Return to Transcripts main page


Are Families Fair Game?; Who is Sarah Palin?; Penn Jillette Weighs in on Presidential Race

Aired September 2, 2008 - 19:00:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, media frenzy over the announcement that Sarah Palin`s teenage daughter is pregnant. Let me tell you something: this is why Mr. Smith never goes to Washington. Can you, as a parent, imagine making your family go through this so you could serve your country?

Plus, protests by anarchists at the GOP convention. Penn Jillette will be here, about the fine line between anarchy and democracy.

And Hurricane Gustav. It was the big story over the weekend, but the media completely missed the "Real Story." It`s not that the levees held, but that no oil was spilled.

All this and more, tonight.


BECK: Well, hello, America.

What -- what a weekend for Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. First, she was being accused of being irresponsible for flying while in labor. Then, that turns into outrage that her teenage daughter is pregnant -- and oh, my gosh -- might actually have the baby and marry the father. Which then turns into sick rumors that Palin`s youngest son, Trig, who was born with Down syndrome, is actually not her baby but her daughter`s baby. Didn`t I just see this on an episode of "Desperate Housewives"?

Here`s "The Point" tonight. What happened to Palin proves why Mr. Smith doesn`t go to Washington anymore. And here`s how I got there.

Try for just a second to imagine being Sarah Palin. This is what I thought might have happened in the Palin home this weekend. You know, you`re a soccer mom. You then become a city councilwoman, then mayor. Eventually, you land on an ethics committee where you find yourself so dismayed by the behavior of the people in your own party that you step down.

And that`s when you started to see how the game of politics is really played. But unlike everyone, who just joins in, you wanted to expose it. So you ratted those weasels out. The voters agreed. You were voted to governor, and for nearly two years, you`ve been fighting against the system.

Then your phone rings. Hello? "Hi, it`s John McCain." He`s a four- term 72-year-old United States senator, and he is asking you, a young woman from a small town in Alaska, to join him in the most important and powerful office in the world. You hang up; you`re a soccer mom. You look across the kitchen where your now unmarried pregnant teenage daughter sits. You know what`s coming. You imagine the life-changing pain and hurt that is going to come her way if you say yes. What do you do?

Your daughter probably looked at you straight in the eye and said, "Mom, I can handle it. I take responsibility for the decisions I made. After all, everybody in town knows about it." Most likely, you were never more proud of her. But now five days later, as blogs post pictures of your not-pregnant daughter looking pregnant, you wonder, have I made the right choice? Do I even live in America anymore?

Sarah Palin`s story is the story of America, or at least many of us in America. It is the story of overcoming long odds, the story about good parents watching their children make really bad mistakes and a story about fighting for what you believe in, even when everyone says you`re not going to win.

Most of all, Sarah Palin`s story is our story. So America, here`s what you need to know tonight.

Unlike the elitists on both sides of the aisle that have spent the last two years pretending they`re just like you, by rolling up their sleeves: "My daddy was a working in a steel mill." Yes, really?

Sarah Palin doesn`t need to dress up in camo and go hunting, because she`s already dressing up in camo and going hunting. She is who she is. She`s already like you, warts, mistakes and bad decisions in all. She doesn`t need to tell you, "I`m just like you." She is.

Now, she`s got to use all of that to her advantage and show the country there`s no shame in screwing up. We all screw up. It`s how you react to it that counts. It`s if you pick yourself up that counts. If she does, and maybe Jimmy Stewart might smile down from heaven, standing there next to God, otherwise known as Obama, smile down and see Mrs. Smith go to Washington.

Lee Stranahan is a filmmaker and a blogger for the Huffington Post.

Lee, I -- you look pissed off. I -- I don`t normally go to the Huffington Post, but I have to tell you, I found a lot of interesting information on both sides of the Huffington Post today, and you guys are actually trying to be fair on this, which I appreciate.

You -- you called up a news station in Alaska and said, "Tell me about these pictures of her being pregnant and not being pregnant?" What did you find?

LEE STRANAHAN, BLOGGER, HUFFINGTON POST: Well, the reason I called is the picture has a weird date on it. If you look at it on Flickr, it`s dated March 2005. And I knew that couldn`t be right, because the camera that it was taken with was actually introduced in July 2005. So unless this conspiracy involves time travel, I knew there was something amiss.

BECK: Right.

STRANAHAN: So I just called up, and I said, basically, like -- I called the newsroom and said, you know, what`s the story with these pictures? Are they -- you know, were they taken in April 2008?

BECK: Right.

