John Ziegler, nationally syndicated conservative radio host and columnist for Mediaite, joined The Glenn Beck Program on Tuesday for a lively discussion about the GOP and conservative media outlets. A recent article from Business Insider featured Ziegler and co-host Stu Burguiere commenting on the so-called "conservative media industrial complex."
"This is an issue that I've been talking about for many years, that the conservative base is under a bit of a delusion when it comes to what the purpose of this conservative media industrial complex is," Ziegler said.
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Fired up, Ziegler also shared two things he believes were ignored during the election process: Trump is not a true Republican and he can't possibly win.
"You should drink a cup of coffee or something before you come on the air, because you're laid-back," Glenn joked.
Read below or listen to the full segment for answers to these hyperactive questions:
• Do Breitbart and Bannon know who they're in bed with?
• Why does Ziegler believe the nomination of Donald Trump effectively elected Hillary Clinton?
• Why does Ziegler believe Trump is a cancer that must be eradicated?
• Should Ziegler drink more coffee so he says what he really means?
• If Trump loses, why is it critical to truthfully control the narrative about why Republicans lost?
Listen to this segment, beginning at mark 1:22:10, from The Glenn Beck Program:
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:
GLENN: The G.O.P. must do something about the conservative media industrial complex if it wants to survive.
PAT: Finally somebody is saying it.
GLENN: Finally. You know what they're saying there is, you need to stop the conspiracy theorists. And we go there, next.
GLENN: Stu, you're going to give me an update on the Breitbart campaign -- or, the Breitbart news source before they had told anybody that they were in the bag -- when they were still denying that they were, you know, an arm of the Trump campaign?
GLENN: That they were coordinating with the left. Occupy Wall Street guy and the Clinton campaign to destroy Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.
STU: Yes. And, you know, it's a convoluted story and an amazing one to see. I mean, you would think that Breitbart, the last thing in the world they would be working with is Occupy Wall Street activists.
GLENN: No, they have a ton in common.
STU: Yeah, they do. Interesting though, because here they are, the brand Breitbart is going in and working with Occupy Wall Street activists. Here's a tweet from October 17th, 2011, from a man named Andrew Breitbart.
STU: Breitbart. I'm not sure how to pronounce it.
GLENN: Go ahead.
STU: Talking and criticize journalists to -- remember the journalist emails?
GLENN: Yes, yes.
STU: Where they had that inner discussion working. Breitbart was big talking about that.
STU: And he posted a story about how leaked emails reveal -- reveal that Occupy activists were collaborating with the media. This man who has passed and his name lives on doing the exact things he criticized. I mean, that is a sad freaking story. Whether you like Andrew Breitbart or not, that is a sad story. Because he's not here to defend himself for what they're doing to his name. And that's sad.
GLENN: Let me go to a story from the Business Insider: The G.O.P. must do something about the conservative media industrial complex, if it wants to survive. And there are two people, among many, that are quoted in here.
One is John Ziegler, nationally syndicated conservative radio host and columnist for Mediaite. And he's on the phone. And the other one, with a picture and everything, is Stu Burguiere, who has been elevated to co-host of the Glenn Beck Program.
STU: Oh, there you go.
GLENN: I wasn't aware of that.
STU: Thank you for that. As always, I appreciate your support.
GLENN: John, welcome to let program. How are you, sir?
JOHN: Always good to talk to you, Glenn.
GLENN: So give me the thrust, you two, of this article.
JOHN: Well, to me, this is an issue that I've been talking about for many years, that the conservative base is under a bit of a delusion when it comes to what the purpose of this conservative media industrial complex is.
I think a lot of people, although they're starting to wake up to it now in the post-Trump era have always agreed that most of the conservative industrial media complex wanted to help conservative causes. And part of that was to get a Republican president elected. I would submit that that's not only the goal, that might actually be the opposite of the goal. The goal of the conservative media industrial complex is to get enough people jazzed up about what you do to consume your products. And that doesn't mean a large number of people. That means a very tiny sliver of an overall population. To get a person elected, you need 51 percent or thereabouts of a massive population to do one thing, and that is vote for that candidate.
