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How Radical is Obama`s Pastor?; Supreme Court Hears Second Amendment Case; Millionaire Bails out Hundreds of Illegals
Aired March 19, 2008 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Tonight more fallout from Obama`s controversial speech about his former pastor. Does Jeremiah Wright believe in what`s called a black liberation theology? How radical is that school of thought?
Plus a big wig from Boston spends $200,000 to bail out illegals swept up in raids. Is he a hero or a villain? See if you can guess what I think.
And it`s been five years since the war in Iraq began, and except for today, the media has largely ignored the story lately. But the reason they`ve been ignoring the war is actually good. And I`ll explain.
All this and more tonight.
BECK: Well, hello, America.
After Barack Obama`s speech yesterday on the racially charged anti- American comments of his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, the liberal media held a pity party: "Oh, poor Barack, he`s just got a crazy grandpa. And don`t we all have a crazy grandpa?" No. Here`s "The Point" tonight.
Reverend Jeremiah Wright is much more dangerous than any crazy grandpa any of us might have had. The foundation of Wright`s beliefs are rooted in the theological tradition based in hate, intolerance and racial black nationalism. Here`s how I got there.
I told you just last week that I wouldn`t give any platform to any slinging of any mud for any candidate or any party. And I feel I am keeping my word on this. I am not piling on Obama due to the comments of his former pastor. What I`m doing, and what I think is important that we all do, is shine a light on Barack`s past.
We don`t know, really, who this guy is. We have to kind of piece it together, not only by what he says in the present, but what he has done in the past. Who is Barack Obama? Who has built his foundation?
So what did Barack do in the last 20 years? Well, he`s -- one thing, sat in one of the pews of the Trinity United Church of Christ and listened to Reverend Wright`s sermons. He says he counts Wright as a member of his family and his senior spiritual adviser. OK. If that`s true, then I think it`s fair that we find out who Wright is and what he believes.
In the talking points page of the Trinity church`s Web site, Reverend Wright, in his own words, states that the foundation of his beliefs are in systemized black liberation theology and praises James Cone`s book, "Black Power and Black Theology." This is what James Cone, the man who Obama`s senior spiritual advisor looks up to and whose ideas he preaches, states as black liberation theology. Listen carefully and please follow along.
Quote, "Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill gods who do not belong to the black community. Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in black power which is the power of black people to destroy their opinion pressers here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love."
Wow, America, here is what you need to know tonight. The man who wrote those words contributed to the foundation of Reverend Jeremiah Wright`s ministry. Barack Obama has been Fed a steady diet of those teachings for 20 years. He sat in the pew every Sunday, soaking it in. He never denounced or rejected the Reverend`s beliefs until it was politically advantageous.
So do we believe 20 years of evidence or a 20-minute speech? Forget about me. I want to ask you the question: is this the kind of man you want to have access to the most powerful man on earth?
Ken Blackwell is a senior fellow for family empowerment of the Family Research Council. And Ramesh Ponnuru is the "TIME" columnist and senior editor for "The National Review".
Ramesh, let me start with you. "Newsweek" called a couple of dozen prominent African-American pastors and asked them how out of step is Jeremiah Wright with what they see coming across the country? What did they find?
RAMESH PONNURU, "TIME"/"NATIONAL REVIEW": Well, they found that not one of their experts was willing to say that the Reverend Wright had crossed any kind of significant line. They were saying that this sort of stuff is firmly within the mainstream of the churches that they`re talking about, not that all churches are like this but that a lot were.
BECK: OK. Here`s what I don`t understand, Ramesh. Is I`m reading the editorials. I read four papers today. You can`t find an editorial in a mainstream paper today that says anything but that Barack Obama was brave, et cetera, et cetera.
This is poison. This would destroy anybody else`s career. How is this just being dismissed?
PONNURU: Well, partly it`s because, for some of his fans among liberals and in the press, Barack Obama can`t sneeze without it being called eloquence.
Partly it`s because he managed very skillfully to change the subject. The question you`ve been talking about I think is the right question, which is what does his association, his tight and longstanding association with the Reverend Wright say about him, his beliefs and his judgment?
Instead, he made it all about this grand canvas of race relations in this country.
PONNURU: So it`s not about his judgment. It`s about all of us, the moral test is of us, not of him.
