Mercury Confidential: Laurie Dhue talks about her remarkable career and what it's like to host For The Record

By Meg Storm

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 TheBlaze. 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.

Previous Installments: Kevin Balfe, Liz Julis, Joel Cheatwood, Eric Pearce, Michele Vanderhoff, Tiffany Siegel, Joe Weasel, Buck Sexton

Don’t miss Laurie TONIGHT on a brand-new episode of For The Record at 8pm ET only on TheBlaze. Not a subscriber? Start your 14-day free trial HERE.

Laurie Dhue is one of the most recognizable names in news. She is the only anchor to have hosted shows on the three primary cable news networks – CNN, MSNBC and FOX News – and her experiences span from running the teleprompter at CNN in the late 1980s to anchoring primetime news programs. She has met presidents, traveled the world, and been the voice of some of the most important news stories of the last two decades.

Laurie began working with TheBlaze in March as the host of For The Record, and she joined the team full time in July. Starting in September, you will see a lot more of Laurie as she anchors the ever-expanding primetime news updates on TheBlaze TV, in addition to hosting For The Record.

Born in North Carolina and raised in Atlanta, Laurie always knew exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up. “I was lucky,” Laurie said. “Unlike most of my college friends, I knew what I wanted to do by the age of 19. I had an internship at CNN in Atlanta the summer of 1988 – before some of TheBlaze.com folks were even born – which changed the course of my life.”

She attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she studied political science with a concentration in dramatic arts. Laurie was a member of the varsity swim team, an academic all-American, and a member of the Loreleis – a female a cappella group that toured the East Coast. “I still love to sing, and one of these days I’m going to do a cabaret performance for my friends,” she said smiling. “I’ve been saying this for years.”

It was the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta that ultimately jump-started her career. “The Democratic National Convention was held in Atlanta the summer of 1988, and I was smack in the middle of all the excitement,” Laurie explained. “As a booth runner for the anchors, including Larry King, I was responsible for everything from delivering scripts to making coffee, procuring sandwiches and straightening ties. The highlight was meeting Walter Cronkite.”

“I went back to UNC that fall knowing that I wanted get into news. At that point, I had not yet declared a major and the folks at CNN advised me to get a liberal arts degree and not limit myself to journalism,” she continued. “‘We’ll teach you more in a month than you’ll get in the next 2 years sitting in a classroom,’ one of my mentors told me. It was true. I learned an incredible amount in a very short period of time. I interned for CNN the next two summers – including an internship in London the summer of 1990 – then began working there full-time in the spring of 1991. The headquarters and main studios were in Atlanta at the time, though now most of CNN’s shows are based in NYC.”

When Laurie first started at CNN, her job was very much behind-the-scenes. “Between 1991 and 1997, I did just about every job at CNN you can imagine,” she said. Those jobs included running teleprompter, running scripts, checking show rundowns, pulling tapes, logging tapes (“one of the more tedious and humbling experiences”), running tapes, etc. You name it, she did it.

“Eventually, I became a guest booker and segment producer,” Laurie explained. “After a couple of years of researching and writing the anchors’ interviews – in the pre-Internet age – I knew I had to pursue my dream of being on-camera. I knew I had it in me and truly thought it was my destiny, I just needed a chance.”

Breaking into the media industry has never been easy, but in the early 1990s it was especially difficult to become an on-air talent without having previously spent some time in a small market. “In those days, it was much tougher. If you wanted to be an anchor or reporter, you had to start in a very small market,” she recalled. “I begged my boss to let me talk to the then-President of CNN, Tom Johnson, about doing something, anything, on camera. He saw how serious I was and agreed to let me do updates on the CNN Airport Network – yes, such a thing existed back in the day – but only in my spare time, nothing could interfere with my segment-producing job. So I taught myself how to use the teleprompter and practiced for hours and hours. My first Airport Channel hit lingers in the back of my mind somewhere. I don’t remember the moment, but I do remember thinking ‘Well, I’m on my way.’ It felt absolutely natural to me.”

Laurie’s big break came a few months later, in the summer of 1996, when she was offered the chance to anchor overnight news updates for CNN’s sister network Headline News (now HLN), but she would have to continue her producing job as well. As you can imagine, it was a pretty busy schedule.

