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GLENN BECK

Al Sharpton Defends Comments About Mormonism

Aired May 10, 2007 - 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 (voice-over): Tonight, the tables are turned. Al Sharpton in the hot seat. Will he apologize for his controversial remark about Mormons?

REV. AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Those that really believe in God will defeat him anyways.

BECK: Plus, Tony Blair resigns.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Today I announce my decision to stand down from the leadership.

BECK: What it means for our soldiers overseas.

And why some Republicans are telling Bush to shut his trap about Iraq. All this and more tonight.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BECK: Tonight`s program is deeply personal. For the first time since I`ve been doing this show, I have no idea how it`s going to play out, what`s going to happen. I do know that the show will be honest and, hopefully, include an example of integrity. Here is the point tonight.

My personal definition of honesty is saying what you mean and meaning what you say. My definition of integrity is being honest, even when you know it will hurt you. Here`s how I got there.

Earlier this week Reverend Al Sharpton, who has appeared on this program many times, was involved in a debate about atheism with the author Christopher Hitchens, himself an atheist.

When Mitt Romney`s Mormon faith was introduced into the debate, Sharpton said, quote, "As for the one running -- the one Mormon running for office, those that really believe in God will defeat him anyway. So don`t worry about that."

Some people assumed Al Sharpton was saying that Mormons don`t really believe in God. Sharpton explained that he was referring to Christopher Hitchens, the atheist, not Romney.

Yesterday I was willing to take him at his word, much to my audience`s chagrin. But this morning I woke up. I read the transcript of what Al Sharpton said on Paula Zahn last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAULA ZAHN, HOST, "PAULA ZAHN NOW": Prior to that date when blacks were finally considered as equals within the church, did you find the Mormon Church racist?

SHARPTON: I think that that`s by self definition. If prior to `65, `78, whenever it was, they did not see blacks as equal, I do not believe that as real worshippers of God, because I do not believe God distinguishes between people. That`s not bigotry. That`s responding to their bigotry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: It is amazing and sad to me on several levels.

I could do what I normally do, go into a whole monologue, tell you what I know and I don`t know and then talk to Al Sharpton through a little video box, the way we talk to most of our guests.

Or I can say the hell with the show and the hell with the format. I`m a Mormon. I`m a Christian, and I`m not a bigot and I am offended.

I have been reaching out to Reverend Al Sharpton, even though there is very little that we agree on. We have been throwing each other lines back and forth, because I believe the partisan left/right, black/white bickering is killing us. But in order for me to continue to do that with the Reverend Al Sharpton the next few minutes are critically important.

Al Sharpton joins me now, to have a conversation.

Reverend, are Mormons Christians?

SHARPTON: I believe they are.

BECK: Are Mormons bigots?

SHARPTON: I do not call Mormons bigots, no. I think that there was a doctrine that was, to my understanding, part of the Mormon Church until the `60s that was a doctrine that excluded people based on race. I understand that that was a transition made on that around `65 to `78 -- I`m not certain.

BECK: To `78.

Am I a racist?

SHARPTON: I don`t believe you are.

BECK: You said -- let`s start at the beginning. You said -- what you said about Romney was, at the beginning, and this I took...

SHARPTON: You took it from the debate (ph)?

BECK: In the debate. What did you say?

SHARPTON: What I said was Mr. Hitchens, who is an atheist -- this is a debate on atheism versus belief. Mr. Hitchens made a long, sweeping indictment on all believers, including saying that atheists had really been the ones behind the civil rights movement, that in effect, believers had poisoned the world. Including right now you have a Mormon running for president. Mr. Romney (sic) had said that that church had taught the son of Ham curse in regards of blacks.

BECK: Right.

SHARPTON: In my response, I corrected him on the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. It was a God-based movement that was in civil rights that -- that people that had believed in God had done a lot of great things. You can use or misuse, or not misuse religion.

And as for the one Mormon candidate, a lot of good -- a lot of true believing people are going to vote. I don`t think he`ll be president anyway.

BECK: OK. Hitchens said, and if we have the note from Paula Zahn, she said, "I spoke with Christopher Hitchens, who happened to be in the hallway upstairs before we went on the air, and he said that what you -- you were saying that those who really believed -- and he said when you were saying `those who really believed, he thinks you were making the distinction between Mormons and other Christians`."

SHARPTON: Well, he didn`t have the responsibility to ask me about that. He never -- that was the beginning of the debate. We went another hour and a half. He never brought it up. I brought Mormons back up. He never brought it back up, one.