BECK: OK. Ken, I wanted to have you on, because you were a former U.N. ambassador -- U.S. ambassador at the U.N. And you have seen this black liberation philosophy or theology before. Explain. I think this is even more frightening than the stuff that I`ve already read on television. Explain what you`ve seen.
KEN BLACKWELL, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Essentially, liberation theology took root in Africa and Central America. It was often offered up by Marxist regimes that knew that they couldn`t uproot the church, so they tried to weaken the doctrine of the church. So it is an alternative doctrine of the church that embraces big government. It advances a collectivist ideal and idea, and it says the state, not the individual is central to society.
And that is very disquieting. But it also gives you a better understanding of the under-girding of Senator Obama`s big-government, liberal philosophy that would increase spending, increase taxes, weaken our military and our position in the world.
BECK: I`ll tell you, it explains the comments of his wife. It explains -- you`re exactly right, his big-government ideas. If you understand what this theology is, you do begin to understand Barack Obama, but it is in a -- I believe in a frightening way.
However, I`m being labeled the one that`s the hate-monger for asking these questions. How is this theology out there and it not be labeled racist and hate-mongering?
BLACKWELL: Well, it`s part of a series, of parts. Here`s a guy who says that he studied the doctrine of Saul Alinsky, who was an anarchist, a radical. Here is a guy who basically said that, while he was in Reverend Wright`s church, he embraces Louis Farrakhan.
The fact is that nobody has elevated this beyond his race. He can speak eloquently on race and moving towards a color-blind society, but what he can`t speak to is how he got there going to a color-conscious theology and how he got there by embracing, I think, a position that was really radical and antithetical to this whole notion of God as being central to our nation and the individual as being primary.
BECK: Ramesh, do you think, if I had -- if I had a gun to your head and made you make a prediction, lay your last thousand dollars on the table and make a bet, does this just tighten Barack Obama`s core, and I think tear us apart even more, make us -- you know, pretty much guarantee 1968? Or does this -- does this -- does he get away with it? Does it -- does it do anything to anybody in the end?
PONNURU: I think Obama -- you know, we`ve heard a lot of people say, oh, he threaded the needle. And that`s true except for one factor. He may be getting through the primaries this way. But unfortunately, there`s also a general election.
And I`m not sure that this kind of double talk, where he sort of says he`s not excusing the Reverend Wright and his anti-American comments and then gives seven paragraphs of excuses for it, is going to work with the general electorate. I they they`re fooling themselves.
BECK: I have to tell you, I have more respect for Democrats than this. I don`t think Democrats are -- are in line in Reverend Wright at all.
Ken, Ramesh, thank you very much.
Coming up, the Supreme Court hears evidence in an historic case on Second Amendment rights, and it seems like the court is leaning towards reversing one of the most restrictive gun laws in America. Wayne LaPierre will be here. He`ll give us the news here in just a second.
And I`ll explain why recent actions by the Fed to save us from our own economic demise is a page right out of recent history. It`s "The Real Story" you don`t want to miss tonight.
Plus we`ll bring another sneak peak at a full-hour interview with comedian Jeff Foxworthy later on in the program. Stand by.
BECK: Coming up in just a bit, the media`s coverage of the Iraq war has been on a roller-coaster ride: highs and lows. It`s like the stock market. From nonstop coverage to barely none at all.
I`ve said it many times before on this program: Americans don`t have a problem with fighting a war. They have a problem with losing a war. And fighting it to loose. More in tonight`s "Real Story".
But first, doesn`t it kind of feel to anybody else like history is repeating itself? The economy feels like -- I don`t know -- spring of 1929. And the debate over your gun rights feels like 1939. That`s the last time the Supreme Court addressed the Constitutional right to bear arms. That is, until yesterday, when the court heard oral arguments surrounding the D.C. handgun ban.
Now, to me -- hundreds and thousands of others, there`s no question our Founding Fathers believed in responsible gun ownership and Constitutionally guaranteed that right in explicit terms. They weren`t doing it for hunters. They were afraid of big government.
Too bad Washington, D.C., seems to have forgotten the whole Constitution thing. Maybe we should move the Constitution to someplace where they might read it once in a while. Like, you know, I don`t know, in the -- in the congressional bathrooms or something.