STRANAHAN: And the woman I talked to, who`s the assignment manager there, she just went off. She said, "This is completely ridiculous." She said, "I`ve dealt with Sarah Palin a number of times. Everyone in the newsroom has dealt with her. We`ve been on assignments. We`ve had her in the studio. She was absolutely pregnant." And she went off to tell me, you know, some other stories about that.

BECK: OK. Let me -- because we`ve only got a couple more seconds left. You also called the hospital records, which nobody else has done. You called the hospital, and you say, "What about the records of Sarah Palin`s baby, because everybody`s saying now that there`s no records there?" What did you find out there?

STRANAHAN: Right. Well, what I found out was, you know, you have to ask to be put on that. They don`t just automatically put up. It`s not like a public records search. It`s like something they do for families, and so it wasn`t up there because they didn`t ask for it to be put up there.

BECK: OK. Lee, thanks. We`ll talk again.

Now, I want to turn to "National Review" online`s Jonah Goldberg. He`s the author of "Liberal Fascism."

Jonah, I couldn`t believe what was going on in the blogosphere this weekend. Your reaction as a guy who writes and also blogs? Your reaction to, is there any shame anymore? Does anybody really care about the truth anymore?

JONAH GREENBERG, "NATIONAL REVIEW" ONLINE: You know, I thought this was one of the most disgusting spectacles we`ve seen in my ten years in the blogosphere, as one of the first bloggers. I started the "National Review" online in 1998. And you have people like Andrew Sullivan at the "Atlantic," a deeply respected magazine, just peddling smears.

BECK: Oh, relentlessly. Demanding -- demanding that the hospital records be released and the obstetrician come out and answer questions.

GREENBERG: This was the sort -- and Andrew, who I used to be friends with, was a guy who took Gary Condit`s side in a murder investigation in the name of privacy and sexual freedom. Right? I mean, there is no weapon that the left at this point will not use against Sarah Palin.

BECK: Let me -- let me ask you this. This is the same media that would not go after John Edwards because they said, "Oh, it was just from the `National Enquirer`." "The National Enquirer" had an awful lot of evidence. This is from blogs, and the media is running with it. They didn`t -- they sat on the John Edwards for eight months. What does this tell you?

GREENBERG: I think it tells you a couple things. One, I think it shows how bad the media is, generally speaking, when it`s surprised. It just doesn`t know what to do. And it goes all-men-on-deck, and it does everything at once, and it offers the most absurd, self-justifying rationalizations.

CNN was -- a CNN reporter was using the Bristol pregnancy story as an excuse to lecture about the importance of sex education in schools and whatnot. I don`t remember Al Gore`s sons` drinking and pot problems sparking, you know, lectures on the importance of drug legalization or stiffer drug laws.

It`s basically they`re doing everything they can, because it`s a nice tabloid-y feel to some of this, to try -- to Quayle-ize this woman as quickly as possible. It`s disgusting.

BECK: Yes, that`s exactly what they`re doing. Yes.

GREENBERG: It`s disgusting.

BECK: Here`s -- here`s my prediction. Assuming that she pulls it off tomorrow night and delivers a good, world-class speech -- which you know, I assume she can do. I don`t know. I haven`t seen it -- and she can hold her own on the debate, I think this stuff actually backfires on the media and everybody else who`s trying to spin this.

She is a real person. Obama has not sealed the deal on being a real person. Beyond that, I remember being a guy who was dead set against Bill and Hillary Clinton, when the media started this with their affairs and they came out and answered the questions and said, you know, Hillary said, "We had our problems in our marriage, and I think everybody knows what that means." I came out and said, done. We don`t need to go any further. Move on with your lives.

And it backfired on the media. And I thing this will backfire on the media.

GREENBERG: I think that`s right. I think if she can make it through the crucible. And I think by the time you get to the debates, we`ll know long before then whether or not she`s an asset or not. I think if she can make it through the next two weeks, and starting with this speech tomorrow night, she could -- the risk/reward here is enormous.

She can either come out as the most game-changing, impressive...

BECK: Oh, yes.

GREENBERG: ... political maneuver in the last 50 years or a disaster.

BECK: Right.

GREENBERG: It`s one way or the other. I think -- but I guarantee you this. You talk to the delegates out here. They love this woman. And the response to her tomorrow night in that auditorium is going to be like something we`ve never seen. It`s going to be crazy.

BECK: Well, I don`t know. They haven`t built her a Greek temple yet, but we`ll see. Thanks a lot, Jonah. I appreciate it.