Secondly, I think that he also told Paula Zahn that he did not think I said anything in a mean-spirited way.

There are some -- let me put this -- let`s get straight to the point, Glenn. There are some in the Christian faith that do not accept Mormons as Christians or as believers. I am not one of them. If I wanted to cop out, I could say, "I have a religious disagreement."

I do not think me or anyone else has the right to determine who are believers. I do not have any -- think anyone has the right to, in any way, discriminate against one`s decision how they approach God. Which is why I said, on my radio show today, that to Mormons, this is not my intention to have said anything against Mormons. As I explained to you, I was talking about atheists.

BECK: You said, "Is Hitchens right? Is this the history of the Mormons? And were you part of that history? Did you -- were you part of the church before they renounced this?"

SHARPTON: Right. When I said that to Romney -- let me finish my statement. I will deal with that. What I have said today is that if I, inadvertently, or my words inadvertently hurt any Mormon, I apologize to a Mormon only because that is not my intent, nor my belief.

If it was, I think you know me well enough to say that is my belief: "I do not think that they`re believers." That`s not my belief, so I`m not going to say that.

But I think Mr. Romney, who himself has had to apologize for using expressions like "tar baby" in Massachusetts, cannot politicize this and not answer the questions that Barack Obama and others have to ask. I think we must separate...

BECK: Hold it.

SHARPTON: ... the politics of Mitt Romney from my positions on the Mormon Church or the Mormon Church`s position in Christians.

BECK: I have no problem separating you and Mitt Romney. I don`t -- I have no problem sitting here not talking about Mitt Romney at all.

You know me, Reverend. You know me well enough to know I look you in the eye, and I mean what I say. I don`t give a flying crap about politics. I think politics are killing us. I think people who use statements and take them out of context and twist them for their own power and their own - - building themselves up to get on TV, it is despicable and it is killing us. And you and I have had a conversation about that over and over and over again.

SHARPTON: That is true.

BECK: You said last night, is Hitchens right? Is this the history of the Mormons? Were you part of that history? Did you -- were you part of this church before they renounced this? What did you mean by that?

SHARPTON: What I meant by that was for Mr. Romney to take a line that clearly was not intended to go against the Mormon Church or Mormons, and try and make it a racial or religious issue of bigotry.

He called my line bigotry. He did not say this is a disagreement or - - disagreement on religion, I`d like to talk this out...

BECK: Honestly, Reverend, it sounds like religious bigotry.

SHARPTON: No, he didn`t even say religious bigotry. Here is a man himself...

BECK: What is the difference? Bigotry is bigotry.

SHARPTON: Well, OK, let`s say bigotry is bigotry. What I`m saying is that he -- his initial reaction was that we are going to have to talk about these things all of the way through the campaign.

He wakes up the next day, after a political calculus, and makes this political. And my thing is that he ought to be addressing Hitchens` point, not me. I`m not the one that made the charges. Hitchens did.

BECK: So why didn`t you say -- why didn`t you say, is Hitchens right?

SHARPTON: That`s what I said.

BECK: Excuse me. You said, is Hitchens right? Is this the history of the Mormons and were you part of that history? Did you -- were you part of the church before they renounced this?

This is the point, sir.

SHARPTON: Just...

BECK: Hang on, hold on just a second. The Civil Rights Amendment, you know who was against that, Republicans or Democrats? You`re a Democrat. Were you...

(CROSSTALK)

BECK: Were you a part of the Democratic Party before they renounced their racism and stood against the civil rights movement?

SHARPTON: I was -- I was not old enough to have been.

BECK: OK. But...

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: I have been part of the Democrats that have objected now to some of what the Democrats have done. That has nothing to do with the fact that if Mr. Romney is going to step into a situation, he is going to have to follow the same rules that everybody else does in politics, Glenn.

We have had for the last several months -- Rudolph Giuliani have to defend whether he`s a good Catholic. We`ve had Barack Obama had to talk about his pastor`s sermons. Mr. Romney is going to have to deal with his own situation independent of a controversy.

I called for that...

BECK: Would you feel that it was unfair for Giuliani to have to speak against the Inquisition? Do you think that Anglicans should speak against...

SHARPTON: I don`t think...

BECK: The past is the past.

SHARPTON: Is Mr. Giuliani going to have to deal with his position in terms of pro-choice as opposed to the church?

BECK: That is today.

SHARPTON: Yes. But Mr. Romney is talking about bigotry in the sense of Mr. Hitchens` statement. I was responding to Hitchens` statement. If you read the transcript...

BECK: I did.

SHARPTON: And he went back to there.

