Return to Transcripts main page


Sister Sues "Dateline" After Accused Sex Offender Commits Suicide; Cat Predicts Deaths

Aired July 26, 2007 - 19:00:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, new details on the Cheshire triple murder. How did these two career criminals manage to get out of prison early in the first place? And will they all get the punishment we all know they deserve?

Plus, a suspected sexual predator commits suicide as "Dateline`s" cameras are rolling. Now the sister is suing NBC for $105 million. Does she have a case?

And the case of the kitty grim reaper. I`m going to bring you the amazing story of the cat that can predict death.

(Cat meowing)

BECK: Not so fast, kitty, the show ain`t over yet.

All this and more tonight.


BECK: Let me tell you, if that cat curls up on your television set tonight, I am in trouble.

Hello, America. As details come out in the murder case in Cheshire, Connecticut, I -- honestly, I don`t know what to think. I don`t know if we should be more frightened or angry.

I know that our society can be a dangerous place, but I also know that we`re supposed to have systems in place to help keep us safe. The point tonight is those systems and the people controlling them have failed. And if we don`t fix them soon, next time it could be your family. It could be my family that`s raped and murdered by scum bags who should be behind bars. And here`s how I got there.

According to Connecticut police, 3 a.m. this past Monday morning, two guys break into the home of the Petit family. In what now seems to be a robbery gone terribly wrong, a mother was strangled to death, her two young girls died of smoke inhalation as their home burned around them. Before they died, at least two of the women were sexually assaulted. God only knows, and we can only pray that it wasn`t the 11-year-old.

The men allegedly responsible for this killing spree have been charged with assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, arson, larceny, risk of injury to children, and murder. Thankfully, they`re behind bars again.

Yes, you see, these monsters are career criminals. Each of them had over 20 prior burglaries to their name. But the parole board set them loose.

Robert Farr, the chairman of the Connecticut Board of Patrol (sic) and Pardons -- or Parole and Pardons, said that they -- that they let the suspects go free because they didn`t have a history of violent crimes. In his statement Farr actually said, quote, "That`s why this sort of thing is so shocking, because it doesn`t fit a normal mode."

Short of shocking, Bob? It`s a hell of a lot more than sort of shocking. I`m sorry the bad guys confused you by breaking their pattern, but that`s how it is with criminals. You know, sometimes they just make up their own rules.

What`s truly shocking is the court transcripts. They show a past judge calling one of these suspects a cold, calculating predator, states that he had worn night vision goggles and used a knife during his prior burglaries.

The parole chairman says, we didn`t know any of this. Gee, that`s too bad, huh? Maybe you guys ought to look into getting one of those newfangled computers. I hear they`re all the rage these days.

So tonight, here`s what you need to know. Pleading ignorance is inexcusable. If that`s the kind of stuff that`s not in a prisoner`s file when he`s up for parole, what is in that file?

What`s even worse is that, once they knew about the full histories of these murderers, the parole board chairperson had the audacity to say, quote, I`m not suggesting, you know, these would have made any big difference. I mean, maybe we would have kept them in a little longer. But at some point these guys are both going to get out.

You know what? That`s exactly the kind of weak and complacent attitude that just sent a family up in flames. We know the system is broken. We get it. Now fix it!

At the end of the day, I understand: there`s nobody responsible for these murders and these crimes than the two dirt bags that are now in custody. But in my opinion, Robert Farr and his parole board do have an obligation to do everything in their power to make sure this kind of thing never happens again.

And lastly, you know, I`m against the death penalty. But it`s cases like these that make me question it. Connecticut is not against the death penalty, or so they say. And if anybody has ever deserved to die for their crimes, it`s these two. Give them a speedy trial and a speedier execution. If the state can`t get it done, oh, I bet there are a few men in Cheshire that would like to help them out.

Joined now by Ed Miller, who has been following the case for "America`s Most Wanted", and Mickey Sherman, criminal defense attorney.

Ed, let me -- let me start with you. How was this family even chosen?

ED MILLER, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": Well, first of all, Glenn, the details are horrible beyond horrible. They`re something right out of a movie like "Cape Fear" or "Prince of Tides".

They believe -- police believe that these two followed them, saw them earlier in the evening in the store, saw mom and daughter, followed them home and then laid in wait. They went and plotted. They did go and buy some supplies and then broke into the house at 3 a.m. in the morning.

Now, you don`t need any fancy pants attorney to tell you this. It was obviously some sort of premeditation involved, because they went and bought the gasoline. They didn`t go in the garage and find the gasoline to set fire to the house. They bought that gasoline and brought it with them to the house.

