Off The Record with Sean Hannity

Over the last several months, Glenn has emphasized the importance of bringing together individuals who share the same goals and unifying principles so that we can learn from one another. GlennBeck.com is working to fulfill that goal by sitting down with some of the most interesting minds to give you an inside look at who they are and what they are working on.

We begin our series with conservative radio and TV personality Sean Hannity, who spoke with GlennBeck.com assistant editor Meg Storm about the “most anti-capitalist thing” he’s ever said, what he really thinks of the GOP (HINT: They are “timid” and “weak”), and what he has planned for 2014.

Below is a transcript of the interview:

Thank you so much for hopping on a call with us! We are running a new interview series in the Glenn Beck Newsletter that features interesting people –-

So you want me to give you a list!?

You actually make the list!

Oh, okay.

So I heard you have had some odd jobs over the years…

You know, I have. It’s actually the best thing that’s ever happened to me that I’ve done all these crazy jobs. I have a pretty strong blue-collar background.

I had my first job when I was 8 years old. It was a paper route. You had to be 12 to have the paper route, so we put it in my older sister’s name instead. I never liked it because I hated collecting, which probably is the most anti-capitalist thing I’ve ever said because that’s when you get paid and get your tips. But that was the hard part of the job.

When I was 12 years old, I got a job washing dishes in a place in West Hempstead, Long Island called the Norwood Inn. It was a pretty busy pub restaurant, and I would go there on Friday nights after school. They didn’t clean one thing all week long, so there were piles and piles. It was hard work. We would work until 2 o’clock in the morning. And this was kind of illegal, but we would then get a St. Pauli Girl beer and go home.

A year later, when I was 13, the chef walked out one Thanksgiving, and the owner threw me the apron and said, “You’re in.” I got promoted to be a short order cook. I still love to cook. I cook shrimp scampi, lobster tails, steak, fettuccini.

Then I worked as a busboy at the Merry Pedlar in Floral Park. On my 17th birthday they let me be a bartender, so I tended bar there and at Salisbury on the Green in Eisenhower Park. It was like a wedding factory. They would have five weddings on Friday, five in the afternoon on Saturday, five Saturday night, five Sunday mid-day, five Sunday night. I would work all those weddings, and I made a fortune. It was great.

I was paying for my own college, so all that money I made all those years went to the first year of college. One year I went to Adelphi. One year I went to New York University. Then I got into construction. I started painting houses. I did a small apprenticeship for a builder. And then I went to building school – actual college to learn how to be a contractor. I did everything in contracting you can imagine. I kind of specialized in finish work because I have a good eye.

It’s funny because my kids know me for radio and TV. My daughter recently said she wanted to paint her room. And I said I would do it, but everyone in my family is rolling their eyes like I can’t do it. One day about a month ago, I went out and bought all the materials, and two hours later, it was done perfectly. They are like, “How did you do this?” And I was like, “I used to do it for a living! What are you guys talking about?” They just didn’t know it that way. It was pretty funny.

The one constant – and this kind of ties into how I got into radio – is since I was a teenager I was listening to talk radio everyday. I would be on ladders, and I started calling talk radio shows. And I guess that is what kind of led me into talk radio in 1986 or ‘87 out in California.

Did you ever think you would end up in radio?

No, I had no intention of getting into journalism or news. I had a double major in college of economics and political science. I was really interested in politics and really interested in radio. My parents never came in and said, “Turn off the TV.” They said, “Shut that stupid radio off.”

In California was when the radio stuff started. At that point, I had built a pretty good business in Rhode Island doing rehab and finish work. There was this Rhode Island tech college that I went to, and the whole point was that I wanted to build houses. On one hand, I made a lot of money and had some pretty big contracts. I did pretty well, but it wasn’t my passion in life.

Like the Glenn Beck Radio Program, the Sean Hannity Show premiered nationally just before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

My show began day the before September 11 – September 10, 2001. It’s kind of hard because I can never say, “This is my anniversary.” It’s just not what we expected.

What was it like to be on air that day?