BECK: I understand.

SHARPTON: I did not. So you cannot just take Hitchens` statement out of it.

BECK: I`m taking -- I am taking you at your word on the first part. But I don`t think that I have made myself clear with you on the second part, on what you did.

SHARPTON: But the whole discussion...

BECK: You reoffended last night.

SHARPTON: ... was around what Hitchens said.

BECK: OK. Hold on. I...

SHARPTON: Hitchens raised it. I didn`t.

BECK: Hold on. We`ll be back in just a second.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: Back with Reverend Al Sharpton, about the statements that he has made on the Mormon faith and how this all plays out.

What I am saying to you, sir, is when you said, "Is this the history and were you part of it," there were a lot of people in my faith that were alive. I was not a part -- a member of this faith when this was happening. And I know it ripped people to the core. It was a powerful, powerful thing, when it happened in the faith.

And to go back and say, "Were you a part of this? Are you still a bigot?" is very offensive, especially -- hold on -- especially since most of America has no real clue as to the history of the Mormons. We`re the first religion -- the only religion -- to have an extermination order against us in the United States of America. Until 1978 or `79, it was legal, in Missouri, to kill a Mormon. It was removed after 19 -- the `70s.

They left -- the reason why they were chased out of Missouri, one of the main reasons, is because they were abolitionists. They were fighting and standing up against slavery. And then to be called bigoted and, "Were you a part of that" is offensive.

SHARPTON: First of all, Glenn, I think -- I think that, first of all, two things to that: when Mr. Hitchens raised this, he did not just raise Mormons arbitrarily.

BECK: Right.

SHARPTON: He`s sitting there, knowing he`s talking to a civil rights leader, talking about how they did not even consider you human until 30 years ago. That was his attack. And I was addressing that.

Now, in the last 48 hours, I`ve heard a lot about Mormons that I didn`t know. I made two calls today. I called the Mormon Church headquarters in Utah, I called Mitt Romney. I`ve not heard from Mitt Romney. I heard from two of the elders of the -- central figures of the church...

BECK: Yes, you did.

SHARPTON: ... who said to me, "You know what, Reverend? We don`t know, one way or another, but we`ve been misquoted. We`d like to sit down and talk." I`m going to Utah and meet with them. I want to know all of this you`re talking about.

You know why I want to know? Because little people in all religious persuasions need to not have this type of things towards (ph) anyone`s presidential campaign or someone`s debate.

And that`s why I said, if my words could have been construed in any way that would hurt a regular Mormon, I apologize to them. But it -- the politics with Mitt Romney is a different thing. I am not suggesting for one minute that anyone that was alive during that time is a bigot. They may have been the ones that fought in the church to change it. I don`t know.

But I think that he has to come forward and deal with that, since he`s going to start calling me names. He could very well come and say, "It was me and my father, George Romney, that fought to change that church and that fought to expand the awareness," or "we were part of whatever." That`s his opportunity to say that.

BECK: You are going to be meeting with Russell M. Nelson and Henry Eyring. They are part of the Quorum of the Twelve of the church. And you are going to have a very interesting evening. I think you will...

SHARPTON: And I want to go.

BECK: ... come out with an amazing experience.

SHARPTON: I want to go. And I`m going to tell you something. I think that it is something that we need to do in this country, is talk more -- talk to each other more. I don`t know if three years ago I`d have done that.

BECK: I have to tell you, Reverend, it takes everything in me, it takes everything in me, but I want to be a better person. And I -- it is because of my faith that I hold fast to that. And I try to be more Christ- like.

It would be very easy for me to turn your words against you. Just in the last month or so you said, we can`t have the precedent where people can say these kinds of things and then walk away without any penalty.

Should there be a penalty for you?

SHARPTON: Oh, yes, I think the penalty should that I am saying very publicly that if my words -- even if they were not meant to be that way, hurt somebody, I apologize for them. And I`m going to go and try and create a dialogue between these -- let me tell you something.

BECK: You said...

SHARPTON: I will be -- wait a minute, Glenn, I don`t think you need to underestimate. There are many in Christianity that take a different view, and you know that, of the Mormon Church.

BECK: Oh, I know that.

SHARPTON: Many that will be...

BECK: You know, you are correct. You are...

SHARPTON: ... very spiteful of my position.

BECK: You are very good at moving things away from you. I`m not talking about other people; I`m talking about you. Just like you weren`t talking about other racists with Imus. He apologized...

SHARPTON: Well, Imus...

BECK: ... and he said, isn`t an apology good enough? Why won`t you accept the apology?

