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Why Are We Fixated on Paris Hilton?; Immigration Bill on Life Support; Chairman of Joint Chiefs Resigns; No Ill Will from Man Tricked by Borat
Aired June 08, 2007 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, Paris Hilton checks back into the slammer. I`ll have all the latest on the Paris fiasco.
And the immigration bill, now on life support.
SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We are here to get something done, to achieve the people`s business. And the people`s business demand action on immigration.
SMERCONISH: Plus, Borat at the center of a new lawsuit. I`ll talk with someone bamboozled by Borat who actually enjoyed it.
PAT HAGGERTY, APPEARED IN "BORAT": You don`t say "pause." This suit is black -- that`s a pause -- not!
SACHA BARON COHEN, ACTOR/COMEDIAN: This suit is black...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
SMERCONISH: All this and more tonight.
SMERCONISH: Good evening. I`m Michael Smerconish from Philly, in tonight for Glenn Beck. Glenn will be along later in the program to talk about the changing of the guard over at the joint chiefs.
But first here`s the latest on the Paris Hilton saga.
I guess even the privileged pay the price. Paris was hauled from a Los Angeles County courtroom today to serve her full 45-day sentence. She was screaming and crying for her mother as she left.
The heiress`s hysteria coming after she was reassigned from prison yesterday to do hard time in her 3,500-square-foot mansion. It outraged people that she`d received special treatment.
But that was definitely not the sentiment outside of the courtroom today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALLAN PARRACHINI, L.A. COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT: The judge heard arguments. He heard out the county counsel`s office representing the sheriff. He heard the defense. He heard the city attorney. He ruled that he was remanding Miss Hilton to the sheriff`s custody to serve the remainder of her sentence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Here`s the point tonight. Paris Hilton has been receiving special treatment, but it`s not from the legal system. It`s from me, and it`s from you. And here`s how I get there.
She`s receiving special treatment from me in the form of the media for bringing her to you. And you in the Barcalounger for watching. If you`re tired of this stuff, I`ll make you a deal. We`ll stop showing it when you stop watching it.
It`s a Paris, Britney, Anna Nicole world that we`ve all created. Doesn`t matter that Britney can`t sing and Paris can`t act, and Anna Nicole O.D.`d. No, news today is what happened when you stumble out of a nightclub at 4 a.m. That`s the state of American celebrity.
The only surprise is that the sheriff`s office was surprised by the special attention this case received from the media and from the public. For a country of enablers, willing to play along with celebrities famous for being famous, we sure are ready to pounce on poor Paris -- it`s probably the first time she`s been called that -- in order to make her learn some life lessons.
The only reason this story had legs is, well, have you seen the video? So, how will this increasingly ridiculous saga play itself out?
Joining me now with the latest is criminal defense attorney Mickey Sherman and Court TV`s Lisa Bloom.
Hey, Mickey, I wondered who wins a battle between a judge and a sheriff. I guess it`s a judge.
MICKEY SHERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: My money`s on the judge. The robe is always the tip-off, I got to tell you. It`s just amazing that there was a battle. It just seems so unnecessary and just ratcheted up the entire -- to say fiasco is doing a disservice to real fiascos.
SMERCONISH: Well, you`re a smart street guy. What really went on here?
SHERMAN: You have a turf war between the judge who just gave a sentence -- I may disagree with the length of the sentence, but he`s the judge. That`s why he`s sitting up there on the bench.
And so, he gives a sentence and it`s not carried out. It`s thwarted, it`s frustrated by another city, state employee, the sheriff, and it just doesn`t work that way.
And in the middle of it is Paris Hilton, who was no bargain, either, by any imagination. And she becomes collateral damage in the fight between those two. And she was not going to win, and the sheriff was not going to win.
SMERCONISH: Hey, Lisa, remind us of the history. How did we get to this point?
LISA BLOOM, COURT TV: Well, Paris was convicted, because she pleaded no contest, the same as guilty, to driving under the influence back in September. She was given just probation, which would be standard for somebody`s first time offense, where nobody was injured, thank God, because of her drunk driving.
Probation meant she wasn`t supposed to drive. Her license was suspended. She gets caught driving erratically again, gets pulled over, gets a slap on the wrist. Nothing, just don`t do it again. She does it again.
So after that second violation, the judge says, "You know what? Forty-five days in jail." That got reduced to 23 days because of overcrowding.
She goes in Sunday, 11:30 p.m. after the MTV Movie Awards, looking pretty nice, serves three days and three hours, gets sprung 2 a.m. yesterday by the sheriff`s department. I got to tell you -- for medical reasons, supposedly.
You know, she might have emotional problems, but these sheriffs need to get their heads examined if they thought they would sneak her out in the middle of the night and nobody was going to notice!
SMERCONISH: But you know what? The way that she was whimpering on her way out of court today, maybe she can`t do the time, even though it`s just three weeks.
BLOOM: You know what? She`s not the first person to have been unhappy to be incarcerated. And there`s an infirmary set up within the jail system to treat people with mental problems.
SHERMAN: I know, but she had a party scheduled for tonight, Lisa.