We couldn’t get into Manhattan to do the show that day. We ended up going to WLIR in Garden City, Long Island. It was amazing because I think they were able to wire in and get four other radio stations on the air at the same time. The amazing thing was you would walk in the halls and there were wires everywhere, but everyone got on the air and everyone got listened to that day. It was amazing.

Glenn talks about how much that experience changed his outlook. Do you feel the same way?

It changed my life in this way: I really think the world needs to understand radical Islamists. I think in the year 2014 we have let out guard down. There was a story in the Daily Caller late last week about how people with limited terrorist ties can still get into the country – as long as they’re ‘limited’. When you think of it – the people that did it that day are still at war with us, and they are still plotting and would like nothing better than to hit us again.

You also have your nightly program on Fox News. Do you prefer one medium to the other?

It’s not a preference. I love doing it all. I feel lucky to be doing it all. I’ve been at Fox since the beginning. They are really just great to me. I enjoy doing the show every night. We have fun; we talk about serious topics; we cover the issues. I am very fortunate to have the platform.

Are there differences between the way you cover a topic on radio versus the way you cover it on TV?

On TV you are always running out of time. What’s great is I go through this cathartic experience where I have gotten everything I want to say out – and more importantly, I fine-tune my argument on radio. After I go through a 20-minute monologue, I can reduce it to a specific question. And it actually really helps. It is really preparation in a way. They fit together perfectly.

You can do things on TV you can’t do on radio – make a face, shake my head, use a video. All of that helps you make your points versus explaining everything. Radio is the theater of the mind.

Between your radio and television programs and prepping for the two, what is a typical day like for you?

Today is probably pretty typical. I got up around 7am to say goodbye to kids before they head off to school. I like to start slow, and I don’t like to start with email right away. I usually start with headlines. I get early delivery of the New York Post, Daily News, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. I don’t get the New York Times anymore – I can’t stand it.

Then I move to the Internet and start answering email. I begin meetings with radio and TV – usually have a few email exchanges before we get to the actual meeting part, which is somewhere between 9 and 10 o’clock. If I have interviews that morning, I will do those. I get into hard prep after that.

I have an hour’s ride in, so I usually read and answer emails, and then I usually like to do some writing. I don’t write anything script-wise, but I like notes. I have files – a security file, an ‘other’ file. I do this news and information overload hour on radio, and it’s just to bring up topics that maybe aren’t the top stories of the day. And then I go for the top story of the day.

Once I finish radio, I do TV. Then I get home, hang out until my kids go to sleep, and I start all over again in bed with my iPad.

In the wake of Andrew Cuomo’s comments about ‘extreme conservatives’ in New York, you were vocal about your willingness to leave the state. I know Glenn would love to have you in Texas. Are you still considering a move?

The way the media played it, they said, “Oh look, he is not really leaving because he is not gone tomorrow.” I don’t know what universe they live in. The idea that I have well over 100 people on radio and TV that count on me for jobs – they have mortgages to pay, and kids in college, and car payments, and apartments. The idea that I am just going to say, “See ya” and walk away from people – I am not an irresponsible person. Number one.

Number two: I have contractual obligations that take me well through the 2016 elections. It doesn’t mean I am leaving radio or TV either. It’s just my wife and I have decided we want to leave New York. High taxes is one of the reasons. I also feel the government just takes and takes and takes too much money.

Apparently other people think so too because New York was the number one state people left in the last census – 3.5 million people left the state. New Jersey lost $70 billion worth in wealth leaving the state in a 4-year period. Liberals have destroyed the state. I don’t know if it can be fixed. It probably could, if the right person was in office. But I think people have been so conditioned to get government stuff, I am not sure if that battle can be won anymore.

Are you looking anyplace in particular?

When my son graduates high school, yeah, we are looking at Florida, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee. My wife is originally from Alabama. States like that. I have to say, Florida and Texas are the leading two candidates in my mind.

Glenn is open about how fed up he is with the establishment GOP and what he describes as the progressive element of the Republican Party --

Me too.

Do you have similar frustrations?

I am fed up too. There is a group of about 40 conservatives that are in the Republican Party that are fed up with us, but that’s it. I would argue they are timid. They are weak. They are too focused on their own power, their own reelections. They are uninspiring, and they don’t have an agenda that is going to help solve this country’s problems.