SHARPTON: I`m not going to let you do that. Because to equate me responding to an atheist with someone who got up with no interaction at all and denigrated people -- I did not call anybody a name. I did not denigrate anybody. I did not in any way cause (INAUDIBLE) -- he called these women "nappy-headed hos." What did I call Mormons?

That is unfair, Glenn.

BECK: You called -- you said -- we`re bigots.

SHARPTON: I said what? How? When? When?

BECK: Were you part of this?

SHARPTON: Were you part of a doctrine that said that blacks could not join?

BECK: Were you part of the church at that time?

SHARPTON: Wait a minute, did the church...

BECK: Were you a -- have you...

SHARPTON: Glenn, did the church have that edict at that time?

BECK: That you could not -- no, that you could be a part of the church.

SHARPTON: But you could not be a...

BECK: You could not hold the priesthood, yes.

SHARPTON: OK. Was that -- was that a fact?

BECK: That is a fact.

SHARPTON: Now what was the Rutgers team part of? How can you compare the two?

BECK: No, I understand...

SHARPTON: You compared the two.

BECK: No, sir.

SHARPTON: Yes, you did, sir.

BECK: Yes. I compared what...

SHARPTON: That was a blatant racist statement he made. What I said is I want to know what you were part of and what was the church doctrine at that time? That is not a bigoted statement.

In fact, that is a question.

BECK: I don`t remember anyone ever saying or even thinking that I would even ask or anyone should ask if any of those girls had lifestyles that were less than stellar. No one would even say that.

SHARPTON: If they did, would that make them "nappy-headed hos"?

BECK: No. But if...

SHARPTON: If you have a policy that would limit what others can do, it is not within the rights of people to ask what that policy was and what their involvement was?

BECK: Reverend Sharpton. No politics.

SHARPTON: All right. I`ll talk to you when I come from Utah.

BECK: You do.

SHARPTON: All right.

BECK: Thank you sir. Back in a minute.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BECK: When I woke up this morning, I heard the news that we were talking about Al Sharpton, I was a little hot under the collar. But then I realized I think I might be coming down with something, yes, a weekly case of "Idol" fever. The only cure is the lovely and talented Kim Caldwell, host of the TV Guide Channel`s "Idol Chat".

Hi, Kim. How are you?

KIM CALDWELL, HOST, TV GUIDE CHANNEL`S "IDOL CHAT": Hi, I`m good. I`m just so excited that you called me lovely and talented.

BECK: And yet I believe yet another hairdo.

CALDWELL: Yes. You like it? What do you think?

BECK: Very nice. I do. It`s very pixyish.

CALDWELL: It`s just for you.

BECK: Well, thank you very much.

CALDWELL: Yes.

BECK: So who is -- who was kicked off last night?

CALDWELL: LaKisha.

BECK: I think she`s my favorite. She`s the big heavy one from New Jersey?

CALDWELL: That`s Jordin that they`re showing right now. That`s Jordin, and she`s actually...

BECK: You don`t expect us to get it right. This show is not really accurate.

CALDWELL: I know. You don`t actually watch the show so I`ll just inform you.

BECK: Yes.

CALDWELL: Jordin is the 17-year-old. I personally think -- that`s LaKisha right there.

BECK: She`s really good.

CALDWELL: Yes. She is really good. But something that she didn`t do well is she came in with such a bang and she was amazing, absolutely flawless. And then she kind of started to drift off, and she wasn`t as good every week. She wasn`t as consistent.

And then she came back and she was great and she went out with a bang. But I think that LaKisha was the right one to go this week, for sure. Melinda, Blake and Jordin, I think, definitely deserve to be the top three. And...

BECK: They have the beat box guy, really?

CALDWELL: Yes, the beat box guy. He`s still left, and all the girls love him. I think that he might be going to the finals, but it`s like who else do you get rid of, Melinda who`s a powerhouse and consistently perfect.

BECK: Yes.

CALDWELL: Or Jordin, who`s 17 and always amazing. And I could really see her having longevity, I mean. But Blake right here, you know, he really is a true entertainer.

BECK: Yes.

CALDWELL: He has, you know, the original factor, and all -- I mean, the girls love Blake. They swoon over Blake.

BECK: OK. Taylor Hicks, you know, last year, he won last year.

CALDWELL: Yes.

BECK: I`ve heard rumors.

CALDWELL: What?

BECK: I`ve heard rumors.

CALDWELL: I`m, like, getting ready.

BECK: That nobody wanted him to win last year, because he`s just not a good guy.

