TODAY   |  August 27, 2010

Glenn Beck, Palin have anti-tax ‘Dream’

The controversial and conservative media figure Glenn Beck is hosting his “Restoring Honor” rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Sarah Palin will reportedly be in attendance. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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>>> matt, thanks. radio and fox news host glenn beck is promising a massive rally in washington this weekend to, quote, restore honor in america. he plans to do it at the same spot and on the anniversary of martin luther king 's "i have a dream" speech and that is stirring some controversy. nbc's tom costello is at the lincoln memorial this morning with more on this. tom, good morning.

>> reporter: ann, good morning to you. glenn beck says dr. king is the hero of his, and for that reason he will not stand on the same step that dr. king stood on in 1963 . he plans to stand a few steps below that. that said, he is defiant in his right to be here. what's happened on this very spot 47 years ago tomorrow was among the most pivotal moments in american history .

>> i have a dream today.

>> reporter: but conservative host glenn beck also has a dream.

>> we will mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

>> reporter: beck is hoping his rally this weekend will rival last year's anti-tax rally that attracted tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people, many of them tea party activists. increasingly beck has been evoking the civil rights movement and says this weekend is about restoring honor in america. he also insists he did not realize it was the anniversary of the march on washington but, he says, that shouldn't matter.

>> i'm sorry. african-americans don't own martin luther king . it's a human idea just like white people dent own george washington or abraham lincoln .

>> reporter: beck's comments about race have sometimes been inflammatory.

>> this president has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again who has a deep-se deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture . i don't know what it is.

>> do you love your freedom?

>> reporter: and joining beck this weekend will be former governor sarah palin , who last week defended talk show host laura schlessinger 's repeated use of the "n" word saying it wasn't being used in a racist mann manner.

>> i'll say it again, [ bleep ].

>> reporter: beck insists this is a nonpolitical gathering, one person says this could carry risk for republicans.

>> the republican party needs conservatives, needs the tea party activists but the republican party does not want to be defined by tea partiers or glenn beck .

>> reporter: reverend al sharp ton will be in d.c. saturday leading a march to mark the mlk anniversary but promises to avoid confrontation.

>> to go and confront him is to make it about him. that was, in my opinion and the opinion of many that are participating with us that day, would mock the memory of dr. king.

>> reporter: so why this weekend? beck says maybe it was meant to be.

>> i believe in divine providence . it was not my intention it to select 8-28 because of the martin luther king tie. also, beck says he believes this is about reclaiming civil rights . importantly, he says, they will not allow any campaign signs here at all. that may be rather tough to enforce given the scope and the size of this place. the trouble is, of course, last year there were a lot of signs that had rather racist overtones. the concern is that might be repeated this time. by the way, many beck followers are being urged to avoid african-american areas and conflict. ann, back to you.

>> we'll see what will happen.