Glenn Beck Show

December 6, 2006

BECK: I don`t know if you`ve noticed, but every time you turn on the TV just to zone out, it seems like you`re just seeing shows that revolve around America getting vaporized. From "Jericho," "Heroes," to, well, this show, and then there`s another program that takes a smart look at terrorism and the enemies among us. It is the Emmy-nominated "Sleeper Cell: American Terror." This is the second season that`s about to kick off on Showtime.

Actor Michael Ealy plays a Muslim man who goes undercover for the FBI and embeds himself in a Los Angeles terror cell. Take a look.


MICHAEL EALY, ACTOR: I want you to repeat after me. I pledge my absolute fealty for a life of struggle, a life of jihad, and against all enemies of God.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... to a life of struggle, a life of jihad, and against all enemies of God.


BECK: You know, Michael Ealy now joins us along with his co-star, Oded Fehr, who plays a former terrorist cell leader detained by the Americans.

Guys, first of all, thank you for actually presenting the enemy as extremist Islam. But I have to tell you: I don`t know if you`re being politically correct or actual and ahead of the curve, because you don`t have to look like an Arab Muslim. Is that what you`re going for, or was this political correctness that that scene, nobody was an Arab?

EALY: You know, for me, I think one of the interesting things was, right after we finished filming the first season, I saw a report in the paper about this Belgian woman who was a suicide bomber herself. And so, you know, to me, you know, the idea that the show is being politically correct I think is somewhat nonsense.

I think, essentially, the show is more realistic because, at the end of the day, Islam, it does not -- it transcends race, it transcends cultures. It`s not just about only people of Arab descent can be, you know, Muslims.

BECK: Go ahead.

ODED FEHR, ACTOR: Well, I just think that we should fear terrorists as much as possible, meaning we should expect the unexpected from them. And I think, you know, that`s exactly what they would try to do, is recruit people who would never -- we would never imagine would be terrorists.

BECK: Right.

EALY: And actually, one more thing, Glenn. The goal of an extremist terrorist cell is to blend in. And one way in which you can do that is to diversify your clientele, so to speak. And I think that`s one of the things that the shows bring home.

BECK: No, I have to tell you, you know, I haven`t watched the show, but I`ve heard a lot about it, and I do have to hand it to you, because this is the future. I mean, they`re not stupid.

And you`re right: Extremist Islam goes way beyond race. It is an ideology. And this is the future. Right now, it`s generally Arab-looking men, but it`s radically changing.

I just had to ask because, if I see another episode of "24" where it`s a Hungarian Presbyterian that`s strapping on a suicide belt, I think I`m going to blow my head off, you know?

So, Oded, you play a guy who is captured by the United States...

FEHR: Yes.

BECK: ... and some pretty brutal torture scenes in it.

FEHR: Yes.

BECK: How much of this -- first of all, I`m all for Jack Bauer shooting people in the kneecaps if that`s what it`s going to take to save us. How much of this stuff is real?

FEHR: You know, the writers have been amazing on this show. They`ve really tried to make the show as real as dramatically possible. And they went into great lengths to really research everything that they`ve written before they`ve written it.

BECK: Yes.

FEHR: So, you know, all of the torture scenes that I`ve gone through, everything that we show, has been done before to someone or other. Look, I feel that my character deserves everything it gets, but I think it`s also something we should always ask ourselves.

BECK: Sure, absolutely.

FEHR: You know, are we doing the right thing? Are we not becoming a little bit of them, doing it that way?

BECK: Yes. Yes. It`s a great conversation to have, and we all should have that debate in our own head.

One quick, last question. You guys are taking on some serious media issues, and anybody who points these things out is in danger. Do you guys feel any fear at all for taking this subject on?

EALY: I think it`s unfortunate that the subject matter is so timely, but I think the way in which we`re handling the subject matter, with some integrity, with some dignity, and not just making everything so simple in black and white, I think that`s what helps the show at the end of the day.

BECK: Good. Thanks, Michael and Oded. Best of luck to you. You can catch the first episode of the new season on Showtime this Sunday night.