CALDWELL: Really?

BECK: Back stage. Oh, come on. You`re on the TV.

CALDWELL: I don`t know. I met him, like, one time, and he was actually very nice.

BECK: Why am I coming to you? Why am I coming you to you? I`m coming to you as an expert...

CALDWELL: I`m the nice one. If both of us were mean, do you think anybody would watch this segment? If both of us were mean nobody would watch.

BECK: OK. So let me play -- let`s role reverse. You know, last year, I just loved Taylor Hicks and I wondered why he`s not more popular. Whatever happened? How come he...

CALDWELL: Maybe it`s because he`s a big -- no, I`m just kidding. I`m not going there, Glenn.

BECK: You`re not going there? You won`t tell me...

CALDWELL: I heard that he`s nice, and I heard that he`s become very professional lately.

BECK: I`m sure. I`m sure he has.

CALDWELL: Professional.

BECK: Barry Gibb, did you see Barry Gibb last night?

CALDWELL: Yes.

BECK: Missed him, huh? I think all of America.

CALDWELL: Why do you always want to talk trash?

BECK: No, I don`t. That was sincerely.

CALDWELL: Diana Ross.

BECK: That was sincere.

CALDWELL: Elvis. Celine.

BECK: Barry Gibb, what has he been doing?

CALDWELL: Well, he`s been on "American Idol," the biggest show in America.

BECK: Yes. That was -- do you think that was an uphill battle for his agent?

CALDWELL: No.

BECK: When they called and they said, hey, Barry Gibb is available?

CALDWELL: Glenn.

BECK: Was it like everybody else was booked and like...

CALDWELL: Can we move on to a real question?

BECK: No, we can`t.

CALDWELL: I`m supposed to be an "Idol" expert. Help me out.

BECK: I know. I`m just trying to hurt -- help your credibility.

CALDWELL: Oh, really.

BECK: Kim, thanks a lot.

CALDWELL: Oh, thanks.

BECK: Coming up national security is top priority, so why do we tie the hands of those people on the first line of defense? That`s tonight`s "Real Story", and it`s coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: Coming up, Tony Blair, a man once accused of being President Bush`s lapdog, steps down just as frank conversations about the U.S.`s course in Iraq is held behind closed doors at the White House. This is going to make blood shoot out of your eyes. I`ll have the details.

But first, the "Real Story." If you didn`t know any better, you might be like me. I mean, I could be naive enough to believe that terrorism would be a bipartisan issue, right? Terrorists attack us? That`s bad. We stop a terrorist attack? That`s good. That`s not politics. That`s common sense. No.

And then you remember, "Oh, wait I`m in America in 2007," not in this country anymore, not with this media anymore. The real story is that you can now find somebody who is willing to go on television and disparage anything or anybody. You show me the story; I`ll show you the critic.

On Tuesday, the day the FBI busted up a terror group in New Jersey that was in final preparations for a deadly attack on our soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey, MSNBC journalist Keith Olbermann went on air with this, and I want you to pay very close attention to his choice of words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR: The ultimate premise of the war in Iraq and the ultimate premise, certainly, of the Republican campaign ahead, counterterrorism. The FBI claims it has broken up a plot to attack Fort Dix, in New Jersey.

The flaw, though, in the breathless reporting of the purported terror cell, the bureau infiltrated the six-person group after its members took video of themselves practicing with assault weapons, brought the tape to a photo store, and had it transferred to a DVD. The details of the supposed plot don`t seem to hold together that well, either, though that did not stop extensive and entirely credulous coverage on TV, the Internet and print today.

The men supposedly had plans to gain access to the base disguised at pizza delivery guys, then cut the power somewhat, then, quote, "hit four, five, or six Humvees and light the whole place and retreat without any losses." And take the tape of yourselves practicing and have it copied at Photo Mat. In other words, the FBI has arrested six morons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: Wow, first it`s all about the presidential campaign, and then it`s six morons, huh, Keith? Is that really what we`ve come to? We can`t even take one night to applaud law enforcement or the FBI for protecting us and our soldiers that are here and they`re saving lives without launching into insults and politics?

You know, Keith, I`ve got an idea. How about I keep this video clip on file until the next time that we`re attacked? And then you`ll start blasting people for not being able to prevent the attack. And then I`ll just play the clip and show what a hypocrite you really are.

Let`s assume that you`re right and these guys were idiots. I`ll give you, they weren`t too bright. Are you saying that only brilliant people can cause death and destruction? Wow. I`ll bet the people in Oklahoma City or Littleton, Colorado, hey, how about Blacksburg, Virginia? I bet they`d have something to say about that, huh, Keith?

