Who Is the Real Mike Pence?

Atlantic writer McKay Coppins recently published a nuanced account of Vice President Mike Pence’s rise to the second-highest office in the land.

On today’s show, he talked about the interviews he gathered for the article, which is headlined “God’s Plan for Mike Pence.” Coppins shared his theories about Pence’s presidential aspirations as well as what he knows about Karen Pence’s response to that infamous “Access Hollywood” tape.

“It is not a slam on religious people,” Glenn said of the article. “It’s just trying to understand Mike Pence and what drives him. How can he have two masters?”

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: So there was a -- there's a new book out, The Wilderness. Deep inside the Republican Party's combative, contentious, chaotic quest to take back the White House.

And out of that, the writer, McKay Coppins, has written an article, God's plan for Mike Pence. And if you just look through it, because it's from The Atlantic. The pictures, you know, make Mike Pence look like he's an apostle or whatever. But it is not a slam on religious people. It's just trying to understand Mike Pence and what drives him. How can he have two masters? How can he be the guy who we all think Mike Pence is? But then stomach as much as he has.

And it's a really fascinating look into Mike Pence and especially today, with the -- the president possibly, you know, claiming -- I'll believe it when I see it, but I think he's going to do it. Today, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. So welcome to the program, McKay Coppins.

McKAY: Thanks for having me.

GLENN: You bet. So McKay, first, let's talk a little bit about Israel and Jerusalem. Does this surprise you?

McKAY: Well, it's something that he campaigned on, Trump did. And it's something that I know a lot of people in his orbit have been claiming was coming. But, you know, past presidential candidates have campaigned on this as well and then not followed through on it. It's one of those eternal promises that is made to conservative Christians and conservative Jews in this country, and then it never ends up happening.

I still would frankly be a little skeptical. I think I'll believe it when I see it stance is the right one. They've cautioned this takes a long time. Obviously to build an embassy would take a long time. But, you know, it certainly -- if it ends up happening, it's certainly a victory for a lot of the conservatives who voted for Trump on this.

GLENN: Well, is it a victory just to officially declare it's the capital from the White House?

McKAY: Sure. Yeah. That's more than has been done before.

GLENN: Right. I kind of look at it like the Bear Ears monument, that he can say whatever he wants and say, yeah, we declare. But until you've actually cemented it and there's just no turning back -- as soon as you move the embassy, then it's more than Donald Trump, then it is the United States is on that course.

McKAY: That's right. That's why I think we have to wait to see if the embassy actually gets built, or if actual, tangible plans get announced. And that -- you know, we just don't know yet.

GLENN: Okay. So let's talk a little bit about Mike Pence. Because I think this kind of fits into your -- the way you look at Mike Pence. And that is, he's there because he believes that God works in mysterious ways. And maybe he's just supposed to stand up at some point if the president falls down.

McKAY: Right. This is the thing that I found really interesting about Mike Pence, is that he is, by all accounts, in contrary to I think some liberal caricatures of him, a genuine man of faith. Religion is at the core of his identity and has been at least since college and probably even before that.

You know, he really is motivated by a desire to serve God. And he thinks that he can do that in the political realm. But, you know, it's also kind of tangled up in his personal ambitions as well.

So, you know, when Donald Trump came knocked last year, last spring, after securing the Republican nomination and, you know, said I want you to be my running mate, Mike Pence was kind of faced with the choice that millions of conservative Christians were faced with last year, which is, can we overlook the kind of -- you know, to put it politely, flaws in this man's character, right? Can we overlook this man's character, his values, his perhaps lack of morality. And still support him in pursuit of a broader, and they would say, more important policy agenda. Political agenda.

And Mike Pence made the decision that he could. And so did frankly an overwhelming number of conservative Christians. I think it's still an open question whether that compromise, whether that gamble will pay off, for Mike Pence and for the people who supported him. I mean, they did -- people who video for Trump just because of the policy victories that they want to obtain, they've gotten some things, right? They've gotten the Supreme Court justice, who is a conservative. Just today, like you said, the announcement about Jerusalem, that could be a big victory for them. But at the same time, every compromise has consequences. And Mike Pence finds himself in the middle of this kind of swirling investigation of over Russia. And, you know, while he is, by all accounts, trying to stay aboveboard, trying to keep his hands clean of all of this, when you cozy up to somebody like Trump, a lot of things can happen that you wouldn't expect. I think that's a fair way to put it.