“It was a hectic time,” Laurie explained. “By day, I was booking and pre-interviewing guests. By night, I was anchoring the news. I slept very little, but I didn’t care. Within six months, in January of 1997, I was offered a full-time anchor spot on CNN, becoming the youngest anchor in the network’s history. I anchored the midnight, 1AM and 5:30AM shows for a year – sleeping from 7AM till 3PM, which I really never got used to – then I moved to weekends.”

She anchored CNN Saturday and CNN Sunday for a year, before getting a call from her agent saying NBC was interested in meeting her. Laurie flew to New York and met with the NBC executives about hosting her own weekday show on MSNBC. Beginning in 1999, Laurie anchored several shows for MSNBC – covering breaking news and reporting long-form stories as well.

“My goal had always been to get to New York City, so I was thrilled to get the chance. Saying goodbye to my life, friends, and family in Atlanta was tough, but I knew it was the right decision and fell in love with the city the day I arrived,” Laurie said. “I had the privilege of reporting from Times Square on New Year’s Eve in 1999, which is one of the highlights of my career. Celebrating the turn of the millennium  (remember how the world was supposed to end on Y2K?)  with several million people was rather extraordinary!”

In mid-2000, Laurie made the move to Fox News. During that time she offered primetime news updates during Special Report with Britt Hume, The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity, and On the Record.

“I also hosted weekend shows and got the opportunity to report from the Middle East for several months over a period of two years,” she explained. “I later joined Geraldo At Large as a news anchor/primary correspondent and had a weekly segment on The O’Reilly Factor called ‘The Dhue Point.’ During my eight years at FNC, I also anchored live hourly updates on Fox News Radio. I was the voice of the official launch!”

It was during her time at Fox News that Laurie made the decision that would ultimately save her life. After battling alcoholism for some 15 years, Laurie made the decision to get sober on March 14, 2007. She chose to go public with her recovery a few years later, and her admission surprised many in the industry who knew Laurie and the quality of her work. She recently opened up to Glenn about her struggle with addiction and her road to recovery:

“Glenn and I have a commonality: we are both in recovery from alcoholism and share the beautiful, challenging journey through recovery,” Laurie said. “He has been nothing but supportive about the work I do in the recovery community, encouraging me to continue my public advocacy, and acknowledging that my battle with addiction has made me a stronger person.”

Laurie left Fox News in 2008, and founded her own media training and communications consultancy, Laurie Dhue Media, which helps people prepare for media interviews of all kinds. She fronted several corporate broadcasts, in addition to co-hosting The PIX 11 Morning News in New York City for several months – an experience that provided its own set of unique challenges. “Local morning news is a completely different experience, very fun but a lot harder than it looks,” Laurie admitted. “I also had to get up before 2AM every day, which was rather horrible.”

At the end of last year, opportunity once again came knocking when Joel Cheatwood, President and Chief Content Officer at TheBlaze, reached out to Laurie. While she never crossed paths with Glenn at Fox News, Laurie was familiar with TheBlaze.

“I first heard about TheBlaze TV when it was still GBTV. After Glenn left Fox News Channel, I, like millions of other people, was curious about his next act. When I learned that he’d created his own online-only network, I thought: That’s smart. He sees the future and it’s not network news,” Laurie said. “In the back of my mind, I thought it would be interesting to meet him and perhaps even become an occasional contributor, if it was a good fit.”

In January, Laurie traveled to Dallas to meet with Glenn and Joel, an experience she described as “an instant meeting of the minds.”

“Glenn’s candor was both surprising and refreshing. There was no intimidation, no ‘trick’ questions, just an honest conversation. Glenn and I talked about many things that morning,” she explained. “We asked each other questions, swapped war stories about our experiences in cable news, and compared philosophies. It just felt like a natural fit for everyone. Then it was a matter of figuring out what opportunity would best fit my strengths.”

Fortunately, it didn't take long for a good fit to come along. “In mid-March, that first opportunity came in the form of hosting the inaugural episode of the new investigative series For the Record,” she said. “I'm honored to host this program and grateful to work with an experienced, knowledgeable and fearless group that's dedicated to bringing viewers the truth, even if it's not pretty.”