I have to tell you, I know Keith Olbermann likes to say, "Oh, I`m not a liberal or a Democrat." Sure. You know, I know his audience undoubtedly is, so let me ask them directly. Is this really who you are? Is this honestly what your great party, a party that once stood for hard work and values and compassion, has become? The party of my grandparents, this is it?

Keith, you know what? Maybe you`re right. Maybe you`re really not a Democrat, because I don`t believe it. I don`t believe that represents anything that like what Democrats really are. And, in fact, I know for a fact this isn`t what any American, no matter what their politics, stands for.

This story is not about politics. It`s about how powerful the public is when it comes to protecting this country. There are millions more of us than there are of all the FBI, CIA, DHS and ATF agents combined. We, we the people, are the best and sometimes only defense against terrorism. Remember, if it wasn`t for one alert Circuit City employee, we might be talking about a completely different situation right now.

But the "Real Story" is, is that there are people and groups within this country working hard day and night to make sure that that public keeps their mouths shut all the time. Although their arguments are usually disguised under a very thin veil of racism and civil rights, the reality is that groups use these tactics to put us all on the defensive. Nobody wants to be called a racist or accused of discrimination, so we`re scared into silence.

Now, before the e-mails start rolling in and I`m taken out of context, I`m not talking about real racism and real discrimination. Those absolutely do exist, and we already have laws in place to deal with those dirt bag offenders. What I`m talking about are the situations like the imams on the plane, who started acting suspiciously, like the 9/11 hijackers, situations where reasonable people make reasonable judgments based on what they`re seeing.

But what message does it send when those people are sued as a result of those reasonable judgments? What if this hero from Circuit City had been wrong, these guys were turned in, and they were just messing around? Do you really think the ACLU and groups like that would not be out holding press conferences right now, claiming discrimination and threatening lawsuits, and somebody like Keith Olbermann would be on the air saying, "Look at these morons"?

Yes, you know what? If you really don`t think that that would be happening, I bet Keith Olbermann would have a technical term for you, as well: moron.

We can`t have it both ways. When it comes to public safety, we either put reasonable vigilance first or we want to cater to every person who plays the discrimination card to further their agenda. Considering that one of those options probably just saved an untold number of lives, I think the choice is pretty clear.

Don Clark, former FBI special agent in charge of Houston, and Congressman Peter King, he`s a Republican from New York, the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Don, let me just start with you. First of all, these guys, morons?

DON CLARK, FORMER HEAD OF FBI HOUSTON BUREAU: Absolutely not. Glenn, whether they were morons or not is immaterial. I mean, these people were trying to conduct a terrorist attack.

And first of all, Glenn, I`ve got to say, kudos to that gentleman at the Circuit City. That`s what American citizens have to do to keep us from being attacked by terrorists. And, also, I personally formed that terrorist task force up in New Jersey some years ago, and I think they did a heck of a job for trying to work this out.

It`s about vigilance. The two most used words today, vigilance and prevention, and we need to stick to that and do the right things, by the laws as we have them, and keep people alive in this country.

BECK: Hey, Peter, how come this story has not become -- one of these guys just converted over to Islam. Who has he been talking to? How did he become radicalized so fast? Where are the MSNBC investigative reports going out and talking to the people that, you know, helped him become a Muslim? How come we`re not seeing the footage? How come the story is not about how three of them came across our southern border in the middle of the night? Why?

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Because there`s a terrible double standard. I mean, you saw it there with Keith Olbermann. There`s a crowd in America which is always "blame America first."

When the FBI does something right -- and, by the way, this is a great victory for the FBI. I mean, not only do they stop the plot, but they were able to monitor it for 15 months. You know, that`s not easy to do, is to stand back and resist that impulse to make the arrest. They let this play out. They did a thoroughly professional job.

The citizen from Circuit City should be given the Medal of Honor. I mean, this is what we ask all Americans to do. These people should be the heroes. These people should be being lauded and praised. Instead, there`s this attempt to somehow diminish it or demean it and it`s really, again, just a "blame America first" crowd, diminish what we do, praise what the enemy does, take whatever weaknesses or deficiencies we have, highlight them, focus on them. It`s terrible.

BECK: Peter, do you have any doubt at all that, if this wouldn`t have been that, and it came out that the ACLU or an organization like CAIR wouldn`t be holding a press conference today ripping that guy at Circuit City to shreds?

