Malkin: Beck's event was the victim of a smear job
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

My family and I were among the thousands who celebrated the Independence Day holiday by participating in Glenn Beck's "Man in the Moon" event in Salt Lake City. It was an invigorating and inspiring gathering of constitutional scholars, faith and civic leaders, education reform activists and students of history of all ages.

I was appalled to see the blatantly libelous headline "Glenn Beck's Nazi exhibit" published on the website of The Salt Lake Tribune last week, and even more sickened to see the dishonest op-ed below that smear-job headline — which insidiously mischaracterized Beck as a "sympathizer rather than a critic" of Nazi doctrine. The print version headline in your op-ed pages, under the headline "Glenn Beck, the tea party, and neo-Nazism," was equally irresponsible.

I visited the mobile Independence Through History museum at the Grand America Hotel with my husband and children.

We were among more than 4,000 who participated in museum tours that ran through midnight throughout the holiday. One hundred volunteers, including a team of college students, helped set up and staff the exhibit.

The indefatigable Beck personally led our tour. Among the historical artifacts on display: George Washington's compass, Edmund Burke's prayer bible, a Mayflower bible, a brick of colonial Boston tea, Abraham Lincoln's desk, Arnold Friberg's famous painting, "The Prayer at Valley Forge," Joseph Smith's gold pocket watch and the last letter written by Martin Luther King, Jr.

The exhibit was divided in two: 1) early artifacts from the founding of America, to enlighten and remind attendees where we came from and why our forefathers risked their lives to start a new nation conceived in liberty; and 2) modern collectibles of the dark periods of world history, to remind us of the evil that reigns when good men abandon first principles and do nothing. The second half included a Nazi flag and a first edition copy of Hitler's Mein Kampf.

These and other objects, as even my 9-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter understood, were preserved and displayed to remind museum-goers of the horrific legacies of slavery, genocide and the subjugation of free people.

"Never forget" and "Never again" were the animating spirits at "Independence Through History."

No honest, decent person could leave that exhibit without an appreciation of Beck's impassioned opposition to the forces of fascism, collectivism, racism, and tyranny.

The accurate headline is "Glenn Beck's anti-Nazi exhibit." The refusal to correct the smear is tantamount to journalistic malpractice.

Michelle Malkin is a syndicated columnist and author.