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What Should Michael Vick`s Sentence Be?; Sports Ethics on the Decline; Owen Wilson Rushed to Hospital after Suspected Suicide Attempt; Alberto Gonzales Resigns
Aired August 27, 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, disgraced NFL star Michael Vick pleads guilty. The only question now is whether the quarterback can scramble out of a five-year prison sentence.
Plus, actor Owen Wilson rushed to the hospital. Rumors flying. Did he try to kill himself? What could make someone so successful want to attempt suicide?
And Mother Teresa. New reports say she questioned her faith in God. I`ll explain how the media has gotten it wrong again tonight.
BECK: Well, hello, America.
Suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick appeared in court today to officially plead guilty to leading a dog fighting ring, helping murder the animals that underperformed. And he could receive up to five years in prison, fined a quarter of a million dollars, but he`s going to get away, most likely, with 12 to 18 months.
So here`s the point tonight.
It`s not enough. The more we learn about Vick and his Bad Newz Kennels the more clear it is this is about a whole lot more than just merely cruelty to animals. And here is how I got there.
Vick`s supporters are saying that we just don`t understand about his dog fighting, because we`re not part of his southern subculture. Really? That`s interesting. You know, another southern subculture I don`t understand is the Klan, OK?
The Atlanta chapter president of the NAACP said, quote, "As a society we should aid in his rehabilitation and welcome a new Michael Vick back into the community without a permanent loss of his career in football."
Excuse me: how can an organization dedicated to the advancement of its people defend one of its members who confessed to torturing and killing the defenseless? This isn`t a case of racial or regional subcultures. Or an overreaction on the part of the authorities.
Let me break it down for you, all right?
Michael Vick bought property in Virginia for the sole purpose of building a training camp and playing field for dog fighting activities. He bred pit bulls using equipment like rape sticks and rape stands. I`ll explain what those are in a minute.
He raised dogs using the cruelest and, I`m telling you, medieval tactics, with the sole intent of fighting them, one against the other, and gambling on the gruesome outcome.
And then when one of the dogs didn`t win as often as he wanted, he admits to being part of the group that hung, drown and electrocuted these dogs. They were doomed from the minute they were born.
While he won`t be sentenced until December, Vick made a statement after this morning`s court appearance, and here`s some of what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL VICK, PLEADED GUILTY TO DOG FIGHTING CHARGES: Through this situation I found Jesus, and I asked them for forgiveness, and I turned my life over to God. I think that`s the right thing to do as of right now.
(END VIDE CLIP)
BECK: I`m glad somebody found him. All this weekend I was saying, where did I put that Jesus?
Of course, you found Jesus when your life was out of control! The trick is to not lose him when things are going well. So check back with me later.
Tonight here is what you need to know. Sadly, Michael Vick is yet another example of sick celebrity entitlement. While he may be, you know, naturally talented as a football player, Michael Vicks is an insult to any southern subculture.
Vick should be stripped of his success, position and influence and freedom. Man and man`s best friend will be a whole lot better off.
Dan Shannon is with PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
He was in the courtroom today. Dan, I hate it that I agree with you guys!
DAN SHANNON, PETA: Starting to become a pattern with you.
BECK: I know it is. You know what? Let me ask you this question though. Someone came to me who rescues pit bulls. They came to me in church yesterday and they said, you know, you were on with PETA, and PETA is very clear that they think pit bulls really have no place in the animal kingdom. Is that true?
SHANNON: Not exactly. The fact is that pit bulls are an animal who we don`t need to be breeding these animals or any other dogs for that matter, at this point.
A huge percentage of animals in shelters are pit bulls, and dog fighting is a big part of why that`s the case. Simply doesn`t make any sense for us to be breeding more and more of these animals, when there`s perfectly good animals to be adopted out of shelters.
BECK: OK, OK. Tell me about rape sticks and rape stands.
SHANNON: Right. Well, the rape stands are used to forcibly impregnate female breeding dogs who are basically too violent for the male dogs to get near. And then the bars are used to actually pry the jaws of the animals apart when they`ve clamped down on the neck or some other part of the animal to keep them from basically killing them.
BECK: It is my -- it`s my understanding that rape sticks are used to forcibly rape the animal, to irritate the animal and to make it meaner. Is that true?
SHANNON: I mean, as far as we understand it, that`s the case. You know, this -- it just speaks to the despicable nature of dog fighting and the type of person that would be involved in this.