KING: No, in fact, he would probably be risking a lawsuit. Or put it the other way. Let`s just say these were some NRA gun owners who were plotting to attack innocent civilians and it was stopped. It would be front pages everywhere, and they`d be looking into the whole psyche of gun owners.

No, but you`re right. If this had not worked out, if this information had turned out not to be totally accurate or if it turned out these guys were just playing in the woods, you would have had lawsuits. You would have had CAIR getting involved. It would have been absolutely terrible.

BECK: Don, I want to ask you what we should be looking for. I think this neighborhood in Cherry Hill was amazing. I read some place that one neighbor actually was walking down the street and saw a sedan parked down the street, where it was the FBI -- they were monitoring the House -- saw the sedan parked in front of the street, called the police, and said, "Hey, there is somebody hanging out, and they are here all the time back and forth. And something is going on in the neighborhood," and the police just said, "Zip it. Everything`s OK."

I mean, this is a neighborhood that is on watch, a real neighborhood watch. What is it that we should be looking for, as regular people?

CLARK: Well, you know, Glenn, I think that neighborhood really set the example as to the things that we should be doing. And in order to tell somebody what they should be looking for, you know, the American citizens are pretty smart people. And they have a pretty good idea when something is not going right in their surroundings, in their area.

They can tell when something is added, a car is there, it shouldn`t be there. They can tell when these types of things are happening. And I say don`t be reserved about it. If you`ve got your facts, if you`re looking at it intelligently, if you know that it`s something different that`s going on, call the authorities.

And now, with homeland security and so forth, it may be confusing a little bit, but I say call the FBI right away and give them particulars to the information, and I guarantee you that they`re going to take a look at it.

BECK: Peter, I`ve only got about 30 seconds. Is your whistleblower legislation going to go through to protect people who are whistleblowers?

KING: Glenn, where it is, is there`s a conference now between the House and Senate on the homeland security bill. The house bill has it; the Senate bill doesn`t. We have to focus attention on the Senate to make sure they include it. Otherwise, citizens who come forward will be subject to lawsuits. We cannot allow that.

You can have the best FBI in the world, the best police department in the world, but they can`t exist and can`t function without the eyes and ears of millions of good public-spirited American.

BECK: That`s the "Real Story" tonight. We`ll be back in just a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: As the war in Iraq continues, with the job far from over, two key events have taken place in the last two days that could mark not only significant change in the war strategy, but also who will be articulating that plan for the future.

Since day one, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been our ally in Iraq and a friend of the Bush administration. But today, he had some pretty big news.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY BLAIR, PRIME MINISTER OF BRITAIN: Today I announce my decision to stand down from the leadership of the Labour Party. The party will now select a new leader. On the 27th of June, I will tender my resignation from the office of prime minister to the queen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: Oh, boy. Closer to home, 11 top GOP congressmen had a private meeting with President Bush and his advisers yesterday. They basically told him to zip it about the war, because he`s losing the 2008 election for the Republicans.

So what happens now? Jonathan Martin, he is the senior writer for Politico. He joins me now. Jonathan, do the Republicans actually think the cut-and-run strategy touted by Pelosi is the winning strategy?

JONATHAN MARTIN, THE POLITICO: Thanks for having me, Glenn. Well, the fact is, is that many in the Republican Party, and especially in Congress, are very, very nervous about the impact that this war and, frankly, this president are having on their party. And even though it`s only May of 2007, they are very, very concerned that you combine an unpopular war, an unpopular president, and that is a very, very toxic recipe going into next year.

BECK: Jonathan, I`ve got to tell you, I`m more disgusted with the Republicans than I think I`ve ever been. Are they this stupid that they don`t understand that Rudy Giuliani`s numbers in the polls are because he would be tougher on the war, not cutting and run?

MARTIN: Well, I think that you see many Republicans, certainly in the base of party, are hanging with the president and want to give his war plan a chance. But when you see, especially the moderate members of Congress from swing districts, from more competitive districts, they look back home, Glenn, and their numbers, the president`s numbers are just really in bad shape.

And they are concerned about their own skin and also about the fact that, hey, it`s tough enough to elect the same president -- a president from the same party for three straight terms. It`s even tougher when the incumbent is as unpopular as he is and he`s handling a war that has lost the favor of the American public.

BECK: Well, he`s handling it poorly, quite frankly, and that`s what the Republicans should be saying. They should be saying, "We`re going to get tougher on it," not Nancy Pelosi, you know, take the Nancy Pelosi rout. From the "New York Times," this is one quote. "One of these Republicans told Mr. Bush that voters back home favored a withdrawal, even if it meant the war was judged a loss."

