouldn’t be flattered? When word leaked out on MEDIAite that Fox News evangelist, and savior of the Holy Land, Glenn Beck was going to launch his new, super-duper secret charity event on my upcoming birthday, I was thrilled. With Pops out of town, I’ll be celebrating my birthday alone.

I followed the original source for the article and discovered Epiphany NYC, run by Reverend Jennifer Linman: “an Episcopal priest in NYC, the mother of a toddler, and the wife of a Lutheran pastor. I'd call myself a ‘hopeful cynic’-I am full of hope and love for the people of the world, especially those at Epiphany, but also know that the cross is always out there, so I'm rarely surprised by evil.”

The amusing diary entry begins “Only in NYC can a priest spend her morning working out the answer to the question, ‘Under what circumstances can Glen Beck come volunteer at our homeless feeding program?’ and it only gets funnier after that. Reverend Linman describes an out-of-the-blue phone call from Beck “assistant” (read: intern) Tiffany and negotiations begin to have Beck, camera crews in tow, come out to humiliate the homeless by using them as a backdrop for his latest scheme: charity. [I’ll tell you why it’s a scheme below.] She writes with deliciously understated snark:

“Why us?” I asked incredulously. Tiffany explained that she liked the way we treated our guests with “dignity”, seating them for meals rather than treating them like people at a “regular soup kitchen.” Agreed. We do treat our guests with dignity. Which is why it was hard to picture how Glenn Beck could join us without their dignity being violated and turned into a nameless backdrop.

But there's no such thing as bad publicity, right? And we need volunteers, and to raise awareness of homlessness [sic] and hunger, and frankly, Rachel Maddow and Keith Olberman have never shown any interest in volunteering at our program, so I tried to keep an open mind. This was not aimed at the Fox News audience, but for the future, unspecified “charitable” work that Glenn Beck will be doing after he leaves that network. I told Tiffany that many of our guests did not like to have their pictures taken. “Oh, Glenn will get them to talk to him. He's just so likeable!”

No, really. Tiffany said that. I wish I could quote all of the good Reverend, but just a few more, please:

It wasn't hard to imagine the reception Glen Beck would get from most of our weekly volunteers, though, whose politics lean pretty far to the left. If he did come, it would be a real test of the hospitality of Christians. We welcome everyone to eat on Wednesdays—you can be homless, you can be poor, you can be mentally ill—and there are probably even a few people who are taking advantage of a free dinner. (No doubt Glen Beck would suss them out instantly.) And if we welcome all, then we need that to mean all—even people with whom we disagree.

[After some back and forth phone calls and negotiations.]

I called Tiffany, pretty sure that this wasn't going to work for her--but if his real aim was to help, as she claimed, it was a good offer. This way he would be helpful. Showing up next Wednesday with cameras would not be helpful.

I never even got to the “no camera” part—by the time I said it needed to be later in June, her answer was “That's not going to work. We need this for the June 7th launch.” “What happens on June 7th?” A pause. "Oh. Well, you'll hear all about it because it's going to be really big. It's the launch of Glenn's new charitable and political initiative. And now you're really going to miss out. It's very disappointing.” And with that, she was gone. So much for unspecified future projects.

So Mr. Beck, in case you ever read this, know that you are welcome to volunteer at our homeless feeding program—just like everyone else. We'd love to have you. We'd love to have you come to our fundraising auction on June 10 and help us raise money to feed the 120 souls who come through our doors every Wednesday. We'd even love you to come here with a camera and do a story on homelessness and hunger. But our feeding program isn't just a backdrop to make you look good. If you really want to “roll up your sleeves” and make a difference, come on by, and you will be welcome. And over time, that might make you look good.

But, Beck isn’t interested in rolling up his sleeves and making a difference, only in “looking good.” Glenn Beck is out to burnish his image and try and prove his cockamamie theory that Social Justice is only a function of Private Charity and that Government and The Church should stay out of the Social Justice business. Remember his attacks on Jim Wallis? And, George Soros? And, The Tides Foundation? And the government? [Every Beck show.] Keep in mind Tiffany called this, “Glenn's new charitable and political initiative.” That’s why this whole thing is really just another feverish Beck scheme dreamed up in the middle of the night. It’s nice to see that he wants to give something back to the people who have made him a fabulously wealthy man. But it’s hard not to be as cynical as Reverend Linman.

Lately Beck has been launching one project after another, all money-making ventures to cushion his landing when his carefully stage-managed exit from Fox News finally takes effect. And, it’s no secret that the Fox News gig was one of Beck’s Media Empire's least financial engines for the last two years, garnering a mere $2,000,000 p/year of his estimated $32 million p/year paycheque. So the question begs itself: Will Glenn Beck put his money where his mouth is and seed my birthday charity with some money of his own? Or will he, as I suspect, turn to his vast audience of sheeple and urge them to donate to his latest scheme to put Glenn Beck in The Spotlight and Prove All His Critics Wrong Once And For All?

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