Open letter to Gov. Cuomo: "Are we welcome in New York?"

Dear Gov. Cuomo:

In light of your comments this past Friday, in which you declared that those “…extremist conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay” have no place in the state of New York, we would humbly request a written explanation as to whether or not we are welcome to do business in this state. For many of our employees are pro-life and believe strongly in the Second Amendment. All of us will stand against any group being discriminated against.

But if we are not welcome, we will leave.

To give you some background on who we are and what we believe, Mercury Radio Arts and TheBlaze Inc. is a multimedia news, opinion and entertainment company, dedicated to delivering high-quality programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Through our Mercury One non-profit organization, we have also raised and given away for emergency relief over $14 million since its inception.

We were the first responders to Coney Island during Superstorm Sandy, not the federal government and not the state government, but Mercury One. We are good neighbors. We employ approximately 200 people in the State of New York and well over 300 people nationally from Washington D.C. to Dallas, Texas.

Our television content is broadcast to millions of people across America, including to New Yorkers through Dish Network and Cablevision.

Our internet content is seen by over 24 million unique visitors a month across the world.

Our radio content is carried on 400 stations and heard by millions across the nation daily.

Under the leadership and vision of our executives, one of whom incidentally was previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Huffington Post, our employees earn and are provided with the highest quality health care money can buy, regardless of its rapidly-increasing cost.

We are fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, entrepreneurs, dreamers, visionaries, hard-workers, straight, gay, black, white, believers, non-believers, liberals and conservatives. More importantly than any one of these labels, we are decent and kind human beings, and upstanding, loyal and patriotic Americans.

We are principled in the content we provide, and we work under a simple ethos: We tell the stories of love and courage where the good guys win.

We will stand with those with whom we may often disagree, like GLAAD, when they defend Russian citizens against hetero-fascists who argue that gays should be thrown in the ovens.

We will stand with a Hispanic actress who is compelled to resign from a performance because she happens to endorse a conservative candidate and we will stand with an MSNBC host who makes a mistake in a segment on race.

We think it was wrong when President Franklin D. Roosevelt interned Japanese Americans, and when our government mistreated Native Americans, such as during the massacre at Wounded Knee. For Manifest Destiny is wrong now and it was wrong then.

Why do we take these positions that at times do not comport with your notion of “extreme conservatives?”

We do so because we don’t believe people are parties.

We don’t see things as left and right. We see things as right and wrong.

And we believe that the only moral position is to stand up to bullies and fascists of all kinds. We believe in equal rights for all and special privileges for none. We believe it’s our duty to dedicate our life and sacred honor to all American citizens, and every last one of us deserves and has a right, not from our government, but from our Creator, to be heard.

If the majority tramples on the rights of the minority we all lose.

And the most important minority is the individual – whether he or she be an “extreme conservative” or an “extreme progressive.”

The fundamental basis on which our country was built was on robust free speech. The very first right that the Founders of this nation enshrined in our Bill of Rights was freedom of speech because we created this country to escape the yoke of tyranny. When freedom of speech is chilled, we cannot openly express our ideas, and without competing ideas there can be only tyranny.

If a man cannot be free in his thoughts, can a man be free?

If a nation cannot tolerate all thoughts, can a nation be free? Is not our very strength as a country measured on its ability to tolerate and encourage all ideas?

Do we not all lose something when any one of us is excommunicated from society for our deep-seated opinions and beliefs?

So Gov. Cuomo, we must ask in light of your comments, would you build a tyranny here in New York? Would you stand against your constituents and blot them out into the darkness merely because you disagree with them, or because it serves you or your party politically? Would disenfranchised peoples have ever gained their freedoms in this country were it not for the right to free speech, and the pluralistic and truly diverse society that free speech facilitates?

Our organization creates jobs for hundreds of people in your state, and provides news, opinion, entertainment and a helping hand for millions of people across this country. Are our contributions, tax dollars, and genuine goodness as citizens not welcome here?

We respectfully request an answer on whether there are two classes of citizens.

But Gov. Cuomo, it’s not us that you should worry about, because as we have seen, every time this kind of speech is taken up by those in power, eventually history demands an answer.

Respectfully,

Glenn Beck

Founder and President of Mercury Radio Arts and TheBlaze Inc.

On the radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck sat down with chief researcher Jason Buttrill to go over two bombshell developments that have recently come to light regarding former Vice President Joe Biden's role in the 2016 dismissal of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

"Wow! Two huge stories dropped within about 24 hours of each other," Jason began. He went on to explain that a court ruling in Ukraine has just prompted an "actual criminal investigation against Joe Biden in Ukraine."

This stunning development coincided with the release of leaked phone conversations, which took place in late 2015 and early 2016, allegedly among then-Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Ukraine's former President Petro Poroshenko.