This morning, I woke up to the news that Republicans are going to leave open the debt ceiling. They do not want to fight on the debt ceiling debate. They originally were going to fight on the issue of the Keystone Pipeline or bailing out Obamacare, and now they are going to leave the debt ceiling open until March 2015. So it is no longer $17 trillion in debt. It is whatever this President decides until then.

To me, if they want to be the party of limited government. They have to fight to be the party of limited government. What they need to say is: We are the party that is going to stop robbing from our children. I have put a list of these things on my website. It is called the Conservative Solutions Caucus 2014. What is wrong with the penny plan, baseline budgeting, having a balanced budget amendment, and explaining to people you don’t want to steal from your children anymore? It seems like common sense.

Editor’s Note: You can learn more about the Conservative Solutions Caucus 2014 HERE.

Switching topics a bit, you broadcasted your radio show from TheBlaze’s New York studios last fall.

I miss my Liberty Treehouse friends!

They miss you too! I know I speak on behalf of all TheBlaze staff when I say thank you for the delicious pizza lunches. The way to our hearts is definitely through our stomachs.

I have learned that is a very common trait in radio and TV. It was just my way of saying thanks.

How was it broadcasting at TheBlaze?

Glenn was very gracious. He not only gave me the studio, while they were rebuilding mine, but he gave me his office with a view of the Empire State Building. I just got to know everybody there. I saw some old friends, made some new friends, and everybody couldn’t have been more gracious to me.

You obviously have a very busy schedule, but do you have anything you like to do in your free time?

I try to shut down as much as I can over the weekend. My kids play in a lot of national tennis tournaments, so we are traveling all over the place. When you enter the tennis world, it is a total escape.

I am not a big golfer, but I will play occasionally. I play a lot of tennis. And I try to work out as much as I can. Running and the elliptical – stuff like that.

I like to go to concerts. I love country music. I saw Florida Georgia Line recently. Brad Paisley is playing at Nassau Coliseum this week, so I might go out and try to see him.

Is there anything people would be surprised to learn about you?

Yes, but I won’t tell you.

(Laughs)

Just kidding!

Most of my private life is pretty boring. I like to read. I don’t have enough time though. I am just doing typical dad stuff.

I like to be private. I never go to dinners. I never go to Washington. I never do anything like that. I prefer anonymity. It’s silly, considering the profession I am in, but if you see me, I am going to be in sweatpants or jeans, a t-shirt, baseball hat, and glasses. By the way, I have worn that since I was little. Same outfit. Same shirt even – if I can save it, I save it.

Do you have any big plans for 2014?

I am just looking for the best people, the best candidates I can support. I don’t like that Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Mike Lee are sort of outcasts within their own party. So I am looking for other people like that, and if they show up, hopefully we can get them elected.

Okay, I am going to ask you a few ‘lightening round’ questions, so one word answers will do.

Go for it.

What’s your favorite book?

Well, I have to say the Bible because that’s the one I read the most. That is your roadmap for life.

What’s your favorite movie?

Okay, it is a tie: Gladiator, Brave Heart, and the Passion of the Christ.

What’s your favorite TV show?

Hannity on the Fox News Channel at 10pm ET. Just kidding. I love sports and Duck Dynasty. I am a big Duck Dynasty fan.

What’s your favorite food?

Steak

What’s your favorite place to visit?

Anyplace warm

Who is your favorite artist?

I would have to say Garth because he got me into country music. I am a big Garth Brooks fan.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us!

Anytime.

Hannity airs weeknights at 10pm ET on the Fox News Channel.

A new Pew Research Center report shows the death toll in the United States from COVID-19 is "heavily concentrated" in Democratic congressional districts.

According to the analysis, more than half of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. occurred in just 44 (approximately 10 percent of) congressional districts, and 41 of those 44 hardest-hit districts are represented by Democrats, while only three are represented by Republicans.

