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Candidate Fred Thompson; Witness Shares View of Bridge Collapse; Man Takes Action Against Pedophile Blogger; Is al Qaeda Web Warning Cause for Concern?
Aired August 2, 2007 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, the latest on the Minneapolis bridge collapse. Incredible stories of courage and heroism. We`ll look at what caused this bridge to collapse and whether thousands of our bridges here in the U.S. might be at risk.
Plus, the newest twist on the case of the self-proclaimed pedophile. I`ll introduce you to a man who`s fighting by back actually pretending to be this dirt bag.
And could Dog finally be free? Reports from Mexico that all charges against Dog the bounty hunter have been dropped.
All this, and more, tonight.
BECK: Hello, America. From New York, I`m Glenn Beck.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people in Minneapolis tonight as they continue to cope with yesterday`s horrific bridge collapse. As the search continues, the number of dead stands at four, although officials say that number is going to likely climb as rescuers make their way through the rubble.
The point tonight is this. There are two visions of our country that we`re now debating. One vision depends on the government to do things for us. The other vision knows it`s, in the end, we the people that make things happen. When push comes to shove, it`s we the people who make the difference.
It`s that second America that I believe we saw in Minneapolis yesterday. And here`s how I got there.
"On the way down, I thought I was dead." Those are the words of one of the survivors from yesterday`s bizarre accident, words that I`m sure ran through the minds of many on that interstate bridge that buckled beneath them. Here`s how another survivor described the scene.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEROD POWERS, WITNESS: We saw the bridge collapse, cars in the water, people on the bridge, people -- you know, paramedics helping people, you know, swim out of the river. And we went down and basically, as they`re pulling them out of the cars, we`d help load them on the stretcher and carry them to the ambulance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: All right. Perhaps the most miraculous of all of yesterday`s stories was the story of the school bus that had 61 people in it; 52 of them were kids. It plummeted 65 feet into the rubble of the collapsed bridge. Thanks to some quick thinking everyday heroes who rushed to get the kids to safety, no one on the bus was seriously injured or killed. Every single one of those kids at home, safe, tonight.
In a press conference earlier today, the governor of Minnesota had this to say about the heroism on display during yesterday`s accident.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. TIM PAWLENTY (R), MINNESOTA: We also see goodness in bystanders and good Samaritans who weren`t wearing the uniform, but ran to the problem, ran to the crisis, ran to the challenge and the danger to be helpful. Another reflection of Minnesotans` goodness.
So it`s in this horror and in this tragedy you see a silver lining of the goodness of the people of Minnesota.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: How true it is all over America. You know, we can see that silver lining of goodness in every state in the union. Tonight here`s what you need to know.
America is not a good nation because we`re great. America is a great nation because we are good. We are at our best when things are at their worst: 9/11, Katrina, the wildfires of Utah, the Virginia Tech shootings. Regular people are capable of extraordinary things when we have to be. These are just a few examples of American heroism.
Minnesota`s governor is right. You don`t need to wear a uniform to do the right thing at the right time. This is America, where we the people take care of business and each other.
Joining me now on the phone is a man who survived the collapse. His name is Bernie Toivoden.
Bernie, you were actually on the bridge as it started to collapse, is that right?
BERNIE TOIVONEN, EYEWITNESS: That`s right.
BECK: And your car is still sitting on the bridge, at a sharp angle headed towards the water. At any time did you think, holy cow, I`m dead?
TOIVONEN: I sure did. When, you know, I was going down on the bridge and the bridge deck, and I could see concrete -- it seemed like I saw concrete all around me. And I knew that bridge deck was going down. I said, this is my last day. And I -- you know, I just rode it down and there was nothing else you could do.
And I was able to stop. I was on that piece of decking that was at a kind of an incline. So I rolled that down. And then I went back, you know, maybe 40 feet and I stopped.
BECK: Did you get out of the car and start to help? Could you see others that were trapped? Or having problems?
TOIVONEN: Yes, I -- I was in the car, and I checked to make sure I was OK, and I got out and I heard some people screaming, you know, for help. And then I went back and I helped a couple people, you know, with -- one person had a like iron beam on him. And I wasn`t (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I was able to lift that off of his arm. And then he felt more comfortable. And then I helped a lady get out of her minivan.
BECK: Bernie, thank you very much for sharing the story.
We`ve got somebody else here, Andrew Worrall. He was on the bridge just after it collapsed.