GLENN: So would you say your impression -- because I just want to give you my impression. I don't want to quote any conversations. But I was around Mike Pence during the run-up, when it was still not clear that Donald Trump was still going to be the candidate.

STU: The Indiana primary, where pence had endorsed Cruz.

McKAY: Right. Right.

GLENN: My impression at the time, in speaking to Mike Pence, was that he knew exactly who Donald Trump was, and it wasn't a guy who he had a lot of faith in, to put it mildly.

McKAY: That is I think an accurate impression.

GLENN: All right.

McKAY: No, Mike Pence was not on the Trump train. Early -- remember when Trump announced the Muslim ban or the proposed Muslim ban in December of 2015, Pence came out in opposition to it. He said that this is an affront to American values or something like that. And he spoke out at other times during the primary.

My impression is that he was fairly clear about who Donald Trump was. In fact, after this story came out -- I haven't shared this yet, but after my profile was published yesterday, I got an email from somebody who was an Indiana delegate, or was slated to be a delegate at the Republican National Convention from Indiana.

And when Trump won the nomination, this person decided they couldn't show up to the convention. And said that, in the run-up to -- during the primary, kind of in the -- when it was still not clear whether Trump would win, this person got a lot of phone calls and emails from people in Pence's inner circle, like, oh, yeah, the governor agrees with you. This is not great. He shares your concerns. And then a few weeks later, was announced that he would be the running mate.

GLENN: So let me ask you about that. Because you -- in this interview, you spoke to his wife. You've done your homework here.

Do you believe that Pence did this for his -- as you said earlier, his political aspirations. Or did he do this because he thought, I may -- you know, it may be, you know, God's will that somebody is standing in that room, that doesn't necessarily agree with him. And I need to hold the line and be there.

McKAY: I actually think that's not -- those two aren't mutually exclusive. My impression from all the interviews I've done, all the people I've talked to close to him is that he got himself to a point, Pence did, where he believed that both, yes, you know, he had political aspirations. He's always believed -- he wanted to be president ever since he was in college. But also, he believed he could do some good there, right?

And, look, this is something that all people struggle with. I don't think that this is uniquely a problem that Mike Pence has faced. Everyone tries to reconcile their ambition with their ideals, right? Whether their religious ideals or whatever else. And I think he's convinced himself that being in the room next to Donald Trump, having the president's ear, is a way to -- to do good. To -- to promote an agenda that will help people, that will, you know, protect other Christians, that will push the ball forward on issues that he cares about. So I think that, you know, part of the reason he's been so loyal to Trump is because of that.

GLENN: Back in a second. Because I want to talk to McKay about his conversation with Mrs. Pence, who had some things that were quite frank in the article. When we come back.

GLENN: McKay Coppins, who has written a great story, God's plan for Mike Pence. In it, he tells a story of the Access Hollywood tape, and what Mike Pence's wife and said what happened behind the scenes. Can you just walk us through this, McKay?

McKAY: Yeah, sure. This is based on interviews with former campaign aides and people close to the Pences or were friends with the Pences. So first of all I should say that after Pence joined the ticket, Trump made an effort to kind of convince Pence that beneath all the made for TV bluster Trumpian bravado, he was actually a good guy with faith in God. Because he wanted Trump to feel comfortable on the ticket and feel like he was doing a good thing.

And, in fact, on the night of the vice presidential debate, Trump left a voice mail letting Pence know that he had just said a prayer for him, which is something that Pence found very moving and really loved.

So fast forward to the Access Hollywood tape coming out, and I'm told that this was a really jarring experience for -- for Mike Pence and, in particular, his wife. One campaign aide told me that Karen Pence was disgusted by the video. And the former campaign aide said that she finds him reprehensible. Just totally vile. That's the direct quote.

GLENN: Could have been quoting my wife.

McKAY: Now --

GLENN: And I think most women in the country at that moment.

McKAY: Yeah, probably a lot of women at that moment. Exactly.

So here's -- what's interesting though is that you remember kind of the 48 hours after that tape came out, it was just this moment of total upheaval in the campaign. Republicans were calling on Trump to jump out. There was all kinds of chaos. And I report in the story, in the midst of all that, Mike Pence made it clear to the Republican National Committee, that he was ready to take Trump's place as the nominee.