For The Record is unlike any other project Laurie has worked on mainly because it is unlike any other show on television.

For the Record is a return to investigative journalism the way it used to be: probing, unforgiving and fair. The program is built around the simple but essential principle of truth. There's no political agenda; rather, we dedicate ourselves to telling stories with sincerity and integrity,” Laurie explained. “Network news organizations have been known to spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours in focus groups designing their shows with their primary considerations being: Who's the audience? What's the main theme? Who will be the key sponsors? For the Record was designed differently. The mandate was simple: find stories the mainstream media either refused to report or simply didn’t have an interest in reporting. We've never had a discussion about target markets or themes. Finding stories has actually been rather easy because so many of them are either disliked or ignored by others. And the truth of the matter is, other outlets are simply too scared to report them.”

The stories may be easy to find, but with topics ranging from sex trafficking to Christian persecution, government surveillance to fallen heroes, the material is both time sensitive and emotionally sensitive.

For the Record isn't easy to deliver. We've got sources and contributors literally around the world, many of whom have faced grave consequences to provide information,” Laurie said. “When you watch an episode you’ll never notice the late night cross-country flights – and the delays that go along with them – with gear in tow, the cold winds that pierce your body when you’re doing an interview in the dead of winter, the 8AM Saturday script writing sessions that sometimes linger into Sunday mornings. And you're not supposed to.”

The one thing that keeps both Laurie and the For The Record team going is the desire to provide TheBlaze audience and the world with these important stories that simply aren’t available anyplace else.

“Glenn has given us the gift of time, a precious commodity in this business. We take the necessary time and resources to tell the stories that need to be told, the stories no one else is telling,” Laurie said. “Many of our sources and interview subjects won't talk to any other new outlets because they know their words will be twisted. Our stories – in particular, the shows about the NSA whistleblowers and Extortion 17 – are getting plenty of attention. While we're gratified that Washington is sitting up and taking notice, that's certainly not our raison d'etre.”

With Laurie now a member of TheBlaze team fulltime, audiences will soon see her return to her roots – providing news updates throughout TheBlaze TV’s primetime lineup, in addition to afternoon news updates on TheBlaze Radio. She will continue to host For The Record and offer original commentary on various programs. Apart from her work for TheBlaze, Laurie began hosting a weekly talk show on Veria Living TV called Over the Hump in June, which tackles issues of concern to women.

Laurie’s career has taken her all around the industry, and she quite familiar with the trappings and shortfalls that often plague media conglomerates. One of the reasons she was so excited to join TheBlaze was because of the freedom it offered.

“Why did I join TheBlaze? That’s easy: the opportunity to be on the ground floor of something truly groundbreaking doesn’t come along very often, if ever. TheBlaze is growing by leaps and bounds, expanding every day as other media outlets downsize. Oh, and saying no to Glenn Beck is impossible,” Laurie joked. “The slogan, 'The Truth Lives Here’, is bold, just like Glenn. Glenn once told me that there are no sacred cows at TheBlaze except for freedom and decency. He’s both sincere and fearless, a rare combination in news, and isn’t beholden to anyone but the viewers. There’s no parent company telling him what he can and cannot say. I think that’s real freedom of the press!”

Don’t miss Laurie TONIGHT on a brand-new episode of For The Record at 8pm ET only on TheBlaze. Not a subscriber? Start your 14-day free trial HERE.

The number of people serving life sentences now exceeds the entire prison population in 1970, according to newly-released data from the Sentencing Project. The continued growth of life sentences is largely the result of "tough on crime" policies pushed by legislators in the 1990s, including presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Biden has since apologized for backing those types of policies, but it seems he has yet to learn his lesson. Indeed, Biden is backing yet another criminal justice policy with disastrous consequences—mandatory drug treatment for all drug offenders.

Proponents of this policy argue that forced drug treatment will reduce drug usage and recidivism and save lives. But the evidence simply isn't on their side. Mandatory treatment isn't just patently unethical, it's also ineffective—and dangerous.