"A new Pew Research Center analysis of data on official reports of COVID-19 deaths, collected by the John Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, finds that, as of last week, nearly a quarter of all the deaths in the United States attributed to the coronavirus have been in just 12 congressional districts – all located in New York City and represented by Democrats in Congress. Of the more than 92,000 Americans who had died of COVID-19 as of May 20 (the date that the data in this analysis was collected), nearly 75,000 were in Democratic congressional districts," Pew reported.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere argued that, while the coronavirus should never have been made into a partisan issue, the study certainly makes a strong statement in favor of GOP leadership.

Watch the video below:


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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multiplatform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) once predicted the coronavirus death rate would be between 4 and 5 percent, but they've just come out with a new report and those predictions have been adjusted significantly.

According to the CDC's latest data, the fatality rate among Americans showing COVID-19 symptoms is 0.4 percent. And an estimated 35 percent who are infected by the virus will never have any symptoms. Therefore, the CDC is now estimating COVID-19 kills less than 0.3 percent of people infected.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere recalled when the mainstream media went into overdrive, hammering President Donald Trump for predicting the final COVID-19 death rate would be "under one percent."

Looks like the president was right all along.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multiplatform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Michigan barber Karl Manke isn't a troublemaker. He's a law-abiding citizen who did everything possible to financially survive during the COVID-19 lockdown. pandemic. Eventually, he had no other option: he had to reopen his business in defiance of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home orders.

In an interview on the "Glenn Beck Radio Program," Manke, 77, told Glenn, "I'm not backing down" despite Whitmer's seemingly vindictive attempts to shut down his business.

Shortly after reopening, Manke was ticketed for violating Whitmer's stay-at-home order and charged with a misdemeanor. When he still refused to close his doors, the governor's office went a step further and suspended his barber license.

"It's kind of a vindictive thing," said Manke. "I've become a worm in her brain ... and she is going full force, illegally, when legislatures told her that she was out of place and this was not her assignment, she decided to take it anyway."

On Thursday, the Shiawassee County Circuit Judge refused to issue a preliminary injunction against Manke. Read more on this update here.

Watch the video clip from the interview below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multiplatform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Time after time, Americans have taken to the streets to defend our constitutional rights, whether it was our livelihood at stake -- or our lives. But, what was the point of all the civil rights movements that came before, if we're about to let the government take our rights away now?

On his Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck argued that Americans are tired of having our rights trampled by "tyrannical" leaders from state and local governments who are ignoring our unalienable rights during this pandemic.

"Our nanny state has gone too far. The men and women in office -- the ones closest to our communities, our towns, our cities -- are now taking advantage of our fear," Glenn said. "Like our brothers and sisters of the past, we need to start making the decisions that will put our destiny, and our children's destiny, back into our hands."

It took less than two months of the coronavirus tyranny to make America unrecognizable, but some Americans are fighting back, risking losing their jobs and businesses or even jail time, as they battle to take back our civil rights.

Here are just a few of their stories:

After New Jersey's Atilis Gym reopened in defiance of the governor's executive order, the Department of Health shut them down for "posing a threat to the public health." Co-owner Ian Smith says somebody sabotaged the gym's toilets with enire rolls of paper to create the public health "threat."

Oregon Salon owner, Lindsey Graham, was fined $14 thousand for reopening. She said she was visited by numerous government organizations, including Child Protective Services, in what she believes are bullying tactics straight from the governor's office.

77-year-old Michigan barber, Karl Manke, refused to close his shop even when facing arrest. "I couldn't go another 30 days without an income," he said. But when local police refused to arrest him, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's (D) office suspending his business license instead.

Port of Seattle police officer Greg Anderson was suspended after he spoke out against enforcing what he called "tyrannical orders" imposed amid coronavirus lockdowns.

Kentucky mother-of-seven, Mary Sabbatino, found herself under investigation for alleged child abuse after breaking social distancing rules at a bank. After a social worker from child protective services determined there was no sign of abuse, he still sought to investigate why the Sabbatino's are homeschooling, and how they can give "adequate attention to that many children."

Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail after she defied the state-mandated stay-at-home orders to reopen her business.

Watch the video clip from Glenn's special below:


Watch the full special on BlazeTV YouTube here.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multiplatform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.