Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy with Sally Jenkins
GLENN: Before we introduce this couple, if you saw the movie The Blind Side with what's her name, Sandra Bullock, you saw a family that is quite honestly the most amazing family I think I have ever, ever seen. My wife and I, we watched the movie and we expected there had to be a catch. There had to be. A conservative, a Christian in a Hollywood movie. Had to be a catch. Had to — she had, you know, main character had to come out in the end and just be like, and another thing, I've been popping pills and I just murdered somebody. You expected it, because Jesus told me to do it. You expected it at the end from a Hollywood movie, and it didn't happen. The real people, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, are here in the studio and I want to welcome both of them here. And Leigh Anne, I have to tell you, we walked back in the studio after meeting you and you are exactly, exactly the way you are portrayed in the movie.
PAT: Kind of no nonsense, aren't you?
LEIGH ANNE: No nonsense.
GLENN: I asked ‑‑ and I'm not used to having somebody scold me on books quite honestly. I don't think I've ever had an author do that. But I said, so is this, is this the first book? Because I haven't read it yet. And I said, is this the book the movie was based on or how does — and she looked at both of us and said, y'all are stupid, aren't you?
LEIGH ANNE: I expected more out of you guys. I thought you were on top of your game. I'm sorry.
PAT: No, not really.
GLENN: No, lower the expectations.
PAT: Expecting way too much, yeah, way too much.
GLENN: Lower the expectations.
LEIGH ANNE: Okay, I had the bar too high.
GLENN: Look at her. She really is.
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GLENN: How difficult is it in life, really? I mean, are there times when you are just —
LEIGH ANNE: This is not going to bash Leigh Anne show.
PAT: No, it's not.
GLENN: No, the it's not.
SEAN: I like the way this is going. There's about six feet between us and I can get to the door quicker and I like it. This is good.
GLENN: It's not bash ‑‑ look, you are angry. You are angry.
SEAN: No, no, that's her.
PAT: She is going to smack you upside the head.
GLENN: She is. All right. So tell me, In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving. I think the problem with our country is not capitalism, not the free market system, none of that stuff. It's greed. We expect it all, demand it all, and you can't have it all, but you can have an awful lot. But you guys, I mean, I really tell you, there are two movies that I have seen, and the two movies that I think are so inspiring because they're real was Radio. I don't know if you ever saw that.
GLENN: Radio and your story. It is truly amazing. Now, how do we take what you guys do and move it into reality?
SEAN: Oh, actually going to let me talk. They already know that Sandra Bullock portrayed you as nicer than you are in the movie.
SEAN: You've already ruined it.
GLENN: So now I ask, may I ask a question? Wait, hang on just a second. We need a split screen. We need to have both.
PAT: We need a shot of Leigh Anne because the —
GLENN: We need both of them on the screen.
PAT: The expression on her face was pretty priceless.
GLENN: This is really quite amazing.
SEAN: It is what it is.
GLENN: Now she's got her tongue in her cheek. Now she's got the — my 4‑year‑old does that, Leigh Anne. My 4‑year‑old puts the tongue in the cheek like, don't mess with me, Dad.
SEAN: Well, you know, what we wanted from the book and, you know, we're certainly not born authors. So it wasn't some plan and agenda and all that kind of stuff. But when we were talking about it, we said, you know, what we didn't want to happen was for people to look at the movie and get intimidated by the process. I mean, because this whole thing started by my wife telling me two words which was when we were driving past Michael that morning, she said, turn around. And that's where the name of the book came from, In a Heartbeat. Because that's how fast our lives changed. Notice I haven't talked about money yet. Notice I haven't talked about, you know, magnitude of anything. It basically starts with one small gesture, and that's what we wanted to make sure people knew that, you know, we were up on screen, but we've been across this country now for the last six months and we've met some incredible people. Movies could have been a lot better about them. And so we wanted to tell people, don't be intimidated by the process but do something, and today's a good day to start. And the subtitle, Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving is we firmly believe, I mean, you know, it's biblical if you want to go there, which is fine for us.