We now know some of the details. The two young girls apparently were tied to their beds. The father was put in the basement so he could hear, I`m assuming, his daughters are being assaulted.

The mother was strangled, so we assume that she fought back hearing that her daughters were being attacked. As I said, details horrible.

BECK: Mickey, you know, a part of me -- a part of me says what the heck happened to our system here? The other part of me says, you know what`s partly wrong is we don`t call evil by its name any anymore. These guys are evil, and they`re the only ones really, truly responsible for this.

But does the system play any role in trying to keep these guys off the street?

MICKEY SHERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: To the extent that it can. I agree with you, this is evil. I likewise agree with you that I disagree with the death penalty. This is one of those cases that I like to call the end of the end of the death penalty. Just when we kind of get to the mindset. Maybe we should get rid of the death penalty. Along comes a case like this and then we all say, well, let`s get rid of the death penalty right after these guys get executed.

The bottom line is we`ve only got a limited amount of jail cells. As you know United States has more jail people per population ratio than any place in the world. And they`ve got to decide -- the parole people have to decide who gets out early. And the way they base it is who`s less dangerous.

And oddly enough, these guys were not on the list of most dangerous. The burglars, bad people, evil people, but, nonetheless, there`s no history of violence or anything of this possible, horrific nature in their past.

BECK: Yes.

SHERMAN: So you can`t -- you can`t just hold their feet to the fire. The parole people, they did not have an expectation that this would happen.

BECK: Right. Well, yes and no. I mean, again, this is where I`m torn here, because, again, it`s not the parole board`s fault, you know, because they got to play the odds here. But that`s the problem. They were playing the odds.

These guys are the ones that are responsible for this crime. Let me go back to Ed here real quick. Help me out with these guys. What did the parole board know about these guys? Who are they?

MILLER: Well, Komisarjevsky, the younger one now, came from actually a family -- I don`t want to say well-to-do family but a family of notoriety. The grandfather was a former Russian theater director. The grandmother was an international author. He is an adopted child.

He grew up in a middle class family. Not a family of great means but certainly a comfortable family.

The older one, there`s about 20 years difference between these two guys. The older has a crime record that goes back to 1980. So -- and they both met at a halfway house, where I`m assuming they compared notes and perfected their crime, what they were about to do.

To get back to the parole board for just a second, I think we need to clarify something. It is my understanding that there is no independent accountability for anybody in the parole board.

In other words, at the end of the year, they don`t sit around at the governor`s office and say, by the way, last year we let go 3,000 people; 2,900 of them were success stories. The others weren`t so good.

There is no independent accountability. So if there is a flaw in this system, perhaps that`s what should be done.

BECK: I got to tell you, at this point, the flaw is -- I`m looking for -- because I`m not -- I`m really not a blame guy on stuff like this, because I really -- I mean, it`s the criminals. What I`m looking for is maybe a drive-through judge, somebody to just say, "Yes, can I take your order?"

And you say, "Yes, I got the two dirt bags here that murdered the family in Connecticut."

"Pull forward to the next window." And you kill them there.

How long is this going to take? It seems like a pretty open and closed case here, Mickey. How long is it going to take?

SHERMAN: How long is it going to take to convict them or to execute them, should they get the death penalty?

BECK: Both.

SHERMAN: Convict them within a year and a half at the absolute most.

BECK: Jeez.

SHERMAN: And the question is does the state`s attorney ask for the death penalty? And that`s a decision he`ll make within the next few weeks. And he made a statement to the "New York Times" today that, you know, he`s pondering it. And that`s what you want him to do.

BECK: Pondering it?

SHERMAN: No, the idea -- to take someone`s life it`s not a question or an issue that you decide, you know, within 24 hours. She`s doing the right thing, approaching it the right way.

BECK: What is -- what is the conflict of not killing these guys?

SHERMAN: Well, he wants to look at all the facts and circumstances. I mean, the -- he would be more criticized...

BECK: They raped children, killed three people, set a house on fire and beat the dad up.

SHERMAN: But, Glenn, in all likelihood he`s going to ask for the death penalty but what he`s just trying to do is not to make a decision based upon a knee-jerk reaction, as justified as it may be. He would be more criticized if he made that decision right now. He`s doing it the right way.

MILLER: And you know the governor has ordered a review of the entire parole system because of this.

BECK: OK. I understand that there -- am I hearing this right, my producers in the control room, that he -- that he has just -- he is going to seek the death penalty? That`s the latest on that.

