Was Glenn right to call bullying kids dead inside”? Caller takes serious issue with Glenn’s comments

Since the story of Karen Klein broke two days ago, many have focused on the victim and the abuse that she suffered. Rightfully so, many have been outraged by what she went through, and there has been an online effort to raise money to send her on a vacation as a way of making up for the abuse. But no one has focused much attention on the kids themselves. Why would they do this? What environment and culture leads to kids being so cruel? Those were the questions Glenn wanted to know the answers to. But some have taken to his description of the kids being "dead inside". Is Glenn off base in his description of the children's cruelty - or are people succumbing to the same rationalizations that allowed this to happen?

The debate came to the forefront during the radio show this morning when a listener called into the show and tried to blame Glenn for any fallout that may occur as a result of the story.

"Glenn, I think this story might be your downfall. I think that money's going to ruin that woman's life and these kids that you've exposed and called dead inside are getting death threats. This should have been a situation handled entirely where kids learn and grow and show remorse and move on, but now you've blown this thing all out of proportion and this money's going to come in, family members are going to come out of the woodwork. They're going to take that money from her," the caller (Chris) said.

Glenn responded, "I didn't start the fundraiser, I had nothing to do with it and personally I like the fact that people are banding together and they are trying to do something good, I don't think that's a great solution at all. But if that's what people want to do, that's what people want to do."

"I don't have an agenda," Chris tried to say. "I just saw you calling these kids dead inside. Kids do stuff like that that parents never even hear about half the time."

"This is a situation that these kids can mature and grow out of," Chris added. "And you've turned them into monsters. I just think it's a bad thing."

"So Chris, tell me what you did as a child that you've been carrying around that you didn't tell anybody about," Glenn asked.

Chris fired back, "I've said bad things and nasty things as a teenager that I would never say now and fully regret. I've cut down people but maybe never to that degree, but you'd be surprised what some of, quote, the good children out there are capable of saying and doing when they're young teenagers. That's when adults step in and say, hey, what you did is wrong. But you don't go on national TV and call them dead inside and start criticizing them as horrible parents. "

"Hold on just a second," Glenn said, "What is the problem with calling them dead inside? Would you call them when they don't see humans as humans anymore?"

One of Glenn's primary critiques of the whole story has been that these kids did not see the elderly Karen Klein as a person anymore. He has said the kids saw her as a YouTube video in the making, and their lack of empathy is a symptom of a larger problem.

" I've never been this way as a kid, Chris.  I was never this way.  I did stupid things.  I did cruel things," Glenn said. "I said cruel things as a kid.  I've said cruel things on the air.  I've had my share of bad things, too, just like you did, Chris.  Just like you did.  However, I have never in my life seen anything like what happened on that bus.  That's 30 kids.  Nobody said a word.  No adults said any word.  No one said anything.  And then in the press conference, the adults come out and say, 'Hey, my kids suffered enough.' Bullcrap.  They're dead inside because that's the kind of society that we are living in now.  It's changed, Chris.  It's changed," Glenn said.

After the break, Glenn continued to address some of Chris's points.

"You know, this last call, I don't know what his problem was.  Maybe he's, you know, a decent guy who just disagrees," Glenn said.

"Sould I be cruel and mean, you know, in my drinking days when I wanted to be?  Oh, yeah.  I mean, I picked a guy up by a tie and told him I was going to eat him for F'in' breakfast," Glenn admitted. "I've done some cruel things in my life.  I could be a cruel man if I wanted to be.  I've never done 10 minutes.  I've never said I was going to F'in' knife you."

"The reason why they're dead inside is because they refuse to see this, they refuse to see this woman as a human.  They're not seeing her, they're not seeing their effect.  They're seeing her as a YouTube video.  They're seeing her as a vehicle for entertainment or stardom. This is the video game or video culture that we're in.  And, you know, if you are ‑‑ if you're my age or around my age, you have to understand, what our kids are being brought up into, new things have been introduced and old things have been ejected and rejected.  So the entire world is different now.  You can't judge the kids today and what they are thinking and doing based on what you thought or did in your day.  It's not the same.  It's just not the same.  And because there's virtual.  We didn't have virtual.  People were people."

"Look, here's the deal.  You have something hard to say?  What's your first instinct?  To go over to their house, to call them on the phone, to write a nice e‑mail or text them?  If you could get away with saying hard things in a text with a little smiley face, you would.  You would.  Because it's the easiest way to communicate.  It's the easiest ‑‑ it's just meaningless.  Our kids are so far removed from actually having to look someone in the eye and have the ramifications of what they say actually hit them.  And because of that virtual disconnect, they stopped seeing people as people."

Stu added, "And, you know, call them dead inside.  At that moment they are dead inside.  That doesn't mean that their whole life they have to be that way.  That doesn't mean they can't learn from this and turn into a good person."

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

Get tickets and learn more about the event here.

The general sale period will be Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM MDT. Stay tuned to for updates. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with you!