Thursday, September 10, 2009

Proposed Honor Stirs Up a Firebrand’s Hometown

On a recent stroll downtown, Bud Norris, the mayor of Mount Vernon, Wash., received several hugs and handshakes. Later, a woman held a placard: “Norris and Beck, Dumb and Dumber.”

Everybody is entitled to an opinion, of course, and not everybody is a liberal, alas, but Beck is a blowhard. He accuses the President ("this guy") of being a racist, and expounds on how Rockefeller Center contains communist symbols. I would not want to be associated with him, were I to have any connection. I abhor his approach to political commentary, and oppose everything about him.

the question many residents here are asking is whether giving Mr. Beck the key — a decision made unilaterally by Mount Vernon’s mayor, Bud Norris — is the right thing to do. It is far from clear that the people of Mount Vernon, where the demographics have shifted since Mr. Beck left as a teenager in the 1970s, are still all in it together.

“Why him?” many people wonder. “Why now?”

“It’s probably at least 60 to 40 against,” said Fred Lee, a barber on First Street who has trimmed prominent heads in Mount Vernon for more than 30 years. “That’s just a straw vote of people who come in here. It’s leaning that he probably shouldn’t come, mostly because of the controversial nature of the person.”

The talk show host Glenn Beck grew up in Mount Vernon, Wash.

The mayor said he had known Mr. Beck’s family in the 1970s, when Mr. Beck’s father, Bill Beck, ran City Bakery, a popular spot on First Street, a block from the river. The space is now used by a social service agency.

And how does Beck feel about that? Social service agency is another way of saying communist front.

Mr. Norris, above, decided to honor him.

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