This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," August 28, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GLENN BECK, HOST: Hello, America.
Bill O'Reilly is dedicating a whole hour to this tonight. He's going to take some different angles on it. I'm going to tell you — well, I'm going to start with two words and they're the only two words that I think adequately express how amazing this weekend was: Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for trusting me. Thank you for bringing your family and your children into what the media was telling you was going to be an awful, dangerous, event.
The amount of people who sacrificed their time and their money to take a trip to Washington, D.C., to stand with me, shoulder-to-shoulder, just to restore honor was nothing short of astounding. More importantly, the character of those who came: truly second to none.
This crowd was polite. It was calm. It was friendly. It was welcoming. It was helpful.
It was a hot day in the sun. I mean, it's August 28th in what used to be and still is, in many ways, a swamp. People were shoulder-to-shoulder, standing for hours. Some of them, because you can't sleep on the National Mall, some of them came as early as Wednesday to be able to have a place close to the stage. Some people were so far away that they actually couldn't hear very well.
This crowd, no matter what the media tells you, the crowd stretched almost a mile. And we will show you the pictures.
It's understandable if people were frustrated. But there weren't any instances there. There wasn't any complaining that I heard. We talked to the police, there wasn't — in a crowd this size, not one single arrest.
The random acts of kindness that we're hearing about are truly remarkable. I want to ask you a favor: If you experienced something remarkable, please tell us about it. Write to email@example.com. Tell us what you experienced.
After all of this time, of the tea parties and the people on the right being painted as racist and hatemongers, finally, the story is out and the truth is being told.
In the days leading up to the Restoring Honor event, I said, you should expect miracles. And there were several miracles — many, many miracles.
Anybody who was there knows the miracles or some of them that happened. One of the miracles that I found entertaining happened right at the very beginning. If all that ever happens at this event is that a bunch of people show up — well, that's neat and everything, but we failed. You have to pick up the miracle that happened within all of us. The flame is going to burn out if you don't pick up the flame and run.
We'll spend some time today talking about what happened. I want to show you first that — that miracle that happened at 10:59. There are several versions of this — or 9:59 — there were several versions of what was happening at 9:59 — do we have the videotape?
At 9:59, what happened was there was a flock of geese that ran. It was a flyover, if you will. Someone caught it on tape. Here's the flyover. This was happening just as the opening music was starting. We wanted to have a flyover, but you can't fly over in the District of Columbia. It was perfect coordination and perfect timing. Coincidence? Maybe. I think it was God's flyover.
It was not supposed to happen. We couldn't get a flyover. We couldn't even get anybody dressed in a military uniform to present the flag. We tried for almost a year. We couldn't get it done.
Thank God we had our flyover.
I said that this would be a non-political event. Here's another miracle: Somebody actually kept their word. I told you, if you were hoping to hear an election pep talk, you shouldn't come. I said, bring your entire family — this guy and his son were amazing. I said bring your family because there would be no anger, there'd be no hate, there'd be no racism at this event.
I said the message would be about restoring honor and turning to God.
I said the day would be about faith, hope and charity. I told you for a long time the day would be focused on challenging each and every individual so we can restore honor. That's the key to restoring our country, restoring ourselves first.
Those were the things this program focused on and promised leading up to the event. I also didn't tell you who was on the program, intentionally, because I didn't want them to go through the hell that I go through every day and others like Alveda King go through that is 10 times worse than what I go through. I kept it quiet and I warned the media: Don't say these things because you don't know.
But here's what the media told you to expect. NPR worried that it would spiral into a "pit of hatred." The Washington Post wondered if this was an event that would unify the Tea Party. They also said it would trigger "an exercise in self-aggrandizement on a Napoleonic scale." PBS reported that nothing would be said at this event that, quote, "That school children would be learning or reciting a generation from now."
New York Times headline read, "I Had a Nightmare," and called me the anti-King. Newsweek called me and the event the march of racial politics. And many feared the angry Tea Party people would turn violent.