Coming up, we push the family matters aside and take a closer look at Sarah Palin`s political career. She put herself on the map by shutting down the Bridge to Nowhere, but has she always been anti-pork? What about spending? A Palin primer is coming up next.

Later, New Orleans survives what was billed as the mother of all storms. And that`s, you know, part of the good news. But the big lesson Hurricane Gustav taught us is tonight`s "Real Story," coming up.


BECK: Well, not too long ago, our liberal politicians and the media were saying that Iraq was lost. It was time to go hang our head in shame. Then just yesterday, a weird thing happened. U.S. military transferred control of Anbar providence directly to the Iraqi security forces. That`s weird. How did that happen? It sounds like things are just getting started in Iraq. More on tonight`s "Real Story."

But first, Governor Palin is so unknown that she is like a blank canvas where people can paint whatever picture they want of her. Of course, you know, how that painting eventually looks in two months from now really be what`s ultimately important. But for now, the canvas still holds limitless possibilities.

So let`s start filling it in, going beyond what you read in the blogs or n the papers and try to figure out what this woman really stands for, and most importantly, what kind of president she would make if she ever had to become the president of the United States.

Ann Coulter is a syndicated columnist and the author of "If Democrats had Any Brains They`d be Republicans." And Steven Moore is an economic editorial writer for the "Wall Street Journal."

Let me start with you, Steven, first of all. She seems diametrically opposed to herself in some ways. She is for, you know, drilling for more oil, et cetera. She seems like a friend on energy. But then she just instituted this windfall profits tax. What`s -- what`s that all about?

STEVEN MOORE, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": Right. It`s one of the few things on her record, Glenn, that I don`t like. She did increase the taxes on the oil companies a couple of years ago when the oil price started to go up.

Now her justification of that is that there was so much widespread corruption in the Alaska legislature before she took over that they -- that the oil companies had negotiated a corrupt deal.

It`s interesting, because if you look at the result of the windfall profits tax, it actually reduced the development in Alaska. It`s something that maybe the federal politicians want to -- may want to pay attention to. When you raise the taxes on oil companies, they do less drilling, not more.

BECK: And you know, it`s funny to me that Chicago is a dirty place to do politics.

MOORE: Hey, I`m from Chicago, Glenn. Watch what you say.

BECK: See what I`m saying? And Alaska is a dirty place to do politics, but there is one place, Ann, one politician who actually ratted, not on the opposing party, but on her own party and is a reformer. Why does that message seem to be getting lost right now?

ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, "IF DEMOCRATS HAD ANY BRAINS THEY`D BE REPUBLICANS": Because they`re too busy fixating on her 17-year-old daughter. And there was major coverage of the hurricane yesterday. Of course, it was coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

But yes, it`s very impressive, what she`s done. And it`s also very interesting how it brings up something that hasn`t been talked about at all, what you say, the massive corruption in Chicago, of which Obama was a part of, not to say that he necessarily did anything corrupt, but he`s in with, you know, Syrian national Tony Rezko, who bought the property next to him. I mean, there`s a lot of corruption in that town, and it hasn`t been investigated particularly at all. A little bit by the "Chicago Sun-Times" on the Saturday edition, but that`s it.

MOORE: But you know, Glenn, the real story here so far, it`s only been three or four days since she was announced at the Republican nominee. I mean, the left`s assault and attack and concerted effort to try to discredit this woman, I`ve never seen anything like it in all of politics.

BECK: Dan Quayle. Dan Quayle.

MOORE: They cannot stand the idea, Ann, of a conservative who is a female and a leader.

BECK: You know why? Ann, I think -- tell me where you think I`m wrong. I think Steven is right, because it`s not that they can`t stand a conservative woman, but a conservative woman will make the point, especially one who`s a soccer mom, and you`re liking her, and everything else. I mean, here is -- here is why she`s so disturbing left. I noticed today was the first day that my audience on the radio had a chance to call me and talk to me about who she is.

And what they`ve learned about her over the past, every single caller who called in to talk about her addressed her as Sarah. None of them called her the governor. They all said, "You know what I like about Sarah?" She`s real. I think that makes her more...

COULTER: Right, right. And just for the record, I agree with all of my Republican co-gender-ists. I don`t care that she`s a woman.

BECK: I don`t either.

COULTER: I like her because she`s a right-winger. But I must say I do like the fact that we finally have a prominent woman running for a presidential or vice-presidential or associated with the presidential ticket who`s a pro-lifer. I mean, all these Republican presidential candidates always think they can split the baby by them being pro-life and then telling us, oh, but their wives are pro-choice, which creates a totally false image. More women are against abortion than men, especially men -- single men between the ages of 18 and 35.