BECK: I have to tell you, every time you find a serial killer, you know, you always track it back. It always starts with abusing animals. This is psychotic behavior. Why do you suppose more people aren`t outraged?
SHANNON: I think most people are outraged. I think the people who aren`t area very vocal but very sizeable -- I`m sorry, very small minority. I don`t think that most Americans...
BECK: Hang on just a second. You`ve got Deion Sanders coming out and saying this is part -- I quote, "I know a lot of people that are into dog fighting in the NFL."
You`ve got the NAACP coming out and playing, you know, footsy with this. Why are -- why isn`t the NFL coming out and saying, Deion Sanders, if you know who these people are, you need to tell us because it`s unacceptable in the NFL? Unacceptable in anywhere in America.
SHANNON: Yes, absolutely. I agree with you 100 percent. And we`re actually calling on the NFL to add cruelty to animals in all its forms of their player personal conduct policy so they have it in writing what they can and can`t do to discipline people who are involved in this.
BECK: I want to -- I want to play this. This is the last thing he said in his press conference today. Play this sound here of Michael Vick.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICK: Once again, I offer my deepest apologies to everyone. And I will redeem myself. I have to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: You know, I kind of -- I actually believe him. I mean, I`m not going to let him take my dog for a walk, but I kind of believe him at this point. If he redeemed himself, if he really changed, would you hire him as a spokesperson against dog fighting or not?
SHANNON: Well, it`s interesting. I mean, he`s in a very unique situation where he can speak to saying, "I was involved in this industry. I saw the cruelty that took place to these animals, and I also saw how it ruined my life. And I recommend anybody who`s involved in it to get out."
BECK: That sounds like a yes, job offer for Michael Vick from PETA if you get out of prison, which hopefully will be a long, long time.
Thanks a lot, Dan.
Now, a case like this will make us forget what true competition in sportsmanship is really all about. I want you to take a look at the closing moment from yesterday`s Little League World Series game. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: This is the kind of stuff you want to see. It`s a last minute game-winning home run, no endorsement deals, no steroid deals, just the commitment and the love for the game. You know?
Then you`re reminded of the mobbed-up refs in the NBA, the juiced-up sluggers in Major League Baseball, homicidal professional wrestlers, and you`ve got to wonder, what turns a kid like that into a culture that is completely out of control?
Robert Boland is a professor of sports law and business at NYU.
Bob, you know, I read a great article with you this weekend. Sports out of control. At what point is there a turning point where the fans say, "You know what. I don`t to want pay that kind of money for a ticket. I don`t want my kids idolizing these -- these athletes"?
ROBERT BOLAND, PROFESSOR OF SPORTS LAW AND BUSINESS, NYU: Glenn, I think we`re very close to that point right now. And I think the commissioners of the three sports, baseball, football, and basketball, who probably had as bad a month as you could possibly have in the history of those sports, probably now realize that something has to be done and something has to be done fairly quickly.
BECK: Yes, I mean, they have got to start policing themselves. You know, when I -- when I saw David Beckham -- I mean, nobody cares about soccer in America -- when I see David Beckham and I`m reading the statement that he gave, I think it was last Sunday or the Sunday before last when he was in New York. And they were talking about, you know, him being booed and everything else.
And he said, "It`s good, clean fun." And he spoke well, and he -- he seemed like a decent guy. I thought, you know what? I might get into soccer with my son if you`ve got more people like this and not thugs. Am I alone?
BOLAND: No, I don`t think you`re at all alone. I think, in fact, that`s the trend a lot of parents and a lot of family people are coming under. And I think that`s why the greatest crisis facing professional sports is the image of its players and the image of the people around it.
And I think as they begin to lose that image, they also lose their most valuable sponsors and patrons, the corporate clients on which their economic structure is based.
BECK: Wouldn`t it be -- you know, people will say, this is a culture that they`re coming from and these guys are coming out of the ghettos and whatever. Wouldn`t it be better for minorities who are in that situation, living in a horrible situation, to be able to say -- to have the NFL say, "You know what, you`re not going to bring that culture here. You have to have certain standards. I know you`re a great football player, but you also got to keep your nose clean. You can`t have a record."
Wouldn`t that actually be of assistance to these communities if we held people and said, sorry, if you`ve got a record, you`re not playing ball, period?
BOLAND: Glenn, you`re absolutely right about that. There really needs to be a cultural change in the locker rooms and the professional sports, one that really focuses on doing the right thing and helping players be successful employees, ultimately, which is what they really are. Players are employees of professional sports teams.
