Social Media Shaming Is Modern-Day Witch Hunting—And It Destroys Lives

Author Jon Ronson joined Glenn to discuss the affects of being shamed on social media. His book So You've Been Publicly Shamed tells personal stories about the terrifying phenomenon of social media shaming. One story details how a poorly crafted and misinterpreted tweet destroyed the life of a woman named Justine Sacco.

"We tried her, convicted her and sentenced her to a year in purgatory, not getting another job, while she was asleep on the plane and had no idea there was even a trial," Ronson explained.

RELATED: What Can You Learn From a Drunk, Sexting College Student? Mercy.

Following Justine's infamous tweet, the Twittersphere exploded with angry, hateful reactions, making her the number one trending topic within hours. And people thought it was hilarious.

"The number of tweets that were like, This is the best thing that's ever happened to my Friday night . . . #HasJustineLandedYet may be the best thing to happen to my Friday night . . . people thought it was so funny that she was unaware of her destruction," Ronson explained.

Listen to the full interview below or watch the clips for answers to these questions:

• What did Justine Sacco tweet before her trip to Africa?

• How is social media shaming related to fake news?

• How long did it take Justine Sacco to rebuild her life?

• Where did Glenn's family get publicly shamed?

• Is social media shaming a human or political problem?

• How did Adria shame Hank on social media?

• How was Adria shamed in return?

• How is social media shaming like a modern-day witch hunt?

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:

GLENN: We had a really fascinating discussion today that is focused on the internet and the role that it has played with fake news. I want to take it to public shaming. The way we crucify each other on the internet. And then we move on with our life. We say horrible things about each other, or if it's worse, you have said something, and then it's been taken and all of a sudden, you're the number one trending topic in the world. You're like, "What the -- and your life changes, but everybody moves on after we've wrecked your life. So You've Been Publicly Shamed is a name of a book by Jon Ronson. And he has talked to some of the most famous criminals of Twitter. I mean, people who have said horrible things, where we all had to stop our life and comment on them. And then we moved on.

What happened to them? We start there, right now.

(music)

GLENN: All right. I -- I want to start with the story of Justine Sacco. Ever heard of her? Do you know the name Justine Sacco? Anybody? Anybody? Stu does. Stu does.

JEFFY: Yeah. Just because we talked about it a little bit.

GLENN: Yeah. So you remember. But you would not know that name if you were the average person.

STU: Right.

GLENN: Yet you most likely know the story. We're going to start there with Jon Ronson, author of the book So You've Been Publicly Shamed.

Hello, Jon, how are you, sir?

JON: Hey, Glenn, I'm well. How are you?

GLENN: I'm really good.

I -- we were having this conversation the other day about a month ago internally, and we were like, "What happens with these people?" We've just moved on with our life, but their life is just a wreck. And Stu is a fan of yours and read this book. And he said, "Oh, you've got to read this book." So we wanted to bring you on and tell some of the stories because they are truly fascinating.

JON: They are. And by the way, I'm glad you equated it in a way to fake news. Because I think the two things are kind of corrected.

GLENN: I do too.

JON: Yeah. In a story like Justine Sacco the world --

GLENN: Wait. Wait. Wait. Before we get there. Explain how you think they're connected.

JON: Well, because when something like the just teen Sacco incident happens, and there's many incidents like that, the world gets to know a tiny liver of information about a person. And then they decide to draw huge amounts of inferences. A person is defined in that totality by a single tweet that they wrote. And then all hell breaks loose.

So it's kind of like fake news. You take a little sliver of a fact that means nothing, and you create an entire narrative out of it.

GLENN: Isn't it also a lot like celebrity news? I mean, the paparazzi, they take one picture. They take one salacious piece, and your whole life is destroyed.

JON: Yeah, I remember someone saying to me that one of the ironies is that Twitter claims to hate tabloids and tabloid television.

GLENN: Yeah. Uh-huh.

JON: Yeah. That's exactly how we behave every day.

GLENN: It is. It is.

Okay. So Justine --

JON: Yeah. This is a story of hypocrisies, I think.

GLENN: So Justine, she gets onto a plane, and she's going to South Africa.

JON: Yeah.

GLENN: And before she gets on the plane, she tweets.

JON: Well, she had been tweeting little stupid jokes all day. So when she went from New York to London, she tweeted something about a German passenger with BO. I mean, she was not great on Twitter. She was kind of acerbic and not hugely likable. But she had 170 Twitter followers and was basically -- basically a bad comedian tweeting into an empty room.

So she gets to Heathrow, and she writes the tweet that then went around the world. And the tweet was, "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white."

PAT: Hmm.

JON: I mean, not good.

(laughter)

GLENN: You think?

JON: However -- however, when I meet Justine Sacco a couple of weeks later -- I'm to this day the only journalist who's ever interviewed her. And I met her in a bar. And I asked her to explain the joke.

And she said, "Living in America puts us in a bit of a bubble when it comes to what is going on in the Third World. I was making fun of that bubble." So when you look at it in that perspective, it's not that bad a joke.

