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Replay for Fairness Doctrine?; Berkley Sends Marines Mixed Messages; Archbishop Says Islamic Law Unavoidable in U.K. Economic Stimulus Package; Mexico Turning Around?; Cultural Collapse

Aired February 15, 2008 - 19:00:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, talk radio under fire. With Obama in the lead, just how long before the Fairness Doctrine returns?

Also, news from the far western front. The city of Berkeley, California, told Marine recruiters they weren`t welcome in town. Then they changed their minds. The few, the proud, the confused.

And a top British clergyman says it`s time for Sharia Law in the UK. A crazy idea? Or is he highlighting the inevitable?

All this and more tonight.


BECK: It`s Friday, America. Welcome to it.

As you may have heard me say one or maybe a million times, if you listen to me on the radio, I am the host of the third most-listened-to talk radio show in the country. Strangely, I`m kind of proud of that. And generally speaking, I`m proud of the work that I do every day, and I`m proud of my industry.

Now, that doesn`t mean that I don`t make mistakes or there are no bone-headed talk show hosts. There are a lot of stupid ones out there, and I include myself in that bunch once in a while. But talk radio is the closest thing that we have to an actual national public dialogue. And it needs to be protected.

Here`s "The Point" tonight.

Talk radio has taken on the Democrats. It is currently taking on the Republicans. And Congress, Barack Obama, and now some Republicans may be trying to take on talk radio.

In case you don`t remember the Fairness Doctrine, you might want to refresh your memory, because it could be back, and back with a vengeance. Here`s how I got there.

First things first. Yes, I`m a conservative. Yes, I talk about politics on my show. But don`t be fooled. I don`t have a political agenda, except my version of what I believe is true. I am not an advocate. I`m not telling you call your congressman. I`m just telling you what I see is coming our way. I really view myself as an entertainer and a businessman.

It is an election year. So I`m talking politics. Just as likely as I am to talk about "American Idol" when that`s huge or the latest Michael Buble CD. Or my favorite $90 chocolate cake from Allen Brothers. Whatever people are talking about, I`m talking about. More than anything, when Americans are talking about an issue of the day, that`s what good talk radio is on. And today, it`s politics.

It`s a good thing, right? Shouldn`t that be the way America works? It`s capitalism. I guess that all depends on who you might ask.

The myth of talk radio is that it is a right-wing propaganda machine for the GOP. Now, don`t get me wrong, some shows are. But if critics bothered to listen to the shows that are successful, they would hear just as much criticism for the failings of the Bush presidency as any of us had for Bill Clinton. We are not puppets for the Republicans. At least I ain`t. And that now has some in Congress real cranky.

Republican Representative Lindsey Graham called us "loud folks." And former senator, Trent Lott, said we`re a problem. Really, Senator? So what you going to do about it?

Well, people like Barack Obama say they want to return balance to the American airwaves, just like they did in the good old days of 1949. I believe that`s a conveniently-worded call for the return of the Fairness Doctrine. That was a dictatorial federal mandate that forced regulations on broadcasters and forced ideas on listeners. Any kind of freedom of consumption was gone. It was un-American, and it has no place in a free society.

So tonight, here`s what you need to know. Politicians are rarely enlightened; they`re usually petty and vindictive. And they will use their federal power to settle personal scores. Take it from me.

The only agenda of talk radio -- that is profitable -- is to make a profit. I can`t speak for anybody else, but I am a businessman and an entertainer in that order.

We cannot let Congress or candidates make you believe lies to the contrary. We must never allow Uncle Sam to act as Big Brother by controlling the airwaves. Who will lose their free speech after we do?

Representative Jeff Flake is a Republican from Arizona. Dan Patrick is a talk show radio host from KSEV in Houston and also a Texas state senator.

Let me start with you, Jeff. First of all, real quick in 15 to 20 seconds, recap America`s memory of the Fairness Doctrine and what it was.

REP. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: Well, it was brought in, as you mentioned, late `40s. And it basically said that, if you have conservative talk, you have to balance it with something else on the other side.

And what it means in the end is that the radio stations, television stations, and others simply can`t -- can`t do all the monitoring, the paperwork to go along with it. And so it just means that you squelch debate all over.

BECK: Yes. I remember...

FLAKE: There will just be no effective talk radio at all.

BECK: I remember doing the paperwork. I got into radio in 1979. I remember the paperwork. I remember the nightmare that it was. And it was an absolute infringement of freedom of speech.