Thanks, guys.

Coming you, new developments in the case of wrongly imprisoned border guards Ramos and Compean. There`s a new push in Congress to give these guys their freedom back. We`ll have the latest

Plus, NBC`s "To Catch a Predator" is now under serious fire after one of the targets takes his own life before police can intervene. Now the dead man`s family is suing NBC.

And does this cat really see dead people? Apparently, the answer is yes. We will tell you about the cat and its weird ability to predict death.


BECK: Coming up a little later on the program, our new role models, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Michael Vick, three examples of he recent examples of how the fabric of this great country is just unraveling.

But first, a couple of quick follow-up stories for you. A long-shot amendment proposed by Congressmen Tom Tancredo, we told you about a couple of days ago. Tom Tancredo, Ted Poe and Duncan Hunter wanted to cut all of the funding that is keeping our border agents Ramos and Compean behind bars, actually passed in the House in a voice vote last night.

If this is approved, it would specifically bar the Bureau of Prisons from using funds to keep these agents in jail. Now, don`t get excited, because it has to eventually pass the Senate. And even if it does, then it goes up to George "Open Borders" Bush`s desk, where it will promptly see the old paper shredder.

But then there is good news today. I`m happy to report that the so- called "John Doe" amendment that would protect citizens who act in good faith to report suspicious possible terrorist activity from being sued is included now in the final 9/11 bill.

You might remember we had Pete King, who`s a congressman from New York on, I believe, Tuesday night, to talk about the secret Democratic opposition to it, but Joe Lieberman and others were able to talk some sense into people like Nancy Pelosi and Patrick Leahy and keep it alive.

The bill is expected to easily pass both houses and be signed into law soon. Finally, some hard-earned wins for common sense in this country.

Now let`s switch gears. By now, you`ve probably seen NBC`s "To Catch a Predator". This is the show where men accused of having explicit online chats with underage teens who are actually adults go into a house to meet them. And then presto, TV cameras and Chris Hansen bring their world to an end.

Well, in a recent sting set up by the show, one of these guys` world really did come to an end. His name was Louis Conradt Jr., an assistant prosecutor for Rockwall County, Texas. He shot himself as Chris Hansen and the police waited outside his door.

They were about to accuse him of engaging in a sexually explicit online chat with an adult posing as a 13-year-old boy.

Conradt`s sister, Patricia, is now suing NBC for $105 million, accusing the network of taking over police duties and then failing to protect her brother.

Bruce Baron, attorney for Patricia Conradt, joins me now.

Bruce, $105 million, huh?

BRUCE BARON, ATTORNEY FOR PATRICIA CONRADT: Yes. Well, you know, you got to realize, Glenn, the number doesn`t indicate the value. The number indicates the value of a person`s life. And I don`t know how much various people in your life are worth, but certainly a loved one to a sister is worth a lot of money.

BECK: OK. A guy who`s writing a 13-year-old boy sexually explicit e- mails ain`t worth jack to me, quite honestly. If it`s true -- and I`m not saying it is, because I can`t get a hold of the e-mails.

But if it was true that he was writing sexually explicit e-mails to a 13-year-old, I got some cash on me. I wouldn`t mind offing him, you know, and helping out on that fund-raiser. Another dirt bag gone.

BARON: Well, here`s the -- well, here`s the problem. No. 1, before you call someone a dirt bag or before you actually convict someone -- and I`m not saying there shouldn`t be a conviction in this particular case.

What I`m saying is you want to have faith in the judicial system. You want to have faith in the evidence presented, the evidence collected, the authenticity of it, and you want to have faith in the legal system. You want due process. There was no...

BECK: But that`s -- but her brother -- her brother was a former prosecutor.

BARON: So what does that mean?

BECK: He knows -- he knows all of this.

BARON: That`s right.

BECK: So if he wasn`t guilty...

BARON: You know what he knows? Let me tell you what he knows.

BECK: Yes.

BARON: He knows that everyone he prosecuted over the past 20 years was afforded their due process rights. And he also knows that, given the crime, the punishment should be proportionate.

I don`t know of any law, any jurisdiction in this wonderful country where the death penalty is imposed on an individual for solicitation. In worst case...

BECK: It was not imposed. It was not imposed.

BARON: It certainly was. In this particular case...

BECK: Hang on, I want to understand this. Are you saying NBC killed him?

BARON: In effect, absolutely. Absolutely.

BECK: Let me -- let me...