Many well-meaning people view mandatory treatment as a positive alternative to incarceration. But there's a reason that mandatory treatment is also known as "compulsory confinement." As author Maya Schenwar asks in The Guardian, "If shepherding live human bodies off to prison to isolate and manipulate them without their permission isn't ethical, why is shipping those bodies off to compulsory rehab an acceptable alternative?" Compulsory treatment isn't an alternative to incarceration. It is incarceration.

Compulsory treatment is also arguably a breach of international human rights agreements and ethical standards. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have made it clear that the standards of ethical treatment also apply to the treatment of drug dependence—standards that include the right to autonomy and self-determination. Indeed, according to UNODC, "people who use or are dependent on drugs do not automatically lack the capacity to consent to treatment...consent of the patient should be obtained before any treatment intervention." Forced treatment violates a person's right to be free from non-consensual medical treatment.

It's a useless endeavor, anyway, because studies have shown that it doesn't improve outcomes in reducing drug use and criminal recidivism. A review of nine studies, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, failed to find sufficient evidence that compulsory drug treatment approaches are effective. The results didn't suggest improved outcomes in reducing drug use among drug-dependent individuals enrolled in compulsory treatment. However, some studies did suggest potential harm.

According to one study, 33% of compulsorily-treated participants were reincarcerated, compared to a mere 5% of the non-treatment sample population. Moreover, rates of post-release illicit drug use were higher among those who received compulsory treatment. Even worse, a 2016 report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that people who received involuntary treatment were more than twice as likely to die of an opioid-related overdose than those with a history of only voluntary treatment.

These findings echo studies published in medical journals like Addiction and BMJ. A study in Addiction found that involuntary drug treatment was a risk factor for a non-fatal drug overdose. Similarly, a study in BMJ found that patients who successfully completed inpatient detoxification were more likely than other patients to die within a year. The high rate of overdose deaths by people previously involuntarily treated is likely because most people who are taken involuntarily aren't ready to stop using drugs, authors of the Addiction study reported. That makes sense. People who aren't ready to get clean will likely use again when they are released. For them, the only post-treatment difference will be lower tolerance, thanks to forced detoxification and abstinence. Indeed, a loss of tolerance, combined with the lack of a desire to stop using drugs, likely puts compulsorily-treated patients at a higher risk of overdose.

The UNODC agrees. In their words, compulsory treatment is "expensive, not cost-effective, and neither benefits the individual nor the community." So, then, why would we even try?

Biden is right to look for ways to combat addiction and drug crime outside of the criminal justice system. But forced drug treatment for all drug offenders is a flawed, unethical policy, with deadly consequences. If the goal is to help people and reduce harm, then there are plenty of ways to get there. Mandatory treatment isn't one of them.

Lindsay Marie is a policy analyst for the Lone Star Policy Institute, an independent think tank that promotes freedom and prosperity for all Texans. You can follow her on Twitter @LindsayMarieLP.

President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani joined Glenn Beck on Tuesday's radio program discuss the Senate's ongoing investigation into former vice president Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and reveal new bombshell documents he's currently releasing.

Giuliani told Glenn he has evidence of "very, very serious crime at the highest levels of government," that the "corrupt media" is doing everything in their power to discredit.

He also dropped some major, previously unreported news: not only was Hunter Biden under investigation in 2016, when then-Vice President Biden "forced" the firing of Ukraine's prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, but so was the vice president himself.

"Shokin can prove he was investigating Biden and his son. And I now have the prosecutorial documents that show, all during that period of time, not only was Hunter Biden under investigation -- Joe Biden was under investigation," Giuliani explained. "It wasn't just Hunter."

Watch this clip to get a rundown of everything Giuliani has uncovered so far.

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For most Americans, the 1980s was marked by big hair, epic lightsaber battles, and school-skipping Ferris Bueller dancing his way into the hearts of millions.

But for Bernie Sanders — who, by the way, was at that time the oldest-looking 40-year-old in human history — the 1980s was a period of important personal milestones.

Prior to his successful 1980 campaign to become mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Sanders was mostly known around the Green Mountain State as a crazy, wildly idealistic socialist. (Think Karl Marx meets Don Quixote.) But everything started to change for Sanders when he became famous—or, in the eyes of many, notorious—for being "America's socialist mayor."

