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What Makes America Great; McCain Weighing VP Options; Digital Memorial to Honor Vietnam War Dead

Aired May 23, 2008 - 19:00:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, America, the beautiful. We`ve talked a lot about what`s wrong with this country. Why don`t we take a few minutes and remember some of the things that are right about the greatest nation on earth?

Then, speed dating with John McCain. The GOP candidate set up a series of meetings with possible VP candidates. I`ll tell you which one I think will be best for the country.

Then digital tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. A new project to honor the fallen men and women from the Vietnam War. It happens this weekend. We`ll tell you about it tonight.


BECK: Hello, America. And let me wish you an early happy Memorial Day. It`s a time when we`re supposed to pause and honor the brave men and women who have died in military service to their country. Without exaggeration, it is truly due to their service and their sacrifice that you and I get to enjoy the freedom that we do, that you and I can just go out and have hot dogs and hamburgers and sit in our back porch with really very little to worry about.

It`s easy, especially if you do television every night, it`s easy to get mired down in all the problems that we face in this country and that`s -- it seems to me that`s what we do an awful lot on this program and other shows like it. But Memorial Day, perfect occasion to remember that, with hard work, with dedication, with perseverance, with a refusal to give up, anything is possible in America.

You know, just a few years ago -- I told you this before -- I was struggling to pay a rent that was $695. That was in the year 1999. Today, I have my own TV show. I`ve got a national radio program. I`m a best- selling "New York Times" author. I`ve got my own magazine. I`ve got a wonderful family.

I`m a rodeo clown. All I have is a big mouth. Think of all of the accomplishments and contributions that you can make. Think of all the things, all the possibilities that are in front of you. Think of all of the contributions made by Americans with true vision.

Like the bifocal, Benjamin Franklin. The electric light, the telegraph, the telephone, all American inventions. The blue jeans, the motorcycle. The safety pin, even the popsicle. Sure, Americans have our share of problems. But you know what? We`ve come up with more than our share of solutions for this planet.

Think of what we have accomplished here. We are the greatest country this world has ever known. We are the country that gave man his first true taste of freedom.

So let`s take a break for a second from highlighting what we do wrong, whining about it, and to maybe spend some time celebrating the much longer list of what we do right.

Arthur Brooks, he`s a visiting scholar at American Enterprise Institute, professor of business and government policy at Syracuse University, and author of "Gross National Happiness." And Lon Cantor is the author of "What Makes America Great: Land, Freedom, Honor, Justice and Opportunity."

Lon, let me start with you. According to you, what makes America great?

LON CANTOR, AUTHOR, "WHAT MAKES AMERICA GREAT": Well, what makes America great is that this is the land of opportunity, freedom, justice. And we`re the richest country in the world, but we`re also the best country in the world to live.

BECK: What is it, Arthur, about America that is -- that is different than the rest of the world?

ARTHUR BROOKS, AUTHOR, "GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS": You know, there`s a lot, but you know one of the thing that is really stands out is that the United States is really a servant nation. And I know that sounds crazy when you talk to people at the United Nations who say that we`re, you know, hard working but selfish.

But when you look at the data, you know, we`re actually the most giving nation on earth, and this is a source of our strength. You find that, for example, you know, the average American gives 3.5 times as much money per capita as the average French citizen, 14 times as much as the average Italian citizen. We give more -- we give more away in charity to victims of tragedies around the world than any other country. This is, as far as I`m concerned, indicative through our service of what makes America special and really great.

BECK: Arthur, do you think we`re changing at all? I just saw a study out that says to Myanmar that we have only given 12 -- I think it`s $12.1 million as a people. That is unusually low for us. Are we changing or...

BROOKS: Yes. You know, I think -- I think what we`re actually changing for the better. The problem with -- in Burma right now is that there is a bottleneck with the things that we can give to. I mean the Burmese government is just so colossally awful that they`ve given terrible access to the organizations that make it possible for us to support them and provide relief to these people.

No country came even remotely close in terms of South Asian tsunami relief and many other tragedies around the world. And we find that Americans are actually giving more and more, even outstripping our GDP growth per capita. We`re getting, actually, more generous. And if we had the opportunity, we`d support that one more, too.

BECK: You know, Lon, when I was a kid, my parents and grandparents used to say that we are a melting pot. That people come over and they melt into America, and that`s what we were. You don`t really hear us described as a melting pot anymore, and in some ways that`s sad.

