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Glenn Beck

Can Journalists Be Objective?; Will Election Machines Fail?

Aired November 02, 2006 - 19:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST: Coming up, media bias and the election. I`m going to give you some numbers that will absolutely make blood shoot out of your eyes.
Plus, we`ll be talking with White House press secretary Tony Snow. Coming up next.


ANNOUNCER: The following program contains 100 percent objective, unbiassed news, except for the next 60 minutes, which are basically the opinions of a crazy, conservative fat guy.


BECK: Even that is spin. I`m not fat, am I? Does this suit make me look fat?

Everybody today talking about John Kerry`s botched joke. Everybody, that is, except the people at "The New York Times". "The Times" did report the story yesterday, but if you wanted to know exactly what Kerry said, it wasn`t on the front page. It wasn`t even on page two, page three, page four, page 17. No, no, no. "The New York Times" reported John Kerry`s insulting gaffe on page 18.

So if you`re a "Times" reader and you only had time to get through the first 17 pages yesterday, you would have missed what is arguably the biggest election story of the week.

Here`s the point tonight. Americans are not just sick of politics and politicians. We`re sick of the media distorting the truth. There is no such thing as objective journalism, and Americans are finally becoming fully aware of it.

Here`s how I got there. There is a new study out from the nonpartisan Center for Media and Public Affairs. It analyzes stories about the elections during the seven weeks since Labor Day on the evening newscast on the three broadcast networks.

The report said that 77 percent of on-air stories about Democrats were positive; 88 percent of the references to the Republicans, negative. How is that even possible? Are there really that many rainbow and lollipop stories about Democrats? Are all Republicans somehow or another all homicidal maniacs?

The answer, I believe, is in the makeup of the media. Most -- what a surprise -- of the media, comprised of liberals.

Mark Halperin, he`s a frequent guest on this show. He says that 70 percent of his colleagues at ABC-TV are liberal. Now, I`m not suggesting that there`s secret, undercover covert meetings in newsrooms, calling each other, "This is how we destroy George Bush." That is not going on.

But they are human beings. Yes, journalists, you are human. And inadvertently or not, they tend to see things through their own prism. It is human nature to interpret things differently, all through our own points of view. Liberals will approach a story with a subconscious skepticism of conservatives and vice versa, I would imagine.

Can you -- can you even begin to imagine how long the reign of conservatives would be in this country if this they had this kind of control over the media? What do you think -- what do you think the Iraqi poll numbers would look like if the media were not biased one way or another, just actually fair?

Now, because of the makeup of newsrooms, the media, I think just -- they feed on each other, and opinion becomes fact. They look to fill the blanks of the story of which they already know the outcome.

But Americans, thank goodness, are finally on to it. And I believe they are starving for the truth. The media keeps insisting that they`re impartial; they`re fair; they`re balanced! That`s not true.

You know what? I`m not talking about the Al Frankens or the Rush Limbaughs of the world. They admit that they`re liberal or conservative. They remind their audiences daily that they`re approaching a story with an opinion. You know it.

The real danger lies beneath the surface, where it`s all quiet and dark. Opinion cloaked as journalism.

How is it that two news journalism like FOX and CNN can report the day`s news completely differently? Regarding the John Kerry thing, FOX was running news alerts, like, every two minutes. CNN -- not so much. Why? Because whether they want to admit it or not, journalists are not gods; they`re human beings with a point of view.

So here`s what I know tonight. While objectivity might be an endangered species, thank heavens the truth is not. And here it is -- in a nutshell. The war in Iraq is going poorly. The economy is in great shape. Illegal immigration is a serious problem. Extremist Muslims are trying to kill us. Jessica Alba is hot. That is the truth.

Republicans or Democrats, they don`t own the truth. You know where the truth belongs? To you, to me, to everybody. The media doesn`t think so. And that`s why the ratings on all of the networks are down. Yet, the ratings for this show are up substantially.

People aren`t watching because of my striking good looks, although I am pretty handsome. It`s because I`m saying every night, "Look, I`m a conservative. Here`s what I think. This is the way I view the news." I`m not trying to fool anyone, and I wish the rest of the media would catch onto that.

I also know that the media is in complete denial. They say that they`re conservative. They are not. It may not -- I`m sorry, they say that they`re objective, not conservative. They`re not. It may be unintentional, but every single story is slanted. It`s up to you to determine the truth from opinion, to take source and source and compare them.

