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Why Does Tinseltown Shirk American Heroes?; Texas Congressman Discusses Border Crime; Lawyer for Jailed Sheriff Speaks Out; Communities Strive to Protect Kids from Pedophiles on Halloween

Aired October 30, 2007 - 19:00:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, G.I. Joe gets a Hollywood makeover.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): G.I. Joe, a real American hero.

BECK: Yes, not so much. Why Tinseltown thinks heroes can`t be American.


BECK: Plus, missing on the border. Scores of people are vanishing from border towns. So why isn`t anyone talking about this? And why is the media silent on American victims?

And comedy king Jeff Foxworthy gives a primer on redneck lingo for y`all.

All this and more tonight.


BECK: Well, hello, America. I know I`m beating a dead horse, but this horse has just got to get up, because our nation is under attack. It is being taken from us in the cover of darkness. There are American hostage crises going on right now, worse than the American hostage crisis we experienced in 1979, and it is happening at our border. I`ll have more on that, coming up in just a second.

But first, there`s something else. We`re being attacked someplace else in the cover of night and if we lose this battle, we lose it all. Here`s "The Point" tonight. G.I. Joe is the latest casualty in the war against the American way and I know, I know, Glenn, just a toy, a little hunk of plastic, a cartoon. I know. And that makes it easy to dismiss this. But I believe that would be a huge mistake.

We cannot lose sight of the fact that G.I. Joe was a real guy and he is something more, as well. He`s -- he is a symbol, and when you attack a symbol, you strike a blow against everything it represents. And here`s how I got there.

Let me start with "Happy Feet". You remember that penguin cartoon? I love that. Look at this clip in the end. Who saves the penguin in the end? Oh, yes. You`re about to see it. It`s the United Nations. Wow.

Believing the United Nations could save anyone takes more imagination than believing penguins can tap dance.

But wait, there`s more. Look at this clip from the last "Superman" movie.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Health, has he gained weight? What`s he been eating? Business. How is this going to affect the stock market? Long term, short term. Politics. Does he still stand for truth, justice, all that stuff.


BECK: All that stuff? All that stuff? What the hell happened to "the American way"?

Put aside for a second that they hacked apart one of the greatest tag lines in popular culture. I believe there`s more to this. I believe some are trying to indoctrinate our kids into hating their own country, turning us into some one-world-government nightmare; hating America, turning it into a dirty word.

How will our kids ever have the courage to stand up to their college professors if they`ve been raised to think that there`s something wrong with the American way or the American way never existed?

Now, let me go back to that little hunk of plastic we call G.I. Joe. He`s been known as the real American hero. For kids my -- when I was a kid, G.I. Joe was it.

Now there`s a new movie from the butchers over at Paramount. They`re trying to change all that. For starters, he`s no longer Government Issue Joe. G.I. Joe used to stand for that. Now it stands for -- and I`m not kidding you -- Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity.

What? When did entities stand for anything but evil? I`m just saying.

Poor Joe has now been discharged from the American military, and Hollywood now has him answering to some bull crap international force like the U.N. We all know that the U.N. is a toothless bunch of pansies. They don`t deserve somebody like Joe, even the little plastic version.

So tonight, here`s what you need to know, America. When we kill our icons, when we destroy those icons, we destroy everything they stand for. Our heroes of fiction, cartoon and otherwise, represent what we can be, our very best. It`s an ideal, one worth striving for and should be revered.

America has always been a divinely inspired nation. The red, white and blue has liberated more people on this planet from tyranny than anyone else in the history of God`s green earth. We must preserve our symbols of national pride and power, be they a flag, a cross, characters like Superman or G.I. Joe. Parents, don`t let this slip away. We`ve got to teach our children to respect the values that this nation is founded on.

And whether it`s the promise of Ronald Reagan`s shiny city -- shining city on the hill or a Metropolis kept safe by Superman. We must never let our children lose sight of the nobility in truth, justice and the American way.

Michael Medved is a talk radio host and a film critic. And Mark Seavey is with the American Legion.

Mark, let me start with you first. How offensive is the -- is the idea of G.I. Joe in a blue helmet to you?

MARK SEAVEY, AMERICAN LEGION: At first, I thought it was a joke. I mean, it had to be. G.I. Joe was based off a Medal of Honor recipient from the Pacific. He was a U.S. Marine. He`s always been a U.S. soldier. There`s enough heroes out there, and G.I. Joe was obviously patented on the idea that the U.S. does have these sorts of heroes.

BECK: So Michael, Paramount will say, "Well, it`s impossible to market an American war hero overseas." Is this all about money or do you think it goes a little deeper on, even to the point of indoctrination?

MICHAEL MEDVED, FILM CRITIC: I think the latter, Glenn. Because there are a lot of people in Hollywood who are embarrassed by nationalism, and it`s ridiculous in this case.