The system tried to balance itself out with Air America. And Dan, you remember how much America wanted to hear that other point of view on AM talk radio. It didn`t exist.

DAN PATRICK, TEXAS STATE SENATOR/RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Didn`t exist. First of all, I`ve never found a liberal who`s entertaining, Glenn. It`s part of the problem. Our business is about not only information, but it`s about entertainment. You`re entertaining; Rush is entertaining. The popular talk stations and talk hosts are entertaining.

And you have to have the freedom to entertain. You have to have the freedom to talk about what you feel passionate about. And so how would you conduct your show or how would I conduct mine if I`m talking about an issue for 20 minutes? Do I then have to give the other side 20 minutes? And who is the other side? Who do I select to come in and balance what I said?

This is -- this would be the ruination of talk radio and the end of what I call the electronic town hall. That`s what really talk radio really is. It has brought Americans all across the country together to say, "We have this same common belief. We share this opinion. We want to be motivated to create action to bring about change in our government."

And what I find fascinating, Glenn, is that the Republicans loved us when all we did was criticize Democrats, but then the Republicans got in control. And I`m a Republican conservative senator. So, you know, I can say this from both angles. But the Republicans loved us until we started criticizing those in control, which were the Republicans. So -- so now they don`t like us either anymore.

BECK: So -- Jeff, I`ll tell you, after the election -- I think it was in 2004 -- I started to say, you know, we have got to de-sever ourselves as an industry from the GOP.

I believe that a lot of Republicans were doing the right thing, including George Bush, until he started selling us down the river with prescription drugs and everything else. And I didn`t lose my values. The Republicans just became Democrats to me.

Why is it that, all of a sudden, we`re very unpopular for doing exactly the same thing that we did when the Democrats were in power? You know, and we were just going after Democrats. When we now speak our view, that wait a minute. The Republicans have given us a shaft. Why are the Republicans coming off talk radio now?

FLAKE: Anyone who says that talk radio has always lined up with where Republicans are just doesn`t listen to talk radio or watch television. It simply hasn`t been the case.

BECK: But you have -- you have Senator Graham coming after us now. You have -- you have what`s-his-name from Texas? The former senator came out that also said talk radio is in real -- is causing real trouble.

FLAKE: No -- as you mentioned, you have to answer to the marketplace. That`s who you have to answer to. And so there`s very little time for any other kind of agenda or you`ll find yourself out of work. So you`ve got to do what sells and what people listen to, and that`s far better than having politicians decide what people ought to hear.

BECK: Barack Obama has in his platform that he wants to bring balance to the media and remind broadcasters that they have to bring balance to the media, et cetera, et cetera. I think this is code language for the Fairness Doctrine.

I think that McCain has been -- is so upset that, you know, that Rush Limbaugh, me, Sean Hannity and everyone else has spoken our minds about him. I think he could -- he would easily sign some sort of Fairness Doctrine.

Jeff, you`re from Arizona. I`m sure you know Senator McCain. Do you believe that he would support the Fairness Doctrine?

FLAKE: I do know him and I know him well. And he would not. He is a sponsor of the Broadcast for Freedom Act that a lot of us in Congress are sponsoring to say that the FCC cannot come back and institute the Fairness Doctrine.

WE, in Congress have had a couple of votes recently where we`ve -- we`ve put it on the floor as an amendment to an appropriations bill. And most Democrats did oppose our amendment to prohibit the FCC from coming in and doing it. John -- John McCain is actually a sponsor of the Broadcast for Freedom Act. So...

BECK: Dan, now that talk radio has made it very clear that -- I mean, I love it when the media said that we were puppets of the GOP. Nobody in the media.

PATRICK: We knew better, didn`t we?

BECK: I know.

PATRICK: We in the business knew better.

BECK: I know. And nobody in the media is now reporting the irony here that when they go -- when talk radio goes after the GOP and they go after them just as hard as they did Bill Clinton, they`re left with no friends. So here you are, a state senator, talk radio host, an owner of a talk radio station.


BECK: You got no friends left. Where does talk radio go?

PATRICK: Well -- and I want to go back to one point, Glenn. What we would lose would be accountability. Because one thing that I love about talk radio. And I`ve done television, as a television anchor. But no one could call me in the middle of my newscast and interrupt me and say, "Excuse me, Dan, you didn`t quite get that story right."