This show, for instance, is opinion. Know that going in.

Here`s what I don`t know. I don`t know how much media bias can affect the outcome of this election. Can you do any more damage to the truth than that which has already been done?

Robert Lichter, he is the president of the Center for Media and Public Affairs, the nonpartisan organization that has conducted this survey that I was just telling you about.

Robert, is there any such thing as objective journalism?

ROBERT LICHTER, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR MEDIA AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Well, in the sense that nobody`s god-like and objective, but let`s say there`s journalism that tries to be dispassionate and factual, and there`s journalism that tries to be more subjective and interpretive. And to the degree that your journalism is more interpretive to begin with, then your perspective is going to get in the story more.

BECK: But you know what? It is -- it is -- it is the collective. Again, I really don`t think -- I think journalists, they try to do the right thing, you know, just like I try to do the right thing. But I`ll come at something with a different perspective.

And then, if you have these newsrooms, like you know, Mark Halperin said, 70 percent of ABC News is liberal. It just is slanted because that`s the way everybody thinks. You want affirmative action. Help put in some conservatives in the newsrooms.

LICHTER: I think you`re right, that what you need is diversity of opinion and diversity of intellectual orientation, because that`s what your audience has. You have to represent your audience and the points-of-view that you hear so that you can respect those points of view in the newscast.

BECK: Hang on a second. Because the truth is not about a point of view. But if -- but all of us, as humans, we come in with a point of view. We think -- you know, because of our experiences, we think we know what it is. And so it`s not really about balancing the point of view, as much as it is having two people who look at the same thing differently say, "OK, this is what it is." Isn`t it?

I mean, I could stand right next to you and watch -- witness a car accident. And you and I are going to tell different stories.

LICHTER: You know, it`s absolutely true. It is also true, to give journalists some benefit of the doubt, that there is training to say, "Don`t just look at this like an ordinary person. Try to be professional and give some credit to the other side that believes differently from the way you do."

BECK: OK. Now let me -- let me flip that around. You want to talk about training. I believe one of the problems in our -- in our journalistic educational systems is that these journalists believe and are trained to be the watchdogs.

And they all want to be, you know, Woodward or Bernstein. And they are so busy -- in our current state, they are so busy looking for the bad guy in our own government that they`re missing the bad guy outside of our own country. Do you think that plays a role at all?

LICHTER: There`s certainly been a big change in the culture of journalism over the last 40 years since the days of Woodward and Bernstein. They have really influenced the way that journalists look at what they should be doing. As you say, more likely to think they should be watchdogs, the public`s tribunes, out there to get insight underneath, expose the dark secret, as opposed to just telling people basically what the facts are and letting them decide for themselves.

BECK: Is -- is the -- and I tried to explain this, as I`ve done talk radio for a while. I`ve tried to explain this. People say, "Oh, you`re not reporting the news." I never pretend I`m a journalist. That`s not what I do.

People don`t understand the difference between the opinion page, the editorial section, and the news section. The general public doesn`t -- you know, they don`t understand the difference between that. And I think the line is being blurred with journalism, as well.

Are we getting worse or better?

LICHTER: Well, I think that`s getting worse, because journalists have become personalities. I mean, you can write a news story and then go on a talk show to discuss the news in which you take opinions. There are columns. Some reporters will write a column and also a news story.

So as reporters have become celebrities to some degree...

BECK: Sure.

LICHTER: ... I think it blurs the line for the public as to anybody who presents the information is doing.

BECK: Right. Robert, thank you very much. I appreciate all of your time. And the poll, it was fascinating.

Coming up, the next installment in our week long series, "Vote American". This time around it`s man vs. machine.

Plus, I`m going to try really hard to translate bull crap to English with Penn Gillette, a wicked smart guy that has the answers to a lot of life`s mysteries.

And White House press secretary Tony Snow joins me to talk about the frustrations of the election spin cycle. Don`t miss it.


ANNOUNCER: This week, Glenn proves even a dummy can do his podcast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the hell is this?

ANNOUNCER: "Ask Glenn". Download it on iTunes or at



BECK: You know, as I said at the beginning of the program, the truth can be elusive, but it is our duty to try to find it, isn`t it?

Tomorrow we`re going to spend an hour with a guy that I don`t think I could disagree with more. In the search of truth, things like why is it that some people can use the "N" word, yet last night on this program in a frank and intelligent conversation about offensive language, we were bleeped? The "N" word was gone.