One of the audiotapes seems to confirm allegations of a quid pro quo between Biden and Poroshenko, with the later admitting that he asked Shokin to resign despite having no evidence of him "doing anything wrong" in exchange for a $1 billion loan guarantee.

"Poroshenko said, 'despite the fact that we didn't have any corruption charges on [Shokin], and we don't have any information about him doing something wrong, I asked him to resign,'" Jason explained. "But none of the Western media is pointing this out."

Watch the video below for more details:


Listen to the released audiotapes in full here.

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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 multiplatform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

A recently declassified email, written by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and sent herself on the day of President Donald Trump's inauguration, reveals the players involved in the origins of the Trump-Russia probe and "unmasking" of then-incoming National Security Adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn.

Rice's email details a meeting in the Oval Office on Jan 5, 2017, which included herself, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former President Barack Obama. Acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, fully declassified the email recently amid President Trump's repeated references to "Obamagate" and claims that Obama "used his last weeks in office to target incoming officials and sabotage the new administration."

On Glenn Beck's Wednesday night special, Glenn broke down the details of Rice's email and discussed what they reveal about the Obama administration officials involved in the Russia investigation's origins.

Watch the video clip below:

Fellow BlazeTV host, Mark Levin, joined Glenn Beck on his exclusive Friday episode of "GlennTV" to discuss why the declassified list of Obama administration officials who were aware of the details of Gen. Michael Flynn's wiretapped phone calls are so significant.

Glenn argued that Obama built a covert bureaucracy to "transform America" for a long time to come, and Gen. Flynn was targeted because he happened to know "where the bodies were buried", making him a threat to Obama's "secret legacy."

Levin agreed, noting the "shocking extent of the police state tactics" by the Obama administration. He recalled several scandalous happenings during Obama's "scandal free presidency," which nobody seems to remember.

Watch the video below for more:


Use code GLENN to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

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.

Colleges and universities should be home to a lively and open debate about questions both current and timeless, independent from a political bias or rules that stifle speech. Unfortunately for students, speaking out about personal beliefs or challenging political dogma can be a dangerous undertaking. I experienced this firsthand as an undergraduate, and I'm fighting that trend now as an adjunct professor.

In 2013, Glenn Beck was one of the most listened to radio personalities in the world. For a college senior with hopes of working on policy and media, a job working for Glenn was a ticket to big things. I needed a foot in the door and hoped to tap into the alumni network at the small liberal arts school where I was an undergrad. When I met with a career services specialist in early March 2013 about possible alumni connections to Glenn Beck, she disdainfully told me: "Why would you want to work for someone like him?" That was the beginning and end of our conversation.

I was floored by her response, and sent an email to the school complaining that her behavior was inappropriate. Her personal opinions, political or otherwise, I argued, shouldn't play a role in the decision to help students.

That isn't the kind of response a student should hear when seeking guidance and help in kick starting their career. Regardless of the position, a career specialist or professors' opinion or belief shouldn't be a factor in whether the student deserves access to the alumni network and schools' resources.

Now, seven years later, I work full time for a law firm and part time as an adjunct teaching business to undergraduate students. The culture at colleges and universities seems to have gotten even worse, unfortunately, since I was an undergrad.

College is a time to explore, dream big and challenge assumptions.

I never want to see a student told they shouldn't pursue their goals, regardless of their personal or political beliefs. College is a time to explore, dream big and challenge assumptions. I never got access to the alumni network or schools' resources from the career services office.

Lucky for students in 2020, there are several legal organizations that help students protect their rights when an issue goes beyond what can be handled by an undergraduate facing tremendous pressure from a powerful academic institution. Organizations like Speech First and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), for instance, are resources I wish I knew about at the time.

When I experienced mistreatment from my college, I spoke up and challenged the behavior by emailing the administration and explaining what happened. I received a letter from the career services specialist apologizing for the "unprofessional comment."

What she described in that apology as a "momentary lapse of good judgement" was anything but momentary. It was indicative of the larger battle for ideas that has been happening on college campuses across the country. In the past seven years, the pressure, mistreatment and oppression of free expression have only increased. Even right now, some are raising concerns that campus administrations are using the COVID-19 pandemic to limit free speech even further. Social distancing guidelines and crowd size may both be used to limit or refuse controversial speakers.

Students often feel pressure to conform to a college or university's wishes. If they don't, they could be expelled, fail a class or experience other retribution. The college holds all the cards. On most campuses, the burden of proof for guilt in student conduct hearings is "more likely than not," making it very difficult for students to stand up for their rights without legal help.

As an adjunct professor, every student who comes to me for help in finding purpose gets my full support and my active help — even if the students' goals run counter to mine. But I have learned something crucial in my time in this role: It's not the job of an educator to dictate a student's purpose in life. I'm meant to help them achieve their dreams, no matter what.

Conner Drigotas is the Director of Communications and Development at a national law firm and is a Young Voices contributor.