BECK: Yes. Thank you very much. We appreciate it, Bob. It was a great article in "The Times" this weekend with you.
Coming up, actor Owen Wilson reportedly rushed to the hospital with a stomach full of pills and a slit wrist. Somebody this successful, what drives them to that point? The latest details.
Plus, insurance companies stop issuing policies in the Big Easy, and now homeowners want the feds to do it and bail them out. I know it`s politically incorrect, but on this anniversary week of Katrina, somebody has got to say it: enough`s enough. That`s tonight`s "Real Story".
And before we go, just a reminder, tonight`s show brought to you by the sleep number bed by Select Comfort. Do what I do every night. Find your sleep number today at a Select Comfort store.
BECK: Coming up, homeowners find it not so easy in the Big Easy. Companies have stopped issuing homeowners policy, and now residents want the feds to back them. Yes. If a private company won`t take the risk, why should the individual taxpayer? More on this in just a second.
But first, as somebody who has had to live with family members taking their own lives, including my own mother, I know all too well the unique pain that those left behind have to live with after a suicide. That`s why the news about actor Owen Wilson hit me so close to home this morning when I first saw the story.
Both "Star" magazine and "National Enquirer" reporting now that Wilson slit one of his wrists -- one says both wrists -- and took a bunch of pills in the effort to end his own life.
Earlier today a spokesperson released this statement on behalf of Owen Wilson: quote, "I respectfully ask the media allow me to receive care and heal in private during this difficult time." Good luck with that, Owen.
It`s easy to make light of the troubles facing a comedic actor who seems to have everything to live for. But it is harder to admit to ourself, I guess, the larger truth. It really doesn`t matter -- hear me well, America -- how rich or famous or privileged you are, true happiness is not achieved through material wealth. But through the pursuit of values that are lasting and more deep and meaningful, something that is obviously in short supply in Hollywood.
Here with the details now, Julie Allison. She is the editor-at-large for "Star" magazine.
Julie, does this come as a surprise to you? There`s never been any trouble with...
JULIE ALLISON, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "STAR": Yes, we were very surprised. And "Star" reported exclusively that yesterday the Oscar-winning actor attempted to take his life by slitting both of his wrists and, as you said, ingesting a bottle of pills. We`re not sure what kind of pills they were. But he was discovered by his brother Andrew and taken directly to a hospital, St. John`s in Santa Monica.
BECK: Do we -- do we have any idea how deep the wounds were or if he was in a warm tub or anything like that? And I have a reason for asking that.
ALLISON: No. We don`t -- we don`t believe that he was -- we don`t know anything about whether he was in a warm tub. We do know he was found next to a bottle of pills.
We don`t know how deep the wounds are. We do know that he`s in good condition now. But we also think that this has something to do with his May breakup with Kate Hudson. He was very deeply affected by it. He`s 38 years old. He`s lonely and he misses her.
BECK: Almost a Norma Desmond kind of scenario, though. I mean, this was exactly what his character that he wrote in "The Royal Tenenbaums" did.
ALLISON: Well, actually, I think you`re thinking of Luke Wilson. But - because he apparently, you know, in that movie, he tried -- yes, he has a really close-knit family, though, Glenn, so that`s why a lot of us are really surprised by this. Luke and Andrew and Owen are very tight, and they have a great group of friends in Hollywood.
You know, Owen is currently filming this movie with Ben Stiller. He has a movie coming out with Wes Anderson September 28. And this is a real shock. But...
BECK: Yes or no, Julie, the media going to back off and give him...
ALLISON: Absolutely not. No. This is a huge -- this is huge news story, you know. A sweet guy tries to take his life. Our hearts are all going out to him.
BECK: OK. If people are depressed in Hollywood, Hollywood would have you believe that the rest of the country must be even worse. And that is simply not true.
Joining me now is Debra King, psychologist and author of "Truth Heals: What You Hide Can Hurt You". I love the name of that book, Debra.
Let me start here. I just asked our last guest about a warm tub. There`s something to this that sounds like a cry to help. People always say, "I`m suicidal. I could kill myself." Really? Do you have a plan, is my question? If you don`t have a plan, you`re not serious. A lot of people will do things like this because they don`t know what else to do. Am I wrong?
DEBRA KING, PSYCHOLOGIST/AUTHOR: Well, you know you don`t have to have a plan. That is very much a cry for help that Owen Wilson has made. And we need to recognize that, because there are so many people who -- who threaten suicide. It`s really important that we know that those threats can mean it. And do everything we can to reach out to them.