Join us tomorrow for a no-holds-barred hour with the Reverend Al Sharpton. Don`t miss it. And we`ll take your phone calls, as well.

Now the election is only five days away, and I don`t know about you. I`m excited to get my life back. Can`t wait for this thing to be over. The election, maybe you`re like me. You`re getting them, too, migraines, stomach cramps. This has been going on since Labor Day. I am sick and tired of all the bickering and the nonsense between the two parties.

Actually driving in today, listening to the radio, heard a Republican and Democrat yelling. Had to turn it off. Can`t take it.

Now, we can talk about the Republicans and Democrats or we can do what I`ve been suggesting, just vote American on Tuesday. Look for the person that just sits right with you.

But will your vote even be counted on election day? Oh, I`m feeling the stomach cramps coming back. Joining me now for today`s installment of "Vote American" is Warren Stewart. He`s from Vote Trust USA.

Warren, there have already been incidents of -- of problems with these voting machines that are new this year. What is election day going to be like?

WARREN STEWART, VOTE TRUST USA: Well, election day will probably be very long, and I`m afraid you won`t get your reprieve until days after November 7.

BECK: Don`t say that.

STEWART: I`m sorry.

BECK: Why -- it`s not going to be a recount thing. Are these machines just going to be so slow? Are we having problems? Is it -- what do you foresee?

STEWART: Well, we`ve had -- we`ve been using new technology, new voting machines in a lot of states throughout the primary season. So this has been going on for a while. And we`ve had a lot of examples of simple machine malfunctions, not simple necessarily, but machine malfunctions, programming errors, calibration errors.

And now we`re already -- many states already have early voting that has begun for this election next week. And problems have occurred that are probably just anticipating what we`re going to see on election day.

BECK: I -- you know...


BECK: You know, we put this in because of the 2000 election. We wanted to, you know, go state of the art. But I don`t know when the last time anybody was that they -- you went out and voted. Every time I walk in, the person, you know, that`s helping you vote is, like, 9,000 years old. Now we`re introducing really high tech computers into this? This is going to be a nightmare.

STEWART: Well, there certainly is potential for that. I hope we`re all wrong, but I think it`s good for people to be aware in advance of the kind of problems that can occur. And hopefully, things can be done, you know, to prepare and try to alleviate as much of that as possible.

BECK: Well, two questions here. Haven`t all the people that are running these voting machines, haven`t they just gone on, just to cram in enough knowledge to be able to have some clue on that? I mean, it`s been a bad scene on training people.

And the second thing, I`ve heard these voting machines can have up to 10 percent error in the whole run.

STEWART: Yes, that`s -- that`s a little problem with the standards to which they are tested. You know...

BECK: Who came up with the standards? Who thought 10 percent would be good?

STEWART: Well, the way it works out is they -- they figure lots of industries figure their reliability standards based on mean time between failures. So, for example, my laptop computer, most laptop computers are supposed to fail no more than once every 100,000 hours. This fluorescent light bulb here is supposed to not fail in more than once in 1,000 hours.

But for electronic voting machines, that`s one in 163 hours, which is incredibly low. And if you map that onto a 13-hour election day, you`re talking about 9.2 percent failure rate that`s acceptable.

And when they`ve done volume testing of these machines, in the few cases where they have, you know, take a bunch of machines into a warehouse and have people vote on them all day, unfortunately, they have broken down at alarming rates.

BECK: So is there any way to actually -- I mean, where the last thing we can do is not have confidence in our vote, we have to know that it is accurate and you can trust it. Is there any way to do that with these machines this time around?

STEWART: Well, in many cases, I think if you`re talking about a system with -- where the voter`s marking a paper ballot, and the ballot is being counted by a computer with a scanner, with a ballot scanner, there you do have the opportunity of counting the vote without that software. I mean, the software provides the efficiency and the speed we seem to need now, but if there`s a question, there`s a piece of paper that can be counted by my 87-year-old mother.

BECK: There`s no record here, is there?

STEWART: Well, in many states, unfortunately, they will be voting on touch screen machines where both the casting and the counting of votes is done with software. And we all have experience with software having bugs and flaws.

BECK: That`s perfect. Warren, thank you very much.

Now, if you happen to own a television, which if you`re watching, I`m guessing you might, you probably are ready to put a gun to your head because of the nonstop barrage of negative campaign ads. We`ve come up with another one. Now that we`ve added John Kerry into the mix, let me tell you something, things could be a whole lot uglier. Watch.


