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Piers Morgan Live
Interview with Glenn Beck
Aired December 20, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
S.E. CUPP, CNN ANCHOR: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. I'm S.E. Cupp, in tonight for Piers. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Tonight, I am joined by a man so controversial, so successful, so famous and infamous, he has his own television network. Glenn Beck. You either know him and fanatically love him, or know him and loathe him with every fiber of your being. Whatever your opinions, I'm betting you actually don't know him at all. Well, after tonight, you're going to.
He's a media icon who built a radio television and online empire, founder of Mercury Radio Arts and TheBlaze. Forbes puts his influence ahead of Kanye West, Jon Stewart, and Jerry Seinfeld. And they put his earnings at 90 million. He's got a new book out called Miracles and Massacres which we'll discuss along with the host of other things.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I contribute to TheBlaze. Glenn Beck is my boss there. But if you think that means that I'm going to go easy on him, you're wrong. Buckle up America. It's going to be an interesting hour. Glenn, welcome and thanks for joining me.
GLENN BECK, FOUNDER OF THEBLAZE: Yeah, we were talking in the green room and I said, "You are Vladimir Putin with a harpoon and I am the whale."
CUPP: It's not going to be that bad. It's not going to be that bad. Now, I want to talk about your book. But first, I have this rare opportunity to talk to you about conservatism. And I know you put a pox on both houses.
CUPP: And I get that. But it seems like conservatives spend a lot of time talking about who's more conservative, who's the most conservative, this purity testing. Is that -- does that happen?
BECK: Well, maybe. I don't think people are looking at it the right way. And this is the conversation that we should be having in all parties in all walks of life. Who is for maximum freedom and maximum personal responsibility? I don't care if you're a conservative, if you're a Bible believer, if you're an Atheist, I really don't know. Example, I run TheBlaze. I ask you to contribute. Faith plays a huge role in my life.
CUPP: Right. BECK: What's faith play a role in your life?
CUPP: I'm a nonbeliever.
BECK: You're a nonbeliever, OK? We can totally get along because we have maximum personal responsibility and maximum freedom.
CUPP: But let me point something that you said on your radio show where you talk about some of the players that I want to go into, go ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: But I don't want another Lindsey Graham, I don't want another Mitt Romney or the lesser of two evils, I don't want that. Anybody like Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, they're walking around right now with giant targets on them. Both the democrats and the old guard GOP progressives want them gone because they are a threat to their power and existence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUPP: Who are the old guard GOP progressives? Who are you talking about? What's wrong with them?
BECK: Carol Roth, what's the name, Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell, you know, everybody that can make my life a living hell as I have a network. All the people who are in -- or in hatch, all these people who have had power for very long time, who say they're against these government programs but seem to have no problem creating, supporting, and paying for all these government programs. Government programs should be there to help people who really need help, only when it is the last resort, last resort, and always closest to the people.
CUPP: Give me, for instance, what's an example of one of those?
BECK: I think that, you know, you have people that are old in firm that -- and don't have a church, don't have a family, don't have anybody to go to, but that I think is for the local community. And when the local community can't do it, then last resort is the state. When the state can do it, last resort, but it always should start the closest where instead we start the way up here. There's no compassion. There's no -- they're not even close enough to the problem in Washington to be able to see a solution.
CUPP: Well, you like Mike Lee, Utah Senator. I like him a lot as well.
BECK: I do too.
CUPP: He said at the Heritage Speech that we conservatives need to spend more time identifying converts than heretics. Is he wrong?
BECK: No ...
CUPP: You seem to delight in identifying heretics?
BECK: No, I don't. I delight in pointing out that what everybody has accused me off of saying, you know, he is against the president. He just doesn't like the president. And he don't like Republicans. No, I don't like progressives. The progressive party was started by Theodore Roosevelt. Somebody that lot of Republicans really like.
BECK: And there's a lot of things to see Theodore Roosevelt said that I like. There's even some speeches that I can read to the presidents that I like and I'll go, "yeah, I like that." I pay attention. It's the progressive. It is the idea that the constitution is a flawed document and that the power should be concentrated with the elite and if there are people that are smarter than everybody else. If you don't think that Mitch McConnell of the world aren't sitting around in close door sessions with Carol Roth and saying, "You know what, whatever. The people -- just tell the people whatever the people have to. We'll just -- we'll say we're for this. We'll get you like and then we'll do what we have to do.