But in another way, here we are. We have first African-American -- first black possible president. A woman running for president of the United States. Governor Jindal may be vice president. I believe he`s Indian. I mean, we really are a melting pot. No matter what anyone says about race or sex here in the country, I don`t think we have a problem with it, generally speaking, do you?

CANTOR: No. I agree with you. America still is very much of a melting pot. And I think of my own family. My nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews are married to a Puerto Rican, a Danish woman, a woman from the Philippines, an Italian-American. Very much of a U.N. right here within my family. And I myself am married to a Japanese woman.

BECK: Yes.

CANTOR: So especially here in California, we all seem to get along very well.

BECK: Yes. I mean, you know, I walk the streets of New York all the time, and you can hear a million different languages on the streets of New York. And it`s amazing. Somehow or another we seem to get along. We all seem to cross the street at the same time and are decent to each other.

We -- we are the biggest exporter of ideas, Arthur, in the world. You know, we seem to be being beaten right now in some ways or allowing things to slip through our fingers, at least to me it seems, because here we are not using the principles that we`ve exported to the rest of the world.

We believed in capitalism and standing on your own two feet and just going in there and rolling up your sleeves and doing it. And that seems to be catching on in the rest of the world, and yet we seem to be a little asleep.

BROOKS: Yes. There`s a danger there. And I think that you put your finger on it. We are founded on the notion of economic, religious, and political freedom. The idea that when we work hard and we persevere, this is what actually is going to get us ahead.

Yet, we`ve succumbed, acquiesced a little bit in our politics to the messages from people who will tell us that, in point of fact, that kind of, you know, perseverance, that kind of hard work is for suckers. We have to be very careful with that. Our gift to the world has been the message that freedom works.

BECK: Yes.

BROOKS: That free market capitalism brings the most prosperity and the most opportunities for real happiness. If we forget that, that would be the greatest irony of all, wouldn`t it?

BECK: Arthur, somebody said that they have absolutely no problem with America, with all the troubles that we might face because, in fact, I think it was William Shatner who -- the two of us don`t agree on anything when it comes to politics. And he said, but he believes in the American people. And I feel the same way.

I know when it comes down in the end, I know who my fellow countrymen are. I know what we`ll do. Is that folly? I`ve heard from people who say, "Oh, we`re not those people anymore."

I believe we are.

BROOKS: I think we are, too. And I think there`s all kinds of evidence that suggests that, when we`re faced with a common threat, and we keep our eye on what that common threat is, that we can come together. I mean, 9/11. There`s no better case from that.

The amazing thing is that -- how much it does for us when we are under common threat. The rates of depression in any country fall to a quarter of their normal rate when the country is under attack. And imagine what that would mean in America where we`re already a sunny people. We already believe in hard work and perseverance.

BECK: Arthur, Lon, thank you very much. We`ll be back in just a minute.


BECK: As part of our program, today, ahead of Memorial Day weekend, we`re looking at all things that are right with America, but with that being said, I want to spend a couple of minutes talking about politics and politicians. Because they sure get it.

Arthur Brooks, visiting scholar of American Enterprise Institute, professor of business and government policy at Syracuse University and author of a great book, "Gross National Happiness." And Joe Hicks, conservative commentator and host of "The Joe Hicks Show" on KFI-Radio in Los Angeles.

Guys, both of you, do you -- do you think that the people in Washington even see America the same way as the average American does now?

JOE HICKS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I don`t think they do at all. I think that`s part of the problem. The disconnect with the kind of folks on the Hill or in a lot of political circumstances around the country and the way the average American see it. And I think that`s primarily what we look for in terms of new leadership. And we`re hoping either these Democrats or Republican presidential candidates can bring it. And frankly, I`m not sure either one of them do.

BECK: Yes. Arthur, do you agree?

BROOKS: Well, I do. And you know, I think the biggest point that we have to look at is, you know, how Americans actually see our country when it comes to something like, you know, hard work and perseverance and opportunity.

You find the overwhelmingly majority of Americans, particularly conservative Americans, are saying that this is a country of hard work and perseverance. And when you have political candidates that are spending all their time talking about, you know, what`s wrong with this country, about the oppression and grievance that we face, they`re simply not seeing the country the way that most people do.

BECK: So -- so then how come Obama is connecting with so many people? Why -- because I listen to these -- listen to these people and really, all of them -- John McCain less so, but he`s not really a real conservative on these things either.

