| RELATED STORY|
GLENN: All right, bye-bye. Looks like everything has been fixed. The economy is just fine, and how do we know? Because people are trampling each other to get a Playstation or a Wii. You know, when we can become a culture where we trample each other for a game for our kids, you know, a game where we can teach our kids how to be more callous and not really care about, you know, people's lives? I've got to trample somebody just to be able to get Grand Theft Auto. If I could just, if I could kill someone to get the game that can desensitize my kids to killing people, it would be the -- it's the circle of life, I'll tell you that right now. Doesn't get any better than that.
Did anybody else watch the news this weekend and think to themselves, what are we turning into? You know, I'm going to let everybody else give you the what, the where, the when and the how because that's all I hear on, I hear on the news, I turn on Fox, I turn on CNN, I turn on the networks and all I keep hearing is all of the details. One guy killed, pregnant woman taken to the hospital. He was trying -- the guy who was killed was trying to protect the pregnant woman. First they said she had a miscarriage, then they said no, baby's okay. I said we're on the road, we're in St. Louis today for the third show, the third performance of the Christmas Sweater and I got up this morning and I said to Joe the researcher, I said, "Joe, you let me know when they start blaming it on Wal-Mart or on the pregnant lady." And he just laughed and he handed me a piece of paper and he said, oh, it's already begun. Here they are, just some of the highlights of what people are saying now: This incident was avoidable. Where were the safety barriers? Where was security? How did store management not see dangerous numbers of customers barreling down on the store in such an unsafe manner? This isn't tragic. This rises to the level of blatant irresponsibility by Wal-Mart.
Who could have said that? Oh, Bruce Both, the President of United Food and Commercial Workers union, New York's largest grocery store union. So the unions are blaming it on the evil Wal-Mart. Consumer advocates have said over the weekend, "The intent is to artificially create fervor for a product as well as media buzz about it. Most consumers blame retailers not only for causing such disasters but also contributing via lax concern to making those circumstances worse each year." Then here's my favorite, quote, this is a mom out at Wal-Mart: What was she doing in that environment in the first place? What would possess a mother to be like that to endanger not only herself but her baby? What's the matter with responsible parenting today?
What's the matter, you going shopping? Yeah, I know. Going shopping, you know, that's the same as going to the food market there in downtown Baghdad. Where is anyone that will say who the hell have we turned into? Where is anyone that will recognize that the only people responsible are the people that were standing there in line.
You know there's a phrase that Ronald Reagan said that has been bouncing around in my head for weeks now and I know I've shared it with you. The Ronald Reagan said if we lose liberty, at some point our children and grandchildren are going to come to us and say what was it that you valued over your freedom, Grandpa. Well, I'd like to ask you the same question: What is it we value over life. What is it that was so important that we had to push each other out of the way. And you know what? It's time to stop pointing the finger to other people. It's time to stop pointing the finger and saying, "Those people, I wasn't in that line. Those people." We're part of the culture. E Pluribus Unum. It works for good and for bad. E pluribus unum: From many, one. We're in this together, gang. What have we turned into? Who are we? While everybody else will tell you the what, the where, the why, the how, the when, I just want to concentrate today on who and a different kind of why. I mean, when we look at our life and we look at that Wii or that Playstation, why do we want it? Why? Why do we think we need it? Why do we think we need it so badly that we've got to go rush out of the store? Why do we allow ourselves in these corporations to not stand up and say, "You know what, guys, let's make a few more." "Well, that's not good for business."
The first Christmas show that we did in Pittsburgh, I won't give you the full story, but the people who were there, they will know the first story. The first Christmas show that we did in Pittsburgh, I stopped it at the very end. I stopped it and I stopped the orchestra and I had a frank one-on-one conversation with them. Well, I got backstage and the director came at me and said, "What were you thinking. What are you doing? You never do that. What are you doing? Don't ever, ever do that again." And then he looked at me and he realized I was the executive producer of the program and he said, "In my opinion." And he's a good guy. I love him. But he walked out the door and my daughter looked at me and said, "Dad, you do that every time. You follow your gut. That's why people respect you." Sometimes in business you've got to do the right thing. Not the popular thing, not the cheap thing, not the thing that -- you know what? Don't you just want to be treated with respect? Don't you -- and maybe this is another thing on who have we allowed ourselves to become. Wouldn't you rather do business with a company, wouldn't you rather -- for a company to come out and do an advertising slogan and say, "Look, you're not going to hear about the big long lines for the Wii, you are not going to hear about the big long lines for our cell phone because we're not going to artificially deflate them. We're going to make enough. We're going to have enough. We're not going to try to hype you. We're not going to try to get you to trample people. We're not going to try to -- we're not going to use people and take their day and have them stand in line, to create a line to create more hype. What we're going to do is respect you as a customer. We're going to say to you as a customer I respect you, I respect your time, I respect your money, I respect your loyalty. And you know whether or not? Not only do we make the best phone or the best game box or the best whatever, not only do we do that but we know how long you work, we know how hard you work, we know how stressful it is for you to go out and do your shopping anyway. We know that you and your wife or you and your husband lay in bed at night trying to make a list for the kids, trying to make a list and trying to get it all done before Christmas. Christmas has become so overcommercialized, Christmas has become so tough to do in the first place, we as a company are going to try to help you as a parent. We're not going to do this. We're going to make it the easiest it can be to buy our product."
Now, wouldn't you rather do business with a company like that? You win in the end. I told you a few weeks ago about Wal-Mart. Here's Wal-Mart standing up against the unions, standing up against everybody else, standing up and just doing the right thing, doing business the right way. Not getting flashy, not getting inflated. Treating their people right but not crazy, not like -- you know, not like the big three automakers where they just give away everything so in the end they destroy themselves and then nobody has a job. They try to do the right thing. And who is surviving? Who is it that is surviving in this economy? Wal-Mart. In the end you win. Going to be a lot of people that say no. You saying to your kids, "You know what, gang, Christmas ain't about the Xbox. Christmas isn't about Playstation or Wii," at least not spelled Wii. It's about we the family, and we don't need that. I don't want to hear about Wal-Mart. I don't want to hear about anything. I want to hear from the people who were standing in that line, what is it that was so important. Who have you allowed yourself to become? Who in this country of ours even has the moral authority anymore? She said to me yesterday, they said, Glenn, you know, you go to these church events. If your church didn't hand out and they just -- I said, you know what, the leader of my church, if somebody trampled themselves to get into a church event, the leader of my church would have raised his cane and said, "Who have you people become?" And he would have the moral authority so we would all stand there and look at each other in shame and say, "Oh, my gosh." But who can say that in this society anymore. We have chased shame out of the public square. There is no one that has the moral authority anymore to say to us as individuals, as people, as Americans, and say who have you allowed yourself to become. Shame on you. Who has that moral authority to say that? Gang, we need to find that moral authority because our founding fathers were right. If we don't police ourselves, somebody else has to do it.