First of all, if he`s actually wearing a blue helmet, I`d be pleased. It`s probably more likely a baby blue beret, the way they`re doing it. Based in Brussels, for God`s sake.

The truth of the matter is -- leave Iraq aside for a moment. In Afghanistan right now, there are 26 NATO nations that are fighting together. So if you want to appeal to people in Europe, audiences in Europe, they`re every bit as much menaced by terrorism as we are.

The fact is, Hollywood won`t confront that reality, and it`s shameful.

BECK: But Michael, Hollywood won`t confront any real reality, and they keep losing tons of money by trying to jam down these anti-war films. I mean, they used to portray our military and Americans as heroes, and now they`re either victims or villains. And that`s it.

MEDVED: You`re exactly right. And of course, part of this, it seems to me, has to do with sort of an overwhelming feeling of guilt even left over from the Vietnam War. That`s when this started. So many films about Vietnam War veterans were showing damaged and twitchy and insane and dangerous.

And the truth of the matter is most Americans greatly admire our military. Not just fantasy figures like G.I. Joe but the real military. And with like "Rendition" and "Redacted" coming up, and "In the Valley of Elah" you had to subpoena people to go to see them, because people don`t want to see movies in which our military is portrayed as pathetic losers.

BECK: I should tell you, Mark, I am one of the -- honestly, what gave me hope after 9/11 was our military. Seeing the way these guys behave and who they are, they are dramatic visions of heroes for our country.

What is it -- what do you hear from the vets who have to endure constantly, over and over and over again, these images of being killers and villains?

SEAVEY: Well, I think a lot of them question why they have to do it in the first place. I mean, "Saving Private Ryan" was about the U.S. military. And I looked up the stats on that, and it got 55 percent of its gross from foreign proceeds.

And you have real live heroes. You just have Michael Patrick Murray, who got the Medal of Honor a week ago. Why don`t they make a movie about him? How about David Bellavia? How about Mark -- Marcus Luttrell, the one that got away?

There`s so many heroes out there. And to take G.I. Joe, something that, you know, real American hero, real Belgian hero or real international crime fighter just doesn`t fit the bill. It`s a real American hero. We need to get back to what it was.

BECK: Michael...

MEDVED: Glenn, if I-- if I can jump in here. There was a film that came out just a couple of months ago called "Home of the Brave", and a big cast, -- Samuel L. Jackson, a great actor; 50 Cent, the famous rapper; Jessica Biel. Jessica Biel, most beautiful woman in the world, even did a nude scene, a shower scene. They had to subpoena people to go see this thing. No one wanted to se it.

Why? Because it showed returning vets from Iraq as people who had shattered lives. And we know most Americans know people who`ve served in Iraq who are proud of their service and served their country honorably and really are, as Mark says, heroes that deserve our respect.

BECK: They`re the best of us, but Michael, I want to go back to where we started. I think it`s indoctrination, as well. I mean, we`re seeing the U.N. and the international force and all of these kids` movies, all of these -- everything that kids are playing with now. Try to go to New York and buy your kid a cap gun. You can`t do it.

How do we survive into the next generation if we don`t have these stories and these icons to tell. And the media and everything else about society is washing over our kids, filling their head with lies?

MEDVED: You`re doing it at home, Glenn. I`m trying to do it with my three kids. Parents are setting up counter cultures. And isn`t it a shame that American patriotism, which we have every reason to feel -- we should feel so grateful for this country that American patriotism has to be a counter-cultural message contradicted by the official, quote, "mainstream media."

BECK: Michael, Mark, thanks.

Coming up, we take a closer look at the shocking story of the missing Laredo girls and, more importantly, why are you not hearing about this story any place else?

And this morning`s "USA Today" rats out the Pentagon for overstating projections on sniper attacks in Iraq. Why that actually means progress that they don`t want to address in tonight`s "Real Story."

Yes, and a quick programming note. Psychic medium John Edward will join me for the full hour tomorrow night. Halloween, the ghost of your dead Aunt Mabel and John Edward, tomorrow.


BECK: Well, the Pentagon recently reported sniper attacks in Iraq have quadrupled over the past year. Really? Sniper attacks, per month. I thought they were actually down.

Bottom line is the surge is working. And I`ll give you a story you`re not hearing anyplace else. That`s tonight`s "Real Story", and it`s coming up.

But first, I told you about the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo yesterday. We talked about this story, and it is the kind of place that makes Baghdad look like Disneyland, quite frankly.

In towns all over the border with Mexico, drug cartels have taken the place of the government. And they are ruling through extortion, murder and kidnapping.