Those two goals are in complete opposite of each other. And they're contradictory to each other. And what has happened in this particular election cycle, I believe, is that an entity, this conservative media industrial complex, which is all about ratings and revenue and creating customers, saw that Donald Trump was far, far better to that end goal than any other candidate. None of the other candidates moved the needle like Donald Trump. And they didn't care that Donald Trump was completely and totally contradictory to the other goal, which would be to elect a Republican president.
In fact, I believe that the nomination of Donald Trump effectively elected Hillary Clinton. And anyone who facilitated Donald Trump's nomination as the Republican nominee, I believe effectively elected Hillary Clinton, no matter what Sean Hannity says.
GLENN: John, help me out on this. Because this was a question that was asked of me yesterday. I was with the mainstream a lot yesterday. And -- and the one question that was asked in each place I spoke, does Breitbart and Bannon know who he's in bed with? Is this just about money, or is this really -- is he a believer in the philosophy?
My answer was, I think he is a believer in the philosophy of destruction. And so he'll unite with anyone who is a destructive force.
But he's all about his own power and his own fame and his own wealth.
JOHN: Glenn, I think that's an excellent analysis. I had this very same conversation with somebody who still works prominently at Breitbart. As you know, Andrew Breitbart and I were very close for a couple of year period, in the 2008, 2009, 2010 area. And I got to know him exceedingly well.
I agree with that. I think it's basically both. I think that Bannon is a true believer in whatever this bizarre alt-right philosophy is. But it is also about power and money. And I think that Bannon -- and I've met with Bannon. I did not find him to be an impressive person at all, in any way, shape, or form. And the idea that he's now CEO of the Trump campaign as well as de facto still head of Breitbart, and now we learn of this outrageous story of coordinating with leftists in order to try to harm Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz -- as you rightfully say, during a time period which they were still claiming to be objective here, that they were not totally completely in the tank, as they obviously now are, for Donald Trump. It's beyond outrageous. It's -- it's beyond outrageous. It requires expulsion from the conservative cause, Glenn. That's how horrendous this is. And if conservatives don't see it, they deserve what they get.
GLENN: And at the same time that was going on, they were also -- the campaign was accusing Ted Cruz of dirty tricks, and that's why they called him lying Ted.
GLENN: Because he was involved in dirty tricks saying that, you know, Ben Carson --
PAT: To get rid of Ben Carson.
GLENN: Didn't make sense that Ben Carson was going home to get a shirt. Go buy one, you know, at Sears if you have to. Don't leave the campaign trail for a week.
And they said, "That was dirty tricks."
The same time they're making that into a big deal, the campaign and Breitbart are working with the Clinton campaign to destroy Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Unbelievable.
JOHN: It is. Except it's not that unbelievable. It's unbelievable in one sense. But it's very believable when you now look back with clear eyes at their coverage at the time. And their attacks on both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio went way beyond this shenanigans, which is just flatout silly. I mean, the whole notion of -- they brutalized Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz on so many different issues. And they never -- the number one thing, to me, with regard to Trump -- there were two things that were just completely ignored during this whole deal, and they're very important: One, he's not a Republican/conservative. And, two, he cannot possibly win.
Now, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? And those two things were completely ignored. And in order to facilitate this Trump fiasco, this con job, it didn't matter who stood in the way. It didn't matter if it was a real conservative like a Marco Rubio who could win or a Ted Cruz who I don't believe could win -- was at least a true conservative. And so it didn't matter. And so now that we know this, there must be punishment, Glenn. Because if there's not punishment, guess what's going to happen? It's going to happen again.
And if we allow -- this is the main point of that whole article you're referring with the conservative media industrial complex -- if we allow the same people to be in charge after this fiasco, who caused it, then we will get again exactly what we deserve.