ANNOUNCER: Joe Lieberman wants you to believe he`s pro troops. But the facts tell a much different story.

Here`s John Kerry. We all know what he thinks of our troops. And here`s Kerry with cyclist Lance Armstrong, and Armstrong with former girlfriend Sheryl Crow, and Sheryl Crow with Hillary Clinton. And what do you know? Hillary Clinton, side by side with none other than Joe Lieberman. You connect the dots. The facts don`t lie.

On November 7, vote for Ned Lamont. Oops!



ANNOUNCER: Why have Glenn read your hate mail when you can tell him to his face?

BECK: Bring it on, brother.

ANNOUNCER: Turn on your camera, say it like you mean it, then upload the video to



BECK: Every day you can hear my radio program on stations all across the country, including 970 WFLA in Tampa. And if you can`t find an affiliate in your area, you can sign up to listen online at my web site,

Tomorrow on the radio program, I have a frank conversation with Condoleezza Rice. And don`t forget: tomorrow night on television, an hour- long, no holds barred conversation with the Reverend Al Sharpton.

Now Roe Conn is at WLS 890 AM in Chicago.

Roe, bring me up to speed on what happened with Jose Padilla.

ROE CONN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This is driving me nuts, Glenn. Absolutely crazy.

Jose Padilla, you`ll remember, he is the enemy combatant who was arrested at Chicago`s O`Hare Airport a couple of years ago. We had al Qaeda phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and apparently, the notion of releasing a dirty bomb here in Chicago or somewhere in the Midwest.


CONN: Now, here`s the deal. He`s been in federal custody. He was originally in prison and then he was sent down to a brig in South Carolina. His lawyers claim that he was tortured while in custody. They put him in stress positions. They put a hood over his head. They threatened him with physical violence. And they used LSD against him.

And here`s the deal. This guy was going to unleash a nuclear weapon. I -- call me crazy. In this case, I`m for torture.

BECK: First of all -- wait, wait, wait, wait. First of all, I don`t think stress positions -- what was it? Did they say? That`s like standing a long time?

CONN: Right. That`s like standing a long time.

BECK: Has any American -- has any American been tortured by their government? Yes. It`s called standing in line at the freaking DMV, getting your driver`s license. That`s not torture, man. Pulling out your fingernails, that`s torture.

CONN: Doing deep squats to me is torture. But the point is, here`s a guy...

BECK: Right.

CONN: ... who is trying to blow up the country. Now they`re going through all the legal procedures here. The guy is not being tortured. There is no physical evidence that he was tortured, actually. But he claims it, and so it must be so. And everybody`s running to his defense.

Listen, here`s the reality. If this guy was plotting -- the government has very, very good evidence to show that he was in communication. He`d just come back on a trip from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.

BECK: So what`s wrong with that?

CONN: And landing at O`Hare.

BECK: What are you saying? Big deal. So he`s on the enemies of the U.S. tour.

CONN: Yes, yes. That`s right. So he comes back. He`s got this plan.

BECK: Yes.

CONN: And then they want to find out who`s in it with him. It`s like "24". I -- you know what? If you`re going to use some LSD, fine, as far as I`m concerned. I know that makes me very unpopular. Takes me out of the mainstream. I don`t care.

BECK: I don`t think it does take you out of the mainstream. Let`s talk about -- since the world is all upside-down, quickly, the -- the idea that Iran is trying to pay travel agents a stipend to get American citizens to come over to vacation there. It`s nuts.

CONN: How great is this? Iran is going to pay $20 to a travel agency per American that they can encourage to come over to Tehran. They don`t want U.N. weapons inspectors, but they do want the Clark Griswold family...

BECK: Right.

CONN: ... to stop by. And you know, say hello to the moose on the way out.

BECK: Yes. It`s amazing. For $20 a head. That could -- that could...


BECK: Sixty to 80 dollars on that whole campaign here in the U.S.

CONN: I hope they use the picture of the -- of the 1979 student revolution...

BECK: Yes.

CONN: ... part of their promotion campaign.

BECK: Twenty dollars -- $20 a head does come to mind.

Well, thanks a lot, Roe. Talk to you again.

CONN: Thanks.


BECK: All right. Welcome to "The Real Story." This is where we try to cut through the media spin and figure out why a story is actually important to you.

