Take that, North Korea: ‘The Interview’ still watched by millions in America, makes $15 million in online downloads

Despite being shut out of most movie theaters across the country, ‘The Interview’ starring Seth Rogen still managed to make $15 million via online downloads. Not a terrible number considering the likely high number of illegal downloads - but how was the movie itself? Buck Sexton (filling in for Glenn) saw it and gave his review on radio today.

Below is a transcript of this segment:

Buck Sexton: So I saw "The Interview" over the weekend. I watched it. Yes, yes, I did. And before I talk about standing in solidarity with the First Amendment and free expression, let he talk to you about this movie. For those of who you have not yet seen it.

By the way, my understanding is it made $15 million from downloads. Was illegally seen, downloaded many times before that. Or many times in addition to that at least. And made a few million dollars in the theaters from which it was shown.

So let me just say. As much as it seems like free speech has won the day, and in a sense it has. By the way, when this initially broke, I was on Fox and I said, listen, this is about what the American people's response is. It shouldn't just all be dumping on Sony. They'll release in it a different format. I understand that they're licking their wounds right now and the American people will watch it and that's up to us to do. And to show that we won't let some dictator -- people keep referring to him as a Pol Pot dictator. I'm like he does have nuclear weapons, but we'll get to that in a minute. We won't let him tell us what we can read, watch, any of that.

So as for the movie itself, and for the purposes of full disclosure, I'm not a particularly big James Franco slash -- as Obama has dubbed him now, James Flacco fan. For am I up two widely celebrate the theatrical works of Seth Rogen, I give this movie a C, maybe. Maybe a C-plus. There's really nothing particularly clever in it. It seems makes the "Police Academy" movies look like masterpiece theaters. I kind of miss the "Police Academy" movies. It is Pauly Shore bad.

And for those of who your like me, children of the '90s to some degree or whatever, had our formative years in the '90s, I remember going into seeing Pauly Shore films, you will recall just what an atrocity they were. And in certain parts it feels like a Pauly Shore movie.

James Franco plays a guy named Skylark. They go to interview Kim Jong Un in North Korea. There's a lot of idiot stoner humor. They take every opportunity they can to sort of work in a stereotypical Asian accent and of course James Franco, as soon as he arrives in North Korea, turns around to everyone and says (speaking foreign language) -- infusing Japanese with Korean intentionally. Now, look -- it's not intentional for the character but this passes for about as clever as the movie actually gets.

Just sharing my general thoughts on this before we get into the fact that there is a war on free speech around the world. A continuing war. It is a continuous struggle and it's a serious one and it's one I want to spend some time talking to you about today. But before we get into that, I just thought it was worthwhile to discuss "The Interview" a little bit. This movie that's gotten so much buzz because it essentially kicked off at least a battle in a broader cyber war.

Those of you that don't like potty, potty humor, and sort of "American Pie" style, very sexual humor, you will not like this movie.

But you could if you wanted to, it's just an act of defiance, you could just download this. You could download this to show that we will not allow our taste in film and art to be dictate by some guy.

This reminds me of the line from Jack Donaghy's mother in the show "30 Rock." Jack Donaghy is the best part of the show. It's the conservative and he's played by Alec Baldwin and I have to separate out the person from the character. It's a good character. But his mother says if she always travels on Pearl Harbor Day because she wants to show the emperor she's not afraid. This is like in 2008.

Nonetheless, there's a lot of really sort of low brow stuff in 'The Interview; movie. They work in a bunch of 'Lord Of The Rings' references. You get the feeling that they wrote the script, and Rogen and Franco were both paid $7 million apiece for this film and there was some additional money for Rogen directing and I guess this was directed by somebody. They could have spent more money on writers, I would think. This might have been a better idea. And you get the sense that this was written in between bong binges and attempts to outdo one another and how fast one could vacuum a bag of Fritos clean.

But the best part of the movie is actually a King Charles puppy that shows up at one point, because King Charles puppies are adorable. So there's a King Charles puppy and it plays a prominent role towards the end. There is an attractive C.I.A. agent. That's okay, I guess. Trying to think of the other good things. It doesn't actually make fun of Kim Jong Un that much. It makes him pretty likable for most of the film. At the very end, it sort of turns on him. And the time scene, by the way, there's some bloody and disgusting stuff in the movie. But the final scene is not that -- I mean, by American cinema standards now, what we see with these movies where people have, you know, oh, gosh, all this movies with the saws and the -- all the blades and the people being chained up every where and everything. This 'Saw' franchise and all this stuff. It was tame is what I'm trying to say. The ending was tame.