BECK: I have a theory that Hollywood is probably full of the most miserable people on the planet, because they have surrounded themselves with everything that is unreal. They have surrounded themselves with fame and fortune, in many ways a godless society, a society that is built on the image being the idol.
Isn`t this kind of stuff, all this, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, this is all symptomatic of the glorification of the self, isn`t it?
KING: You know, it`s all symptomatic of the deep malaise that -- that we`re all feeling, but especially those in Hollywood. Their lives are really so empty. And they suppress their feelings, so many of them. Not necessarily Owen Wilson, but like Britney Spears has suppressed hers so effectively with alcohol and drugs. But those feelings, they come back up.
KING: I travel the country and I put events on called Truth Heals events, and there I help people really access their true feelings because what we do is we push them down and we disregard them. And then they come back later to haunt us.
I think Julia`s correct that the recent breakup that Owen had with...
BECK: Kate Hudson.
KING: ... his girlfriend, I think that had a lot to do with it. I think he is lonely. I think Britney Spears is terribly lonely.
BECK: I have -- I have to tell you that I -- I would agree that they were -- they`re probably terribly lonely but I don`t think that a breakup of a girlfriend puts you in that category.
You have to -- for you to seriously consider, as a guy who seriously considered suicide, you have to be so down, so in a different place, that suicide seems like a reasonable option. Most people can`t even fathom that place. And certainly a breakup with a girlfriend doesn`t put you there without other things going on.
KING: No doubt. You know, I`m sure it was the straw that broke the camel`s back.
I think another factor in Owen`s case is he`s -- I think he`s very frustrated about his career. He really wants to be a writer. And he has been a very effective writer. He wrote the screenplay for "The Royal Tenenbaums" and received an Academy nomination for that.
BECK: OK. Debra, I...
KING: You know what...
BECK: Go ahead, quickly.
KING: Another factor is the pressure from his family. He`s the middle son, and he`s got brothers who are very successful. And that could play a role here, too.
BECK: OK. Debra, thank you very much.
Coming up, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has announced his resignation today. Does anybody really care? Details around the corner.
A new book also reveals Mother Teresa questioned the very existence of God. There is nothing shocking about this, and I will tell you how the media and why the media got it wrong again. Coming up.
BECK: Well, after weathering the storm of congressional calls for his resignation, Alberto Gonzales has finally done just that, he has resigned. But the thing is, I don`t think anybody cares. I don`t think how he -- anybody cares how he was connected to the firing of those nine U.S. attorneys.
Bottom line, you want to know what people care about? Why is it Gonzales let the American people down when he failed to act on the cases dealing with protecting the border, keeping men like Ramos and Compean in federal prison, while illegal drug realers (sic) run around free in our country?
Why is it also, Mr. President, that you spent so much political capital defending men like Gonzales and Donald Rumsfeld, and then in the end they resign and everybody moves on?
Mike Allen, chief political correspondent for The Politico.
Mike, let me start here, and I mean this sincerely. Question No. 1, convince me that I should care.
MIKE ALLEN, THE POLITICO: Well, first of all, if this amounts to weathering the storm, I think I could win a beauty contest. This is pretty battered and bruised as the attorney general heads out of town.
But you`re right: what`s implicit in your question, Glenn, is that the structural damage has been done. What good does it do now? Very much like Republicans might tell you they hold one or both chambers of Congress if the -- Defense Secretary Rumsfeld had left earlier.
ALLEN: Why didn`t this happen in March? And as you can see from these two examples, and there are others, one lesson this administration has never learned is take your whipping and move on. Get it over with. That`s just something they don`t seem to be able to do.
But Glenn, why this matters is this is an opportunity for the president to re-establish some trust with the Hill. It`s a chance for each side to get something done. And that`s why they both have a little leverage here.
BECK: Mike, Mike...
ALLEN: Viewers know how bad Congress`s polls are.
ALLEN: So they don`t want to look like they`re shutting down the whole Justice Department.
BECK: Mike, Mike, first question...
ALLEN: I can tell you, you`re...
BECK: No, no. First question was, convince me that I should care.
ALLEN: How did I do? How did I do?
BECK: Second question is, try again. I mean, nobody cares. Nobody cares. Because everybody sees this as just politics for politics` sake.
It`s just, what a surprise this is. Ted Kennedy comes out and says, "Next time George Bush will get somebody that will actually enforce the laws of the United States."