Since 1976 the District of Columbia has banned all handgun ownership except for retired D.C. police officers. The district also requires other firearms, like simple rifles, to be kept disassembled or with trigger locks on.
Keep in mind: only lawful citizens obey the gun ban. Criminals haven`t had a problem with ignoring it for decades. D.C. has been the capital for gun crime.
This case has both sides of the gun debate holding their collective breath. The court`s decision will certainly have a national impact. So far the justices have repeatedly suggested that Washington`s sweeping gun ban infringes on our right to keep and bear arms. In fact, in the words of Chief Justice John Roberts, what`s reasonable about a total ban on gun possession? I, for one, couldn`t agree more.
Wayne LaPierre is the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, an organization I am proudly a lifetime member of. And he was in court and heard the oral arguments yesterday. How did you -- how did you come away feeling yesterday, Wayne?
WAYNE LAPIERRE, EVP, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION: You know, Glenn, I came away with what I went in. All human society is best served by good people being able to defend themselves against those that would do evil to them and hurt them.
And Washington, D.C., if the glass breaks in the middle of the night and you`re all alone there, you cannot own any type of firearm at all to defend yourself against the people that would kill you. And that`s not reasonable. And it`s unconstitutional. And I believe that`s the way the courts said it.
BECK: You know, I have to tell you, I am -- I`m very -- I`m confused because the Bush administration came out -- the Justice Department, and filed a brief that said, you know, "You can`t go crazy here and give everybody every right." I mean, they kind of, in a way, came out against our rights to own guns.
And yet, Dick Cheney came out, the first time a vice president has ever done this, and said, "I just want you to know, I don`t agree with the administration and the Justice Department."
What`s that all about?
LAPIERRE: Well, I`ll tell you, for the first time in history, more members of Congress signed that amicus brief than any other time: over 55 senators, 250 members of the House of Representatives, the vice president of the United States. And I think what that represents is the will of the American people saying, "This is our freedom. It`s our right. It`s our individual right, and we are not going to be denied this freedom."
BECK: Wayne, I am -- you know, I`ve been reading the Founding Fathers an awful lot, because I -- I just think our country is in real trouble. We`re losing so much of what we started at.
And as I read the actual words of the Founding Fathers and I see what they talked about, they knew that it was -- they were afraid of government. They were not afraid of, you know, bears coming out of the woods. They wanted people to have the right to protect themselves against an out-of- control government.
When did we lose a court system to this evolutionary law that we have now, where they look at, well, let`s look back at what we said in 1940, or 1939, or 1920? When did they stop looking at the Founding Fathers` intent?
LAPIERRE: I couldn`t agree more. I mean, from the 1700s up until the 1950s, it was unquestioned it was an individual right. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Patrick Henry, Sam Adams, George Mason, all individual right. Justice Story, the most noted Supreme Court justice of the 1800s other than John Marshall, individual right.
When Congress looked at this after the Civil War and said, "We`re going to restore the rights of slaves, Second Amendment, individual right.
It wasn`t until you got this Miller decision that still said it was an individual right. It talked about a sawed-off shotgun, whether it was appropriate for militia use. But it said it`s individual; it`s the individual right of citizens.
That`s been twisted in the last 20 years and turned into a lie that became this popular fairytale that somehow, in the Miller decision, they said it was only a collective right of the government. Well, the American public knows better than that.
BECK: This -- this has been going on in Washington, D.C., for years and years. It`s 30 years. Somebody asked me today, Glenn, how come -- how come this is now 30 years on the books and it`s just now being challenged?
My explanation was, nobody knew -- nobody wanted to push it on either side, because nobody -- they were kind of happy with the stalemate, because you didn`t know which direction it was going to come out. Is that an accurate statement, would you say?
LAPIERRE: Yes. I think we were trying to repeal it in Congress. The district residents were upset about it. But I think people were worried about people on the Supreme Court legislating from the bench as opposed to interpreting the Constitution as it`s written.
But this D.C. law has been on the books 32 years. It`s a miserable failure. It`s one of the crime capitals of America. It`s taken away protection on the part of the law-abiding people.
And the D.C. criminal justice system is a resolving door. If it catches the bad guys at all, it takes them in, it turns them back out. It`s open season on the honest citizens. And the honest citizens don`t want to be denied their constitutional right to protect themselves anymore.