BLOOM: I know. And apparently, her hair was tangled and her skin was dry. It`s tough.
SHERMAN: But they`re going to pay the caterer.
SMERCONISH: Mickey, Mickey...
SMERCONISH: I said -- I said to Lisa yesterday, I said, "Lisa, you know, maybe she did get special treatment. Maybe the special treatment is, insofar as, if it happened to Jane Doe, she would never have gone to the slammer to begin with."
And Lisa said that I was nuts to offer that. What do you say?
SHERMAN: No, I think she would have probably gotten -- Jane Doe would have gotten time, but maybe not as much time. Unquestionably, the obnoxious celebrity factor here ratcheted up her time a little bit. Not a whole heck of a lot.
But the bottom line is, she should have just done the time. She should have had the pride and the integrity and the class of, like, Martha Stewart, marching in, taking her lumps, coming out smiling and moving on with her life.
Instead, at every fork in the road here, she`s shown -- chosen the low -- the low path. And it just -- she looks like horrible.
SMERCONISH: Lisa, Peter Pace is out as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and I`m here talking about Paris Hilton with my Ivy League law degree. Should I be embarrassed?
BLOOM: Well, I`ve got an Ivy League law degree, too, bit I`m not embarrassed to talk about it. Because I think it`s important that everybody in our system gets treated equally.
And this became a real story today because of the sheriff`s department behavior, not because of Paris`s behavior. It`s great to look at the pictures of her. She`s beautiful. She`s no role model for our kids, but she did get special treatment. That`s essentially what the judge said today.
I`m glad he fixed the mistake. I`m glad we all saw what really happened, but this does happen. Other examples in L.A., what about Mel Gibson getting his arrest record changed, where he made those anti-Semitic remarks so that he wouldn`t look too bad?
I mean, celebrities have got to get the same treatment. It`s a real story.
SMERCONISH: I agree with you. She makes a great point. Lisa makes a great point. That whole Mel Gibson fiasco, it does appear that he got favorable treatment by the same sheriff`s department.
SHERMAN: Not so much favorable. Also, he tried to do what they call a mea culpa. He tried to apologize, a little late, not enough. Did what he could. And also, he didn`t have a long history of acting like a jerk, to my knowledge, at least. And plus, he didn`t hurt anybody.
BLOOM: You don`t change police statements, though. You don`t change arrest records, period.
SHERMAN: No, they just didn`t want to show them. And -- but that`s the police. They can make mistakes.
But the sheriff`s office is a different deal. They take charge of the people. The judge sentences the person to the custody of either, like, the commissioner of corrections, the jailer or the sheriff`s department. And you would have some idea, or some belief, that the sheriff would carry out at least most of the orders of the judge.
In this case, they defied it, and we all look like idiots. I`ve got to say we, everybody.
SMERCONISH: I haven`t watched a white vehicle moving down a California freeway from a helicopter since, you know, Al Cowlings and O.J.
BLOOM: It`s another low-speed chase. You know what? I mean, in all seriousness, if this was Shaniqua from Compton with a drunk driving charge and a couple of probation violations, she would not have gotten out if she had cancer or AIDS.
And Paris got out for God knows what lame medical reason. She looked perfectly fine hugging everybody, saying good-bye today before she got into the car. I mean, this really was a fiasco.
SHERMAN: I don`t think it`s over, though. I think the sheriff is still behind the eight-ball. I mean, I don`t think we`ve heard the last of this.
SMERCONISH: How so, Mickey? Where could it go?
SHERMAN: Well, I think the sheriff may still have some contempt charges thrown at him. And the turf war is there. But I think there -- there may be some legal problems for him, or maybe even a recall.
It just is very offensive to everybody, not in just the L.A. community, but everywhere else, that it looks like we`ve got what we call rich man`s justice going on here.
SHERMAN: While as Lisa correctly points out, Shaniqua from L.A. is not going to get the same kind of a deal.
SMERCONISH: Right. As D.L. Hughley said earlier this week, the Ramada sisters, they never seem to get in any trouble.
SHERMAN: I think Nostradamus predicted this in one of his writings. That there would be this conflagration.
BLOOM: Well, she`s back in. She`s back in. Overcrowding not a problem, apparently.
SMERCONISH: Hopefully she stays there and we get beyond this.
SMERCONISH: But great thoughts from the two of you. We really appreciate it.
BLOOM: Thanks, Michael.
SMERCONISH: Lisa and Mickey, we are much obliged.
SMERCONISH: Coming up, the chairman of the joint chiefs, Peter Pace, will be replaced. It is a stunning announcement of actual news coming under the cover of the paparazzi. Glenn Beck joins me to weigh in.
And there`s nothing cooler than Google Earth, except when it`s used to plan terror attacks. How the recent JFK plot raises questions about the technology`s security and your safety.
And, what do you get when you cross a Ronald Reagan-obsessed serial killer and a bunch of hippies? Well, you get David Arquette`s movie "The Tripper". He stops by the studio to tell me all about it.