CUPP: Status quo.
BECK: I've had really shocking big figures in Washington and in media tell me, "Look, Glenn, we all love the constitution here but there are things we got to do." No, no, no, no. We love the constitution period. And we stay within the framework of the constitution period. Because it put shackles -- OK, if anybody thinks that, well, when my guy get kids in, well then you'll see, then we'll use this apparatus and "No, that's the point, that's the problem." It becomes about destruction. It becomes about I can control your life. No one should control your life. You have the right to think and be and live the way you choose.
CUPP: Well, Speaker Boehner recently seems to take the gloves off and smack the tea party caucus around a little. Does that worry you that your establishment guys don't seem to be afraid of the folks that you like in office anymore.
BECK: The leaders of the wing party were not afraid of the Republicans when they were 20 of them and a congressman stood up and started speaking out against slavery. He was only one of 20 Republicans and a member of the House comes over and beat him almost to death with his cane. The wigs nor the Democrats stopped him from beating a fellow senator to death. Why? Because they didn't like these Republicans. There's 20 of them. But that's 1853. And what happens, in seven years, the wigs are over and there is a Republican president. I say, the Republicans are going the way of the wigs. This is their last hoorah and quite honestly, it is the last hoorah of all authoritarian mind that people all around the world. This technology is changing things so much and this is why they are doing this power grab. Technology allows us to communicate with each other and be maximum free for the first time. If the government doesn't control us, if the parties -- we don't have to go through the parties anymore to find our information and define out who were for, will they lose all of their control, all of their money, and their -- nobody in business is coming to them to give them money to help them do things. They can have that.
CUPP: Do you mean that's ultimately going to benefit free market conservatives or progressives. I mean, who's going to harness that?
BECK: It should help all mankind. If the matter what are ideology is, we should all be free. You know, I know that -- again, purest -- the real purest in the libertarian movement really kill me because they should be the least (inaudible) and the ones who is like we're not libertarian enough ...
CUPP: Right, right.
BECK: Isn't the whole point of libertarian is that we can all be who we are but libertarianism is the future...
BECK: ... and that is everybody be cool to each other. Everybody live responsibly and live freedom.
CUPP: Well, that sounds really good. But, let me ask you about -- let me ask you about the real world. Chris Christie is the world.
BECK: That is the real world.
CUPP: No. Chris Christie is ...
BECK: No. Chris Christie is a bad ...
CUPP: ... almost certainly ...
BECK: ... nightmare.
BECK: He is a nightmare.
CUPP: But Glenn, he's almost certainly going to run for president. And in polling right now, he's beating Hillary Clinton.
BECK: I don't care.
CUPP: We don't want to win?
BECK: Don't care. No. Win for what?
CUPP: Conservatives don't want to win and it's ...
BECK: He's not a conservative. He's a progressive.
CUPP: How so, how so?
BECK: He is a progressive. Look at what he explore.
CUPP: Tell me, tell me how is he is?
BECK: He is -- have you ever looked into his nightmare of global warming? Have you looked into that?
CUPP: Yeah, OK.
BECK: Have you seen ...
BECK: ... where he stands on that?
BECK: Have you seen ...
CUPP: So, he's too cozy with the EPA. He's too -- he's a little cozy on global warming.
BECK: You know what, you look at him on unions and you think to yourself, "Listen to what he's saying about unions. I kind of like that. He's for freedom." But no, no, no, look at the way he looks at guns, you should be well aware of where he stands on guns.
CUPP: Right. I am.
BECK: Are you comfortable with that?
CUPP: I'm not.
BECK: I'm not. There is one thing to say about conservatives. You can be conservative and libertarian. You can be wildly liberal and libertarian. The key here is, are you for maximum freedom?
BECK: When he says, well, you know what, we all love the constitution. And this would basically what he is saying on second amendment. We all love the constitution, but, you know, guns are out of control. No, no, no, then let's try to enhance people's personal responsibility.
BECK: Let's teach people they need to be more personally responsible. I really just don't think that we -- I'm done playing the game of -- well, that means we don't vote for that guy, we're going to get this guy. We play that with John McCain. We play that with Mitt Romney.
CUPP: So, who do -- who would you like for 2016 if you could anoint someone today?
BECK: I don't know because I don't trust any of them. I will tell you that I have spent more time with Ted Cruz's father than with Ted Cruz.
CUPP: You like Ted Cruz a lot?