BECK: Yes.

COULTER: So you know, we`re finally getting the true face of conservatism in Sarah Palin.

MOORE: You know, and there`s another part of this, Glenn, too, which is that there`s this kind of elitism. A lot of these people in Washington, what I call the Beltway Boys, they don`t know anything about this woman. I was reading one analysis of her that said, how could she be president? She`s never been on "Meet the Press." What kind of credential is that?

BECK: It`s amazing. There were a lot of journalists that were really pissed that I was the only journalist -- or not journalist but commentator that had any tape of her, on record, asking her what about the vice- presidency? They didn`t see this coming.

And I have a theory. Obama yesterday started spending an awful lot of time talking about her as a mayor of this little town and trying to dismiss her. You know what? If Chicago weren`t in Illinois, they`d dismiss Illinois.

MOORE: That`s true.

BECK: The people will like her, because she is from a small town.

MOORE: That`s right.

BECK: And the media doesn`t understand her, because she is from a small town.

MOORE: And the left views all those states as flyover country.

BECK: Right.

MOORE: They really do.

COULTER: Not Alaska. Not Alaska, Steve.

BECK: Ann, are you going to vote for John McCain? Does this make you enthusiastic?

COULTER: Yes, and I especially like liberals dissing her by saying one heartbeat away. That makes me more likely to vote for McCain.

BECK: All right. Thanks, guys. I appreciate it.

Coming up, violent protests at the Republican National Convention led to arrests this weekend. Penn Jillette talks to me about the fine line between democracy and all-out anarchy.

And Hurricane Gustav slams into the Gulf Coast, including the densest population of offshore rigs in -- on the planet. As of now, the total amount of oil reported lost to the storm is zero. So what`s the argument against offshore drilling again? Tonight`s "Real Story" coming up.



BECK: Well, if you thought anarchy was alive and well only in places like Darfur, wrong. Turns out anarchist groups are gathering at the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. Oh, yes, these guys are great. They`re a group calling themselves RCN Welcoming Committee. And here you see them. Look at the barricades. We had the great picture where they were -- they were breaking windows and smashing bottles, generally just being reckless and stupid. Police used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the protestors. Two hundred and eighty people were arrested.

Penn Jillette joins me now, actor, illusionist, comedian, Libertarian.

PENN JILLETTE, ILLUSIONIST: Am I here to defend people throwing things through windows?

BECK: No, no, no. You and I...

JILLETTE: I`ll make that very clear.

BECK: Yes, you and I -- you and I are picking up on a conversation that we had, what, about a week ago or two weeks go. There`s a thin line between Libertarian and anarchy. It...

JILLETTE: It`s a pretty -- it`s a pretty fat line, actually, because the way -- the way anarchy is used now is throwing benches and running around. I mean, the literal definition is without rulers. And I think that applies to anyone who believes in the U.S. Constitution.

But that`s not what it means in the colloquial sense, which is throwing -- throwing benches through windows. And Libertarians are very rule-oriented. They just want fewer to come from the government.

BECK: Well, you have a lot of people who are now infiltrating or coming into the Libertarian movement that are just -- they`re nuts.

JILLETTE: There are -- there`s a lot of people who claim to be Libertarian that simply aren`t.

BECK: Yes. Libertarians -- don`t -- correct me if I`m wrong, because I fancy myself Libertarian leaning. Is -- they believe in self-control and self-restraint. Self-government.

JILLETTE: Well, I don`t know exactly what you mean. Self-government is what we all believe in.

BECK: No, no, no. No, no. No, no. I don`t need anybody to tell me. I don`t need any dictator over me; I don`t need anything over me. I can -- I can handle it. I can handle my family. I can handle my business.

JILLETTE: The Libertarian`s basic idea is Thomas Jefferson, that the government should take care of courts, police, and defense.

BECK: Move on.

JILLETTE: Courts, police and defense is pretty far from anarchy.

BECK: Here`s -- here`s -- let me give you this. This is what they said in their, you know, statement, and you know, I guess they sent out little newsletters.

JILLETTE: This is the -- this is the anarchists?

BECK: This is the anarchists. "For those of you who abhor the rapid growth of racist militarized borders across stolen lands, the raids and deportations, destruction, and commodification of our shared and living worth, police brutality and prison industry, exploitation and the robbery of peoples worldwide... we ask you to prepare for 2008. Let`s use this opportunity to make changes we thirst for to manifest and take root before us, making the Republicans and Democrats (whatever you want to call them) obsolete."