SMERCONISH: Believe it or not, real news happened today. Chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Peter Pace, is going to be stepping down. What does that mean for our troops in harm`s way? I`ll ask our own Glenn Beck in just a bit.
But first, the so-called "grand bargain" immigration bill hit a major speed bump last night as the Senate was unable to pass a procedural motion that would`ve brought it up for a vote.
In response, a bipartisan group of senators got together for a press conference this morning. They wanted to let the American people know that they`re not giving up and that a big part of the problem is that they say you`re being lied to about what this bill is really about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: This is not an amnesty bill, and I -- I`ve listened to talk show hosts drumming up the opposition by using this word "amnesty" over and over and over again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Amnesty, amnesty, amnesty, amnesty. Look, Dianne, part of the problem is with Congress. You`ve got no credibility left on this issue.
You say that the bill addresses the one thing we care most about. That`s-border security. And then a couple of pages later we`re talking about pathways to citizenship for millions of illegal aliens.
Until you separate those two points out -- in other words, until you seal the borders first and protect this country once and for all, you`re never, ever going to have the support of this country`s conservatives on any other part of the plan.
Jonathan Martin is the senior political writer at The Politico.
Jonathan, am I right in saying this immigration bill didn`t pass the smell test, and that`s why it`s on life support?
JONATHAN MARTIN, THE POLITICO: Well, the problem was that there were a lot of folks against it for a wide variety of reasons, Michael.
The fact is, is that the president was pushing the boulder up the Hill here. He had folks in his own party who were adamantly against this bill, fueled by their own grassroots, who, as you well know, feel very strongly about this issue.
And you had Democrats, obviously, in the Congress who don`t like the bill; and some Democrats, I should add, who just don`t want to give this president any kind of a second term domestic legacy.
So faced with those odds, it`s not surprising that the bill only got 45 votes last night in the Senate.
SMERCONISH: I got to tell you, my -- my listeners in Philadelphia, they couldn`t talk to you about the particulars of the Z-visa. In fact, I`ve studied it, but I doubt I could tell to you about the particulars.
SMERCONISH: But let me tell you what we do understand. We do understand that a guy who has TB and is -- there`s full notice now given to all border agents...
SMERCONISH: ... "Look out for this guy." They see him, they recognize this is him, and they still let him in. What a great example of porous borders coming exactly when the Senate is trying to -- to knock this thing out.
Do you think that was a factor?
MARTIN: It`s a great -- that`s a great point. It could not have happened for -- at a worse time for proponents of this bill, Michael.
You know, also, I should add that it`s important when talking any kind of political debate to look at how this issue is framed and what words are used. And the fact is, is that all the opponents had to say was, "no amnesty." That fits on a bumper sticker. That`s simple, people get that.
The proponents of the bill had a much tougher task. They had to explain, you know, all the other provisions in this bill.
SMERCONISH: I agree with you. There were never -- never able to get away from that word and -- nor should they have been able to do so.
MARTIN: Right. Sure.
SMERCONISH: I want to ask you in the context of the presidential campaign, who wins and who loses as this thing now stands?
MARTIN: Look, if this bill is now off the table and is dead and the coffin is buried -- and I think McCain could actually be helped here, because the issue will recede some, at least.
As you know, the grassroots have been on fire in the past couple of weeks. If the issue is now widely seen to be DOA, then McCain perhaps will be able to turn the page, at least.
If this thing, though, still lingers and there`s still an effort pushed by the president to keep this as a possibility, then that`s not going to help McCain`s cause.
SMERCONISH: In other words, even though McCain is perceived to have been a champion of that which failed, you think there`s a net gain for him in this?
MARTIN: Well, sure. If the issue -- again, if the issue is moved off the front pages...
MARTIN: ... I think there is some progress there for McCain, who has been grappling with a very, very tough political issue that`s been on the front burner. I think if the issue, again, just recedes some, that can`t - - it has to help McCain.
SMERCONISH: All right. Final question for Jonathan.
SMERCONISH: You know, Glenn gave me the privilege of being here five nights. Every night that I`ve been here, I have said what they should do is seal the border. And then everybody goes home with a win. Catch our breath, then come back and figure out what to do with the 10 or 12 million. What are the odds that that`s going to happen?
MARTIN: Well, the president has made clear that he wants a comprehensive plan, which as you well know, means you`re going to have some kind of a pathway to citizenship. And if you don`t have that language, you`re going to lose Democrats.
So it`s a tough coalition to keep. And if you don`t have the entire thing there, then you`re going to lose some of those Democrats that you got in the first place.
SMERCONISH: Well, I`ve given -- I`ve given everybody the exit strategy, at least on immigration, not on Iraq.
Thank you, Jonathan, I appreciate it.
MARTIN: Thanks, Michael.
SMERCONISH: Now, right in the middle of the Paris Hilton media frenzy, Defense Secretary Robert Gates had the audacity to disrupt the cable networks` coverage and make a surprise announcement about the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Peter Pace.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT GATES, DEFENSE SECRETARY: After consultations over the course of several weeks with both Republican and Democratic senators, I concluded that, because General Pace has served as chairman and vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff for the last six years, the focus of his confirmation process would have been on the past rather than the future and, further, that there was the very real prospect, the process would be quite contentious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: To translate, General Pace, who succeeded General Richard Myers less than two years ago, will now, quote unquote, "retire" this September.