We are not only holding politicians and the "New York Times" and the "Washington Post" and everyone else accountable, big business. But we`re accountable. We`re the most accountable people in the media. Because if you say something on the air that is wrong, you`ll get a call in 30 seconds to correct you. If you are out of touch with your audience, they will let you know.

As an -- as an elected official in Texas, as a senator, I`m -- I`m under the microscope more than any other elected official maybe in the United States because I`m on the air every day for two hours, and people can call me in and say "Dan, of senator, what about this?"

I believe in accountability. And what talk radio is great about is, we hold people accountable. And that would be lost under this.

BECK: Congressman, thank you for all the hard work you`ve done for talk radio and keeping freedom of speech alive on that. And Dan, as well. Same to you, thanks.

Coming up, how can you be against the war but for the troops? I`ve never understood this. This is the problem that the city of Berkeley, California, wrestled with this week. We`ll get to the answers.

And the Archbishop of Canterbury has opened up England`s doors to Sharia Law. I`ll tell you how political correctness may be the end of our good friend and ally in England.

Then, will the final downfall of America be Roger Clemens? Oh, everybody, we should have weeklong hearings and let it go on endlessly.


BECK: Well, coming up in just a bit, our economy is skating on thin ice. But Mexico, their economy is on the rebound. One example: their inflation rate is now lower than ours for the first time in history. Could a surge in Mexico`s economy be our answer to illegal immigration, and doesn`t this give you a headache? We have the stories in tonight`s "Real Story."

Now, one of the things I`m really sick of, I`m sick and tired of hearing people say that they`re against the war but they support the troops. I don`t even know what that means. It`s not really an opinion. It`s a bumper sticker, and I`m sick and tired of it.

I know the charisma of Barack Obama has pushed the war in Iraq right off the front page. But the reality is American men and women are still fighting, and they are still dying in Iraq and Afghanistan every single day.

I have two family members currently serving. Chances are you have family members that are serving or you know somebody who`s over there, as well. That`s why my disgust is beyond -- I mean, just -- it`s spit right out of my mouth for Berkeley, California, and their city council.

They told Marine recruiters that they weren`t -- weren`t invited or welcome in Berkeley. Good. Then defend yourself, Berkeley.

I don`t get it. "We`re for peace, love and diversity and understanding." And yet, you don`t want the people who have given you that right.

They`ve know eased their stance a bit and finally recognized the Marines` right to be in Berkeley. But the city council restated their opposition to the war: recognize the Marines but support the troops and militant zombies like Code Pink.

I hate Berkeley, California. But that`s just a diverse opinion, isn`t it, Berkeley?

First Lieutenant Peter Hugseth is executive director of Vets for Freedom.

You know what? They didn`t just say -- while they said they supported the troops, you know this. They also said that they were unwelcomed intruders in Berkeley, California. How do you connect these two thoughts?

PETER HEGSETH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VETS FOR FREEDOM: You can`t connect these two thoughts. You know what? They wouldn`t even apologize for what they said. They said -- frankly they actually said -- a couple of the members said they are still unwelcome in the community. And, you know, they said the council officially opposes their presence, still, in the city.

So they have -- they can`t backtrack. They only backtrack rhetorically.


HEGSETH: And this whole nonsense about mission and troops being separated, it`s impossible. I couldn`t have said it better myself.

BECK: Hang on just a second. We just had Doug Wilder on, and I didn`t say anything, because I like Mayor Doug Wilder from Richmond, Virginia. He`s a nice guy. He disagrees with the war. But he`s respectful about it. He`ll make a case, yada, yada, yada.

Code Pink is entirely different. And Berkeley, California, put a parking zone for Code Pink right in front...

HEGSETH: Yes. Yes.

BECK: ... of the Marines` recruiting station, which means that every time a recruiter has to go into their own place of business, they have to hear it from people like Code Pink. Well, that`s taking it out on the troops. You can`t tell me that Code Pink supports the troops by taking it out on the troops. You take it out on the people in Washington that are the pinheads that are conducting the war.

HEGSETH: Yes, you`re absolutely right. The Berkeley City Council removed the language against the troops, supposedly, but they maintained the preferential treatment for Code Pink. So they can camp outside the Marine recruiting station and harass the Marine recruiters that are there to defend them.

They certainly -- they somehow don`t understand. The freedom of speech that they so embrace, as you said, is defended at the -- at the muzzle of an M-16 or an M-4 that those Marines towed around the world. It`s amazing.

And one other point, Glenn. You know, they said that they do not support -- they support the military but not recruitment. I don`t really understand how that works. How do -- how do you have a military without being able to recruit new members? It doesn`t make sense.