JILLETTE: That`s some prose, isn`t it?

BECK: Yes.

JILLETTE: But the difference is that Libertarianism is very much based on ownership. And there are Libertarians that want so little government it then goes to private, but those are anarco-capitalists. And that`s a very different thing than -- than no ownership.

BECK: So who are these -- who are these people? Is it too simple to say it`s just a bunch of people who are pissed off and they don`t even know what they`re pissed off about?

JILLETTE: I think even the world "bunch" you`d want to question. This is a very, very small number that are showing up there. I mean, the peaceful protests, you know, the Democracy Now people, the Amy Goldwin people, those people are doing peaceful protests, 5,000 against the war. It`s a very different thing than this small group.

BECK: All right. Penn Jillette, as always, good to talk to you.

Coming up, U.S. military hands over control of Anbar province to the Iraqi forces. Is anybody going to admit they were right or wrong here?


BECK: Well, welcome to "THE REAL STORY." All this weekend, I don`t know about you. I turn on the TV and all I heard was, "Gustav is coming. Gustav is coming. It`s going to be the worst ever." And then Gustav hits and nothing happens, the levees hold.

But the media keeps going, it`s not over yet. I think there`s another rainstorm coming. The media in their effort to get big ratings has really missed the big story. And here it is, the levees did hold in New Orleans. But more importantly, the offshore oil rigs held.

Gustav barreled through the Gulf of Mexico, which has the densest offshore rig population in the world. I want to show you a map. I saw this last night. Look at it, wow. Those are all oil rigs.

Early reports from the energy companies suggest not a single drop of oil was spilled. That got me thinking. Even during Katrina and Rita in 2005, no significant offshore spillage from the 4,000 rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Wow, that kind of puts a dent in the green movement`s argument that offshore rigs are so dangerous for the environment.

Let`s just put the rigs in hurricane alley, why don`t we find a place that`s not so risky. Hey, I know. How about we build rigs off the coast of California? There aren`t hurricanes there.

Santa Barbara, the board of supervisors have just voted to ask the governor to open offshore drilling for California. Unfortunately, no matter who wins the district elections in November, the board is planning on repealing the letter.

Ok, California. I get it, off limits. We`re just too pristine and pure.

Well, how about ANWR? I`m no geography buff but I`m pretty sure there aren`t any hurricanes in Alaska.

I got news for the greenies. If you really cared about the environment, you would let us drill for our own oil. Because the less we drill, the more countries like China and Russia and Venezuela have to drill. They barely care about people. You really think they care about the ocean, the polar bear and the fishies? I don`t think so.

Byron King is the analyst and editor of Outstanding Investments. Byron, the oil companies, they had to come back in after Katrina and secure these oil rigs even more than they were before, right?

BYRON KING, OUTSTANDING INVESTMENTS: Oh, yes. And they did. They worked very hard to rebuild a lot of the infrastructure. They learned a lot of lessons and they went to school and learned their lessons. They get an A-plus on this.

BECK: It appears to me that the oil companies are doing a better job protecting the ocean and the fishes and the Gulf of Mexico than the local, state, and federal government are having at protecting people in our cities. True or false?

KING: It`s a -- that`s a heck of a comparison. Hurricane Gustav bowled a perfect strike right down the middle of the alley, and it didn`t knock down a single pin. If that had been an older technology, if they hadn`t been prepared, we could have had serious losses.

It shows you for the quality and safety consciousness of the offshore industry; they have worked hard to built this to where it is. It`s world- leading technology, we use it all over the world. We use it in the Gulf of Mexico of course. We could use it offshore California, offshore the East Coast, we can use it in Alaska.

We know how to do this stuff. We have figured it out. I don`t want to say it`s not rocket science. Some of it is rocket science. You really have to be good to do this. Don`t try it at home.

But the people who know how to do it do it well, they do it safely. There`s no percentage in doing it, in taking shortcuts. You don`t want to lose your well, you don`t want to kill your people and dump oil in the water. That`s the bottom line.

BECK: What happened in Santa Barbara in 1969?

KING: Union Oil Company was drilling a well in an area that was known for natural oil seeps; there were natural oil seeps in that area. And what happened was that in the process of drilling, you know, I think the best information years later looking back is that they hit a particular zone that already had some oil in it, and it seeped out because of that.

Today, with the modern seismic, you can pretty much highlight where the oil is and then you get these bright spots on your seismic readouts, you know where you`re drilling into. Something like that, I really can`t envision something like that happening today with the technology they have.

