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Honest Questions with D.L. Hughley
Aired September 21, 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): D.L. Hughley is funny, famous, and unapologetic.
D.L. HUGHLEY, COMEDIAN: The Capitol is surrounded by pedophiles, criminal, and drug addicts. And that`s just the House of Representatives.
BECK: Kicked out of high school, a gang member, and going nowhere, Hughley credits comedy with turning around his life.
HUGHLEY: Now we`ve got everybody running for president. We`ve got a Mormon, a black man and a woman. Sounds like I`m getting ready to tell a bar joke.
BECK: He takes on politics, parenthood and celebrity in his new HBO special, "Unapologetic". But tonight he faces off with me. D.L. Hughley joins me for a full hour of honest questions.
BECK: Joining me now for a full hour, actor/comedian, star of the HBO comedy special, "Unapologetic", D.L. Hughley.
How are you, sir?
HUGHLEY: I`m good. You?
BECK: Last time you were here, you came on and you said right out of the chute, basically, I mean, you know, it wasn`t this strong, but basically you hated by guts. And then you got to -- see, he didn`t deny it, did he? And then you got here and you stay here for five minutes and you went, "I don`t hate you."
HUGHLEY: Right, right. But I also said, to be fair, that was unfair to me to feel that way before I had an opportunity to talk to you.
BECK: Yes, you did.
HUGHLEY: So I did say that.
BECK: So we have a wager here. I`ll tell you, at the end of the show. All of the people said, now you`re going to spend an hour together.
HUGHLEY: Right, right, right, right.
BECK: What are the odds that you and I walk away really liking each other?
HUGHLEY: You know what? I think that once you know a person -- you know, I can`t kind of attack a person`s political or spiritual ideology and make that mean something horrible. So, you know, I may not agree with a lot of what you say, but I`ve got a feel that you`re a genuine guy.
BECK: OK. So we`re going to like each other at the end?
BECK: Let`s find out. Let`s dig into it.
HUGHLEY: This is like a blind date.
BECK: It`s a blind date.
HUGHLEY: I don`t know if I`m putting out or not, we`ll see.
BECK: If D.L. at any point says, "Check please," you`ll know.
OK. Let`s start with O.J. Simpson.
BECK: Why the hell is America fascinated with this?
HUGHLEY: Well, because America is fascinated -- I think that when you look at the course of the news cycles for the last four or five years, it`s been about -- even though we`ve had a war and 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, it`s been more about entertainment than it has been about substantive news.
So I think O.J., they have a fascination with him because, obviously, they feel a large percentage of the population feels like he got away with murder.
BECK: Do you?
HUGHLEY: I do feel like he did, but I didn`t then, honestly. When he first did it. I feel like, man, if you`re lucky to get away with two murders, you should kind of chill out. I mean...
BECK: It is kind of -- it is kind of like winning the lottery, right? You`re like, wow.
HUGHLEY: And the fact that -- you know, I don`t know that I would say that he was, you know, there`s lot of psychobabble. He thinks he`s above the law. I don`t know about that. I do think that he doesn`t quite understand.
I think that there are any number of black men who are probably in jail because of people -- people angry at O.J. I think that there have been -- like black people march, but white people pass laws. I mean, you like O.J.? Stand by affirmative action. That`s the kind of stuff that happens.
So I think when I first was watching the trial, I thought that he didn`t do it. And then as I -- as I was reading a lot of books and...
BECK: You start -- and start seeing his vigorous hunt for the real killer at strip clubs.
HUGHLEY: Yes, he might have.
BECK: I had a guy call me earlier this week on the radio show. And - - an African-American. And he just still defended him and still said, "My gosh, you know, so what? OK, so what happens if he went in there with a gun? It is his stuff."
And I said, "Listen to what you`re saying."
HUGHLEY: OK. Here`s the deal. If it were anybody but O.J., then this would be a misdemeanor case. Nobody -- let`s be realistic. This wouldn`t be a case that we were watching on the news. This was -- because it`s O.J. and a lot of people in the past feel like he escaped the...
BECK: Right. That`s not necessarily a black/white thing.
BECK: You know that...
HUGHLEY: Peril Hilton did more time than I think the average person who was convicted of what she did.
BECK: Sure, sure.
HUGHLEY: I`m not saying -- I`m not saying I`m going to describe it as black or white, but he is O.J. And if you believe anybody who believes that -- whatever the max is, tack that on because he`s getting it.
BECK: Oh, yes. If they -- I mean, it`s a life sentence for him. Oh, yes.
HUGHLEY: He`s going to get the death penalty. Oh, yes. He`s going to get it.
BECK: Yes. Another story that`s been happening this week is Isiah Thomas.
Have you seen the woman that accused him of sexual harassment? Come on now.
HUGHLEY: Are you serious? I would rather go out with Patrick Ewing. Are you kidding me?
BECK: Wait a minute. Hang on. Is this a -- this is a Leno moment. You said after Imus, you said what you said after Imus on Leno.
HUGHLEY: Listen, I said that he did -- you know, I don`t know why people were upset. I said that first off I said that don Imus -- I don`t understand why taking his show off the air, how taking the show off the air that we didn`t even know was on. I mean, Imus wasn`t high on the charts.
HUGHLEY: He wasn`t going to...
BECK: That`s a white thing, too.