And you were in the car, and you got to the scene right away and you took your camera with you, right?
ANDREW WORRALL, EYEWITNESS: That`s correct. I had my camera with me to shoot some Twins players at the game. But I was hoping to get to.
BECK: OK. You never really -- never really made that. Tell me -- tell me what you saw.
WORRALL: I saw lots of pedestrians crowding over the bridges, both the Cedar Avenue Bridge right next to it, and the overpass, as well, trying to get a good view of it, trying to get pictures and see what the heck was going on. There was a lot of emergency crews just wandering around trying to find anyone that they could help, and working as quickly as they could.
BECK: OK. Was there anything at the scene that really jumped out at you? I mean, I see -- sometimes I`ll see people with their cell phones and they`ll be just holding it up and trying to take pictures. But it seems like kind of an ugly thing. Was there something that you saw that jumped out at you?
WORRALL: Well, you know, it was something that I heard, not saw. Yes, there were the people with the cell phones out. There were people with video cameras and digital SLRs.
But for the most part, the entire crowd was very quiet. It seemed like everyone was just in shock and disbelief that such a thing was happening and it right -- right in front of them.
BECK: Fantastic. Fantastic pictures. And just, I mean, hats off to Minneapolis. You people are absolutely amazing. Andrew, thanks.
Now, let`s open this up past Minneapolis here. How safe are the rest of our bridges? Bernard Kerik is a former New York City police commissioner, chairman of the Kerik (ph) Group.
Bernard, I`m looking at some facts and figures here. The American Society of Civil Engineers say that, of almost 30 percent of our bridges, are either functionally obsolete or structurally deficient. That`s kind of frightening.
BERNARD KERIK, FORMER NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Well, it`s kind of frightening, especially when you think the national number is about 580,000 bridges. So if their numbers are correct, you know, that`s a pretty substantial percentage.
And it`s something that the congressional leaders and our legislators have to look at to make sure the funding is going into those areas to make these bridges safe.
BECK: Bernie, you know and I know, that you can`t put your name on a fix of a bridge. There`s no special interest groups out there trying to get the bridges fixed.
Do you think this will make any difference in getting money to stop going to, you know, shrimp museums or spinach museums and right to our bridges?
KERIK: Well, that`s one of the things I was talking to some of your people about today, Glenn. You know, we have legislators today in the Congress and Senate that earmark moneys towards special projects. These are projects that have to be attended to, that have to be looked at.
And, you know, you have to put those special interests aside and come to the realization that the communities have to be safe and secure, and these bridges have to be taken care of.
BECK: Yes, we have real problems with our infrastructure here. I mean, we have the levees in New Orleans that every politician knew about. We had the steam pipe here in New York. We have this bridge in Minneapolis. And yet nobody has really -- really taken anything to do with it.
Somebody asked me earlier today if I thought this was a bigger, pressing problem with the numbers of bridges that are in trouble than terrorist activity. My answer was, no, because you have a terrorist blow up a bridge, and it creates a different kind of panic and fear. Would you agree or disagree with that?
KERIK: No, I think I agree. And also, you have to keep in mind that the terrorists are watching today. They`re watching what we`re doing. They`re watching the response. They`re watching the effect that this is having on Minnesota and the Twin Cities. So they`re going to be looking at this as another motive for them to attack this country.
You know, while I`m on, Glenn, I just want to comment on the response in Minnesota in over the last 24 hours. The preparedness and the planning and the preparation that the agencies in that state has gone through in the last year -- few years, post-9/11.
I really think they`ve done a good job, you know, from what I`ve seen over the last 24 hours. You`ve got to give them a lot of credit. Coordination, communications between the federal, state and local authorities. They`re doing a tremendous job.
BECK: It was about 45 minutes before all of the volunteers could be relieved, which I think is a remarkable number. But it was so great to see not only the people didn`t panic.
People, you know -- Bernie, on 9/11 we were different than we are now. And it`s because we don`t -- we feel like we don`t have to be different until something bad goes on.
But it is so refreshing to see, with all of the problems that we have, all of the divisions that we have in this country, when push comes to shove, Americans are wildly amazing.
KERIK: Well, they will come together. We saw it on 9/11. We saw it in Katrina. And we`ll see it in this, and we`ll see it on other events, too.
But this one, they really pulled together. The citizens of the community, the volunteers, and the public service people, they really pulled it together and did a tremendous job.
