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GLENN BECK

Secrets of Tom Cruise`s Wilted Opening Weekend; Survey: Liberals Happier than Conservatives; Author Talks about Hidden Dangers of Fast Food

Aired May 8, 2006 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
GLENN BECK, HOST: Do you know who Glenn Beck is?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Glenn who?

BECK: Beck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is Glenn Beck?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is Glenn Beck?

BECK: Beck. Beck. B-E-C-K.

Glenn Beck.

NANCY GRACE, HOST, "NANCY GRACE": Beck? Beck? Yes, yes, I know who it is.

BECK: Yes.

GRACE: I prosecuted him for shoplifting in `97. Is that the same Glenn Beck?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BECK: Hello everyone, and welcome to the first episode of THE GLENN BECK PROGRAM. My goal for the show is modest. I mean, I don`t expect to be on the air as long as Johnny Carson. I would, however, like to last slightly longer than Magic Johnson.

But what`s the show about? Well, it`s not like we`re exactly re- inventing fire over here. It`s just a stupid cable show hosted, quite honestly, by a middle-aged, you know, recovering alcoholic with absolutely no fashion sense.

I do know that this is the show that was created around my kitchen table. We`re not going to get bogged down in liberal versus conservative, or Democrat versus Republican. Because it`s really not left versus right. It`s about right versus wrong, and that things that you actually care about.

For instance, on every other cable show tonight, they`re probably discussing the recent shakeup of the CIA. One of the things that they`re arguing about is should the CIA collect information and analyze it? I mean, does anybody think that the CIA is good at analyzing the information?

But beyond that, I mean, maybe it`s just me, but I could really care less about that stupid CIA story. I`m more concerned tonight about MIF, the Impossible Mission Force. That`s the super secret agency Tom Cruise worked for in "Mission: Impossible III."

That`s the movie that only made $48 million this weekend. Now, that`s not exactly "Ishtar 2", but apparently, the expectations were more in the $60 to $70 million range.

So what happened to the missing $20 million, Tom? I don`t know, maybe we should cruise down memory lane and see where it horribly all went wrong.

First of all, there was that Oprah jumping up and down on the couch thing, which probably cost -- I don`t know -- $5 million at the box office. Tom, let me just point this out. Guys generally don`t want action heroes that are in, you know, so much giddiness and puppy love that they jump up and down on the furniture. We actually want action heroes that kill people like that.

Then there was the bizarre exchange with Matt Lauer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: You`re glib. You don`t even know what Ritalin is. Is you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt. OK?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: He`s scaring me, man. He went on to call Al Roker smug for predicting thunderstorms in the Northeast.

You know, if Tom had just come out and said, "You know, I think we`re overmedicating our kids," I mean, he might have gotten some sympathy. I actually agree with him. But he didn`t. There`s another $5 million.

Then Tom spoke to Diane Sawyer a few weeks ago and was interrupted by a text message from Katie Holmes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUISE: This is what I wrote to her.

DIANE SAWYER, CO-HOST, ABC`S "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": Any baby action?

CRUISE: Yes. Any baby action yet.

She sent back...

SAWYER: She smiles. Love you. Way to go. Have a great interview. Exclamation point. Exclamation point. No baby action yet. All right.

CRUISE: A smile. So nothing yet. So we`re good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: No, actually we`re not good, Tom. I mean, it`s not good to monitor the birth of your child via text message. You`re not 12, man, and you`re not talking about a guy in your class who`s so cute. But I think that cost you maybe $10 million.

Now, don`t get me wrong. Tom Cruise`s biggest failure will still be a hundred times more successful than my biggest hit. He`s handsome. He`s chiseled. He`s a movie star. And I know; I look like Potsy with gray hair.

But Tom, dial it down just a bit. I mean, nobody needs to know about your thoughts on Ritalin or, you know, that you like to collect the placenta or whatever. I mean, just stick to killing bad guys with lasers, and we`ll start going to your movies again. All right?

ANNOUNCEMENT: This is Glenn Beck.

BECK: Now, I`m a pretty happy guy. I have four beautiful children. I have a beautiful wife and thanks to Oil of Olay, creamy feminine skin.

But according to the recent study at the University of Berkeley, I really shouldn`t be happy, because I`m a conservative. The study, which followed kids from nursery school to early adulthood, found that children who expressed conservative viewpoints were easily victimized. They were rigid, fearful and vulnerable.

However, kids who expressed liberal viewpoints, well, they`re "vital, perceptive, fluent and bright."

So, to sum it up, according to the even-handed folks at Berkeley, Ronald Reagan, frightened, unhappy little wuss, while Michael Moore, son of Mother Theresa and Jesus.

