Mercury Confidential: Which GBTV staffer owned a sandwich shop before becoming a producer?

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at Mercury Radio Arts? Just how do all of Glenn’s crazy ideas get done? Does anyone ever get a chance to sleep? Well, over the next few months we are going to take you inside MRA, giving you the inside scoop on everything from publishing to special events, 1791 to Markdown to GBTV. We will be interviewing members of our New York, Columbus, and Dallas staff, bringing you all the info, so you can know what it’s really like to work for Glenn. Part 1 (Kevin Balfe – Publishing)Part 2 (Liz Julis – GBTV/Special Events), Part 3 (Joel Cheatwood: CCO & President of TheBlaze)

What does deli ownership and television operations have in common? A lot – at least according to Eric Pearce, Vice President of Television Operations at TheBlaze.

“When I was 21, my father and I bought a deli together, and we ended up owning it for three and a half years,” Pearce explained.

“I know you can’t compare a television show to egg sandwiches, but the theory behind it, you can,” he promised. “When someone comes into a restaurant to buy breakfast, they want to know what they are getting every day. And they come back – repeat business is what makes it work because you are delivering a quality product. It’s the same on television. If you deliver a quality product night in and night out, you are going to be successful. While it is a very tough comparison, some of the groundwork there makes sense.”

Business experience aside, one thing Pearce does not miss about owning a deli: the lifestyle. “You’re up at five in the morning, and you don’t get home until seven o’clock at night. You have just enough time to eat dinner, take a shower, and then you are exhausted because you have been on your feet all day long running around. You smell like bacon and onions every day.”

While this certainly sounds like a long day, anyone who knows Pearce knows that his life as of late hasn’t been any less hectic. Remember when GBTV broadcasted the Restoring Courage events live from Israel? Pearce was responsible for making sure that actually happened. How about when GBTV officially launched just two weeks after that? Pearce had a pretty big role in that too. And what about when Glenn decided to relocate his entire broadcast to Dallas, Texas? You guessed it, Pearce oversaw that also, which meant working straight through Christmas and New Years to get the studio up and running in time. The timeline for that particular project: 45 days.

Pearce, who first met Glenn at CNN, took his time to get to where he is now. “Right after high school I went to local college,” he said. “I thought I wanted to be a stock broker, but I ended up failing my Series 7 test. Thank God because if I ever ended up like one of those financial people I would have killed myself. Eventually when we sold the deli, I went back to school to get my degree, and then too many years after that I did get my degree. It only took eight and a half years to finish college, which is a long time, but I did it.”

Pearce graduated college and took a job as a freelancer at CNN, where he worked for five and a half years. It was his work ethic that ultimately set him apart from his peers. “I took any job. I volunteered for everything. The worst shifts – I always worked the Sunday night and then the Monday morning. I did whatever it took because I wanted to learn, and I knew I was behind,” Pearce said.

Pearce paid his dues on the news desk for a few months. “I started on the news desk, where I kind of gained my chops in the industry,” he explained. “I got there at five in the morning handing out newspapers to reporters, taking staples of paper, shuffling things, printing things, escorting guests. So I did all of the kind of grunt work there.”

He was later offered a staff position at CNN’s Showbiz Tonight, where he worked for a year, before getting a call that would ultimately prove career changing. “I don’t know exactly when, but I got a call from a producer I had worked with, and he said, ‘Hey, I think I have a producing job for you.’ And I thought that’s great, I could use a change.”

Turns out the producing job was for a brand new daily show that would be hosted by a radio personality named Glenn Beck. “So my first question was: who is Glenn Beck? I had no idea who he was,” Pearce said. “I was shown the pilot of their show, and it was like wow, this guy is funny. His approach was so much different – something you have never seen before.”

He stayed with Glenn’s show for the next two years, but when Glenn left for Fox News, Pearce, unfortunately, couldn’t follow. “I stayed behind at CNN. I was contracted, so I couldn’t leave. I stayed and launched two other shows for the network after that. But after the two years I had with Glenn, it just wasn’t the same.”

