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, Bell wants 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.

 

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn explained why he wouldn't be surprised to see our supply chain collapse and empty shelves in America in the near future. Shortages are already wrecking our economy, China (where many of our goods are still made) is facing an energy shortage, and the Biden administration sure seems to be doing everything it can to make things worse.

Glenn noted a serious warning from American CEO Mike Beckham: "There's a major storm brewing in the supply chain," Beckham wrote on Twitter.

Thanks to China's centrally planned system, electricity shortages are causing huge delays in product manufacturing. In fact, some items are facing a 33 percent cut in production. "It could dramatically impact every [American's] life next year. But almost no one knows about it yet," Beckham warned.

Glenn went on to explain exactly what this means for you — and what you can do to prepare.

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn break it down:


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Every decision made by President Joe Biden has ended in "disaster," Bill O'Reilly told Glenn Beck.

O'Reilly joined the radio program to explain why he thinks there's only one "mechanism" Americans can use stop the Biden administration's mess.

"Give me one thing that [Biden] has done, just one, that's improved this nation. Everything that he has been involved with is a disaster. Everything from the COVID mandates, to the energy policies, to the economic policies, to the inflation, to Afghanistan, to the collapsing southern border, to the social woke business, to the denial of due process. Right across-the-board, there isn't anything this man has done, or stood for, that's improved America," O'Reilly said.

"But there is no mechanism to do anything about it until a year from this November: the midterm elections. That's the only mechanism that we have, under the Constitution. We elected this guy and he's there for four years. You neutralize him next November [2022], with the Republicans taking back the House and Senate, then he's done. [He] can't do anymore damage because you've got him in a hole. And he's not going to be proactive with executive orders. He's just going to stay there in his jammies for two more years. OK? So that's the only mechanism."

O'Reilly also tore into the corporate media for using its power to defend Gen. Mark Milley after news of his China calls broke. Is there any deterrence in American society anymore to keep our leaders and media in check?

"What does this say to the United States of America when you have two of the most powerful information agencies in the world — NBC, Comcast, and AT&T, CNN — actively deceiving you?" O'Reilly said. "They know what they're doing. And yet there is absolutely no way for anyone to hold them accountable other than not watching them, which has, of course, happened. You know they have no audience. But just the corruption level of the information flow to the American people is at an all-time high. We have never had a worse media in the history of this republic."

Watch the clip below to hear O'Reilly break it all down:

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.

Twitter is full of fake communists. Privileged teenagers and 20-somethings who tweet about Karl Marx from their iPhone, safe inside their parents' house.

A recent example of this is the "What is your job on the Leftist commune?" meme. It began as a tweet from some anonymous Twitter Marxist, asking "What is your job on the Leftist commune?"

She continued, "I'm gonna be leading discussion on theory some days, making clothes from scraps other days, and making lattes whenever needed."

The tweet got thousands of likes, retweets, and comments. Things like, "Bringing everyone water. Pouring tea and hot cocoa for folx in the reading alcoves. Checking in and doing a pause-to-breath with folx."

By the way, "folks" is spelled with an "x" for some reason.

Other commune occupations included "proofreading pamphlets," singing, archery, cooking, crotchet, "guiding embodiment practices," tarot card reading, "identity politic lawyering." Therapist, librarian, prostitute, and "puppy kindergarten teacher."

They're basically parroting Marx, whose communist society sounds like Woodstock or Burning Man.

They're basically parroting Marx, whose communist society sounds like Woodstock or Burning Man.

A magical place where "there are no painters but at most people who engage in painting among other things," which allows "everyone sufficient free time to take part in the general affairs of society — theoretical as well as practical," so that "there are no politicians but at most people who engage in politics among other activities."

Don't you know that communism is all about leisure and good vibes? A playground full of puppies and lattes.

Marx refers to "idle time" as a time for higher activity. He calls it "time for the full development of the individual."

Me Time. A life of spa days.

Generation Z is the first digital generation. The first generation to be born inside the internet. So it's no surprise that they have fallen for this kind of Marxist nonsense. If someone convinces you that Marxism will free you from work, of course you'd want it.

