Pursuit of the Truth: Series Premiere Recap

by Wilson Garrett

Watch the full episode of Pursuit of The Truth ON DEMAND with a subscription to TheBlaze TV PLUS!

“The documentary film is one of the most powerful and effective vehicles for human expression ever invented. For over 100 years documentary films have given us a glimpse into worlds we wouldn’t otherwise see. They’ve brought to life serious issues that concern humanity and the world as a whole. And they’ve been an important catalyst for change.”

No pressure there, right guys?

On Thursday, TheBlaze debuted Pursuit of The Truth, a new reality series from Executive Producers Vince Vaughn and Glenn Beck. Focused on finding the next great documentary and documentary filmmaker, Pursuit of The Truth follows contestants as they pitch their ideas and are selected to compete with one another to prove they have storytelling ability and the filmmaking skills to turn their dream into a reality.

On the series premiere, audiences were introduced to several contestants – some of who clearly had what it takes,  and a few whose ideas were just a little bit out there (ok, very out there).

One of the most impressive pitches came from Joshua Ligairi, who pitched his idea for “Plan 241”, a documentary about an Alaskan militia leader who gained a cult-like following that were arrested by the FBI for some very questionable rhetoric and the belief that they would commit a crime, even though they didn’t actually do anything.

Josh showed a lot of energy and enthusiasm during his presentation, and the judges were clearly impressed with his resume and thought his concept had a lot of potential. However, his documentary really was dependent on one thing that they weren’t quite sure he could deliver on: access to the people who had been incarcerated. With thousands of applicants and hundreds of people to interview, will the judges decide to let Josh in with that huge question mark on his project?

Watch his pitch and the judges reaction below:

Chris Bell was another standout with a solid background in filmmaking. The man behind the documentary Bigger, Stronger, Faster, Bellwants to move from tackling steroids to taking on one of the biggest, and most unspoken, health threats in the world today: prescription drugs. While America is engaged in a war on drugs, there is a lack of awareness of addiction to legal prescription drugs.

The project is a personal one, as Bell’s own brother passed away due to his addiction to prescription drugs.

The filmmakers really liked Bell, citing that he had proven skills and knew how to pitch a compelling story. Chalfen and Hatkoff knew that even without the competition this film would get made, but they wondered if Bell would be able to make it a “great” film that went above and beyond, or would it simply end up being a good film.

Bell also had a pretty creative submission video, dressing up as Hulk Hogan:

And (I think) Clark Kent?

While Josh and Chris may have had the skills, no one had more passion than Jon Eric Anderson. Jon pitched the story of Rodney Nelson and the South Shore Drill Team, who found out that his best friend was killed at the same time he was winning a major competition. Jon proposed focusing on how Rodney and his team came from one of the most deadly neighborhoods in America, yet were able to overcome their environment to excel.

Why does Jon feel like Rodney Nelson’s story is one that needs to be told? Watch his pitch and personal confession to the judges below:

Who would have thought that someone would reveal their past as a low-bottom alcoholic to not only three judges, but the world as well, in order to show the passion they have for their story?

While all the judges were impressed by his passion, Peter Billingsley and Daniel Chalfen were unsure whether Jon would be able to get the pieces he needed, including archival footage of Rodney’s competition, in order to make a compelling documentary. Hatkoff, clearly the champion of the underdogs of the competition, was impressed by Jon’s passion and said he would fight for his documentary.

The most unusual concept came from Angela Hefner, who pitched “Growing Temptations” which focuses on the dangers of homegrown gardening. Hefner believes that compost can have damaging effects on the human body not unlike tobacco.

When the judges started to question Hefner, her idea seemed to fall apart before our very eyes. Is there a scientific foundation for this? No. Who would you interview? I would explain to people and they would nod their head “Yes”. 

As Chalfen put it: I don’t even care about a hook, or proof, or science. I care about story – and she’s got no story.

Last up was John Bartosz, whose idea “Gold in September” would seek to tell the story of a deadly childhood illness. The story would focus on the story of Bartosz’s daughter Annie who would be on a mission to raise awareness on childhood cancer.