Yesterday, I gave you the real story on how Russia is still very much our enemy. And today, those facts are truer still. And, believe it or not -- I mean, I hate being right on this stuff. What is being trotted out today as an international play date, Russian President Vladimir Putin is cozying up to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Putin, actually the first president from Russia to set foot in Egypt in 40 years.

What`s on the agenda? You know, nothing to worry about, just a little chat about helping revive Egypt`s nuclear program and a pitch for Russia to take America`s place in supplying arms to Egypt.

The real story here is that this is just more irrefutable proof that Russia is maneuvering -- possibly -- to re-establish their beloved Byzantine Empire. Egypt used to be a part of that empire. And whether you look to scriptures or some of today`s leading geopolitical minds, it is increasingly clear that they want it back.

I`ll be talking to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tomorrow on my radio show. And I can guarantee you, I`ll ask her about some of this, and she is a Russian expert. So, in a nutshell, besides acting like a convenience store when it comes to filling the developing world`s nuclear needs, the Russians are picking themselves up, dusting themselves off, and starting all over again. Egypt, watch your back: Vladimir and his pals are looking to party like it`s 559.

We`re just a few days away now from the election, and it seems that the only thing that radio and TV and newspapers want to talk about is this. The real story is -- I don`t know. Maybe it`s just me. I`m sick to death of it. I mean, it takes so much out of you, doesn`t it? All the attack ads, and the name-calming, and the venom, it ages you.

Fortunately for us, we only have to deal with it for three or four weeks before the election. But can you imagine if you had to live with it on a daily basis, to be at the center, you know, the seventh level of Hell in this political circus?

Take a look at this picture of President Bush. This is from 1998. Look at that. Last eight years of 9/11, the war in Iraq, corporate scandals, terrorism, not to mention his daily attacks, you know, on his character, they have certainly taken their toll. Republican or Democrat, any man with that kind of responsibility in the White House, man, you must lose a lot of sleep. I don`t know how anyone does that job.

After 10 days of it, I swear to you, I think I`d end up looking like this. Yes, I might look like that by Tuesday.

Now, I`ve been giving you the real story behind today`s biggest issues for a while now, but not nearly as long as the Showtime series euphemistically entitled "B.S." It is hosted by comedy magic team of Penn Jillette and his silent partner, Teller. These guys are wicked, wicked smart. And I am thrilled to be joined by a guy who I just -- I find entertaining and...


BECK: Wicked smart.

JILLETTE: Oh, thank you so much.

BECK: Penn Jillette, how are you, sir?

JILLETTE: Never better, boss. How are you?

BECK: Your show is so great, because the -- I mean, name of the show, you cut through the bull crap. And you are one of the few people that I find to be really balanced. You take on both sides.

JILLETTE: Well, you did that opening hunk where you talked about, if you know someone is biased, you can get to the truth much quicker. It`s what I`ve been saying over and over again. We try to say on "B.S." that our show is fair and extremely biased. We don`t ambush anybody; we don`t take anything out of context.

BECK: Right.

JILLETTE: They always know the cameras are running.

BECK: Right.

JILLETTE: They know what show they`re shooting for. We give them copies of the DVD, and we also tell them, "But Penn and Teller feel differently from you, and I don`t feel any punches." And I would rather see all of the shows be like yours, you know, where you say, "I hate George Bush. Now here`s the news."

BECK: Yes, I don`t know why you don`t do that. You know what? Everybody is afraid to do that.

JILLETTE: It`s what we used to have. Newspapers used to be, you know, "The Poughkeepsie Republican." They used to tell you right up front. And then they decided -- you know, Hearst and other people decided to try to sell more papers try to pretend you didn`t have a slant. And what that ends up doing is, as you said -- I don`t think there`s a conspiracy -- but I think there`s a subconscious bias. And it`s much better to be able to just start the news by saying, "Bush can do no wrong! Now here`s the news."

BECK: You know what it is? We were talking about this last night, and we were actually bleeped on our own network because we were having a frank conversation about words that just should be out of our language. And this political correct bull crap, as you would call it, it hides who you really are. We should feel free and encourage people to say all those horrible things, because I want to know who you are.

JILLETTE: It`s the marketplace of ideas. And I think a natural kind of speech and judging people by what they do instead of the exact choice of vocabulary is much better. And sadly, you have to do that on both sides. I mean, you have to -- even when you want to cheer that Kerry makes a mistake, you`ve just got to go, "That`s not where the issue is, you know?"