STU: John, this is Stu, co-host of the Pat, Stu, and Jeffy show.
You point out the -- you're right, obviously. If you want to talk about the conservative media industrial complex, ratings and revenue are a big part of that. It's a big part of our lives and careers, I think. And I don't -- I mean, we all realize we have to do this at that as part of this job. The point is, you don't cross certain lines that are inconsistent with your principles. I mean, if we all wanted to make as much money as possible, we could all start selling pornography. We don't necessarily do that because there are lines we don't necessarily want to cross, with the exception of Jeffy.
So the point is, how do you walk that line? I mean, because I think -- and my hope was in the article, that after this, it's a long-term play. People will look at who misled them. Who got them into this Trump bandwagon? Who told them things that were obviously false to get people to move these votes? Who told people that online polls were going to prove that Donald Trump was winning? Who told those people who then went on their Facebook pages and looked like idiots in front of their friends? Will those people be punished after all this is over?
GLENN: I don't think so.
JOHN: If this was the investment industry, yes. You know, this was a situation where -- you know, certain people were saying, "Hey, look, invest in this stock. Donald Trump." And it turned out the tank -- and there are a whole lot of other better investment options. Those people who did that would be punished, and they would not be heard from again. We're not living in that world. We're living in a bizarro world where because certain people in this whole deal -- and I'll mention Sean Hannity again.
GLENN: No. Let's not mention Sean Hannity or anybody else.
JOHN: Made a whole lot of people feel good about themselves. There might not be punishment. People -- it's very easy -- it's much easier to dupe people than to convince them they have been duped. And so I am pessimistic that people will understand what has actually happened to them.
And as far as your first question, where the line is. To me, and I wrote about this way, way back, and I know Glenn promoted this article quite a bit and I appreciate that, about how the conservative media sold its soul to facilitate the nomination of Donald Trump. I think the core of what happened here is the business model for most of the conservative media broke.
And when the business model broke, it forced even some of our titans, people who I would have never imagined would sell out to a Donald Trump, to be forced to do so to continue to temporarily make that business model work, in this particular year.
Now, I believe it's going to collapse on them next year, once the Trump audience disappears and their core audience no longer trusts them. That's my hope.
But that to me is what caused this: The breaking of the conservative media business model, to the point where you weren't able to just tell the truth and still make the same kind of ratings and the same kind of buck as you were before. Now you got to fake it. Now you got to fake it on a daily basis to get the same kind of ratings and revenue that you did before.
And unfortunately, to a lot of people, ratings, revenue, fame, keeping their gig is all that matters, and the truth doesn't mean a damn.
GLENN: I have to tell you, John -- first of all, you should drink a cup of coffee or something before you come on the air. Because you're laid-back.
The second thing is, is I don't buy that. I'm sorry, but I don't buy that. If you are in this business of telling the truth as you understand it, the last thing you can be is a coward. And I don't believe that those people believe that they were making a choice of ratings or money.
I think they were -- maybe I'm being too kind. But I think they really believed that stuff.
JOHN: Well, can I address that?
JOHN: Because, Glenn, I think it's both. I think it was -- I think they were on a drug. I think this was intoxicating. I think to -- you know, I think to a lot of people, they saw that the ratings they were getting with Donald Trump, and they believed -- they forced themselves to believe because it was in their self-interest to believe. And they thought, "Well, maybe if the ratings are great for us, that means that something really special is happening nationwide." There was nothing special happening nationwide regarding Donald Trump. There was never any chance he was going to win a general election against a mainstream Democratic candidate, even one as horrible and corrupt and as incompetent as Hillary Clinton. And we're going to see that in a couple of weeks.
But this was not -- I don't believe this was a conspiracy. I don't believe in conspiracies. And I agree with you, Glenn. I would like to believe that some of these people that we've trusted for many years, they basically duped themselves into believing this because it was in their own self-interest to do so. Do you see the difference there?