It wouldn`t be pretty, even if all the ugly violence were on the Mexican side of the border, but it is bleeding -- no, I`m sorry. It is hemorrhaging into the United States. And it is getting ugly.

Last year dozens of Americans were either kidnapped or killed or both, and these two teenage girls are among them.

So what`s the solution? Well, here`s where it gets tricky. Mexican authorities have seemingly willingly given up control of their country. U.S. authorities only have so much jurisdiction. You`d think the press might help, but they`re scurrying like little cockroaches hiding underneath the refrigerator, because nobody wants to end up being the next kidnapped or murdered. No one is willing to the talk to the media, and the media is scared themselves.

The border crisis is only getting worse, and it is time this country stepped up to fight fire with fire.

Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar has taken up the issue in Washington, D.C.

Congressman, I talked to a sheriff yesterday who is down in Laredo, and he is just sick of everybody in Washington giving him lip service. Meanwhile, we`re talking about giving the Mexican government $550 million to help fight. Why aren`t we down there with troops?

REP. HENRY CUELLAR (D), TEXAS: Well, first after, you know, this is a law enforcement issue that we need to address. Talk about Border Patrol. This year we`re adding another 2,500 Border Patrol. Next year, we`re going to add another 3,000 Border Patrol. So we`re beefing up our border.

At the same time we do have to work with the local law enforcement officials and we actually have sent money down there. Millions of dollars to help the local law enforcement so we can fight this to make sure that we don`t allow the Mexican drug cartels to spill over to the United States, which it has spilled over already. That`s what I`m concerned about.

BECK: Yes, well, I mean, Congressman, this is -- I mean, I don`t mean to throw you under the bus. Because from what I understand, you`re one of the guys who is actually trying to fight this and you`re fed up with the lip service, as well.

But I mean, in your district, you have more people that have been kidnapped than were kidnapped by the Iranians in 1978 and `79. I mean, you`ve got a real problem there. And nobody is paying attention to this.

Why is the media not involved?

CUELLAR: Well, first of all, on the Mexican side, the media has been intimidated so many ways. In fact, next to Iraq, Mexico has more journalists that have been kidnapped and killed than any other country in the whole world. So, you know, that`s what`s been happening over there. They`re silenced and intimidated.

BECK: But what about this side. I mean, look, you have two teenage girls, two young women that were taken and, we believe, that they were taken and given as gifts, given as gifts to a drug cartel member.

And yet, you`ve got Natalee Holloway, one girl missing, and the media was all over it for months. Where is anybody with these two girls?

CUELLAR: And you`re absolutely right. I mean, this has been one of the most frustrating cases I`ve seen in the -- you know, you`ve got some young girls that have been kidnapped. And there`s really -- there`s about 60 missing Americans that we`ve seen that have been kidnapped.

Some have been returned after moneys have been paid. And some of them just haven`t been found.

I talked to the families for the last couple years, and what they want is they want some sort of closure. And this is why we`ve got to force the Mexican side to do more...

BECK: Congressman...

CUELLAR: To work with us.

BECK: Congressman, let me tell you something. I mean, I`ve taken on everybody but the fricking Mob, man. I mean, I don`t really care anymore at this point. You tell me what is going on. You help us get the story out, sir. And I will get the story out. Thanks for being on the program.

Now let me move to another man who is a victim of border crisis: Gilmer Hernandez, a border town sheriff who tried to stop a car full of illegals. It was a van. He said they tried to run him over. He shot out the tires.

Well, he was prosecuted, wrongly, I believe, went to prison. But apparently, he could have avoided jail-time if he just confessed to a lie dressed up as a plea bargain. This is insidious.

Here with more details on the proposed deal with the devil is Jimmy Parts Jr., attorney for Gilmer Hernandez.

Jimmy, I wanted to get you on because, first of all, the first question is, this deal involved Gilmer taking his official report and changing it so he had to admit that he was intentionally targeting the back of the van and not the tire, because he knew that there were illegals in the back of the van. Is that true or false?

JIMMY PARTS JR., ATTORNEY FOR GILMER HERNANDEZ: Yes, but what the federal government met up with, Glenn, was an individual who`s very noble, a man of impeccable character who refused to violate his conscience and, rather than take an easy probation deal, he stood to fight rather than sign that document.

BECK: OK. Well, here`s the problem, Jimmy. Nobody is on this story. Nobody is -- this is an outrage. I have told senators about this and they say, "Oh, I`m going to look into it." And nobody`s looking into it.

If our government is making a law officer change his testimony to say, "I was intentionally targeting illegal aliens," there`s something really wrong here.

Now, why aren`t we hearing more on this? What are you guys doing to dig into the details on this, and who is involved in this?

PARTS: Well, we need your help. We need individuals like you to get the message out. The Mexican consulate started this. They started with a demand for his investigation and prosecution.