BECK: That was a bad spill. It was 300 million gallons, I think, maybe only a million -- I`m sorry, it was 3 million gallons, but I think only 1 million came to the surface or was it 2 million that came to the surface, but Exxon Valdez was much, much worse. That was 11 million gallons.

I don`t understand how these environmentalists that say we don`t want to drill because it`s so dangerous, yet the Exxon Valdez, that was oil in a tanker. When every time we buy a drop of oil from Venezuela or any place else, we have to put it in a tanker.

KING: People have a great misperception about oil spills. They think oil spills happen because of drilling. Most oil spills and most of the oil that has ever been spilled in this world has come because of transportation accidents.

Today, if you were drilling off the coast of southern California, for the most part you would produce the oil from the platform you`d probably be running it ashore on a pipeline that is insulated against seismic and everything else. There wouldn`t be any tanker traffic out of it to the extent there is any tanker traffic.

You dock tankers at the port of Long Beach. The Exxon Valdez thing is don`t hire drunk tankers.

BECK: All right, Byron. Thank you very much.

Now, welcome back to the ADD nation.

While the media, I think, spend most of their time practicing their solemn faces for hurricane coverage, you know, or they get ready to discuss the GOP convention`s speaking schedule, they`re ignoring the most important story of the day.

And that`s this one, U.S. Forces formally have handed over Anbar Province to the Iraqi forces. It happened yesterday. Two years ago, Anbar, if I may refresh your memory, was the worst of the worst in Iraq. One American soldier was killed nearly every day there.

It was Al Qaeda in Iraq`s stronghold, and it was the primary get-away for foreign fighters. Over 1,000 U.S. troops have lost their lives in the Anbar province.

Today, thanks to the surge and the Anbar awakening, insurgent attacks have dropped by 90 percent. During the hand-over ceremony you`re watching here, American troops were there. They were walking in the parade. They weren`t wearing helmets, they didn`t wear armor, and they didn`t carry a gun.

"THE REAL STORY" is, this is a real story. But the mainstream media would barely cover it. You can be certain that they won`t look back at all the politicians and the talking heads who say Anbar was lost. We should get out of Iraq while we can.

Who is going to make the Democratic leaders answer for their mistakes and colossal judgment errors? You should think that we would see some footage in this political campaign. No, no, no.

Does the footage even exist anymore? Why don`t we start with why Senator Biden, who is supposed to lend Barack Obama some semblance of foreign policy credibility?

This is what he said about the surge.


SEN. JOE BIDEN, (D) VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The time has passed for additional troops. More troops is not the answer; we should be doing the opposite. We should be drawing down troops gradually forcing the Iraqis to meet their own needs to end this civil war.


BECK: Civil war, that`s right. Will anyone ask Biden to explain himself? Is anybody going to say, hey Harry Reid, how about when you said this?


SEN. HARRY REID, (D) NEVADA: I don`t think more troops is going to help; 30,000, 40,000 troops there is not going to help.


BECK: You wonder why Congress has such low approval ratings, and then we can`t, of course, forget the good friend of our program, Keith Olbermann.


KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR: The plan fails militarily, the plan fails symbolically, the plan fails politically. Most important, perhaps, Mr. Bush, the plan fails because it still depends on your credibility.


BECK: I love that, too, when he did this.

Keith, since you were wrong, you failed, what does it mean about your credibility?

Jonah Goldberg is the author of "Liberal Fascism" and the editor of National Review Online. He joins me again.

So Jonah, a half hour ago, I said to you, why all the coverage about all this nonsense on Sarah Palin. I think the answer is because the media sucks and we know who they want to win.

Let me ask you. Why no coverage on this?

JONAH GOLDBERG, EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: Well, I think the answer still holds; the media sucks. I mean, look, the press, they`re like werewolves and every full moon, they must feed.

Right now, they`re trying to feed on Sarah Palin. They couldn`t care less about Anbar. I`m hoping that tonight that George Bush goes out there and really puts an exclamation point on it because he`s supposed to be doing this address. If that happens, that would be helpful.

This is the equivalence of seizing Berlin in World War II, and it serves as an analogy of importance to the Iraq war. And it`s being treated as if it`s a state fair somewhere.

BECK: You know, I will tell you this. What bothers me most about the media and their coverage in this election is not only how unfair it is, how they just pick and choose. They`re selecting the leader of our country, but there`s no coverage on -- you know, this is not about is your daughter pregnant? This is not about did your wife say this is the first time she was proud of the United States?

