Glenn Beck told his audience in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday that Americans are “worshipping cars.”
If that’s so, then his audience must have felt it was sheer blasphemy that their cars were towed from a nearby parking lot as they listened to the controversial commentator speak.
According to WFTV channel 9 in Orlando, 53 cars were towed out of a fraternity parking lot at the University of Central Florida on Saturday night, and all of them belonged to people who were attending Beck’s American Revival Tour appearance at the nearby UCF Arena.
Event attendee Mike Vedder told the TV station that he thinks it was a set-up. He says there was a sign up pointing people to the Kappa Sigma fraternity lot as the place to park for the Beck event. But whether he believes the set-up was done for political purposes or for cash is unclear.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Maybe they have a deal with the tow truck company or maybe they got kickbacks under the table,” Vedder said.
Event attendees told MyFoxOrlando that when they returned to the lot after the event, a “tow-away zone” sign had “mysteriously appeared.”
But Sgt. Troy Williams of the campus police said officers had warned some people not to park in the tow-away zones. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Told several people to get out because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s private property itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s posted and youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll probably be towed,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Sgt. Williams, as quoted at MyFoxOrlando.
The frat house wouldn’t talk to the media, but Ronald Hulbert, the owner of the towing company that hauled off the cars, said he earned around $6,600 for the massive tow operation, which he said was the largest he ever carried out in a single day.
Alex Pareene at Gawker describes the incident as “either a conspiracy of tow truck companies, academic Maoists, and ACORN or a hilarious frat prank.”
The 53 towed cars almost certainly represent only a fraction of that night’s audience: According to the Orlando Sentinel, some 8,000 people attended Beck’s revival event.
“Worshipping idols, that’s the problem with Americans,” Beck told the crowd. “We’re worshipping cars. We’re worshipping homes. Stop worshipping the almighty dollar.”
Perhaps a long walk home — or to the impound lot — helped some members of Beck’s audience to start letting go of their materialistic lifestyles.