Pearce called Chris Balfe, Chief Operating Officer of Mercury Radio Arts, to see if there was a job opening. “I called Chris and said, ‘I have to leave CNN. I have to make a move. It’s just not the same. What do you have for me?’” he recalled.

Pearce joined Mercury in January 2010.The problem was, at the time, Mercury didn’t have too much of a need in the way of production, so Pearce found himself with a job, but not a whole lot to do. “When I first got here, they really had no job title or job description for me. They were just like ‘Come here and figure it out.’”

Like most people at Mercury, what he was hired to do and what he is doing now is considerably different. “Our company has grown tremendously since then, but I remember those first three days. I started on a Wednesday, and that Wednesday, Thursday, Friday I was surfing the internet, I was on Facebook, and I was doing all this stuff because there was no work for me to do,” Pearce said laughing.

“I would give anything just to have one of those days back because I remember that next week – I don’t know what it was – but somebody had an idea and that was when it just started this whole thing. I have not had a slow day in the office since those first three days. It’s amazing how things change so fast.”

It really is incredible how quickly things change because Pearce now finds himself at the helm of television operations for one of the most successful online streaming networks in the world. While it seems like the launch of GBTV went from zero to sixty virtually overnight, the groundwork was laid long before Glenn ever decided to break out on his own.

“Shortly after I started we decided we wanted to give Glenn’s Insiders, some of his closest fans, more access to Glenn so they could see what happens behind the scenes,” Pearce explained. “We set up Insider Extreme where we started broadcasting his radio show every morning, and then we went on to add the Fourth Hour with Pat and Stu.”

That addition alone upgraded Insider Extreme from a single webcam broadcast to a six camera, four hour show that began to pave the way for what is now GBTV. “Figuring all of that out was new to me, but we figured it out as we went along, and it all worked,” he said. “At some point it just became this big operation, and it just seemed natural that Insider Extreme had to switch over from four hours of streaming live video to a streaming network. Insider Extreme really did lay the groundwork for GBVT.”

When Glenn decided to leave network television and start his own network, Pearce was 100 percent on board. “We spend all of this time producing this show for someone else. Why don’t we just produce it for ourselves? And having full control over our programming cuts out the red tape,” he said. “We can control the quality. We can control the budgets. We can do whatever we want. And it just seemed to make sense. We just knew we were supposed to grow into this network.”

Transitioning from a six camera webcast to an online streaming network was no easy task. From an operations perspective, Pearce needed to find a studio to rent, equipment to use, and a staff efficient enough to deal with all of these moving pieces. And he didn’t have much time to do it. As is customary, Glenn couldn’t help but add one more piece to the puzzle – he wanted to broadcast his Restoring Courage events in Israel on GBTV, just two weeks before the official launch of the network.

For Pearce, this meant transplanting a large portion of staff to Israel for a several weeks, and putting everything he had been working toward all summer to the ultimate test. Oh, and did I mention Pearce was dealing with all this and planning a wedding at the same time?

“It is true I got married around the launch date of GBTV,” Pearce said with a laugh. “When Glenn picked the launch date and they said September 12, 9/12, that’s the day, it seemed like the right fit. What wasn’t perfect for me was I was getting married two weeks later. I am running operations for this brand new network and then week three I am going to disappear get married and then disappear on my honeymoon for two weeks.”

Between the GBTV launch and the events in Israel, Pearce didn’t spend much time at home that summer. “I had these two projects coming up and a wedding to plan the whole time. You can imagine what it was like when I had to tell my then finance, ‘Oh yeah, I have to go to Israel this summer.’ Didn’t go over that well at first, but in the end she understood. She knows that I am passionate about what I do, so she puts up with a lot. I am so grateful to Marlaina for that.”