What? Mr. Ted "I`m All for Amnesty" Kennedy is saying this?
ALLEN: I was going to say, once again, Glenn Beck, Ted Kennedy agreeing with each other. It happens all the time. All the time.
BECK: Give me a break, man! Mike, this is all about politics. That`s all it is. And people are sick of it.
ALLEN: Well, you sound surprised. You can`t be surprised.
BECK: No, I`m just surprised that the media is covering -- the media jumped all over this story. You notice, it`s 20 some minutes after the hour as we get into this. I mean, the media is all over this like it`s a big story. Nobody cares!
ALLEN: Well, Glenn, here`s why you should care. If you care anything about this president getting anything done in the next 15 months, if you care about this president having the opportunity to do something besides count the days until he moves back to the ranch, you would want the chance for a clean slate or at least a fresh start between the two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
BECK: Mike, I`ve got...
ALLEN: Keep talking...
BECK: Twenty minutes. I`ve got to tell you, if you think that any kind of slate is actually going to get these people, these clowns in Washington to work together before the next election, you`re smoking something. I should try it...
ALLEN: That`s an opportunity...
BECK: I`ve got to run. I`ve got to run, Mike.
ALLEN: Have a great day.
BECK: God bless you.
OK, up next, can`t get insurance for your home in New Orleans? No! Why it`s time to pack your things and bail on the Big Easy. Tonight`s "Real Story". Don`t miss it.
BECK: Coming up, new details have surfaced that Mother Teresa questioned her faith. What? Isn`t that what faith is all about? I`ll try to explain what faith and Christianity really means to the media in just a bit.
But first, welcome to the "Real Story." Our good, old friend at "The New York Times" is at it again. This time, she`s taking shots at the Bush administration. I didn`t see it coming. They had an editorial where they reportedly have a manual from the White House that details how to handle protesters during presidential visits.
Here are some of the dirty trick tactics that they don`t like. Pay close attention. Really, pay attention. First, if someone is holding up a sign, then according to the "Times," quote, "The roaming squads` task is to use their own signs and banners as shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform." OK, that`s tactic number one.
Then, if someone is being noisy, quote, "The rally squad`s response must be immediate choruses of, USA, USA, to muffle the moment with patriotic chaff. These vigilante squads are out of place in democracy." Oh, that evil George Bush. Then, once somebody begins to protest, quote, "The zealots are prompted to pounce on anyone who manages to slip through." Oh, my gosh, Dick Cheney must be there with clubs.
To sum it all up -- I love this, this is how the editorial ends -- they say, quote, "This level of obsession was silencing the people`s voice is a symptom of this administration`s broader problem of honoring Americans` constitutional freedoms."
Wow, "The New York Times" lecturing us about freedoms? You`ve got to love that. That doesn`t happen -- well, I was going to say it doesn`t happen every day, but it does. The "Real Story" is, this editorial could have been written about any president or any presidential candidate. Maybe the Bush administration was dumb enough to put it all down in writing, but the fact is, these are exactly the same tactics used by the other side.
Let me just show you something. The reason why this editorial stuck out at me is because of something I saw on television about three weeks before I read about how outraged the "Times" is by that evil George Bush. Watch this video, and tell me if any of this looks familiar. Here we go. There she is. Oh, it`s Hillary Clinton, oh, and a protester standing up with a sign. Wait a minute, wait a minute, now they`re all -- they`re all chanting, "Hillary, Hillary," and holding their signs up to cover the sign from the media. And there`s the vigilante squad, the zealots escorting the woman from the premises, apparently dragging her constitutional freedoms right out that door.
My gosh, that was really -- it wasn`t Hillary. It was George Bush in a skirt or a pantsuit. There you have it, another completely unbiased editorial by the "New York Times" that tells us yet again how the evil zealot George Bush is squashing the voice of the little people while ignoring how the candidates the "Times" support does exactly the same thing. You know, one day I`d love to see the "New York Times" write an editorial about a quintessentially American trait I like to call intellectual consistency, but that would require honesty, so I`m not going to hold my breath.
Next, with the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina coming up this Wednesday, honesty might be a good time -- might be a good time to spring it on you right now. I read an account of the aftermath of the storm, and here it is. Quote, "It looks like a massive shipwreck. Everything that the water has carried in is in there. It`s going to be cleaned out, alligators, moccasins, God knows what lives in the surrounding swamps has now been flushed literally into the metropolitan area, and they can`t get out, because they`re inside a bowl now. No water to drink, no water to use for sanitation purposes. The biggest toxic waste dump in the world is now the city of New Orleans because of what has happened."