BECK: So let`s talk a little B.S. and just go through a couple of things rapid fire. The elections?

JILLETTE: Well, the elections, the only way to waste your vote is to vote. I think that picking the lesser of two evils in game theory just always leads to more and more evil, so I follow the Jerome Horwitz theory of politics. Jerome Horwitz was also known as Curly Howard, one of the Three Stooges.

BECK: Right.

JILLETTE: His brother would hold up his hand and say, "Pick two," and then poke him in the eyes with it. And the thing Curly Howard never realized was, "What if you say I won`t pick two, I don`t want to be poked in the eyes?" There`s no reason we should be voting for the lesser of two evils. You should save your vote until it`s someone you actually think is good.

The big mistake the Democrats made was they didn`t run for Kerry. All they ran was anti-Bush. And that just feels dirty to vote out of hate instead of out of love.

BECK: Yes. Airport security?

JILLETTE: Well, I`m totally against it. I think live free or die.

BECK: I`ve never heard that point of view before.

JILLETTE: If you put "live free or die" on a t-shirt right now, you would be arrested. The only way you have freedom is with risk. The only way you attack people who are attacking us and trying to change our lifestyle is to say, "This is how free we live. Let anyone take anything on an airplane, let them kick ass if they want to, let people take care of themselves. Freedom is always the better choice." I would rather die than have to go through too much security.

BECK: So then I don`t think I need to -- I don`t think I need to hear your answer, but I`ve got to ask anyway: gun control?

JILLETTE: I think the Second Amendment was not a mistake. I really don`t. I think that freedom -- see, I`m essentially a libertarian, and the point of view...



BECK: Never solved...

JILLETTE: And, you know, there`s one expression -- you know, I`ve never had a drink of alcohol or any drug in my life, and yet I want all drugs to be legal. I hate guns. I don`t want to be around them. Yet I want them to be legal. If you can just convince the dope people that the gun people are right and the gun people that the dope people are right, we could actually live in a lot more freedom.

BECK: And recycling?

JILLETTE: Recycling, you know, we did a lot of research into that. I`m so afraid to say that you can come out against security, but coming out against recycling, it seems like, in most cases, they through the stuff right back into the same landfill.

BECK: It`s so true.

JILLETTE: We have plenty of space. It`s not a big problem. It`s a lot of people trying to scare people. We live in a great world; we live in a free world. You know, this country is very free. We should enjoy it. We should go for more freedom, not for less, on everything.

BECK: I`ve got to tell you, I would love to have you on. We just started last week -- tomorrow we have Al Sharpton on for a full hour. I would love to spend an hour with you.

JILLETTE: So it`s the nut position, is that right? You want me in the nut position?

BECK: I didn`t say that.

JILLETTE: I`ll be here for all your atheist, libertarian, teetotaling wackjob me. I`m here for you.

BECK: Penn Jillette, thank you.

JILLETTE: Thanks a lot.

BECK: That is "The Real Story" tonight. If you would like to read more about it or if you`ve found a real story of your own you`d like to tell us about, please visit and click on "The Real Story" button.

Back in a minute with Tony Snow.


BECK: They are much -- they believe they are much more likely to find the bad guy in house than the bad guy outside, and so they`re never looking outside. So meanwhile people are casing the joint, people are breaking into the house, but they are, again, just staring at the homeowner saying, "What is it that you have to hide?" And that`s the real problem.

And that`s why we need journalists that don`t -- that are not trying to make a name for themselves or are not so jaded from the moment they step out of journalism school that they think that we are the enemy. You know, we`ve got bad guys in government, but we`re not the enemy. The enemy is overseas.


BECK: It`s true. You know, and the scariest part that our real enemies have figured out is the most important weapon that they have to use is the media. From Vietnam to Iraq, our enemies have virtually mastered the use of the airwaves for their own P.R.

But the media can also be used as a weapon here; the key is figuring out how to use the darn thing, you know, use it to your advantage. When it comes to the president, it is virtually impossible to be able to have the media shoot straight. The White House reporters, with their own political agendas, the media, as we talked about earlier in the show, is anything about fair and balanced, if you`re a conservative. Getting the president`s message out accurately is an uphill battle.

Most people think we`re in a horrible economy. It`s a great economy! But Press Secretary Tony Snow, who I might add is a former radio talk show host -- which, Tony, jeez, man, you`re smarter than that -- fights the good fight every day.