As mayor, Sanders' radical ideas were finally given the attention he had always craved but couldn't manage to capture. This makes this period of his career particularly interesting to study. Unlike today, the Bernie Sanders of the 1980s wasn't concerned with winning over an entire nation — just the wave of far-left New York City exiles that flooded Vermont in the 1960s and 1970s — and he was much more willing to openly align himself with local and national socialist and communist parties.


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Over the past few weeks, I have been reading news reports of Sanders recorded in the 1980s — because, you know, that's how guys like me spend their Saturday nights — and what I've found is pretty remarkable.

For starters, Sanders had (during the height of the Soviet Union) a very cozy relationship with people who openly advocated for Marxism and communism. He was an elector for the Socialist Workers Party and promoted the party's presidential candidates in 1980 and 1984.

To say the Socialist Workers Party was radical would be a tremendous understatement. It was widely known SWP was a communist organization mostly dedicated to the teachings of Marx and Leon Trotsky, one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution.

Among other radical things I've discovered in interviews Sanders conducted with the SWP's newspaper — appropriately named The Militant (seriously, you can't make this stuff up) — is a statement by Sanders published in June 1981 suggesting that some police departments "are dominated by fascists and Nazis," a comment that is just now being rediscovered for the first time in decades.

In 1980, Sanders lauded the Socialist Workers Party's "continued defense of the Cuban revolution." And later in the 1980s, Sanders reportedly endorsed a collection of speeches by the socialist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, even though there had been widespread media reports of the Sandinistas' many human rights violations prior to Sanders' endorsement, including "restrictions on free movement; torture; denial of due process; lack of freedom of thought, conscience and religion; denial of the right of association and of free labor unions."

Sanders also traveled to Nicaragua and met with socialist President Daniel Ortega. He later called the trip a "profoundly emotional experience."

Sanders also traveled to Nicaragua and met with socialist President Daniel Ortega. He later called the trip a "profoundly emotional experience."

Comrade Bernie's disturbing Marxist past, which is far more extensive than what can be covered in this short article, shouldn't be treated as a mere historical footnote. It clearly illustrates that Sanders' brand of "democratic socialism" is much more than a $15 minimum wage and calls for single-payer health care. It's full of Marxist philosophy, radical revolutionary thinking, anti-police rhetoric, and even support for authoritarian governments.

Millions of Americans have been tricked into thinking Sanders isn't the radical communist the historical record — and even Sanders' own words — clearly show that he is. But the deeper I have dug into Comrade Bernie's past, the more evident it has become that his thinking is much darker and more dangerous and twisted than many of his followers ever imagined.

Tomorrow night, don't miss Glenn Beck's special exposing the radicals who are running Bernie Sanders' campaign. From top to bottom, his campaign is staffed with hard-left extremists who are eager to burn down the system. The threat to our constitution is very real from Bernie's team, and it's unlike anything we've ever seen before in a U.S. election. Join Glenn on Wednesday, at 9 PM Eastern on BlazeTV's YouTube page, and on BlazeTV.com. And just in case you miss it live, the only way to catch all of Glenn's specials on-demand is by subscribing to Blaze TV.

Justin Haskins (Jhaskins@heartland.org) is editorial director of The Heartland Institute and editor-in-chief of StoppingSocialism.com.

Candace Owens, BLEXIT founder and author of the upcoming book, "Blackout," joined Glenn Beck on Friday's GlennTV for an exclusive interview. available only to BlazeTV subscribers.

Candace dropped a few truth-bombs about the progressive movement and what's happening to the Democratic Party. She said people are practically running away from the left due to their incessant push to dig up dirt on anybody who disagrees with their radical ideology. She explained how -- like China and its "social credit score" -- the left is shaping America into its own nightmarish episode of "Black Mirror."

"This game of making sure that everyone is politically correct is a societal atom bomb. There are no survivors. There's no one that is perfect," Candace said. "The idea that humanity can be perfect is Godless. If you accept that there is something greater than us, then you accept that we a flawed. To be human is to be flawed."

Enjoy this clip from the full episode below:

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BlazeTV subscribers can watch the full interview on BlazeTV.com. Use code GLENN to save $10 off one year of your subscription.

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 multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.