BECK: Bernie, thank you very much. Appreciate your time.
KERIK: Thanks, Glenn.
BECK: All right. Coming up in just a second, we`ve got some great news on justice finally being served for Duane, Dog the bounty hunter. He is free. A man in Mexico is not going to be dragging him into jail. All charges against him have been dropped. We`ll have the latest details.
Plus, the new Internet warning posted by al Qaeda says big surprise is coming soon. Serious threat or just more terrorist propaganda?
And we`ll have part two in our series, the real story on Fred Thompson. We`re going to take a look at the role of his acting career that will play in his upcoming bid for the White House. And a little bit on his wife, with somebody who knows her firsthand. Don`t miss it, coming up.
BECK: Coming up in just a bit, we continue our special series, the real story on Fred Thompson. Tonight we`ll look at his career in Hollywood. Is this something that`s going to help or hurt him in his expected White House bid?
But first, with the long hair, the wild outfits, Dog the bounty hunter, a friend of this program is a true American original. He is one of the good guys who helps keep the bad guys behind bars.
Now, can you imagine his surprise and shock when the Mexican government wanted to extradite him on kidnapping charges for nabbing the convicted serial rapist from the streets of Mexico?
Fortunately, due to some pressure, officials in our government have gotten involved, and it seems like this injustice is finally about to be undone. A&E networks is reporting that a court in Mexico has dropped the charges against Dog. We couldn`t be happier on this program.
Beth and Dog, congratulations.
But wait, the decision still can be appealed by the Mexican prosecutors, and Dog himself has to remain silent for the time being. And he`s not real good at that. I promise you, we will get him on radio and television just as soon as Beth and the Dog are allowed to bark.
Now, what happens when the watcher becomes the watched? That`s what`s happening to an admitted pedophile we`ve been talking about this week, Jack McClellan. He`s the scumbag who has web sites in Seattle and now in Los Angeles where he lists -- lists the best places to spy on children. He posts pictures of his favorite little girls or "L.G.`s," as he calls them, who star in his own twisted sexual fantasies.
Parent groups and online watchdogs have started tracking his every move, and my next guest has gone even a step further. Ron Tebo is a survivor of childhood abuse and is the man behind the new anti-Jack McClellan web site, JackMcClellan.com.
Ron, who joins us now on the phone, why did you choose the name JackMcClellan.com?
RON TEBO, SURVIVOR OF CHILDHOOD ABUSE: Well, Mr. Beck, it`s a pleasure to be here with you.
BECK: Thank you.
TEBO: I didn`t want Mr. McClellan to take his name and exploit children with that name. I was sickened, absolutely sickened and disgusted by his admissions on FOX. Immediately, I went to the Internet and I purchased his name.
BECK: OK. You know, a part of me, and Ron, God bless you for doing what you`re doing -- but part of me says, as we`re showing his picture, it is a public service. But in a way, I think this guy has a bigger agenda than just showing where little "L.G.`s" are. Would you agree or disagree?
TEBO: Well, I think...
BECK: I think he`s trying to bring it into the mainstream. He`s trying to make pedophiles seem like it`s OK and natural.
TEBO: Yes. He -- yes. I guess he`s using pedophilia as synonymous with being a homosexual. And he`s thinking that maybe pedophilia is something that can be cured like the common cold. You gave them medicine and it goes away, and that`s not how it works.
And I`m not an expert by any means, but I`ve, you know, done my research, and he seems to want to capture attention. However, I`m glad he`s doing it in one way. You know, like I said before, my right hand wants to shake his hand and my left one wants to knock him upside the head.
Because really, a lot of people are writing me that have been victims of abuse and are thanking me for the web site. It has taken really a different turn.
BECK; Yes. You -- you were abused as a kid. Did they ever catch the guy who abused you?
TEBO: No. The person that abused me was a neighbor. I lived in Boston, and he abused a relative and I. And it`s difficult, of course, to talk about.
But I think after watching Jack`s interview, something just inspired me, something just ticked. And I said, you know, enough of this. Enough of the abuse of children. Enough of the kidnappings, the rapes, et cetera. We need to do something right now.
You know, our lawmakers are waiting for our lawbreakers to cross the line. It can`t happen like this. We have to do something today. I`m tired of these excuses, these -- I`m sorry.