Here`s the real story tonight. That wasn`t a description of Katrina`s aftermath; that was actually a prediction. It was made by the czar of public emergencies for Jefferson Parish three full years before the storm hit. The same article said the scientists put the odds of a major hurricane wiping out New Orleans in the next 50 years at one in six. Guess what? The odds are still one and six, since the storm they were predicting hasn`t even occurred yet. Remember, Katrina was only a Category 3 at landfall; these scientists are talking about a Category 5.
So what do we do, America? The article from 2002 said that some scientists believe that a major storm would mean, quote, "the city would have to be abandoned, bulldoze the rubble, rebuild some place else," end quote. They summed it up by asking this: "Should the government spend billions of dollars to try to protect a city from a disaster that might not happen?"
Now that a preview of that disaster has happened, the debate has shifted to whether the government should spend billions of dollars to insure homeowners who want to rebuild in high-risk areas but can`t get access to private insurance. The answer is, what, are you nuts? You want to take the emotion and the politics out of this? Please just use some common sense for a second.
It is obvious that rebuilding, especially with Scotch tape and chewing gum, which is I think what they`re using down there now, rebuilding in a bowl that is sinking into the ocean is a horribly, horribly bad long-term decision. While I know this is not the politically correct thing to say, like I said at the top, it`s the honest thing.
This is the week somebody needs to finally say it: It is not the federal government`s obligation to defy all laws of capitalism and insure people against doing stupid decisions. You wouldn`t ask the government to insure your new home on the side of Mt. St. Helen`s, would you, or your shoddily built new apartment building directly on top of the San Andreas fault. There`s no difference here.
If you want to roll the dice and hope the one-in-six odds don`t come up, then it`s your right. But the worst happens, it`s your responsibility. This taxpayer says, "Enough!"
Steven Weisbart, vice president and chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute, I`ve got to tell you, Steve, I`m actually kind of hacked off at the insurance companies, as well, because I think you guys have been playing little word games, because I don`t understand how a flood, the waters that came in, weren`t connected to this hurricane.
STEVEN WEISBART, INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE: The policies have been clearly expressed over many years, reviewed by many insurance regulators. Language has been clearly validated by court tests. There`s really been no...
BECK: No, I know, and I know court after court has cleared you guys up.
BECK: But I think the spirit is the problem. But let me switch gears to 1968. The United States government decided to offer flood insurance because it was the right thing to do in this great society. And the experts at the time said, "You are going to have people move to the coasts. You`re going to have them moving to dangerous situations. Things are going to get much, much worse." This is what`s happening. If capitalists won`t supply insurance, we should stop building in those areas. Tell me how I`m wrong.
WEISBART: No, you`re not really, Glenn. The problem is that insurance is a messenger. Properly priced for the risks that are faced by the person buying the policy, they should be a way of measuring the extent of risk that`s being faced. If flood insurance is subsidized by the federal government -- which it is -- that message gets diluted, and people do tend to go and build where they shouldn`t.
BECK: Correct. Now, if I had one person ask me, I`ve had a million, and I don`t have the answer to this. I think I do. They say, "There`s no capitalists down there, there`s no gamblers? I mean, it`s New Orleans. There`s nobody that will take the risk?" My response all day has been, "I`m sure there are, but the government puts caps on what you guys can charge." Is that true or false?
WEISBART: It is true. It`s as though the government has decided that buying a fuel-efficient car is something everybody should have. And so it will tell the carmakers, "You can`t charge more than, let`s say, half the cost of building the car to sell it to the public." Well, the carmakers wouldn`t sell those cars because they couldn`t make a decent profit in manufacturing and selling them. That`s all the insurance companies are asking for, is the opportunity to price the product at a level that brings them a chance to recoup their losses and make a decent profit.
BECK: Steve, I have gotten hammered all day today because of my stance on New Orleans and, really, the whole area that was hit by Hurricane Katrina. If you`re in low-lying areas, if it`s going to happen again and again, what are we doing?
And I don`t understand it -- and maybe you can help me clarify this -- I don`t understand how people who are rushing to get families, poor families, back into the Ninth district, the most vulnerable, when we`re not fixing it right, we`re not going to fix New Orleans to prepare it for a hurricane Category 5, how it`s compassionate to say, "Hey, let me get you back into the house where you`re going to be in a bowl of death at some point"? How is it compassionate to say that and evil hate-mongering to say, "Let`s not send people there"?