HUGHLEY: And then -- so how did taking him off the air -- how did taking a show off the air that we didn`t even know that was on help us? And he looks like a werewolf that didn`t finish changing. Like he was almost through and then the moon -- the moon went down.
HUGHLEY: He called them hos and they weren`t. But then it was nappy- headed. That`s it. Me, personally, I don`t mind telling you I don`t know a lot of attractive female basketball players. I don`t.
BECK: That`s not what you said.
HUGHLEY: Well, I did. I said they were some of the ugliest girls I`ve ever seen in my life. I don`t know a lot of attractive female basketball players.
HUGHLEY: Most of them look like they`re wearing cups. I`m just telling you from my perspective.
BECK: Right, sure.
HUGHLEY: When you can palm a basketball and braid your own hair, I might tell a joke. I don`t understand what that`s all about.
BECK: Right. Sure.
HUGHLEY: You show me a female basketball player on "Sports Illustrated" and, you know, I was watching ESPN two weeks ago, and they were trying to figure out a way to get -- to get viewership up. You know, you`ve got -- you know, men watch women that they think are sexy.
HUGHLEY: That`s right. So, you know, if you got to get some sexy ball players. That`s it. Sex sells. That`s it.
BECK: If you think any guy in America is watching the Victoria`s Secret things because they`re thinking about Christmas gifts for their wives, you`re out of your mind.
HUGHLEY: Right. And so to me, it`s just -- there`s this obsession with political correctness that doesn`t go anywhere. It really is. Like, I guess about a month and a half ago, the NAACP symbolically banished the "N" word. That messed up 45 minutes of my show. Let me tell you, there`s people in my family I can`t even talk to right now.
But the fact that that word is -- I believe it`s a deplorable word, but it isn`t the most damaging things in our communities. If you look at the fact that 60 to 70 percent of children born in our communities are born out of wedlock, that`s a pretty damaging thing.
If you look at the fact that, you know, we have bad schools and drugs and AIDS and violence, those are pretty bad things. More black people die from eating bad food and not exercising than ever die from the "N" word. Like, you never go to the doctor and he goes, "Your cholesterol level is coming down, but have you been saying the `N` word a lot lately? Your blood is starting to sickle."
I think that most people say things to -- because it`s easy to say and you get in the news. Like, when you`re boycotting in front of record stores, kids don`t go to the record stores to buy records. They steal them off the Internet. That`s the deal. That`s the deal.
HUGHLEY: I think it`s equally hypocritical that...
BECK: How do you -- go ahead.
HUGHLEY: Like Wal-Mart. I can`t go to Wal-Mart and buy a CD that has violent or profane content. But I can go to Wal-Mart and buy a gun. Like, I can`t get to new 50 Cent album, but I can get a .357.
BECK: A gun doesn`t make you a killer.
HUGHLEY: No, but what I`m saying is they want to ban songs about guns. But not guns. So I think that...
BECK: But, you know, hang on. Didn`t plan on going here, but let`s touch on this for a second. It drives me nuts that people say that music doesn`t influence you. Really? Then why the hell has Coke spent about a billion dollars making jingles?
HUGHLEY: OK. Music influences now. There`s no doubt that music influences. But there are other extenuations circumstances that influence you, too. I think that -- I don`t think it`s 100 percent of one thing. It`s one percent of a myriad of things that have caused this.
But to -- but to place the blame -- like you would almost believe that rappers and comedians were responsible for the coarsening of America. The flavor (ph) was pretty coarse, you know, before we got in. War is a pretty coarse thing. You know, the fact that people couldn`t vote, that`s pretty coarse. So for us to have a different approach of how we express ourselves...
BECK: See I don`t think -- I think the problem is it`s not -- it`s a celebration of -- of all that`s bad and degrading.
HUGHLEY: The news?
BECK: It is. No, no, no. I`m not saying this is a black problem, but it is -- it`s a problem with our whole society. You can take it to Paris Hilton. It is a celebration of all that`s degrading.
Go back to Isiah Thomas. He`s calling the woman bitch. And he says, "Well, it`s wrong to call a woman a bitch, but it`s worse if a -- if a white man does it." What`s that?
HUGHLEY: Well, to me, it`s wrong to call a woman a bitch unless she is. I mean, so I`m not going to pretend like I don`t know -- I don`t know bitches or hos. I do.
HUGHLEY: I do. Of course I do.
HUGHLEY: And I wouldn`t mind meeting one tonight. And I`m just telling you how I feel.
I think that we`re in a world where people pretend like they don`t see what they see.
HUGHLEY: If I`m on -- I just was reading Craig`s List. Prostitutes are actually putting their services on Craig`s List. Craig`s List. I mean, I actually read that today in the "New York Post" on the way over here.
Now, to me, if you are going to be on the Internet, you should have finished beauty school. But standing up there in a Spandex bikini. That`s what I`m saying. OK?
BECK: Michael Vick. A subculture, a dug-killing subculture that I don`t understand. Do you?
HUGHLEY: No. Let me tell you, I`m not going to sit here. I`ve been to dog fights when I was a younger guy, and I`ve seen them. I don`t understand how -- I`m not going to say that I believe that cruelty to animals is tolerable. I think that it was wrong when I did it. I was a dumb guy.
I`m not -- I`m not saying that because my publicist told me to. Because I think that brutality, particularly from people who have had such brutality levied against them, is kind of asinine.