Tony, you have to start making those lateral moves from radio to the White House. You do.

TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Oh, well, I think this is the last one I`m going to be able to make like that, Glenn.

BECK: I have to tell you, because we exchanged e-mails last night, and I was at home. And I got an e-mail from you. And I nudged my wife in bed, and I said, "I can`t believe somebody from the White House just e- mailed me." It`s so bizarre.

Let`s start with -- "The New York Times" today did not have -- if my recollection serves me right -- did not have John Kerry`s story apologizing on the front page. However, the "Post" and "Daily News" did. Is this a story or not?

SNOW: Well, you know, it`s interesting. It`s a story in the sense that maybe it`s emblematic in a different way of what`s been going on in this campaign. What John -- there`s always the human drama, when somebody has to do something, and everybody knows that person has to do it, except that person.

BECK: Right.

SNOW: So you`re living in this constant state of suspense wondering when it`s going to happen and it finally kind of, sort of happened on a sheet of paper, and sooner or later it will happen in person. And so...

BECK: Right.

SNOW: ... I think that`s why people have been interested in it.

BECK: We have a pool here at the office, the odds that this whole thing was orchestrated by the evil Karl Rove.

SNOW: Yes, it was orchestrated by the evil Karl Rove, right after he orchestrated having Kim Jong Il return to the peace talks. It`s been a very busy week for Karl.

BECK: Yes, he must be tired. The one thing that -- I have this theory, and maybe I`m wrong. I always believed that America is a country of doers, and builders, and dreamers.

SNOW: Yes.

BECK: And the Democratic Party has not seemed to me to give anything to vote for. They`ve had a lot to vote against. Are they repeating the same tactics that they have done for the last couple of elections?

SNOW: Yes, I mean, I guess you can call them the party of hecklers this year. Yes, it`s interesting, because here you`ve got key issues. You`ve got the war in Iraq and the larger war on terror. And every time the president proposes something, they say, "No, we don`t want to do that. We don`t want to pay for the war. We don`t want the Patriot Act. We don`t want terrorist surveillance. We don`t want military commissions. But, by golly, we can do it better."

Well, then tell me what you`re going to do. You`re absolutely right. It`s all been about trashing the president. It`s a negative vote.

Meanwhile, the president has been talking positively about what he wants to do on the war on terror and what he wants to do on the economy. So Republican voters have a different kind of motivation, which is you feel good about it. You`re doing something important. You`re contributing to something important. And I think that`s going to have an effect on turnout.

In addition, we got, you know, better turnout efforts...

BECK: Yes.

SNOW: ... but the fact is, you`ve got to have something to vote for. And I think there`s got to be a little bit of hollowness. I mean, you heard Howard Dean today doing, you know, most incompetent president ever bit again. It`s like, oh, please, come on. Get a new writer.

BECK: Yes, it`s strange, because, you know, you can -- I think there`s nothing more American than honestly questioning your government, questioning your president, and questioning the war.

SNOW: Absolutely.

BECK: I do it.

SNOW: We should do all of those.

BECK: I do it. We all do those things. But there`s a difference between -- at least, as I see it -- honest questioning and, as you just said, heckling.

SNOW: Yes, yes. And I think people are serious about this. Look, nobody wants to be in a war. It`s a horrible thing. It`s very difficult in democracies to sustain long wars. People have written about that for centuries.

But the fact is, we bail out on this one before the job`s done, we`re going to reap the whirlwind. We`re going to have a terror state in the Middle East that can cooperate with the Syrians and Iranians, can wage war on all the regional powers, can use oil as a weapon, not only against us, but the rest of the industrialized world, Europe and Asia, and pit us all against each other. Catastrophe

On the other side, if we win, guess what happens? We say to the terrorists, "You gave it your best shot, and you lost forever." There`s a hopeful side on the other side. Go ahead, Glenn, I`m sorry.

BECK: Tony, this must be so frustrating, because I don`t think the American people -- they have been sold a load of goods that this is about Iraq, and Iraq has played a real pivotal role here. But even Osama bin Laden is saying this is the center of what he calls World War III. If you could take Americans by the shoulders and just say, "Listen to me," what would be the one thing that you would say?

SNOW: I`d say, "The whole world is watching right now. They want to know who`s going to win, the bin Ladens, the Islamist terrorists, or are the forces of democracy going to win? Who`s going to win?" Because one side is going to emerge victorious there.