Why is it that we`re not talking about hard work and self reliance anymore? Why does it seem to be connecting with so many people?

BROOKS: Well, you know, I think -- go ahead, Joe.

HICKS: That`s OK. Go ahead. I`ll follow you.

BROOKS: Thanks. I think that when we`re talking about somebody like Barack Obama, he`s trying to appeal to the rock-solid Democratic voters that he`s worried might stay home. And the way that you do that is by defining them the way that the Democrats have been defining their -- their core constituency over the past 50 years, increasingly, which is to say, "You`re getting the raw end of the deal, and we`re going to redistribute money such that you feel that you`re getting a fairer deal."

Republicans, on the other hand, have to be really careful not to buy into this, because their core voters, especially with a guy like John McCain, who has a real worry about conservatives staying home, he has to talk the language of core conservatives, so that they can forgive him for things like the perceived transgressions on immigration, campaign finance reform.

He needs to start talking about optimism, hope and opportunity, in my view, and that`s what is going to get people out.

BECK: Joe, don`t you think that that`s really kind of the problem, though? Is these politicians talk about it, but they don`t believe it? I mean, does anybody really believe these politicians believe anything anymore?

HICKS: No. And the credibility gap is just huge. I think there`s another problem here, Glenn. Is that the American public, as well as American universities, has steeped American people in this mantra of what`s wrong with this country: that we`re doing evil around the world, that we`re greedy.

Look at what happened to the oil -- the heads of oil companies being grilled by people like Maxine Waters. Give me a break here.

BECK: Yes.

HICKS: So I think there`s been that -- that steady drum beat of what`s wrong, what`s wrong, what`s wrong. And I think, though, a lot of, you know, good, hard-working Americans understand the goodness of this country.

Certainly, in the elite circles, on the West Coast, New York, L.A., other places, there is this belief that`s been inculcated in the American people that fundamentally things are just kind of wrong with this country. And I think that`s what I think, hopefully, on Monday people will hopefully reconnect with.

BECK: All right. Let me just go through, because McCain is having a little get-together at his house with three people that might be VP.

First one, Charlie Crist. I think, OK, he`s from Florida. I get it. But he`s too tan. I don`t trust him. I don`t trust a guy with a tan year around. You know what I mean?

Bobby Jindal, who I just met over the weekend at the NRA convention and have been watching for a while, very, very sharp guy. But young. Probably -- I mean, I think he`s two old years older than what you have to be to be president of the United States.

And then there`s Mitt Romney, which nobody seems to have a problem with Jeremiah Wright and Obama`s religion, but God forbid we have Mitt Romney in there. Any of these guys, you guys, anyone want to make a prediction?

HICKS: Listen. The person that makes sense to me is Bobby Jindal because of what you already mentioned. He`s young; he`s smart; he`s charismatic. He`s run in a state. He`s been pretty good on trying to revitalize New Orleans and recover from the storm damage. I think he`d be a good pick.

I mean, Mitt Romney, come on? The guy would be good on the economy, certainly. But he brings some baggage to the table.

Charlie Crist, you know, again, doesn`t bring a lot of charisma, doesn`t bring much sizzle to at all the ticket. I`m hopeful that -- that McCain will make a fresh, new pick, and I think Jindal is a good guy.

BECK: What do you think about this idea? John McCain -- what do you think about -- what do you think about picking -- this is so counterintuitive, but I don`t think -- look. If there`s a light mist on election day, John McCain is going to have a hard time getting real conservatives to vote.

So why not just go for it? Why not -- why not cross party lines and be the uniter and go for a second try at Joe Lieberman?

BROOKS: Yes, sure.

BECK: A guy -- a guy who Obama, you know, has a problem with the Jewish vote and everything else. Why not put Joe Lieberman there?

BROOKS: Sure, that`s possible. You know, Bobby Jindal brings all sorts of interesting, counterintuitive and scary things to the ticket, too.

But you know, Mitt Romney, I actually don`t believe that people are nearly as bigoted about Mormons as people say they are. I mean, I just -- I simply -- you know, people are always talking about that. People don`t like Mormons. I don`t believe it. They didn`t -- they didn`t dislike his father.

You know, the Republicans are traditionally a next -- who`s next in line party. Romney simply wasn`t next in line. Well, if he`s the vice- presidential candidate, guess what? He`s next in line, and Republicans are going to get to know him. And I actually think they`re going to like him once they get to know him.