But I think that his problem wasn`t so much fighting the dogs. It was killing them if they lost. Ask he plays for the Falcons. You could have killed your offensive coordinator. If the dog could talk, he would have been like, "I lost a fight, but y`all just lost to the Jets. Come on now."
BECK: I want to -- I want to spend a second with you, because you just said, you know, where I`ve come from and I`ve made stupid mistakes, et cetera, et cetera. I just have to point out this is a guy who was a member of the Bloods.
BECK: And I just want to -- can you zoom in on his fingernails? He`s got manicured fingernails.
BECK: I just -- I just want to point out. He`ll go from gangs to manicures in a second.
HUGHLEY: Right, right.
BECK: We`ll be back in a second.
HUGHLEY: They are nice, though.
BECK: They are, though. Yes, they`re lovely.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUGHLEY: And Al Sharpton, he was on TV more than the Lady Knights of Rutgers. Ain`t that a (EXPLETIVE DELETED)? At one point, I thought he played for Rutgers. I`m like, who is the chubby chick with the perm? What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED)?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: Back with comedian D.L. Hughley. He`s the star of the HBO show "Unapologetic", the special. Let me ask, first of all, how are we doing? Are we still OK?
HUGHLEY: Man, come on.
BECK: We`re not going to hit each other?
HUGHLEY: No, no, no. Not with you -- you know, watching like I do.
BECK: OK. Let me ask you this. How did we -- because as I was writing the questions today for you, I`m reading everything about you, and I did it last time you were here. And I was thinking I don`t -- I don`t agree with necessarily your politics.
BECK: But I think I agree with your principles.
BECK: How did we become a society where we just don`t even -- where you assumed you`d hate me, and I assumed that I`d hate you? How did we get there?
HUGHLEY: Well, that`s America. That`s really -- that`s how...
BECK: How do we flip it?
HUGHLEY: I think that people have to have honest dialogue. When we pretend to feel a way that we don`t and we say all the right things to be in the service of political correctness -- has really killed the dialogue.
Like if you -- we`ve actually regressed. If you go back in television, "All in the Family" was the most provocative show I`ve ever seen. But you can`t do it now.
HUGHLEY: Because people -- not because they don`t want -- not because people don`t feel the way that they did, but because nobody wants to have conversations. I think that the only way you break that is to have dialogue.
BECK: I think people do want to have conversation. They`re afraid of it. They`re afraid of it.
I think -- look, you know, I was just -- it`s so funny that you`d say "All in the Family", because I just saw, like, a box set, and I was with my family and I said, so funny. I looked at my wife, and I said, you`d never be able to make that today.
BECK: And what`s amazing to me is I think people are so afraid to talk to each other.
HUGHLEY: Isn`t this the land of the free and the home of the brave.
BECK: It was.
HUGHLEY: Home of the brave. Bravery is doing something that you`re afraid to do. What is the worst thing that will happen? Somebody will think you`re -- I`ve said some things that --
BECK: You have no idea. D.L., you have no fricking idea what it is.
HUGHLEY: Don`t say the poor white guy.
BECK: Come on. No, no, no. No , no. I`m not saying that. I`m saying -- I`m saying the white guy conservative in the media. You can`t get anybody to -- I am immediately a hatemonger that wants to suffocate little kids with pillows.
HUGHLEY: Well, you know, OK. Let me -- let me speak for me. I won`t speak for anybody else.
HUGHLEY: You know, leaders that...
HUGHLEY: ... that`s never been my thing. I think when I watch people -- because I`ve watched conservatism at its core. And I think that it is a -- it`s an ideology that, you know, that is respected.
But when it becomes -- when it comes to conservatives used to believe in small government. I don`t see that anymore. They used to believe in less government.
BECK: I don`t either.
HUGHLEY: I don`t see that anymore.
HUGHLEY: They used to believe in freedom of speech. I don`t believe -- I don`t see that anymore.
BECK: Are you more of a libertarian?
HUGHLEY: I think that the libertarians try to shirk off all responsibility for the government.
BECK: Yes. A san libertarian. I`m with you on that. I`m like, libertarianism is great in theory.
HUGHLEY: You have to be responsible for some things. Like, so I think that if -- if the government provided us protection from our enemies, a decent education and some level of -- of, you know, people should be able to not die of some of the things that we`re dying of in this country, that -- the government would have served its purpose.
BECK: OK. Was there a government program that would have stopped you from being a gang member?
HUGHLEY: No. No. And I`ll tell you what. That was -- that -- I put the onus on me, but I will say this. There are a lot of environmental things that go on in a community. And one of the things that -- it`s so funny, because when I talk to a lot of the cats that are in my in streak? Most of us feel very guilty.
I won`t speak for all of us, because it`s like survivors. Like you made it and you know that you weren`t the most talented or the most ambitious, but for some reason you made it. And you know, the only thin I can equate to survival skills.
But I think that environmentally, we are in a position now -- somebody told me something interesting. And I never really thought about it. But 26 species every day disappear from the face of the earth because they couldn`t make environmental changes. That can happen to cultures, too.
And it`s important that we have to -- we have to, at some point, look at the things -- like when I see people boycotting words. When I watch -- like 95 percent of black people are killed by other black people. One in three black people in this country can`t read. There are more black men in jail than in college. AIDS is rising in our communities, falling in some else -- falling in virtually all the other communities.
Those things are more important to me than what 50 Cent says or what Kanye West says or what Don Imus says. Those things matter. Those things matter more than anything else.