And I think that there was -- it was much ado about nothing. I guess what I'm trying to tell you. That North Korea had such an objection to this.

'Team America,' which is a classic of American cinema, had -- there's no question 'Team America,' it's a better movie. But also was much more humiliating for the regime. You've got Kim Jong Il as a puppet and he's singing the song that he's so lonely and that's now how he pronounces it and in the end he's actually a roach. That went without incidence. So you get this sense, this must be in some way a result of the fact that North Korea, with Chinese assistance, whether overt or covert or whatever, has a capability to do what it did to Sony but it didn't then because 'Team America' lights up the regime.

I'll be honest with you, it did not really go after North Korea that much. Now, I'm not saying that it was trying to, but just given the outrage that came -- well, I shouldn't say outrage. It came from one place and is one place only, which is the Democrat People's Republic of North Korea, which they don't see the humor in the name but all the rest of us do, right? As has been said before by me on this show and elsewhere, Christopher Hitchens best described it as a concentration camp above ground and a mass grave below it -- that this country or this regime would take it upon itself to try to determine for us what movies we can see just seems so crazy. But that the move that they get so upset about was 'The Interview.'

I got to tell you, it was a bad movie. And I'm okay with funny bad. You know, you don't have to be brilliant, clever, funny like best in "Show," for example, which any of you who haven't seen it cannot recommend it for highly. We are being to move from movies to the war on free speech because I'm not one of those shows -- Siskel and Ebert turned into. But this movie did not even really go after the regime very much at all and it was sophomoric in the worst ways and I'm amazed that Sony would spend $50 million on this piece of garbage, quite honestly. And I wish that given all of the hubbub around this, given all the gnashing of teeth -- I guess it's covert, right? They still pretend that it wasn't them but given what happened but -- that was apparently a decent movie. I didn't see it, Guardians of Peace, yes. The GOP. And they don't see the irony of that of course either, I suppose. But given that that's what's going on here, I just wish it was better. I wish it had really rolled up the sleeves and gone after the regime, you know, in the old Irish way. You know, just really gone after it. Right on the chin. But no. No. It really didn't.

It was really just more of a -- sort of stoner bromance for Rogen and Franco. But that's it. And we've had the whole country into hacking and it brought down Sony studios for a move that I got to tell you, I think it would have absolutely bombed without the hacking threat and everything else. I don't think this would have done well at all. I don't think anybody would have cared, I don't think anybody would have seen it. So in a sense, I don't know.

We'll see how this all shakes out for Sony at the end.

Front page image courtesy of the AP.

Glenn Beck: Adam Schiff is a LIAR — and we have the proof

Image source: Glenn Beck Program on BlazeTV

On the radio program Wednesday, Glenn Beck didn't hold back when discussing the latest in a long list of lies issued by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) during the Democrats' ongoing endeavor to remove President Donald Trump from office.

"I'm going to just come out and say, Adam Schiff is a liar. And he intentionally lied. And we have the proof. The media being his little lapdog, but I'll explain what's really going on, and call the man a liar to his face," Glenn asserted. "No, I'm not suggesting he's a liar. No, I'm telling you, he's a liar. ... Adam Schiff is a lying dirtbag."

A recent report in Politico claimed Schiff "mischaracterized" the content of a document sent to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) as evidence against President Trump in the Senate impeachment trial. Read more on this here.

"Let me translate [for Politico]," Glenn said. "House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff lied about a text message exchange between two players in the Ukrainian saga. And we know it, because of the documents that were obtained by Politico."

A few of the other lies on Schiff's list include his repeated false claims that there was "significant evidence of collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russia leading up to the 2016 presidential election, his phony version of President Trump's phone call with the president of Ukraine, and his retracted claim that neither he nor his committee ever had contact with the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower. And the list just keeps getting longer.

Watch the video below for more details:

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On the radio program Tuesday, Glenn Beck and Stu Burguiere discussed recent reports that former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, wasn't the only family member to capitalize on his connections to land an unbelievably lucrative job even though he lacked qualifications or experience.

According to Peter Schweizer's new book, "Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America's Progressive Elite," Joe Biden's younger brother, Frank, enjoyed the benefit of $54 million in taxpayer loans during the Obama administration to try his hand at an international development venture.