And that put the focus on Gilmer, the criminal, not Gilmer, the law enforcement officer. And as a result, the federal government just steam- rolled him because of what the Mexican government did. When an entire country`s government is demanding that your government come after you, we need help from individuals like you.


PARTS: We`re helpless down here.

BECK: OK. I mean, have you seen this show? I mean, like four people watch this show.

Conway, can we please -- let`s make a commitment to these last two stories. I want to know -- Conway is our producer, by the way. I want to know that we can follow the Laredo story. Let`s get people on that.

And I want -- I want to call these congressmen. I want to call these senators. And I want them on the TV screen explaining why our government can ask somebody to change their testimony and lie that they were intentionally targeting illegals. What good would that do? I want to find those answers out.

Thanks, Jimmy.

Now, don`t, please, forget the border agents Ramos and Compean. They`re continuing to serve their decade-plus prison sentence for doing nothing more than trying to keep our country safe. I believe this makes them our nation`s first political prisoners.

For more on what you can do to help them and their families, we`ve got a legal defense fund set up for them. You buy a great Border Patrol T- shirt says "To protect and serve time." Go to for all the details. That`s Do it now.

Coming up, millions of children will go trick-or-treating tomorrow night. How do you know which houses are OK and which ones have the pedophiles? Jeez, remember when we were only worried about razor blades on apples?

And we`ll speak with comedy king Jeff Foxworthy. Redneck. How much is he pulling down a year?


BECK: As kids, we always learned don`t take candy from strangers. Right? What about Halloween? I mean, you know, nobody has to lure kids. Kids show up at strangers` doorsteps expecting candy.

That`s why this Halloween, some communities in states like Maryland, Texas and New Jersey are taking precautions.

In Maryland`s case, registered sex offenders are required to post signs on the front of their homes that explicitly state, "This guy is a pedophile." No, no, no. That would be -- that would be too hateful. They just -- the signs just say "No candy at this residence."

Here with more on this move to protect our kids, Ed Miller, correspondent for "America`s Most Wanted".

I mean, this is a feel-good thing, isn`t it, Ed?

ED MILLER, CORRESPONDENT, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": We certainly wouldn`t want to stigmatize the predators, would we?

BECK: Yes. No. They`ve only, you know, been predators on small children, you know, once or two or five or ten times before. Right.

MILLER: Right. You understand what`s going on here. You know, obviously, this is some sort of move to try to put some control over the situation. It -- but it`s totally unenforceable.

Can you imagine a state government worker standing -- on overtime, by the way -- standing in front of each predator`s house, watching him and saying, "No, no, no. Don`t open that door, now. Remember, you`re a pedophile."

BECK: Ed, help me out. These people don`t even register. A lot of them will move, and they don`t even register.

MILLER: Absolutely.

BECK: Are they going down to the local sheriff`s office to get the sign?

MILLER: You`re absolutely correct. Because we have to understand that people need to understand there`s a difference between registered sex offenders and unregistered. And there are many, many unregistered sex offenders.

And even of the ones, the sex offenders that are registered, they`re not going to be so anxious to put that sign in the window saying, "By the way, let me remind you who I am and where I live." They, of course, don`t want the neighborhood to know where they are.

So most likely they`ll take the opt-out. They`ll turn the lights off, and they`ll go visit their aunt.

BECK: Yes, I mean, if you`re really serious about this, you`d have the cops take those signs and put them in the front of the yards right before Halloween. That`s what you would do if you were serious about it, but of course, that would be too offensive.

And there is the loophole of you don`t have to put the sign out. You just have to turn out the lights.

MILLER: That`s right. Turn off the lights, and you`re not home. But again, it`s unenforceable. Who is going to be watching for this person to make sure that he does put the sign up or to make sure that he doesn`t open the door for the kids?

The bigger answer is, is that we need to teach our children -- I know we don`t want to scare them, even though it`s Halloween. But we need to teach them and say, you know, there are people in this world that do bad things and sometimes they get in trouble. And sometimes they get caught. And we have to watch out for these people.

BECK: Ed, do you ever find yourself -- let me just talk to you man to man here, citizen to citizen. Do you ever find yourself with your kids or something? You go out on Halloween. And somebody, you know, opens up the door, whatever. You`re coming with a bunch of kids, and you don`t want to even look at that kid? We have so disconnected.

MILLER: Right.

BECK: Because you`re so afraid that somebody will say, what are you doing? I mean, you just don`t -- you don`t even want to be around children anymore. It`s sad what`s happening to us.

MILLER: It is. It is very sad. And you know what? It`s just such a fine line because you`re so afraid. You don`t want to touch the child. And you as a parent -- I`m a parent. You are a parent.

BECK: Yes.