Glenn Beck, host of this program, joins us now to talk about this development.
What do you make of it?
GLENN BECK, HOST: I -- I find it not surprising at all and quite sad that, once again, we`re playing politics with our soldiers and with our war. This is why people that are not paying -- honestly, this is why everybody wants to talk about Paris Hilton.
This is why everybody is fascinated by Paris Hilton. And the only time you can get people to watch TV is when you`re showing pictures of Paris Hilton, and that is because you know we`re losing in Iraq because of our politicians, not because of our soldiers. Not because of the guys who actually study war, who have gone to school for it.
We`re losing in Iraq. We won the war; we`re losing the peace. And the reason why it`s happening is because politicians are micro managing. I thought that was the lesson we were supposed to learn from Vietnam.
SMERCONISH: Well, notice the defense secretary didn`t say he hasn`t been up to snuff.
SMERCONISH: Pace, he`s not cutting -- no, no, instead it`s, we don`t want to get bogged down now having a debate, to make your point, in the Senate relative to confirmation.
BECK: I`ll tell you, Michael, it is -- it`s absolutely disheartening that we live in a world now where we will send people off to fight and die. We will send people off to kill in our name. And politicians will use the confirmation process to become contentious, to talk about the past, to make political points?
You know what? Take the TV cameras out of Capitol Hill. Don`t let these people on television while they are questioning when it comes to war, because all they do is posture. All they do is campaign. And it`s really -- it`s abhorrent.
SMERCONISH: You know, I was thinking, Glenn, earlier this week, you paid homage to the veterans of D-Day and recognized their contribution. Can you imagine if, as they`re ready to take the cliffs at Normandy, if this level of scrutiny and partisan politics, right, where would we be?
BECK: I`ll go the exact opposite way. I`ll talk you back to Normandy. I think it was Normandy. We had a horrible, horrible original landing. It was a bloodbath.
BECK: And what happened was the press and the government banded together and re-spun it as not -- not that it wasn`t a bloodbath, but a heroic bloodbath, a battle that needed to be fought.
If we would have had the press and the politicians then that we have now, Hitler -- we`d all be speaking German today.
SMERCONISH: Makes your -- makes your point. Thank you again for this privilege, Glenn.
BECK: You bet.
SMERCONISH: We`ll see you again in a couple of minutes.
Coming up, ever since the hit movie "Borat" was released, people have been trying to cash in by saying, you know, "I`ve been duped." Well, I`m going to talk to one man who`s not suing. I`m talking about Borat`s humor coach, because he`ll be with us.
Plus, actor and director David Arquette joins me in studio to talk about his latest film. It`s called "The Tripper", and you don`t want to miss it.
SMERCONISH: The smash comedy "Borat" made millions of dollars last summer, earned mass critical praise, and then sparked a series of lawsuits.
The latest comes from a man named Jeffrey Lemerond, who can be seen in the film running away and shouting "Go away" as Borat attempts to give him a hug. Lemerond says that his unauthorized appearance in the film violated his civil rights.
I say, "Yakshama, lighten up!"
Take a cue from Pat Haggerty. Now, you know Pat Haggerty as the "not" guy in the film. Remember?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAGGERTY: This suit is black, pause. You know what a pause is?
HAGGERTY: This suit is black -- not!
COHEN: This suit is black, pause, not.
HAGGERTY: No, you don`t say "pause." This suit is black -- that`s a pause -- not!
COHEN: This suit is black.
HAGGERTY: OK. I don`t -- I don`t...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: Pat, everybody is suing but you. Why not?
HAGGERTY: Well, because here in America, we have a First Amendment and we have a free enterprise system. And he exercised his right of free speech in the way he made his movie.
There`s a lot of things in there that I don`t think are funny but -- and they`re objectionable. But it`s free -- we have the First Amendment. We also have the free enterprise system here, and he`s making a lot of money. And I`m happy for him.
SMERCONISH: So what was -- what was, you know, the scam here? They come to you and they say what? This guy is who and what does he need?
HAGGERTY: Right. I`m a professional speaker and a speech coach. And he finds me through my web page, and they say, "Would you coach this guy?"
And I said, "Sure, and what does he need?"
And they said, "Well, he`s coming from Kazakhstan, and so I want you to coach him on all the tools in the speaker`s tool box. But would you concentrate on the cultural differences to assimilate from one culture to another and would you focus on humor, too?"
And I said, "Fine." We spoke, spent about 20 minutes in the office, and then I went down to where they wanted to do the filming. They gave me a release. I read the release. I knew what I was doing. I signed the release. They gave me my money for my one hour of coaching, and they were very up front with me.
SMERCONISH: When did you -- when did you realize you`d been punked, so to speak?
HAGGERTY: Well, that`s a two-parter. No. 1, that happened on, I think, a Tuesday. And two or three days later, I was having dinner with my family, and both of our children are college students. One has since graduated.
