Return to Transcripts main page

Glenn Beck

Mitt Romney Tops Religious Group`s Poll; Bill Maher Heckled by 9/11 Conspiracists; New York Governor Resolved to Give Illegals Driver`s Licenses

Aired October 22, 2007 - 19:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, does Mitt Romney have the right stuff? A new poll of religious voters says that Mitt is the chosen one: for president, anyway. So what does it really mean?

Plus, Bill Maher`s smack-down of 9/11 conspiracy theorists.

BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN/TALK SHOW HOST: Do I have to come over and kick this guy`s (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of here?

BECK: Nuisance to live TV, yes. But could these nut jobs also pose a very real threat? You`d better believe it.

And Rush Limbaugh`s letter from Senator Reid auctioned off for millions of dollars. But what the sale says about the mainstream media is priceless.

All this and more, tonight.


BECK: Well, hello, America.

The religious conservative group the Family Research Council and its members gathered this weekend on Saturday. I think they had some other plans. I don`t remember what they were, on Sunday.

But they conducted a straw poll that supposedly crowns the candidates of the values voters. And here`s what happened.

Mitt Romney won, with 27.6 percent of the vote, just ahead of Mike Huckabee, with 27.2 percent. Both Giuliani and McCain finished at the bottom of the poll.

So tonight, here`s the point.

Now that evangelical voters have seemed to have gotten over Romney`s religion, maybe the media could get over it, as well? I`m just saying. Here`s how I got there.

For months we have heard that evangelicals will not accept Mr. Mitt Romney, yet here he is, on the top with the values voters. How does that happen?

Well, I believe it comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of Christianity and religion as a whole. The media sees faith and people of faith as uncomfortable with those that are just different than them. They see people of faith as judgmental people who believe that they are above everyone else: they`re a sinner over there, you know.

Well, that`s not the people I come across at church, whether it`s my church or somebody else`s church. And it`s not what I felt from the man who came in second in that poll when I sat down with him for an hour last week.


MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When people say, "Well, you`re one of those Christian types, does that mean you think you`re better?" I say, "No, no, no, you don`t understand. Being a Christian means I know I`m not nearly as good as I even need to be. So I`m not going to be upset because you`re not everything you ought to be either."

It doesn`t mean I think I`m better. It means that I`ve accepted the fact that I know there are great big gaps in my life, and that`s where Christ has to come in and fill those in.


BECK: What a hate monger.

So here`s what you need to know tonight. Or more importantly, what the media and the pundits need to know.

Courting the religious right is not how loudly you can say, "I love the baby Jesus." Or how big of a fetus that you freak (ph) and paint on the side of your campaign van.

It`s even about how many Bible verses you can recite in a minute. It`s about living the principles inside that book every minute of the day, or at least as close as you can come. I`m a long way away from it.

It`s about realizing that there is something bigger than you, yet knowing you are responsible for your own actions and choices. It`s about acknowledging that, while we may all be different, our principles tie us together, across religious lines. It`s about values.

It`s what our Founding Fathers believed. It`s what our grandfathers believed. And if you tear off the layer of politics that divide us right now, it`s what Americans still believe today.

Gary Bauer is a former Republican presidential candidate and currently the president of American Values. And Dinesh D`Souza is the author of "What`s So Great About Christianity?"

Dinesh, let me start with you. If -- do you really believe that Christians would leave the party over somebody like Mitt Romney?

DINESH D`SOUZA, AUTHOR, "WHAT`S SO GREAT ABOUT CHRISTIANITY": Absolutely not. I think that we`re seeing a real maturing of the evangelical Christians. They`re making an important distinction between theology and morality.

Obviously, evangelical Christians may disagree with Romney on points of theology, but they recognize that Romney articulates a morality, a set of political principles, offers the kind of moral leadership that can unite the country.

So I think this explains the enormous popularity of Romney. There was initially an anxiety about him, but I think that`s beginning to melt.

BECK: All right. Let me go over to Gary on Giuliani.

You know, I don`t agree with Giuliani on a lot of things. However, I kind of -- I think it`s refreshing to hear somebody say, "Look, man, you`re not going to agree on everything I say and especially with Christianity, yada, yada, yada."

Do you believe that Christians will -- will bolt for the door if it`s Giuliani? Is a third party a bluff, or is it real, I guess is what I`m asking you?

GARY BAUER, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN VALUES: Well, Glenn, I think the third party idea sort of peaked the day it was announced. Look, Christians are against suicide, and a third party would be political suicide.

Having said that, I don`t want to underestimate at al how much the issue of the sanctity of human life and welcoming all of our children into the world and protecting them under the law -- that is a -- that is a defining issue for pro-life, pro-family voters, as is the definition of marriage as being one man and one woman.