BECK: I like Ted Cruz a lot.
CUPP: Yes. But can he win or you don't care?
BECK: Yes. I'm not going to play the game of -- I'm not going sell my principles out anymore.
CUPP: OK, but your principles -- I assume you want you principles and your values and your policies enacted. Who does that if we don't get conservatives elected?
BECK: Let's see. Conservatives aren't going to get elected because the Republicans don't stand for anything. They don't stand for anything. What do they stand for? We're for -- we're absolutely against big government health care will then defunded because millions of people are going top lose their health care.
BECK: Defunded -- no way. Then if we try to do that we'll lose. We'll you said you're against it. Know what you're for. Is another version of the government health care designed by you. You're not for the free market. You're for things designed by you. And that's where it all goes wrong.
George Bush -- what did George Bush get us? Didn't we hear all about the big spending from the Republicans but when they were in we had $9 trillion dollars in debt. And then we heard the Democrats...
BECK: Then, the Democrats get in who have been telling us the spending, the spending, the spending. And they get in and now we have $17 trillion soon to be $24 trillion in debt. And I'm telling you now, you get the Republicans in where they're saying, "We'll we've got all these huge debt. We got -- this is immoral this is wrong. We're enslaving our children."
We put them in, and the next thing you'll hear is, "We'll we can't really do that because we have to win the presidency. OK, sure, we won the House and the Senate but we have to win the presidency too." Forget it. They don't believe it.
CUPP: That's so -- but if Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie and the election is tomorrow, do you tell your viewers at home, "Stay home. Don't vote."
BECK: No, I tell my viewers to find somebody that they agree with whether it's Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie, or a libertarian or Bob the Dog. Vote for who you believe in. Stop listening to media. Stop listening to me, you, or anybody else that says, "Don't. You got to vote this way."
No. Vote for what you believe in.
CUPP: OK. Don't stop listening to it just yet. Glenn, next, I want your views on income inequality and Santa?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: Fix healthcare. Get the government out. Free the market. And you let the healthcare providers that were in on this whole thing and are getting rich of it feel the wrath. And stay collapsed, so be it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUPP: I'm S.E. Cupp in for Piers and that was Glenn Beck at work at his famous chalkboard. He's back with me now. That chalkboard gets a lot of action.
BECK: Yes. That would really fall to work.
CUPP: All right. We talked about the GOP. Let's talk about the Democrats. Obama's recent poll numbers are really, really bad. What is your ...
BECK: Only second ...
CUPP: ... assessment of the second term?
BECK: ... only second to Nixon.
CUPP: Yes. Really bad. What's his second term looking like for you?
BECK: I don't know. I don't really -- I don't care. I've been done with Washington for quite some time because I realized that the whole thing is a game. I mean I thought there will be a few honest people a there are a handful but the answers not going to come from Washington by any strips of the imagination because you see the collusion, you see the collusion.
You know, when Barbara Walters said -- I think it's on this show this week when she said, "You know, we thought he was the messiah". Well, hey, here's your first problem. And she's like, "I don't think you should say that at Christmas."
Barbara -- honey, I don't you should say that at any time.
BECK: But then she said -- and she said, "And, you know, we just expected more. We thought it would, you know, it's not working out well." No. It's not that it's working out well. He lied the biggest lie ever from any president. It's not like if he had a misspeak -- a calculated lie. And if we don't care about somebody who lies to us, as long as the thing works, no.
CUPP: And you're talking about ObamaCare? And ...
CUPP: ... if you like your ...
BECK: If you like your health care, no. What he was saying was, "If I like your health care, if I like your doctor, you can keep it." It's all about integrity and nobody is really getting that yet. The jig is up for the Republicans and the Democrats. There's one party -- it's the Progressive party.
Then, there should be former Democrats, former Republicans, independence, people who were this intended long ago -- long before I figured anything out -- those are the other people. And they have a choice.
They can either checkout and say, "I know, screw them all I'm not going to do anything", or they can say, "I'm going to go find and support the people that actually won't play the game."
Here's what they can do. They can go and get involved with the convention of states. Article 5 of the Constitution has the last lever. They built -- they're genius. They built all of these trip wires in the Constitutions -- the founders did. The last one was -- it hadn't happened right at the end of constitutional convention.
Wait a minute, are you telling me that you think if a government goes corrupt they'll vote on an amendment to limit their power. That doesn't work. So article five was in case the government really goes wrong and they won't limit their power, then the states have a right to do it.