Bartosz was by far the most passionate presenter, and his pitch concluded with an emotional call to remember the thirty kids who die every week from childhood cancer.

The judges were moved by his story, and believe that Bartosz is so committed to this project that he will find a way to raise awareness on this issue no matter what, but they weren’t sure if it worked as the “next great documentary”.

Next week: The search for the next great documentary film continues in New York and Dallas as more contestants bring their ideas to the judges.

Meet the Judges:

Craig Hatkoff is a co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival along with his wife Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro. The largest film festival in North America, the festival was created immediately following the events of September 11th to help revitalize lower Manhattan. In 2010, Craig created and curates the annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards in collaboration with Professor Clayton Christensen, with whom he is Co-founder of the Disruptor Foundation. Craig is Chairman of Turtle Pond Publications LLC, a private entertainment and media based company.

Peter Billingsley is an Emmy and Tony nominated producer and a partner at Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Productions based in Los Angeles, CA.  He has executive produced the documentaries Art of Conflict and Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & Nights – Hollywood to the Heartland.  Other credits include directing the blockbuster hit Couples Retreat, executive producing Iron Man, Four Christmases, The Break-Up, and the Emmy nominated television show Dinner for Five.  He currently is an executive producer on the TBS hit sitcom Sullivan & Son  which is entering its third season, and is preparing to direct the feature film Term Life  film for Universal Pictures.  Billingsley is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Daniel J. Chalfen is a world-renowned producer and documentary filmmaker. He is the co-founder of Naked Edge Films. His recent credits include “State 194” for Participant Media; "The Revisionaries" and “Donor Unknown” for PBS’ Independent Lens; Emmy-nominated “War Don Don” and Oscar short-listed “39 Pounds of Love” for HBO; and “Gone” for Discovery ID. Other credits include the Sarah Jessica Parker Executive Produced “Pretty Old,” the Danny Glover Executive Produced "The Disappearance of McKinley Nolan," “Code of the West,” “Budrus,” and "Meeting Resistance." Chalfen’s forthcoming films include Academy Award nominated director James Spione’s “Silenced,” Gabriel London’s “The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest,” and Meghan O’Hara & Mike Attie’s “In Country.” Chalfen is a voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and a Founding Member of the DCTV Cinema Advisory Council.

 

5 SURPRISING ways space tech is used in your daily life

NASA / Handout | Getty Images

Is your vacuum cleaner from SPACE?

This week, Glenn is discussing his recent purchase of a Sputnik satellite, which has got many of us thinking about space and space technology. More specifically, we've been wondering how technology initially designed for use outside Earth's atmosphere impacted our lives down here on terra firma. The U.S. spent approximately $30 billion ($110 billion in today's money) between the Soviet launch of Sputnik in 1957 and the Moon Landing in 1969. What do we have to show for it besides some moon rocks?

As it turns out, a LOT of tech originally developed for space missions has made its way into products that most people use every day. From memory foam to cordless vacuums here are 5 pieces of space tech that you use every day:

Cellphone camera

LOIC VENANCE / Contributor | Getty Images

Have you ever seen a photograph of an early camera, the big ones with the tripod and curtain, and wondered how we went from that to the tiny little cameras that fit inside your cellphone? Thank NASA for that brilliant innovation. When you are launching a spaceship or satellite out of the atmosphere, the space onboard comes at a premium. In order to make more room for other equipment, NASA wanted smaller, lighter cameras without compromising image quality, and the innovations made to accomplish this goal paved the way for the cameras in your phone.

Cordless vacuums and power tools

Education Images / Contributor | Getty Images

When exploring the moon, NASA wanted astronauts to use a drill to collect samples from the lunar surface. The problem: the moon has a severe lack of electrical outlets to power the drills. NASA tasked Black & Decker with developing a battery-powered motor powerful enough to take chunks out of the moon. The resulting motor was later adapted to power cordless power tools and vacuums in households across America.