WEISBART: That`s not really an insurance question, Glenn; that`s a more public policy question. The issue from the insurance industry point of view is, can it price its product at a level that allows it to provide that service to anyone who needs it? If there are poor people who are in a position to buy and own houses or rent and have personal property, and they can`t afford the risk, one could argue that their income should be subsidized so that they can afford it, but that`s a separate welfare question.
BECK: Then let me ask you this. Would it be cheaper to take people, rent good moving trucks, help set them up in another city, and do that in a relatively safe area, would it be cheaper to do that than to rebuild New Orleans right to where, if global warming happens, they`re not all going to die?
WEISBART: I`m not in a position to answer that question for you, Glenn, as much as you`d like me to. That`s a much larger issue. I think the issue for the insurance industry is whether it can offer its product at a fair price so that the people who want it can buy it.
BECK: All right, Steve.
Up next, news reports say Mother Teresa had a crisis of faith during her long career helping the poor. No! I`m telling you why the media has gotten this story wrong all weekend long, and it`s been driving me nuts. We`ll do it, next.
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BECK: There`s a story on Mother Teresa, "The Secret Life of Mother Teresa." The secret life of Mother Teresa? Yes, a lot of people don`t know this, but she was working a strip club in her off-hours. The secret life of Mother Teresa? Yes, I`m not to infer that she was doing anything other than working the bouncer line; she was security at a strip club.
Good heavens! This is how the media just gets it wrong time and time again. The media just doesn`t understand faith; they don`t understand God; they don`t understand how God works. But why would they? They don`t understand our country!
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BECK: I mean, if you don`t understand God, how can you possibly understand the principles that our country was founded on and how they did it? The reason why the media so consistently makes a mockery out of religion is because so many of them -- and no offense -- but so many of them live in two places: New York and Los Angeles. Now, that`s not to say you can`t be deeply religious in New York, but, I mean, after working here for a while, not exactly a one-stop shop for spiritual guidance, unless you`re into the, you know, card readers.
You`re not coming here to ask, you know, "Give me some farm advice for my crops." They`re just not good at that. They`re not good at religion. Religion is the same way, and they keep -- the people who truly don`t understand it oftentimes in the media fall back on a misguided notion that everything is black and white.
You know, "Time" magazine`s latest story about a book revealing the so-called secret life of Mother Teresa is no different. Their exclusive scoop this time around -- get ready for this -- is that Mother Teresa might actually have gone through dark periods where she didn`t really feel the presence of God in her life every single day. Well, if that doesn`t just prove that religion is a scam, I mean, what does?
The people who are writing these articles and the people who are commentating on it on television, you know, the thing they`re missing as they look down their noses at the rest of us is that everybody, me, you, if you believe it, all the way to Jesus had the same kind of doubts and the same questions at some point. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? It`s part of the deal; I`m pretty sure that`s why they call it "faith."
Bill Donohue is the president of the Catholic League. Bill, let me give you a couple of these quotes here. First of all, tell me, father, why is there so much pain and darkness in my soul? And the other one is, where is my faith? Deep down right in there is nothing but emptiness and darkness; I have no faith.
This is actually -- I take this as good news. And the reason why I say that is, everybody says, "Well, I`m not Mother Teresa." Yes, you are. You can be Mother Teresa.
BILL DONOHUE, CATHOLIC LEAGUE PRESIDENT: Well, that`s right. She`s more acceptable to us now, right? I mean, she`s reachable. The fact of the matter is, most saints didn`t exactly live a saintly life, certainly not most of their life. Some of them lived a life which would make any guy in New York feel really proud to be the sinner that he is. I mean, it`s incredible.
Look, what the Catholic Church is saying here -- and they`re behind this, by the way. The Vatican knows about this book; the Vatican approves of this book. They have confidence. And the American people have to learn to understand that, yes, popes, saints, Mother Teresa, of course they have doubts. Indeed, the people who expressed themselves with dogmatic certitude these days, Glenn, tend to be the militant atheists. They`re the real fundamentalists of our day, not the Mother Teresas.
BECK: You know, I have to tell you, what part of the word "faith" don`t you understand? We`re not Gnostics. I mean, the Gnostics believe you were born knowing, and some people knew and some people didn`t. Nobody knows! That`s why it`s called faith, right or wrong.