Right now, there are 30 states that are willi8ng to do it. You need 34 I think and 38 to ratify. And what they're talking about is thing we all agree on -- term limits. You want to fix Washington? Term limits.
The last time we had term limits was for the president and that's after FDR. Same scenario when people went, "Oh boy." But you notice, we didn't put term limits on Congress. Why? Because Congress had to say, "You know what, you should get out of here."
And you think they're going to do that? They won't even do that with their own health care. They don't care.
CUPP: But your argument about fundamentally Barack Obama's issue being one of integrity and I don't disagree do you think that that will have any repercussions for Democrats. Do you think that Liberals will say ...
BECK: No I think it's ... CUPP: ... that was a betrayal.
BECK: I think honest ones will. Here's where I get my hope. In 2004, I was like, you know, John Kerry would be a nightmare and I think we're seeing that demonstrated globally now. John Kerry would be a nightmare. I'm for George W. Bush, but I got problems with George W. Bush. I think this whole war thing is going of the rails.
By 2005, I was saying, wait we've got series problems. 2006, I was calling for the man's impeachment. OK, so what happened to me? I woke up and started to see, wait a minute, I've been lied to. This whole thing has been a game. The Democrats now have that opportunity.
BECK: And they're jut starting to wake up and go, wait a minute, wait a minute, I don't think this is right. In a year or two, hopefully, they have the same kind of epiphany that the people, the honest in the GOP have had. Not everybody in the Republican Party has had -- and especially those in power. But not everybody, you know, there's a lot of people who still like, " Newt Gingrich is my guy." Well, not mine. And if you understand what the problem is, progressivism, he's definitely not your guy.
So, we still have this opportunity where Republicans, Democrats and independents all now are at the same -- for different reasons, all come to the same conclusion. Wait a minute, George Washington was right. The problem is the two party system. They'll begin to collude because they'll be able to vote themselves more money and more power. That's the problem.
CUPP: Well, the Democrats have put forth a number of agenda items, healthcare immigration, income inequality, they talk about raising the minimum wage.
BECK: No, they're talking now about having a minimum wage for everybody, that you have a -- what are they're calling it, a min fare (ph). I can't remember what they're calling it. It's a new thing this week. But basically, it's right out of the soviet constitution where everyone is paid by the government whether you work or not. So, you have that standard of living and then you can make more on top.
Excuse me? That's directly from the soviet constitution and that's what we're now talking about that. So we're way off the rails.
CUPP: So, what are -- what would a conservative solution for income inequality look like? Because you admit that's a problem, income inequality is real, it's wide and under Obama or no?
BECK: Yeah, I think, no. I think the problem is, again, that those with real money and real power, the George Soros's of the world have tremendous access and use the governmental institutions around the world as their personal banking machine, their personal stock broker. And I've seen this with people.
I met a billionaire who is in Texas and when I moved to Texas, he said, "Come on, I will take you around Texas and show some Texas stuff." And I said OK. And he's like were up in his helicopter and he's like, "This is Texas and this -- all this land is mine." And he's got -- there's highway that runs through it then it goes down to two lanes, but all that highway is carved. And I sat there and I thought to myself, "All that land is yours and I'll bet you that were instrumental in making sure that that highway run right through your land."
So, if you have lots of money, you can use the government for good or ill to be able to make yourself -- that's where the rich get richer, the real money.
CUPP: But what about the real -- OK, what about the real world though. If you're a conservative trying to implement policy to affect income inequality, what's an idea? What's one thing conservative should be talking about?
BECK: You're not going to solve it through government. You cannot take money. It's immoral to take money from someone else and give it to someone else. It's immoral to do that.
So, what you do is you, A, stop telling people that they're always going to live at that station. You're never going to get out of it. You're never going to do. Then you stopped trapping them in failing schools, so you empower them. You give them the strength and the power of their own to say, you can make it.
Here's an idea, government can buy everybody. George -- Booker T. Washington's book, up from Slavery, read that one. You think you're trapped, read that one. How about this one, read the childhood of Winston Churchill where his father was a nightmare, thought he was retarded. Said, "My boy's retarded." It's Winston Churchill. Wants to get him away, he takes everything from him, yet Winston Churchill succeeds. Start looking for the people who say, no, I'm not that. I have a chance, I have a right, I'm going to succeed, and they do.