And what D.C. needs to do, is when they catch violent felons with guns, drug dealers with guns, criminals with gun, put them in jail. That will make people safe, not taking guns from the law abiding people.
BECK: Wayne, thank you very much. We`ll see you soon.
LAPIERRE: Thank you, Glenn.
BECK: Coming up -- you bet. When the government arresting illegal immigrants, it`s probably safe to assume, you know, for a reason, which is exactly the reason why Americans should not be bailing them out of jail. I`ll explain, coming up in just a second.
And will violence in Tibet be the deciding factor in this year`s Beijing Olympic Games? No. Just how far will the U.S. go to protest China`s abuse of the Dalai Lama`s followers? Sadly, not very far, because we can`t. Coming up.
BECK: I`m going to tell you, there`s a lot of crazy ways to blow a couple hundred thousand dollars. But I can`t imagine the mindset of somebody who would use that money to bail out 40 illegal immigrants out of jail. Sounds insane to me. But you know, I`m a hate-monger, I hear.
That`s exactly, however, what millionaire Bob Hildreth did. He made a fortune trading Latin American debt, whatever that means. Then, when he saw on the news a raid on a factory that was illegally employing dozens of illegal immigrants, he decided to spring them from jail, because he saw the action of arresting and deporting them as extremely un-American.
I have to tell you, I`ve been thinking about this one all day. If busting illegals and their employers is un-American, I`d hate to see what this guy thinks is American.
Michael Graham is a radio host from 96.9 WTKK in Boston.
Michael, this guy is helping game the system, is he not?
MICHAEL GRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It`s Massachusetts. You know? I mean, it seems insane everywhere else. You`ve guys got to come up here, Glenn, and drink the water.
I will tell you. I was stunned last year by the scenes of immigration enforcement officers enforcing the law, too, because we`ve never seen it before. What? The federal government enforcing our borders? Wow, what a stunner.
Here`s the big story: 361 people were arrested and detained. Bob Hildreth was offended by that. Apparently, he thinks police officers give out timeouts or take away your video games for a week. I don`t know what he thought he was going to do.
Two days later there was another scene on TV that Bob could have seen: hundreds of local citizens and legal residents lining up for those jobs. That company, that factory is now open. It`s got Americans earning more money, paying more taxes as the company prospers. They even have health benefits.
And apparently, Bob Hildreth would be happy if we want back to the sweat shop days when the work was being done by immigration criminals.
BECK: Right. Because the owner of this business, he went to jail, right?
GRAHAM: Right. Well, he`s still being prosecuted. It`s a big ugly scene. And he should.
But here`s -- once again, here`s classic government at work, Glenn. Only half of the criminal immigrants -- we know they are, there`s no dispute -- have been deported. Most of the other half are, thanks to people like Bob, are staying in the system, gaming the system, claiming, "I can`t go back to Mexico or Guatemala because for some reason everyone else can live there but not me."
They`ll almost certainly be deported eventually. It`s just slowing us down. But there are 35 people, you`ll be happy to know, Glenn, that I`ve detained, arrested, and now they have no idea where the heck they are.
BECK: That`s perfect. The crazy thing that is also part of this story is -- is the fact that, in Massachusetts there are now these organizations -- there`s one group in particular that is just throwing out the welcome mat for illegals. It is...
GRAHAM: This is the only place in America where watching someone enforce the law makes the citizens rise up to stop the law. While the rest of us are begging, "Please enforce the law and protect our borders," a group called Welcoming Mass has started a movement declaring that criminal immigrants have a, quote, "civil and human right," close quote, to live in Massachusetts without fear of, you know, law enforcement.
The city of Boston voted 9 to nothing to endorse the principles of Welcoming Mass and say, "Criminal immigrants, come on down. We won`t enforce law, and if we do, local millionaires will pony up the money so you can get back out."
By the way, Glenn, a lot of these people that he has bailed out are working illegally again, taking jobs from Americans right here in Massachusetts.
BECK: I have to tell you, I -- if I could get away with not obeying any of the laws and somebody else will bail me out on my mortgage, man, I am moving up next to Ted Kennedy. It will be fantastic.
GRAHAM: The place to be.