BECK: No, I feel the same way. I really do. You know, I hope that we channel the anger, so it doesn`t turn into something violent and, you know, we`re not breaking the law. I think -- I think you`ve done a great job.
And he`s not the only guy that you posted. There`s another guy that I saw on your web site today that you have pointed out that is saying, hey, it`s OK, it`s a beautiful thing to have sex with a 7-year-old.
TEBO: I can`t -- you know, a 3-year-old, I mean, Jack is young at 3. And I just can`t imagine a 3-year-old making a consensual decision to have a sexual relation...
TEBO: ... with a grown man. A 3-year-old should be concerned about the cereal that he or she is eating for breakfast...
TEBO: ... playing outside on a swing set, not dressing up and thinking, "Oh, I`m waiting for Jack to stop by." Please.
BECK: Ron, we will -- we`ll continue to follow this story, and we`ll continue to follow your progress on it. Thank you very much.
Coming up, a new al Qaeda web is -- is warning Americans to be ready for, quote, "a big surprise." It`s a new ad on the Internet. We`ll tell you whether we need to take the latest piece of propaganda seriously.
Then, he`s played the role of the president countless times on the big screen and TV. Fred Thompson, will his Hollywood career work to his advantage or disadvantage, as he runs for the White House? Details coming up.
BECK: Well, it seems like the folks over at al Qaeda have learned how to use PhotoShop. There`s a new propaganda ad with the headline, "Wait for the big surprise" that features a digitally altered photograph of President George W. Bush and Pakistan`s President Musharraf standing in front of the burning White House.
There`s also photos of al Qaeda`s top leadership and a photo of an SUV in a motorcade. The ad closes with the words, "soon, God willing" written across the screen and repeated several times.
Peter Brooks is a regular guest on this program. He`s senior fellow of national security affairs at the Heritage Foundation.
Peter, propaganda, misdirection or truth? I know it`s kind of all of the above. But which one do you think leads this?
PETER BROOKS, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Yes. Well, certainly, you know, Glenn, we have the sixth anniversary of 9/11 coming up. They want us to be worried about this sort of thing. They need to propagandize. They need to recruit new people to the cause. They need to raise money. So it`s a whole host of those sort of things.
And they certainly want to continue to scare us and let us know that they`re out there and that they still have us in the crosshairs.
BECK: Yes. You follow this kind of stuff. Chertoff says his spider -- his spider senses tingle. We`re working on something that we`re going to start airing here in the next couple of weeks on some puzzle pieces that we`re putting together that are truly, truly frightening. It kind of feels like the summer of `01.
Is this just hype or do you feel it, too?
BROOKS: Well, I think we`re all very concerned. And I think we`re really concerned, Glenn, about what we`ve seen in the UK over the last couple pf years, going back to 2005, and their 7/7, which they call -- which is like 9/11 for us. And they`ve had similar attacks since then and attempted attacks. So they`re very, very concerned.
And I think the concern here is that that is just the stepping stone to attacking the United States. Al Qaeda has regrouped again in the border areas, or the tribal areas of Pakistan. They want to attack us. They see Musharraf -- I think the reason he was in there, he is very vulnerable at the moment. There was a tape out just the other day calling upon people to bring him down.
So I think there`s really concern. There`s some chatter out there. Al Qaeda is active. It`s regrouping in Pakistan.
And I think Secretary Chertoff is right. I mean, there is good reason for us to be concerned.
You know, Glenn, we have two enemies in the war on terror. One is terrorism and the terrorists. And the other is our own complacency.
BROOKS: And I think that`s what we`re worried about.
BECK: I will tell you, I think Barack Obama exposed himself as just not a guy who can handle, or has enough experience to handle the White House on these kinds of things. I think he`s probably done a great deal of damage in Pakistan by saying that we`ll come in and we`ll cross your borders and kill people when we want to.
Musharraf is on the edge already.
BECK: That has got to have played right into their hands in propaganda saying, "See, we told you. The Americans want to occupy us, too."
BROOKS: That`s right. That`s exactly, exactly right. I mean, we could have a situation where, if we did something not in cooperation with the Pakistanis -- and we`ve done a lot in cooperation with the Pakistanis against al Qaeda -- it could bring down the Musharraf government. He`s very vulnerable right now.
And what this could mean is the ascendance of the Islamist faction in Pakistan. And don`t forget, Glenn. They`ve got nuclear weapons.