Something really doesn`t add up to me. I mean, am I supposed to be miserable now? We wanted to talk to our token liberal, Brian Whitman, with his ill-informed take on happiness.

Token liberal Brian Whitman, how are you, sir?

BRIAN WHITMAN, TALK RADIO HOST: Great, Glenn. Great to be here. Thanks for having me.

BECK: You know, Brian, we`ve been friends since, what, you were 13 years odd?

WHITMAN: Yes, I was quite young.

BECK: Yes. That probably sounds really bad. Doesn`t it?

WHITMAN: Yes. Let`s move on from that if we can.

BECK: Yes. But here you are, you know, the first guest on the program and that really says something about the quality of this program, doesn`t it?

WHITMAN: Yes, I guess the pope was unavailable.

BECK: Yes. You, actually, you and I have been friends for a long time. You`re a liberal; I`m a conservative. We`re not going to get into the left-right thing, because you and I actually agree on, I think, most of the common stuff that people should agree on.

I`m happy. You`re miserable.

WHITMAN: Yes.

BECK: I`m a conservative; you`re a liberal.

WHITMAN: I was thinking about this study on the way to the pharmacy to pick up my anti-anxiety medication this morning. And it dawned on me that we liberals, generally speaking -- I might be the exception to the rule -- I mean, we drink, we gamble, we have too much sex. We do what liberals do.

BECK: Sure.

WHITMAN: I think most liberals are probably pretty happy. I hope happier than I am.

BECK: Right.

WHITMAN: You on the other hand, you`re a Mormon. You feel guilty every time you feel happy.

BECK: I don`t feel guilty. I really don`t. Brian, I`m not drinking coffee. I`m not swearing. I`m not going to rated "R" movies.

WHITMAN: There`s the problem, Glenn. There`s the problem. You live a life -- you live a life devoid of any venti two-pump mochas with whipped.

BECK: Right.

WHITMAN: How you`ve gotten this far without Starbucks. I mean, it`s a little, you know -- it`s a little stringent, the rules there in the Mormon Church.

BECK: Listen, let me ask you this. Here, Republicans and Democrats have nothing to bicker about, they put together a study where they can get back together and yell about this.

WHITMAN: Right. They`re all miserable in Washington, basically.

BECK: Yes.

WHITMAN: And also the guys who take this survey, the people on the phone. "Hi, how are you today, on a scale of one to 10, 10 being wildly depressed? What are you, an eight?" You know?

The study takers also are probably wildly depressed.

I am riddled with neurosis, obsessive compulsive disorder.

BECK: You`re -- seriously Brian, and I mean this as a very good friend of yours. You`re one of the most miserable and sad and pathetic humans I think I know.

WHITMAN: I appreciate that. And you are also sacked with a major case of ADD. Quite frankly, Glenn, I`m surprised we`re still on this subject with your ADD.

BECK: Right. Not on to something else. I know, I know.

Let me ask you this. Do you think -- I have a theory that, especially Hollywood, I think these guys are really, truly miserable people in their own life. I think if you have no governor on yourself, that you`re just -- you`re miserable, and you want other people to wallow in that misery with you.

WHITMAN: Well, misery does love company. I think you`re right, Glenn. I mean, fame and fortune does not necessarily buy happiness, and I think it`s really ridiculous to suggest that political ideology would make you happy or less happy. We are -- you know, again, you and I are probably really bad spokesmen for our sides on this, because as a conservative, you`re neurotic.

BECK: Right. Right. But I`m at least happy. I`m really, really happy. I mean, honestly, this is true, Brian. When I was -- when I was drinking and everything else and more like a liberal, I was miserable.

WHITMAN: Well, but you were smiling, Glenn. I mean, you really were. You were smiling.

BECK: Yes, that was Jack Daniels.

Brian, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.

WHITMAN: Thank you. Thank you, Glenn.

ANNOUNCER: Coming up on GLENN BECK.

BECK: Can you believe I got the president of the United States on my very first show? Yes. Neither can I.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: Hello, Carrie, you`re on the GLENN BECK program.

CALLER: Hey, Glenn, how are you?

BECK: Good. How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m great. But I just can`t believe you said you`re going to go see "Mission: Impossible III".

BECK: You know what? I`m a Tom Cruise fan, and I really liked the "Mission: Impossible" one and two.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have been a Tom Cruise fan. I`ve seen "Mission: Impossible" one and two on the first opening day. And I just -- there is no way, no way I will give him another dime of my money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: Putting together a new television know, I think, is kind of like building a giant suspension bridge back in the 1930s. If you do it right, it serve its purpose, but you`ve got to know going in, there`s going to be a lot of casualties. Well, here are just a few things that we`re hoping to kill off on this program.