So, you look at people like Booker T, Washington or Frederick Douglass and you empower them, and then you get everybody else out of the way and you make sure that the people with money do not have more access or cloud (ph) with power. Everybody is the same.
CUPP: OK, Glenn, when we come back, I want to talk about your career successes, and let's be honest, difficult moments.
BECK: Oh boy.
CUPP: I'm S.E. Cupp and for Piers. Back with me now. My boss at TheBlaze, Glenn Beck. In September 2011, you launched GBTV which would become TheBlaze, A subscription streaming network with daily TV shows available directly online. You got 300,000 subscribers to pay $10 a month. And in your first year, you generated over $40 million in revenue. In 2012 ...
BECK: How much did we spend? CUPP: That's another question, I've seen it. In 2012, TheBlaze became available to dish TV subscribers and is now available on more than 35 cable providers. And theblaze.com receives over 19 million unit viewers per month.
BECK: No, new number, last 30 days, 24 million unit viewers.
CUPP: Wow, those are numbers a lot of people would like to have. What's your secret?
BECK: Those are ...
CUPP: What are doing right?
BECK: I don't know. I think that we are -- we are open to different voices and we are not playing the Republican and Democrat name. In fact, you're going to see some market changes, I think, in the next year, that we have a faith section. And I also have Penn Jillette all the time.
BECK: I love Penn. If I could -- if I could hire Penn Jillette to, you know, work full time and just -- I would.
CUPP: He's a smart guy.
BECK: He is a very smart guy, decent, honorable man.
BECK: Doesn't agree with, with me on religion, but doesn't want to shut me down nor do I want to shut him down.
BECK: That's the secret. And I think when you say, you know, what, I can get along with anybody as long as we're not trying to trample somebody else's right to believe something or feel something, I think that's -- I think there's a hunger for that.
CUPP: Well, and you left -- you left cable news ...
CUPP: ... for your own network which you started online. And a lot of people think that's the future, can you correct -- just got a -- a lot of money to go work for Yahoo. But eventually you migrated back onto TV ...
BECK: Well ...
CUPP: ... with TheBlaze TV, so what's the end game?
BECK: The end game is to be is ubiquity (ph) as possible ...
BECK: ... because anybody is -- anybody who says they know what the delivery system is, this being, you know, what it has been when we we're growing up, that's over. I don't know when it's over. And I said when we launched GBTV that we're about five years too early and maybe seven years too early, maybe three years too early, I don't know. But we need to be where anybody is watching and -- so we will on cable, we'll be on your phone, we'll be on, you know, you're iPad, we're on Roku, we're, you know, wherever you are, we want to be.
CUPP: You will be there. So you've said some controversial things in the past and ...
CUPP: Yes, you.
BECK: I don't ...
CUPP: Saying controversial things has a lot a currency in this business whether it's about Sarah Palin, or Santa Clause. Have you ever said anything that you regret? You went home and ...
BECK: Not once.
CUPP: I don't believe you.
BECK: Not once. There are -- I don't know any of these people who don't -- they go home and they question.
CUPP: I know this ...
BECK: They go home and they think ...
CUPP: You're a deeply contemplative guy. I know you go home, you talk to Tania (ph), you talk to God. I know you think about the things that you've said and the influence that they've had. What have you've said that you wish, "I should've said that better."
BECK: If I had a priest, I'd tell him.
CUPP: You won't tell us?
BECK: I've already talked to God about it. So, I believe, you know, we have all made mistakes, and if I had my life to live all over again, I would try to do things differently. But then, again, doing things the way I did, even being an alcoholic which is, you know, on the top five stupid things I've ever done, starting to drink brought me to the understanding of where I am today. And where I am today is a much better place than I've ever been in my life.
I believe that Gandhi and Martin Luther King and Bonhoeffer were absolutely right. And if we can find a place to where -- yes, even Jesus turned the tables over once and while. You know, even Martin Luther King and Gandhi. They were very clear on what they believed but they did it with love. Anything that I have done to keep in the idea that we are all in the same family and we all have to treat each other with respect. That was all the things that I regret the most.
CUPP: So you think that we as folks with a platform or some level of influence on, have to be more responsible about the kinds of things you've talk about and the way we talk about them?
BECK: I think so but I think also, you know, everybody is different, everybody has their own line. If you don't like it everybody had an on, off switch.
