September 27, 2009

Beck avoids politics in hometown visit

Conservative radio and TV personality Glenn Beck mostly stayed away from politics while on a visit to his hometown of Mount Vernon, Wash., observers said.

In town Saturday to accept a key to the city and accolades from his hometown peers, Beck ignored hundreds of protesters outside the city's McIntyre Hall and reminisced about Mount Vernon's old wooden flagpole and the time he got caught stealing chewing gum, The Seattle Times reported.

The newspaper said Beck wept when he talked about going to the town's Lincoln Theater with his mother. The controversial TV and radio host's purpose was to raise funds to restore the Mount Vernon landmark.

Police said the crowd peaked at about 800. The Times reported that people moving down the street in cars and trucks honked and jeered, while one group paraded a sign calling Beck the Mad Hater.

In an appearance earlier in the day in Seattle that drew about 7,000 attendees, the man who provoked outrage by saying that President Barack Obama has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture called himself the voice of reason in a divided America, the newspaper said.