First, something called wallpaper. In TV lingo, wallpaper is where they use that file footage to cover up dull shots of talking heads. Kind of like this.

Now, if I really did insult that hot dog vender, and I`ll deny it until the day of die the cable news shows would be running this on a loop all night long.

To me, wallpaper is boring, pointless, and I find it completely offensive. I mean, most of the time.

Now you might ask, Glenn, what do you think of boxes filled with the same predictable pundits you see on every other show?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Glenn, what do you think of boxes filled with the same predictable pundits that you see on every other show?

BECK: Well, hi, Stu. Stu is our head writer. I`m sorry, Stu. Where was I?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boxes.

BECK: Oh, boxes. Yes, I don`t like them. I love them. But on this show, I won`t be happy with just two or even three. I want to fill the whole screen with boxes. Boxes, boxes, and more boxes. Bring them on. Now, talk away. Great. I`d like to take Whoopee to block, please.

Now, of course, this is a news network. And one of the things we are going to do is provide you with information. Information that can be useful. Information that`s insightful. Information that might even entertain you. But let me make this promise. We are not going to drown you in facts.

How about this thing below me here? It`s called the ticker. Unfortunately, the network brass here at Headline News says we can`t get rid of it and -- hopefully, you will never get to the point that you`re bored with me and paying -- holy cow, that just happened?

Just kidding, ladies. That didn`t happen. Because I wasn`t involved.

Now what -- I just told you what the show isn`t. But I`m hoping that in the weeks and, God willing, decades to come, you`ll enjoy watching this show for what it is.

We`re going to actually tackle subjects, or try to, that have relevance to your life. Subjects, for instance, like what we eat. In this country, that would be fast food. Every day, one in four Americans will visit a fast food restaurant.

And personally, I mean, most of us shouldn`t, but I do love the occasional McGriddle. Which, by the way, if you haven`t tried one, it`s a must. Bacon, eggs and cheese between two tiny pancakes. I mean, maple syrup baked in. I mean, it`s God`s sandwich.

But let me throw in another fact. One in every three Americans is obese, and I mean like grotesquely fat. The argument is that we`re all fat because McDonald`s is doing this to us. Really? It`s the clown`s fault? Or is it our fault?

All right, here to scare us back to the salad bar is Eric Schlosser. He is the author of the best seller "Fast Food Nation" and the co-author of the new book for kids, "Chew on This: Everything You Don`t Want to Know About Fast Food".

I mean, Eric, I mean, I don`t want to read the book. Don`t tell me stuff about fast food I don`t want to know.

ERIC SCHLOSSER, CO-AUTHOR, "CHEW ON THIS": Hey, kids should know. Before they put it in their mouth, they should know where it`s been.

BECK: All right. I mean, why pick on the poor kids? They love fast food. I love fast food. Why are you targeting our kids, Eric?

SCHLOSSER: Our kids are really unhealthy. I mean, we have more overweight and obese kids right now than ever in our history.

BECK: Let me ask you this. Isn`t that not the responsibility of McDonald`s or Burger King or Wendy`s but, I mean, the responsibility of the parents?

SCHLOSSER: I think there`s a lot of responsibility. There`s absolutely parental responsibility. There`s personal responsibility. But there`s also corporate responsibility. If you`re going to sell things to little children, they shouldn`t be things that are going to make them very unhealthy.

BECK: OK. Like...

SCHLOSSER: Hold on. And these companies are opening up inside schools where there aren`t any parents present.

BECK: Yes, OK. I`m with you on the school thing. I don`t think -- I mean, I saw a Starbucks in a high school one time and I`m like, OK, stop with the Starbucks coffee. And the same thing with McDonald`s, et cetera, et cetera.

But I mean, you get into stuff that I don`t want to know, like the French fry gun. What the -- what`s that?

SCHLOSSER: That`s harmless. That`s cool. There`s this lamb knife gun thing that she shoot the potatoes through at high speed that slices them. That`s harmless. I don`t mind that.

BECK: Nothing wrong with that.

SCHLOSSER: Nothing wrong with that.

BECK: And then the pink in my strawberry shake is?

SCHLOSSER: Yes, that`s not necessarily dangerous. It`s just these little beetles that they collect in Peru, dry up, grind up and it makes a lovely pink color.

BECK: What city are you in, Eric?

SCHLOSSER: Let me see. Hold on.

BECK: It must be Washington, D.C.

SCHLOSSER: It`s what?

BECK: It must be Washington, D.C. What is that building right behind you, the big -- that one?

SCHLOSSER: Let me see. I think that`s -- that`s the Capitol building. That`s where the Congress is.

BECK: So your problem is not necessarily with the fast food companies?