BARON: The Collin County district attorney -- the Collin County district attorney has gone on record stating -- by the way, the reason why there was no prosecutions in this case of 24 alleged pedophiles is because NBC is a great entertainment group, but they weren`t a great law enforcement group in this particular sting operation.

In addition to which, you`ve got to realize one thing. Police officers, law enforcement, local and state and federal officials, should never subcontract their obligation and oath to protect our country.

BECK: Bruce, let me tell you something. I`m going to share something with you I don`t think I`ve ever shared before.

When I was 13 years old, my mother committed suicide. On the day she committed suicide, the day before, that night she had a horrible fight with my sister. My sister was 16 years old. The next morning, my mother was dead.

You know what I said as a 13-year-old boy? I looked at my sister and I said something I`ve regretted for the rest of my life. I said, "You killed our mother."

You know what? I was wrong. That was the thinking of a 13-year-old boy. You know who killed my mother? My mother killed my mother. It had nothing to do with my sister or the fight. My mother was screwed up, period. So don`t tell me that NBC killed this guy.

BARON: Well, I`m telling you they did. And forgive me...

BECK: He pulled the trigger. He was the guy who pulled the trigger.

BARON: No. When he looked out that window.

BECK: Yes.

BARON: And he saw "Dateline" and he saw those cameras, he knew that his due process was out the window. And that`s not the way our legal system...

BECK: His due process was not out the window. He made the choice to kill himself.

BARON: Did you follow -- did you follow the Saddam Hussein trial and the lynching?

BECK: You know what? Can I tell you something?

BARON: Did you follow it?

BECK: Yes.

BARON: When you followed it, were you concerned that he obtained due process so we wouldn`t look like a mockery?

BECK: NBC, my friend...

BARON: Just answer the question!

BECK: NBC, all they did was show him just...

BARON: You`re not answering my question.

BECK: I`m trying to, Bruce.

BARON: No, no, no, I`m talking about Saddam Hussein.

BECK: They just showed him coming out of the hole like Saddam Hussein did. The due process comes afterwards.

Bruce, I`m sorry, got to go. Time is up. We`ll have you back, my friend.

Coming up, the more superstitious among us believe that a black cat crossing someone`s path means that you`re in for a little bad luck, but with Oscar the cat, it`s a little different. He stops by, you die.

Plus, Britney, Paris and Lindsay represent everything that`s wrong with our country, and they`re your children`s role models. I hope not. How dangerous is it for American`s youth? Find out in "The Real Story", coming up.


BECK: In case the Museum of Broadcast History is watching, please send a messenger right over to CNN, because you`re going to want a tape of this next segment.

I`m going to tell you a story about a cat, so suck on that one, Mike Wallace. And it`s not just a regular old cat story. No, those are for Tyra Banks. This is Oscar, a special kitty.

I don`t know if you -- I don`t know if you saw this on television earlier today. This thing is wild. It will predict when nursing home patients are going to die. He`s been right 25 times.

Dr. David Dosa, he`s not a quack. He is assistant professor at the Brown University School of Medicine and a geriatric specialist. You have been studying this cat for how long?

DAVID DOSA, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, BROWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Well, we first found out about Oscar, I guess, about 18 months ago when he first started to make his rounds. The major hospice organization here in town first started to note his activities, that he would spend time with patients towards the end of their life.

BECK: Like within four hours of their death, right?

DOSA: Within about four hours. About 12 months ago, they presented Oscar with a plaque that now hangs outside of the particular nursing home ward.

BECK: OK. I got to ask you, because we have such a short segment and I want to ask you a couple of serious questions.

One, 25 times he`s been right. And every -- nobody believed that he was going to be right. They`re always, yes, he`s going to be wrong. And he`s right every time, correct?

DOSA: That`s right.

BECK: Is he smelling something or, God forbid -- this is what crossed my mind when I first heard this, this morning. Is there a possibility that somebody is making him right?

DOSA: Well, the latter question is certainly not true.


DOSA: We don`t -- I mean, that -- that is certainly contrary to any end of life care that`s provided at this institution.

In terms of him being right, he`s right and that`s what makes this truly an amazing story.

You know, as a medical provider, you like to think that you`re able to tell families when a patient might pass. But he does a much better job than any of us.

BECK: So have you heard of this before? Is it just this cat? Is it other animals? What is this?

DOSA: Well, since this story broke, I`ve heard from literally dozens of people outside of the area, different nursing homes, different states, different countries. I`ve heard from people in India, in Africa, in South America, all with very similar stories to tell.