And, in fact, during an emergency meeting between Trump and his top advisers in the midst of all of this that weekend, Reince Priebus, who was then chairman of the RNC actually said that Pence and Condoleezza Rice were ready to step in to form the new G.O.P. ticket. Now, obviously -- that didn't end up happening.

GLENN: What happened? Bannon!

McKAY: Well, yeah, no. Actually, really, yeah, you're right. I'm told by one former campaign aide, they thought they were going to be able to convince Trump to drop out before the debate that was that Sunday night, that was that weekend.

Instead, Trump was defiant, which as he's often been. And he showed up. And he brought the Clinton accusers. You remember this.

GLENN: Yep. Yep.

McKAY: And by the end of that debate, kind of turned things around. And Republicans had stopped calling on him to drop out. And by the next day, Pence was back out on the stump. But the reason I think that story is important and the reason I put it in the piece is because it raises questions especially in Trump's orbit, the people I talk to about how long this loyalty will last from Pence. You know, is Pence really willing to go down with the ship, so to speak, and investigations continue.

GLENN: I find it, McKay, very interesting that now they're starting to say, did Mike Pence actually know more than he said about Russia?

McKAY: Hmm.

GLENN: And the idea -- I -- I think Mike Pence is really smart. And I believe you're right on the direction you're going here. And I think Mike is smart enough to see trouble and say, I'm staying way away from that, to remain clean.

McKAY: Right.

GLENN: To be able to be the guy that can rise up behind.

McKAY: Yeah, that's a good point. I don't know what's going to come out. You know, he was the head of the transition, when all this kind of trouble started, right? But I do think that there -- obviously, we'll see what happens and what information comes out. But I do think that, yeah, Pence -- above everything else, is, you know, careful. He's very cautious. Right?

GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.

McKAY: I think he -- even though he was head of the transition, I can easily see a scenario where he was operating on a kind of don't ask, don't tell policy.

GLENN: McKay Coppins. The article is God's plan for Mike Pence. More in a minute.

GLENN: Ben Shapiro is going to be joining us at the top of the hour. Ben is going to have a lot to say about what President Trump is supposed to or supposedly going to announce today, that the United States is recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Strangely, that's a big deal. A very big deal.

And also, the -- it appears as though -- according to Think Progress, that the case for the people against the bakers in Colorado, did not go well for them yesterday in the Supreme Court. Kelly Shackelford has been there. He was watching the case. And he is going to talk to us. That's also next hour.

STU: We're talking to McKay Coppins from The Atlantic, who wrote the article, God's plan for Mike Pence. One of the reasons I like McKay, and McKay is with us now is he -- unlike many mainstream reporters, I get the sense he has -- gets -- has a much more nuanced understanding of people of faith.

GLENN: Yeah. McKay -- you were -- you were on the Romney bus for that -- that campaign, were you not?

McKAY: Yeah, I was. The only Mormon on the Romney bus as a reporter.

GLENN: And I don't know if the other people knew that or not. But you were -- you were constantly forced to endure religious and Mormon jokes from the other members of the press, is that right?

McKAY: That's true. Although, I wrote about this after the campaign. I didn't think it was necessarily malevolent, it was just kind of born out of ignorance for the most part. People made a lot of Mormon jokes, Mormon underwear jokes. But I will say, by the end of that campaign, I think Mormonism had been demystified for most of those reporters and they had come to respect it more.

GLENN: Yeah.

STU: That was one of the things I thought was interesting about your story about Pence is that I think to a lot of people who are conservative Christians and had a certain impression of Mike Pence, when the Trump stuff started happening, it surprised a lot of people. It seemed like it was against what he stood for and what his belief system was. He sort of explained that here with his idea of servant/leadership that he really has carried with him his entire life. Can you talk about that a little bit?

McKAY: Yeah, this is a Biblical concept. This was described to me by Mark Short, who serves as the White House director of legislative affairs, but has known Mike Pence for a long time.

And what he told me was that this idea of servant leadership is, you know, it's from the gospels, basically modeled off Jesus who, you know, washed his disciples feet and preached that you had to be humbled before you could be great.

And as early as Pence's first term as a congressman, he was instructing his staffers to have a servant's attitude when they dealt with constituents. That his idea was, we're the servants. And we're serving them. And we should be humble and try to help them as well as we can. And that attitude is kind of extended throughout his career. When he became part of the G.O.P. leadership in the House, he thought it was his job to be a servant to his fellow Republican congressman and congresswoman. And then when he decided to take the job as running mate, as Donald Trump's running mate, he believed his job was to be number two to Donald Trump. To serve Donald Trump. Now, a lot of people point to some of the -- some of the stuff that Pence does or says in defense of Trump, as how can -- how can a good Christian man possibly go out there and spend like this for Donald Trump?