And if you want to be an astronaut, you`ve got to shoot for the stars. I mean, you have to figure that -- that Martin Luther King was around when Dick Gregory and Richard Pryor were around. He didn`t call them and say, "Hey, man, stop saying the "N" word. It`s hurting my cause." Although I`m sure he didn`t like the word.
He said, "I`ve got so much stuff to do, that`s the last thing I`m going to be worried about. The last thing I`m going to be worried about."
BECK: I found myself -- my -- my nephew is visiting and he`s 5, 4. He`s 4 years old. And he was talking to my son, who`s 3. And they were talking, and they saw a picture of an astronaut in the house.
BECK: And he said, "I want to be an astronaut." I about -- I about fell dead. I couldn`t -- I`d never heard a kid say, since I was a kid or since you were a kid, "I want to be an astronaut." It`s not about that in our culture anymore. It`s about -- it`s about the bling. It`s about being famous. It`s about whatever.
HUGHLEY: You can be famous in this country, like...
BECK: Without doing anything.
HUGHLEY: Paris Hilton is famous because her mother and father own a hotel. I don`t see the Ramada women. You ever see them on TV? I`ve never seen the girls from Motel 6 on the cover of magazines.
So to me, even in this culture, we glorify -- Mother Theresa was a -- was a humanitarian, but when somebody does something great, we don`t spend a lot of time on them. We spent a whole five months on Anna Nicole Smith when she passed.
And I`m not saying -- it`s a horrible thing when anybody passes. But when five people claim to be your baby`s -- your baby`s daddy, come on now. That`s a ho where I`m from. I don`t know about you, but that`s -- so I don`t understand what it is that you can`t -- you can`t have honest dialogue.
And people, like -- when I see the things that go on, when I watch the things in this country that people -- if you don`t know something in this country it`s because you deliberately don`t want to. You don`t want to. You want to put your head in the sand. And that, to me, has been the demise of almost all great civilizations.
BECK: OK. Coming back. Left-right politics, crazy Christians when we come back.
BECK: Back with actor/comedian D.L. Hughley. We were just talking off the air. He said how many times, "Do you know what kind of trouble I`m going to get in for being on this show." Why?
HUGHLEY: I think people -- there`s a way that people believe that you should -- like I`m an individual and I see the world the way I do. And that`s -- that`s predicated on experience. Like I might not have liked you, had I not spoken to you.
I mean, when you look -- I`m not like Bush and Putin where I looked into his soul and I see -- none of that. But I think that you get the sense of -- of a -- there are a lot of conservatives who I feel like play by the numbers.
BECK: I think there`s a lot of them, though, on the left, too.
HUGHLEY: I`m not saying...
BECK: Yes, yes, yes.
HUGHLEY: I`m talking about in terms of being different. I believe -- I`m not indicting one person. I`m saying that conservatives, I would have a problem because I believe that most of them are insincere.
BECK: I have to tell you. I disagree with you on that, but I see your point. I get it, I get it, I get it.
HUGHLEY: I get most of them, but the ones that they put forward...
BECK: Correct. Same with the Democrats. You`re like what are these people? I watched "Studio 60".
BECK: And I beat the drum on the -- on my radio program. Watch this show. Watch this show. It is funny. It is intelligent.
BECK: And for the first time presented the -- the liberal point of you intelligently.
BECK: And then didn`t have the Christian or the conservative come up and go, "Why don`t we just all kill them with forks?"
HUGHLEY: Right, right.
BECK: And I so appreciated that. You don`t usually have that on television.
HUGHLEY: Well, it was very balanced. But it also, I think, at a certain point started to -- when you talk about comedy, at a certain point you have to make people laugh.
HUGHLEY: You to -- you know, it could be --
HUGHLEY: When you`re a bright, intelligent comic, you`ve got to still got to remember that people have to laugh. And people -- particularly when you`re talking about comedy.
Now maybe it was a bit of, you know, false expectations for people. They thought since we`re doing the show based on a comedy show...
BECK: I thought it was more like "L.A. Law". You don`t have to get into legalese.
HUGHLEY: Yes, but I think that most people took the very literal definition of it, that it`s going to be a spin-off.
But I think that part of it is our fault and part of it is there (ph). But this culture in general, there`s a reason that reality shows lead the network -- there`s a reason "American Idol" is No. 1.
Because this country doesn`t want to know anything. It doesn`t want to seem to be -- in general, the things that I notice, it doesn`t seem to want to have provocative dialogue, stimulating dialogue. It kind of wants to be...
BECK: I think you`re -- I think you`re partly right on that. I think there`s a couple things going on. "American Idol", I think there`s just -- there`s just a need for "let me just -- let me veg and let me veg with my whole family."
BECK: You know, so it`s not offensive at all.
BECK: Beyond that, I think -- I think you`re right, except you do have to put in there there`s a lot of -- I don`t know about you.
BECK: But it`s a constant assault on your senses. Everything. It`s a constant assault. And so at some point, you`re just like, "I just -- I`ve got four kids that are screaming right now. I just -- I want to sit down for a while." "Lucy" was...
HUGHLEY: Let`s -- let`s have a real -- the television you watched and the television I watched were totally different. I -- when I saw a black person on TV, it was a rare thing for me.
HUGHLEY: Whenever a black woman came on "Love Boat", I knew Isaac was getting some, and so did he. Because he went from that white jacket to the red one.