A lawyer by training, Frank Biden teamed up with a developer named Craig Williamson to build a sprawling luxury resort in Costa Rica, which claimed to be on a mission to preserve the country's forests but actually resulted in the decimation of thousands of acres of wilderness.

The then-vice president's brother also reportedly earned hundreds of thousands of dollars as the front man of a for-profit charter school company called Mavericks in Education.

The charter schools, which focused on helping at-risk teens, eventually failed after allegations of mismanagement and a series of lawsuits derailed the dubious business venture.

Watch the video below to get Glenn's take on these latest revelations in the Biden family corruption saga:

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Ryan: Bernie at the disco

Photo by Sean Ryan

Saturday at El Malecón, we waited for the Democratic socialist. He had the wild white hair like a monk and the thick glasses and the booming voice full of hacks and no niceties.

Photo by Sean Ryan

The venue had been redecorated since we visited a few nights before when we chatted with Castro. It didn't even feel like the same place. No bouncy castle this time.

Photo by Sean Ryan

A black curtain blocked the stage, giving the room a much-needed depth.

Behind the podium, two rows of mostly young people, all holding Bernie signs, all so diverse and picturesque and strategic.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Lots of empty seats. Poor showing of Bernie fans for a Saturday afternoon. At one point, someone from Bernie's staff offered us seats in the audience, as if eager to fill up those seats however possible.

There were about 75 people in the dancehall, a place built for reunions and weddings and all those other festivities. But for a few hours on Saturday, August 10, 2019, it turned serious and wild for "Unidos Con Bernie."

Photo by Sean Ryan

People had been murmuring about Sanders' speech from the night before at Wing Ding. By all appearances, he had developed a raving lust to overthrow Trump. He had even promised, with his wife just out of view, that, were he elected, he'd end white nationalism in America. For good.

El Malecón lacked its previous air of celebration. It had undertaken a brooding yet defiant spirit. Media were sparse. Four cameras faced the podium. Three photographers, one of whom had been at nearly all the same events as us. A few of the staffers frowned at an empty row of chairs, because there weren't that many chairs to begin with.

At the entrance, Bernie staff handed out headsets that translated English to Spanish or Spanish to English, depending on who the speaker was. The translators stood behind the bar, 20 feet from the podium, and spoke into a lip-ribbon microphone.

Bernie's staff was probably the coolest, by far. As in, they looked cool and acted stylishly. Jeans. Sandals. Careworn blazers. Tattoos. One lad had a black Levi's shirt with lush crimson roses even though he wasn't a cowboy or a ranch-hand. Mustaches. Quirky hats. A plain green sundress. Some of them wore glasses, big clunking frames.

Photo by Sean Ryan

The outfits were distinctly Bernie. As Bernie as the tie-dyed "BERNIE" shirts for sale outside the club. Or later, at the Hilton, like a Grateful Dead cassette stand.

Immigration was the theme, and everyone in the audience bore some proof of a journey. Because America offers life, freedom, and hope.

Sanders' own father emigrated from Poland to America at 17, a high school dropout who could barely speak English. As a Jew, he'd faced religious persecution.

Within one generation, Bernie Sanders' father contributed to the highest stratum of American society. In one generation, near hopelessness had transformed into Democracy, his son a congressman with a serious chance at the presidency.

Photo by Sean Ryan

That's the beauty of America. Come here broken and empty and gutted and voiceless. And, within your lifetime, you can mend yourself then become a pillar of society. Then, your son can become the President of the United States of America!

Four people gave speeches before Sanders. They took their time, excited and nervous. They putzed. Because how often do you get to introduce a presidential frontrunner?

All the native English speakers jammed their earpieces when the woman with the kind and dark energy took the stage.

Photo by Sean Ryan

She mumbled in Spanish and did not look up and said that, when her parents died, she couldn't go home for the funeral. She fought back tears. She swallowed hard to shock herself calm. And the room engulfed each silence between every word.

It felt more like a therapy session than a political rally. A grueling therapy session at that. Was that what drew people to Bernie Sanders, that deep anguish? That brisk hope? Or, rather, the cessation of it, through Sanders? And, of course, the resultant freedom? Was it what gave Sanders a saintlike ability to lead people into the realm of the confessional? Did he have enough strength to lead a revolution?

Photo by Sean Ryan

While other frontrunners hocked out money for appearances, like the studio lights, Sanders spent money on translators and ear-pieces. The impression I got was that he would gladly speak anywhere. To anyone. He had the transitory energy you can capture in the writings of Gandhi.