After getting GBTV up and running, Glenn threw yet another wrench into the plans when he decided to move his broadcast to Dallas, Texas. Beyond the logistical problems involved with managing staffs in two different states, Pearce had to virtually start over and build this new studio from the ground up.

“I was more surprised when Glenn said he wanted to move to Texas than I was when he said he wanted to start a video network,” Pearce said. After finding a property and having the deal fall through, Pearce found himself with just over a month to get something built that would allow Glenn to broadcast live from Dallas on January 2, 2012.

“I remember the day, it was November 15, 2011, and Glenn said to me, ‘Well, what are we going to do?’ And I said, ‘Well, we are going to have to find a new place to build the studio, and it is going to take a little bit longer.’ I said, ‘How do you feel about staying in NY the first two weeks of next year, so we can get your broadcast on, while we are building something down in TX?’ And he turned to me slowly, looked me dead in the eyes and said, ‘I am doing television from TX on January 2.’ And at that point, he turned around and walked away,” Pearce recalled.

In New York, studios are built on every street corner, but Dallas, Texas is a very different situation. “This was a little bit of a challenge to find a place that was going to fill Glenn’s needs and desires,” Pearce said. “We found a place that could house Glenn’s vision. We found a production company that was going to help us deliver and build Glenn’s vision, which was key. And we had roughly 45 days to build it. What we pulled off in that short period of time was nothing short of a miracle.”

Pearce and his team worked through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years to get it done in time. “We needed to build an HD control room. We needed to build a studio. We needed to build a radio studio, all at once, at the end of the year, over vacation. I am proud to say we did it. I mean we had some improvements to make after that to make things more permanent, but we are very proud of what we were able to pull off in that short period of time.”

Pearce sees the upcoming merger of GBTV and TheBlaze as the perfect opportunity for both divisions to capitalize on their great resources. “I do think the re-brand is a very good idea. I think it will allow us to grow and expand our reach, but maintain the same quality and the same mission that Glenn wants to see on the network.”

Despite all of the things he has dealt with over the last couple of years, Pearce’s favorite moment came not too long after he first started at Mercury, during Restoring Honor in Washington D.C.

“It was the night before Divine Destiny at the Kennedy Center, and Glenn wanted to go meet-and-greet all the people waiting on line to get tickets,” he explained. “I showed up there with a camera, and I am filming him talking to people, meeting people. It was just this amazing moment of Glenn interacting with his fans.”

After the meet-and-greet, Glenn decided he wanted to go back to the Lincoln Memorial – for what was probably the fiftieth time that week. “We are getting in the cars to leave, and Glenn turns around and says, ‘I want to go to the Lincoln Memorial.’ Meanwhile, it is ten or eleven o’clock at night, pitch black, but he wanted to go to the Lincoln Memorial.”

At this point a crowd had gathered at the Memorial in hopes of securing a front row view of the event, and when they saw Glenn arrive, the crowd went wild. “Glenn noticed them, and they noticed Glenn, and he goes over and is talking to them. There was cheering and he thanked everyone for showing up. All of a sudden, the crowd starts to sing God Bless America.”

It was a beautiful moment, and Pearce was glad to be there getting it all on tape. At some point, Glenn got pulled away from the group. When Pearce looked down at his camera, his heart sank – the audio had not been recording.

“I guess about three quarters of the way through the crowd singing I realized that the audio wasn’t recording on the camera that I had. And I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ Glenn was here watching this happen. He sees me with the camera, and I am going to come back with a video of them singing the song without audio?! I am dead.”

It seemed like a lost cause at that point, but Pearce had a plan. “I went back to the crowd, and I said, ‘Hey guys, you know, that was so good. Could we do that again? I want to get a different angle.’ And they were all like, ‘Sure! No problem!’”

“I made sure the audio was working, and they did it again. So the crowd had no idea I had a camera problem. Glenn had no idea I had a camera problem because he would have been disappointed. So I am glad that all worked out,” Pearce said with a laugh.