So I would say that, if Mayor Giuliani hopes to have a chance to win next year against Hillary Clinton, he`s got a long way to go...

BECK: Right.

BAUER: ... to seal that deal with values-based voters.

BECK: Dinesh, I have to tell you, I don`t know the people that -- look, I`m pro-life; I believe in it with everything in me. I -- I am pro- marriage between a man and a woman, as well.

But I have to tell you, we have got bigger fish to fry, and no president is going to change this. Now, I don`t want somebody who`s necessarily, you know, against what I have, but do you believe that a lot of people are those one-issue voters?

D`SOUZA: I do think that we`re not in that litmus test phase anymore. In fact, if there is a litmus test today, I think in the Republican Party it would be -- it would be a position on the war on terror.

I think that Giuliani -- I would make a distinction here. If you oppose Giuliani because of some of his positions, that`s fine. But I think it`s actually a mistake, some people just look at Giuliani`s personal life and judge him based on that.

If we look at experience, we see that there are presidents or leaders who have had an impeccable personal life. I think of George W. Bush -- George W. -- H.W. Bush, the father. Or Bob Dole. But who are not as effective leaders as Reagan, who was a divorced guy who had somewhat frayed relations with his children.

So sometimes personal life and public moral leadership are two different things.

BECK: Yes, you know, I`ve got to tell you, Gary, I probably am more on your side on this one. I`ve got a real problem. If you`re a sketchy guy, I don`t want you in the White House. I need to know that you`re a man of honor and integrity.

If you`re a guy who has a sketchy personal life, to me that makes a difference. It mattered to me with Bill Clinton, and it would matter to me if -- you know, if it was -- you know, if it was Ronald Reagan having sex in the Oval Office, not with Nancy, I would have had a problem with that, as well.

BAUER: Well, look, Glenn, I think it`s absolutely true that not just Christians but millions of Americans are concerned about what comes out of Washington, D.C., and this idea that the city is often the cesspool, and people here treat it as if it was a Jacuzzi.

Look, character`s important, and voters do weigh that, so I think all these things are part of the calculation.

And let me just add that I certainly think the defense of western civilization is a moral issue. It would be a moral tragedy of the highest order if we allowed Judeo-Christian civilization to be destroyed by Islamofascism.

BECK: We`re in a fight for our life.

Let me -- let me ask Dinesh, because I know you`ve got a new -- you`ve got a new book out, and maybe you can explain this. We are the craziest, mixed up, upside-down people I have ever seen. We say that we want somebody who is a moral guy, who -- who is based in God.

And yet, if he uses the language of God, if he talks about prayer or prayer on his knees or whatever. Romney practices his faith, Huckabee practices his faith, and yet -- "Oh, well, those people, you never know. They could be religious nullity jobs."

Doesn`t it seem like there`s some sort of weird disconnect in us?

D`SOUZA: I think that there is in our popular media, and in our popular culture, an almost pathological prejudice against Christianity. I mean, if you came from Mars and walked around America, turned on the television shows, looked at the movies, went to all the public monuments and facilities, you would never know that a majority of people in this country are Christian. It`s invisible.

BECK: Yes.

D`SOUZA: So I think we need to see an invigorated -- not an invigorated fundamentalism but an invigorated traditional Christianity.

BECK: So Gary, we were just talking here a second ago about, you know, fundamentalists that are coming and trying to destroy us. I`m looking for a president to vote for myself personally. I have decided I`m not going to compromise on two things.

I won`t vote for a socialist. If you highly (ph) compromise with socialism. When did that happen to us?

And the other thing is I won`t vote for a guy or a woman who compromises with evil. Where am I wrong on making those my two centerpieces?

BAUER: Look, I think it`s perfectly rational to make that as your centerpieces. I think one of the things that`s been causing those of us in the values voter movement sort of a challenge is that we are hoping to find a candidate that is good both on meeting this foreign threat of Islamofascism but also a candidate that would defend innocent human life here in America and defend the institution of marriage.

And I think the fact that there`s not one candidate that seems to be totally right on all those issues is one of the reasons that values voters are still divided between Romney, Senator Thompson, who I like a great deal, Mike Huckabee, who did, along with Romney very well at this debate over the weekend.

BECK: OK. Guys, thank you very much.

Coming up, live TV, Bill Maher, 9/11 conspiracists. What more could you ask for? The danger behind these nut jobs that think we took down the World Trade Center.

Plus, Rush Limbaugh gets $2 million for his auction of Harry Reid`s letter. But we have the real story behind what that dollar amount really means.