GLENN: Fine for us.
SEAN: But even if you don't want to go there, it just makes sense that a cheerful giver is not only one that will do it again but is recognized by the receiver in such a way that it's received even better. So what we're talking about is there's so much power in cheerful giving, it's good to give. Keep giving, keep writing checks if you are doing it. But if you don't do it with a cheerful heart, you are missing out.
GLENN: I have a friend who told me this weekend, he is the guy who invented the plastic fork and spoon and knife and he's quite amazing. He grew up in a house with cardboard walls, broke beyond your imagination. Had one shirt as a teenager. That was it. Now multibillionaire. Going to die broke. He's giving it all away.
SEAN: How about that.
GLENN: He told me — his son was kidnapped because of their wealth. He was giving — I started to give all of his wealth away, and his son was kidnapped. And he told me as we sat around a picnic the other day on the Fourth of July weekend, he said, Glenn, he said, when they came in to rescue my son, we didn't think we would get him back, he said, they rescued my son and he said they had knife marks all over his neck where he had been held at knifepoint. The FBI agent was killed in the rescue. He said, when we got him back, he said, I gathered the family together and he said, we all cried and hugged and then we got down on our knees and we prayed that — we prayed we were grateful, we prayed for the family of the FBI agent, and we prayed that the Lord would hide this from our hearts that we would never associate charity with this event.
GLENN: Have you guys — that's an extreme, but I think everybody goes through something where you are like, I've just been scammed.
GLENN: Or I've — did you ever?
LEIGH ANNE: No. I mean, we have raised the three kids, and Sean and I believed way before them that, you know, they've got money in their console. When they flip to a red light if a guy's got a sign that says I work for money or I need gas or food or whatever, give them money. Because we have been blessed with the ability to give, and God will judge our heart because that's what we're supposed to do. If those people take it and they shouldn't take it and they are taking it for the wrong reasons, then God will judge their heart for that.
LEIGH ANNE: We have to do the right thing, and that's what we talk about in this book, that doing the right thing is to help the guy standing next to you in the theater line or, you know, that's at the bus stop waiting. How do you know that that person is not another Michael Oher? And there are so many people in this country that just need opportunity and hope, and it will change a life. I mean, we've gotten to see behind the curtain. We know it works.
PAT: I don't know if we explained at the beginning. For those who haven't seen Blind Side, the movie or read the book, Blind Side is based on your guys' true story, Leigh Anne and Sean. They found a homeless man. He was going to school.
GLENN: How old was he? 16?
LEIGH ANNE: 16.
PAT: So he was a kid. And you took him into your house, an African‑American, took him into your house. He was a — he had talent. You apparently helped nurture that talent. He later went on to play major college football and is now a member of the Baltimore Ravens.
GLENN: Yeah, you have to see this movie or read the book.
PAT: It's unbelievable.
GLENN: It's unbelievable because that just sounds like rags to riches. I mean, I got to the end of —
PAT: It's an amazing story of love.
GLENN: It is.
PAT: And charity.
GLENN: And just being the people you are supposed to be. I got to the part of the story where they start looking at you two as, well, you are just doing this for the money, you are doing this — and Leigh Anne, that wasn't one of those moments that just —
LEIGH ANNE: No, there's stupid people everywhere. You just have to ignore them.
GLENN: I know. You pointed two of them out in the hallway before the interview.
LEIGH ANNE: Sorry. Well, there are. I mean, we just ignore those people. You know, for a while that got under my skin and they bother me but, you know, the good so outweighs the bad that we just don't dwell on it. And, you know, for a long time I would just confront people when I would hear they would say things, and it doesn't — I didn't care where they were or what city. I'd call them and go, did you say this? Did you really say? And they would go, well, that's not what I meant. I'd go, that's what you said. And then I just got to where, what does it do because most of the time they cow down and don't admit to doing it. So, you know, people need to worry about their own house. And when they get their house and their life straight, then worry about mine.
