If you've ever been to a Values Voter Summit, you've heard the calming baritone of Gil Mertz
, the Family Research Council's regional director of development and the MC at every VVS.
Each time Mertz opens or closes a session at VVS, he offers this advice to the crowd: "Don't be the weird one." He means don't be the out-there birther
, etc the so-called "unscrupulous" members of the press corps will undoubtedly find as they seek to slander the crowd here. It's a common, repeated refrain at a VVS and it raises a chuckle everytime Mertz says it.
This year, Mertz added a bit more tongue-not-really-in-cheek attacks on media bias into the mix.
Mertz said the media has run out to say nice things about the thousands filling the streets as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, "but thousands of values of voters gathering? Well, we're a little concerned about that," Mertz said, parroting a member of the press.
"So that's why we want you to be on your best behavior and remember my five words. What are they?"
"Don't be the weird one," the crowd repeated in unison.