BECK: I know. This is an al Qaeda video we think, right? I mean, we don`t have -- we don`t have somebody over in the Middle East that`s informing us when they walk in with a PhotoShop in Circuit City over there, do we?
BROOKS: No, no. Well, we`re watching these things very closely, and their use of the Internet is really incredible. The thing I -- we`re looking at right now is these videos we`ve had of Ayman al-Zawahiri, who as you know, is al Qaeda`s No. 2 man. And he`s had a lot of videos out, and they`re very professionally done.
BECK: It`s bizarre. Thank you very much, Peter.
BROOKS: Thank you.
BECK: Coming up next, the "Real Story" on Fred Thompson, his acting career, and I`m also going to introduce you briefly to his wife. Fred Thompson, "Real Story", next. Don`t miss it.
BECK: Coming up, we`re going to have part two of our look at possible presidential candidate Fred Thompson. Tonight, we`re going to look at Thompson, the entertainer, and how that may help or hurt his campaign. Also, a quick look at his wife with somebody who knows her.
First, time for the "Real Story." In our post-9/11 world, we all get a little freaked out when we fly for a myriad of different reasons. Lately, the "Real Story" is, these days, when you see something and then you say something, it may come back to bite you in the butt. Stay tuned, though. It looks like this "Real Story" kind of has a happy ending.
Last fall, when U.S. passengers saw a group of Islamic imams switching seats, making strange requests, generally acting suspicious, they thought, they alerted airline officials, as they should have. U.S. Air contacted the police, and the imams were removed from the flight. The imams then sued not only U.S. Air, but also the police officers and the passengers who blew the whistle on them.
Fortunately, cooler heads and common sense have prevailed, and it looks like the imams are dropping their suit against the passengers. Hang on: The Associated Press reported that yesterday, and it looks like it may have been premature. What we`ve been able to find out today, it looks like the turbulent times over the passengers, not going to go away.
Here with more is Zuhdi Jasser. His organization, the Islamic Forum for Democracy, was set up to represent the passengers if the suit went forward.
Zuhdi, tell me the latest. You don`t think that this was dropped because of the goodness of anybody`s heart?
DR. M. ZUHDI JASSER, AMERICAN ISLAMIC FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY: No, they basically, in a motion before the court, had to identify who they were suing by name. They added some employees of U.S. Airways. And simply because there were no passengers named, the A.P. sort of jumped the gun. And I think it`s just part of an evidence of how hungry America is to see this nonsense, this political Islamist move go away. And it`s not going away.
BECK: Zuhdi, would you do me a favor? Because I had an off-the- record conversation with the president in the Oval Office yesterday, and we talked about Islam, and this is not a war on Islam, but political Islam. And I don`t think very many people understand that. Can you quickly summarize the difference between Islam and political Islam?
JASSER: Islam is the spiritual faith that I practice when I pray, when I fast, and I get close to the god of Abraham and follow the spiritual message of the Prophet Muhammad. Political Islam is a global political movement to mix the political agenda of theocrats, of imams of clerics, that want to run society and invoke their own interpretation of Islam and Sharia law upon societies and government and separate the world between Islam and non-Muslims.
BECK: For lack of a better example, I would compare it to the Catholic Church of today, the non-political Catholic Church of today, and what we had, you know, in the Dark Ages with the Catholic Church. There was a political Catholic Church. And then it was separated from that, and that`s when the Catholic Church became the Catholic Church that it is today.
JASSER: Exactly, and that`s why it`s so key. What saved us from theocrats of Europe was pious Christians that came and formed America, came through an enlightenment where they wanted to be free, to be pious and get close to God, and that the ultimate piety was when they were not being told what to do by government, but by natural law.
BECK: And this is what makes this whole imam thing so frightening, because it is a way for people to be afraid to question political Islam.
JASSER: Exactly. And that`s why the victimization agenda and the part where these guys said that it`s all about their prayer, it wasn`t about their prayer. There are legitimate fears of citizens all over this country. And if we don`t acknowledge that and say that we are Americans who happen to be Muslim that will subscribe to fears of safety that others have, and that we are Muslims who demand to be American, which is what CAIR and their agenda is all about, there`s a big difference there, and we need to fight this.
And religious liberty, you know, the Becket Fund just put in a brief in this case saying that this is a mockery of religious liberty. Religious liberty is all about us standing up to reporting things when we see them, to living in a society that we don`t need to have military law, and being able to compromise a bit on things when we know that it`s not about discrimination. And that`s not what this case is about.