Photo by Sean Ryan

I'm not saying he's right or wrong — I will never make that claim, about any of the candidates, because that's not the point of this, not the point of journalism, amen — what I'm saying is he has the brutal energy of someone who can take the subway after a soiree or rant about life by a tractor or chuck it up with Sarah Silverman, surrounded wherever he goes.

Without the slightest fanfare, Sanders emerged from behind the black curtain. The woman at the podium gasped a little. The room suctioned forward when he entered. In part because he was so nonchalant. And, again. That magnetism to a room when a famous or powerful or charming person enters. Not many people have it. Not many can keep it. Even fewer know how to brace it, to cull it on demand. But several of the candidates did. One or two even had something greater.

Photo by Sean Ryan

I'll only say that Bernie had it with a bohemian fervor, like he was a monk stranded in a big city that he slowly brings to God.

"We have a President who, for the first time in my lifetime, who is a President who is a racist," he shouted. "Who is a xenophobe and anti-immigrant. Who is a sexist. Who is a religious bigot. And who, is a homophobe. And, what is very disappointing is that, when we have a President, we do not necessarily expect to agree with him, or her, on every issue. But we do believe that one of the obligations is to bring people to-geth-ah. As Americans."

Photo by Sean Ryan

After listening silently for several minutes, the audience clapped. Their sweet response felt cultish. But, then again, what doesn't feel cultish these days? So this was cultish like memes are cultish, in a striving-to-understand kind of way.

"The essence of our campaign is in fact to bring people together," he said. "Whether they're black, or white, or latino, or Native American, or Asian-American. We understand that we are Americans."

At times, this meant sharing a common humanity. Others, it had a slightly more disruptive feel. Which worked. Sometimes all we want is revolution. To be wild without recourse. To overthrow. To pass through the constraints of each day. To survive. The kind of rowdy stuff that makes for good poetry but destroys credit lines. Sanders radiated with this intensity, like a reclusive philosopher returning to society, from his cave to homes and beds and fences and maybe electricity.

Photo by Sean Ryan

But, as he says, his revolution would involve healthcare and wages and tuition, not beheadings and purges and starvation.

Seeing the Presidential candidates improvise was amazing. They did it constantly. They would turn any of their beliefs into a universal statement. And Sanders did this without trying. So he avoided doing the unbearably arrogant thing of pretending to speak like a native Guatemalan, and he looked at the group of people, and he mumbled in his cloudy accent:

"My Spanish — is not so good."

Photo by Sean Ryan

This is the same and the opposite of President Trump's Everyman way of speaking English like an American. Of speaking American.

Often, you know what Sanders will say next. You can feel it. And, anytime this happened, it brought comfort to the room.

Like, it surprised no one when he said that he would reinstate DACA on his first day in office. It still drew applause.

But other times, he expressed wild ideas with poetic clarity. And his conclusions arrived at unusual junctures. Not just in comparison to Republicans. To all of them. Bernie was the Tupac of the 2020 election. And, to him, President Trump was Suge Knight, the evil force behind it all.

"Donald Trump is an idiot," he shouted.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Everybody loved that. Everybody clapped and whooped and some even whistled like they were outside and not in a linoleum-floor dancehall.

"Go get 'em, Bernie," someone in the back shouted.

This was the only Sanders appearance with no protestors.

"Let me say this about the border," he shouted. And everybody listened to every thunking syllable. He probably could have spoken without a mic. Booming voice. Loud and clear. Huddling into that heavy Vermont slug accent.

They'll say many many things about Bernie. One being, you never had to lean forward to hear him. In person, even more so. He's less frail. More dynamic.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Despite the shoddiness of the venue, there was a sign language interpreter. Most of the rallies had a designated interpreter.

"If you work 40 hours a week you shouldn't be living in poverty," he shouted, provoking chants and applause from the audience, as if he were talking about them. Maybe he was.

An anecdote about the people at an emergency food shelf blended into the livable wage of $15 an hour. He shifted into his spiel about tuition-free college and pointed at the audience, "You're not doing well," then at the kids behind him, "they are." He craned his head sideways and back. "Do your homework," he told said.

Laughter.

Half of the kids looked like they hadn't eaten in days. Maybe it was their unusual situation, a few feet from Bernie Sanders at a stucco community center.