BECK: I actually don`t think that he is -- he has to be vice president. I think that`s the game he`s playing right now. I think he`s being that good little soldier for the Republican Party, because that is the game they play.

The Democrats play this weird super delegate thing. The Republicans play next. And I think that`s what he`s doing.

BROOKS: Yes. The Democrats play, you know, let`s marry a blind date. That`s what they do, basically. But the Republicans are saying, I mean, yes, that`s great. Mitt Romney could be the secretary of the treasury and be fantastic. One way or another, he has to be really well-known by the American public, and he`s got a bright future, in my view.

HICKS: One of the things we`ve got to remember, Glenn and Arthur, is that, you know, McCain is still in a lot of trouble with the conservative base of his party. You know, certainly Romney shores it up. Bobby Jindal, to some degree, shores it up.

This guy is still being looked at with the fish eye with a lot of conservatives. Don`t trust McCain at all.

BECK: Oh, yes. Arthur, Joe, thanks.

Coming up, we`re going to talk about the brave and men women that gave their lives in Vietnam. They get a very special digital tribute. We`ll tell you about it next.

And a reminder. There`s still plenty of time before Father`s Day to pick up a copy of my "Inconvenient Book." Yes, just perfect for father. I mean, father knows best, right? No. He`ll know even better after reading my solutions to the world`s biggest problems. It`s "An Inconvenient Book." You can get a copy right now at

Back in a minute.



BECK: As you prepare for the long Memorial Day weekend, I hope we all remember to take some time to remember those Americans who selflessly gave their lives in military service. That`s what the holiday is all about. But at least in my family, sometimes it becomes too much about hot dogs and hamburgers and the pool.

In the moments of quiet reflections, if you have one, try to think about a few numbers: 58,320 names, 2,056 listed as "body not recovered." The average age, 22 years old. These are just a couple of stats that were gathered by during a project of digitizing the Vietnam Memorial.

Joined now by Russ Wilding. He is the CEO of

Russ, what exactly is this?

RUSS WILDING, CEO, FOOTNOTE.COM: Well, it`s an opportunity to honor and pay tribute to these veterans who have given their lives for this country. And we should also remember there are 58,000 names, 58,000-plus names on the wall. There are 2.5 million people that served in the Vietnam conflict.

BECK: So from what I understand, you can go to, and then you can click on the name, and it will tell you different things. Like for instance, there`s one name that has a 9/11 connection.

WILDING: Absolutely. There was one individual, William Perkins, actually, an individual came in and made a comment on the wall identifying William Perkins as a pilot of an airplane that had crashed. And William died, as well as four of his six crew members. One of those surviving crew members, ironically, was actually killed on 9/11 when the airplane crashed into the Pentagon.

BECK: What is the -- what is the most amazing thing that you have seen? Because you can leave messages there. You can connect, et cetera, et cetera. What have you found that has touched you?

WILDING: I think it`s just the emotion that`s been involved with individuals as they come to the wall. If you go to one name, Kevin McCardell (ph) comes to mind, where a comment left under his name was by at 13 years old, a girl kissed him, that he was her first love and his first kiss.

And there are many stories like that. It`s a very emotional experience as these individuals come to the wall and leave comments about their friends or their family members that are identified on the wall.

BECK: The reason you did this, Russ?

WILDING: It was really -- Footnote is all about connecting people and telling stories or telling history through stories. And as you look at the Vietnam Wall and the memorial, there are 58,000-plus stories there that really have a significant impact on U.S. history and even the history of the world. And our goal is to help tell stories that affect history.

BECK: Well, Russ, great job. I would imagine that there`s a lot of family members that don`t even know about this.

WILDING: Well, we appreciate opportunities like this and yourselves in getting the message out, because individuals, a lot of people, do not know about this, and they love this.

We actually had one Vietnam vet who had served who is now blind who hadn`t been able to go to the Vietnam Wall and find the people he had served wit. But through this interactive wall he was able to find an individual and make contact that way.

BECK: Russ, thank you so much. Please, check it out.

"Real Story" in a minute.


BECK: Let me paint a quick little picture for you. A small business owner in Boston losing thousands of dollars to theft. The cops can`t seem to help, can`t figure it out. So one night he stays late, catches the thief red-handed. Now he`s facing criminal charges.

Find out -- only in America. Find out why in just a bit.

But first, welcome to our "Real Story."

I know it`s not really making headlines these days, but there`s a recent spike in violence in the war that we`re fighting, and you need to hear about it. So give me 30 seconds here.

