Unless you've been ignoring the headlines to avoid election coverage, you've probably seen the story about a young female college student who crashed her car into a police officer's car following a party. And, you've probably heard she was tipsy, taking topless photos to send her boyfriend. Undeniably, it was not her finest moment.
"How do you face your family? How do you call your mom? How do you call your dad? What is it like when you get up that morning and see your face everywhere on Facebook? Your moment of absolute shame and you are being ridiculed by everyone," Glenn asked Tuesday on his radio program.
Planning to discuss the story Monday on radio, Glenn had second thoughts after teaching the Beatitudes at church on Sunday.
"As I had my finger on send, the Beatitudes came to mind. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy," Glenn said. "I had my finger on send because she was going to be funny. I hit delete. I didn't bring it up yesterday. And the reason why is because I want to talk to you today about mercy."
Read below or listen to the full segment for answers to these questions:
• For how long will the college girl's life be destroyed by her mistake?
• Has a study been done on the people who have been destroyed by Facebook?
• Whose business was destroyed after a single, misinterpreted tweet?
• Would we have treated people so hatefully before social media?
• Has Glenn softened his approach or his principles?
Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:
GLENN: Hello, America. All right. I want to tell you a -- I want to tell you a story. And I want to tell it in two different ways.
Sunday morning, I get up, and I'm reading the news. And I see this amazing story about this 20-year-old girl who is leaving a party. She is driving back to her dorm room, and she slams into the back of a police cruiser. The police cruiser is parked.
JEFFY: Not fun.
GLENN: The police cruiser is -- the cop just got out of the cruiser, and he was walking over to a house where he was investigating some, you know, phone call. And he turns around after he hears, pam!
And he runs over to the car to see if the girl is okay. And she is quickly trying to put her blouse on. She has a sweater or a blouse, and she's pulling it over her head. And the cop says, "Miss, are you okay?"
And she says, "Yes, yes, I'm fine. I'm sorry. I just -- I'm sorry."
He said, "Can you step out?"
She said, "Yes."
And now she's trying to hook her bra back up and put her blouse back on. Nobody else is in the car. There is an open wine bottle in the car.
GLENN: And the police officer notices that she's having a hard time kind of navigating.
And he says, "You been drinking?" And she says, "Well, I just got back from a party, but I'm not drunk." And he says okay. He gives her a sobriety test.
All I know is that she had to go to the hospital for blood tests, so I'm guessing that she flunked the sobriety test.
And he said, "Can you tell me what you were doing?" And she blushes, and she says, "Yeah. I -- I just left a party, and my boyfriend wanted a topless picture of me driving home."
So she had taken off her blouse and her bra, and she was taking a hot photo of her topless, driving home, for her boyfriend.
Now, there's plenty of places to go here, are there not, Pat?
PAT: Yes, many.
GLENN: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
GLENN: So I'm seeing this story, and I immediately think, "Oh, my gosh, is this society -- is this girl just dumb as a box of rocks?"
GLENN: And I copy and paste. I put it into an email, and I'm sending it to one of our producers for yesterday's show. This is Monday -- this is Sunday morning. And as I'm ready to hit "send," I look down at her face one more time. And she's a normal-looking sweet 20-year-old girl. And suddenly, I think to myself, "Everybody -- her life is destroyed, at least for a year."
Everybody she knows -- she's this 20-something -- you know, 19, 20-year-old, going to college. Her parents think she's sweet, most likely. All of her parents' friends think she's sweet most likely. Her aunts, her uncles, everybody in her circle that doesn't see her taking her top off for her boyfriend now has a very different image of her.
One thing to be drinking. Another thing to be drinking and driving. Another thing to be drinking and driving and slam into the back of a police officer. It's another thing to be drinking and driving and slamming into the back of the police officer while sexting. It's another thing to be drinking and driving and slamming into the back of the police cruiser while sexting and taking a photo of yourself topless and the reason you were slamming into the back of the police officer is because you were trying to put your shirt back on.
Done. How do you face your family -- how do you call your mom? How do you call your dad? What are your friends -- what is it like when you get up that morning and see your face everywhere on Facebook? Your moment of absolute shame and you are being ridiculed by everyone.
It's a good thing that this thing happened to me on Sunday. Because I teach Sunday school. And this Sunday, I taught the Beatitudes.
And, you know, Ellen, if I have time today, I want to teach them on Facebook -- I want to teach them on Facebook Live today, if I can.
But I got to mercy. As I had my finger on "send," the Beatitudes came to mind. Those -- those who are merciful will receive mercy.
Now, I have been thinking about Facebook and the comments on Facebook -- because has anybody read my comments lately? Woo!
And I thought to myself a lot, "Most these people don't know me. Most of these people have never listened to me. They -- some of them have, but I contend, they've heard, but they've never really listened to me. Those who are making the case that I've changed. No, I haven't.
If anything, I have softened my stance, but -- not my stance, not my principles, but I've softened my approach. But I haven't changed my principles at all. They're exactly the same. So I contend you may have heard me, but you didn't listen to me. But most of them haven't listened to me. They don't know the first thing about me. And they are getting more and more vitriolic. Really nasty. And everyone is getting that way.
And so I've been thinking a lot of, "What's happening to us? What is happening to us?" Because we would have never treated each other this way before. But now we're traveling in packs and we're traveling anonymously. And it's easy to say things anonymously or virtually because it's not -- you don't have to look at the person in the eye. But you'll notice -- I saw a video today of a woman who went, and she was standing in a Trump rally. She started protesting. Trump kicked her out. Okay. Fine.