BECK: Yes, it is. Thanks, Michael.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
BECK: Now coming up, "The Real Story" behind why, after five years of war in Iraq, the media just doesn`t seem to care about this story anymore. It`s coming up next.
BECK: Calls to boycott the 2008 Beijing summer Olympic games are sweeping the world as conflict and human-rights violations start to dominate the headlines. But there`s a clear reason why a boycott would be a very bad idea for us. And that is money. We are slave to our debt. I`ll explain in just a bit.
First, welcome to "The Real Story." Ben Bernanke is a huge fan. Actually, he probably -- yes, he`d probably want me to call him a student of the Great Depression. I don`t know if he dresses up in Great Depression wear on the weekends, but he wrote, quote, "I`m a Great Depression buff. I`m in this the way some people are Civil War buffs." Get the spats out.
While I`m glad Bernanke is studying the lessons from the past, maybe "The Real Story" is that he should brush up on the far more recent and relevant crisis of the past, like Japan`s meltdown in the 1990s. Here are just a few of the uncanny parallels.
In the 1990s, the long real estate boom that caused Japan`s banks to loan money to virtually everyone who came in with their hand out caused a few problems. Wait a minute. Our banks have done exactly the same thing.
In the 1990s, the bursting of that bubble in Japan exposed their banks` bad lending habits, causing a massive liquidity crisis that spread throughout the system. Kind of like our banks are now being exposed, as well. Look around. Have you noticed what was once called a subprime crisis is now a credit crisis?
In the 1990s in Japan the Japanese government created something called a convoy system in which they asked strong financial institutions to prop up or take over the weaker ones. We now have our government playing matchmaker by propping up Bear Stearns and then facilitating a takeover by JPMorgan Chase.
In the 1990s the Bank of Japan slashed interest rates to near zero and used taxpayer money to pump billions into their system, all of which crushed their currency, the yen. Well, now our Fed is doing the same thing to the dollar, which has fallen 22 percent against the yen since June.
But while the parallels are obvious, the outcome is going to be very, very different, because the fundamental premise of Japan`s economy is completely different than ours. We -- we are not built on saving. Their save their money. We`re built on spending. They were built on making and shipping products like televisions and cars over to us. We`re built on buying them.
Japan could withstand a few of their consumers tightening their belts because, well, they save their money. But when Americans stop spending, the engine that drives 70 percent of the American economy stops right along with it and falls through the floor.
Joshua Rosner is the managing director of Graham, Fisher and Company.
Josh, we`re not really fixing anything. We`re moving things around. We`re putting Band-Aids on our problems. Right or wrong?
JOSHUA ROSNER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, GRAHAM, FISHER AND COMPANY: Well, no, I think that`s largely right. What we`re fixing is we`re trying to fix confidence. And that`s the issue that the Fed is trying to address.
But at the same time they`re not getting to the roots of the problem either in the housing market or, in fact, in the credit markets where the illiquid securities are still illiquid.
BECK: OK. I don`t understand. Look, I`m a recovering alcoholic rodeo clown, so I`m pretty much a dope. Help me figure this one out. Restoring confidence, what does that mean exactly? So we go out and spend more money? Seventy percent of our GDP is -- is built on us spending. We`re in debt up to our eyeballs. What do we need confidence for?
ROSNER: Well, you know, what they`re really worried about right now is the systemic crisis, one institution falling and knocking down other institutions and so on. And so we need -- what the view is, is that they need to at least stabilize the system. I`m not sure that this is actually doable with the current tools that they have.
BECK: Yes. I mean, we`re stabilizing a system, but again, while we`re stabilizing the system -- and please tell me. I really want to be wrong on this. Please tell me I`m wrong: as we stabilize the system we are screwing ourselves with the dollar. Our dollar is falling through the floor.
ROSNER: I think you`re absolutely right. And I think that that`s one of the issues that at some point someone is going to really have to wake up to. Because the ultimate cost here of this failing, which I think, in all likelihood, we`re going to end up in a more protracted problem like Japan, is inflation. And I think that you`re exactly right. I think the dollar is ultimately the problem here.
BECK: But see, I -- you know, I -- again, Josh, I don`t -- I don`t understand these people. If I can figure this out -- you know, here is the front page of "The New York Times." It says, "Even Experts Can`t Grasp This Crisis." That`s on the front page. I`m not an expert, and I can grasp it.