And they knew right away. I never knew. But they thought that I was going to be on "The Ali G Show" on HBO.
SMERCONISH: Right, yes.
HAGGERTY: Then last August, when all the ads, and the movie industry calls them trailers, when all the ads start coming out, that`s the first I knew I was going to be in a movie.
SMERCONISH: The premiere. When the movie finally hits the big screen, you go, and you`re joined by who or by whom?
HAGGERTY: I went three times. I went twice as a guest of 20th Century Fox, a press preview, because they wanted me there so the press would interview me. And then -- and that was here in Washington, D.C.
And then the weekend that it opened, which was the first weekend in November, my son, now graduated -- was a college student in Washington University in St. Louis at that time. And I went with him and about 20 or 25 of his fraternity brothers to a regular -- and, Michael, they laughed, they screamed, they yelled, they hooted. They thought it was as much fun.
And I`m having a lot of fun. See, other reason I`m not suing, is I`m having a lot of fun. It`s good for my speaking business. I`ve gotten a million hits. PatrickHaggerty.com is my web page.
SMERCONISH: Come on. And you`re -- and you`re the hero to your kids` friends.
HAGGERTY: Hey, my -- think about this: my two kids, their college friends think that they have a neat dad. Now how cool is that? Why would I sue?
SMERCONISH: Let me tell you something, they do have a neat dad -- not! OK, I couldn`t resist.
HAGGERTY: That was an easy one.
SMERCONISH: Hey, Pat, thank you.
HAGGERTY: I`m glad to talk to you, Michael.
SMERCONISH: All right, buddy.
SMERCONISH: Coming up, has technology become a tool for terror? I`ll tell you how terrorists may be using Google Earth to plan attacks. Now, don`t miss tonight`s "Real Story".
SMERCONISH: Welcome back. I`m Michael Smerconish, in for Glenn Beck tonight.
Coming up, Michael Moore is back, and he`s making the rounds. Today, he spent a little time plugging his new movie with Oprah. And, boy, what a love fest that was. I`ll give you all the details in just a little bit.
But first, tonight`s "Real Story," where we cut through the media spin to figure out why a story is actually of importance to you. A federal appeals court here in New York has ruled that the Federal Communications Commission can`t fine or punish broadcast networks for someone blurting out an obscenity live on the air. FOX, NBC and CBS filed the suit after the FCC raised its potential maximum penalty for each offense from $32,500 to $325,000 a couple of years ago.
Over the years, people ranging from Bono to Cher to Nicole Richie have let what the FCC calls "fleeting expletives" slip out on live television. And until now, the broadcast networks have been held ultimately responsible for it. Most people will tell you that this is a win for the First Amendment and, quite frankly, for common sense, and I don`t disagree. But the "Real Story" is that obscene speech is now judged with less scrutiny than political speech.
It`s great that Cher can go ahead and drop the f-bomb without network executives worrying. But what about people like Don Imus? Who`s out there fighting against the overreaction that he endured? Who`s out there appealing for the same level of common sense to apply to people who make bad jokes, even if they`re distasteful?
We`re living in scary times when it comes to free speech. People like Mel Gibson, who say truly hateful and offensive things, are being lumped together with the likes of people like Don Imus and, dare I say, John Kerry, who were really just making poorly conceived jokes when they got in trouble.
Two things need to happen for us to get out of this witch hunt atmosphere that`s been created. First, let common sense rule. Almost all of us know real hate speech when we hear it, and people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson certainly shouldn`t be the sole arbiters of it.
And, secondly, we all need to just lighten up. Glenn Beck, host of this program, and a guy who`s been accused of saying offensive things from time to time, joins me now.
Glenn, where am I wrong here?
GLENN BECK, HOST: Yes. You`re not wrong at all, Michael. You know, the politics is just a bad bedfellow at all when it comes to speech and political correctness. And that`s exactly what`s happening. Welcome to the McCain-Feingold era, where you have all of these dot-orgs that are really on witch hunts.
There is offensive speech. There is bad speech. But you never, ever solve it with less speech. You always solve it with more speech. You know, with the Rosie O`Donnell thing, right after Don Imus, I heard Tom DeLay call for Rosie O`Donnell`s termination. It was a kind of tit-for-tat kind of thing, and I was just as against Rosie O`Donnell`s termination as I was with Don Imus.
You can be offended, and you can stop listening, or you can do what most people did with "The View," at least with my political ilk, and that is stop watching. But you solve speech problems with more, not less.
SMERCONISH: But, you know, how ironic that the government is saying, "You can`t come down on the networks for Cher dropping the f-bomb," when Imus just lost his job for saying what he said.
BECK: You know what?
SMERCONISH: And I`m not defending the speech. He was a nut job to say it. But he shouldn`t have been fired. And, you know, Glenn, you and I ended up on some self-proclaimed watchdog list. I don`t know what you did. Me, I used the word "sissy." I hate to say it on your program.