MSNBC actually reported just as the program started that Michele Bachmann and Dick Armey were suddenly speaking:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MSNBC REPORTER: You know, we have plenty of people, as you mention,
set to speak. You have Sarah Palin today at about 10:40. Michele Bachmann, congressman from Minnesota, the Republican, also set to speak, a Tea Party favorite — as well as Dick Armey, also expected a little later today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: No, no. Sarah Palin did. But how would they know that information? Because I didn't release any of the speakers, intentionally, to see how the media would cover it.
Well, now that the event is over, whose storyline was closest to the truth? Was it everyone in the media or this program? Was this an event that was a political rally aimed at elections and tea parties? Was it filled with hate? What actually happened?
No policies were discussed. No politicians were named. No elections were talked about. The event was completely apolitical. There was no anger. There was no hatred, violence. It'd be surprised if anyone even used a swear word.
Martin Luther King was honored, not disgraced. There were virtually no signs. There was a focus on God, faith, hope and charity.
You heard amazing stories about some of America's most brave and amazing people.
You heard prayers; people said prayers.
What you saw was a minimum of 500,000 people who never claimed that God was on their side. They wanted to change their lives so they could be on God's side.
So, how did people react? How did the media react after they found out the truth?
Well, let's start with the president. It'd be interesting to see what he had to say on half a million people gathering on the premise of God and honor. Here he is on NBC Sunday when asked for his reaction on 8/28 Restoring Honor event:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I have to say I did not watch the rally.
Given all those anxieties and given the fact that, you know, in none of these situations are you going to fix things overnight, it's not surprising that somebody like a Mr. Beck is able to stir up a certain portion of the country. That's true throughout our history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: I have been told that no broadcaster in the history of America has ever done anything like this. I have also been told today that no single individual has ever called 500,000 people to the Mall. And they arrived — ever.
But he's not surprised. Of course, he wasn't even watching. This is the kind of thing that happens all the time throughout history, all throughout history, that these people like Glenn Beck or Mr. Beck show up.
Well, I didn't know exactly who he might be thinking of, but it's good that we have everyone's favorite reporter, Joe Klein. He took it a step further and explained:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE KLEIN, TIME MAGAZINE: This guy is obviously a paranoid lunatic who is a great entertainer. And he is exploiting something that always happens in our country when the economy is bad and when we're at war.
During World War I, if people were caught speaking German in the street, other people would beat them up. During World War II, we interned the Japanese. And now, there — the combination of bad, bad economic times over the last couple of years and — you know, and the terrorism, has led to this wave that Glenn Beck and his puppet master Rupert Murdoch are exploiting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: I'm actually beginning to feel bad or sad for some of these people. But, Joe, since you brought history in the mix, you're right. We did round up the Germans during World War I. And you were right, if you spoke out against the war, you'd be tossed in jail. And you were right, we did round up the Japanese. You left out the Germans and the Italians that we rounded up in World War II, but we put them in war deplacement camps.
That's nice. There is just one little fact, Joe, that you forget to point out. And that's — that's really critical to the history lesson. It's the "who" part of the rounding up process. Who was rounding people up?
In World War I, it was Woodrow Wilson. In World War II, it was FDR.
Both big government progressives. So yes, we did round people up, but it was never someone on the outside like me who did it. It was always big progressive government.
Now, here is The Huffington Post. I'm going to show you this because this shows you the contempt for the things that I think most Americans value. It's Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor rally. This is the quote: "The most ridiculous messages" in photos. "The most ridiculous messages" in photos. Here are the most ridiculous — go to the first. There it is: September 11th. This is ridiculous.
This is a quote from George Washington — ridiculous.
"Restoring Honor" — ridiculous.
This woman for some reason is ridiculous.
This man is ridiculous.
Someone with George Washington, the Constitution — ridiculous.
May I — may I ask, do you stand with The Huffington Post on those things being ridiculous? Why are they ridiculous?
Now, the reports of the crowd size. Let me show you perhaps the most iconic image from the event. This, I believe, was taken from the A.P. or by the A.P., and God bless them for doing it. It is absolutely stunning.
