Glenn Beck on Thursday implored his radio audience not to believe everything the government says — using an unlikely and extraordinary medium.
Beck spoke from the microphone once used by Iva Toguri d’Aquino, the American woman known as “Tokyo Rose” who was forced to broadcast radio propaganda for the Japanese during World War II. Beck acquired the microphone from a collector who wanted it preserved after an American soldier brought it back to the U.S. after the war. Beck had it rewired but said the microphone had not been used since the 1940s.
“I’ve thought a lot what am I going to say if this microphone works, what would be appropriate to say in the microphone for the first time since 1945. We don’t know if it works or what it sounds like yet. We’re going to plug it in here in a second and try it for the first time, a message from the microphone used by a hero that was deemed a traitor,” said Beck, whose own regular microphone is modeled after d’Aquino’s black one.
D’Aquino was convicted of treason but later exonerated and given a presidential pardon. The “Tokyo Rose” broadcasters were used to try to demoralize American troops, but d’Aquino used her platform to try to warn them about coming attacks, Beck said.
When it was time to try it out, there was little difference in the sound quality between the decades-old microphone and Beck’s modern radio equipment.
“That’s amazing,” Beck said, testing it out. “I thought this morning if it worked what should be said from the microphone used by the woman who identified herself as ‘Orphan Ann.’ We called her ‘Tokyo Rose’ but her name was Iva Toguri, and she told the troops where the bombers were going to come so they could prepare. She hid all of her information. She disguised the words that she was using to hide them from Tokyo, not from the Americans. This microphone hasn’t been used since her broadcasts in the 1940s. So here’s what should be told.”
He began, “America, tell the truth. Tell the truth, even if it means in the end it hurts you. America, don’t believe everything that your country and your government tells you. Because while many times, most times, it’s true, in many critical times it’s an out and out lie. And it’s not an American problem, it is a government problem, it is a human problem. People want power, and they will do anything to keep that power or enhance that power. It’s incumbent upon you if you want to remain free to do your own homework, and if you don’t, you will lose your freedom and because of that, innocent people will suffer.”
“Truth and justice is the American way,” Beck continued. “If this microphone could speak, it would tell you this: Your country told you lies. Iva Toguri was not a traitor. She was wrongly tried and wrongly imprisoned and real justice for her is now beyond our grasp. But if this microphone could speak, all that it had seen or heard, my guess is it would say listen to the voices of the past, listen to the voices of the past that now cry out. You are the last bastion of freedom in the world. You are smart enough, you as an individual are capable. But if you don’t do it, no one else will.”
“Question everything that everyone says, question even the things that are coming out of this microphone, just as people questioned it 70 years ago,” Beck said. “Find the truth because it depends on you, it’s calling to you. Don’t follow the crowd, don’t do the easy thing. Do the right thing, because if you still — if you still want to believe that you should be called an American, you do the right thing because everything else is beneath you.”
Back on his regular microphone, Beck reflected: “That is incredible that that microphone can sound that good after all it has been through. History will always point us in the right direction.”
Beck broadcasts from the microphone
Beck discusses the history of “Tokyo Rose”
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