Infrared ear thermometer

BSIP / Contributor | Getty Images

What do distant stars and planets have in common with your eardrum? Both have their temperature read by the same infrared technology. The thermometers that can be found in medicine cabinets and doctors' offices across the world can trace their origins back to the astronomers at NASA who came up with the idea to measure the temperature of distant objects by the infrared light they emit.

Grooved pavement

Bob Riha Jr / Contributor | Getty Images

This one may seem obvious, but sometimes you need a massively complicated problem to come up with simple solutions. During the Space Shuttle program, NASA had a big problem: hydroplaning. Hydroplaning is dangerous enough when you are going 70 miles an hour in your car, but when you're talking about a Space Shuttle landing at about 215 miles per hour, it's an entirely different animal. So what was NASA's space-age solution? Cutting grooves in the pavement to quickly divert water off the runway, a practice now common on many highways across the world.

Memory foam

BERTRAND LANGLOIS / Stringer | Getty Images

If you've ever slept on a memory foam mattress, it probably won't come as a shock to find out that the foam was created to cushion falls from orbit. Charles Yotes was an astronautical engineer who is credited with the invention of memory foam. Yotes developed the technology for the foam while working on the recovery system for the Apollo command module. The foam was originally designed to help cushion the astronauts and their equipment during their descent from space. Now, the space foam is used to create some of the most comfortable mattresses on Earth. Far out.

5 most HORRIFIC practices condoned by WPATH

Bloomberg / Contributor | Getty Images

Whatever you know about the "trans movement" is only the tip of the iceberg.

In a recent Glenn TV special, Glenn delved into Michael Schellenberger's "WPATH files," a collection of leaked internal communications from within the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). Glenn's research team got their hands on the WPATH files and compiled the highlights in Glenn's exclusive PDF guide which can be downloaded here. These documents reveal the appalling "standards" created and upheld by WPATH, which appear to be designed to allow radical progressive surgeons to perform bizarre, experimental, and mutilating surgeries on the dime of insurance companies rather than to protect the health and well-being of their patients. These disturbing procedures are justified in the name of "gender-affirming care" and are defended zealously as "life-saving" by the dogmatic surgeons who perform them.

The communications leaked by Schellenberger reveal one horrific procedure after another committed in the name of and defended by radical gender ideology and WPATH fanatics. Here are five of the most horrifying practices condoned by WPATH members:

1.Trans surgeries on minors as young as 14

One particular conversation was initiated by a doctor asking for advice on performing irreversible male-to-female surgery on a 14-year-old boy's genitals. WPATH doctors chimed in encouraging the surgery. One doctor, Dr. McGinn, confessed that he had performed 20 such surgeries on minors over the last 17 years!

2.Amputation of healthy, normal limbs

BIID, or Body Integrity Identity Disorder, is an “extremely rare phenomenon of persons who desire the amputation of one or more healthy limbs or who desire a paralysis.” As you might suspect, some WPATH members are in favor of enabling this destructive behavior. One WPATH commenter suggested that people suffering from BIID received "hostile" treatment from the medical community, many of whom would recommend psychiatric care over amputation. Apparently, telling people not to chop off perfectly healthy limbs is now considered "violence."

3.Trans surgeries on patients with severe mental illnesses

WPATH claims to operate off of a principle known as "informed consent," which requires doctors to inform patients of the risks associated with a procedure. It also requires patients be in a clear state of mind to comprehend those risks. However, this rule is taken very lightly among many WPATH members. When one of the so-called "gender experts" asked about the ethicality of giving hormones to a patient already diagnosed with several major mental illnesses, they were met with a tidal wave of backlash from their "enlightened" colleges.

4.Non-standard procedures, such as “nullification” and other experimental, abominable surgeries

If you have never heard of "nullification" until now, consider yourself lucky. Nullification is the removal of all genitals, intending to create a sort of genderless person, or a eunuch. But that's just the beginning. Some WPATH doctors admitted in these chatlogs that they weren't afraid to get... creative. They seemed willing to create "custom" genitals for these people that combine elements of the two natural options.