BECK: I will tell you this, Michael. There was a list that I saw -- I think it was in the "New York Times." They were monitoring shock jocks. And they had people -- and I don`t mean to be graphic here -- but they had people that were on the air that they had listened to, and they were talking about sex and sexual positions that were very, very vile. They compared it to a guy named Mancow, and what his shocking verbiage was, was that some day, if we didn`t wake up, his daughter would be wearing a burqa and people would be praying five times a day.
You cannot compare the two. One is someone`s opinion about what`s going to happen to the country, and the other is describing sexual acts.
SMERCONISH: Right. And the problem, the danger now is that political speech, whether it`s offensive or not, political speech is being put through the wringer, and yet all the sex and violence and so forth, free rein.
BECK: Yes. You may not like my point of view, jus like I don`t like Michael Moore`s point of view. I really think Michael Moore is really a despicable human being, and I know you`re going to talk about him here in a few minutes.
But I would never, ever boycott his movies. I would never, ever say he doesn`t have a right -- in fact, I would stand by next to him -- as despicable as I think the guy is, I would stand next to him to defend his right to make movies, defend his right to let his voice be heard. The arena of political ideas must never, ever be closed down.
SMERCONISH: See, this is the key point, and I`m glad you allow me to make it on your program. This is chilling the free exchange of ideas. And I think that, unlike the two of us, there are a lot of people out there who run for cover instead of having the tough conversation.
BECK: You`re exactly right.
SMERCONISH: Maybe it`s illegal immigration, maybe it`s a race matter, because they don`t want to be labeled. You know, you talk about gay rights. And if you`re not for same-sex marriage, you must be a homophobe. Wait, you`re not for affirmative action, Glenn? You must be a racist. You`re not for this amnesty bill? You`re anti-illegal immigrant.
BECK: Michael, I know I`m the pot calling the kettle black here in a way. I`ve turned a new chapter in my own life. I want to re-stitch some of the fabric that I have myself tried to pull apart, because I feel -- I just sense there is real trouble in America if we don`t start talking to each other.
I don`t hate Democrats or liberals, and I hope they don`t hate me. And when it comes to friends, I`ve got a lot of liberal friends, a lot of co-workers that are liberal, and I don`t hate them, and they don`t hate me. We are being taught to hate each other so we stop talking to each other. We must speak to each other.
SMERCONISH: Hey, Glenn, thanks. We`re going to check back with you in just a couple of minutes. We appreciate it.
Next, have you ever used the Google Earth software to try and find your house from space? What about using it to look down on famous buildings like Washington, D.C., the Capitol, or Three Mile Island, or the Empire State Building? If so, then you`re not alone, because the "Real Story" is that terrorists are apparently using it, as well.
According to court documents posted on the Smoking Gun Web site, the Islamic extremists who were plotting to blow up fuel lines and holding tanks at JFK Airport, they used satellite images from Google Earth to help with their planning. That news comes on the heels of Google`s recent launch of what they call "street view." That gives you a 360-degree view from ground level.
Now, privacy experts have been sounding alarm bells about that program, because the resolution is so clear that you can see people`s faces, even their license plates. Imagine the ramifications of someone caught by Google`s cameras leaving a restaurant when they were supposed to be out of town, or leaving an abortion clinic, or even an adult bookstore. "Hey, that wasn`t me, I swear!"
As technology evolves, concerns over security and privacy are going to continue to mount. So how do we find that line between convenience and classified, between freedom of information and information that can harm our freedoms?
John Pike knows. He`s the director of GlobalSecurity.org. John, how concerned are you about the revelation that the would-be terrorists were using Google Earth?
JOHN PIKE, DIRECTOR, GLOBALSECURITY.ORG: Well, I`m not overly concerned about it. I think that it speaks to the relatively low quality of this terrorist plot. I mean, the problem that you`ve got with the imagery in Google Earth is that you don`t know how old it is. You don`t know whether you`re looking at an image that`s a month old, a year old, or a decade old.
And if I`m planning an operation, I want to make sure that I have up- to-date imagery. You simply can`t get that from Google. You can get it from a lot of other sources. And I think that that`s one reason the concerns about the imagery on Google Earth might be overblown, because people just don`t understand how easy it is to get these imagery from a lot of other sources.
SMERCONISH: Are there precautions that are in place relative to, for example, the war in Iraq? What if I were a bad guy and I wanted to take a look at troop deployments in Kuwait or in Iraq?
PIKE: Well, I think, again, the problem that you have is that you have no idea whether you`re looking at this camp a year ago or two years ago. You have no idea what sort of security improvements have been made in the meantime. And you could be in for a very rude surprise when you discover that there`s a security check point that was put into place earlier this year that simply didn`t show up in that imagery two years ago.
SMERCONISH: All right. How about if I`m a stalker or a pedophile? I want to go take a look at an elementary school, and I want to use this street view to try to map out the scene. I mean, shouldn`t there be a speed bump somehow put in my way so that I can`t go peek at an elementary school that I`m casing?