GLENN: Yeah, I do. I do. John, can you hang on just a second. I want to take a quick break. And I want to come back -- I want to ask -- I'd like to have a discussion here on -- forget about the election, what -- how do we come back together, and does it come back together?
How do we, without sticking fingers in people's faces -- because that's not going to work and nobody is going to listen to somebody who said, "I told you so." They're already saying it's, you know, our fault. And I think there's going to be a lot of people that will say, "While I was the only one that was standing against Hillary Clinton the whole time, you were pussy-footing around. And I knew that we had to stop her at all costs." And they're going to shift the focus to Hillary Clinton, which will, they believe, save their credibility, and destroy people like ours. And they might be right.
How can we -- how can we get to a place where reason is fixed in her seat again?
GLENN: Hey, John, before we get into any solutions -- we're talking to John Ziegler from Mediaite and conservative talk show radio host.
John, before we get into the solutions of where and how we try to solve this after the election, no matter who wins, you seem to be a little fired up. Are you still there? Yeah, are you still there?
GLENN: You seem to be a little fired up.
JOHN: Everyone should be.
GLENN: Yeah. We were wondering during the break, is this how you usually are, or is this a sign of you're getting a ton of crap and you're sick of it?
JOHN: Well, I don't -- I'm not normally like this with my wife and child, if that's what you're asking.
GLENN: Right. Right.
JOHN: But, no, this is a unique situation. And I have been taking a ton of crap for my stance over the last year. And, you know, I've been right. And it will be proven that I was right, along with some others. But it's not even about being right, this is for the rest of my daughter's life, Glenn. We're going to have judges that are appointed by Hillary Clinton and everything else that she's going to do for at least the next four years. And it was not necessary. And it happened because of friendly fire.
JOHN: That's -- if that doesn't piss you off, what can!
PAT: That's right.
GLENN: But, John, that is exactly the case --
PAT: So true.
GLENN: -- that so many who are supporting Donald Trump are making. I mean, word-for-word.
PAT: Yeah. Yeah.
GLENN: You know, these people --
PAT: Blaming us.
GLENN: -- it came from friendly fire. And it wasn't necessary. And now the result is Hillary Clinton. I want you to -- I want you to -- tell me how to navigate those waters in a way to come back together to stand against whomever is the president and wants to go in unconstitutional ways, when we come back.
GLENN: John Ziegler joins us from Mediaite. Conservative talk show host, and he was part of an article in the Business Insider that the conservative need to do something about the conservative media industrial complex, which I think is an interesting term because it's insinuating it's a conspiracy factory. And I think that's one of the problems we have is this -- I mean, the -- the -- couple days ago, or maybe it was yesterday, they were -- people in the media were actually holding up the National Enquirer as a credible source yet again.
And it -- I mean, we have got --
PAT: Talking about their very few triumphs and ignoring everything they've gotten wrong over the years.
GLENN: We have got to fix reason in her seat. With that being said, John, I just said to you, what you said to me that you are frustrated because you said, "My children are going to have to live with this election for the rest of their lives because Hillary Clinton is going to appoint members of the Supreme Court, and it wasn't necessary because of those who were taking shots and friendly fire." Well, that is exactly the things that others who are voting for Trump say about me, say about you, John.
JOHN: Very well said. And, by the way, the term media industrial complex -- "conservative media industrial complex," I believe you probably heard that the first time, the last time I was on your show. That's something I've been using for quite a while. I'm happy that Oliver Darcy decided to use that because I do think it's an apt description of what really caused this problem.
GLENN: I do too.
JOHN: And to more directly answer your question, which is an excellent one -- because you're right. That is what the other side is saying. And your analysis of the fight over narrative -- the fight over the election is pretty much over at this point. Hillary is going to win, unfortunately. We don't know by how much.
GLENN: I don't know if that's true.