BECK: Zuhdi, thank you very much. As always, stay safe, and keep speaking out.
Now, part two of our special series on Fred Thompson. The man, the politician, the entertainer, and tonight, a little bit on his wife after this piece. We`ll take a look at how the celebrity status may help or hurt him for his bid in the White House. Watch this.
BECK (voice-over): It`s the show everybody knows him for.
FMR. SEN. FRED THOMPSON (R), TENNESSEE: I`ll get the DOJ`s attention every time.
BECK: "Law & Order," where Fred Thompson played District Attorney Arthur Branch.
LARRY SUTTON, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Fred Thompson did have to give up his role on "Law & Order." Only the new episodes and the repeats that are on network television. You`ll still be able to watch him on cable TV, however.
THOMPSON: Thank you for all of the ones who say that they watch "Law & Order" all the time.
MIKE ALLEN, POLITICO.COM: Senator Thompson`s celebrity is unquestionably an asset. People see the face, they recognize that. They hear the unmistakable voice. And this is someone who`s played a figure who`s no-nonsense, but not mean, someone that people are used to listening to and believing.
BECK: His career started in 1985 when he got a starring role playing, believe it or not, himself.
THOMPSON: Do you think she lost her job for the reasons they gave?
BECK: The movie "Marie" was based on the real-life high-profile case that Fred Thompson won in Tennessee about a woman wrongly fired by a Tennessee governor.
THOMPSON: Or do you think it was because she just didn`t play ball?
BECK: Thompson readily admits that he`s had a flair for drama his entire life. And so it`s not a surprise "Marie" launched a long and lucrative career.
SUTTON: Since then, he`s played himself a number of times in the movies, including just a couple of years ago in an Alfred Brooks comedy.
BECK: In a flick called "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World."
THOMPSON: The president, as you know, has a pretty darn good sense of humor.
BECK: And here`s the irony. While Thompson takes his grand, old time in announcing his run for president, he`s also played president on the big screen several times.
SUTTON: He`s played Ulysses S. Grant just recently in the movies. He was the voice of Andrew Jackson. This guy has got presidential timbre all over him.
BECK: And in 2005, he played President Charles Ross in the movie "The Last Best Chance."
THOMPSON: We have credible information that someone is plotting to steal two of your tactical nukes.
BECK: He was even in "Die Hard 2."
THOMPSON: Stack `em, pack `em, and rack `em.
SUTTON: He did "Die Hard." You know, he`s got a wide range. I mean, he plays action movies like "Die Hard," "Hunt for Red October" he was terrific as the admiral there in that action series.
THOMPSON: What`s his plan?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His plan?
THOMPSON: Russians don`t take a dump, son, without a plan.
SUTTON: One thing that people are looking for in their politicians is a guy who can talk well, who`s authoritative, who sounds like he knows what he`s doing. Fred Thompson does all of that.
BECK: Experts say, in the long run, all these manly, heroic roles will surely help him on his campaign.
ALLEN: You have to imagine, what would they be like in the Oval Office? With Senator Thompson, you don`t have to imagine. You`ve seen it.
BECK: Joining me now more on Thompson, the entertainer, and his wife, is Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez.
Leslie, yesterday I had one of the most amazing experiences I`ve ever had. I met with the president in the Oval Office, and it was all off-the- record, so I can`t tell anybody what he said or quote him or et cetera, et cetera. And he was not the guy you see on television.
LESLIE SANCHEZ, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Exactly.
BECK: And it was amazing to me how guys, when they have to say certain things, they get trapped in lines, and they just -- they fall apart. This would be Thompson`s strength, almost like Ronald Reagan. The guy knew how to read a speech; the guy knew how to deliver a line.
SANCHEZ: No, no, there`s no doubt the Americans like the celebrity. And, really, if you dissect that, it`s the charisma, it`s the leadership, it`s the power and the influence that they seem to exude. And leadership is something Americans look for.
But I would disagree with the last point of that. You can`t say you know what a presidency would be like based on how somebody acted in a movie. We know for sure that, while there`s a lot of preparation and you don`t see a lot of candid moments in speeches, you do know that once people get to the Oval Office, there`s advisers. There`s a system of leadership that people are looking for in terms of how do they manage. Can they run the country? And I think that`s why Republican candidates seem to be doing very well.