Now they're quitting their jobs in droves. The media is calling it "The Great Resignation," but really it's just a new version of Marx's anti-work movement.

Gen Z are incredibly progressive. And they expect the government to be involved. Decades of Marxist activism have finally convinced a generation that the point of work, the point of life, the point of government, is activism.

Pew Research Center found that seven in ten "members of Gen Z are more likely than older generations to look to government to solve problems, rather than businesses and individuals."

Seven in ten of Gen Z believe that the government should do more to solve problems. A majority of them are not proud of America, a majority of them hold negative views of capitalism.

They believe Marx when he says that Capitalism is only good for producing its own grave-diggers. We know that this is actually a description of communism. Actually, communism is much worse. Because it always results in mass graves.

They haven't realized that that the world that Marx foresaw is long gone. It failed. Repeatedly.

They don't realize that, even on the page, Marxism doesn't work. Because ultimately the greatest flaw of Marxism is that it forces us to choose between productive slavery and unproductive freedom. Either way, with Marxism we can never be free.

"The Great Resignation" is ultimately a crisis of freedom, identity, and exhaustion. It is, as noted in a recent Gallup report, an expression of great discontent. Gen Z feels like they have nothing to lose and nothing to gain.

But in America, there's always something to lose and gain.

But in America, there's always something to lose and gain. They just need to have a little patience.

For the most part, Americans adhere to the libertarian maxim, "As long as you're not hurting anyone…." It's our undeniable belief in the goodness of the people around us. If you've traveled out of the States much, you know this to be true. There's a spirit inherent to America, and it is overwhelmingly good in nature.

Marx's utopia would ruin us. It would make us as lazy as Marx. A man who lived off other people his entire life. A man who had no loyalty to any nation because no nation wanted him. He was stateless. Do you realize how awful a person has to be for them to be stateless?

Maybe Gen Z just needs to see America at its finest.

Marx's utopia would quickly become disgusting. It would leave us feeling empty. Hopefully, they realize this before it's too late. For their own sake. Because, if America ever actually fell to communism, they would be the first ones against the wall.

When the government plans to spend $3.5 trillion that it doesn't have on a loose definition of "infrastructure," it's a good idea to know what's actually in it.

On the radio program, Glenn Beck revealed some of the expenditures Democrats hid in the bill, like a 10-fold increase in fines for employers who don't comply with the government's COVID-19 mandates, "equitable" bankroll for Biden's Build Back Better agenda, and "climate justice" funding.

"Let me tell you what's in our infrastructure bill, the $3.5 trillion bill," Glenn began. "Nancy Pelosi quietly tucked an enforcement mechanism into the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, passed it down to the budget committee, and sent it to the House floor. It's something you should know about, on page 168. I know, why read it? It's 2,465 pages."

Glenn pointed out the huge fees for certain businesses that refuse to comply with the Biden administration's proposed vaccine mandates. The fees could be as much as $700,000.

"Up to $700,000 ... that will kill all companies that are noncompliant. Kill them. That's 80 million of us who work in companies that are going to be fined in that way, if they don't bow the knee to the king," he said.

Glenn and Stu Burguiere went on to discuss more Democrat "wish list" items hidden inside this reconciliation bill, such as establishing "business incubators" who are authorized to disperse tens of billions of dollars to startup businesses in underserved areas, including the formerly incarcerated, and exclusive to businesses less that five years in operation or in "the planning stages."

"These sorts of businesses are the most risky place to put your money. Well, that matters when it's your money. But if it's not your money, who cares how risky it is. It's our [taxpayers] money so they don't care at all," Stu noted.

"Well, there's also $5 billion for climate justice block grants to pay for community organizations for, among other things, facilitating engagement of disadvantaged communities in state and federal processes," Glenn read. "Wait a minute. 'Facilitating engagement of disadvantaged communities in state and federal processes'? Organizing votes — that's what it sounds like."

"This is essentially all of us funding the fever dream of Barack Obama," Stu said.

Watch the video clip below for more details:

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.