JOHN: The fight over the narrative is now just beginning. And this is -- as almost as important a fight as the one over the election. And unfortunately, a lot of the same people, as I say in that article, who created the first false narrative that Donald Trump was a Republican who could somehow win, have a vested interest in another narrative, which is that it was Glenn Beck or the John Zieglers of the world who somehow caused this, which is just laughable on so many levels. The first is that Donald Trump himself said he doesn't need or want our support. So right there, end of discussion.
But here's -- to answer your question is to how all this is going to go down -- and I talked about this the last time I was on your show. This is why the margin of defeat is going to be so incredibly important.
If he loses by a margin worse than say John McCain in 2008, there is no possible --
GLENN: So that was eight points.
JOHN: -- there's no possible way -- no possible way for the people on the pro-Trump side of this argument that he could ever have possibly won or that it was the so-called Never Trump Republicans who caused this. That's the first battle here: We must be able to win the argument that this was a mistake that was made in the nominating process, not in the general election because Donald Trump could never win. And, oh, by the way, he was never a Republican either.
GLENN: Let's say it doesn't -- let's say it comes in at four points, three points.
JOHN: Then we're done. It's over. And that's why I've urged people strategically in certain states to vote against Donald Trump if you're a Republican. Because to me, he must be eradicated like cancer --
GLENN: So wait. You're saying that in states where it should be like Florida -- I mean, it should be like Texas. But Texas is close.
You're saying where -- where Hillary is so far ahead, it doesn't matter what your vote does.
JOHN: Look, here's the bottom line: If you're somebody who has accepted that Donald Trump is not going to win -- which means you're a sane, rational conservative who doesn't believe in massive conspiracies at this point -- if you've accepted that, then to me, you will be thinking November 9th. And what world do we want to live in, on November 9th?
Do we want Donald Trump to still be the lead spokesperson of our movement and our party, or do we want him eradicated like the cancer that he is?
And every vote he gets is a vote to keep him in the process. Every vote against him is a vote to get him out of the process. So to me, that's the way I look at this: You're either voting to keep a cancer or kill the cancer. And so -- because you cannot win.
Antonin Scalia's Supreme Court spot is gone, folks. It's over. Sorry. It's done. We've lost that. If it was so important to us, we should have elected or nominated someone who was going to win. But we didn't do that because it wasn't fun enough and it wasn't good enough for certain power players within our movement, for their ratings and their revenue.
So that's -- what's done is done. I think this is an incredibly important, but difficult problem, as you illustrate, Glenn. To me, the first answer here is, we've got to establish that Trump was the wrong nominee.
If we don't do that -- and if it is close, three or four points, then I don't see the path forward. I really don't. I'm sorry. I just don't see the path forward because he will disrupt any attempt to make any recovery. And he will ensure Hillary's reelection in 2020 because he's that much of a cancer.
GLENN: That is the bleakest and yet I believe most accurate case I have heard for what's coming.
GLENN: Because if it is close, it will be that. And he will go into Trump TV. And it will -- he will be able to whip enough people up into a frenzy.
If it is a ten-point spread, an eight-point spread, he won't be able to do that. But what are the odds that it's a ten-point spread, Stu?
STU: I mean, it's certainly possible. It's certainly at least as likely, if not more likely, than him actually winning. You know, the -- I think it was FiveThirtyEight that broke it out into scenarios, like blowout, the 2008-type election, 2012-type election, a squeaker, and a Trump win. There are five categories.
GLENN: It was a blowout in 2008. What was that? Eight points?
STU: Yeah, seven and a half, I think. Seven and a half or 7.6. Something like that.
GLENN: Correct. What's a blowout to you, John?
JOHN: I think to me, the important level here is 2008. If he does worse -- I'm more -- I think it's more important he does worse in the electoral college because people look at that math. And that number, I think is important.
But, secondarily, the popular vote is also important. If he does worse than John McCain in 2008 in both the electoral college and the popular vote, then I think we've won the argument. Because I don't think there's any rational way to claim that Donald Trump could ever win or that so-called Never Trump Republicans who are an incredibly small number of the population, trust me, I know --
GLENN: So do I.