Jonathan, answer this, if you can. Help me understand how this is any different than what the GOP has been railing against from Harry Reid?

MARTIN: Well, the American people certainly don`t like losing. And there may be a degree of hyperbole from these members of Congress -- who, by the way, it`s no accident that the story was on NBC News, the "Washington Post," and the "New York Times." They want to get their message out, and that`s the way that they`re doing it.

But I think it`s clear that there is certain in the ranks about how this war is impacting their own political fortunes, but you`re right. The fact is, is that, you know, talking about the prospect of losing a war, you know, rhetorically, at least, is never going to be helpful to your prospects politically.

BECK: Jonathan, thank you very much.

Now, the last two years have shown a troubling spike in violent crime in several American cities. One of those cities is Miami, Florida. You`re about to meet a woman there who knows that firsthand and what it`s like to lose a child to gun violence. What makes her unique is what she decided to do about it.

Queen Brown is today`s "CNN Hero."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUEEN BROWN, LOST HER SON TO GUN VIOLENCE: My name is queen brown. I`m a mother of four. I lost my youngest son, Eviton, to gun violence. Eviton`s shooting was a random act. He was basically in the wrong place at the wrong time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three men are gunned down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... in a barrage of gunfire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... an overflow of grieving relatives crowd the emergency room at Broward General tonight...

BROWN: I moved my kids here from the inner-city to provide a safer community for them. They all graduated from high school and all are college-educated. It was a devastating blow to me to lose my son. I felt so helpless, and I wanted to do something. I wanted to get people involved.

Good afternoon, south Florida, and thank you so much once again for tuning in to what`s going on. The violence intervention programs...

We can stop the violence in the community. There is something you can do about it.

You can teach your kid what to do, but, as you and I both know, your kid can be a victim to someone else.

My children and I, we all chip in and we pay for the radio air time.

We have a caller on line number one. You`re on the air.

CALLER: I have three sons and one of my everyday fears is that I will go through what you`ve gone through.

BROWN: It`s very therapeutic. I always feel like I have helped someone.

We`re going to give you that information regarding how you can get your sons involved in this program.

The community has been very supportive. They want this show to stay on the air.

I want the students. I want the parents. I want the community leaders. I think collectively we have to deal with the core of what`s causing the violence.

My son`s death was a call to service. You know, I saw so many areas where I was needed, and I felt that I had just what it took to get in there and do it. It`s because of Eviton that I`m doing this. His life is going to save other lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECK: I want to introduce you to a man who you may have heard last weekend, the owner of a Louisville steakhouse refused to serve. The guy`s attorney says it was probably because of the color of his skin. Somehow or another, this man has persevered. In fact, I think he can serve as an inspiration to all of us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: It`s said that a man is best defined by his actions, by moments of extraordinary courage in the face of adversity. And for those brave men whose legacy is to fight for freedom, that legacy is often defined by a single moment. This is a story of one modern-day freedom fighter and that single moment when justice would not be denied.

His name, O.J. Simpson. His dream, that one day all former NFL running backs acquitted of brutally murdering their ex-wives, regardless of the color of their skin, can sit down and enjoy a mouth-watering 22-ounce porterhouse steak, cooked medium rare to perfection, you know, like the kind served at Jeff Ruby`s Louisville Steakhouse, 325 Main Street, open seven days a week. Experience the excitement of a real Las Vegas steakhouse right in the heart of downtown Louisville.

As he walked through the doors of Jeff Ruby`s, O.J. was prepared for the discrimination that he would no doubt face.

JEFF RUBY, RESTAURANT OWNER: I don`t want him in here. I said, "I`m not serving you."

BECK: Yet, it was Jeff Ruby himself. For dramatic effect, Ruby spoke again.

RUBY: I repeat, I said, "I`m not serving you."

BECK: It was at this moment when O.J. realized that there were some principles still worth fighting for. O.J. Simpson rose from his seat and left the restaurant.

RUBY: That`s the first class he has shown, in my opinion, since the murders. He said, "I understand, Jeff. Can I just have a few minutes to find the people that I came with so they know we`ve got to leave?" He was great. He knew my name.

BECK: Wow, he actually knew his name. Perhaps Jeff Ruby had misjudged O.J. Simpson. Maybe, just maybe, the next time O.J. walks through the door, Jeff Ruby will treat him like a customer and not just some guy trying to profit off the murder of the mother of his own children.

RUBY: If he came back again, no, I`d punch him in the mouth.

BECK: Then again, probably not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: From New York, good night.

END

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