Today on his radio show, Glenn Beck tearfully recounted an incident from Bryant Park last night when he and his wife and daughter turned up to see a showing of the Hitchcock classic The 39 Steps. Apparently some fellow picnickers began harassing the Becks, even at one point "accidentally" kicking a glass of wine onto his wife's back. It sounded genuinely unpleasant and a little scary, though the famously paranoid Beck played up the dramatics in his retelling. "I swear to you I think, if I had suggested, and I almost did, 'Wow, does anybody have a rope? Because there's tree here. You could just lynch me.' And I think there would have been a couple in the crowd that would have," he said. He called Gawker, which ran some user-submitted photos of the Becks, "especially horrible." "They have done everything they can to stalk me and my family," he said. "They’ve put my family in jeopardy in their own home."
Then, for almost ten minutes, Beck went on an extended rant against New Yorkers and the type of twentysomethings that harassed him. "These people were some of the most hateful people I had ever seen," he said. "I was told a lot last night about how New York hates people like me."
"I really feel sorry for you," he continued. "Here you are, 25 years old, and you are so lost and so arrogant and so convinced that you are absolutely 100 percent right. And you are helping craft a system that is fueled by hate. You're being used, and you don't even know it. You're building a system fueled by the very things you say you hate: special interests, the rich, the powerful, global corporations — that’s who's pulling your string."
Update: A "hateful" 25-year-old writes in with her version of events.
To Whom It May Concern:
Just a quick FYI -saw your article on Mr. Beck and his numerous FALSE claims about the way that he was treated at Bryant Park last night. Myself and several of my friends were seated immediately behind Mr. Beck & co (have pictures) and I can tell you that while the crowd was certainly not *thrilled* that he had shown up, his family was left completely alone, and for the most part he was too. Conversely, it was his security detail (two body guards) that seemed to be unnecessarily prickly with the crowd, scolding myself and my friends for acrobatics and other harmless activities taking place well before the movie started, and contributing to a considerably less relaxed atmosphere than is typically experienced during BPMN (I've been going for about six years now).
It was my friend that spilled the glass of wine on Tanya -and I can assure you that it was a complete accident. A happy one, to be sure, but nonetheless a complete and utter accident. As soon as the wine spilled (and I question how Tanya became soaked from a half glass of wine) apologies were made and my friends pretty much scrambled to give Tanya & co napkins -no doubt aware that it would look terrible and that their actions could be perceived as purposeful. No words were exchanged after that, as I think that it became pretty clear to Beck & co that my friends and I were doing everything in our capacity to help clean the "mess".
I'm sure it's unnecessary to point out the hypocrisy in Glen's statements that we were being hateful. I can assure him that we don't need his sympathy. Incidentally, none of us have made a career of "spewing hate" on the radio, or any other media platform. We live our lives intolerant only of those who don't tolerate: We have chosen New York as our city for that very reason. We do things like go to Bryant Park Movie Night, and vote to legalize gay marriage. We don't taunt Glen, or his family. And we certainly don't waste our wine, even on Tanya.
Thanks, and please let me know if you have further questions.