HUGHLEY: I mean, but -- but it was always -- it was always, you know -- television for us like we didn`t -- the difference, I think, between our situation and the children now is that everybody is so singular. Like, you have a television in this room, a computer in that room.
HUGHLEY: When we watched television, we were in -- we were in the front room, and you watched what your Mom was watching. That`s why everybody knows something about "General Hospital". I`m not saying you`re proud of it. I`m just saying you know.
BECK: Right, OK. Back in a second.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUGHLEY: I don`t understand it. Now we`ve got everybody running for president. We`ve got a Mormon, a black man, and a woman. Sounds like I`m getting ready to fell a bar joke, don`t it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUGHLEY: I don`t understand it. Now we`ve got everybody running for president. We`ve got a Mormon, a black man, and a woman. Sounds like I`m getting ready to tell a bar joke, don`t it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: Clip from the HBO special, "Unapologetic," with TV star, comedian D.L. Hughley.
I want to start here. I want to talk a little bit about politics.
BECK: But I want to talk about it in a broad sense.
HUGHLEY: That`s all you`re going to get out of me.
BECK: Yeah, I mean, I just don`t...
HUGHLEY: I don`t know.
BECK: I don`t need to convince anybody which candidate is right and, quite honestly, I don`t know who I`d vote for yet.
BECK: Seems to me both sides -- and I don`t think the politicians even get it yet -- that both sides have violated the trust of the American people so deeply...
HUGHLEY: I agree.
BECK: ... that we`re about to pick up pitchforks and torches and say, "All of you, get the hell out."
BECK: Where do you go from there? How does that...
HUGHLEY: We need to stop making people demagogues for what they believe. Why do we fixate on the things that you cannot fix and not fixate on the things that you can? To me, I think, I wouldn`t care -- every time I turn around, there`s some kind of sex scandal. But if you could -- if you`re good at your job, nobody cares. If you can end the war on terror, secure the borders, and stop global warming, you could have sex in all the bathrooms you want. You know, just do your job. Just do your job.
BECK: But do you -- I mean, you`re not seriously asking the question why we focus on those things instead of the problems?
HUGHLEY: I do. I am asking seriously that question.
BECK: Really? I got the answer for you. Ready for the answer? Here it is. Because none of them know how to frickin` fix the problem, and they`re so tied to special interests and everything else, it`s so easy to divide to gain your power, it`s easy just to say, "That guy over there," because then I`m not being held responsible for fixing anything.
HUGHLEY: When I watch -- just like -- just like you, I watched Petraeus this week, last week. And, you know, whether you believe him or not believe him, there is a point where things that you say, you should be held accountable for. If you say that it`s going to go this way and it goes that way -- you couldn`t work at Wal-Mart and be this wrong and still have a job. At a certain point, you have to be responsible. If the things that you are telling us don`t come to fruition, you`re responsible for that, and say I`m responsible. But don`t say -- change perspective.
BECK: Well, I think the problem...
HUGHLEY: I`m not talking about him individual. I`m talking about...
BECK: Yeah, yeah, I get it. I get it. But don`t you think -- the problem is that, unlike World War II, when -- I mean, some of the, you know, invasions that we did were disastrous.
BECK: But yet people -- there wasn`t the other side that was just trying to blame it on somebody and stop it. We were united on, "Look, got to find our way through it."
HUGHLEY: There`s a clear sense in this country that our hat isn`t white anymore, that we`re fighting in a very murky situation, where we went in for different reasons and changed the reasons as we got there. Now, I`m not going to speculate on peoples` motivations, but I am going to say this. America functions best when it has a clear-cut idea of what the purpose is and what`s going on. When it`s murky and it`s...
BECK: I agree with you.
HUGHLEY: ... and there`s trepidation, and we don`t understand it...
BECK: I agree with you.
HUGHLEY: ... we lose.
BECK: Yes. But the same people -- and I just read this, it`s from a book. And I don`t think it`s worth reading. It`s "World War IV." I mean, if you`ve watched this program, you`ve heard these things. But there is one chapter that`s worth the price of the book, and that is the people on both sides of the aisle of what they said in the 1990s and what they`re saying now, what they said right before. I mean, the same people that were saying one thing completely, because somebody else was in charge, completely flipped.
HUGHLEY: I agree. Why do people fixate on whether a guy goes to church or not, or whether a guy has a couple of wives or not, or whether a guy -- if a guy is good at his gig -- in other words, I don`t expect my politicians to tell me the truth anymore. I didn`t live in an era where people were honest, and I think no one did, it`s just that the reporters didn`t cover them as well as they do now. There wasn`t YouTube everywhere.
HUGHLEY: If you are effective at your job, in other words, if you do the things that are effective for your constituents, then you`re effective -- you`re good at what you do.
BECK: It`s really interesting that you would say this. I`m having this problem because I think I know some personal values of people that are running for president that I believe in their values, but I`m not so sure they have the fire in the belly to get it done.
HUGHLEY: That`s -- but...
BECK: But, see, where I`m at, I`d rather have the fire in the belly, but then I think to myself, wait a minute, if I can`t trust you to look me in the eye and say -- for instance, Giuliani. I applaud Giuliani. I don`t agree with everything he says, but I applaud him for looking me in the eye and saying, "You`re going to hate this, but here`s where I stand." That`s honesty; that`s what I want.