This is about judgment. I don`t care if you have enough experience, if your judgment is okay. The judgment here on these candidates that are running -- you know, Obama and Biden, completely 100 percent dead wrong almost every time when it comes to Iraq.

GOLDBERG: It`s an amazing thing. Barack Obama spent 18 months talking about how judgment was more important than experience and foreign policy and his only example of that was that he opposed the war and Hillary Clinton didn`t. Then he says when he`s going to announce his vice president that he wants someone basically to back him up with foreign policy expertise and he picked someone who voted exactly like Hillary Clinton.

And the reality is that Joe Biden has been wrong on almost every foreign policy issue going back 30 years. He was for nuclear freeze. He was against support for the Contras. He voted against the first Gulf War and for the second Gulf War. He was against the surge. Barack Obama was against the surge.

This argument that somehow they`re incredibly qualified because of their judgment is a total hash. It makes no sense.

BECK: Do you think that they -- now that we are being able to reduce forces -- it`s only a matter of time before they say, see? We said pull them out. And look, here we are. We`re pulling them out.

They`re going claim victory. There`s no shame.

GOLDBERG: Barack Obama has been doing that basically already. What he does is he makes up what he said in the past and then says, as I said before, you know, I was always for this or I was always against that or that`s not why I was against the surge. And the press lets him get away with it.

We have already had more scrutiny of Sarah Palin than we have had certainly of Barack Obama in 18 months.

BECK: Oh, yes. We`re going after her daughter, feeding on her daughter like crazy. Yet, nobody even wanted to talk about the judgment that it took to sit in a church for ten years where it was racist comment after racist comment.

Jonah, I got to run, but thanks very much. That`s "THE REAL STORY" tonight.

Coming up, what did Cain and Abel have to do with the creation of Superman? Find out right after the break.


BECK: In chapter four of the bible, Cain kills Abel. It`s the world`s most famous murder, but the Bible is silent about one key detail and that is the murder weapon. The weapon is still lost to history.

In 1932, Mitchell Siegel killed by three gunshots to his chest. While mourning, his son dreamt of a man that was but-proof, that`s why he created Superman, the world`s superhero.

Just like Cain`s murder, the gun used in the unsolved murder was never found, until now. That`s what the back jacket of this great book says.

Brad Meltzer is "New York Times" number one best seller. His book is called "The Book of Lies." It goes on sale everywhere today.

And I have to tell you, I picked up the book, started reading it. I mean, from page one, just locked into this book.

BRAD MELTZER, AUTHOR "THE BOOK OF LIES": You`re making me blush now.

BECK: Why the Cain and Abel and Superman? At first, when I read that premise, I was like, how are you going to connect these two?

MELTZER: A woman came to me at a book signing two years ago and she says, "I know more about Superman that you`ll ever know." Well, I think to myself, "Lady, there`s no way you know more about Superman than I know."

BECK: So people know, you`re in the comic book world.

MELTZER: Yes, I just love it. And I`m a geek. I love that stuff.

BECK: Well, come one. Let`s not be modest. You`re the comic book god, you`re the justice league guy.

MELTZER: And I write these thrillers in my alter ego. She said to me, "No, I do know more because Jerry Siegel, who created Superman, is my uncle." And she`s the one invited me into the family, introduced me to the people in the family.

And she was the one who explained to me this murder that nobody knew about that was really unsolved by history because in 50 years of interviews when they say to Jerry Siegel, "Where did you get the idea for Superman?" He never once said, "My father died in a robbery."

You know, you create the world`s greatest crime fighter after your father dies in a crime no one puts it together. And that`s why the world got Superman, Glenn.

Not because America is the greatest country on earth although I think it is, but also because a little boy lost his father. And I just was fascinated. And I took that and then started doing research into Cain and Abel and watching the overlaps and suddenly the book became clear to me.

BECK: Give me some of the overlaps.

MELTZER: Yes, the overlaps, it`s interesting. It started with Cain and Abel. Someone said to me you know the apple and Eve in the story in the Garden of Eden? I say, sure of course.

He said the word apple is never in the Bible. So what are you talking about? He says look at the original translations, the word apple never appeared. It says fig or fruit, some say pomegranate. Apple`s not there.

Then he says how did they kill Abel? I said a rock. He says some say it was a rock. Shakespeare said it was the jawbone of an animal. Some said Cain bit Abel`s throat and that`s where your vampire is from.