SCHLOSSER: It`s shared. I think the parents need to know what`s going to happen with their kids when they`re feeding them certain kinds of foods. But I do have problems with the fast food chains and how they target 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds and persuade them to do things that are unhealthy for them.

BECK: See, here`s my problem. Everybody always talks about rights in this country and they never, ever talk about the responsibility. And I know you`re talking about corporate responsibility, but I think personal responsibility needs to play a role.

I mean, if you`re -- when you`re talking school, I get it. But if you`re talking Burger King on the block, hey, fatso, don`t go to Burger King.

SCHLOSSER: Hey, I agree with you completely. That`s why I`m a write. I wrote "Fast Food Nation" so that responsible adults could know what they`re eating and make a decision based on the information. This children`s book does the same thing.

These fast food companies spend over $3 billion a year on TV advertising. Have you seen the McDonald`s ad that shows you where the meat`s coming from or where the potatoes?

BECK: No.

SCHLOSSER: They`re not talking to you about where this all comes from.

BECK: No, I don`t think -- I mean, I like beef, and I don`t need to go to a slaughter house. I get it. I mean, we cut the cow up. I understand.

SCHLOSSER: Well, you know, there`s cattle raised all kinds of ways. I eat beef. I eat hamburgers. But I`ll tell you, there`s certain hamburgers I don`t eat. And it`s good to know if you`re going to these stuff, but especially...

BECK: Why aren`t you eating it?

SCHLOSSER: If you saw some of these gigantic feed lots and some of these gigantic processing plants, hey, no one has ever, ever made food this way before in human history. It`s not a pretty sight.

And the point is this. If children are going to be fed food, it`s really important to know where that food came from and what it`s going to do to your kids. We have terrible health problems among American children, and the food is a fundamental cause, I think.

So I`m not saying we should shut down these places, I think there should be restrictions on what they can sell. But I think there should be restrictions on how they target children and how they advertise to children. We don`t let companies market to kids. We don`t let them sell beer to the toddlers in schools. And this food, you know, is linked to, perhaps, the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

BECK: A 15-year-old invented the burger, right?

SCHLOSSER: Fifteen-year-old invented the burger. Brilliant American innovation. Took some meatballs, took two slices of bread, squished them. There you have the first hamburger.

BECK: I thought it was Louie`s Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut, that did it.

SCHLOSSER: Well, there`s a lot of debate over it. But we really brought it back to Charlie Nagreen (ph) in Wisconsin.

BECK: Eric, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

SCHLOSSER: Thanks for having me.

BECK: You bet. Bye-bye.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: In a few minutes I`m going to introduce you to a guy named Manuel. He is a legal Mexican immigrant who changed both his life and this country for the better in a way that will absolutely blow your mind. It is a great story, and we`ll share it in just a few minutes.

But first, important news to cover in today`s "Quality of Life" market update. This is where we choose a bunch of stories and then make a completely subjective judgment as to whether your life is better or worse because of them.

Let`s get right to it. The cable news sector is plummeting after the first half of the new GLENN BECK SHOW airing on Headline News. OK, I get, it`s me. Ha, ha, ha.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just read the copy.

BECK: OK. Beck`s disgusting food antics and general mockery of serious journalism drove the already troubled sector to a new low. Those close to the situation believe that executives are banking on Beck`s gangly physique and pale skin, combined with his awkward and often unfunny of the -- OK, I get it. We`re moving on.

Let`s go to Tony Snow. Politics. This is where Tony Snow spent his first day. It`s in the White House. He`s the new press secretary. That drove the price of comedy stock up because we finally get to see somebody new try to have an intelligent debate with Helen Thomas.

Now, to be honest with you, I`m sure somewhere down the road, we`ll you know, have to show some real video of Tony Snow doing an actual press conference, but for today -- I mean, let`s just sit back and listen to the smooth sounds of our new press secretary playing the flute.

Oh, yes. You go, dog.

Can I ask you a question? I mean, honestly, is there a less manly instrument than the flute? I`m just saying, I mean, Tony, let`s stick to the question and answer stuff and at least learn to play the drums or something.

In sports, Barry Bonds` stock has dropped even lower after he surprised even his harshest critics by refusing to sign an autograph for a U.S. serviceman. Airman First Class Carlos Oliveras caught a home run ball, 713, yesterday in Philadelphia and then refused an autograph by Bonds, you know, during the post-game press conference.

Congratulations, Barry. You`ve now completed every single step of the how to be hated by everyone checklist. Let`s go over it.

Be smug and unlikable in all public appearances. Check.

Be accused of using illegal drugs to break hallowed records. Check.

Launch the world`s worst reality TV show. Check.