MILLER: You don`t want -- you don`t want some strange guy touching your child. And even though the adorable little girl, you might say, "Oh my God, that`s so cute, that little outfit that you have on." And you go to reach for the child, that someone may misinterpret that gesture.

BECK: Yes. Yes. Halloween is getting scarier than ever before.

MILLER: It is.

BECK: Thanks a lot.

Please, parents, check tomorrow on the web site and find out who`s in your neighborhood before you go out.

Now, Utah may be getting rid of school vouchers. What does it mean for parents when our educational system is failing our children? That`s tonight`s "Real Story", next.


BECK: Well, he`s the best-selling comedy recording artist of all time, author of more than 22 books, and the host of "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" I`ve got the cards. I`m going to find out if Jeff Foxworthy is. I`m not smarter than a fifth grader, so he should feel right at home.

But first, welcome to "The Real Story." Next month in Utah, the voters are going to decide there whether or not to repeal a universal school voucher program that provides all children with up to $3,000 in money to attend whatever school they want. I don`t know about you, I find it just a tad ironic that liberals who are for choice when it comes to killing unborn children are somehow or another vehemently against choice on how to educate those children once they`re born. And even more ironic than those who love universal when it`s applied to health care, hate it when it`s applied to school choice.

But the "Real Story" is that all of these special interest groups, lobbyists and government programs have resulted in only one thing, and you know it, and I know it: a failed school system. Over 10 percent of all high schools in America are now called drop-out factories. That means 10 percent of our high schools, 40 percent of all students never graduate.

Coincidentally here, Utah, the place that`s thinking about repealing state vouchers, the only state in the entire country without even one drop- out factory. Our grandparents understood the value of two things. They understood it really well, hard work and education. But to them, hard work was making things. It was working in the fields and the factories.

We don`t create anything anymore here in America. We import them. We`re not a country of industry. We are a country of ideas, of thinkers, right? Well, without that knowledge and without that education, we`ve got nothing.

The last place I expect big ideas to come from is from anybody in Washington. But the rest of the world is catching up fast, and unless we unleash the free market system and allow it to make real changes soon, it won`t be just the children who are left behind. It will be our entire country.

Robin Bagley is the co-chair for Parents for Choice in Education. Boy, what are you guys doing right in Utah?

ROBIN BAGLEY, PARENTS FOR CHOICE AND EDUCATION: Glenn, we are working very hard to protect this law, which was passed by a majority of our legislature and signed by our governor. And unfortunately, the teachers` union came in and are trying to take it away from us. This law would enable parents to choose the best school option for their children.

BECK: I don`t understand this. I mean, we`re a capitalist country. We`re running our school systems like Amtrak. One of the big arguments against you is that it`s going to take money away from schools. Well, it should, if they`re failing, shouldn`t it?

BAGLEY: Well, it should. But, actually, it does not take money away from schools here in Utah. We have a unique bill here in the state in that the money that pays for the vouchers comes from a fund different than our education fund. And not only that, but for every child that takes a voucher, the remainder of their funding remains in the school district for five years to hold the school harmless. So it`s absolutely...

BECK: I mean, that`s honestly -- I mean, I was all for you until that. I mean, comrade, what are you doing there?

BAGLEY: Please don`t say that, Glenn.

BECK: I mean, holy cow. No, I mean, you`re m best option here, and I have to go with you, but I mean, holy cow, we should punish these schools.

BAGLEY: Well, remember, too, that once this is fully vested, those children beginning in the system and choosing private over public, the public schools will no longer receive funding for that. But in the meantime, this gives them the ability to come up to par and come up to speed. We`re not going to harm them, but what we are going to do is ensure that every child gets the best educational option for them.

BECK: Here`s the other argument, and help me out with it. I mean, I think I know the answer. School vouchers, if you use that, the students at these -- or these teachers at the voucher schools will not be as good as the other schools. My question is, aren`t these schools that people are trying to pull their kids out, because they pretty much stink? And the second is, I`ve met a lot of home-schoolers that are home-schooled by parents who have no education. I think involving the parents is a really good idea.

BAGLEY: It is. And what we know is that parental involvement is the number-one factor in a child`s success in their education. And we`re also letting the other side claim that parents aren`t smart enough to determine the best educational setting for their children. I know perfectly well what school is serving my child best.

BECK: OK. Robin, thanks a lot.

Now, I don`t know if you`ve noticed this, but, boy, the media`s awfully quiet about the war in Iraq. Have you noticed? Not a peep out of these guys. Do they know that we`re still fighting a war?

"The Real Story" is, oh, yes, they know. But when it comes to our mainstream media, good news is not news. And that`s why they`re all now suddenly interested in the fires or Britney Spears` new CD. For example, "USA Today" this morning ran a front page story that, if you looked really hard, it did contain some really good news out of Iraq. The number of U.S. troops killed by snipers is down over 60 percent from June to October.

