Don’t Let These Peace Protesters Confuse You

Conservative talk radio host organizes prowar rallies; Clear Channel Communications pays for them (Douglas Jehl in the New York Times, 3/24/03):

"Don't let these peace protesters confuse you," Glenn Beck, a conservative radio host from Philadelphia, told the crowd estimated at 10,000 . . . [in Glen Allen, VA on March 23]. "We know we're facing dark and terrible, terrifying times. But I tell you, we will look these times dead in the eye, and we will climb these stairs."

Over the last few weeks, Mr. Beck, whose three-hour program is heard five days a week on more than 100 stations, has helped promote many similar demonstrations under the banner of Rally for America. Some have been financed by radio stations owned by his employer, Clear Channel Communications, the nation's largest owner of radio stations, in an arrangement that has been criticized by those who contend that media companies should not engage in political advocacy.

The rally near Richmond was paid for by WRVA, a local radio station that broadcasts Mr. Beck's program. Executives at WRVA, which is owned by Clear Channel, said they had decided to stage the event in response to calls from listeners, who in turn had been exhorted by Mr. Beck to seek venues for such rallies.