And deny an autograph to an active serviceman. Yes, did that one.

Well, on the plus side, I mean, at least Barry hasn`t stomped a puppy. Yet. It`s really a surprise why Major League Baseball really doesn`t want to celebrate, you know, when you pass Babe Ruth.

Finally, we go to baseball to street rodeo, where we`re seeing great gains in the stock price of hilarious video. In Oklahoma, state troopers, many of whom have never seen a rib-eye they didn`t like, were forced to wrangle up herds of cattle that escaped from an overturned truck.

Now, I`m going to be honest with you. There`s absolutely no good journalistic reason to do this story other than how funny it is to watch cops chase cattle through the streets in slow motion. Oh, the fun of...

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: Here`s a fun fact for you. There are now more than 12 million illegal aliens living right here in the United States. That`s 12 million people not paying taxes -- I mean, some of them are -- but they`re living and working right here under the radar.

And the thing that really just drives me nuts is when you see images like this, immigrants out in the street protesting or boycotting whatever, to have the same rights as legal immigrants!

I mean, don`t get me wrong: I think there`s nothing more American than a peaceful protest, and I celebrate the fact that America was built by hard-working, legal immigrants.

Bottom line is: These people want to cut corners. They want to jump ahead in the line, a line full of people waiting to become U.S. citizens the right way, the legal way.

I`d like to show you an example of how it`s really done. In a segment tonight we call "The Real America," I want you to meet a guy named Manuel. He`s a Mexican immigrant who came to this country legally and impacted America in a way I know is going to surprise you.

The story starts way down south in the heart of honky-tonk.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BECK (voice-over): Welcome to Nashville, Tennessee, Music Town, USA. It`s a place where country music happens, sometimes spontaneously. When you`re here, you get the feeling real quick that this is a place of inspiration, not just for musicians, but also for this man: Manuel Cuevas.

It`s here in the heart of honky-tonk that Manuel has set up his legendary shop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone who wants to be in country music whatsoever wants to have a Manuel suit.

BECK: And that`s because this guy is a legend. He`s the man who put Johnny Cash in black, Elvis in the rhinestone-studded jumpsuit, and -- believe it or not -- designed the Rolling Stones logo.

MANUEL CUEVAS, DESIGNER: I have been able to create great friendships with most of the stars.

BECK: You may not know him, but you surely know his work. Designing for John Travolta, Sylvester Stallone, and even the suits the Beatles wore on the Sergeant Pepper album.

But Manuel`s story goes much deeper than just the clothes. This king of cowboy couture is also a Mexican immigrant who came to the United States in the early `50s.

CUEVAS: I crossed the border -- of course, well-documented and all that -- and the next day, I was working for $1 an hour.

BECK: He wound up in Los Angeles working for a local tailor. He says it wasn`t so easy to adjust to so much change so quickly.

CUEVAS: It was quite a change as far as that was, but I didn`t care. I was here to chase a dream that I had many years back.

BECK: Manuel knew the United States was the best place to realize that dream.

CUEVAS: I am going to do what I was called to do. And this is -- I love the cloth, and I have a passion for it.

BECK: He was so skilled at what he did, it took no time before he was working for a top designer, fitting some of the biggest names at the time.

CUEVAS: Six, seven months, and I was already, like, on top of the game, doing fittings for Frank Sinatra to Jerry Lewis.

BECK: It was also a time of inspiration. What he saw in those first years in the U.S. are reflected in his clothing.

CUEVAS: I discovered embroidery. I discovered real flamboyant things.

BECK: Manuel`s signature: bold colors and embroidered roses. Designs you see on celebrities he`s dressed from Elton John to Dolly Parton were inspired -- believe it or not -- the first time he ever saw the Rose Bowl parade.

CUEVAS: And when I saw that, I said, "This is the way I want to go."

BECK: His success over the last 50 some-odd years is evident. Top musicians roam in and out of his shop like casual friends.

KIX BROOKS, MUSICIAN: I really like the way those buttons work on that...

BECK: Even while we were there filming, Kix Brooks from the mega- country band Brooks and Dunn stopped in for a chat.

BROOKS: Just one of a kind. I mean, all you have to do is say his name. And he didn`t get that icon status by not having serious artwork here.

BECK: Serious artwork and series craft.

Look around his shop. It`s like you`re getting a peak back into time, old-timey, well-loved machines, irons that can`t be from this century, and everything, everything done by hand. Manuel says he owes his success to luck and a lot of hard work.

CUEVAS: I think that this is really the land of opportunity.

BECK: And he`s all too aware of the heated debate that`s dividing our nation.

CUEVAS: Illegal is illegal everywhere, whatever. Anybody that jumps over my fence is illegal.