What? That`s fantastic, right? Yes. But "USA Today`s" headline was "Pentagon Sniper Data Not Accurate." To them, and to most of our media, a budget error was a bigger story than the huge reduction in troop deaths. That is an embarrassment.

And you know what? May I just say? Although I work in the mainstream media, please, America, please don`t ever, ever, ever, ever confuse me with a member of the mainstream media. Of course, if the media had actually bothered to report on those stats, they might have stumbled across quite a coincidence. It`s really strange. June, the month where the sniper deaths seemingly started to decline for no apparent reason, also happens to be the month when the troop surge reached full strength. Weird, isn`t it? How convenient.

Heck, I`ve been wondering, what else, what other coincidences might I find happening in Iraq since June that the media might have ignored? Well, a check with a Pentagon stats, and here`s some of the unbelievable progress that we`ve made. Since June, Iraqi civilian deaths are down over 50 percent. Last June, 101 U.S. troops were killed in Iraq; so far in October, 34 have died. Almost a third of those were non-combat-related. In June, 74 troops were killed by IEDs; so far in October, 16 have been killed. That`s a 78 percent decline.

Let me ask you something, oh, fair, balanced and unbiased media, just trying to get the truth out, if those stats were reversed, if IED deaths of American soldiers up 78 percent, do you think America might be reading that on the front page of every paper in America? Of course we would. You bet we would. So why isn`t this news anywhere? I wonder.

Brigadier General David Grange is with us. General, how the heck do you win a war with a media like this?

GEN. DAVID GRANGE, U.S. ARMY: Well, it`s a challenge. And you have to learn how to deal with the media when you`re in the military, because they`re definitely our weapon platform on conflict (ph).

BECK: I mean, I can`t believe -- I have been looking for it for weeks on the talk radio show that I do. We talked about the reduction of violence by 70 percent weeks ago. We`ve been looking for it in the news week after week after week. Nothing. Nothing from Congress. Nothing from the media. It`s almost like -- and you tell me. Is this the way the troops feel? It`s almost like they don`t want the good news.

GRANGE: Well, it is a little bit like the troops feel. You know, we do the Military-Media Conference nationally every year, with getting a room full of journalists and military from all different services. And it is a little feisty conference, and it is a concern that there`s a lot of good things out there. And all they ask for, report the bad and the good, but just have a balanced report on what`s going on.

BECK: Yes. I have no problem if they want to report the bad, but can we at least report some of the good things? I mean, you know, it`s like the story that came out that we`re now on top of Al Qaeda and we`ve crushed them in Iraq. I have been afraid to say anything like that because I understand the reality of war. They`re going to regroup, and they will make another comeback, and once again the media will say, "Oh, I thought we crushed Al Qaeda in Iraq." There`s no way to win with these guys.

GRANGE: No, and it`s just like you can`t totally eliminate crime. I mean, yes, right now, the commanders that I have the chance to speak with have said they`re on a run. They`re moving from one place to another. There`s no place to hide. The pressure is on them. They`re broken to some degree.

Are they totally defeated? No. But they`re hurting badly, and our coalition forces are doing a great job with support from Iraqis giving the actionable intelligence. They`re taking them down.

BECK: See, I mean, that brings up a great point. I don`t think we could have won World War II with media like this. I don`t think we could have done it, with Hollywood and media. I don`t think we could have done it. And I wonder how we`re going to win this, especially when everybody jumped on the bandwagon. "Oh, the Iraqis were supposed to greet us as liberators." Well, now they`re helping us, because they believe that we`ll be there. They believe that their lives aren`t in danger. Am I wrong? They are helping us now.

GRANGE: They are helping us now. I would go back and say we lost two, maybe three years of ineffective strategy...

BECK: Sure.

GRANGE: ... and not working at the grassroots level, which they`re doing now, and it is starting to work. It`s taken hold. And we just have to give it a chance. But some people won`t accept the fact that it`s nothing else but a defeat.

You know, we`re Americans. We ought to want to win. I don`t understand that part of it.

BECK: I don`t know when that happened to us. General, thanks a lot.

That is the "Real Story" tonight. Back in just a minute with comedian Jeff Foxworthy.


BECK: Jeff Foxworthy is a comedian. He is the host of "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" He is also an author of, I don`t know, like 5,000 books. He`s the author of the new book "The Redneck Dictionary Volume 3." It`s in stores right now.

Jeff Foxworthy, great to have you on the program, sir. How are you?

JEFF FOXWORTHY, COMEDIAN: I`m doing great, Glenn. How are you?

BECK: Well, you might not be doing as well as I am here in a minute. The museum that is famous for having the armless statue of Venus de Milo in it, are you smarter than a fifth grader?