But he doesn't see that as something that's out of step with his view of faith and Christianity. He think that he's meant to be a servant, he's under Trump's authority, and that's his job.

GLENN: So does that mean in his view that -- I mean, you know, we're all sevenths, yes. But when there's unrighteous leadership, I mean, you know, you go back to the Germans.

McKAY: Well, right.

GLENN: Is there a line? Not suggesting that that would be the line that he would ever approach. But is there a line?

Do you think he has a moral line with him where -- you know, for instance, the word is that Trump is now starting to deny that that Access Hollywood was even him.

McKAY: Yeah.

GLENN: I mean, I can't imagine coming home to my wife and if my wife said what she did say when that came out, and I defend him afterwards, she would have a hard time stomaching it, as I would. But then if he started to deny, I know my wife would go, really? Really? How much farther are you going to go?

McKAY: Right. Right. That is the question, right? This is why a lot of the people who have known Pence for a long time and who frankly have admired him for a long time, on both sides of the aisle, are kind of alarmed by how far Pence has been willing to go. Because they say, look, I get that you have a job here. I get that to a certain extent, you're going to have to spin and apologize and justify the president's action.

But there must be some line you won't cross, or else, you know, you can justify anything like that. But this is where I think it gets into the broader question of the rest of the conservative Christian community in this country, right?

I quoted -- or I cited a statistic from the Public Religion Research Institute, that found that in 2011, only 30 percent of white evangelicals agreed with this statement, that a public official could commit an act of immorality in his private life, but continued to serve ethically in his public life. So only 30 percent of white evangelicals believed that. Basically, they were saying character counts. It matters.

GLENN: Just for the record, I'm still saying that.

McKAY: Well, yeah. Well, and there are still many who say that. But by 2016, 72 percent of white evangelicals believe that. So now the majority of white evangelicals are saying, look, you know somebody can be a bad person in their private life, but still be a good public servant, a good public official. Now, you can debate that. But that is a sea change in evangelical. And, frankly, political ethics among a lot of conservative people of faith.

STU: You know, reading the piece, McKay, I really -- I wound up kind of liking Mike Pence more and understanding him, I think, a lot more, which was interesting. Though, we did not have time to get to the most damning thing in this article, which is when faced at his college -- when they come and they say, hey, do you guys have kegs? He sells out the fraternity and shows them where the kegs are. Is this accurate?

(laughter)

McKAY: This comes from one of his frat brothers, who, by the way, still likes Mike Pence. But, yeah, he said that the dean showed up and Pence led him straight to the kegs and, yeah, sort of sold his frat buddies out.

STU: I don't think we'll ever forgive him for that part of it. But other than that, it was a really interesting read. It's God's plan for Mike Pence from The Atlantic. And it's from McKay Coppins.

GLENN: McKay, thank you so much. Keep up the good work. God bless.

McKAY: Thanks, Glenn.

STU: You can follow McKay Coppins on Twitter @McKayCoppins. And we'll tweet out the article @GlennBeck and @worldofStu from The Atlantic.

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined Glenn Beck on this week's podcast to share her unique perspective as a trusted adviser and confidante to President Donald Trump for two and a half years, which she also details in her new book, "Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House."

Sarah described the unprecedented levels of corruption she saw firsthand during the Russia probe and shocking lengths to which Democratic leaders and the mainstream media would go to "take the president down."

Sarah said she often saw sides of Donald Trump that the media never covered. Recently, she went on the record denying the Atlantic's claims that the president mocked our military during a 2018 trip to France. She was on that trip, she told Glenn, and her account of what really happened paints a very different picture.

"The people who are making this outrageous charge are such cowards for doing so in an anonymous way. If you really believed this, and believed it was wrong, one, why did it take you so long? And, two, put your name on it the way the rest of us have," Sarah said.

"He didn't say those things. Not only was I there that day, Glenn, I spent two and a half years traveling all over the world with the president, watching him interact with men and women of our armed forces almost every single day during that two-and-a-half year period," she added.

"This is a person who loves America and loves the people who allow the rest of us to live in America, free, and have prosperity. And I got to see that a lot. I think it is shameful that people are trying to distort who he is and what he has done, particularly when it comes to the men and women in the military."