GLENN: Sean —
SEAN: I sleep with one eye open if you hadn't noticed.
GLENN: How did you two meet?
SEAN: Actually I was playing basketball for the University of Mississippi. My wife was a cheerleader. And back then we didn't have those long obnoxious shorts that they wear now and so she said my legs attracted her.
LEIGH ANNE: It is in the book, Glenn. If you would read the book, you would know that.
GLENN: I don't read books.
LEIGH ANNE: I mean, hello.
PAT: Most of that's in the movie as well.
LEIGH ANNE: I'm calling you tomorrow. You better have read the book. It's a short read. I know you can do it.
GLENN: Here's the —
LEIGH ANNE: It's a good book.
GLENN: I don't think I — I just don't think I've experienced this in quite a long time. Yes, ma'am, I will.
SEAN: Thank you. That's where it was going to go. So you went there quicker than most.
GLENN: Sean, how long, if there was an end to this, how long did it last before you were terrified — before you stopped being terrified of this woman?
SEAN: Well, as the —
GLENN: Look at her look around at you like —
SEAN: As the book says, we got married when she told us it was time to get married. And we basically do the same — you know, the comfort to being afraid of her is that the entire — the entire city is. So I have a lot, lot of company. The bad thing is now there's two of them with Sandra Bullock and now we're outnumbered.
GLENN: She should have gotten the — she should have gotten the —
SEAN: She did.
GLENN: She did get the Oscar?
LEIGH ANNE: Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh!
PAT: There you go calling stupid again.
LEIGH ANNE: Oh, my gosh. The short school bus obviously picked you up every morning!
GLENN: Sean —
GLENN: Do you want to have her — do you want to talk about progressivism? You want to talk about Woodrow Wilson? You want to talk about FDR? You want to talk about the meltdown of the economy?
LEIGH ANNE: Glenn, I'm here to talk about my book and you didn't even know Sandra Bullock won the Oscar? You live under a freaking rock!
GLENN: You are enjoying this, aren't you?
PAT: Very much.
SEAN: Everybody's enjoying it.
PAT: Very much, yes, thank you. Very much.
SEAN: You get to stay here. We get to leave. So how do you think I feel?
GLENN: Not well. Not well.
SEAN: There you go.
PAT: You are going to feel a lot worse later on, too, I have a feeling.
GLENN: I am ‑‑ I'm sorry that I haven't had a chance to read your book.
GLENN: I have been a little busy.
GLENN: I try to read all of the authors. I have —
LEIGH ANNE: I used to watch your TV show.
GLENN: You don't watch. You don't even know who I am.
LEIGH ANNE: Uh‑huh.
GLENN: You don't — you see, that was a lie.
SEAN: Well, because we put it on ‑‑
GLENN: That was a lie.
SEAN: No, we put it on to watch Shep and we don't take it off.
GLENN: So I'm on by default.
SEAN: Well, you are there.
LEIGH ANNE: I didn't say why you were on. I just said I watch your show.
GLENN: I've seen your book. The name of the book is In a Heartbeat. Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy. It is — well, I wish I could tell you about the book but I haven't read it. It is — I do know this. I may not know who won the Oscar, but I do know this. Remarkable, remarkable people.
LEIGH ANNE: Thank you.
GLENN: And I know very few people that you can model your life after. I know one personally in my life that is somebody that is a beacon of charity. When I saw the movie, I didn't think you guys really existed, and it is great, really, truly a privilege to meet you and it is great to have you as examples. There are very few of them. Thank you.
SEAN: We appreciate that. Thank you.
LEIGH ANNE: Thank you so much.
GLENN: And I hope your book just tanks.
LEIGH ANNE: (Laughing).