At 6 a.m. this morning, four hours before tickets were scheduled to be given away for the Friday night warmup to Glenn Beck’s Saturday rally on the National Mall, hundreds of his fans lined up against the wall of the Kennedy Center even after being told there were no tickets available. Some milled around a pickup truck emblazoned with American flags and the exhortation, “Save an American, Kill a Terrorist.” (You can get your own T-shirt at www.AlwaysRemember912.com.]
Kennedy Center security guards met new arrivals with flyers from Mercury Radio Arts – the event’s producer – giving a website where people can watch a live stream of the event. Some people decided to wait anyway. Some didn’t trust the flyer . One suggested it might have been a dirty trick by Huffington Post. Some just hoped they’d be rewarded somehow for being steadfast.
At about 6:40, Mercury Radio Arts spokesman L.J. Herman told the crowd there really were no tickets. He explained that 1500 people had lined up by 8:30 last night, meaning that all the tickets were already spoken for. Rather than making people wait all night, event organizers decided to give out the tickets then. Some of the morning arrivals were understanding and philosophical, and even saw the decision as evidence of Beck’s benevolence; others were frustrated that they had dragged themselves out of bed so early even though the tickets were long gone. Herman said an alert had been posted to GlennBeck.com last night.
Betty Ring, who traveled from Romanville, PA, worked the line, urging people not to be mad at Beck. Ring said she arrived at 10 last night, too late for tickets, but spent the night outside anyway as she had no hotel room. She encouraged people to come back to the Kennedy Center tonight for an unofficial prayer rally outside while Divine Destiny was happening inside. Ring claimed that Beck had been told by Kennedy Center officials that he could not pray inside, and that in response they will pray all night. Herman made it clear the MRA had nothing to do with the “organic” plan for the outside rally, which has no permits, and which might not be welcomed by Kennedy Center security, which was already working the building with dogs this morning.
After the crowd was asked to disperse, most people wandered off, while others lingered over their coffee, speculating among themselves with wonder just how massive the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial will be.