This is a time to show what we`re made of, as we`ve done in every major conflict in our history. We have always stood up. This is a great country, and this is a call now for us to do great things, to finish a job that will make the world safer and more prosperous.

And also, remember the people who are over there fighting. They chose to do this. They know what the stakes are; they know what the dangers are. But they also feel that they`re part of something noble and decent and good and important. We don`t give them enough credit. And if you want to give them the credit, you can do that Tuesday.

BECK: I have 90 seconds and two questions, two honest questions, two straight answers, OK? First, how frustrated are you saying the same things over and over again and knowing that it`s never going to get printed? Like the economy, nobody`s talking about the economy. They`re not printing the truth. How frustrating is that?

SNOW: You know, it`s not frustrating. You do it because, sooner or later, things break through. I used to be a teacher, not, you know, as a full-time profession, but I did it for a while. And you know when you`re a teacher, sometimes you have to say things over and over and over.

Glenn, I`m a patient man. I`m going to keep telling the truth over and over. Sooner or later, you know, the reporters are going to get it, but it may take a while.

BECK: Do you think that that is -- is that the reason why you got the job? Because that kind of backs into my second question -- is have you ever just wanted to take David Gregory and Helen Thomas and just knocked their heads together?



BECK: I couldn`t do it. I could never have your job, because I would -- just blood would shoot out of my eyes.

SNOW: Oh, that`s just an unlovely image, Glenn.

BECK: You would want to take the two and just knock their heads together. Never occurs to you, huh?

SNOW: No, I like them both. I actually have fun doing it. One of the high moments of my job as press secretary -- a couple of weeks ago, David and I were having at it in a briefing. And at the end of it, he looks at me and says, "That was fun!."

Perfect. Go after it. Ask tough questions. Do whatever you want. But at the end, you know, you say, "OK, that was fun. Let`s do it again." And we`ll do it once or twice, I`m sure.

BECK: Tony, best of luck. You`re a good, good man. I`m glad you`re in the White House.

SNOW: Thanks, Glenn.

BECK: Thank you. Back in a minute.


BECK: All right, our video mail is starting to pile up. This one comes in from Colorado, talking about our porn series.


THAD, COLORADO: Glenn, your series on pornography was informative but unfortunately disappointing. It was the one time my wife would have let me see half-naked women under the guise of journalism, and yet you provided pictures from 1873.

So in order to provide your audience with what we tuned in for, I manufactured a duct tape thong that we would request you model for us. A picture of you in this thong may provide the fix I`m looking for or at least, the very least, scare me away from porn for all eternity.

Be careful where you put the tape. Thank you, you sick freak.


BECK: OK, that is quite possibly the most disturbing video ever sent through the Internet. And given some of the productions that are usually filled in Germany that people get arrested for, that`s saying something, Jack.

By the way, tomorrow we have an entire hour with Al Sharpton on the program. I don`t really know why I came -- he drew that with a thong. Anyway, you can e-mail your questions, suggestions to, or, if you`d like to ask him a question via video mail, you know, we may just play some of yours, assuming that there`s no thong references, please. Just go to and follow the instructions on video mail.

Barry from Cincinnati writes in. He says, "Glenn, no matter what side wins or loses, should we expect people complaining about the electronic voting systems?"

Oh, yes, Barry, oh, yes. We`ve already heard complaints ranging from the evil Bush administration having its own personal computer geek squad to rig the election to the Venezuelan government having its tentacles reach into a company that was among the developers of some of the voting software.

Some of it`s complete garbage, others legitimately concerning. Luckily, we got this guy to make us feel a little better.


PROF. DAVID WAGNER, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA: You have to reach your arms way around the back of the machine, hold down the yellow button at the back for three seconds, come back to the front and press something on the menu. And you`ve got to do it again. And meanwhile, the machine is beeping at you three times.


BECK: Yes, gee, thanks, Dave. Why not just send out a pamphlet with diagrams, like Ikea directions to scan the system. Do we need the step-by- step description on television? And who builds voting machines with a big, yellow "revote" button? Do you remember "Star Wars"? This sounds like the idiotic designers of the Death Star, building the giant air vent that runs from the surface all the way to the exact part that will make the entire thing explode. That guy who came up with that idea, fire him.

Tomorrow, we have an interview on the radio with the one and only Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, then back here tomorrow for a full hour with Al Sharpton. It just might make my head explode. We`ll see you then.