Mount Airy, a small town in North Carolina that served as the inspiration for Mayberry, is asking for Glenn to bring his 1791 business to their town in order to restart their textile industry. Glenn read the news on air and had some mixed feelings, but he ended up getting the mayor on the phone to talk more about the business and his plans for Mercury One.
The job-strapped North Carolina town where Andy Griffith was born and served as the model for his fictional TV town Mayberry is banking on TV titan Glenn Beck to bring back prosperity with a new factory.
The mayor of Mount Airy wrote to Beck urging him to set up a factory to base his new clothing line in the town.
Deborah Cochran took the step after Beck said he was searching for a place to make his 1791 line, which will raise money for his Mercury One charity. “Out there somewhere is a town searching for a second chance — a mill waiting to be reopened,” Beck says in a video on his website.
But unemployment in Surry County, which includes the city, now stands at 10.9 percent. The area has been badly hit as clothing manufacturing jobs have moved abroad, and this is why Cochran thinks it would be ideal for Beck’s factory.
Others, though, aren’t ready to turn to Beck for salvation — at least not yet. The city’s board of commissioners would not support Cochran’s plan because of Beck’s controversial ultra-conservative views, a source told the local Mount Airy News.
Glenn was excited to hear about the interest in the 1791 project, but was initially turned off by the story point about the board being turned off by his personal politics. “I'm not going to live in it. I won't do anything in a city where you are going to make everything about politics. Forget it,” Glenn told Stu as he read.
“I know it's not (the mayor’s) fault. I'm not blaming her. I was ready to get her on the phone, and it's absolutely not her fault. I'm not going to do anything in a town − I'm tired of it. I'm tired of it. You don't want us, that's fine,” Glenn said.
“We can take our jobs elsewhere,” Stu said.
A few minutes later, though, Glenn spoke with Mayor Cochran on the phone.
“We have relied heavily on legacy industries such as textiles and furniture. In fact, at one time we were known all over the world for making socks. And in fact, my mother worked at Mount Airy Hosiery mill when that plant closed. I was 11 years old. So I remember what that was like because my father was paralyzed and we had no income coming in. Well, then as fate would have it, my younger brother went into the hosiery industry. He was a head sixer and then Kentucky Derby Hosiery closed, the jobs went overseas and then he lost his job and we relived those unpleasant memories. And not only that, he lost his health insurance and then was diagnosed with leukemia,” the Mayor told Glenn.
Glenn expressed his concerns about the city commissioners being concerned about his conservative view points. “I'm really not interested in working around a bunch of people that might consider job creation a partisan event.”
“These people here are the best on the planet. For example, I was talking about my brother. These folks here who have lost their jobs, we had a benefit for him that raised nearly $8,000. They give all the time. So, you know, my main concern is these people who are out of work,” she told Glenn.
“I'm building it for all of the profits to go right directly to charity. So it's not a profit organization. So, you know, we'd need some people that are going to help step to the plate and put this together, but this will be a Newman's Own kind of situation where the employees are taken care of and everybody works hard but we're all working for a cause to restart the engine of America,” Glenn told her.
After getting off the phone he asked the Mayor to stay on the line and speak with his producers to get more information on the town.
Glenn ended the segment on radio playing the Mercury One package which originally aired during the GBTV Q&A after he left FOX.