BECK: OK. May I ask this last question? If I`m in this nursing home, I want the cat to go bye-bye, because I`d be freaked out by this cat. I mean, is anybody who`s there freaked out when the cat starts walking towards their room?

DOSA: Well, unfortunately, this is an end-stage dementia unit. And as that disease continues to take its toll, patients unfortunately lose the ability to understand what that cat might mean.

So some patients perhaps understand that the cat is there and is providing comfort. But certainly, everybody on that unit has lost the ability to understand what it means.

BECK: Doctor, I`ve got to tell you, I can`t wait to see if you find out what`s really going on with the cat and what -- you know, what he`s sensing or smelling or whatever. Thank you very much for being on the program.

Up next, why our politicians` "win at all cost" attitude has killed our political parties. Don`t miss tonight`s "Real Story".

But before we step out there, I just want to give you a quick programming note. Tomorrow, Billy Ray Cyrus, he`ll be covering it all. The new album, his television show, what it`s like to work with his daughter on "Hannah Montana", and of course, the mullet. You don`t want to miss it, tomorrow.


BECK: Coming up, outspoken columnist Robert Novak says our political parties are dead. And you know what? He`s absolutely right, coming up in just a minute.

But first, welcome to the "Real Story." Falcons quarterback -- hopefully soon ex-quarterback -- Michael Vick was in federal court today pleading not guilty to gruesome dogfighting charges against him. Meanwhile, Barry Bonds, who I think his own children would probably acknowledge the guy is jacked on steroids, is closing in on one of the most hallowed records in baseball. NBA referee allegedly has mob ties, bet on his own games. And the cyclist leading the Tour de France was just kicked out of the race for lying about where he was during drug tests.

And if you want to go beyond sports, it gets even worse. Lindsay Lohan, please, out of jail now, or facing jail. I can`t remember which one`s out and which one`s going in. Oh, yes, Lindsay`s going in, Paris is coming out, Britney Spears, mother of two, recent meltdown so bad even the tabloid magazines are saying she needs to get help. Let`s be honest. Lindsay Lohan makes great TV because of pictures like this. But if you can get past the way these stories are sensationalized -- OK, guys, you can take that picture off -- there are great lessons we can learn from them.

The "Real Story" is, each of these people should teach us that, if money and fame are the center of your life, they`re not the answer to problems. They are the problem. I hate to get all spooky religious on you, but the First Commandment is "Thou shalt not have other gods before me." And yet in our society, that`s exactly what we have done. Celebrity and fortune are new gods.

Many of us believe this is just harmless entertainment. We can just let this spill out into our houses. But Michael Vick`s jersey is now the second bestselling jersey in the NFL. Who do you think is buying them? Who`s listening to Britney Spears` music or watching Lindsay Lohan -- actually, these are bad examples. Nobody is listening to Britney Spears` music and nobody is watching a Lindsay Lohan movie unless they`re insane. So those are bad examples, but hypothetically they`d be our kids. And we`re breeding a new generation of narcissistic fame-seekers.

As bad as this sounds, it isn`t new. Marilyn Monroe and Gloria Vanderbilt weren`t exactly volunteering in soup kitchens, but back then David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite had only 30 minutes a day to give you the news, and Hollywood starlets not wearing their underpants just didn`t quite make the cut. Today, we`ve got 24 hours a day, multiple channels just to fill it up with something. So as long as this stuff keeps getting ratings -- and I`ve seen the ratings, it does -- it will continue to be on.

My advice is that we all try to figure out how, you know, you, your kids, my kids can learn from it. Psychiatrist Keith Ablow, author of "Living the Truth," is with us. Keith, you know, I actually think this is a good story, this Lindsay Lohan thing is a good story, because it shows us that celebrity and fame causes more problems if that`s what you`re worshipping.

DR. KEITH ABLOW, PSYCHIATRIST: Absolutely. Glenn, I think that celebrity and fame, they basically magnify what someone`s underlying character is. You know, I don`t think that celebrity and money is necessarily going to twist somebody`s character into a bad direction.

But, listen, if you`ve got some anemia of character to begin with, and you`re not sure whether you were loved, like Lindsay Lohan -- and I talked to her dad today. I can tell you she`s not sure whether he loved her. And the bottom line is, that`s going to come out in spades down the road. These demons you run away from, they turn up right in front of you.

BECK: OK, all right, so thank you for saying it that way, because I don`t really care if she was loved by her dad or if I was loved by my dad or whatever.

ABLOW: Oh, sure you do.