BECK: And so I think the society that shuts people up that of any -- we know, when Martin he share said, when he said, I wasn't calling for his -- a boycott, I wasn't calling for him to be removed from the air, I thought it was despicable what he said.
BECK: That's what he believe, that's what he said, that's fine and if people want to watch that, fine then he can watch that. I don't think so, I don't think he should. But to run people out of our society because they have a difference of opinion from us and a different approaches absolutely wrong. We become a -- I mean look at what we're doing, this week we're debating a Duck Dynasty comment, and whether or not Santa Clause is white or black?
CUPP: Are way too sensitive or are those not debates that we should be having?
BECK: Is that a serious question?
CUPP: It's an attempt to a serious question.
BECK: If you have kids in the room, turn the TV off for 20 seconds, I'm going to give you time, turn it off find the remote it's probably sitting next to you in the couch. OK times up, Santa Clause isn't real, he's a fictional character, I don't know what color your imaginary friends are, OK you could tell the kids to come back up. What are you nuts? What are nuts, that's the conversation we're having? We're talking about Duck Dynasty do you know what happened last week in Russia? One of their biggest stars on television said that homosexuals should be put into the ovens alive.
I didn't think you could the holocaust worst but he's like why the gas chamber that seems a little too humane. Let's put them alive in the ovens, I said on the air this week, I will stand with glad, I will stand with any, anybody who will stand up and say that's crazy. That's dangerous, that's hetero fascism (ph). That's what that is and we're talking about Duck Dynasty, really? Really?
CUPP: OK stay with me Glenn. Coming up next I want you to give us the untold stories of The Making of America. What we do don't know about Thomas Edison.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the actual compass of George Washington. He was a surveyor. It was the only one he ever owned. He owned it when he was 13 years old and had the day he died. But it's amazing when you hold it because there is a thumb print right here. And you can see where he wore it down. He had it everywhere he went.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUPP: George Washington's compass, you collect this stuff. Why are you so fascinated with this old tiny artifact?
BECK: Because I think that history is -- history has been made in the facts with dates and memorization of names and places where we've lost the story. And you know, it's one thing to talk about, for instance Tokyo Rose and it's another detailed story was sitting behind the microphone she used. I just received stewardship of Tokyo Rose's microphone.
BECK: Radio Tokyo was burned down and the guy who went to go kill her took the microphone, she wasn't there. It's a good thing she didn't -- he didn't kill her because he would have killed an innocent American and we talked about it in the book Miracles and Massacres where if you don't know history, you are going to repeat it.
And, for instance, Tokyo Rose, most expensive trial in American history that government actually paid people to perjure themselves and she was -- she was pardoned by Gerald Ford in the 70s but I don't think pardoning goes far enough. She needs to be exonerated and she was an American citizen who later the POW, she went to jail and later the American POWs testified and said, "look, she actually helped us, she smuggled food and medicine into us and she was putting in messages of where the Japanese were going to bomb to warn the Americans. She was on our side and -- but because the President needed a bump in the poles and the press wanted a good story, they just run over this woman.
CUPP: But what about Thomas Edison, there are some stuff in here that...
BECK: I hate Thomas Edison.
CUPP: Don't know, it's personal.
BECK: It's personal. I started out liking Thomas Edison. I thought he was the quintessential American inventor, you know, hey, I failed a thousand times.
CUPP: Looks like a good guy. BECK: No he's not, not a good guy.
CUPP: How so?
BECK: Just Google Topsy the Elephant. It just start there. It's Thomas Edison electrocuting an elephant in front of a crowd, an elephant that was horribly abused and he did it to prove how bad Westinghouse really was because he was for battery power or for direct current which would have put in ...
BECK: --power plant about every mile and a half. Absolutely unremarkable. Nikolai Tesla who is the real genius, Nikolai Tesla and Westinghouse, they gamble and they are like, "no, no, no, it's alternating current." That's who gave us the plugs in our role, is Nikolai and Westinghouse. But because Edison was good with PR and good with politicians.
BECK: And good with Wall Street, he had this great machine built up and he was not going to be vested by them. And so, what he did is he funded electrocutions of animals, cows, horses, dog. The guy would travel around and say, "look, I want to show you what Westinghouse will do to your family, look at this."
CUPP: She is worst nightmare it sounds like.
BECK: Awful. GE then was the one who started the electric chair, Edison did and he did it to show you how bad electricity under Westinghouse would be.