BECK: He thinks part of the problem is that Americans aren`t willing to take low-paying jobs.

CUEVAS: Nobody wants to work for minimum wage and these people create that need. And then that need creates the availability of illegals that come from so many countries.

BECK: And it`s out of his own gratitude that Manuel decided to give something back to America the best way he knew how.

CUEVAS: I came out with the idea that I would make a jacket for each state of the country and just give it to the museum.

BECK: The jackets are a testament to Manuel`s craftsmanship and to his love of this country.

CUEVAS: I know about the greatness of this country, and I know that we are all in it together.

BECK: At 74 years old, Manuel has lived a rich and full life, built a business from the ground up, and created some of the biggest icons in American culture. Now, the establishment that is Manuel continues to evolve, with the fresh blood and ideas of his son, Manny, Jr.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re taking his 50 years of his hard work and success, and we`re putting a big twist on it.

BECK: Together, they`ll continue to build their thriving business based on the ideals of a real American.

CUEVAS: I want to, you know, leave a good legacy for them. I want them to know that, if you don`t work at it, you don`t get it. Anybody with a dream can turn realities.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BECK: Now for the credible portion of the program, a look at some of the stories in the news with an actual news person. Every night, we`ll be joined by Erica Hill, the anchor of "PRIME NEWS" on CNN Headline News, now at 6:00 Eastern. Her show started tonight, just like this one.

ERICA HILL, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: That`s right.

BECK: We`re newbies.

HILL: It`s a big night all around.

BECK: You are looking hot in leather.

HILL: Well, thank you, Beck. I`ll be on your show every night just for that.

BECK: Oh, yeah! I`m wearing leather pants right now. Oh, no, I`m not wearing pants.

HILL: That`s more information -- OK, that was definitely more information than I needed.

BECK: What did we have in the news today, Erica?

HILL: OK, this one getting a ton of press today, all about a letter. The sender: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The recipient...

BECK: Wait, wait. This is why your the news person. Say the name again?

HILL: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

BECK: How long did it take you to...

HILL: And, hopefully, in slow motion, I wasn`t mumbling through it. It was correct.

BECK: Mahmoud Ahma-heemajad?

HILL: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

BECK: Ahmadimajad. I love...

HILL: I`m going to have CNN International calling in to say that it`s wrong.

BECK: We`ve got -- I mean, let me tell you something, man. We`ve got Bush, President Bush. You`ve got Ahma-deem-a-job?

HILL: It makes it a little easier.

BECK: Come on. Anyway...

HILL: Maybe Ahmadinejad is like Bush in Persian.

BECK: Could be.

HILL: What do we know?

BECK: No.

HILL: OK, so here`s the deal with the story today. So, the Iranian president sending this letter to President Bush. Now, officially, the White House saying earlier today it was unaware of the letter in which the Iranian president reportedly suggests to ease tensions -- some ways to ease tensions over Tehran`s nuclear program.

Still not clear if the letter actually offers any real compromise, but it would be the first direct communication between the two countries since the end of the hostage crisis in Iran, which was, what, 26 years ago?

BECK: Let me tell you something: As soon as we get the U.N. involved, that thing`s going to be fixed. No, seriously.

HILL: Well, some folks said that -- including John Negroponte -- saying today, hey, you know, it`s kind of interesting timing, since the U.N. Security Council talking about Iran today.

BECK: Oh, no, it`s nothing. Seriously, done.

HILL: Well, so that one probably going to be in the news for the next few days, Glenn.

BECK: OK, good.

HILL: Especially as soon as we find out what the letter actually said.

BECK: Yes, like a little vaporization talk from time to time. All right, what else do we have?

HILL: OK, this next one, the last American old enough to actually remember seeing the Titanic sink passed away over the weekend. Lillian Gertrud Asplund was 99 years old. She died at her home in Worcester, Mass.

She was only five when she lost her dad and her three brothers -- one of them her twin -- when the supposedly unsinkable ship went down April 14, 1912.

Now, this is what`s interesting: She never spoke publicly about that night. She even asked that it not be mentioned in her obituary.

BECK: So what are you doing?

HILL: Of course, everybody`s talking about it now.

BECK: This poor old woman is dead, and you`re like, "And she didn`t want me to tell you this family secret, either!"

HILL: But here`s this one. But she really asked her family not to talk about it. Even apparently told the funeral home, "Hey, don`t bring it up."

BECK: But we are.

HILL: Well...

BECK: I feel like I should take a shower, but yet I won`t get clean.

HILL: Don`t, just put on some pants, Glenn.

BECK: Erica, see you tomorrow.

HILL: OK.