And just a reminder. Tonight`s show is brought to you by the Sleep Number Bed by Select Comfort. Find your sleep number today at sleep -- at a Select Comfort store near you.


BECK: Well, I`ve been saying for a while now the mainstream media is disconnected from real people. You know it, and I know it.

The latest example is Rush Limbaugh and his letter from Harry Reid, sold for $2 million on the Internet. He matched it with another 2. It all went to benefit the Marines. Now, what does this really say about America and the media? That`s tonight`s "Real Story", coming up.

But first, comedians are used to getting heckled. But you know, that usually happens at a comedy club where the audience has already exceeded their two-drink minimum.

So when a comedian hosts his own big-time TV show and hears something coming from the audience other than applause, it can catch him a little off guard. That`s what happened last Friday night during a taping of HBO`s "Real Time with Bill Maher".

It seems that some 9/11 truthers, as they like to call themselves, those who feel the September 11 attacks were orchestrated by the U.S. government, were in the audience, and they started shouting things. Eventually, Maher had enough.


MAHER: This is the problem sometimes with...


MAHER: Hey, do we have some (EXPLETIVE DELETED) security in this building, or do I have to come over and kick this guy`s (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of here? Could you get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) off my show? Hey. Hey. Out. Out. Out. Out.

This isn`t the Iowa caucus. OK? It`s not a debate. It`s a debate between us. You`re in the audience. Audience comes from the Latin, "to listen."


BECK: Brace yourself, America. I agree with Bill Maher on this one. Anybody who thinks that 9/11 was carried out by the government isn`t a truther. They`re idiots.

Can you actually imagine that our government was capable of successfully pulling off 9/11 and then keeping it off of the front page of the "New York Times"? No. But 12 percent of Americans are just dumb enough to believe that that`s exactly what happened, with the U.S. government taking down the World Trade Center, at least No. 7.

Actually, more Americans think that than think that Congress is doing a good job. I`m not kidding.

These truthers are exactly the kind of people who want to rock this nation`s foundation, tear us apart and plant the seeds of dissatisfaction in all of us.

Michael Shermer is the founding publisher of "Skeptic" magazine and the executive director of the Skeptic Society. And James Meigs, he is the editor in chief of "Popular Mechanics".

Let me start with you -- let me start with you, Mike. Why are -- why are there so many of these people? We`re talking 12 percent of the American people believe that we brought down World Trade Center No. 7.

MICHAEL SHERMER, FOUNDING PUBLISHER, "SKEPTIC" MAGAZINE: Yes, well, that`s the power of the Internet, isn`t it? The ability to rally the forces cheaply. Actually, practically for free. These guys produce this film online for almost nothing, and it`s been viewed by millions of people. So that is the power of the media.

Of course, this is America, free society. We`re not going to start banning forms of media. We just have to counter bad ideas with good ideas, and that`s what we do at "Skeptic" magazine.

And we lined up all of their claims in our special issue and knocked them down one by one, as did "Popular Mechanics". And I think that`s the proper way to do it.

We have to remember, these guys actually believe what they say. Not necessarily the 12 percent who maybe tick off a box that say yes, maybe there`s something to that. But the people that are leading the so-called truth movement, the ones I`ve met, they seem to actually believe it.

BECK: Oh, no, don`t get me wrong, I think they do believe it, which is why I believe these guys are dangerous. I believe these guys are anarchists that are looking to tear us apart. I mean, this is -- this is the kind of group that a Timothy McVeigh would come from.

SHERMER: Yes, that`s right. That`s what makes it a little bit scary. Somebody that would infiltrate a talk show like Bill Maher`s show and then heckle him during a show, that`s getting out there a little bit. That`s not just posting things on the Internet for fun to see what happens but actually going down there to do something.

BECK: And -- and James, if you Google right now 9/11 -- and this is where it really gets tough for our kids -- if you Google 9/11, September 11, what comes up?

JAMES MEIGS, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "POPULAR MECHANICS": You get about 160 million hits on 9/11. The vast majority of which are these conspiracy sites. And so I can imagine some high school freshman -- maybe he`s writing a paper and wants to research it -- just being overwhelmed with this material, much of which looks authoritative. They have facts. They have figures. They quote people.

So we`ve done at "Popular Mechanics" over the last three years is really investigate some of the claims that come...

BECK: Give me -- OK. You know what, James? Let me start with you, and then Mike, I`ll go to you. What was the big claim, James, that you found that you said, "OK, this is the big one, and it`s so easy to refute"?

MEIGS: Well, one of the ones that comes up a lot is the idea that there were bombs in the buildings and that a seismograph at Columbia University picked those up.

Well, we called the scientists at Columbia, and they said, "Our report says no such thing. It was totally taken out of context." Yet if you go online you`ll see that come up again and again.