JOHN: Right. Exactly. It's amazing how much influence we suddenly have, Glenn. Isn't it?
GLENN: I know. I know. We couldn't get Ted Cruz be the president, but somehow or another, we, without most of the audience, can sway this entire election.
JOHN: It's amazing.
GLENN: It is.
JOHN: It's absurd. It's a lie, is what it is. Let's call it what it is: It's a lie intended to cover the asses of people who got exposed as sellouts and frauds. That's what this is.
STU: Darn that math.
JOHN: Let's be very clear. And so to me, the 2008 marker is very important. And I think -- I think it's a 50/50 shot at this point. I think electoral college if I had to bet, I think Trump does worse than McCain did in 2008.
STU: Wow. That's amazing. That's where we are.
Are we arguing, John, against the market at all? Because it feels like to me, if we talk about it this way, is it not that people will be rewarded for making these bad choices? And this is what the left would say about every economic incentive. You know, people will get rewarded for making bad choices; therefore, we need to do something to control their choices.
JOHN: Yeah. I -- I address this in the Business Insider article to a degree. And that is the inherent problem, is that our media -- because the left controls so much of the mainstream media, our media is far, far more dictated by market forces. Now, there's good and bad to that.
The bad is that when you're only dealing with five to ten, maybe 20 percent, at most, of the population to begin with, you don't have influence over a general election for a president.
It's an incredibly minor portion of the voting population. And so these same market forces that are incredibly important for the conservative media are irrelevant in winning presidential elections.
So this is an inherent contradiction and a problem I don't have an answer for. What I'd like -- the only answer is, if our people are educated enough and open their eyes enough to realize they were duped here and to punish those who duped them. I doubt that will happen. But that's the only path to correcting this problem as I see it.
GLENN: John, yesterday, I sat with the New York Times editorial board, and I have absolutely no idea what they'll do, what they were thinking, or anything else. But I met with them. I met with 19 of them. Those meetings are usually between three and ten people.
GLENN: Nineteen people came to this meeting.
GLENN: They said that was highly unusual.
GLENN: And I felt what they were looking for was, A, who is the -- who are the conservatives today? Where does it split? How does it split?
There are good guys -- they're not all -- they're not really with the Trump people, right? I mean, they're not -- the alt-right, correct?
And I -- and they were -- they were seeking answers. But the other thing -- and not just from them, but from many people in the press that I have met with recently.
I believe the love affair with Hillary Clinton is over.
JOHN: Oh, yeah.
GLENN: And right now, they're only pushing things away because they're so afraid of Donald Trump.
GLENN: But the minute Trump is out of the way. I think she's going to get the pounding of a lifetime.
JOHN: And, Glenn, that's why I'm so agitated and passionate about this issue of making sure Trump gets eradicated.
Let me -- you say I painted a bleak picture. Let me paint you a good picture here: Let's say Trump is crushed. All right? And let's say the cancer is mostly eradicated and he fades away, much like Sarah Palin ended up fading away. The reality here is in 2008, the Senate map is 100 percent in our favor. She will be powerless in the last two years of her presidency. And if we get our act together and nominate let's say Marco Rubio or Scott Walker or somebody like that, who is young and can make the argument that she's old news and she's as unpopular as we anticipate, with an economy that's going nowhere at best and we win the presidency in 2020 and Clarence Thomas and Kennedy hang on, we can still save this.
GLENN: I know.
JOHN: This doesn't have to be over, if we get our wits about us and stop the insanity.
But the first step in this is eradicating the cancer on November 8th and winning this narrative as to what really happened and why we lost this election. That's why it's so incredibly important.
GLENN: Great points. Thank you very much, John Ziegler. I appreciate your time on the program.
JOHN: Always good talking to you, Glenn.
GLENN: John Ziegler, from Mediaite.
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