Do you ever get the feeling you're in some sort of a parallel universe or on the set of a Hollywood movie? I have no logical explanation to explain the things going on in America today.
I read this morning that the chairman of the president's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, Paul Volcker, said that the United States doesn't have a sense of urgency and that "there are serious questions, most immediately about the sustainability of our commitment to growing entitlement programs."
Hmm, that sounds familiar. Oh that's right: It's the same thing I've been saying. Where's Anthony Weiner? It sounds like Paul Volcker is engaging in fear mongering. By the way, did you see the Dow today? It fell 376 points and is down 900 points for the month.
You know, when I first put this show together, I thought about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to approach it. Originally, the idea for the show was to tell you about the story of America: Every day it's a new page. As much as I feel like we are in a movie, that movie has no basis in reality. Why we have to do that is beyond me, when there are great stories out there. They're called news stories for a reason.
I think it's because in everything that happens, you see a little bit of yourself. But increasingly, news stories are becoming fairy tales.
So let me tell you a news story that you probably haven't heard. Remember the pictures I showed you the other day of SEIU protest? The media barely covered it. Well, let me tell you the story behind it.
Greg Baer, like many dads, enjoyed last Sunday afternoon by watching his youngest son play in a Little League baseball game. Even for me, someone who's not big into sports, there's nothing quite like watching your kid play baseball. Unfortunately for Greg, his day was about to take a turn for the worse.
Driving home, no doubt talking about all the highs and lows of the game with his son, Greg was shocked to find out what was waiting for him when he got home: An angry mob of protesters, surrounding the house, screaming and yelling bloody murder.
Greg was horrified, not only because his younger son had to witness this, but because his 14-year-old son was trapped in the home — alone.
These protesters were bussed in — 14 buses filled with about 500 people. They poured out of the buses and swarmed right onto the property and up to the house. Greg's older son, Jack — alone in the house — was so frightened as the mob yelled and became angrier that he called his father's cell phone and told him he was locking himself in the bathroom.
Greg, still in the car, was now faced with a decision: What do I do? I can't bring my younger son — around the age of 12 — through this mess. But I cannot leave Jack in the house to fend for himself. He tried to call police, but the police feared intervention would only incite the crowd even more.
So now what? Greg didn't have much time to think; mobs can turn at any moment. So he made a gut-wrenching decision: He drove around the corner, parked his car — with his younger son inside — and went to get his older son out of the house.
He made his way though the crowd — Excuse me. I need to get in the house. I have a child who is alone in there and frightened — they continued to yell and chant. I can only imagine what was going through his mind at this point. He eventually got his son out of the house and got back to the car and got out of there.
Now, you may be asking, what did this man do to warrant a bus of 500 mobsters at his house? If you said nothing, you're right. No one deserves this, especially not in America. But here's the excuse: The people were from a union — SEIU. They claim to be angry because Baer is the deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America. Yes, he's one of those evil bank executives — a greedy Bush crony, no doubt.
Oh wait, he's a lifelong Democrat who worked for the Clinton Treasury Department.
But why not have the protest at the office? Why bring it to the front door? Unfortunately that's they way things are done now:
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
ANDY STERN, SEIU: We took names. We watched how they voted. We know where they live.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
After the mob finally packed it in and left, they moved on to another CEO's house and then another. See, SEIU was on an intimidation tour and they were completely unapologetic, accusing a reporter who questioned the tactic of getting "emotional" on the story.
It's a good thing that there weren't very many reporters there to ask questions. No one there to question if this morally reprehensible or ethically even thinkable. No one to question if anyone was even in the house. No one to question the family about how they feel. How do they feel today? Are they sleeping well? How are the kids? Did his younger son have a great game that now has forever been lost? Because he'll never remember the game — the family won't remember it — it'll always be the day that their house was surrounded.
No one is asking the question: Why would they surround a lifelong Democrat — a Clinton official? No reporter is left to question SEIU owing a ton of money to Bank of America. Isn't this the same tactic that SEIU and ACORN used on the banks that forced them to make risky loans? Does it have anything to do with unionizing tellers at the banks? There are a million questions.
That's the news part of the story. But to get a news story, the media have to ask questions, care or even just show up.
What are we turning into?
Wednesday night, I was at a show and the actor James Gandolfini was sitting right behind me. I was there with my kids. He said, "What is Satan doing here?" My son was in my arms. I didn't shoot back: Why do you glorify killing, mobsters, whoredom?
You want to protest banks? Go to the bank. Leave people's families out of it. Yes, Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty gathered around the home of the governor, but let's remember two things: That was the governor's house — state property. But I think the most important parallel here is those people were revolutionaries, the rest of us are just citizens trying to make things better.
See, the civil rights movement weren't revolutionaries, they were civil rights marchers; people with profound belief in faith. They're trying to create civil rights movement again. Everything is akin to the civil rights movement: health care, banking reform, housing, the presidency — everything:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID, D-NEV.: When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH, D-OHIO: I believe health care is a civil right.
REP. PATRICK KENNEDY, D-R.I.: The parallels between the struggle for civil rights and the fight to make quality, affordable health care accessible to all Americans are significant.
REP. JAMES CLYBURN, D-S.C.: This is a civil rights act for 21st Century.
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF: This is a civil rights act.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
Why are they doing it? Because it worked! But the reason why it worked is because back then it was genuine, it was real.
This is not. These are half-truths or lies; don't you see how they are imaging this movement as civil rights movement? Arrogance. Acting. Oh, we're having a great time!
But look at eyes of Martin Luther King, Jr. That's a man who believed deeply and, I contest, knew he was going to be killed for it. Look at his face — that's real. This is a mockery of the civil rights movement.
By the way, the neighbor who was brave enough to tell all the details — Nina Easton from Fortune magazine — is now under attack from SEIU. Guess where else she's being attacked? The Huffington Post.
(I have to tell you part of the story that I left out about James Gandolfini: After intermission, he came up to me and said I have to apologize, it was wrong of me to do that. I told him that I had heard worse. He said, I hope your son didn't hear that. He did, but I thank him for being a man of honor and apologizing.)
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