Watch a clip from the full interview with Sarah Huckabee Sanders below:

Find the full podcast below, on Glenn's YouTube channel or on Blaze Media's podcast network.


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The Daily Beast recently reported on a group of 50-plus leading progressive organizations that calls itself the Fight Back Table or FBT, who are planning for a "post-Election Day political apocalypse scenario."

The FBT held a meeting on Zoom to launch an initiative they dubbed the "Democracy Defense Nerve Center." Meeting participants prepared for expected threats to a fair election in November, such as "armed right-wing militia dudes show[ing] up in polling places," or poll locations that "mysteriously close" on Election Day. They also predicted that President Donald Trump would claim victory regardless of November's election results, which would lead to inevitable "mass public unrest."

"It is very obvious that Trump is laying the groundwork for claiming victory no matter what ... we will fight to protect [our democracy] from what we truly see as a president who has gone off the rails and taking this country down an authoritarian fascist path," said MoveOn Executive Director Rahna Epting.

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn argued that the left is using large-scale mail-in voting — which unlike absentee ballots does not require voters to submit an application ahead of the election — to set the stage for chaos, revolution, and ultimately cause civil war to destroy our nation.

"No one will believe the [election] outcome because they're changing the way we're electing a president this time. And people don't understand the difference ... this is Democratic states just printing ballots and mass mailing them," Glenn said.

"They've been war-gaming this forever," he continued. "And the media is trying to make it look as if the right is the one that is violent. We're not planning anything to happen on Election Day, except to go and vote. The chaos that's coming, I think is remarkable. And if the DOJ doesn't get involved and find out who these groups are and what they have planned, you are going to have intimidation and chaos the week of the voting, and for weeks [afterward] until we go into civil war. This is not hyperbole. This is what the left is now saying."

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:

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Netflix film 'Cuties' is darker than you thought

'Cuties'/Netflix

Plague. Recession. Riots. Looting. Fires. Murder Hornets. And now, as we round the third base toward the home stretch, 2020 gives us Cuties, a delightful French coming-of-age film by Maïmouna Doucouré that's half Stand by Me and half Coyote Ugly – if you were to combine both films into an anthropomorphic entity and then forcefully dip its toe into the perilous waters of pedophilia.

Cuties begins by showing us an 11-year-old Senegalese girl named Amy, whose fundamentalist Muslim family has recently moved to France. We learn that Amy's father has gone back to Senegal to bring home the woman who is to become his second wife. The mother's struggle is very clear to Amy, who begins right then and there to develop a hatred for her father. She starts looking for ways to rebel, and soon lands in the company of a group of ne'er-do-well girls, who fancy themselves dancers and have adopted the group name "Cuties". Their primary goal in life at the moment – and the thing that drives the film's narrative – is to participate in and win the big dance competition coming up soon. The ring-leader – a dark-haired bespectacled girl who resembles Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to such an eerie extent that it can't have been on accident – lives in Amy's building, and the two form a kind of delicate friendship throughout the film.

Here is where the movie most resembles a female version of Stand by Me, and it's also where I began to understand that this is a remarkably beautiful film at times. It's well-shot, well-scored, and well-acted. In fact, Fathia Youssouf Abdillahi (the actress who portrays Amy) is quite possibly the most talented child actor I've ever seen.

I began to understand that this is a remarkably beautiful film at times.

The portrayal of this group of girls wending their way through the thick tangles of childhood and constantly grasping at what they perceive to be higher concepts of adulthood is somehow both charming and bothersome at the same time. Knowing virtually nothing of the real world of sexuality, they engage in a kind of whimsical speculation as to how sex works that almost comically mirrors the aforementioned Oscar-winning film (and a ton of other coming-of-age movies as well). Some of this is fine. There's a particularly funny-turns-emotional moment when one of the girls, upon finding a used condom lying around in the woods, blows it up like a balloon and begins playing around with it. The other girls – who at least know enough to know that one doesn't touch such things for fear of disease – immediately recoil from her, tell her that she's going to catch AIDS, and so embarrass and frighten her that she begins to cry. The scene is, again, beautifully shot, and I found myself sympathizing with the character as she feels an overwhelming moment of ostracization-through-misadventure. In the following scene, we are treated to a montage of the girls washing her mouth out with soap, and it breaks the tension.