PIKE: Well, you can already do that simply by driving around in a car. I think that the challenge is, how do we draw that line? You know, back in the Soviet Union, they didn`t even have telephone books. They thought that that was a good way of ensuring their security. We have telephone books because we think that that`s essential to our free and open economy. Not having telephone books was, I think, one of the reasons that the Soviet economy fell apart, and they fell apart, as well.
SMERCONISH: You know, I`m a gadget guy. Believe me, I love all this stuff. I`ve got to tell you a quick story. Last weekend, I`m out with one of my sons, and we need paintball supplies. And we don`t know where to go to get them. We`re in a strange area. I hand him my BlackBerry while I`m driving, he does a Google function for paintball, brings up a local vendor and map. Now I input the address into my GPS system. Bang, the car goes right to the paintball supply store. I have to explain to my son that, in my day, there was no paintball, no GPS, no Google, and there were no BlackBerries. So I love it, but every once in a while I say, you know, in the wrong hands this technology can be dangerous.
PIKE: Well, no, I think that we need to continue to look at this. I mean, one good example of it is that we`re going to be having a new series of commercial imagery satellites. They`re going to have much better pictures than the existing satellites do. And one of the speed bumps that the government has put into place is that you`re going to be restricted to getting yesterday`s image tomorrow.
The satellite could give you this morning`s image this afternoon, but just to have that extra measure of precaution, there`s going to be a 24- hour hold back, I understand, to make sure that you`re only seeing what was happening a couple of days ago, rather than earlier today. So we`re always drawing the line as the technology develops to make sure that we`re striking a proper balance between security and freedom.
SMERCONISH: All right. As long as guys like you who really understand the science are out there monitoring it, I guess I feel better. But I appreciate it very much. And that`s the "Real Story" tonight.
If you`d like to read more about this or if you found a real story of your own that you`d like to tell us about, please visit glennbeck.com. Click on the "Real Story" button. We`ll be back in just a second.
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BECK: And the rap that`s coming out now, far more offensive, far more insidious than anything Don Imus ever said. If you look at the lyrics of rap artists, it`s really disgusting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Glenn back, y`all.
BECK: This is why I`m hot. Catch me on the block, every other day, another bitch, another drop. I`m-a be pimping. I don`t be slipping. When it come down to these hos, I don`t love them. We don`t cuff them. Man, that`s just the way it goes. I`m a chick magnet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I get a level?
BECK: Anything`s fine. I`m bagging it. Is anybody uncomfortable yet?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Peace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: I, for one, am uncomfortable. All right, picture it, a guy in a Ronald Reagan mask -- yes, a Ronald Reagan mask -- terrorizing a bunch of hippies. As surreal as that image may be, it`s also the premise of David Arquette`s new horror flick, "The Tripper," kind of like "Scream" but with a political message tossed in. Here`s a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought that you deadheads believed in flower power and...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, make love, not war.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, now. Just turn your scrawny ass around and snuggle up to Yoko there before you collect yourself a USDA choice whupping.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stupid...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring it on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You asked for it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not the knife. Let`s make us some veggie burgers. Whoa! Whoa!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMERCONISH: David Arquette joins me now. So I always watch TV shows and, you know, the actor, the big star like you, sits there and says, "Well, I don`t know, what clip are you going to show?" Now, did you know we were going to show that clip?
DAVID ARQUETTE, ACTOR: I didn`t. There`s quite a few bleeping moments in there, and I apologize.
SMERCONISH: Sign of the times.
ARQUETTE: Yes. At least it`s not the scene with Paul Reubens` character, because then I don`t know if you`d even be able to air it. He`s got such a filthy mouth in this movie.
SMERCONISH: When I heard the premise, I though, what`s that Patrick Swayze movie? I now know, "Point Break."
ARQUETTE: "Point Break," yes.
SMERCONISH: Where they`re surfers, and they wear the masks. OK, but they were equal opportunity offenders. In other words, I think they had Republicans and they had Democrats, and they all put on the masks. Why is it Reagan?
ARQUETTE: Well, it`s Reagan -- it`s a man who`s obsessed with Reagan. He loves him to the point of, you know, trying to emulate him, but it`s because some of his political policies had a direct effect on his life, and it`s also a reason why this person doesn`t like hippies at all.
I also wanted to make a slight political statement, and not necessarily that it`s Reagan, but that it`s a leader of the world. And, to me, war is like the ultimate act of violence. So I just wanted to show that, like, the people who sign the pieces of paper, that`s truly where violence, like, is.
I don`t know. As a society, if we continue to look at that as the solution to all of our, sort of, problems, I know it`s, you know, obviously, you can`t avoid it at certain times, but Martin Luther King, John Lennon, those are my -- those are my heroes. And I don`t know.
SMERCONISH: I just wish one...
ARQUETTE: I also don`t want to talk politics. I mean, I guess I`m on a political show.
SMERCONISH: It`s a Reagan mask. I mean, just once, I wish it would be a Clinton mask or a Carter mask or...
ARQUETTE: Well, it`s funny you say that. There is some stuff in the sequel that might make you happy. But, you know, also, the hippies in this film are no prize. I mean, it`s not like I`m showing these great hippies and, oh, poor hippies. You know, the hippies are not the good hippies of the `60s, who really sort of started a revolution. These are drugged out, you know, misguided train wrecks.
