Beck Addresses Uproar Over 'Restoring Honor' Rally

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 18, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly.

In the "At Your Beck and Call" segment tonight, later this month, our pal Glenn Beck will hold a rally in Washington, D.C., on the same day that Al Sharpton is also holding a rally. Now, that's causing some controversy, and I spoke with Beck about it last night.


O'REILLY: So here's Beck, and he's got a big event coming up shortly on August 28 in Washington, D.C.


O'REILLY: And that is the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: OK. Now, I want you to read you Ben Jealous. You know our pal Ben? Big fans of both you and me. He loves us. He's the head of the NAACP. And he says, quote, "We will be fighting Glenn Beck on August 28. And we will be using that leverage, the second march."

So it looks like Ben Jealous, because Al Sharpton is going to be down there and he's having an event.

BECK: And a bunch of other people.

O'REILLY: They think that you're trying to denigrate Dr. King in some way.

BECK: May I ask a question? And I mean this in all sincerity. Do white people own the legacy of Abraham Lincoln? Because I don't think they do. And I don't think black people own the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. It's the idea of the content of character.

O'REILLY: But I'm worried about that there might be trouble down there. You see what I mean?

BECK: There's not going to be trouble.

O'REILLY: You don't think so?

BECK: There's not going to be trouble.


BECK: No. This is the same thing that happened with Dr. Martin Luther King. The people who went to listen to Dr. Martin Luther King -- and I'm not comparing myself to Dr. Martin Luther King. But the people who went-- these people were threatened: "You will not go there. We'll kill your children." I mean...

O'REILLY: And they went anyway.

BECK: They went anyway.

O'REILLY: Huge, huge crowd.

BECK: Two hundred thousand people showed up.

O'REILLY: OK, all right. Because, you know, we don't want any trouble here.

BECK: No, of course not. Bill, here's -- here's the thing.

O'REILLY: Well, I just want to point out...


O'REILLY: ... that Beck is sincere when he says he doesn't want any trouble. Because you're actually banning any signs at your rally.

BECK: Yes, this is -- nobody know what this is except me. I have not revealed any of the real details.

O'REILLY: So this is the first time here on The Factor that you're going to reveal something or we'll throw you right off our set.

BECK: ... tells Bill O'Reilly. Oh, yes, he's a zipper lip. No, I -- what?

O'REILLY: Don't you want folks to come?

BECK: Yes, I do. I just don't want the people who are...

O'REILLY: Why don't you tell them?

BECK: No, I don't want the people who are on stage, Bill -- you know what? The people who are joining me on stage...


BECK: ... they're not political.

O'REILLY: Well, Sarah Palin.

BECK: Sarah Palin is. But you know what Sarah Palin's role is? To introduce the heroes of the military. She's doing a small part at the very beginning that is just introducing the heroes as a mother. Not a candidate. Not as a politician.

O'REILLY: She's not going to talk about anything political?

BECK: Not at all. Just the heroes that are in our military.

O'REILLY: Marcus Luttrell, the best-selling Special Forces guy, will be there. And I know you're doing...

BECK: A couple -- a couple people on stage that will blow your mind.


BECK: But they're normal people. And I'm not going to have them go through the...

O'REILLY: But it is important for everyone to understand, including Ben Jealous, all right, that Beck, you've gone out of your way to say, "Look, we don't want any incendiary signs. We don't want to make this political." We just want to do what? What is the main team theme of the event on August 28?

BECK: We need to recognize that -- two things. One, that America is a flawed but great nation. There are problems in America. But we can either just stare at the problems and dwell on the problems, or we can look to the content of our character and move forward as individuals.

O'REILLY: You say that a lot, the content of our character. What exactly does that mean? We're all sinners, correct?

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: OK, so we all make bad decisions, correct?

BECK: I know I have.

O'REILLY: OK. So what's that -- what is the content of a patriotic American's character?

BECK: I don't look at patriotic. This isn't about even the red, white, and blue.

O'REILLY: But I'm saying good people, honest people, people who love their country, their family.

BECK: There it is. Honest people -- look, the founders said we, mutually through -- "with reliance on divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor." Well, what is it that you believe in?

If push comes to shove, we've lived a pretty soft life. When Martin Luther King marched, those people have not lived a soft life.

O'REILLY: No, that's for sure.

BECK: They went through hell every -- to get a -- to get a drink of water.

O'REILLY: Right.

BECK: So they knew what was important. Most Americans don't.

Now, in a very, very small degree, we have an opportunity to bring people together, because I can intellectually understand racism. I think I have -- I've tried to. I think I can intellectually understand it. But I've never been banned because you know, I'm a color...

O'REILLY: They're going to make this -- "they're" being Ben Jealous and this guy, the president of the National Urban League, Marc Morial, they're going to make it racial.

BECK: They're going to make it whatever it is. It doesn't matter. You know, I don't know if anybody's even going to cover it. They can cover it in the newspaper...

O'REILLY: Well, they're going to cover it.

BECK: No, no. They'll cover it, but will it be the truth? They'll cover it any way they want. The stories are already written. It doesn't matter.

O'REILLY: Yes, that's true.

BECK: That's why I've asked you, the American people. You come. You experience it. You stand up for what you believe in. This isn't political. This is about restoring honor in our own selves. We will never fix our country unless we stand in the shadows of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. The Capitol will never be fixed through politics. It's got to come from the character of the people. And we have backslid. So stand there.

O'REILLY: All right. Last -- last question.

BECK: Yes.

O'REILLY: All right. Are you going to be disappointed if no African-Americans come to your rally?

BECK: I honestly have not thought about the color of the people coming. I haven't.

O'REILLY: Yes. They're going to be discouraged from doing so.

BECK: I have to tell you something. You look at the color of the people in the participation. I want you to count the color of the people in -- that are participating in this. I want you to listen to their words. I want you to see that it is not a white-black thing. It's not -- it's an American thing.


O'REILLY: And by the way, Beck's novel, "The Overton Window," remains a best seller.