It`s overspending. It`s out-of-control spending. It`s people pretty just much betting on other things. I mean, it`s -- our markets have become giant casinos.
ROSNER: That`s right. But Glenn, if you were, in fact, a buff of the Great Depression, your biggest fear might be deflation. And you might actually not pay attention to -- that`s not to say you shouldn`t -- the fear or the problems of inflation.
BECK: But again, if I read the paper today, which I did, I read the paper today. I found four stories of three different countries where you have to go to a major bank if you want to exchange your dollar. They don`t want the dollars anymore.
You`ve got Vietnam wanting to unpeg from the dollar. And you have, I think, four different countries in the Gulf region that want to unpeg from the dollar. What is that going to do?
ROSNER: Well, look, I think that ultimately it means that when our consumers walk into Wal-Mart they`re going to be paying a lot more for their goods.
BECK: And you know, I ask this of everybody that we have on. Anything Joe Six-pack can do at this point?
ROSNER: I mean, unfortunately, the answer is one that, by the way, Washington would not be happy with. But I think it`s time to really retrench, trim your savings, pay down your floating rate debt as aggressively as you can, and really prepare to weather a storm.
BECK: Joshua, thanks.
Now, the media finally found some time to cover the war in Iraq today. Buy don`t panic. It`s not that -- you know, the good news that they were interested in. They didn`t find any. It was marking the five-year anniversary of the invasion.
In fact, let me show you the same "New York Times." I love this cover. That`s a dead Iraqi soldier right there. OK? Happy fifth anniversary.
If you`ve noticed less stories on the war on TV or, you know, in the newspaper, you`re not imagining things. In fact, journalists have seemingly done what many people have been hoping our military would do, and that`s just -- they`ve just withdrawn. They`ve withdrawn all the coverage from the story.
While it`s easy and convenient to blame the lack of coverage on how difficult the war is to cover or how tired people have become of it, "The Real Story" is simple: the war in Iraq gets no attention because we`re winning. I`ve been saying for years Americans don`t have a problem with the war. They have a problem with losing a war. But the exact opposite is true for most of the media.
Winning a war means they`re forced to show video of things like bustling street markets or kids going to school, businessmen heading for work, happy people, you know, images that are about as exciting as showing glacial ice freezing, which is exactly why you`ll never see that either.
Car bombs, IEDs and big explosions, those are the crumbling glaciers and the dead polar bears of Iraq, because those images get ratings. And if you haven`t noticed, ratings equal money, and media companies really, really, really like money.
So how bad has the Iraqi coverage gotten? Well, in the first ten weeks of 2007 before the surge began -- remember when everything was horrible? -- 23 percent of all television newspaper and Internet stories, 23 percent, all about Iraq.
In the first ten weeks of 2008, that number has dropped to 3 percent.
Cable News Network spent 24 percent of their time on Iraq last year. This year, one. That`s a 96 percent drop-off in coverage. I wonder why that is.
I wonder why that is. In fact, I bet if you charted the media coverage right alongside U.S. troop casualties, you`d find a pretty clear correlation. Because what`s good for American media is usually just the opposite for the American people.
Mark Jurkowitz is the associate director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Mark, you know, I wasn`t covering the war like a journalist should cover the war a year ago. I`m not a journalist. I mean, I had my theory on this one a long time ago. Why the -- why the drop-off? Some people are being consistent with their coverage. Most people aren`t.
MARK JURKOWITZ, ASSOCIATED DIRECTOR, PROJECT OF EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM: Well, Glenn, there`s actually a couple of reasons. One that you touched on, and we won`t go to motives.
But clearly, since the surge has appeared to succeed in terms of reducing violence within the country of Iraq itself, there`s been less coverage of the war itself, and we can talk about why there is -- that is and that the media is always looking for conflict and turmoil. We all know that we cover a plane crash more than we cover a plane landing safely at an airport.
But clearly, there has been a reduction in violence and of the war itself and of the carnage. And on one level that`s been responsible for some of the drop-off.
The other thing that`s worth mentioning, however, is that for a good chunk of 2007, the actual biggest component of war coverage was the political debate that took place here in Washington. And you have to remember what that was like.