BECK: You have to look at, do they have the fire in the belly, which I`m not sure if Fred Thompson does. I`m not saying he doesn`t, but I`m not sure he does yet. But, also, can they communicate what they have to communicate? And that`s what I mean.
Ronald Reagan could communicate it. He had it, the fire in his belly, but he could communicate it. I truly believe George Bush has the fire in his belly. But when he has to make sure you don`t say this or you say this, he can`t communicate that. And that`s what America is in need of right now.
SANCHEZ: I mean, you have to be able to communicate your ideas, and it can be difficult for some candidates. It has been difficult for this president. I don`t think that`s something you see that`s a problem with Governor Romney, with Mayor Giuliani, with Fred Thompson, and many of our other Republican candidates. I mean, even on the left, articulation of their ideas is critical. But sincerity, Glenn, is critical. I mean, how sincere, do they have the passion, and are they trying to pull the wool over our eyes?
SANCHEZ: I think American voters are very skeptical now. They look with a jaundiced eye. You know, are you giving me that Washington two- step, or do you really want to change America?
BECK: OK, quickly, because I have a minute now, I want to ask about his wife. Rudy Giuliani, he`s getting in trouble with his wife. You have Hillary, who`s in trouble with her wife.
And now you have Fred Thompson. She`s, you know, a couple of dozen years younger. Nobody really knows anything about her. You`re friends. Tell me a little bit about her.
SANCHEZ: I would say Jeri Thompson is smart, savvy, articulate. She`s somebody who`s devoted her life to public service. She understands, you know, what happens in presidential campaigns, which is critical.
BECK: Is she Hillary Clinton, involved in everything, or is she Nancy Reagan, fierce defender of the husband?
SANCHEZ: I`m glad you mentioned that, because I would say she`s much more Nancy Reagan-esque, in terms of she`s a mom, she`s a wife, and she`s looking out for her husband. There`s a big distinction: America does not have an appetite for a co-presidency. They knew it with Hillary Clinton. Ultimately they were proven correct in the fact she ran for office and now she`s running for president. They saw that 12-plus years ago in her; that is not the role of a Jeri Thompson or any Republican woman I would say right now.
BECK: Leslie, thank you very much. That is the "Real Story" tonight. And we`ll be back in just a minute.
BECK: Well, summer camp is a rite of passage for a lot of American kids. It`s a break from school and a chance to spend endless days playing with your friends outside. But for teens living in war-torn regions of the Middle East, the idea of spending a peaceful summer playing ball kind of sounds like a pipe dream. For a select few, it`s becoming a life-changing reality.
BECK (voice-over): Off a dirt road, in the quiet town of Otisfield, Maine, sits a summer camp. At first glance, it looks like most other summer camps: soccer, singing, and of course, camp food. But what`s happening here is unlike any other summer camp experience in the world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anybody who`s going to go to pray, Omar will take you right now.
BECK: In fact, in today`s world, it`s incredible that it`s even happening at all.
DUDI, ISRAELI COUNSELOR, SEEDS OF PEACE: I finished the Army three months ago. I served in combat engineering, which is basically an infantry unit with explosive training. I`ve been to the last Lebanon war; I`ve been to the Gaza Strip from Jenin.
BECK: Dudi is a counselor at the Seeds of Peace camp. Before serving in the Israeli army, he was a camper here. His co-counselor, a Palestinian. A few summers ago, they were bunk mates.
MOHAMMAD, PALESTINIAN COUNSELOR, SEEDS OF PEACE: As a soldier, you mentioned his soldier experience. He served in the Gaza Strip. I was there last summer. He might have been a soldier there when I was in Gaza. Just the fact that the Israeli soldier that`s standing at a checkpoint might be one of my friends or somebody who came to camp here just gives him a little better picture of what a Palestinian could be. He could be a friend.
BECK: Each summer, 450 kids from some of the most conflicted regions in the world take the long journey here for a three-week session at the Seeds of Peace camp. In between soccer games and swimming, the kids have intense dialogue sessions closed to the media, where they`re free to talk about what goes on where they live and the dangers and struggles of their war-torn lives.
HAMUTAL, ISRAELI CAMPER, SEEDS OF PEACE: I think, not for me, but for a lot of Israelis, we think of Palestinians as terrorists in general. I mean, the first thing that comes up to your mind when you hear about Palestinians is terrorists or suicide bombing. And I found a lot of them that don`t support it.