BECK: OK. And Mike, what did you find that was the big thing that you tried to debunk?

SHERMER: Well, I think the most obvious one that anyone can check, they claim that the World Trade Center World Trade Center buildings fell exactly like buildings fall when they`re intentionally demolished.

And if you Google -- Google any key words like "intentionally demolish buildings" or "buildings comma demolished," you`ll get hundreds of videos of buildings intentionally brought down. None of them fall like the World Trade Center buildings fell. They all fall from the bottom up.

And the World Trade Center buildings fell from the top down. Basically right where the planes hit is where they collapse initially. So that one`s easy to refute. Anybody can refute it. But the fact is, once it gets out on the Internet nobody fact checks; nobody even looks that up.

BECK: So James, is this -- I mean, this is the same kind of thing, Charlie Sheen is a part of this. Rosie O`Donnell is part of this. Is this -- does this come from -- from those guys? Who do we -- do we have any idea how this really took a toehold?

MEIGS: Well, it comes from a lot of different sources, and a lot of people who are looking into this, they`re just curious. They have questions. That`s fine. People should ask questions. They shouldn`t believe everything they see or read. But when you start asking those questions, then you have to pay attention to the answers.

And what the conspiracy people do is they reject the vast body of reasonable accounts of 9/11. They assume that`s all just, you know, government plants or something. And then they seize on these few little anomalies that they think disprove the mainstream view.

If you look at where a lot of their work originates, where the first things come out on the Internet, some of them tend to be these political fringe sites, even some that are associated with Holocaust denial and other very fringe movements.

And yet they`re treated by much of the media as if they`re somehow credible, that a quote from one of those sites is no different than something from the "New York Times".

BECK: Guys, thank you very much.

Now, I`m going to ask you, where am I wrong? Anybody who believes our government could successfully plan 9/11, is not only giving our government way too much credit; they`re also nuts. Agree or disagree? Go to right now and cast your vote.

Coming up, the governor of New York continues to push for his plan to allow illegals to have driver`s license, despite mounting warnings from lawmakers all across the country. They pick juries based on DMV records. That and other scary scenarios in just a bit.

And Iran replaces their moderate nuclear negotiator with a hard-liner. Perfect. Sounds great, doesn`t it? That`s the "Real Story", coming up.


BECK: Well, if you spent more than two seconds with this program, you know I have a problem with the border, and currently, I have a problem with New York Governor Eliot Spitzer for his insane plan to give out driver`s license (sic) for illegals.

Now, some states have already tried this approach, and guess what? It didn`t work. States like Tennessee, North Carolina, they had criminal gangs helping illegals establish phony residences, and DMV officials were flooded with people from other states, because it was so easy to get a driver`s license using bogus citizenship and I.D. papers.

Fern Shubert is a former North Carolina state senator who ran for governor in 2004.

Fern, your state tried this. Didn`t work. Tell me what happened.

FERN SHUBERT, FORMER NORTH CAROLINA STATE SENATOR: Well, as you might have imagined, we had a lot of gangs moving in. We had a lot of drug activity. But unlike you, I`m delighted with what New York`s governor is doing, because I think he`s going to help solve our problem.

BECK: So you`re trying to get the criminals out.

SHUBERT: That`s right.

BECK: But don`t they already have driver`s license (sic) if they`re there?

SHUBERT: Well, before we found out what was going on, we had almost 400,000 people who admitted that they had no Social Security number that had gotten driver`s licenses, and we have no idea how many people were using fake numbers, stolen numbers, you name it.

BECK: OK. What these guys are saying -- I mean, New York is saying you don`t need a -- you don`t need a Social Security number. All you need is a passport. So I don`t know what you were using for I.D., but they`re saying we can I.D. these people -- this is their theory.

And by the way, Richard Clark said two months ago it didn`t -- it wouldn`t work and it would be horrible for national security, and now he says it is a good idea.

But Spitzer says that we`ll know who the bad guys are so we can monitor them.

SHUBERT: They tried that story here. They said they were going to use facial recognition. But you`d go -- they would go in, get their picture taken, get their driver`s license, and a few weeks later they`d discover, "Oh, the guy already has five."

You know, they keep coming up with stories about it. But my question is this: why do they need a driver`s license? To get to government benefits they`re not entitled to or to a job they can`t legally hold?

BECK: No, I think Spitzer says it`s because he wants to make sure that people have a driver`s license, and that way they can get car -- car insurance.

SHUBERT: Oh. That`s another scam they tried down here. You`d have people go in and get insurance so they could get their license. Then they would let the policy lapse. We had insurance agencies set up for the purpose of selling the binders. I`m not sure if they ever sent the money to the home office or not.