BECK: See, here`s the thing. I say if that`s your opinion, that`s fine. But you ever have a natural disaster, you ever have a flood, you ever have a problem, you ever need the Marines to come into Berkeley, California, you`re on your on own. I say you cut all ties from Berkeley, California.

If you`re in a city that you can`t support our military, and I`m not saying that you support their mission, per se. I`m not saying that you don`t stand up and you write your congressman, and you say, "We`ve got to stop this war."

I`m saying you can`t stop your city council from putting a -- a parking permit right in front of the recruiting station, where you`re harassing our troops, you get nothing from us. How come we can`t do that?

HEGSETH: Well, I mean, that`s what some members of the United States Senate are doing. Senator Jim DeMint and others have put it on the desk of the president that earmarks for Berkeley, California, be removed. And us at Vets for Freedom and the folks over at Move America Forward that have really been leading the charge on this are behind them all the way. Why should Berkeley receive federal funds if they`re trying to kick out the very troops that have defended and provided that?

BECK: But Pete, here`s the thing. I know you`re doing a national heroes tour. I`ve only got about 10 seconds here.

HEGSETH: All right.

BECK: I know you`re traveling with Marcus Luttrell and a bunch of other heroes. When you`re in New York City, will you please come here? I`d like to spend an hour with you and your heroes.

HEGSETH: We would be honored to. Thank you, Glenn.

BECK: You bet. Thanks a lot.

Now, tell me where I`m wrong. I don`t buy this B.S. from these militant anti-war war groups that say they`re against the war but they still support the troops. Bull crap. Agree or disagree? Go to and cast your vote right now.

Coming up, what matters in this country today? The war, the economy? Nope. If you listen to Congress, it would be about people who play games for a living and if they have needles in their arms. What it says about Congress and America, coming up.


BECK: As bad as the Islamic extremist problem is here in the United States, it is far, far worse in England. Their Muslim population hovers at approximately two million people, which is not a big deal, if it wasn`t for a disturbingly high percentage that consider themselves Brits second and Muslims first.

And then on top of it, especially disturbing when the archbishop of Canterbury told the BBC last week that the adoption of parts of extremist Sharia Law was, quote, "unavoidable" in Great Britain.

Sharia Law sanctions stonings and honor killings. It virtually strips all rights from women and places fundamentalist religious belief above the state`s rule of law. It`s a parallel law.

Britain, you better hope that Sharia is avoidable or you and the rest of the free world are in a whole lot of trouble.

Melanie Phillips knows this issue very, very well. She is the author of "Londonistan."

Melanie, this is a thing that you`ve been ringing the warning bell about for a very long time. Was he actually encouraging a parallel law?

MELANIE PHILLIPS, AUTHOR, "LONDONISTAN": Well, he says he was not encouraging a parallel law. But the fact is, what he has said is that he wants to have supplementary jurisdictions of -- of Islamic law, in which Muslims living in Britain could choose whether to be under Sharia, Islamic Sharia Law or English law.

BECK: That`s insanity.

PHILLIPS: Yes. But the trouble is he`s denying what he has said.

There`s been the most amazing outburst of anger. I`ve never seen anger like it. And that`s because British people know very well that their country is already being Islamized by stealth.

BECK: OK, first of all...

PHILLIPS: Nobody is allowed to talk about it.

BECK: ... you`ve already had a Somali gang that was involved in a murder that kind of went around the law and used their own Sharia Law, as well. This is the kind of slippery slope that you saw in the Sudan. People in the Sudan said, "Oh, well, it will just be the veils. It won`t be the beheadings." Then before you know it, it`s the beheadings.

PHILLIPS: Well, this is the problem with the archbishop. He thinks that it`s possible to have a nice kind of Sharia, a liberal, western kind of Sharia and not have, you know, amputations and stonings and all that sort of stuff. And I`m afraid he`s very naive. He doesn`t actually understand what Sharia is.

But it`s not simply the Sharia courts that you just mentioned, which operate outside the criminal law in administering justice. We also now have Sharia-compliant finance, Sharia-compliant mortgages. Our prime minister has said he wants Britain to be the center of Islamic financing.

Our state welfare system is recognizing polygamy. It is giving welfare benefits to the multiple wives of Muslim men. Our institutions are delivering -- our occupation institutions are delivering Halal food, making special arrangements for Muslims.

