A couple of remarkable coincidences

A COUPLE OF REMARKABLE COINCIDENCES…. When deranged media personality Glenn Beck organized a rally at the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” he initially said the timing was coincidental. Participants’ schedules just happened to work out for Aug. 28, Beck argued, though he later said the twist of fate was “divine providence.”

Less than a month later, Beck and former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin are teaming up once again, this time for a 9/11 event in Alaska. Right-wing activists can buy tickets priced between $73 and $130 — a bonus “meet & greet” costs $225 a pop — to help Beck and Palin exploit the anniversary of a devastating terrorist attack.

And once again, wouldn’t you know it, the date just happens to be another coincidence.

The show originally featured only Beck, a popular Fox News Channel personality, according to Christopher Cox, the Anchorage-based promoter of the event. Cox later thought of adding the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, and she agreed to it, he said.

Cox said the date of the event is a coincidence. Cox originally was eyeing Sept. 4, but did not want to compete with the Alaska State Fair, and moved the date to a week later, which worked out better for Beck as well.

That’s believable, right? Beck and Palin aren’t cashing in on the deaths of 3,000 Americans; they’re just holding an event. It’s not their fault that Sept. 11 just happens to be a convenient date on the calendar for them.

Of course, that might be slightly more credible if Palin hadn’t told her followers, “I can think of no better way to commemorate 9/11 than to gather with patriots who will ‘never forget.'”

Remember, though, it’s just a coincidence.

Simon Maloy added, “But that’s all just a scheduling quirk. I mean, Glenn Beck would never use 9-11 as a publicity tool to further his own ambitions, right? Okay, well maybe there was that one time… and that other time… and all the other times too. But this one really is a coincidence. Honest.”

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.