BECK: Bye.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: David Blaine is up to it again. He`s in this big sphere of water, and he`s holding his breath for -- you know, I don`t know -- nine minutes tonight, which -- there`s quality TV for you. (Holds breath) OK, that`s all I can do.

We have Stu. We have suspended him in a specially designed tank. He went in there on Saturday, and he is trying to set the record.

Hello, Dan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Glenn.

BECK: Describe the scene just a little bit, will you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we cannot communicate with him. He is able to give us some sort of signals. There`s a couple of fish, and they have not been fed.

BECK: We`ve stocked it with predator fish, and they are pretty spooky-looking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they`re hungry. They have not been fed, so Stu may be fighting some nibbling.

BECK: So...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not only is his skin just weathering the water, the fish are beginning to nibble.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BECK: You know, when we first said that we were going to have the president of the United States on, man, the e-mail went crazy. People said, "Oh, that`s great. I love the guy." Some people said he`s incompetent. Others know that the man is evil.

If you listen to me on the radio, you know that I`ve been a big supporter for a long time. And we are honored to have as one of our first guests Gregory Itzin.

How are you, sir?

GREGORY ITZIN, ACTOR, "24": I`m fine, Glenn. Nice to meet you.

BECK: The president of the United States on "24," one of my favorite shows.

ITZIN: I`m glad.

BECK: Are you a fan?

ITZIN: Of the show?

BECK: Yes, I mean, are you like a long-term fan?

ITZIN: I`m not a long-term fan, because habits for TV are hard for me to come by, because I fortunately work a lot.

BECK: Work, yes.

ITZIN: And the times I`ve sampled "24" prior, I liked what I saw, but I know what happens with a lot of people is they go, "Oh, I`ve missed the first hours, so I won`t know what`s going on." And then, when I actually got the job, they gave me tapes, and I said, "A ha, now I see what`s going on."

BECK: You are so great. You play one of the best weasels on television. You`re probably the best bad guy on television right now.

ITZIN: I appreciate that, I guess, you know...

BECK: Wow, I mean...

ITZIN: No, no, it`s good. It`s good, absolutely good.

BECK: When did you know that you were going to become evil?

ITZIN: About two episodes before you actually saw me turn -- in that little, that wonderful shot where I turn...

BECK: Yes, yes, yes.

ITZIN: ... that was John (INAUDIBLE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will not let you down.

ITZIN: See that you don`t.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ITZIN: About two episodes before, they said, "Now, listen, you`re going to go down a little different road here now," and I had to sort of go through a period of adjustment. It was very psychically upsetting, I would say.

BECK: Right. Is it nerve-wracking at all to be on the show? I mean, they have this thing of killing all the good characters off.

ITZIN: You`re talking -- regards to that specifically, that your job is not secure, is that what...

(CROSSTALK)

BECK: I mean, like, what kind of contract do you have? I mean, can they just kill you at any time?

ITZIN: I`m there for the year, and we have talked about next year. But as you -- it`s a moveable feast there at "24." Things change all of the time. Part of the charm of the show is they don`t know where it`s going. They sort of put their finger on the pulse of the story as it goes along, and they see what they want -- they fly by the seat of their pants.

And I don`t know what`s going happen next year. Sometimes they go -- and then they won`t tell me.

BECK: Right. Let me ask you this.

Jeff, come here for a second.

Turn your head just a minute if you will, Gregory.

ITZIN: Yes.

BECK: I mean, I never saw that coming, just the red, white and blue earrings. I never thought that I would see that in the president.

ITZIN: Well, you know, it`s just something I had done.

BECK: You are actually good friends with President Palmer...

ITZIN: Dennis Haysbert, yes, yes.

BECK: ... and you guys hang out. That must be weird to see the two of you.

ITZIN: That causes much consternation out in the public sometimes, because Dennis is -- well, now that he`s...

BECK: Well, now that he`s dead.

ITZIN: He`s dead. But, no...

(CROSSTALK)

BECK: That would be weird.

ITZIN: ... as Dennis Haysbert, you know, he`s hawking the insurance and all that, so he is ubiquitous. He is everywhere. Plus, he`s got "The Unit" out. Did I say that? OK, he`s in that show, "The Unit."

(LAUGHTER)

Thank you. Thank you very much. But he and I met years ago on a movie called "What`s Cooking." You know, we started our friendship, and now we go golfing with a lot of frequency.

BECK: What else do you do? I mean, is it a golf thing or...

ITZIN: No, we`ve had dinner. I`ve had him over to dinner. And, you know, my wife is a big -- you know, we`re all friends. It`s very friendly.

BECK: I mean, really, what are you hiding? I mean, we have photos.

ITZIN: I mean, are you talking about a guy-guy thing?

BECK: No, I`m not. Well, the earring, but I mean...

