In the spring of 2009, a friend organized a “tea party” (yes, that kind of tea party), which I attended and covered. It was my first press opportunity, and I had not even yet taken a course on article composition. I’m not sure if it was my lack of experience or the subject matter, but either way, the local newspaper didn’t publish the story.
A few weeks later, my friend called me at college to ask if I would be interested in attending the Glenn Beck show. Glenn Beck was doing a special on tea party people (tea partiers?) in the area. Glenn Beck? Fox News? National television? Journalism? Of course I wanted to go! However, he had called with such short notice that I had to drop off an assignment and skip class in order to make it home and in time for all of us to go to New York.
That was also the trip when I became highly disillusioned with New York City. Washington, D.C., still has yet to lose its appeal.
We arrived at the building and met with some other tea partiers. There are some pretty interesting people involved in that movement, let me tell you what (Is that a Dutchism? Or do people actually understand when I say, “Let me tell you what?”). We were ushered into the studio and I sat next to my dad. The studio was larger than I imagined, but packed full of people. And when Glenn Beck walked out. … Okay. So, I have never imagined myself as the sort of person to become “starstruck” or speechless because someone happens to be famous. Couple some intelligence with that fame, though, and I’m done.
Unfortunately, there was a particular audience member — I still remember his name — who hogged the microphone almost the entire time (meaning that only about 15-25% of the audience had an opportunity to say something, even though there were hands in the air consistently). That particular show even went into overtime and was aired on the website.
So, even though we never had a chance to discuss conservatism at college, which was supposed to be my 15 minutes of fame, I can say that I went, that I met Glenn Beck and that I appeared on national television. I even got to shake his hand and talk to him for a bit after the show, as the heavens parted and the sun shone down on me.
In all, it was an interesting experience and I really enjoyed not only the opportunity to meet Glenn Beck, but the opportunity to see the inside of the studio, to see how such shows are conducted. And to be able to later return to my fellow journalism majors and tell them that I was once on the Glenn Beck show. Even though most of them watch Stephen Colbert or Rachel Maddow.