But no, they`ve tried all those stories in North Carolina before, and what you get -- end up with, if you go onto the web site right now at, the Drug Enforcement Agency, they`re not politically correct.

And what they say is that the large influx of foreign nationals created a major drug problem here. Not that everybody was involved in the trade, but it gave the sharks an ocean to swim in.

BECK: OK. Real quick. We only have 30 seconds. You don`t do it in North Carolina anymore?

SHUBERT: I`m proud to say that we have made significant improvement.

BECK: Why did you stop? Or how did you get it to stop?

SHUBERT: You keep revealing what`s going on. And when the drug problem got big enough, when the gang problem got big enough, when the problem in the schools and health care got big enough...


SHUBERT: ... the majority of the public realized that they were being had by the plantation boys that wanted cheap labor.

BECK: OK. Thanks a lot.

Coming up, Rush Limbaugh has raised $2 million for the U.S. Marines, and then he kicked in another $2 million of his own money. Money well spent. But where`s the mainstream media? It will tell you everything you need to know. That`s coming up in tonight`s "Real Story", next.


BECK: Ahmadinejad`s nuclear ambition marches on. The latest move? Changing Iran`s nuclear negotiator at the same time Dick Cheney is saying the U.S. will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. What all of this means to you in just a bit.

But first, welcome to "The Real Story." Seems that Rush Limbaugh has had the last laugh in the controversy over his phony soldiers comment. Instead of just tossing out the letter that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wrote, calling for rush`s firing, Rush decided to auction the letter on eBay, match the winning bid, and donate all of the money to the Marines. Well, the auction ended on Friday, and the net gain to the Marines is just over $4 million.

The "Real Story" is, the political and media elite have colored this just another volley between a conservative talk radio host and a liberal establishment. Well, what the mainstream would like to have you believe is that Rush and his listeners are just a bunch of kooks on the fringe, but the numbers tell quite a different story.

Listen to this. "New York Times," the nation`s paper of record, reaches about 5.5 million people every week. "USA Today" is the most widely read newspaper in the country. They reach 11 million people a week. You toss in "Newsweek" magazine just for good measure, they reach an additional 3 million per week. That means "The New York Times," "USA Today," and "Newsweek" reach just under 20 million people every week. So how many crazy white right-wingers are listening to talk radio and Rush Limbaugh? Just over 20 million.

When Rush Limbaugh is reaching roughly the same number of people every week as an episode of "American Idol" -- and, by the way, more than those that read the three biggest news outlets in media history -- nobody should really tell those 20 million Americans that their opinion makes them political outsiders or second-class citizens.

"The New York Times" sets the agenda for every news outlet in this country, and Rush Limbaugh gets painted as a kook. Maybe it`s time the liberal media realized you can`t marginalize the mainstream. It seems to me things are changing, and maybe the mainstream is the new fringe.

Dan Patrick is a radio talk show host, KSEV in Houston. He`s also a Texas state senator.

Dan, I wanted to go here.


BECK: Oprah, you know, gives away some cars, and it is the talk for weeks on every media outlet. She raised $3 million for Obama a few weeks ago. It was still on the front page of "USA Today" this morning. What is it that I`m missing here on Rush Limbaugh?

PATRICK: You`re not missing anything, Glenn, because I agree with you. Rush and talk radio across the country, your show included, mine in Houston, we are the mainstream. We are the electronic town hall of what people are thinking in the year 2007 and have been for the last decade.

The Democrats haven`t figured it out. The Republicans are barely figuring it out. And the elite don`t like us. And the reason they don`t like us, we`re encroaching on their power. That`s what they don`t like, Glenn.

BECK: Right. It`s not just the media or the left. I`m proud to say it`s the Republicans, as well.

PATRICK: Absolutely. They don`t like criticism. As soon as you criticize Republicans from the media, you know, they step back. The truth is that the elite don`t understand that the backbone of America is the hard-working man and woman who listens to talk radio.

I`ve always said, Glenn, that a phenomenon came along when Rush came along, and that was cell phones. Cell phones came along at the time that Rush -- I was one of the first people to put him on in a major market in the country back in the late `80s -- and cell phones allowed middle-class America to tap into Rush and allowed people to call in with their thoughts and allowed them to say, "Hey, you`re not alone, Rush, and I`m not alone."

And there have been many Rush-alikes around the country since, and like Babe Ruth built Yankee Stadium, Rush built AM radio. But he is not on the fringe. It`s "The New York Times" that`s on the fringe. Harry Reid is on the fringe. Hillary Clinton is on the fringe. And a few Republicans are on the fringe. This is what America`s about.