Now, of course, one should be considerate to minorities, and one should allow them the space to practice their religion and form communities of faith. But what one must not do is allow a faith to take over the majority religion and culture. And I`m afraid that`s what the archbishop of Canterbury does seem to be suggesting, even though he doesn`t appear to know that is what he`s suggesting.

BECK: Oh, big trouble. Melanie, thank you very much. And thanks for ringing the warning bell.

Let me just ask you this. I mean, England, would you be -- would you -- if the Mormons actually practiced polygamy, would you be giving them benefits? I don`t think so.

Coming up, the president signed the economic stimulus plan. I`ve got a plan that I think I like a lot better. I`ll tell you about it in tonight`s "Real Story."


BECK: Coming up a little later on in the program, why I believe the fascination with Roger Clemens and his testimony before Congress speaks volumes of the state of America and our government. What the hell were they even doing today?

But first, welcome to the "Real Story."

A free money bonanza began today. President Bush signed that $168 billion economic stimulus bill this afternoon.

While that story was front page news everywhere, there was another one that was far more important that has essentially been ignored, and that is this: The U.S. Treasury Department, the same one that`s encouraging government to open up its checkbook, just announced that our federal spending is already over 8 percent ahead of last year`s pace, and the deficit is nearly double.

It all confirms what most of us, you know, who live outside of Washington have already known for years -- the problem is overspending by these crazy people in Washington. I honestly believe if you would have put this stimulus package to a vote, let the people decide -- I know, what a novel concept that is -- it would have been rejected.

The people of America get it. They understand the real story -- that this is nothing more than an election year ploy to buy votes of stupid people.

You know what? I wrote an editorial for "The New York Daily News" last weekend in which I predicted most people are not going to spend these checks. They are going to pay down debt.

Oh, was I taken apart by the really smart bloggers. They said things like, "Oh, you`re so out of touch. People are struggling. They need this money."

Really? Well, an AP poll now shows that just 19 percent of Americans intend to actually spend their rebate checks. Everybody smart is going to save it or use it to pay off debt because they know things are getting bad.

Both of those things will not do a damn thing to help this economy. But, put that inconvenient little fact aside for just a second, and let`s pretend that everybody is dumb enough to spend these checks.

Doesn`t it matter what they buy? The answer, according to the chairman of the Federal Reserve, is yes. "Well, you`d hope that they would spend it on things that are domestically produced so that the spending power doesn`t go elsewhere."

Domestically produced? Ben, have you been to a story lately? We don`t produce anything in this country anymore. And if you`re wondering what he meant by our spending power going elsewhere, listen to Mike Huckabee, one of the few politicians who`s actually been honest, at least about this issue and this package.


MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We`ll probably end up borrowing this $150 billion from the Chinese. And when we get those rebate checks, most people are going to go out and buy stuff that`s been imported from China. I have to wonder whose economy is going to be stimulated the most by the package.


BECK: Amen, brother. Thank you.

I like to think of this whole debacle as a Chinese trifecta. First we borrow the money from them, which we`re going to pay them back with interest, then we buy their stuff, which forces us to import even more from them and put more Americans out of work.

Oh, what a great day to Beijing.

Stephen Moore is senior editorial writer for "The Wall Street Journal."

Stephen, 19 percent of Americans say they`re going to spend this check that they get back from the government, and part of me, a small part of me, doesn`t believe it because we`re spendaholics.

STEPHEN MOORE, SR. EDITORIAL WRITER, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": Well, that`s what`s so funny about this package, Glenn, is that Americans have been on a shopping binge now for eight straight years. The last thing we need from Washington is urging to go out and spend more money.

You know, this is a country, Glenn, that spent over $2 billion last year just changing the ringer on their cell phones. I mean, we are -- we are a country that spends, spends, spends. But I like the idea of free money from Washington. I really do.

BECK: Well, wait a minute, if it worked, why wouldn`t we do this all the time?

MOORE: Well, that`s a good point. I mean, here`s the way this scheme works -- the government takes about $25,000 from every household and taxes every year, and they spend about $26,000 per household on all the government programs that they have.

And now they say, you know what? Out of the benevolence of our heart, we`re going to give you $500 or $1000 back this year. And my feeling is, look, if you didn`t spend so much of my money in Washington, you would haven`t to take the $25,000 in the first place.

BECK: But you know what, Stephen? Here`s the interesting thing. I tried to explain this earlier today on the radio program, that if they were cutting programs, you could -- it wouldn`t be valid -- but you could make the case, oh, well, they`re just taking the money from that program.