HUGHLEY: But we as a society have made it -- it is not in their interest to tell us the truth.
BECK: But it is.
HUGHLEY: Ron Paul to me is a guy who I think tells the truth, but you know he can`t win.
BECK: Well, there`s a couple of reasons. Come on. There`s a couple of reasons.
HUGHLEY: No, I`m just saying, but he tells the truth about a lot of things.
HUGHLEY: We have a -- we have a grading value system. Michael Vick does something, then he is -- rightfully he suffers the extent of the law, but then the NFL gets into this personal conduct thing. Bill Belichick cheats, and that`s what he did. He cheated. Now, I don`t care whether -- we don`t know whether he used that to win national titles or to win the Super Bowl or division titles, but he clearly cheated. Why isn`t he held to exactly the same standards as somebody who was detrimental to the game?
BECK: What`s happening with all of the other sports is -- and I think it`s almost with everything -- we`re losing faith in people. You`ve got to be able to trust.
HUGHLEY: Because we -- and that is -- the thing that is so -- like we...
BECK: But, see, that goes back to what you were saying earlier.
HUGHLEY: But our core values were always...
BECK: If he`s a good coach, leave him in. So what if he`s got some slippery things? No, he can`t be slippery.
HUGHLEY: That`s the -- but that is a -- the problem is -- like, to me, I have always wanted to visit the America I hear people talk about.
HUGHLEY: Where people are honest and handshake and anything. That didn`t happen to the people I know. That`s a fairly recent thing, where black people were starting to be able to get into the mainstream.
HUGHLEY: So this handshake and the heartland and stuff, those things mean nothing to me. What means more to me is where somebody starts and goes from there. A problem isn`t ever fixed by pretending like it didn`t exist or where do we go from here.
BECK: No, I agree with you.
HUGHLEY: Now, I`m not...
HUGHLEY: You know that home office everybody claims on their taxes? You`ve got a computer in the den -- a desk in the den with a computer on it that everybody uses to watch porn on and send dumb e-mails to each other. Did you see Beyonce fall? You know, look at my taxes. So let`s be consistent. If we`re going to have moral integrity, let`s have it all the way around.
BECK: I agree with you.
HUGHLEY: Let`s stop pretending like we`re one way -- me? I tell jokes and I try my best to be as honest as possible. I do. I`m not saying -- I`m a long way from perfect, but I cop to it. Like, I drink and I think women are the best thing ever. That`s it. I could never run for president, but I`ll say what I think.
BECK: You know what? I think that that`s exactly the kind of person that America is hungry for.
BECK: Yes, they are.
BECK: America loves a rags-to-riches, and then stumble and fall, and pull themselves back up out of the fire and say, "Boy"...
HUGHLEY: OK, now see here`s -- America loves the idea of rags-to- riches, because the idea of it is romantic. But we`ve only voted for fairly wealthy white men for president.
BECK: No, no, no. Wait, wait, wait.
HUGHLEY: I`m just saying, fairly wealthy white men for president.
BECK: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but, I mean, if you`re -- but, you know what? I`ll tell you something. I`m not a classist guy. I have no problem. Bill Gates, I love you. But I love the fact that Bill Gates actually ran the country, made something, yadda, yadda, yadda.
HUGHLEY: Ran a company.
BECK: Great, ran a company, built something in his father`s garage and now look at him.
HUGHLEY: But if the country is managed, and operated, and owned, and operated by one specific type of person with one specific viewpoint, how -- you know, with one move, how do you -- whether it`s a Republican or a Democrat, they generally -- unless you know something I don`t, they`ve all been fairly wealthy white men who all have the same kind of -- whether it`s -- you know, different gradations of the same kind of perspective. They do. One believes the government can fix everything; one believes the government should stay out of the way. But they all have the same idea that they know what`s best. But they got all...
BECK: But you know what? But I don`t think America wants somebody who`s like, "Gee, I don`t know, man. I should take a poll." They do want somebody who looks them in the eye.
Hang on. I`m getting the wrap sign. Let`s pick that up right there when we come back. Hang on. Back with D.L. Hughley.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUGHLEY: Man, I was at the Capitol today. I had no idea the Capitol was right next to the roughest (EXPLETIVE DELETED) neighborhood I`ve ever been to my whole (EXPLETIVE DELETED) life. I saw a squirrel with a bulletproof vest on. I mean, the Capitol is surrounded by pedophiles, criminals, and drug addicts, and that`s just the House of Representatives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: Back with D.L. Hughley. We were just talking before the break, and I`m sorry. I promise you we`ll switch out of this Charlie Rose mode that we`re in right now, but you`re saying that people don`t want somebody that -- you`re saying that people want somebody that they just think they have all the answers. I`m saying that...
HUGHLEY: No. That`s who we voted for, who we always voted for.
HUGHLEY: I`m saying that that seems to be who we vote for.
BECK: I think people want somebody who have room for doubt, but also have the confidence. I think Jesus Christ and Hitler had a lot in common, and that was they could both look you in the eye and say, "I`ve got an answer for you, follow me." One was evil; one was good. But they both could look you in the eye and have an answer for you. There are very few politicians right now that can look you in the eye and you believe it.
HUGHLEY: But then the problem is, I see -- whenever you tell me something like that, I see George Bush, and not a personal attack on -- he is incompetent at this job. He is incompetent. So whatever you say to me, I go -- and he seems to be so certain in the face of obvious circumstances that you can`t -- when a man can`t admit that he was wrong...