BECK: I will tell you that I`m proud to say that, unlike some talk show hosts on the left, and mainly on the left, but some on the right, as well, our guy -- and I think this is a really good thing -- as a conservative, when our guy started selling us out, we were done. We`re like, "OK, wait a minute, you`re not the guy" -- but so many people will just keep going in and pitching for their guy. That`s not representative of the American people. They just want somebody to tell the truth.

PATRICK: And there`s a great disdain of talk radio everywhere. Just here in Texas, Glenn, TexDOT, the large transportation agency of Texas, put out a memo last week saying that people involved in talk radio, listeners and hosts, are pigs. I mean, this was a consultant paid with tax dollars, calling talk radio, people who are involved in talk radio, pigs. This is the disdain even government agencies have for the hard-working, tax-paying Americans that listen to talk radio across the country.

BECK: Is this the guy who used to consult with...

PATRICK: Matthew Dowd, Matthew Dowd...


BECK: And this is the Department of Transportation in Texas?

PATRICK: Department of Transportation, they wanted to know how to deal with talk radio, so they hired a consultant and paid this consultant. And the report said, "Stay calm, you`re dealing with pigs. Remember, they`re pigs in talk radio." There`s a great disdain for people who listen to talk radio, and they`re trying to disenfranchise mainstream America. Talk radio makes the difference in America.

BECK: OK, Dan, thanks a lot.

Now, I`ve been telling you for months that Iran is hell-bent on getting nuclear capability. And once they do, my sixth sense tells me I see dead people.

It seems that Iran is stepping things up. They`ve just announced their top nuclear negotiator, whom they consider a moderate, has resigned, and he`s being replaced by someone they now consider more of a hard-liner. Oh, that`s good news.

The "Real Story" is it doesn`t really matter who Iran`s negotiator is, because they`re not really negotiating. This is merely a ploy, I believe, to buy more time and keep the international community talking while Iran continues to work towards their goal of getting a nuke and aiming it right directly at Israel and us.

Negotiations between Iran and the West are supposed to resume on October 23rd in Rome. So if you`re Iran, how do you keep delaying without being too obvious? In my book, you fire your lead negotiator or let him resign and replace him with some unknown deputy diplomat, and the whole negotiation has to start all over again with a new guy.

Remember, chess was invented by the Persians. Persia is now Iran. And they are playing this game on a grand scale. They will continue to move their pieces around the board while they work behind the scenes with their partner, also pretty good at chess, Russia. They will sacrifice a pawn here and a pawn there, planning for their eventual checkmate.

We`ve got to stay in the game. We know that Iran is jockeying for extra time, and we`ve got to shut them down, no matter who they`ve got negotiating. Remember, when Iran says they want to push the Zionist dogs into the sea, that would be us.

Talks with Iran have been going on now for years, and I believe time for idle chat is over. It is time the world takes a hard stand with punitive damages and establish sanctions that seem to them to be never- ending. Keep in mind, all we have to lose is everything.

Benny Avni is a U.N. reporter and columnist for the "New York Sun." Benny, do you disagree with that?

BENNY AVNI, "NEW YORK SUN": Do not at all. Actually, you pretty much summarized it up. There`s a lot of talk in the United States` circles of whether there should be a military option. The one thing that people do not talk about enough to me is, what are the limits of the diplomatic option?

OK, so we have Ali Larijani, who is a very suave and very well-spoken, English-speaking diplomat, who was able to run circles around diplomats for a long time. Now we have this new guy, Saeed Jalili, who is -- not only we don`t know much about him, he doesn`t know much about us. This is one of those guys like Ahmadinejad, who have grown up in the Revolutionary Guards, haven`t been much out of Iran, hasn`t done much -- hasn`t had much exposure to anybody who is not Farsi speaker...


AVNI: ... and so this guy is basically -- he has no experience in diplomacy at all.

BECK: Benny, tell me, is it just sheer coincidence that Putin goes over there, gives the ayatollah a letter from Russia -- I have no idea what`s in this letter -- and then they all of a sudden accept a resignation of the moderate and put in a hardliner? I believe that Russia is playing a blocker for them, that they`re not trying to engage us, but they`re basically saying, "Don`t worry about it, Iran, you do whatever you want, we`re your buddy, we`re your pal, we`ll block the United States," basically anything you do to Iran, you do to us. Is that insane to think that?

AVNI: Not at all. There`s a few things that play into Russia`s strategy here. One is that Russia assumes that somebody will sooner or later sell weapons to Iran; they`d rather it would be Russians.

Second is they have a grand strategy on the world stage, in which they believe that they`re underrated. They were a big power, once a big power; they want to be a big power again. They`re competing with the Western Europeans, where France has become much more anti-Iran, by the way, and kudos to France.