But when they get out, people surround her. And she is angry, and she's shouting angry liberal, Berkeley, California, things. I don't even care about what she was saying or what anyone else was saying. What was happening is they were yelling at each other. Okay. I get it. Everybody is angry.
But then one side started to chant lock her up. Lock her up. All she did was express her opinion. She might have done it horribly. I don't agree with her opinion at all. But in a crowd, lock her up. Lock her up. We're becoming bullies in crowds and bullies virtually, on both sides. This is not about a candidate. This is about all of us.
I had my finger on "send" because she was going to be funny. I hit delete. And I didn't bring it up yesterday. And the reason why is because I want to talk to you today about mercy.
Is there something about using people -- we're using -- we're no longer looking -- in fact, we don't like it. We don't watch television as much because -- we're not watching situation comedies as much. Because why use a situation comedy? Reality is funnier than anything else. Look at all this crazy, stupid people. And look at how we're mocking everything on Facebook now.
But we don't see people as people. They're just for our entertainment purposes. And then we move on.
We pile on -- what business is it of us, this girl's life? Now, Pat, because I brought this up in church, Pat had an argument -- a discussion with his wife on the way home. She happened to agree with me. He didn't.
PAT: Yeah, you know, I think you can use that as a cautionary tale for other girls in similar situations not to do that because so many things can go wrong. Almost everything that can happen is bad. And -- and it's a -- so it might prevent somebody else from doing that the next time.
JEFFY: You would hope.
PAT: You would hope so. You would hope. You would hope so.
GLENN: You wouldn't hope so. You wouldn't hope so?
PAT: It's also a story about where we're headed culturally.
GLENN: I agree with you on that. I agree with you on that.
The problem is you're identifying -- I don't think people understand -- I don't think any of us really understand, especially for somebody, unlike me, unlike Ben Shapiro, and unlike anybody -- David French, who is really getting hammered right now, we at least have an outlet. People like that, they don't.
The entire country turns on them, mocks them, ridicules them, and then moves on. That experience I think has to change people.
I would love to see -- has anybody ever done -- you would know this, Stu. Has anybody ever done a study on the people who have been destroyed by Facebook?
STU: Yeah, we haven't talked about this? There's a really interesting article that came out, it's probably six months ago now. Of the woman, and you might remember this story --
GLENN: I knew he would know.
STU: -- where she went to Africa, and she --
GLENN: Yeah, she got on the plane.
STU: She got on a plane. She tweeted before she got on the plane. She tweeted a joke and said, "I'm going to Africa, but don't worry, I'm white. So I won't get AIDS," or something like that.
So gets on the plane, flies to Africa. Someone -- it was at the former institution, you might remember as Gawker, posted this tweet of hers and made it into a news story. And -- but she was in the air the whole time as the thing blew up and she didn't know. There was a hashtag. I don't remember -- again, this is me.
GLENN: Landed yet, or something?
STU: Yeah, has she landed yet? I don't even remember her name, proving your point. So she was a PR person, and she made the joke not to say that white people can't get AIDS.
STU: That was not her point. Her point was -- she was actually kind of liberal and was pointing out that we don't care enough about Africa, basically.
The attitude of Americans are we just -- you know, we think that none of this stuff will happen to us. That's kind of her point. Like is it a little bit offensive? Yes. But, you know, she was trying to be offensive. It's Twitter, right?
There's no reason -- she had worked in charity in these areas before like for -- to help people in these situations. There was no reason to believe she was a hard-core racist who wanted black people to get AIDS and black people not to. There was no backing for this -- in a completely -- in a person who generally speaking was not a public person. Right? Like she was not a person in which she was trying to get on TV all the time. Although she was in PR, so she had some of that background.
Anyway, so by the time she had landed, she was fired.
JEFFY: Yeah. Before she even had a chance to respond to anything at all.
STU: Right. She didn't even get a chance to respond to it, and her life was over.
GLENN: Imagine landing, turning on your cell phone and hearing bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, big, and everybody is writing to her, saying, "Boy, this is not good."
GLENN: And she's fired.
GLENN: On the tarmac, she finds out, "I've been -- I've lost my job?"
STU: Yeah. And her business was destroyed too. Because she was -- if I remember correctly, she had a bunch of clients. Like she had a business with a bunch of clients, and they just all dropped her. So she had nothing.
She went through a period of, you know, real depression. And, again, everyone else had moved on. We had all forgotten her name.
GLENN: Right. All left.
STU: We had all moved on.
GLENN: We all were higher than -- holier than thou, and we went on with our life to destroy somebody else.
STU: Exactly. Now, I believe -- I can't remember -- that was probably, the whole story happened, I don't know, two years ago. And so a year after that, she wound up getting her head back on her shoulders and putting her life back together a little bit. Wound up eventually contacting the Gawker author who came around to essentially apologize for, you know, publicizing her tweet. And they kind of became friends, if I remember the story correctly. And she's been able to sort of put her life back together.
GLENN: See if we can get her on the air.
STU: Yeah, it was a fascinating story. And, yeah, let's do that. I mean, it was really interesting --
GLENN: We should see if we can find a few people who have been destroyed and just cannot put their life back together.
STU: Yeah, there's several examples in that story, if I remember.
Featured Image: The Sermon On the Mount, Dansk: Bjergprædiken, Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle (Wiki Commons)