Last year, Glenn Beck and a variety of right-wing organizations and corporate front groups exploited the anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks to stage a protest of President Obama. This year, many of the same groups are planning yet another rally with the same themes as last time.
But in addition to using September 11th as a launching pad to score political points, the right is now using the day to rake in cash. A sampling of the 9/11 profiteers:
– This weekend, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are hosting a rally in Anchorage, Alaska to mark the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Ticket prices range from $73.75 per person (including taxes and fees) to a high of $225. As the Hill newspaper reports, “there was no indication as to whom or what the proceeds will go.”
– Disgraced lobbyist Ralph Reed is using his consulting firm Century Strategies to host a “Faith and Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing” with an assortment of conservatives, including Brent Bozell, Tony Perkins, Rich Lowry, Tucker Carlson, Grover Norquist, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA), Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Erick Erickson, and others. The event is on September 10th-11th, and costs $95 for early registration.
– Newt Gingrich is using the September 11th anniversary to unveil a new movie called “America At Risk,” which Gingrich says will drive the “national dialogue” about President Obama’s failure to address the rise of “Radical Islam” and its attempt to impose Sharia law on the United States. Gingrich’s website notes that the public can “pre-order your copy now for just $19.95 plus $4 shipping.”
Watch a trailer for Gingrich’s latest profit-seeking fear film here:
As yesterday’s Progress Report explains, conservatives have desecrated the memory of September 11th by using the anniversary to encourage hate against American Muslims. A church in Gainesville, FL — ironically-named the Dove World Outreach Center — plans to insult Muslims across the world by hosting an “International Burn a Quran Day” rally on September 11th in which members will burn Islam’s sacred text “to destroy the works of the devil.” In New York City, hate blogger Pam Geller and the radical right-wing group Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) is channeling the prevalent paranoid hysteria over the proposed Cordoba House Islamic community center into a rally against the project this Saturday.
But it’s more than just hate and lame election season political rallies. Right-wing leaders see September 11th as just another opportunity to enrich themselves.