ITZIN: It`s a shame that you go there. It`s just awful.

(LAUGHTER)

Yes, the two ex-presidents are...

BECK: I`m not the one bringing up "The Unit".

ITZIN: And I`m not going to go down that road again.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is Glenn Beck.

BECK: Oh, thank goodness we had that little graphic there so I could change clothes quickly. I mean, what did you think, I was going to actually have George Bush on my show? He couldn`t make it. Sorry.

Listen, we`re going to have more with Gregory Itzin on the radio show tomorrow. The deal is -- I mean, I`m a huge fan of "24" and everybody on it. Jack Bauer is my hero, man. A terrorist won`t talk? Jack will make him talk. CTU gives a bad order? Oh, he ignores it. He`s strings in lamp chords and, "Zzz!"

Plus, he never eats or goes to the bathroom in a 24-hour period. I mean, that can come in handy.

But what`s really amazing about "24," honestly, is the technology. I mean, you know what I really want? I want Jack`s cell phone. It works everywhere.

Last week, he was 30,000 feet in a cargo bay, and he`s talking on the phone. Me? I`m lucky to get a signal half of the time.

But, you know, maybe it`s not Jack`s phone that I want. I think it could be his cell phone provider. I mean, something tells me it`s not, you know, Catherine Zeta Jones.

And Chloe has got the kick-butt laptop. I mean, she can grab a WiFi signal anywhere. She was at the bar last week or a couple of weeks ago. In seconds, she`s cracking into secret satellites, maps, manifests. She shoots them over to Jack with a latte.

And President Logan, I mean, you just heard Gregory Itzin. He survives all of this. He`s back next season, or so they`re telling us. I`m not sure if they`re lying to us or not.

But, I mean, if this is real life, man, wouldn`t you love to see the campaign ads for this guy`s re-election? I mean, imagine the President Logan positive ads and then the bad ads against him. I mean, it would be tremendous.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: America, land of the opportunity, land of hope, land of promise. And thanks to the hard work of President Charles Logan, our children`s futures look more promising more each and every passing day.

ITZIN: I`m President Charles Logan, and I approved this message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: President Logan wants to you believe that he likes children. But this is the same President Logan that endorsed the spraying of centox nerve gas (ph) on innocent children. Is this the man you really want running our country?

Paid for by Anybody but President Charles Logan for President.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: When you hear the name Glenn Beck, what do you think of?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ball player?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actor.

BECK: Handsome actor?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

BECK: OK, when I say the name Glenn Beck, you think...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have no idea who it is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: Finally, I`m not a guy who leads causes. I`m a guy who sits at home and plays with my kids, watches TV, and eats an entire half-gallon of ice cream in one sitting. And I ain`t kidding.

I am definitely not a guy who leads boycotts. In fact, I boycott boycotts.

I don`t march in protest of anything. I don`t even stay on line to express my opinion on phone surveys. And I never, ever write my congressman, or woman, or whoever it is. I don`t even know.

I know that some cable news hosts are "looking out for you." But I want you to know, you know, I`m looking out for me the whole time.

But from time to time, an issue comes around that can`t be ignored and action by you, the citizens of this country, not only important, but it`s required. And that`s why I`m asking you to join me in a fight, a fight tonight against the penny.

Today, I take a stand and say: The penny needs to be eliminated. First of all, they`re annoying. I commissioned a study of my own life, and I discovered that I spent about 83 percent of my time just figuring out where to put pennies. They`re in jars, in between seat cushions, and always jingling around in my pants.

Secondly, they waste our valuable time. The National Association of Convenience Stores came up with an estimate that using pennies wastes about two seconds per transaction. The convenience store people were researching that instead of coming up with a new, delicious Slurpee flavor.

And finally, pennies don`t actually buy anything. Vending machines don`t even take them. Two-thirds of them immediately drop out of circulation because people hate lugging them around.

And what`s worse, because of the rise in the price of zinc, it costs 1.4 cents to produce one penny. So surprise, surprise, the government is actually losing money on them.

If you can have a piece of currency that sits in a tray, in a convenience store, in the worst part of town, with a sign that says "Take me," and people still ignore it, it`s time to melt them down.

You might say, "But, Glenn, we can`t get rid of the penny. It honors Abraham Lincoln." Look, he`s already got that memorial thing in Washington and a center in New York, a pretty nice car company, and, what, like 65,000 high schools named after him, and the $5 bill. I mean, what more does this guy need? Are we talking Abe Lincoln or Donald Trump?

Think about it. If he were here today, wouldn`t the guy who freed the slaves also want to free us from the tyranny of the penny? I think so.

Good night. I`m Glenn Beck. See you tomorrow.

END

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