MOORE: Yes, exactly.

BECK: But they`re still borrowing a lot more money than that from China to pay for all the other programs that we can`t afford.

MOORE: Right. But, Glenn, it is worse than you think, because not -- the ink isn`t even dry on George Bush`s signature yet on that legislation, and the Democrats in Congress are saying, you know what? We need more spending stimulus programs, too.

So, they want unemployment insurance, home heating subsidies. All of this stuff. I mean, home heating subsidies, that would be only a big stimulus to the Saudi Arabian government.

BECK: Or Venezuela.

MOORE: Exactly. Hugo Chavez gas rebate.

BECK: Here`s what I -- here`s what I pointed out earlier today. I said the only way that you can beat Barack Obama is to get him on the facts, on what he really wants to do. And I said that just about a half hour ago.

Here`s what he wants to do on this one. He is proposing a $10 billion program that -- quoting -- "will assist individuals who purchased homes that are simply too expensive for their income levels."


MOORE: Well, that`s most of us.

BECK: Well, I should have bought a house that was more expensive. I`m missing the boat on this one.

MOORE: Exactly. No, I mean, this idea that people took out these loans and they`re victims of, you know, predatory lending is just so absurd. But it`s -- the problem is, Washington has grown so big. And these politicians, they treat spending like passing out candy to people. If we could get the budget under control, we wouldn`t have this potential recession in the first place.

BECK: I have to tell you, Stephen, it`s almost like they`re doing it intentionally. I don`t see either side actually getting serious.

MOORE: You know what, Glenn? The only jobs that are going to be saved by the stimulus package are their own jobs in Congress.

BECK: Yes, exactly right. And it`s sickening. It really is.

Stephen, thanks a lot. We`ll talk to you again.

MOORE: Thank you.

BECK: Now, if you were serious about turning our economy around, then I`ve got a great idea. Try this one on for size. See what you think.

I say we take about 12 million of our poorest citizens -- you know, the uneducated -- and we encourage them to sneak across our northern border at night and go to Canada and get a job there, and live free off the Canadian health care, and get a free education through their school system.

And then ship those earnings back here for their families to spend in our economy. Wouldn`t that be great? That sounds familiar.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon is now touring the U.S. right now. He`s telling anybody who will listen to him that a thriving Mexican economy is the best way to end illegal immigration.

You know what? You`re right, but I don`t know how you exactly want to get there.

People who have good jobs, nice homes, especially if those homes are in places with nice weather, generally stick around. But I want to show you what is actually happening.

The real story is -- you ready? Economic conditions that have been driving millions of Mexicans north are starting to reverse themselves as we deal with trillions in unpaid entitlements because of the weasels in Washington. It`s caused the falling dollar.

Mexico may finally be starting to turn things around. They had the largest increase in new jobs in their nation`s history last year, a 25 percent increase in foreign investment, and perhaps most importantly, a lower inflation rate than we did for the first time in history.

It all points to Mexico potentially being -- are you sitting down? -- a net importer of labor in the coming decades. We maybe sneaking across their border. Americans may some day be looking to Mexico for employment.

And if that sounds insane, well, let me ask you this --- 30 years ago, do you think our parents would have ever believed that American jobs would be replaced by people in India? A lot can change. And it can happen like that.

You know, I`m a huge supporter of fences, with an "S". Both of our borders, north and south. It`s a security thing.

You know what? The way things are going, it may be Canada and Mexico who want those fences more than we do.

Leonardo Martinez-Diaz is a political economy fellow at the Brookings Institute.

Leonardo, is what is happening in Mexico real and lasting, or is it just a fluke that it`s getting better?

LEONARDO MARTINEZ-DIAZ, BROOKINGS INSTITUTE: Well, Glenn, I think the first thing to remember is that the Mexican and the American economies are joining together. They`re really tightly connected. And so things look good right now, but they could also change.

Remember, 85 percent of Mexican exports come here to the U.S. Sixty- five percent of their investment is American investment. And $20 billion, as you pointed out, of money -- dollars from the U.S. goes to Mexico every year from workers working in the U.S.

So, the two economies are very closely linked. And if we slow down, they will slow down as well. So, the idea that the Mexican economy will by itself become prosperous without our help and our own participation will not happen.

BECK: But isn`t -- isn`t this the case, Leonardo? Isn`t that the very case that some of us have been saying, that the lifeboat is only so big and you have got to at some point push away from the Titanic and say, wait a minute, we can only save so many, because if we sink the lifeboat, we all drown. In many ways, we are the lifeboat, and just an unending wave of people coming in and taking our services is going to sink the lifeboat, and that hurts Mexico as much as it does us.