Over the past few weeks, a top-ranking police official was shot 50 times outside of his home. The latest in a string of eight high-ranking police assassinations at the hands of violent militias. Lower-ranking policemen and soldiers have been dragged out of their homes in front of their families, out into the street and beheaded or shot.

The government has lost control of entire areas, and law enforcement officials have been begging the U.S. for asylum. It sounds pretty bad, right? Well, here`s "The Real Story."

These events are not taking place in Iraq or Afghanistan. They are happening right along our own border with Mexico, five miles from U.S. cities like El Paso. Of course, now, you`d never know this is happening if you listen to any of our politicians or the media, who just seem to dismiss illegal immigration as, oh, they just hate Hispanics, that`s what it is.

It`s a security issue. Let`s take a look at some of the facts.

In 2001, there were 335 assaults against our border agents. These are our troops just as much as the troops are over in Afghanistan.

This year there have already been 362 assaults in four months. At that rate we`re going to end the year with 1,068 assaults on our border agents. But the numbers don`t tell the whole story.

Our border agents are often pinned down by sniper fire from drug cartels trying to sneak their people across the border, and our agents are often outgunned and overwhelmed. This is an all-out war. And it`s happening right along our border.

So as we head into another election season, what is it going to take for any of these candidates to stop talking about global warming, the frickin` polar bears and flag pins, and start talking about a war that no one wants to admit we`re really firing -- fighting?

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer is with us.

Hi, Ari.


BECK: Not going to happen, is it? This border fence, this border stuff, not going to happen.

FLEISCHER: Well, what`s really happened is the whole passion that was behind this issue in the Republican primary has now faded, with John McCain being a border state senator who comes from a different position on this issue than a lot of the conservatives.

BECK: Barack Obama certainly won`t make it an issue. It`s a fading issue.

BECK: But here`s the thing. But it`s not...

FLEISCHER: Fading in the campaign.

BECK: Yes.

FLEISCHER: It`s a fading issue in the presidential campaign.

BECK: It`s not with the American people.

FLEISCHER: That`s correct.

BECK: These guys, it`s not -- this is not a conservative issue. This was 70 percent of the American people. You know, how is it that they can be so far out of step?

FLEISCHER: Well, it`s a terribly complicated issue, as you know. Part of the answer is also, do you or don`t you allow people who`ve been in this country illegally to stay in this country?

BECK: But you know what?

FLEISCHER: How do you handle that giant population that`s here, while, how do you shut down a current border that`s still a leaking border? We`re getting better at closing the border in a lot of places. It`s one of the reasons there`s an uptick in violence. A long way to go.

BECK: They don`t care what the American people think. I don`t think these weasels in Washington care.

Do you know that Wednesday they`re going to vote on yet another bill - - they have -- they have tucked amnesty in the war spending bill yet again. I mean, I feel like it`s the Declaration of Independence. Stop injuring us.

FLEISCHER: Well, the whole issue is, can you secure the border first or do you need to do something comprehensive? And Washington is split on that. Republicans are split on that. And that`s one of the reasons it`s faded as a political issue, because Republicans aren`t unified.

BECK: OK. Do you think that there`s -- do you think there`s any chance that John McCain wins?


BECK: Do you?

FLEISCHER: I think it`s a 50-50. I think if any Republican other than John McCain -- and I`m not exactly a John McCain Republican myself.

BECK: Yes.

FLEISCHER: I`m more conservative. But any other Republican cannot win in this environment, Glenn. It`s that bad for Republicans right now.

BECK: But it`s because they`re not really Republicans. We`re going to talk to Jon Voight here in a second, but they`re not really Republicans. I`m sorry, they are Republicans. That`s a party. They`re not conservatives.

FLEISCHER: Yes. Well, when it really came down to it, can you cut spending, can you reduce the size of government, it only became a question for everybody of, can government just grow slower rather than can you actually stop the growth entirely?

BECK: So what happened?

FLEISCHER: I think Republicans hit the political reality of -- a lot of people say they`re for cutting spending, but when the truth comes to it they really don`t mean what they say. And they want to come home, deliver pork, deliver bacon, and deliver big spending programs.

BECK: So when you have a big issue like, for instance, oil -- I mean, here we are sitting with oil and huge problems. I mean, Rome is burning. And nobody`s really doing anything.