Before the room could settle, Sanders wove through a plan for how to cancel debt.

Did he have a solution?

Tax Wall Street, he shouted.

Photo by Sean Ryan

And he made it sound easy. "Uno dos trey," he said. "That's my Spanish for today."

A serious man, he shoved through his speech like a tank hurtling into dense jungle. He avoided many of the typical politician gimmicks. Proof that he did not practice every expression in front of a mirror. That he did not hide his accent. That he did not preen his hair. That he did not smile for a precise amount of time, depending on the audience. That he did not pretend to laugh.

Photo by Sean Ryan

He laughed when humor overtook him. But it was genuine. With none of the throaty recoil you hear in forced laughter.

"I want everyone to take a deep breath," he said. And a palpable lightness spread through the room, because a deep breath can solve a lot of problems.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Then he roused some more. "Healthcare is a human right," he shouted. "A human privilege," he shouted. He told them that he lives 50 miles from the Canadian border in Burlington, Vermont, and healthcare works better up north.

Each candidate had a bad word, and Sanders' was "corporate."

Photo by Sean Ryan

At every speech, he mentioned "corporate media" with the same distrust and unpleasantness that conservatives derive from the term "mainstream media." Another would be "fake news," as popularized by Sanders' sworn enemy. Either way it's the same media. Just different motivations that irk different people.

But the discrepancies varied. Meaning two opposing political movements disliked the same thing, but for opposite reasons.
It sounded odd, Sanders' accusation that the media were against him. The media love Bernie. I can confirm this both anecdotally and judiciously. Yes, okay, in 2016, the media appeared to have sided with Hillary Clinton. As a result, Sanders was publicly humiliated. Because Clinton took a mafioso approach to dealing with opponents, and Sanders was her only roadblock.

Imagine if a major political organization devoted part of each day to agitating your downfall. And then you fail. And who's fault is it?

Sanders wanted to know: those negative ads targeting him, who paid for them?

Photo by Sean Ryan

Corporations, of course. Corporations that hated radicals like him. And really was he so radical? He listed off the possibilities: Big pharma, insurance companies, oil companies.

Because he had become a revolutionary, to them. To many.

He said it with certainty, although he often didn't have to say it at all. This spirit of rebellion had become his brand. He would lead the wild Americans into a utopia.

But just as quickly, he would attack. Trump, as always, was the target.

He called Trump the worst president in American history.

"The fates are Yuge," he shouted.

The speech ended as informally as it had begun. And Sanders' trance over the audience evaporated, replaced by that suction energy. Everyone rushed closer and closer to the man as Neil Young's "Keep on Rockin in the Free World" blared. Sanders leaned into the podium and said, "If anyone wants to form a line, we can do some selfies."

Photo by Sean Ryan

It was like meeting Jesus for some of the people.

There he was, at El Malecón. No stage lights, no makeup, no stylist behind the curtain. Just him and his ideas and his erratic hand commotion.

Then a man holding a baby leaned in for a photo. He and Sanders chatted. And, I kid you not, the whole time the baby is staring at Bernie Sanders like he's the image of God, looking right up at him, with this glow, this understanding.

Bernie, if you're reading this, I'd like to suggest that — if this election doesn't work for you — you could be the next Pope.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Monday, Harvard Law professor and lawyer on President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team Alan Dershowitz explains the history of impeachment and its process, why the framers did not include abuse of power as criteria for a Constitutional impeachment, why the Democrats are framing their case the way they are, and what to look for in the upcoming Senate trial.

Dershowitz argued that "abuse of power" -- one of two articles of impeachment against Trump approved by House Democrats last month -- is not an impeachable act.

"There are two articles of impeachment. The second is 'obstruction of Congress.' That's just a false accusation," said Dershowitz. "But they also charge him, in the Ukraine matter, with abuse of power. But abuse of power was discussed by the framers (of the U.S. Constitution) ... the framers refused to include abuse of power because it was too broad, too open-ended.

"In the words of James Madison, the father of our Constitution, it would lead presidents to serve at the will of Congress. And that's exactly what the framers didn't want, which is why they were very specific and said a president can be impeached only for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors," he added.

"What's alleged against President Trump is not criminal," added Dershowitz. "If they had criminal issues to allege, you can be sure they would have done it. If they could establish bribery or treason, they would have done it already. But they didn't do it. They instead used this concept of abuse of power, which is so broad and general ... any president could be charged with it."

Watch the video below to hear more details:



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