2007, a new Democratic Congress comes in. They think they have a mandate from the people to end the war. The president immediately announces a surge. We look like we`re going to have a classic battle royale for political control over the war.
As the year goes on, it becomes evident that the president is going to regain and retain control over the purse strings and the strategy for the war, and media coverage of that political battle starts to drop off, as well, dramatically in the second half of 2007. As a matter of fact, that`s been an even bigger drop-off than what we`re seeing from inside the country.
BECK: OK. So you have the election going on right now.
BECK: So you have some drop-off now, because everybody is covering the election. I swear to you, the media cannot walk and chew gum at the same time. They`re -- they`re all a bunch of dopes in this industry. But they -- they`re covering the election. But the war is part of that on the campaign trail. Anything going to change?
JURKOWITZ: I think that something may change. And first of all, you`re right. Obviously, the campaign is almost sucking all of the oxygen out of the media universe. It`s taking an incredible amount of resources.
In the first three months of this month [SIC], the coverage of the war has been, like, 15 to one -- of the campaign has been, like 15 to one over the war. So we know that.
What I think surprised people is some people thought this campaign was going to be all about the war. We know now that issue No. 1 with people is the economy.
But I get a sense that when we get into the general election, when we are going to have two very different views of the war in Iraq and where it`s going, we will probably see a refocusing of coverage. And that`s independent of whether or not there are spikes of violence and the war takes a different turn.
But my sense is it will be a bigger issue in the general election than it`s been in the Democratic primary. And then I would expect to see some kind of an uptick in coverage.
BECK: Thanks, Mark.
That`s "The Real Story" tonight.
Coming up, I don`t think anybody watches the Olympics anymore. But this summer the games are on. And now there`s calls for a boycott, which makes it a little more interesting, right? Not so much. Find out why next.
BECK: Well, today`s headlines are all about what a great job Ben Bernanke and the Fed are doing managing this economic crisis. But my question is, a great job for who? Wall Street? I`ve got news for you. What`s good for Wall Street ain`t always good for your street. I`ll explain in more detail on tomorrow`s program.
But tonight I want to talk about another group of people that are being impacted by our Fed, and that`s the Chinese government. As owners of nearly $700 billion in U.S. securities, the Chinese would seem to be more motivated to help keep our economy stay strong, right?
But take a second with me and just look at it from the other side. What if, instead of looking for return on their money, the Chinese are really looking for an insurance policy?
For example, right now there`s a controversy brewing over China`s handling of a violent protest in Tibet, which has led some people to call for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics later this year. But would the U.S. really participate, knowing that, if the Chinese wanted to, they could dump billions of our debt onto the market or just dump cash dollars into the market, driving our dollar even lower and dropping the hammer down on an economy that`s already teetering on the edge.
Would they do it, or are we just afraid that they might do it? And what about Taiwan? How much of an economic impact would we have on our -- on our policies, should anything happen there?
Gordon Cheng is the author of "The Coming Collapse of China."
GORDON CHENG, AUTHOR, "THE COMING COLLAPSE OF CHINA": Hello, Glenn.
BECK: I don`t think anything`s going to -- I don`t think we`re going to boycott. I don`t think anything is really going to happen. And let me show the audience why. Put up the full screen of how much China owns of us and our trade surplus. What is our trade surplus now? I can`t even get the official numbers.
CHENG: Well, the Chinese trade surplus against the United States is $256 billion. Their overall trade surplus was only $6 billion more. You know, so basically we are the Chinese trade surplus.
CHENG: And yet everybody in Washington thinks that we`re beholding to them. Really, it`s the other way around.
BECK: OK. So do you really believe -- I mean, remember, these are people who drown children in rice patties. Do they really think that they wouldn`t, if they wanted to, you know, have their own way, they -- they`ll go for thousands of years, that they wouldn`t just dump our securities or our money onto the market? They`ve already threatened to do it.
CHENG: Yes. They threatened last August. They call it the nuclear option. And they said, you know, when this was a time when Congress was considering some bills relating to China. And they said, well, look, you know, maybe we should use our nuclear weapon, which is their currency. So this is not something which is hypothetical. They`ve already threatened to do this.
BECK: OK. But do you believe that they actually would or they`re just trying to make us afraid? Who`s afraid of whom here?