All of that to say that not only does this movie have plenty of redeemable moments that are on the beat film-wise, but also that it will pull you in headlong whether you want it to or not – which is what a good film is supposed to do.

But, alas, there's more. And I'm not so much talking about the risqué dancing that's done throughout the film. Here's why: as if the plot structure of every coming-of-age story didn't lay it out clearly enough for us, kids strive to be adults. The results are often hilarious, sometimes disturbing, but it's their nature. Kids want to be more like adults. And in a world – such as the one depicted in this movie – where children either can't or won't seize on the example of adulthood provided by their own parents, a vacuum is created. And nothing fills the vacuum of responsible parenting better than social media.

For the girls, it is the well from which they draw their inspiration, acceptance and love. "Likes" are the currency of the realm, and if you don't think this is true in your own kids' world today, you need to wake up and smell the Zuckerberg.

Thus, it is no surprise that these young dancing girls are modeling their very existence after what they see in online videos, and regurgitating the same back at the soulless machine. That they would be twerking and gyrating in a manner that falsely suggests they do know a thing or two about sex is normal when you consider that they're dining daily on visual and musical junk food – art perhaps not entirely without merit, but certainly without taste. And if there's one thing about the movie that phone-it-in parents might do well to see, it is perhaps the juxtaposition of budding childhood and the laissez faire morality adhered to by the demigods of popular culture. In short: these girls are just trying to be like the only set of role models afforded to them.

Here's what should (in my opinion, anyway) not be okay, though.

Aside from the moments of dancing, this film is filled with the cinematography of sexuality. When you watch any film in which there is a femme fatale character (or in some cases several of them), the way in which they are shot by the camera is extremely suggestive of overt sexuality. To quote one of my favorite online film critics: "You may not have noticed, but your brain did." Tracking shots over women's bodies, particularly up their backside or across a heaving bosom all decorated in cleavage, are a stock in trade for many filmmakers (and the only one for some of them). It's so common in the making of movies that it's often lampooned as a trope.

I'm reticent to accuse the woman who made this film of directly catering to the desires of pedophiles – but... I can't completely dismiss the idea, either.

We'll save the discussion about whether or not this is offensive when actresses in their twenties and thirties do it for another time. What I would hope we could all agree on is that you don't – in good conscience – use those same tracking shots over the bodies of a group of 11-year-old girls, even to make a point. And you certainly don't do it over and over and over throughout the course of a movie. The unstated purpose of such shots in a regular film is to give the viewer a taste of the voyeur. You wouldn't be allowed, in polite society, to walk up to a woman and stare at her from inches away, scanning down her body as if you were about to fax her someplace. But with the movie camera, you get a little taste of that. Dopamine rushes to your brain, and you're instantly glad you shelled out the twenty bucks to see the movie.

And while it's theoretically possible that the unstated purpose on behalf of the filmmaker changes when the subject is a little girl, it can't be denied or even overlooked that, for a certain subset of the viewing population, the effect does not. I'm reticent to accuse the woman who made this film of directly catering to the desires of pedophiles – but after having sat through an hour and a half of shot after shot of this very overt technique, I can't completely dismiss the idea, either.

As Amy progresses down the path that her (barely) world-wise friends have chosen, she becomes far more steeped in it, because she has no sense of the unseen boundaries which exist even in a hedonistic postmodern society such as present-day France. She spirals out of control very quickly, trying to outdo her friends in overt displays of sexuality and even violent aggressiveness. If there is a redeeming quality to the message of the movie, it is that we are fairly explicitly told through what we see her go through that this is not the best life for her. That escaping from the oppressive Muslim traditions of her family is a thing she should seek, but that this is not the way to go about it. All throughout her journey, we are subjected to close-up images of her body (and the bodies of the other girls). At one point, Amy's mother and aunt seem to be performing a kind of exorcism on her to drive out the evil rebellious spirits they believe have taken over, and Amy vibrates in the middle of the room on her knees in a paroxysm of movement which is half-dance, half-apparent-demonic possession, and all sex. I don't mean to be graphic here, but she may as well have been doing a full-on sex scene, for all the heavy breathing and gyration and rank passion that's going on. As an adult – and particularly as a parent – it made me literally feel ill to watch.

It's a beautiful final scene... but it fails to pull the film from the mire into which it's dipped.