BECK: You`re right.
HUGHLEY: ... then we are in trouble. And when people go, "I don`t care," in this country, two plus two is whatever number we decide it is. At a certain point, morality -- character is what you do in the dark. My father always said that.
My father, he found $100, right, and we were going to get groceries. We didn`t have money for groceries. And he took the $100 back in. I was so mad. I`m like, "I can`t eat." I`ve got to eat Top Ramen because you -- you know, the Lord blesses you to find $100 and you take it back? And he says, "Character is what you do in the dark" and took that money. Now, I`m not saying that I would make that same choice now. I`m not saying that. But I`m saying that I`ve seen glimpses of character, and I think that we -- in our elected officials, I see very little of it. And that`s Republican and Democrat.
BECK: I would agree with you. Let`s do rapid fire. Would you be as funny if you didn`t use profanity?
HUGHLEY: Sure, but it wouldn`t be as fun.
BECK: Are black people funnier than white people?
HUGHLEY: I think anybody who, you know, is -- I think yes, yes.
BECK: You`re not going to explain that?
HUGHLEY: Absolutely. Absolutely.
BECK: Come on.
HUGHLEY: But we`ve got to laugh -- our motivations are different. We`ve got to laugh to keep from crying a lot of the times, so I think yes.
BECK: Comedy comes from pain, is what you`re saying?
HUGHLEY: I think so.
BECK: And only black people feel pain?
HUGHLEY: Yeah, I think -- our situation is like wearing tight shoes and you`ll feel good when you take them off. That`s what we do.
BECK: OK. In comedy, is there anything off limits?
BECK: Did what`s-her-name Griffith or Griffin...
HUGHLEY: Kathy Griffin.
BECK: Yeah, did she -- was she over the line?
HUGHLEY: You know, I don`t think she was. No, I don`t. I don`t think she was. I think it offended me. OK, let me -- if you pay out $200 billion in sex scandal, I mean, molestation, then come on now. How serious am I going to take you? You just paid out -- you could have spent less money on hookers and cocaine. So don`t sit up and tell me you can`t take a joke.
BECK: Do you think I thought it was offensive?
HUGHLEY: I do think you thought it was offensive.
BECK: You were wrong, sir.
HUGHLEY: You didn`t?
BECK: I didn`t. I thought she was making fun of the people who are walking outside, and doing heroin, and then coming up and going, "I just want to thank Jesus for this. Rock on, Jesus." I don`t think Jesus is micromanaging awards show. Maybe that`s just me.
HUGHLEY: Jesus is helping us win -- yes, you`re right.
BECK: Yes, I don`t think...
HUGHLEY: Only in Hollywood would you get a lot of money for your job and then want people to acknowledge that you`re good at it. "Hey, man, thank you for this big contract, and now just give me an award."
BECK: Why aren`t women funny?
HUGHLEY: I think women are funny when they talk about issues -- you know, when they take in the depth and breadth of the world. I think that a lot of woman comics I`ve seen have tended to talk about stuff that just pertains just to them.
BECK: What out there is hugely popular that you for the life of you can`t figure out why?
HUGHLEY: I can`t figure out -- if I was -- I cannot figure out why the hell hockey is popular. I can`t. I just can`t. Ice and sticks? I just...
BECK: Do you like what`s happening in Darfur?
HUGHLEY: No, of course not.
HUGHLEY: But I tell you what. I think that we have a genocide here that nobody -- like what`s going on in Darfur, you know, we get together and corporations get the red t-shirts together, but there`s a genocide here, and I think charity begins at home. And I think that when we -- it`s hard for us to be genuine when we don`t deal with our genocide...
BECK: OK. Do you think we should have done something to help Darfur?
HUGHLEY: I think if we hold ourselves to the moral standard that we say we do, we should, yes.
BECK: Excellent. Do you think we should abandon those in Iraq that would be headed for a Darfur because of us?
HUGHLEY: I think that the bottom line is that`s our fight, and we have to fix. But I think that the things that we think work, don`t. They`re going to have...
BECK: That`s cool. That`s cool. I`m totally cool, as long as we don`t abandon the people we just put in harm`s way.
HUGHLEY: And we did put them in harm`s way.
BECK: We did.
BECK: We opened this can of whoopin`. Are you in favor of universal health care?
HUGHLEY: I`m in favor -- I think that no American should die of diseases that insurance companies think are too expensive to work on. I think that...
BECK: That`s not the question. Are you in favor of universal health care?
HUGHLEY: I don`t want a universal plan because I don`t trust the government to deliver my mail, let alone...
BECK: Good, good, good! Which of these people would you invite over to have for dinner, Karl Rove?
HUGHLEY: I would invite Karl Rove over for dinner.
BECK: Would you poison the food?
BECK: OK, good.
HUGHLEY: I think you give him too much, but I think he`s a guy that was incredibly effective at playing on the American psyche. So why would I be mad at him?
BECK: Hillary Clinton?
HUGHLEY: Yes. I`ve met Hillary a number of times. I think she`s -- I think she`s a bright, charming woman.
BECK: Ronald Reagan?
HUGHLEY: I live right around the corner from the Reagan -- Reagan was my governor of California. I don`t ascribe that he was as great a politician as you all think he was, as conservatives tend to...
BECK: What do you mean by "you all"?
HUGHLEY: Let me stop right there.