MARTINEZ-DIAZ: It`s true. Mexico is losing some of its -- a lot of its young people. Almost 10 percent of its total population, if you think about it. And that`s certainly bad for an economy.

But think of yourself as sitting -- you`re a 25-year-old Mexico sitting in a central Mexican state. You have maybe a wife and two kids. You`re looking around, and you don`t have an education, you don`t have much -- you don`t see much future around you. The industries around you don`t really work -- or provide much opportunity.

What are you going to do? You have several options.

You can stay in Mexico and maybe find somewhere else in Mexico to migrate to internally. That`s not very easy because credit is not easy. You can`t just pick up and go that easily.

There`s the U.S. option. But then you have to think about, well, how long do I want to stay there? What am I going to do? How much is it going to cost to cross the border? Is it going to be dangerous?

So, the hope is that by improving the Mexican economy, we will be able to help people in that position to stay in Mexico. And that that way...

BECK: You`re not suggesting by any stretch of the imagination that we send them some sort of relief package more than we already have?

MARTINEZ-DIAZ: Look, relief is not going to do it. Sort of short- term, quick fixes are not going to help. What is needed is a long-term development plan. And that`s what this president is talking about, and that`s quite refreshing.

BECK: Yes.

MARTINEZ-DIAZ: But let`s not be under any illusions. This isn`t going to happen overnight.

BECK: Yes. I`d like business to do that, and let the governments stay out of it.

Leonardo, thanks very much.

MARTINEZ-DIAZ: Sure. No problem.

BECK: That is the "Real Story" tonight.

Coming up, we glorify them. Our children idolize them. We call them heroes. They`re American let-downs. That`s what they are. But now Congress is involved. Oh, well, now it will be fixed.

What it says about us coming up.


BECK: I want to ask you a few tough questions that have been going through my head recently, and I don`t know the answer. What does it say about our heroes?

Roger Clemens, idol, role model for so many kids, spent hours answering questions from Congress about his alleged steroid use today. What does it say about our country that Congress actually thought this was the best issue to spend all of their time on? What does it say about our culture?

Two of the fastest-growing publications last year were celebrity magazines -- "US Weekly" and "OK! Weekly."

What does it say about our society that Jamie Lynn Spears, the pregnant, unwed teenager, still has her own television show? What does it say about us that her television show has virtually doubled its ratings since they announced that she was 15, unmarried and pregnant?

I don`t know if I want the answers.

William Donohue is the president of The Catholic League, and he is here.

Bill, let me just start with the baseball thing. Congress allows Major League Baseball to be a monopoly, so there`s no competition. So, baseball, you know, has no competition to have a non-steroid league.

The famous people down on the field are getting rich, they`ll do whatever they have to do to continue to be rich and to get famous. Big business is letting them do it. They know it every step of the way. And we`re watching it and consuming it in all avenues.

What does this one say about us?

WILLIAM DONOHUE, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: Well, you`re absolutely right about it. It`s driven by money and greed. And the commissioner of baseball and everybody else knew about this for a long time, but they turned a blind eye because of money.

Now, the Congress stepping in, normally I don`t want to see congressional oversight. But you mentioned it correctly. They have granted a monopoly here, to some extent. And to that extent, they do have obligations. If the commissioner is not going to take care of this situation -- and he`s done practically nothing -- then it does fall to some people who are higher up.

I actually welcome them in.

BECK: Suspend the monopoly. Let the -- why do we have -- we couldn`t allow AT&T to exist and Ma Bell, but Major League Baseball, for some reason, we think is so hallowed that we have to let them have it all to themselves?

DONOHUE: Well, there is no question about it, we have to suspend the monopoly. And why did Selig just get rewarded with another contract?

Look, Clemens, to the extent that we know of the situation, and assuming that it does look like the man is guilty, having said that, he is responsible for his behavior, but so are the people above him.

BECK: But what -- but, Bill, what is the difference? I learned this in the `90s -- it`s OK to perjure yourself on sex. This guy was just perjuring himself on sports.

DONOHUE: Well, yes, but, I mean, the question is this -- you know, what`s really at stake is the whole ethics of professional sports and what`s going to happen to young people looking up at these people.

BECK: Yes. Oh, it is.