BECK: No, no. Here`s the point. We all have problems, Keith. It`s what we do with the problems and how we deal with the problems that makes us who we are. And, you know, if she wasn`t loved by her dad, I feel bad for her, of course. Everybody should be loved by their parent. But let`s not wallow in it.

ABLOW: No, absolutely not. And part of the problem is these spin-dry cycles that are purported to be rehabs, that send you in and out in a few days, and coddle to you, and, you know, give you cell phones when you need them, the bottom line is -- here`s the deal. This is somebody who really needs to be treated by psychiatry as anybody else.

BECK: But, Keith, you know this is -- well, I`m an alcoholic. We know each other. For the love of Pete, you can`t send her to a -- you can`t send her to Stalag 13 and expect her to get sober unless she wants to get sober.

ABLOW: Well, here`s the thing. If I were her psychiatrist, I would be sending her right now to a locked psychiatric unit. I`d say, look, I`m sorry, you`re not able to care for yourself. You`re a danger to yourself and others. It`s the law. I can`t have you out there on the streets. Maybe if I tell you that you`re behaving like an 8-year-old, you might actually understand that there are some things required of you to participate in adult culture.

BECK: OK. Does this say anything to us as parents of, a, you know, make sure your kid knows that you love them, and, b, don`t try to be your - - you know, the pal of your son or daughter, like Lindsay Lohan`s mom is?

ABLOW: Absolutely. It`s this. You`ve got to love your kids enough to set that example, enough to remind them that they`re good and valuable and decent people, and enough to be able to, you know, stand on some firm foundation. I mean, there`s a guy who told me, listen, when I was with the family, things were fine. Well, except for the fact that, like, you can`t leave the state now, Mr. Lohan, because you`ve got charges against you criminally.


BECK: Keith, it is always a pleasure to talk to you, sir. Thank you very much.

ABLOW: Same here, Glenn.

BECK: You bet.

Next story, when George Washington left office, he gave a farewell address in which he warned America about becoming beholden to political parties. Quote, "It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against the other, foments occasionally riot and insurrection, it opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passion."

My gosh, was this guy a first president or our first prophet? He was dead-on. The parties were supposed to be a means to the end, but they have turned into the end itself. The other night during the debate, Hillary Clinton said that she doesn`t like to think of herself as a liberal, you know, like that`s a dirty word. Instead, she`s a modern progressive. What? How many of these people who are clapping, "Oh, yes, Hillary, you go, girl," even knew what that meant?

Next week in the "Real Story," I will explain it. And believe me, America, most will not be clapping. But the point is, people cheered because Hillary, the leader of their party, said it, not because they even agree with it or even understand it. Politics has become like the Super Bowl. It`s us versus them, Republicans versus Democrats.

But while we`re so busy trashing each other, we forget that, without the league, our teams wouldn`t even matter. The donkey and the elephant only have power because us dopes continue to stand behind them. We have to start recognizing what George Washington knew well: The parties are only a way for people to gain power through their ideas. The only thing that has real meaning are those ideas and our values. Let`s start fighting for those.

Robert Novak, he`s the author of "Prince of Darkness: 50 Years of Reporting in Washington." Robert, actually, you`ve spurred this idea -- or Peggy Noonan`s article about you did -- because in your book, you talk about teamism and how that`s really the game in Washington now. What do you mean by that?

ROBERT NOVAK, AUTHOR: Well, there is a -- there`s always been party politics in Washington, but what we have had now is a realignment of the parties where they`re really ideologically homogenous. You know, that`s something I thought would be a good idea all along. I mean, it does tell you the difference between the parties, but there is also a question of absolute friction and polarity and polarization in the parties.

BECK: Yes. There`s no -- the problem is -- I`ve been saying this for a while -- has anybody noticed the destination is exactly the same with these two parties? One`s taking us there in a jet, and the other is taking us there in a steam train, but we`re going to the same damn place.

NOVAK: What we really have is huge government, intrusive government, lack of privacy. And if that doesn`t mean much to many people, that`s too bad, but it means a lot to me.

BECK: You were in Washington for 50 years reporting on things, and you`ve seen so much. Did Mr. Smith ever go to Washington? Did that kind of spirit, did that kind of understanding of America ever really exist in Washington?

NOVAK: I`m not sure, not in my day, Glenn. It sure didn`t. What you have now is a lot of eager people, eager to make a buck, eager to get ahead. And I have become more and more convinced that the only answer -- possible answer -- is term limits. I think some of them still come here with high ideals when they`re elected to Congress, but they tend to lose them and they become professional politicians. I think I have never seen many of them improve with age.