5.Experimental, untested, un-researched, use of carcinogenic drugs 

Finasteride is a drug used to treat BPH, a prostate condition, and is known to increase the risk of high-grade prostate cancer as well as breast cancer. Why is this relevant? When a WPATH doctor asked if anyone had used Finasteride "to prevent bottom growth," which refers to the healthy development of genitals during puberty. The answer from the community was, "That's a neat idea, someone should give it a go."

If your state isn’t on this list, it begs the question... why?

The 2020 election exposed a wide range of questionable practices, much of which Glenn covered in a recent TV special. A particularly sinister practice is the use of private money to fund the election. This money came from a slew of partisan private sources, including Mark Zuckerberg, entailed a host of caveats and conditions and were targeted at big city election offices— predominantly democratic areas. The intention is clear: this private money was being used to target Democrat voters and to facilitate their election process over their Republican counterparts.

The use of private funds poses a major flaw in the integrity of our election, one which many states recognized and corrected after the 2020 election. This begs the question: why haven't all states banned private funding in elections? Why do they need private funding? Why don't they care about the strings attached?

Below is the list of all 28 states that have banned private funding in elections. If you don't see your state on this list, it's time to call your state's election board and demand reform.

Alabama

Photo 12 / Contributor | Getty Images

Arizona

Encyclopaedia Britannica / Contributor | Getty Images

Arkansas

Photo 12 / Contributor | Getty Images

Florida

Encyclopaedia Britannica / Contributor | Getty Images

Georgia

Encyclopaedia Britannica / Contributor | Getty Images

Idaho

Photo 12 / Contributor | Getty Images

Indiana

Photo 12 / Contributor

Iowa

Photo 12 / Contributor | Getty Images

Kansas

Photo 12 / Contributor | Getty Images

Kentucky

Photo 12 / Contributor | Getty Images

Louisiana

Photo 12 / Contributor | Getty Images

Mississippi

Encyclopaedia Britannica / Contributor | Getty Images

Missouri

Photo 12 / Contributor | Getty Images

Montana

Encyclopaedia Britannica / Contributor | Getty Images

Nebraska

Encyclopaedia Britannica / Contributor | Getty Images

North Carolina

Photo 12 / Contributor | Getty Images

North Dakota

Encyclopaedia Britannica / Contributor | Getty Images

Ohio

Photo 12 / Contributor | Getty Images

Oklahoma

Photo 12 / Contributor | Getty Images

Pennsylvania

Photo 12 / Contributor | Getty Images

South Carolina

Photo 12 / Contributor | Getty Images

South Dakota

Encyclopaedia Britannica / Contributor | Getty Images

Tennessee

Photo 12 / Contributor | Getty Images

Texas

Encyclopaedia Britannica / Contributor | Getty Images

Utah

Encyclopaedia Britannica / Contributor | Getty Images

Virginia

Photo 12 / Contributor | Getty Images

West Virginia

Encyclopaedia Britannica / Contributor | Getty Images

Wisconsin

Encyclopaedia Britannica / Contributor | Getty Images

POLL: Was Malaysia Flight 370 taken by a WORMHOLE?

NurPhoto / Contributor | Getty Images

It's hard to know what's real and what's fake anymore.

With the insanity that seems to grow every day, it is becoming more and more difficult to tell what's true and what's not, what to believe, and what to reject. Anything seems possible.

That's why Glenn had Ashton Forbes on his show, to explore the fringe what most people would consider impossible. Forbes brought Glenn a fascinating but far-out theory that explains the decade-old disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 along with riveting footage that supposedly corroborates his story. Like something out of a sci-fi novel, Forbes made the startling claim that Flight 370 was TELEPORTED via a U.S. military-made wormhole! As crazy as that sounds, the video footage along with Forbes' scientific research made an interesting, if not compelling case.

But what do you think? Do you believe that the U.S. Government can create wormholes? Did they use one to abduct Flight 370? Is the government hiding futuristic tech from the rest of the world? Let us know in the poll below:

Does the military have the capability to create wormholes?

Is the U.S. military somehow responsible for what happened to Malaysia Flight 370?

Is the military in possession of technology beyond what we believe to be possible?

Do you think American military tech is ahead of the other superpowers?

Do you think there would be negative consequences if secret government technology was leaked?