Problem solving at its finest – something Pearce has proven time and time again he is very good at. It probably has something to do with why he keeps getting these mammoth projects thrown his way. At least he doesn’t smell like bacon and onions anymore.

'The Handmaid's Tale' got it right, just with the wrong religion

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Just in case The Handmaid's Tale's heavy-handed message wasn't already heavy-handed enough, a recent episode made it clear there's always room for further hysteria. Particularly, in relation to depictions of a “patriarchal society" run by Christian doctrine and determined by men — oh those dastardly men.

RELATED: Christian privilege is the new white privilege

The show appropriates Margaret Atwood of the same name, depicting a totalitarian society led by Christian doctrine in which women's bodies are controlled, and they have no rights. The story sounds familiar, but not in the same way Atwood and the show's creators have so smugly assumed.

Just as tone-deaf as 4th wave feminism itself, and tone-deaf in all the exact same places. Most notably, the show's heavy-handed indignation toward Christianity. Toward the patriarchy. Toward conservatives and traditional values. And just like 4th wave feminism, the show completely overlooks the irony at play. Because there is a part of the world where women and children are being raped and mutilated. In fact, in this very real place, the women or girls are often imprisoned, even executed, for being raped, and they are mutilated in unspeakable ways.

Theirs is a cruel, bloody, colorless life.

There is a place, a very real place, where women are forced to cover their entire bodies with giant tarp-like blankets, which is all the more brutal given the endless heat of this place. There is a place where women literally have one-third of the rights of men, a place where women are legally, socially and culturally worth less than men.

They cannot drive cars. They cannot be outside alone. They cannot divorce, they cannot even choose who they marry and often, they are forcibly married at a young age.

They are raped. A lot. Theirs is a cruel, bloody, colorless life. This is the life of tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of women. And, I'll tell you, their religion isn't Christianity.

Science did it again. It only took 270 million years, but this week, scientists finally solved the mystery that has kept the world up at night. We finally know where octopuses come from: outer space. That explains why they look like the aliens in just about every alien movie ever made.

RELATED: Changes in technology can be cause for concern, but THIS is amazing

It turns out octopuses were aliens that evolved on another planet. Scientists haven't determined which one yet, but they've definitely narrowed it down to one of the planets in one of the galaxies. Hundreds of millions of years ago (give or take a hundred), these evolved octopus aliens arrived on Earth in the form of cryopreserved eggs. Now, this part is just speculation, but it's possible their alien planet was on the verge of destruction, so Mom and Dad Octopus self-sacrificially placed Junior in one of these cryopreserved eggs and blasted him off the planet to save their kind.

This alien-octopus research, co-authored by a group of 33 scientists, was published in the Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology journal. I'm sure you keep that on your nightstand like I do.

Anyway, these scientists say octopuses evolved very rapidly over 270 million years. Which sounds slow, but in evolutionary terms, 270 million years is like light speed. And the only explanation for their breakneck evolution is that they're aliens. The report says, “The genome of the Octopus shows a staggering level of complexity with 33,000 protein-coding genes — more than is present in Homo sapiens."

Lucky for us, they landed in the water. Otherwise, we might be octopus pets.

They mention that the octopus' large brain, sophisticated nervous system, camera-like eyes, flexible bodies and ability to change color and shape all point to its alien nature. Octopuses developed those capabilities rather suddenly in evolution, whereas we're still trying to figure out the TV remote.

These biological enhancements are so far ahead of regular evolution that the octopuses must have either time-traveled from the future, or “more realistically" according to scientists, crash-landed on earth in those cryopreserved egg thingies. The report says the eggs arrived here in “icy bolides." I had to look up what a “bolide" is, and turns out it's a fancy word for a meteor.