BECK: He was never called into answer for what that first electrocution was like. It was a nightmare.
BECK: Nobody ever say anything because he was the man with power. Good news is, he looses in the end.
CUPP: Well, it's fascinating the stories that you might think you know but don't entirely. It's miracles and massacres. I know your personal story blend because I work at you. But I bet -- a lot of people don't. Next, they want to talk about your journey. It's a fascinating story as well.
Unidentified speaker: This is the problem that we I think are facing. Our love for money and what we are willing to do. These are two coins, two pieces of silver. They were 28 others. This is from the year of the crucifixion. They'll sell your soul for money.
CUPP: I'm S.E Cupp in for Piers. My guest tonight is Glenn Beck. For those of our views who might not be as familiar with your story as I am. You have really led a remarkable life of lots of ups, lots of downs. You lost your mother and stepbrother at a very early age. You have a daughter with cerebral palsy. You have an adopted son who spent 15 years as an alcoholic and drug addict. You found sobriety and the church of the Latter-day Saints eventually you went through a lot. And by your own account you barely survived. Is yours a redemption story, a survival story? How do you describe your life?
BECK: Redemption, not survival, redemption. I'm not a survivor, I'm a thriver. You either -- you come to a place where you either live or die. You either give up and then you just become nothing or you give up on your own and you surrender and you just say, "I just want to be happy. I just -- I don't want to live with all of this." And I couldn't make it. And I found God and he had found me long before. But I didn't want to that kind of thing. That's not cool, that's not fun.
And quite honestly, I know what the atonement is. I know that it's the holiday season and so be it. I don't know if CNN will actually cave into and fall into sinkhole when I say this. But the redeeming power of Jesus Christ is phenomenal. And as a guy who really needed it, it changed my life.
CUPP: Friend of yours encouraged you into more minutes. Have you encouraged other people into that faith or faith in general?
BECK: No, I find ...
CUPP: Do you find that to be a mission of yours?
BECK: No, I find that living a good example and showing people who are miserable, there's an easy -- there's an easier way. It doesn't have to be just surrender. There's an easier way. And it really leads to happiness and being content. I go back to what Franklin, he raised practically Thomas Paine who's an atheist. And when he said -- when Paine came to him and said, "God, there is no God. And there should be no churches." Franklin said "How dare you. You may not need it but other people do ...
BECK: ... and look at the benefits that it has brought so many people. Don't denigrate what they do and what they believe just ...
BECK: ... because you believe something differently. Find what works for you." I believe that Jesus is the savior.
BECK: He was born to redeem us. That's what I found. But if you find -- if you do your own homework in your like, "No, it doesn't work for me." You find another faith, that's OK, that's OK. Let's just be good to each other. Can we please? Because I see God as a dad and I think when I come in to a room and my kids are arguing and neither of them have done what I told them to do. And they say, "But dad, look what she's doing." And he looks and just, "You don't know she did this." I look at both and say, "I don't care. I will deal with your sister and I will deal your brother separately. Did you do what I told you do?" That's God is. "Did you do what I told you to do? Don't tell me about your sister. I'll deal with your sister." That's what he is. Just do what we're supposed to do. Be good to each other.
CUPP: What's left in life for you? It seems like you've accomplished so much ...
BECK: A lot.
CUPP: And you've come to a good place and you said your story is a redemption story ...
BECK: That's at the first of the year we've been talking about a new movie that we're going to be doing. We're going to go into film. And as you know, I bought 150,000 square feet studio sound stage.
CUPP: Yeah, it's massive.
BECK: And we're going to be into television production not just for TheBlaze but also for other venues. We're story tellers. And the shoe man (ph) story needs to be told but not in the way I think it's always being told. I mean, imagine if we all live the lived where we weren't afraid to cry, we weren't afraid to laugh. If we actually did what we felt as long as it was based in love, if we actually didn't pause, if we actually called the person that we've been avoiding because it's going to be too hard to apologize and I just don't -- I'll do that later, if we actually made that call, if we actually kissed the girl and didn't wait, it would be a much better place. Let's be humans and tell that story.
CUPP: OK, stay there. We'll be right back.
CUPP: That's it for us tonight. I want to thank Piers for the chance to sit in, and Glenn, thanks for coming back to CNN to join me. I really appreciate it. I'll see you on Crossfire weeknights at 6:30 Eastern. CNN special, Beyonce finding her destiny, starts now.