FLEISCHER: Well, I can`t believe when President Bush was over in Saudi Arabia and we`re asking Saudi Arabia to increase production, shouldn`t the answer be, why don`t we increase our own? We have huge untapped supplies of energy in this country, but largely because of environmental rules we`re not going about doing it. We can help protect ourselves, and we`re not doing it.

BECK: All right. We had the president of the United States fly over to another country, practically get down on his knees and beg them for oil. These are people that still use camels for transportation. I mean, what are we doing?

FLEISCHER: Well, look, there`s nothing wrong with George Bush asking Saudi Arabia or anybody else to increase their production. It`s more about how it helps all of us.

BECK: We are beholden.

FLEISCHER: That`s the point.

BECK: Right.

FLEISCHER: And we need to be developing our own resources here at home. Now, John McCain -- again, this is the irony. One reason he might win is because he`s different from Republicans on environmental issues. He`s against developing our oil supplies up in Alaska in ANWR.

I`m for it. He`s against it. He might win.

BECK: But the American -- I don`t see that as a win. The American people lose.

FLEISCHER: Well, my point is you asked, can he win an election? He can win an election because he`s such a different kind of Republican in an anti-Republican year.

For somebody like me, who`s ideologically a lot more pure, he`s not my exact cup of tea.

BECK: Yes.

FLEISCHER: He`s not George Bush`s third term. He is a centrist. He is a maverick. And that`s one of the reasons he might win.

BECK: OK. All right. Thanks. We`ll be -- we`ll be watching together as everything shimmies apart.

Now, been saying the Republican Party is struggling with voters. It`s -- you know what? It`s like saying Britney Spears is struggling with parenthood and booze and promiscuous sex. The list goes on and on.

Here`s how Republican Congressman Tom Davis recently described the party`s ills.


REP. TOM DAVIS (R), VIRGINIA: But at the congressional level at this point the reputation is just in the trashcan. And the Republican brand name, if you were to put this on a dog food, the owners would just take it of the shelf because nobody`s buying it.


BECK: There`s a good campaign slogan for you -- so awful, dogs won`t even eat it.

Some Republicans like Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Senator McCain believe the answer lies in the center. Move to the center, the voters will follow.

"The Real Story" is, when you stand for nothing you don`t appeal to anybody. Right now the GOP stands for nothing.

What happened to financial discipline? What happened to family values?

A trillion-dollar deficit? Are you kidding me? Earmarks for bacon museums? And an onslaught of GOP scandals.

These aren`t the values conservatives embrace. They`re the values politicians, hookers and special interest groups embrace.

Here`s some advice. I`m going to give you this for free, Republicans.

We`re on to you. We`re sick of it. If you want to win in November, you`d better start remembering what you stand for and who you really represent.

Academy Award-winning actor and proud conservative Jon Voight joins me now.

JON VOIGHT, ACTOR: That`s a heck of an introduction.

BECK: Yes. Well...

VOIGHT: God bless me for showing up on your show.

BECK: Yes. You`re not -- I mean...

VOIGHT: Who else would do this? Proud conservative.

BECK: Do you -- you don`t have a chance of getting another gig in Hollywood, do you?

VOIGHT: Well, you know, with that introduction I`m not.

BECK: Are you a proud conservative?

VOIGHT: Well, I -- yes, but host of my values are -- I`m an independent thinker and I go after the -- what I think is the truth.

BECK: Yes. You`re more of an Independent. You`re a John McCain kind of guy, Rudy Giuliani guy.


BECK: So your big issue is what? What`s the most important thing?

VOIGHT: The safety of the United States. And all it stands for.

BECK: OK. So that includes the border?


BECK: Fence?

VOIGHT: Right now, yes.

BECK: How come John McCain -- how do you get to John McCain just on that issue when he`s the guy who says amnesty, let`s not build a fence?

VOIGHT: I think he got the message pretty clearly when the voters spoke. You know.

BECK: Yes.

VOIGHT: I think that he knows what`s going on now.

BECK: Does it frighten you? Because you just got back from Israel.


BECK: Does it frighten you at all to hear somebody like Barack Obama say let`s talk to our enemies? And not just our enemy, not like normal enemies, but like crazy movie enemies. Does it bother you at all to be in that situation?

VOIGHT: What do you mean by crazy movie enemies? I don`t know what that means.

BECK: Sorry about that.

VOIGHT: I can deal with that.

BECK: You know, like a Spider-man, something you would see in the movie, where it`s, you know, Dr. Evil.