DONOHUE: Well, of course. Look, it`s natural for people to struggle, people of faith struggling. In her life, she felt that God really touched her. When she was in her mystic stage and she believed she had this personal relationship with Jesus before she founded her order, when she founded her order, when she was on her own and continuing, that`s when she felt abandoned at certain times.
But, you know, maybe that was the cross that God was giving her. If you`re a Catholic, you`re a Christian, if you`re a person of almost any faith, you understand the idea of suffering, of redemption. She is a human being. She was plagued with these kinds of things. That`s why popes go to confessions, and that`s why holy people have committed some terrible things, before they turned around their whole life.
BECK: I have to tell you, Bill, this is where we kind of differ. I don`t necessarily see this as a punishment or a cross or anything else. I see it as that`s part of the human experience. Your job is to stand on your own two feet. And if your dad is there holding your hand the whole time going, "I`m here, I`m here, I`m here," you don`t have the conviction that it takes to be on your own. You`ve got to know it from inside. You just have to keep going.
DONOHUE: And you know what I`m really struck by -- I do agree with that, Glenn -- but I`m struck by all of these militant atheists who say that she was a dogmatist, she was a fanaticist. Now they`re saying she`s a hypocrite. No, instead of rethinking what they`ve said about her, no, she was a human being who was touched by God who did marvelous things. And, yes, she had expressions of doubt from time to time. That doesn`t make her different from almost any other person I`ve ever known who became a saint or anybody I`ve read about.
BECK: Let me give you this last quote from her. "So many unanswered questions live within me, afraid to uncover them because of the blasphemy. If there be a God, please forgive me. When I tried to raise my thoughts to Heaven, there is such a convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul."
First of all, this sounds very reminiscent to something that Thomas Jefferson wrote to Peter Carr, his nephew. But this to me is critical in this standpoint: That`s the point that so many people miss. You`ve got to ask those questions you`re afraid of. You may be afraid of the answer, and it may not come back the way you expect, but that`s the deal. You`ve got to ask those questions, and that`s what she was doing.
DONOHUE: And we have a long history of this. Augustine, St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, she`s hardly the first person to express doubt and then persevere, knowing that she has to pursue what God wants her to do here on this Earth. That`s the difference.
BECK: If there be a God, he must surely rather honest questioning over blindfolded fear. Bill, thanks a lot. We`ll be back in a minute.
BECK: Well, the hottest thing on the Internet today is not the site giving away free samples of herbal Cialis, which is great. I got in early and got -- never mind. It`s a YouTube video of a young lady named Lauren Caitlin Upton. She finished fourth in the Miss Teen USA pageant. But it`s the blonde moment where she was answering -- no, she was more butchering a question of all things about the quality of our education system that has people talking today.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can`t locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?
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BECK: OK, I had to stop there. I mean, before I could get to her response, that can`t be true, right? I mean, a fifth of Americans can`t find the U.S. on a world map? It can`t be right. I mean, I wish I had like a whole bunch of producers or something that could look that up or maybe just the attention span and follow through. But you might actually think, when you see her answer, that the number is possibly too optimistic. Watch this.
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LAUREN CAITLIN UPTON, MISS TEEN SOUTH CAROLINA: I personally believe that, U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don`t have that. And that I belief that our education, like such as in South Africa and as Iraq, everywhere like, such as. And I believe that they should -- our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. -- or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future.
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BECK: Believe it or not, that was good enough to get third place. You may think she made no sense at all, but, I mean, I want you to -- she`d make a great politician. I mean, she doesn`t blame the people answering the question incorrectly that can`t find it, you know, on the map. She shifts the blame to the lack of maps in America. That`s perfect for a politician!
Then she throws out a few keywords to distract you from the real issue. Corner a politician, they`re going to find a way to bring up Iraq every time, guaranteed. And, finally, she says we should help South Africa and Asian countries with education. As we all know, politics, help equals money, right? Perfect. She is a perfectly executed politician. She`s tremendous.
She`s taken the blame away from the one who fails. She uses a catchphrase. Then she throws money at the problem. The only difference is that I think she makes more sense than real politicians, at least the ones I`ve heard lately. You know, I don`t know about you, but I`m proud to have U.S. Americans like Lauren Caitlin Upton, you know, that I can`t find on a map, as being part of this great, great nation or continent or country.
For video, audio and transcripts from the show, check out the free daily e-mail newsletter at glennbeck.com. From New York, which I can`t find on a map, good night, America.