CHENG: Well, clearly, we`re afraid of them when it really should be the other way around. Because their economy is much more dependent on ours than ours is dependent on them.
And you know, the weapons that they have, they don`t really have as much leverage as we think that they do. You know, we`re so afraid of them, but we really shouldn`t be.
BECK: I have to tell you, you know, when you look at the rise in commodities, the rise in copper, the reason why copper is so expensive right now here in United States is because they`re completely redoing Beijing. They`re trying to make this into a perfect little American city, if you will, the city of the future, a perfect green city.
So I think they`re inviting the media over to say, "Look. Look how green we are. Look how perfect we are." And the media will show all that, and we`ll spend ourselves into oblivion.
Meanwhile, I mean, they`ve got coal plants being built all the time. These are very, very shrewd, smart people.
CHENG: Well, you know, one of the things is that the communist party, however, really can`t censor pollution. And although that they come out with all these statistics which says that the air in Beijing is better, what they`re really doing is moving their monitoring stations away from the center of the city so that the readings look better. But people in Beijing have had all of these chronic respiratory problems because of the air.
And the Olympics are going to be a problem, because the endurance events may not be able to be held, just because it would harm the athletes too much.
BECK: Do you think anybody -- I love the comment from France, that they said we shouldn`t boycott the games because that would be wrong. But we should boycott the opening ceremonies. That`s like -- that`s like -- I mean, how French is that? Let`s go to the Security Council, but let`s not enforce anything. I mean, that`s ridiculous.
Do you think anybody is going to really stand up to China on this?
CHENG: Well, I don`t think that they will. But certainly they should, because it`s not just Tibet. It`s not just Darfur. It`s not just human rights. And it`s not their support for the Iranian nuclear weapons program. It`s all of these things together. And China is destabilizing the international community, and they should pay a price for it. And so far we haven`t asked them to pay a price.
BECK: Gordon, thanks a lot.
CHENG: Thank you.
BECK: Coming up next, a sneak peak at the full-hour interview that I`ve done with Jeff Foxworthy that airs Friday. That`s coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF FOXWORTHY: What were they thinking, some of those toys? Did anybody else have the swing set? My parents were too lazy to actually pour the concrete in the ground. We had the swing set, every time you swung above this high, the front legs would go wah, wah, wah. There were stunt men that would not swing on our swing set.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: You know what`s funny? Is I found -- my wife says to me one time, she said that, "You want to have some rice pudding?"
I said, "I`ve never had rice pudding."
She said, "Really?" She started to make it.
And I said, "Oh, my gosh. That`s rice and raisins." Because I used to have rice and raisins. My mom would make rice with raisins in it. And as I realized it, my mom was just too lazy to finish the rice pudding. She was like, "It`s good enough for you. Here. Here`s the rice and raisins."
FOXWORTHY: Yes, some of the stuff that they -- you know, it`s like when my girls were little and I`m having to put latches on the cabinets. And I`m thinking my -- my parents had a 500-pound television...
FOXWORTHY: ... on top of an aluminum TV tray. And my dad`s theory was "let him pull it on his head a couple times. He`ll learn."
BECK: Exactly right. How we survived is beyond me.
FOXWORTHY: I don`t know. "Go ahead, put a penny in the light socket. See what happens, big man." You know? I mean, that`s how you learned.
BECK: You`ve got a house full of women.
FOXWORTHY: I do.
BECK: I do. Do you think women are smarter than men?
BECK: Do you?
FOXWORTHY: Well, which is not really that big a deal, because what that`s saying is that you are smarter than a creature, that every time it takes off its underwear it tries to pick it up with its toes, flip them in the air and catch them with its hand. You know? So it ain`t that big a deal that you`re smarter than we are.
BECK: Yes. It`s saying you`re smarter than a lunatic (ph).
FOXWORTHY: But it is a good feeling when you catch them on the first try. You know?
Do you do that? Pick it up...
BECK: My son does it. He`s 3. He`s already doing it. Oh, yes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FOXWORTHY: Sophisticated people invest their money in stock portfolios. Rednecks invest our memory in commemorative plates. "That`s the Legends of NASCAR series right there."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: You can see my entire interview with comedian Jeff Foxworthy this Friday night, 7 p.m. Eastern. It`s an hour you don`t want to miss.