BECK: Right.

AVNI: And they`re more than anything competing with the United States.

BECK: OK. Benny, thank you very much.

By the way, "The New York Times" said over the weekend that it`s not going to be World War III like the president said it would be. That`s just a bluff. Wrong again, "New York Times."

That`s "The Real Story" tonight. If you`d like to read more about this or if you`ve found a "Real Story" of your own that you`d like to tell us about, please visit and click on the "Real Story" button.

Now, up next, America is born again. I`ll tell you why Christianity is making a comeback, right after the break. Stick around.



BECK: Can we do a fundraiser for the Hollywood Malibu crowd tomorrow? I am so concerned they`re losing their houses. Sucks to be them!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about the fire?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think it`s touched the house.


BECK: I hate to give you advice, but maybe you shouldn`t build your house on a cliff in a fire zone. How many times does the neighborhood have to be burned to the ground before you go, "Probably shouldn`t live here"? How many times does the forest fire have to burn before somebody says, "You know what, maybe those controlled burns, not such a bad idea"?


BECK: Join me tomorrow on the radio program for our fundraiser for Malibu.

Now, whether it`s Rocky at the end of the movie or platform shoes or John Travolta`s career, Americans love a comeback. But the latest trend, just to prove everything old is new again, isn`t about fashion or movies. It`s about Christianity. God is back, and he`s bigger and badder than ever.

Ever since the 9/11 attacks in 2001, there`s been a religious reawakening in the country. Personally, I thought it had gone back to sleep, but not so. Even though 80 percent of Americans have always identified themselves as Christian, our next guest says more and more are actually starting to act on it, believe it or not. Church attendance is up; Americans seem to be returning to a moral, political center.

So is Christianity just the flavor of the week? Or does our new national reverence speak to something larger and more lasting?

Joined again by Dinesh D`Souza, author of "What`s So Great About Christianity?" Thanks for coming back.

You know, during the Civil War, slavery was ended by Christianity. While I was with the president a couple of months ago, he said, for us to win this war, there must be a reawakening of Christians and of churchgoers, et cetera, et cetera. They must fall to their knees and worship God again. He says it was happening. And I thought to myself, "Really?" Give me the evidence that it`s happening.

DINESH D`SOUZA, "WHAT`S SO GREAT ABOUT CHRISTIANITY?": Well, you do see the evidence not just, by the way, in America, but I think worldwide. We`re seeing a worldwide boom of religion. Many people think Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world, but it`s not so. It`s actually Christianity. And I think here in the West, there were...

BECK: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Really?

D`SOUZA: It`s true. See, Islam grows mainly by reproduction, Muslims having really big families. Christianity goes both by reproduction and by conversion, so it`s an unreported story that Christianity is today.

Look at China. Christianity is growing like wildfire all across Asia. You`ve got churches in Asia now that have 100,000 members, where the pastors have to tell people not to come every Sunday because there`s no room. So we are seeing a worldwide boom.

In fact, I think that this backlash of atheist books we`re seeing in America, "The God Delusion," "God is Not Great," and so on, are kind of an attempt to lash out against something that the atheists didn`t expect. They felt that, as the country became more -- as the world became more modern, more industrial, more technological, more educated, religion would wither away. But it`s not happened.

BECK: Well, I think it`s -- I mean, it`s obvious. I mean, you look at Hollywood. And I`ve been saying this for I don`t know how long. These people are miserable in Hollywood,. and they have no reason to be miserable. They`re famous; they`re beautiful; they`re wealthy; they have everything going for them. But what they don`t have, a majority of them, what they don`t have is some sort of center in God.

And I think, as we get -- as we become more of a wealthy nation, there`s only two paths to go, the Hollywood way, where you go nuts, or to realize none of this stuff has any value, that the only thing that really creates happiness is an understanding of who we are in our relationship with a higher being.

D`SOUZA: You`re touching on a very deep point here, Glenn, that I make in "What`s So Great About Christianity?", which is that, as countries become prosperous, as you personally become more successful, you begin to ask, is there something more? Is there some purpose to life? So oddly enough, modernity and education don`t lead to secularization. We`re seeing a kind of new religious openness. It may not take the form of traditional religion, but it`s nevertheless an openness to the transcendent.

BECK: Dinesh, I have to tell you, I am -- I mean, I as a Christian am so sick of the bashing of, a, my particular faith, and then, b, the bashing of all Christianity, that somehow or another, you know, you can have some sort of Wiccan thing there, but I can`t have the little baby Jesus in town square. Everything, it seems, is going toward this godless socialism, and Christians have stood by and just let it happen for so long. How do you reverse that process without being, you know, a hatemonger?