BECK: Ann Coulter?
BECK: Why not?
HUGHLEY: Because I think that Ann Coulter says the things she says for a rise, and I don`t think that that`s -- I think it`s just coarseness for being coarse.
BECK: Keith Olbermann?
HUGHLEY: I love Keith Olbermann.
HUGHLEY: I do. And I would invite you over, too. So what`s the...
BECK: We`re not finished with the show yet. Mel Gibson?
HUGHLEY: Absolutely. I like Mel Gibson.
BECK: Michael Richards?
HUGHLEY: Michael Richards told a dumb joke on a slow news week.
BECK: You know, I find the Michael Richards thing -- everybody pounced on that. And the Michael Richards thing, I don`t think people understand comedy and how, when you`re not good at comedy -- doing what you do, somebody heckles you, you can go so far off the course and you`re digging yourself into a deeper and deeper hole, at times, you just have to say, "Shut up."
HUGHLEY: But here`s my view on that. And this is the America I know. He said the n-word eight times before the audience decided they were supposed to get offended. Like, on the eighth one, they went, "Wait a minute. That`s way over the n-word limit. We should go," because they thought it was funny until then.
BECK: Yes. It wasn`t funny at all. And not because of the word. It just wasn`t funny. And I don`t agree with the word.
HUGHLEY: People laughed until the eighth -- well, we -- let`s go to the tape, like they say -- like they`re doing for O.J., go to the tape.
BECK: One person in show business you would love to work with and haven`t.
HUGHLEY: I think the one person in show business I would love to work with -- Tom Hanks probably.
BECK: One person in show business you`d love to work with again that you have.
HUGHLEY: The best guy I`ve ever worked with was on the cast. He played the network executive that we were on. Steven Weber is the best actor I`ve ever seen that I`ve ever worked with. Not ever seen, ever worked with.
BECK: One person in show business that you`ve worked with before that you`d rather just sell your grandmother than work with them again. I`m just trying to...
HUGHLEY: Honestly, a young kid named Adam Goldberg. I worked with him years ago on "Double Rush." And at that time, we were both young and just didn`t...
BECK: You actually named him.
HUGHLEY: Why wouldn`t I?
BECK: I don`t think I`ve ever heard anybody actually say that. They`ll always look at you like a deer in the headlights. Nobody will answer this one, either. How much are you pulling down a year?
HUGHLEY: A lot more than my father did. And my father heard that. "You kidding me?" This ain`t even about being politically correct. I`ve got to go home to my neighborhood sometimes to see my mom. I ain`t trying to get robbed.
BECK: Good to talk to you. We`ll be back in just a second. A final moment.
BECK: I want to spend a couple of moments on two things, one, influence of Hollywood. Sally Field, there`s a big scandal this week that they edited her for her anti-war thing. First of all, I want to meet the person on Earth that went, "You know what? I was for this war, but then Sally Field said it."
BECK: Do you think, is there anyone in Hollywood -- do they all think that they can speak out and we`ll listen to them? Is there anybody that could influence anything?
HUGHLEY: I don`t believe that, but I do believe that they -- like anybody else -- feels like they use whatever platform they can to express whatever view that they have, like you use this platform for the show.
BECK: Yes, but that`s what I do.
HUGHLEY: And I use comedy, and you use comedy. So I never -- you know, and even when it`s -- no matter who it is, I`ve never -- whether it`s something I like or something I don`t like, I don`t give people that much power. And I think when you kind of scuttle around and go, "Oh, that`s too much for the American population to hear"...
BECK: Oh, I think that`s garbage. You know what I think the problem is with Hollywood? They doesn`t understand that, you know, if you do that, and you become the poster child for a cause I like or don`t like -- let`s say, you know, it`s a cause against spina bifida, and I`m like, "I hate spina bifida, too," I still see you as the spina bifida person when you`re in that role. You`re not an empty canvas anymore.
HUGHLEY: I despise someone who doesn`t have the courage of their convictions. No matter, I just despise people who are cowards. If you are -- believe what you say, and risk it, risk it all. So whatever that is, I think that she was brave to do -- put herself in a situation where she was going to be subject to scrutiny.
BECK: Let me go back to your roots.
BECK: You`re a guy who grew up poor.
BECK: You`re a guy that was in a gang.
BECK: Your cousin was shot and killed.
BECK: You got out, decided, "I`m going to change my life." Here you are sitting with a very expensive watch and nice clothing. You`re a superstar, yadda, yadda, yadda. Do you ever sit back and just say, "Wow, look at me"?
HUGHLEY: I sit back and say, why? But I`ve never said -- you know, it`s so funny. I was watching an awards show a couple of years ago. And I remember when Cuba Gooding, Jr., won an award for Jerry Maguire, and he flipped across the stage, and black people were like -- and when Denzel won, he always has this thing like, you know, that you can never -- we seem to have a problem watching people enjoy what they do, and getting their just rewards, and kind of being able to rejoice. And I think that that`s just kind of something that I`ve always seen, and that`s from my perspective, where we just -- we don`t like people who enjoy too much, and we don`t like people who are willing to give it up. And that`s (INAUDIBLE) a culture thing.
BECK: I enjoy your success. And I enjoy you.
HUGHLEY: Thank you.
BECK: Good for the whole hour?
HUGHLEY: Thank you. Absolutely.
BECK: Good for the whole hour. Good night, America.