VOIGHT: Yes, that`s exactly right.

BECK: These guys are -- these guys are so far -- I mean, they`re...

VOIGHT: Barbarians.

BECK: Yes.

VOIGHT: Their philosophy is the martyrism of death. This is it.

BECK: So how do you -- being just back from Israel and seeing the truth down on the ground...

VOIGHT: Well, here`s what I -- it was interesting. I was there for the speech that Bush made to the Knesset. I was there. And at that juncture I had just returned from a place called Sderot. And it`s S-D-E-R- O-T.

It`s a half-mile from the Gaza border. It`s been bombed. It`s a little town, a very pleasant little town. It could be an American town.

It`s been bombed by 7,000 rockets since the turn of the century. And many -- it has accelerated since it`s -- since Gaza has been turned over to the Palestinians.

I went to visit those people because I saw them -- saw -- there was a little fund-raiser for the folks, for some of the children. And they spoke and it was amazing to me what was going on, and I wanted to see it for myself.

So I went there and I took a look, and it was -- there were so many different images that I have from it. One is that there`s no one on the streets. Middle of the day, nobody`s on the street.

There are -- at every bus stop there`s a place where the kids can run to, some kind of shelter. And you have to -- you have 18 seconds to get to a shelter once they announce that the missile`s coming in.

All of the children in the town, all of the children, are experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. I talked to the first responders -- you know, the psychologists, the firemen, all of that, and they were all wonderful people. They really moved me deeply by the commitment they`re making to the life of that town, trying to keep it alive in this atmosphere.

BECK: It`s really a red herring to -- I`m not saying that Israel is perfect on everything. No country is. But it`s really a red herring that it`s an Israel-Palestinian thing. It is a Hamas, Hezbollah, militant Islamic thing.

VOIGHT: It is.

BECK: They`re using the West as a rallying cry.

VOIGHT: Sure. And, you know, this is the big myth that the Israelis are keeping these people down. No, they`re not keeping these people down.

The Israelis are bending over backwards to try to make some kind of accommodation. They gave them Gaza.

BECK: Right. Have you ever seen...

VOIGHT: And what did they do to Gaza? They destroyed it.

BECK: Right.

VOIGHT: And who did that and kept these people -- because they`re delivering them into poverty and degradation and creating a new generation of suicide bombers. That`s what they`re doing.

BECK: The next time you go, go in, ask specifically to go into a place where they hand out the gas masks for the kids. And it`s shocking.

They hand out gas masks and epinephrine for -- you know, for infants all the way up. And you`ll se it. It`s in English, it`s in Hebrew, and it`s in Arabic.


BECK: It doesn`t matter what your nationality is. It doesn`t matter what language you speak. They`re trying to help everybody.

Jon, I hate to say it, but we`ve got to run. Good to talk to you.

VOIGHT: Well, it`s good to see you briefly.

BECK: All right. Thank you.

Coming up next, a man who`s facing criminal prosecution just for protecting his property. You`re not going to believe this one. Blood will shoot out of your eyes. Next.


BECK: Well, imagine you`re a small business owner who`s been robbed four times. You`ve lost thousands of dollars. You think it might be one of your employees who`s robbing you blind.

So you decide you`re going to stake out your own business with a shotgun by your side for your own protection, hoping to catch the thief in the act. Not really something I would do, but hey, it`s a free country.

Well, your worst fears are realized when you catch a senior employee going for robbery number five. A guy you trusted and gave a break to.

You order him to freeze. But he takes off. You shoot up in the air two times. Then you fire twice more at the getaway car.

You pump that gun, and you shoot at the tires. Two times. They pick up the bad guy, but then they come back and they arrest you.

That is exactly what happened to one Boston businessman who`s now facing gun charges for trying to protect himself and his business. Even worse, prosecutors say they may be forced to drop the case against the thief. This isn`t disregard for the Second Amendment. This is an insult to plain common sense.

Michael Bergeron, he is the attorney for David Crest, the man who was trying to defend himself against another robbery.

Michael, like I said in the monologue here, I wouldn`t have done this. Why did he? Why did he not, you know, get a video camera and call 911?

MICHAEL BERGERON, ATTORNEY FOR DAVID CREST: Well, frankly, he was frustrated with the events over the past six months. He does have a lawful -- a license to carry his firearm. And he did report the first two incidents in October of `07 and February of `08, after which no suspect had been found. He was acting on his own suspicions, and thought he would be able to at least confront the intruder that night.