D`SOUZA: Well, the Christians have been far too passive. The Christians have thought, "We`ll let the public square be neutral. We`ll practice our faith at home and in church." And now the atheists have come galloping into the public square, and the atheists` idea of neutrality is to drive all religions out of the public square so it`s monopolized by secular and atheist views. I think, in an age where we`re facing a threat from radical Islam abroad, in an age where we`re facing all kinds of problems of social breakdown at home, we certainly need more religion, more Christianity, not less.

BECK: Can I ask you a question that`s going to go on the lunatic fringe, may I?

D`SOUZA: Certainly.

BECK: All right. Here it is. I was driving in today, and I`m seeing these forest fires, or listening on the radio, these forest fires. And I`m like, "Hmm, droughts, floods, forest fires, natural disasters, plagues"...

D`SOUZA: I see where you`re going.

BECK: ..."wars, rumors of wars, I`ve read this all someplace before." Does any of that play any role with anyone starting to find, you know, religion?

D`SOUZA: I`m not a defender of fundamentalism. My book defends traditional Christianity. And in traditional Christianity, you don`t draw wild theological inferences, but you do look for reasonable and legitimate signs. So, for example, the formation of the state of Israel in 1948 foretold repeatedly in scripture, I think most Christians, mainstream Christians, would agree is a biblically significant event. But I don`t think we can ascribe divine intention to a forest fire.

BECK: No, no, no. No, no, no, I wasn`t asking that. I was asking, on the people themselves, do you think that there is any kind of growth at all from Christianity because people are starting -- some people are starting to say, "Wait a minute, this all looks familiar. Maybe I should look in that book again"?

D`SOUZA: Well, I do think that people are recognizing that actions have consequences, and there`s a certain moral accountability to life. Religion provides a kind of basis for that. That`s the point of "What`s So Great About Christianity?"

BECK: All right, Dinesh, thank you.

Now, I know Halloween is just around the corner, but there is no explaining this, dressing up as a soda vending machine, and not for trick or treating. Wait until you hear what the people in Japan are doing and why they`re doing it. Oh, they`re crazy. I`ll explain next.


BECK: Programming note. This coming Wednesday, I`ll be doing a special show I`m calling "Liberty in Peril." I`m going to spend a whole hour looking at how our very country is coming apart at the seams, what you can do about it. I`ve been telling you for months now about the loss of our national sovereignty from the border to our right to bear arms. And this Wednesday, I`ll show you what`s at stake at "Liberty in Peril." Let them worry about the planet; we`ll worry about our liberty. Don`t miss it.

Now, just in case you think that it`s just our country that`s being torn apart, based on a news story only that I read just this past weekend, the Japanese are coming unhinged right along with us. So we`re in good company. It seems the crime rate in Tokyo is on the rise, and you may be surprised by what some Japanese are doing to keep themselves safe.

They`re not carrying guns, and they`re not hiring more police. Instead, the world leaders in technology have turned to the brilliantly deceptive world of disguise. This is an actual photo of a woman using a piece of experimental fashion, an elaborate kimono that opens to become -- voila -- a Coca-Cola vending machine. Granted, the shoes peeking out underneath do sort of blow the cover, but, you know, the rest is pretty convincing.

The designer feels that the woman, you know, walking alone could elude pursuers by disguising herself as a vending machine. Now, maybe it`s just me. I mean, I`m no Carrot Top prop designer, but I am a thinker. I don`t think this is going to work.

Sure, a story like this, it would be easy for me to, you know, make fun of the Japanese culture, belittle people who are already belittle. Oh, now, see, that`s unkind. Now I`m going to have to make a tall American joke tomorrow. Oh, no, I just realized I am a tall American joke, so I make that every night.

I say we learn something from the latest Asian revolution and give in and try something right here in the good, old USA. I sent this idea upstairs to my business development unit to see what they could come up with. You know, how do we escape crime and corner the American crime disguise market? And here`s what they came up with.

If you`re looking to lay low and you don`t want anybody to recognize you, why not dress as Tom Arnold? Tom Arnold has been dressing like Tom Arnold for years, and he`s managed to stay completely out of sight. Of course, if you want criminals to leave you alone, you could disguise yourself like one of them, you know, just pick your favorite law breaker, put on 20 pounds, do a few lines of coke, allegedly, climb behind the wheel, and you`ll blend right in. Of course, if that doesn`t work, there`s always the old stand by of making yourself look like Al Gore. At least 50 percent of the people won`t look your way.

That`s it. If you want to know more about tomorrow`s show or more in- depth commentary, grab my e-mail newsletter at From New York, good night, America.