SMERCONISH: David, you direct, you wrote it, you directed it, you produced it, you catered it, you filmed it. You did everything, right?
ARQUETTE: Yes. And we`re self-distributing it, too.
SMERCONISH: Wow. You going to sell popcorn when the thing comes out?
ARQUETTE: I may just do that. I might do that.
SMERCONISH: So what was that experience like?
ARQUETTE: It`s been a lot of work. It`s been a ton of work, but it`s been a great time. I mean, I got to work with all of my friends. We have an amazing cast with Thomas Jane, who`s my brother-in-law. And he played the Punisher and Mickey Mantle in "61," and Paul Reubens, as I mentioned, Lukas Haas, who was in "Mars Attacks," and Jaime King from "Sin City." Just a group of great people. Oh, Jason Mewes, as well, funny actor, played Jay in "Silent Bob."
But, you know, one thing I do want to say is -- like, the film really isn`t to bash Reagan. It`s exploring politics and the effects of politicians on sort of the environment around them. I grew up in Los Angeles. And I remember when Reagan made some cuts to mental health that, overnight, I started seeing mad, insane people on the streets, and I didn`t understand why it wasn`t just like the sort of drunk that you`d see once in a while. These were, you know, really disturbed, hurting people.
SMERCONISH: But, you know, the courts let a lot of those folks out. They said, "We can`t protect them from themselves. And if they want to go out, we`re going to let them go out," and I think they shut down a lot of mental health facilities that maybe you and I could agree we wish were still in existence.
ARQUETTE: Yes, definitely. There was some cuts in health. There`s also some forest issues that come up, where the reason why I chose Reagan, as well. But he`s a great man. And some silly, you know, `60s-style slasher movie is not going to, you know, taint his image at all. And it`s about having a sense of humor, really. So I hope people can...
SMERCONISH: I`m all for that. I`m just looking for a couple of laughs and some gratuitous sex. If you supply that, I`m up for your movie.
ARQUETTE: And some psychedelic references.
SMERCONISH: All right, I`m not up for that. I got four kids.
ARQUETTE: No, no, just...
SMERCONISH: David`s new movie is "The Tripper." It opens April 20. Stick around. I`ll be right.
SMERCONISH: In case you happen to be feeling like America is the greatest country in the world, Michael Moore has arrived on the scene once again to let you know just how wrong you are. This time he`s popping up to preach the evils of our health care system in his upcoming movie "Sicko." Now, amazingly, he`s making the pitch for universal health care just a couple of months after the Walter Reed scandal showed us all in agonizing detail how well it actually works.
Moore appeared on Oprah today for an all-out love fest. And since Oprah and Moore weren`t available to come on and talk about it, we`ll have to settle for this guy. Glenn Beck is with us once again.
Glenn, do you have your tickets to go see the premiere of "Sicko" yet?
BECK: I can`t believe Oprah. Shame on you, Oprah. I mean, I just can`t believe how many people will get into bed with Michael Moore. You know, there`s something to be said for people with different opinions, and then there`s something to be said for somebody who is really, truly destructive to America. And Michael Moore is that guy.
SMERCONISH: We`ve got a broken health care system; I mean, you and I would have to acknowledge that. What`s the bottom line problem with universal health care?
BECK: Well, I mean, tell me about our broken health care system.
SMERCONISH: You`ve got a lot of folks out there without coverage.
BECK: Yes, you got a lot of folks out there. I believe the number was 43 million, but what that doesn`t talk about is how many of those people are on and off, and how also many of those people -- and not universally true -- but how many of those people also choose not to take their coverage at time, too. So that number is a lot smaller. Beyond that, we have the greatest health care system in the world.
There are a lot of people that should have coverage and would like to have coverage. The last thing that we do is start a government program. Michael, anybody who wants to have a government program, you just go try to get -- just think of the DMV coupled with kidney dialysis. And I think you know how great it will really be.
SMERCONISH: Is that the Carrier Dome behind you? You`re appearing in Syracuse tonight.
BECK: Yes, Syracuse, yes. Actually, tomorrow night. We just arrived, going to kind of take the night off, and then tomorrow we`re going to be doing it at the legendary Landmark Theater.
SMERCONISH: And then you`re at Knebworth, I think, in the U.K., and then Woodstock? Is that...
BECK: Yes, yes.
SMERCONISH: Is that where the Beck tour goes next?
BECK: No, actually, then on Friday we`re in Columbus, and then Saturday in St. Louis.
SMERCONISH: Good luck. I heard the show in Philly was awesome last night.
BECK: It was good. It was good, Mike. I wish you were there. You held down the slot real well, though, for me last night. Thanks again.
SMERCONISH: I was here, I was here, OK?
BECK: I know, I know. Anything to get out of it.
SMERCONISH: If they let me in tomorrow night, I`ll be back here again. Thank you, Glenn.
BECK: Thanks a lot. You bet.
SMERCONISH: See everybody tomorrow. Good night.