Many were surprised when Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) not only defended the National Security Agency's recently-revealed data-collecting policies, but went a step further and attacked those pushing a "false narrative" about the issue on Wednesday, after voting not to defund the program.
Glenn Beck listened to Bachmann's comments on the radio Thursday, growing increasingly shocked as he listened to the assertions of his longtime friend.
The tape began with Bachmann saying, "A false narrative has emerged that the federal government is taking in the content of Americans' phone calls. It's not true. It's not happening."
Beck responded with a question: "Michelle Bachmann: What are they storing in the Utah NSA data storage facility? What are they storing in there -- meat?"
After the audio resumed, the congresswoman said "there is more information contained in the phone book that sits at home on your kitchen counter about each one of us than...in the national security database." Beck's co-host Stu Burguiere said, "Love Michele Bachmann, but do we really believe there is more information in the phone book than in the NSA database? Does she really expect us to believe that?"
The camera then panned to Beck, who had written on his chalkboard: "Michele B- is not dead to me, but she is in very ill health."
The group pressed forward with the audio, Bachmann proceeding to compare the data collected by the NSA to the information on an envelope, versus what is written on the letter inside it.
"Is there a privacy right as to what's been written on that envelope? No there isn't. Where there is a privacy right is what's contained inside that envelope," she said.
By the end of Bachmann's speech Beck had modified the statement on his chalkboard to read: "Michele B- is n [sic] dead to me but she is in very very very ill health."
He joked that he's feeling fickle and tired today and that he still thinks highly of the congresswoman, before saying in a more serious tone that "this has gotta stop."
If Bachmann had said something like, "Nobody's reading your stuff, but they are storing [and] keeping records on every single American," instead of repeatedly referring to a "false narrative" that he believes is misleading, Beck said he would have no problem.
She could have also said something like, "Look, I'm on the Intelligence Committee...[and] the American people don't know what a precarious situation we're in. While I'm gravely concerned about the NSA, I happen to think that we are in bigger trouble because [of a] more clear and present danger of the people who...want to kill us," Beck suggested.
But to imply that the phone book has more information on you than the NSA, Beck said, is "insulting."
"What do you think the Utah data storage center is for, Michele? Please don't treat me like a moron. What are they storing in there? They're not storing eggs and meat...they're storing our records and our information... And this universal health care is going to make the NSA look like a rookie. They are storing records on every single American. All of our movements, all of our emails, and all of our purchases, all being stored. We know that."
"There's no freedom there and that's not a false narrative, Michele Bachmann, and shame on you for saying that," he said. "Shame on you. And I like you and I respect you, but shame on you."
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