Remember — remember, just the reflecting pool alone, I told you last week, this is 200,000 people. There are people. You can see them, here and here and here. We have photos down both of these paths at GlennBeck.com.
There are people — look at them — throughout the trees. Plus here, this is the end of the block or the end of the reflecting pool. It goes across the street and the crowd picks up again. This is completely filled, all around the Lincoln Memorial, back to the Washington monument.
To be exact, the length from the base of the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument is eight/tenths of a mile. And it was almost completely filled with people.
So, here is the crowd size reporting: NBC says tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands.
Associated Press apparently didn't look too close at their own picture and said tens of thousands. I've seen lots of others echoing the A.P. at tens of thousands.
CNN wouldn't pick a number. They compared the task to counting the crowd, "it's like how many jelly beans are inside a huge jar," end quote.
CBS strangely put the number at 87,000. Well, that's a pretty specific number there. Well, are you sure it wasn't 93,412?
We'll never know the exact number. But anyone with eyes can see this crowd was in the hundreds of thousands. Traffic was clogged in D.C. after the event and before the event. Metro workers said they have never seen anything like it.
The lines at the Metro subway stretched two football fields. They had to wait hours in lines just to get on the subway to get to the event.
"Restoring Honor," which was the number one topic on Google trends for much of Saturday, "Glenn Beck rally" and "Sarah Palin" were also at the top of the Google searches hot list category throughout the day.
Over 100,000 people were streaming the event on the live — the Facebook event. It was carried on C-Span; I can't wait to see the numbers.
By our estimate, this event falls about the sixth largest all-time largest crowd at the Mall. That is tied with the inauguration of Ronald Reagan.
So, the media can diminish the crowd size all they want, but the images speak for themselves. Gee, who thought we should have many, many photographers and cameras? And who happened to have a ticket at 10:00 at the top of the Washington Monument and a photographer there so we could capture these things? Oh, I guess that would be us.
Fool us once and shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Of course, the press hasn't hesitated to give high estimates on Obama crowds. He's drawn some pretty huge crowds. After all, it's happened in history before, as he says. When there's trouble, somebody like this usually appears.
Here is a picture of 80,000 people in Denver. These numbers all taken by the press. Here is 200,000 people in Berlin. Here is 100,000 people in St. Louis.
By the way, we took this one, St. Louis, because the media happily settled on 100,000 people for that speech. Everyone agrees 100,000.
We knew the reports would — we knew they would underestimate 8/28's crowd and we knew the media wouldn't get the message. And they didn't.
And they didn't.
Tomorrow's program, we're going to show you how many, how many 100,000 St. Louis crowd areas can fit into at the area that we just showed you at the Mall.
I want to show you the lead stories — the lead stories in the newspaper are here. I'm grateful that this is all in the news. But I read all of these stories or much of the stories, and it would be nice if they reported on what we talked about. But all they reported on is things like it wasn't a Tea Party; it wasn't racist; it wasn't violent; it was peaceful.
Well, has anybody filed a story on what it was about? Did anybody bother to report on the Black Robe Regiment? We had 240 men and women of the cloth on stage, pastors, priests, rabbis, and yes, imams, linked arms. They were talking about the big principles of life.
We talked about — there they are as they were coming on — we talked about faith and God. Did anybody think that maybe we should, I don't know, report on that?
I issued a challenge: 40 days and 40 nights. It's a challenge based on the Declaration of Independence. Did anyone think that was worth noting?
Here's the story the press gave you in the end: This was a rally that was non-violent, not racist and not a Tea Party and 87,000 people showed up.
Yet, the media also is reporting that history was made. Well, how? Why?
I'm going to tell you something now that no one knows. On Saturday night, I woke my family up. It was 11:00 when I got the news that the Smithsonian had called. They want — they want items from the event preserved for the Smithsonian.
Well, gee, now, why would America's museum of history want something about a rally that had 87,000 people and just wasn't racist? Is that worthy of being in a museum or being held in archives?
The reason it's not reported is the media doesn't understand things like this. And the other reason is because those who do understand know that if it's explained and you understand what it really, really is, it could change the course of our country.
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