BECK: I`ve got to tell you, Robert, term limits sounds like a good idea, but my spider senses in me say, the only thing then that will understand the system and be able to be in the system all the time are the special interest groups.

NOVAK: I don`t think they`d be any more powerful than they are today. I just see a lot of self-term limited members of Congress really act differently than the old-timers. They are more interested, from my standpoint, in doing the right thing and reducing the size of government. And just think for a minute: without presidential term limits, would you be happy with Bill Clinton starting his fifth term?

BECK: Yes, I know, he would be. I thought of that just recently. The guy would be -- he`d still be office.

NOVAK: That`s right.

BECK: When people see -- and this is something I just -- I just found -- I mean, I`m not a journalist, and I just got into television about a year ago. And I used to believe the news a lot more than I did when I started seeing how the sausage is made all the time. Do you believe people see the truth in Washington? What you see on television, is that really who these guys are in Washington?

NOVAK: You just get a little snippet of television. If you want to sit -- I hate to name a rival channel. If you want to sit at C-SPAN and watch them hour after hour in the House and the Senate, I think you get a better idea what`s happening.

But that`s only a part of Washington. You don`t see what`s happening in the departments and the executive branch. And they are massive, and they are powerful. What I have tried to do, in 50 years, in writing a column and being on television, is try to get behind that curtain a little bit and see who`s pulling the buttons for the Wizard of Oz.

BECK: Bob, thank you very much. That is the "Real Story" tonight. We`ll be back in a minute with my least favorite segment, the Public Viewer. Yes, he`s back. Stick around.


BECK: If you watch this show, first of all, I`d like to say thank you and that I`m very sorry for everything. I mean, what`s wrong with you? You`ve lost the remote control? What is it? But if you`ve made it this far, I mean, hey, it`s been a great ride. You think our country is under attack, this is the place for you, because I do, too, from our ridiculous political process, terrorists abroad, our leaky border with Mexico and Canada. And if I was going to be completely honest with you, I think our next guest is a big part of that problem, I do.

Brian Sack, our Public Viewer. Brian, how do you get into the building every time?

BRIAN SACK, PUBLIC VIEWER: I hid in Lou Dobbs` lunch box.

BECK: Is that -- that`s a big lunch box.

SACK: He smuggled me in.

BECK: You are a small person. I`m not sure.

SACK: Well, sometimes I tell them I`m Anderson Cooper. The guards don`t really know. They work for TSA. Anyway, so I was gone for a little while in Poland and Lithuania.

BECK: Yes. Again, you know, sharing government secrets?

SACK: No, just picking up some vodka and chocolates for your cast and crew members. So I come back here, and I saw this very dismaying thing, this pattern I noticed.

BECK: What do you mean?

SACK: Well, I`m going to show you the clip of it, and it troubles me.


BECK: This is when television sucks. If you`d like a little more in- depth commentary of the news, we can make some more up. OK, whatever.


SACK: I feel like you`ve got this malaise about news, like you just don`t care about news anymore, and you are on a CNN channel, are you not?

BECK: Well, it`s Headline News.

SACK: Oh, right, they don`t have that most trusted name in news tag line.

BECK: Well, it`s most trusted name in news, until we put Glenn Beck on. That`s...

SACK: Are you having some kind of crisis about being a journalist or something?

BECK: Well, I`m not a journalist.

SACK: Yes, well, I saw you speaking to RFK about that.

BECK: Yes, yes. That was good.


BECK: So is it prison or execution for...

ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR., ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST: Well, here`s what I say, that you go back to journalism school, number one.

BECK: I didn`t go. I`m not a journalist.

KENNEDY: Right, I can tell that.


BECK: He meant that as a slam. I wear that as a badge of honor.

SACK: You know, I am from Taxachusetts myself. And I love the Kennedy family. They`re my favorite bootlegging dynasty. But I do have to disagree with him in this particular instance. I think you are a journalist, so I went back and I hunted for one of your best segments to prove my point.


BECK: When did you first know you had a talent for this? Are you for drug testing? Why don`t you just grind it up and drink it like a shake? It`s really good. Would you like one? I have a whole plate. I mean, what do people make when they`re selling drugs? Do you just swallow it whole? So you`re saying, yes, you`d go for drug testing, mandatory drug testing? I`ve got to tell you, I think I`d barf after one of these.


SACK: OK, maybe...

BECK: I didn`t. I didn`t barf after three actually.

SACK: OK, might not be a journalist, but I did notice a pattern of asking questions about drugs, so maybe you`re a DEA agent?