DONOHUE: The good thing is this: I don`t think that he is the hero and the role model anymore. I think that the Derek Jeters and the other people who are clean as a whistle are the role models.

BECK: Yes. OK.

DONOHUE: This guy is damaged goods. That`s why he has a lawyer.

BECK: I don`t even know -- I don`t even know where to go next. We have the Jamie Lynn Spears. She is pregnant, she`s unmarried, she`s 16. I mean, does Jerry Lee Lewis come to anybody`s mind?

She`s 16 years old. Her ratings for her premier of her show have doubled since that announcement.

What parent is saying, yes, let`s watch? Let`s watch her get pregnant on TV at 15 and unmarried?

DONOHUE: Well, first of all, what about her parent, namely her mother, who accepted $1 million in an offer from "OK!" magazine for this exclusive on this thing? So she`s getting money off it and exploiting her young girl.

Now, look, I think the American people look at this not so much, again, as idol or hero worship. It`s more of a freak show. You know, when I go through the supermarket check line and you look at the magazine cover, and it says the kid was born with two kids, most people are going to take a look at that.

And next week he may even have three heads. That will make you look again.

BECK: Bill, you`ve got MTV with their Grammy Awards -- they have the Grammy Awards. Nas, I guess is his name, had the n-word on a T-shirt. MTV put up on their cool site that that was cool that he did that.

What is going to happen to the next generation? We`ve seen what this generation will do. If we tolerate this, the next generation embraces it.

What is the future going to be like?

DONOHUE: Well, there`s no question about it. What we`re talking about are dysfunctional people who are being treated as idols and as icons. And it does say something very sick about our society, that we have to get the edginess.

We`ve got to get those who were jazzy and sexy in order to titillate us, because the entire society seems to be driven by sensation. And there are people out there who are making a fast buck out of it and exploiting a lot of young people. The vector of change doesn`t look very good on this one to me.

BECK: Bill, it is always good to have you on. Thanks so much.

DONOHUE: Thank you.

BECK: Now, I was asked recently to give 21 answers to 21 questions about living in New York, which was interesting, because I don`t actually live in New York. But I answered them. Not to their liking, I think.

I will give them to you next.


BECK: Well, now that I`m a best-selling author and a Manhattan media darling, I am constantly being courted by the local press. I mean, they want to know everything I think about all kinds of things -- from politics to panhandlers.

In fact, the recent online issue of "New York Magazine" features yours truly in a little column called "The Daily Intelligencer," where they ask big-time celebrities and me 21 questions. And the celebrities not so much answer those questions, but they think of delightfully witty (INAUDIBLE) that self-important New Yorkers chortle about on their way to buy overpriced coffee.

It`s great.

Well, I think I did pretty well, especially when I compared, you know, my answers to others.

For instance, they asked me who my favorite New Yorker was. I of course answered "The Old Lion," Teddy Roosevelt.

When they asked FOX` Shepard Smith the same question, he said Derek Jeter. I don`t even know who that is.

When they asked who my mortal enemy was, I answered almost everyone between 63rd and 86th streets. See, that`s New York`s Upper West Side, mostly filled with elitist liberals, like by writer, John Bobby (ph), who confuses pretense for substance.

They all want to kill me.

When they asked me what my favorite drink is, I said, "Well, as a conservative, I guess it`s what you`d expect it to be. I drink the blood of small people who are different than me."

See, that`s my favorite answer, I think. It`s me being self- deprecating, and that`s what New Yorkers love so much about me.

NBC`s Keith Olbermann said his favorite drink was White Rock 2002 Napa Valley Claret. Claret -- Claret. Love that stuff.

I`m an alcoholic. I`m not even snotty enough to know the name. I`m an alcoholic, man!

If I didn`t already despite Keith Olbermann, oh, I would after a snotty answer like that.

Lastly, they asked me, "What makes someone a New Yorker?" And I said, "Paying the never-ending city tax." And, see, that one`s funny because -- actually, that`s not funny. That`s just true.

Greg Brady, AKA Barry Williams, said, "You`re a New Yorker if you have a scowl and a big heart."

Greg, you`re half right, probably the heart part.

It was fun, but to tell you the truth, I`d rather live in Idaho. I would. And I think they may force me to do it soon.

Don`t forget, if you want to know what`s on tomorrow`s show, if you would like a little more in-depth commentary on the news of the day, or actually see that article, sign up for my free daily email newsletter at the all new, completely redesigned, That`s a fancy Internet thing, by the way.

From New York, good night.