So, to recap: a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, an alien race of octopuses packed their sperm-bank samples in some meteors and shot them toward Earth. Lucky for us, they landed in the water. Otherwise, we might be octopus pets.

President Trump's approval rating is rising, and Democrats — hilariously — can't seem to figure out what's going on. A few months ago Democrats enjoyed a sixteen point lead over Republicans, but now — according to CNN's recent national survey — that lead is down to just THREE points. National data from Reuters shows it as being even worse.

The Democratic advantage moving towards the halfway mark into 2018 shows that Republicans are only ONE point behind. The president's public approval rating is rising, and Democrats are nervously looking at each other like… “umm guys, what are we doing wrong here?"

I'm going to give Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi a little hint. We know that the Left has enjoyed a “special relationship" with the media, but they might want to have a sit down with their propaganda machine. The mainstream media is completely out of control, and Americans are sick of it. We're DONE with the media.

RELATED: The mainstream media wants you to believe Trump is waging war on immigrants — here's the truth

Look what has been going on just this week. The president called MS-13 gang members animals, but that's not the story the media jumped on. They thought it was more clickable to say that Trump was calling all immigrants animals instead. In the Middle East, the media rushed to vilify Israel instead of Hamas. They chose to defend a terror organization rather than one of our oldest allies.

Think about that. The media is so anti-Trump that they've chosen a violent street gang AND A GLOBAL TERROR ORGANIZATION as their torch-bearing heroes. Come on, Democrats. Are you seriously baffled why the American people are turning their backs on you?

Still not enough evidence? Here's the New York Times just yesterday. Charles Blow wrote a piece called "A Blue Wave of Moral Restoration" where he tried to make the case that the president and Republicans were the enemy, but — fear not — Democrat morality was here to save the day.

Here are some of these cases Blow tries to make for why Trump is unfit to be President:

No person who treats women the way Trump does and brags on tape about sexually assaulting them should be president.

Ok, fine. You can make that argument if you want to, but why weren't you making this same argument for Bill Clinton? Never mind, I actually know the reason. Because you were too busy trying to bury the Juanita Broaddrick story.

Let's move on:

No person who has demonstrated himself to be a pathological liar should be president.

Do the words, “You can keep your doctor" mean anything to the New York Times or Charles Blow? I might have saved the best for last:

No person enveloped by a cloud of corruption should be president.

I can only think of three words for a response to this: Hillary Frigging Clinton.

Try displaying a little consistency.

If the media really wants Donald Trump gone and the Democrats to take over, they might want to try displaying a little consistency. But hey, maybe that's just too much to ask.

How about starting with not glorifying terrorist organizations and murderous street gangs. Could we at least begin there?

If not… good luck in the midterms.

In the weeks following President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the mainstream media was quick to criticize the president's pro-Israel stance and make dire predictions of violent backlash in the Middle East. Fast forward to this week's opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem and the simultaneous Palestinian “protests" in Gaza.

RELATED: Just another day in Iran: Parliment chants death to America after Trump pulls out of nuclear deal

Predictably, the mainstream media chastised Israel for what they called “state-sanctioned terrorism" when the IDF stepped in to protect their country from so-called peaceful Palestinian protesters. Hamas leaders later admitted that at least 50 of the 62 Palestinians killed in the clashes were Hamas terrorists.

“In our post-modern media age, there is no truth and nobody even seems to be looking for it …. This is shamefully clear in the media especially this week with their coverage of the conflict between the border of Israel and the Gaza strip," said Glenn on today's show. He added, “The main media narrative this week is about how the IDF is just killing innocent protesters, while Hamas officials have confirmed on TV that 50 of the 62 people killed were working for Hamas."

The mainstream media views the Palestinians as the oppressed people who just want to share the land and peacefully coexist with the people of Israel. “They can't seem to comprehend that in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, only one side is actively trying to destroy the other," surmised Glenn.

Watch the video above to hear Glenn debunk the “peaceful Palestinian protest" fallacy.