BECK: In order for these kids to be able to have an experience like this, the camp has a few rules. Only speak English at the camp. All food served here is American. The idea is to promote a sense of unity and focus on similarities, not differences. The camp functions as a place for these kids to safely co-exist, no exclusion, no harsh words outside of the dialogue sessions.
ALYAH, MOROCCAN COUNSELOR, SEEDS OF PEACE: The camp goes like this. You get here. The first five hours, people are a little bit shy. They get over that, and then there`s a honeymoon period where everyone is just super happy to be here, and they`re swimming and whatever. And then after honeymoon period strikes the dialogue hard times, when people are like talking about 1948 and the borders and the suicide bombings.
And, obviously, that`s when things get really rough, and there`s a lot of tension at camp. And you can definitely feel it in every activity. But then once they get over that and they know that they`re not going to agree, they can agree to disagree, and that they start respecting each other, that I feel like is the biggest thrill of the camp.
BECK: For many of these teams, the camp is the only place they`re ever able to really talk to kids from the other side of the conflict. Be it Pakistanis and Indians, Israelis and Palestinians, they`re all aware of the differences, but it`s here that they`re able to understand what they have in common.
YAFFA, PALESTINIAN CAMPER, SEEDS OF PEACE: Before I felt that each Israeli wants to kill the whole of Palestinians, I really hated them very much. But here, for example, Hamutal now is one of my best friends. She`s from the other side from the conflict. And it`s right to have some things we disagree with, but we are here to try to make a better future for us.
BECK: And the other thing about this camp? It lets teens be teens. Oh, you`ll get the occasional fighting about things like the cricket game or talent show skit, but they`re not worrying about suicide bombers. But what about when they get home? What`s the lasting impact?
ALYAH: I have made friends with people from Israel when I was a camper here in `03 and `04. And I had issues with my friends going to the army in the next few years, and they did go to the army, and one of my friends from my dialogue group in `03 is currently in the army. And I just added (INAUDIBLE) to my face.
BECK: It may just be a few hundred kids for a few weeks in the summer, but here, in this moment, it`s making a world of difference.
HAMUTAL: I think it`s natural. We`re younger and more maybe even naive, but we`re more open-minded and we`re not fixed yet. We can see people as people and not as nations, which I think older people find it harder to do.
BECK: I find it interesting that they feel that the way to peace is through celebrating the things they have in common, not their differences. Maybe we should try that a little more here at home, as well.
Up next, the best five-second film ever seen, starring -- wait for it, wait for it -- a prairie dog. Stick around. It`s next.
BECK: Well, summer movie season is winding down now, and if you think we went the entire summer without a single smash hit out-of-the-park blockbuster, think again, my friend. The film is called "Dramatic Chipmunk." And to call it a short film is kind of an understatement. It`s only five seconds long. Nevertheless, this summer, "Dramatic Chipmunk" has become a bona fide blockbuster on YouTube, mind you, but a hit nonetheless. So far, "Dramatic Chipmunk" has been downloaded almost 7 million times, and actually it stars a prairie dog. I don`t know what kind of racial preferences are going on there, but we should look into it.
Anyway, here it is, making its basic cable debut, ladies and gentlemen, "Dramatic Chipmunk."
Seven million downloads. What did we do before the Internet? Not like any big hit, of course, you know, they`ve got to milk it for all it`s worth. And, yes, there is already a sequel. Watch this.
Personally, I don`t know, if you didn`t see the first one, if you could understand that. I kind of like the original better. I`m a purist in that sort of way.
Anyway, in the past month, "Dramatic Chipmunk" has somehow managed to become a cottage industry. Literally hundreds of takeoffs floating around YouTube. For instance, there is the "Star Wars"-inspired "Darthmatic Chipmunk."
And if you happen to be a fan of the TV show "Lost," you`ll appreciate this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve got something.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s a good question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: So, you know, I mean, we`re a stupid show. It`s only a matter of time before my idiot producer, Evan, jumped on the "Dramatic Chipmunk" bandwagon. "Glenn, I`ve got an idea. So here goes nothing. Are you ready?"
Yes, that will be downloaded about four times. Don`t forget, you want to know what`s on tomorrow`s show? You can check out a little more in- depth commentary of the news of the day on my free daily e-mail newsletter at glennbeck.com. From New York, good night, America.