FOXWORTHY: The Louvre?

BECK: Name the secondary colors.

FOXWORTHY: This is so not fair. This is why I`m not a contestant.

BECK: That was a third grade question.

FOXWORTHY: This is why I`m the host of the show and not a contestant.

BECK: It`s horrible, isn`t it?

FOXWORTHY: Oh my gosh, yes. I tell me everybody, if they didn`t give me the answers, it would be the shortest show on television.

BECK: I have to tell you, a lot of my audience is right just in the center of the country. I mean, we`re not real big in New York. We`re not real big in Los Angeles.

FOXWORTHY: I know the feeling, yes.

BECK: Yes, I know. Isn`t it weird how this country, it`s almost like there`s two countries. The media does not understand the rest of the country. When I tell people, "Jeff Foxworthy is a financially more successful comedian than Jerry Seinfeld," people in New York say, "No way." But it`s true.

FOXWORTHY: You know, I`ve had these arguments for two decades sitting in L.A. and saying, "The real country is between New York and L.A., and you people have no idea what their lives are like."

BECK: Isn`t it unbelievable? I mean, how much are you pulling down a year?

FOXWORTHY: Life`s good.

BECK: All right. The redneck thing, when did you know -- when did you go, "Oh, my gosh, this is just -- I mean, there`s just -- there`s so much to do here"?

FOXWORTHY: You know, it all started because when I first -- you know, I grew up in Georgia, and I would go to New York and Chicago and L.A. And the only advice I got early in my career was people would say, "Jeff, you`ve got to take voice lessons and lose that stupid accent you got." And I thought, "Well, at least a quarter of the country talks like I do." So, you know, I was hard-headed about it.

I always wore jeans and boots. And so it was good natured, but they were always like, "Foxworthy, you`re nothing but a redneck from Georgia." And I found doing stand-up, you know, you`re traveling the country, I was like, "Well, I know what I am, but this is everywhere."

And then I was playing a comedy club right outside Detroit. And they`re kidding me about being a redneck. And the club was attached to a bowling alley that had valet parking. And I said, "If you don`t think you have rednecks, look out the window. People are valet parking at the bowling alley."

And, you know, so I wrote 10 ways to tell never having any idea that it would explode like that. But it wouldn`t have worked that well and that long if it didn`t include so many people, yes.

BECK: If it wasn`t real. It is truly amazing, especially living here now in New York, how people who have lived here their whole life, if it happens east of the river off this island, that`s like some far off, distant land. They don`t even begin to understand it. And, you know, this NASCAR thing that happened recently with the government saying, "You`ve got to go get vaccines," I mean, you`ve got to be kidding me.


BECK: They tried to pass it off as something, but do you buy that for a second?

FOXWORTHY: No. No, not for a second. You know, I had people tell me a decade ago when I decided to leave L.A. to move back to Georgia so my kids could grow up around their family and have a normal life that I was killing my career. And as I look back, you know, the last 10 years have probably been the best of my career. But I just kind of accepted the fact, you know what? They`re never going to get me in L.A., and they`re never going to get me in New York, and so I`m not going to worry about that.

BECK: Who cares?

FOXWORTHY: I`m just going to talk to the people that understand what I`m talking about.

BECK: Yes. So give me -- in the book, give me a couple of your favorite definitions. We`ve picked a couple. Do you have one off the top of your head?

FOXWORTHY: Well, I do. And the beauty of this -- this is volume three, and the first two volumes made it to the top of the "The New York Times" best-seller list, which makes...

BECK: Oh, so you`re somebody.

FOXWORTHY: Well, that makes me think whoever came up with the idea for the list is spinning in their grave right now.

BECK: Oh, yes. "Wait a minute. Jeff Foxworthy? That`s not possible."

FOXWORTHY: Because my books don`t end up in libraries. They end up on the back of toilets around the country. Out of this book, a few of the words you thought you knew the meaning of, casinos. My brother thinks he`s real smart casinos how to read.

BECK: How about sandwich? Do you know that one off the top of your head?

FOXWORTHY: When we went to the beach, my bathing suit got full of sandwich made my butt itch. Ruminate, I like. My sister walked into the ruminate everything in it.

BECK: Jeff Foxworthy, don`t forget, "Redneck Dictionary Volume Three" in stores now. Always a pleasure, sir.

Well, it`s time for tonight`s "Real America," brought to you this evening by CSX. It`s a story about one woman who decided to give back and ended up getting more than she ever could have imagined.


BECK (voice-over): Nestled in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan`s Upper West Side sits a children`s boutique. It sells teeny, tiny clothes and toys and, oh, yes, one other thing: futures.