And, if you believe the film's director, that's what you're supposed to feel. She claims that the whole intent of the movie is to get people to feel uncomfortable as they realize the hyper-sexualized nature of children in our modern world, and how it's driven by the nanny state that is social media in our modern era. Part of me wants to applaud the effort – it certainly worked on me. I walked away from my television with a feeling of nausea and a renewal of the commitment in my head toward doing anything and everything I can to make sure that my own children never watch this film. The fact that the movie ends with Amy making a choice to reclaim her childhood – that she walks away both from the more oppressive elements of her Muslim upbringing (insofar as she will be able – we are never told) and from trying to become an adult too soon (insofar as she will be able – we are also never told) and embraces just being an 11-year-old girl – that fact doesn't change what's transpired. It's a beautiful final scene – it really is – but it fails to pull the film from the mire into which it's dipped.

In summary, I can't really put any sort of seal of approval on this film, despite part of me wanting to. I generally subscribe to the idea that showing us a thing is far better than telling us a thing – but there are limits, and I think Cuties crosses them. As much as I want to believe that the director's motives are pure as the driven snow, it's not lost upon me that – as I mentioned before – one of the main characters (with whom we are meant to be sympathetic multiple times throughout the film) is very obviously meant to be the prototypical girl-who-wants-to-be-AOC. This film is at war with its own supposed message – it seeks to convey the horrors of oversexualized youth while laying out on for open display an entire smorgasbord of pedophilic fantasies. The game simply isn't worth the candle.

Osama bin Laden's niece, Noor bin Ladin (Noor's family has always spelled their name differently than her uncle) wrote an open letter to America, praising our country as "a beacon of democracy and hope for all subjugated peoples" across the world, and warning: "America, you are at the very edge of the precipice. Please wake up! Take hold! Fight for your country, and be proud of your roots! Uphold your values. Stand for your flag and your anthem. Defend your history. Don't relent in the face of those who seek to re-write it to serve their narrative and justify the destruction of your nation. You have much to cherish and protect for your sake, and ours."

Noor never stood with or supported her uncle. In fact, she grew up with an American flag proudly displayed in her childhood bedroom. Now a resident of Switzerland, she describes the chaos and destruction she's seen spread across America over the last several months.

"Watching the gratuitous violence, streets burn, buildings and statues being defaced in America over these past months, I am heartbroken to see how an entire generation was successfully brainwashed into hating the very nation that has yielded the most freedom, justice and equality anywhere in the world.

"I am also highly distressed by the blatant erosion at various levels of your most basic individual rights and freedoms as guaranteed by your Bill of Rights, from arbitrary censorship of speech to unlawful, politically motivated abuses of justice," she wrote.

Noor warned America that if we don't stand up, defend our history, and cherish the principles which make our country great, than those who have sought to undermine our country for decades will divide and destroy us from within.

"The truth is that the undoing of America has been decades in the making. The globalists, Deep State, swamp, whichever name you call them, have been hard at work to weaken America's sovereignty and standing as world leader. Intent on erecting a new system of world governance where they would be in total control, they are seeking to undermine the fundamental principle of your country, "a government for the people by the people", replacing it instead with a world order of international institutions ultimately puppeteered by a caste of technocrats, oligarchs and international bankers.

"Though your Constitution stands firmly in their way, it never deterred them. Like a trojan horse, they infiltrated governmental and intelligence agencies, and all realms of society - education, media, entertainment, culture. At their disposal, tools of mass population influence: propaganda, fake news and censorship. By pushing their marxist-socialist progressive agenda for years, they set out to destroy your fundamental values and divide you. They negated God, dissolved the family unit and dissevered us from moral objectivity, effectively leaving a vacuum of degeneracy, cognitive dissonance and absurdity in its wake," she added.

Read the full letter here.

On the radio program Friday, Glenn Beck shared several highlights from Noor's letter as well as her first-ever interview with the New York Post.

"A letter was written to America this week. I want you to listen to the words," said Glenn. "'America, you are at the very edge of the precipice. Please wake up! Take hold! Fight for your country, and be proud of your roots! Uphold your values. Stand for your flag and your anthem. Defend your history. Don't relent in the face of those who seek to re-write it to serve their narrative and justify the destruction of your nation. You have much to cherish and protect for your sake, and ours.' [...] The woman who wrote that, the woman who is an American at heart, who is warning us, is Osama bin Laden's [niece]."

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:

*Note: Glenn mistakenly referred to Noor Bin Ladin as Osama bin Laden's sister. She is his niece.


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