And then there`s another theory that says Cain just may not be the bad guy in the story. So when you add this, I say, here, I have Superman who everyone thinks comes from a point of strength, and actually comes from a point of vulnerability. And then you have Cain, who everyone thinks is a bad guy but maybe the good guy. And I said you know what? Here come the overlaps.

And the reason the overlaps are very simple, these stories, not to compare comic characters and biblical characters, but they`re the great stories of our time.

BECK: So, what is "The Book of Lies?"

MELTZER: "The Book of Lies" there`s this great story I found that said when the Great Flood was coming, God said to Adam, I need you to protect all information and I want you to put it down. And he said put it in a book and not a book like you think.

BECK: You have kind of developed a "Da Vinci Code" kind of thing where you`re not really sure what`s fact or fiction.

MELTZER: And that`s the goal. I love when you read a book and it`s a thriller and you go, is this real? And I love the real. So I found the story, it`s a story that`s told in ancient Hebrew legend. It`s in Babylonia, it`s in Egypt.

And the story goes like this. Flood`s coming. God says put all of earthly knowledge in a book. Again this book, no one knows where the book is. In Babylonia it says that it should be on a pillar. He should write it on a pillar. Some say it should be on a tablet in Hebrew. It`s always a different thing but it`s a book.

And I love this idea. I love this idea that somewhere there`s a magical book that has all of earth`s knowledge in it. And I started playing with it, looking at these stories of Cain, looking at these stories of Superman.

And I`m realizing the slow overlaps because the reason the stories persist is because they say something about us. Superman says something about us. You can`t discuss America -- discuss Superman without discussing America. And Cain and Abel, same thing; we don`t love a story just because it`s interesting. It says something about us as people.

BECK: What is the fact that your stories always revolve around close parents? Your mother passed away while you were writing this book. How did it influence the book in any way?

MELTZER: My mom when I started writing the book, was diagnosed where breast cancer. There was no doubt that the coincidence that the main character in the book character is dealing with the loss of his mother.

You show me a novel and I`ll show you what the author is dealing with at that time. That`s just what I`m dealing with. It was very important to me that my mom read this book before she passed. She read the book. She read the dedication that was to her.

I know it`s so silly, but it matters. It matters to me. Mothers are sacred spaces and trying -- maybe this is my way of saving myself from therapy, but that`s how I do it. I just write these thrillers.

BECK: Fantastic book and it`s a pleasure to meet you. Back in a second.


BECK: Well, every day in our free e-mail newsletter we feature new arguments with the idiots, a basic outline on how an argument should go with you and one of your stupid friends.

For example, you have got somebody that you know that says Sarah Palin isn`t experienced enough to be vice president but Barack Obama is. You say, really, that`s weird. Certainly Barack believed when he was going to be president, when he announced that he was ready to be president that he was ready to be president, right? Well, yeah. Okay.

Well, Barack Obama was in office for 767 days when he announced that he was a presidential candidate. Sarah Palin was in office 635 days when she announced herself as a vice presidential candidate. So what sort of incredible knowledge did Barack Obama absorb in that 132 days, hmm? Oh, yeah, and before you answer. If McCain/Palin do go on to win, she`ll go into office on Jan 20th, 2009 with 24 days more experience than Barack Obama when he announced.

At this point your idiot friend will just look confused and say, George Bush. And then it`s possible that they might try to trot out this gem of a talking point like Barack Obama did last night with Anderson Cooper. Watch.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: My understanding is, is that Governor Palin`s town of Wasilla has, I think, 50 employees. We`ve got 2,500 in this campaign. I think the budget is maybe $12 million a year. We have a budget of about three times that just for the month.


BECK: Did he miss that she`s the governor now? Why would Barack Obama compare his current job with her former job? Why not compare apples to apples?

Maybe this is why. We crunched the numbers. Sorry. And since he announced his candidacy, Barack Obama has raised about $21 million a month. That`s a huge organization for sure, unless you directly compare it to Sarah Palin, who is handling revenues of 47 times as large, over a billion per month.

Barack Obama says 2,500 employees. That`s what he`s got working for him. And it is a lot. Unless you directly compare it to Sarah Palin and the Alaskan government with its over 77,000 employees or around 31 times as many as Barack.

So if, as Barack insinuates running an organization the size of his campaign is a sign you`re qualified to be president, Sarah Palin is somewhere between 37 -- or 31 and 47 times more qualified than him.

Halliburton is what your friend will say. It`s a tough task to convince your friends that they are thinking like an idiot, so sign up for my newsletter at and get the concise winning arguments to the awful dumb points that your friends and apparently Barack Obama are saying. It`s free at

From New York, good night, America.