KRYSTAL BROWN, EMPLOYEE, A TIME FOR CHILDREN: It`s a good opportunity for me, because it`s better for me to be here rather than be somewhere else doing something that`s not important with my life.

BECK: A Time for Children opened this summer. It was a dream of owner Marjorie Stern. She wanted to hope a store that gave something back, actually, everything back: 100 percent of the store`s profits go to the Children`s Aid Society, an organization dedicated to helping New York`s neediest families with a network of services like education, health and job skills.

MARJORIE STERN, OWNER, A TIME FOR CHILDREN: When we opened the store, I had a sign, "Dear friends, thought you should know, 100 percent of the profits are going to the Children`s Aid Society," and I signed it, "The management." Nobody believed it.

BECK: The store is staffed by 14 kids, teens from Children`s Aid Society, employees that go through a training program where they role-play.

BROWN: I would say, "Well, we have an assortment of stuff. We have blankets. We have photo albums for babies." The best thing I learned is how to express myself to customers, like how to help them, because that`s something, like, I`m very nervous, but once I get to help somebody, I like help them and I love helping people.

BECK: Graduates from A Time for Children`s training program have already gone on to full-time retail careers at a number of different corporations. Once the students complete their training...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So we put it in three different bags.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Perfect. Thank you.

BECK: Marjorie helps them with interview skills, sends them out to job fairs.

STERN: I have gotten more back from these young people than I`ve given them.

BECK: And for Krystal, she says, without this job, she would have never had the confidence and abilities to go on to college.

BROWN: This is the best thing anybody have ever done for me. I thank her so much for it, because if it wasn`t for her, I don`t know where I would be right now. I know with this has really gave me a great experience.

BECK: For the team here, A Time for Children has become a new kind of retail therapy.


BECK: Tonight`s "Real America" sponsored by CSX, how tomorrow moves.


BECK: Well, it seems that the governor of Iowa is -- well, it`s almost Halloween -- out of his gourd. Last month, he instituted a new tax on pumpkins, but only if you intend to carve them into jack-o-lanterns. If you plan on eating them, and you can prove it, they`re tax-free. I love government. I do.

David Winston is a contributing writer for "Roll Call," president of the Winston Group. David, this has got to be a joke, right?

DAVID WINSTON, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, "ROLL CALL": Yes. I have go say, when I came across it, that was my first reaction. And you have to go back and double check it, but it`s for real. I mean, they reclassified a pumpkin, rather than being a food, it`s now officially a decoration. And you have to pay sales tax. Or if you say you`re going to use it for food, you can fill out, seriously, a sales tax exemption certificate.

BECK: This is insanity.

WINSTON: Seriously. Seriously. And apparently they`ll give you your money back in terms of the sales tax. But, you know, I just -- this is so bizarre.

BECK: When did Iowa turn into, I don`t know, San Francisco or Massachusetts? When did they lose all touch with common sense?

WINSTON: I don`t know. So are they going to create the pumpkin police then as a result of this? I don`t know. I mean, given the fact that it`s an agriculture state, you thought they would have been a little bit more sympathetic. But I...

BECK: So hang on. How much money are they expecting on raising?

WINSTON: Well, when you take a look at the -- that`s not clear. I mean, in fact, the enforcement of it is not clear. It`s just they just decided to reclassify it, because they`re somehow trying to raise revenue. But in doing research on this, I couldn`t come up with a specific number that they came up with that they thought they were going to get.

BECK: Well, I have to tell you, I mean, we did research. I read your article this morning. I said, "We`ve got to find research on this." The "Des Moines Register" hasn`t even written a story on this thing.

WINSTON: Well, yes. Well, and the thing is, it is an embarrassing story. I mean, how else do you look at it? I mean, the concept that you`re going to go in and have to declare your use of a pumpkin as a consumer is just absurd. It`s obviously -- you know, it`s one of those things. There was some bureaucrat somewhere that said, "Oh, I know how we can raise more money. Let`s declare pumpkin a decoration, and maybe when we sell a whole bunch of them, we`ll raise some money." It is ludicrous.

BECK: How much do you suppose each pumpkin you`re paying in tax? I encourage the Iowans to ask for that form, because I bet the form and all that paperwork costs more than the pumpkin tax.

WINSTON: Well, you know, if a pumpkin costs three dollars, and the sales tax is five cents, it`s 15 cents per pumpkin. How many people do you have to have or forms do you have to have to sort of do that? And wait, wait, Glenn. What about this as a concept? OK, you`ve got the contrast of using it as both a food and decoration. What do you do then?

BECK: I don`t know. Maybe we should have two forms.

WINSTON: You need a lawyer.

BECK: Don`t forget, check out my e-mail newsletter. And tomorrow, full hour with John Edward, psychic medium. From New York, good night, America.