BECK: OK. Again, you know, you can have a concealed weapons permit, and God bless you for carrying a gun, and you have a right to defend yourself and your property. He never fired at this robber, who turned out to be somebody he gave a break to, right?

BERGERON: That`s correct. He never fired at him. There were two warning shots fired to the side after they were out the exterior door of the building.

And then as the car, which was about three feet from him, as the car was leaving with his property in the back, he fired at the two front tires before the car exited. He didn`t pursue the car or shoot at the car or Mr. O`Connor after that.

BECK: And then when the cops came they actually told him, "Good job"?

BERGERON: That`s correct. They were actually thanking him. The local police officers were actually thanking him at the scene that night.

And David was not arrested that night. It wasn`t until the next morning, where information was being presented to him, that the police chief was thinking about taking charges out against David.

BECK: OK. And what are the charges, and how long could he serve?

BERGERON: There`s two charges, assault with a dangerous weapon, which carries up to five years in state prison, it`s considered a felony here in Massachusetts. And then the second charge is discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling. That carries up to 90 days in the house of correction and a $100 fine. The assault with a dangerous weapon, the victim in that case is Mr. O`Connor.

BECK: OK. And that`s the burglar?


BECK: OK. Now, your client may not be able to testify against the guy who was robbing him because he`d have to testify against himself.

BERGERON: That`s correct. Mr. O`Connor, coincidentally, is scheduled for a pretrial conference on the date of David`s arraignment this Wednesday in Hingham District Court. I imagine the attorney for Mr. O`Connor is going to send that case to the trial session.

That being said, my client would be forced to invoke his Fifth Amendment right, as he would be offering testimony against himself and unable to testify against Mr. O`Connor. As a result of that, Mr. O`Connor is presently at the house of corrections being held on bail. It would be...

BECK: So there`s a possibility that the owner that was robbed may end up in jail and the guy who was doing the robbing walks away.

BERGERON: In theory, that`s correct. With a lack of -- David has no record. So he won`t be going to jail on this case. In fact, it`s a very triable (ph) case. I would have no problem defending him at trial. But in theory you`re correct.

BECK: OK. Michael, thanks a lot. We`ll follow the case.

Now, coming up, if we left our entertainment choices up to critics, oh, there would be nothing to watch, trust me. Summer at the movies, when we come back.


BECK: Even with all that global warming out there, I`m told that it`s getting kind of close to summer. Despite the fact that it struggled across 55 degrees in mid-May here in Manhattan. But summer means summer movies.

"Iron Man" was the first blockbuster of the summer, making over $220 million so far. But it was a sequel to the "Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" that won the weekend box office with $57 million just this weekend. It`s time at the top could be short-lived, though.

Thursday brings the first "Indiana Jones" movie since the first year the president`s dad was in office. You might think that it`s an odd choice to bring back "Indiana Jones" with Harrison Ford pushing 70 now. Can you believe that? But let me give you a number that will change your mind.

The previous episode, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," made an inflation-adjusted $820 million worldwide. That`s enough to run away from a giant boulder, even if you have to do it with a walker.

Next week brings the return of those lovable and slutty New Yorkers from "Sex and the City." I like to think of this one exactly in between "The Golden Girls" and hardcore porn. But despite that, it has a lot of hype surrounding it.

"Time Out," a New York-based magazine, is so sick of the hype they actually released a "Sex and the City" hype-free issue. It comes out May 30th.

June 13th brings us "The Incredible Hulk" again. Remember in 2003 there was this big screen version of "The Hulk"? It was so horrible, the studio I think is just basically hoping that we`ve all forgotten it even existed.

It replaced all of the actors, seemingly tripled the amount of computer-generated Hulk effects, which is I think what was missing last time. I don`t think you`re really going to see "Citizen Kane" here, but at least it`s literally impossible for it to be worse than the last one.

Finally, June 20th brings us "Get Smart." A big moment for Steve Carell. He`s the brilliant one in "The Office." And he scored huge hits with "40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Little Miss Sunshine."

But he needs to bounce back to prove that he`s a real big box office draw. His last effort was "Evan Almighty," $175 million disaster. Kind of a little like the Clinton campaign. I`m just saying.

For more commentary on the news of the day, sign up for my free e-mail newsletter. It comes in your mailbox absolutely free every day. You just sign up, front page of

From New York, good night America.