BECK: Or something to do with drugs.

SACK: Well, let`s take a look at some of the other possibilities.


BECK: I`m not a politician. I`m not a military strategist. I know I`m not a presidential campaign adviser. I`m not a psychiatrist -- not a scientist or a whale scientist. I might not be a human trafficker. I may not be a uranium engineer, but I am a thinker.


SACK: A thinker.

BECK: I stand by that. I stand by that.

SACK: What does that pay?

BECK: Not a lot. Not a lot, at least at the formerly known at the most trusted name in news place.

SACK: Yes, whatever. So, anyway, if that doesn`t work out for you, the whole thinking thing, I did find an exclusive piece of tape that shows me your true calling.



BECK: Where is the sword my father promised me? And you`re like, right here. Then somebody -- the woman comes in and she`s like, "There was a sword left by a one-eyed man."


SACK: Is this "Oedipus," "My Fair Lady"?

BECK: This was an outtake. This was not supposed -- those cameras weren`t supposed to be rolling.

SACK: I have newfound access, sir.

BECK: My daughter dragged me to an opera.

SACK: You`re not a big opera fan?

BECK: No, not so much. Brian, thanks a lot.

SACK: All right.

BECK: Time to take another huge left turn.

Now to the dangerous streets of El Salvador, where a former gang member is working to help others build better futures for themselves after gang life. He`s today`s "CNN Hero."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, look right into the camera.

LUIS ERNESTO ROMERO, "CNN HERO": I thought I`m going die at the age of 20 because somebody is going to shoot me. I was living as a gang member. And El Salvador kids get into the gangs because they don`t have no other opportunities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When you`re on the street, every moment you live, you live as if it were your last, because you never know how that day will end.

ROMERO: Something powerful come up when my daughter born. So I start like checking, "Hey, what am I doing?" Well, what I`m going to offer to my daughter? But then I find Homies Unidos in 1997, so I start like educating myself, and now, you know, I help others.

We teach them how to empower themselves, not smoking weed, not doing violence, not doing what they do. In El Salvador, the kids are much discriminated. If he have tattoos, if he bald-headed, but when he start looking for a job, they don`t give opportunity for him. We teach them how to do things in other ways. They never thought they going to have a bakery by their own. Now they have a bakery, and they`re doing their own business.

We think different. I mean, we don`t think going and doing violence, doing killings. We do other things. Homies saving a lot of lives. We come from gangs, and now we`re part of the solution. So it doesn`t matter how much I got to spend, how much time I got to be on it, but I need to do it for my kids and for the other kids of San Salvador.


BECK: All right, let`s take a minute to play a fun little game called "Fun with Numbers." Yes, nothing is exciting as a midweek cable news statistics-based game to jump start your week. First number of the night, $260 million. Can you guess what it is? The amount that Oprah Winfrey earns in a year, more than anybody else on TV and, I think, most developed nations. It is about $215 million more than Simon Cowell, who is placing second as a TV personality, according to "TV Guide" magazine, at $45 million. Also on the list, Judge Judy. She makes $30 million a year. Judge Judy, $30 million, really? That pisses me off.

In case you`re wondering, I was just a little further down the list, although, thanks to Congress, my pay has recently raised from $5.15 to $5.85 an hour. Thanks a lot, Nancy Pelosi.

Second number of the night is 29,000. Here`s a hint: If you have a kid under 18, this number is going to keep you up all night; 29,000 is the number of registered sex offenders found to have MySpace profiles. By the way, that is four times what the site estimated just two months ago. There have been over 100 criminal incidents this year with adults using MySpace to attempt to prey on children. But on the other side, it`s an excellent place to find great ways to work from home and earn up to $45,000 a week just by forwarding e-mails to Bill Gates. Plus, there`s a lot of interesting people apparently waiting to show you their Web cams, among other things.

And our final number of the day is eight. That is the amount of miles that you can go after a full charge of the Toyota Plug-in HV, the first plug-in hybrid cleared for legal street use in Japan based on the Prius. By the way, you get the eight miles after you plug it in for four hours, and your entire trunk is filled up with batteries. I mean, where do I get mine?

Now, while that may not exactly sound practical, we`ve calculated that if you just put charging stations every eight miles on the highway from your house, you`d be able to make it from New York to Philadelphia in only 45 1/2 hours. It will take 14 hours longer than if you would walk it, but you`ll save the Earth. So go green.

For video, audio and transcripts, you can sign up for my free daily e- mail newsletter at From New York, we`ll see you here tomorrow. Good night, America.