STU: And I think it's kind of obvious from the joke.

JEFFY: Yeah.

STU: People are acting as if she thought white people couldn't get AIDS, which is obviously completely absurd.

It's obvious she was commenting on this disconnect between America and what goes on around the world.

GLENN: And, you know, you say it's a bad joke. And it's tasteless joke. And not funny because she's not a comedian. But isn't that -- jokes are kind of like art. It's all, you know, subjective to some regard. And everybody does that. Everybody jokes. It's not like you have to have a license to make a joke.

JON: Sure.

I mean, I suppose what you could say about that joke is that it's a kind of poorly executed version of a kind of (inaudible) little joke.

So, for instance, it's exactly the kind of jokes that's made in South Park all the time. It's the kind of joke that Randy Newman, who I love, has based a career on. You do a kind of exaggerated version of your own privilege and mock it. So it's actually a left-wing joke. But she never got a chance to explain that to anybody because of what happened next.

GLENN: Okay. So she gets on to the plane. They seal the door. They say, "Turn off your phones and your devices, and we'll turn them back on once you get to South Africa."

JON: Right.

GLENN: Anybody who has flown over just the continent of Africa knows, "That's a never-ending trip."

JON: Right. It was about 11 hours of blissful ignorance she slept.

There was no Wi-Fi/internet on the plane. So -- and then she woke up in Cape Town, as the plane was taxiing on the runway. She turned on her phone. And immediately, a text came up from a friend -- from somebody she hadn't spoken to in 20 years that said, "I am so sorry to see what's happening to you right now."

And then she looked at it kind of baffled. Had no idea what was going on. And then another text from her best friend that said, "You need to call me right now. You are the worldwide number one trending topic on Twitter."

GLENN: Imagine how your heart would sink.

JON: Yeah.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh. What is happening? So what was happening was ugly.

JON: Right. Yeah, I mean, horrendous.

I should say that I don't -- some people see this as a kind of politically biased story mainly because in this particular story, it was the left going after her more than I would say than the right. Although, kind of everybody went after her. But these stories happen all the time. Sometimes it's the right against the left. Sometimes it's the left against the right.

It's the kind of horrificness of the story I think that matters as opposed to which side of the political spectrum you are.

GLENN: And she was actually left --

STU: It was left going after left.

GLENN: After left. Right? Yeah.

JON: Yeah, exactly.

Well, so the first thing that happened was one of her 170 Twitter followers sent the tweet to a journalist at Gawker called Sam Biddle.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh.

JON: I know. And so he delightedly retweeted it to his 15,000 followers saying -- I spoke to Sam Biddle not long afterwards. And I said, "How did that feel, to have started the onslaught against Justine?" And he said, "It felt delicious." And then he said, "But I'm sure she's okay now." But she wasn't okay.

GLENN: Unbelievable. Unbelievable.

JON: Yeah. "I'm sure she's okay now." You know, we love to play psychological tricks on ourself to not feel bad about the bad things that we do.

GLENN: So -- so when you met with her, how long after this absolute firestorm. She lost her job. Her life was destroyed. In the book, you say, "Well, it wasn't necessarily the perfect job for you." And she's like, "Yeah, I think it was my ultimate dream job," that she lost.

JON: Yeah. It was -- she -- and the thing is, it was everybody. Her shaming was a shaming that the whole world would get behind. So philanthropists started shaming her and tweeting things like in the light of this disgusting joke, I am donating aid to Africa. And then trolls started going after her saying, "Somebody HIV positive should rape her, and then we'll find out if her skin color protects her from AIDS."

PAT: Oh, jeez.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh.

JON: Of course, nobody went after that person.

A hashtag started trending worldwide, #hasJustinelandedyet. And people were tweeting that I'm in this bar, and I really want to go home and go to bed. But I can't until Justine Sacco lands and she sees what happens when she turns on her phone.

GLENN: And she didn't even know. When she's walking in the airport -- I saw this in your book, a picture of her walking in the airport. And somebody takes a picture and tweets. Here, she's finally landed, and she's wearing sunglasses to hide her shame.

Did she even know at the time?

JON: Right.

At that point, she knew. I think she had found out. Because that was at baggage claim, and she found out as she was getting off the plane. So I think she had known for about 20 minutes. But I wouldn't say it was -- well, was it shame? I mean, it was certainly fear and distress and agony.

GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.

JON: And maybe some shame. She -- oh, you know, corporations got involved. Gogo, the internet -- you know, the flight internet people tweeted something like, "Next time you're getting on a plane, Justine Sacco, maybe you should choose a Gogo flight." So corporations got involved.

GLENN: Jeez.

JON: Of course, her employers essentially fired her over Twitter. Somebody linked to a flight tracker website so the whole world could watch as her plane got closer and closer to landing.

STU: The worst instincts of humanity.

GLENN: So I want to go -- because there's a couple of things in this story. We have two other stories I want to get to.

But there's some other things in this story about group madness and what you write about, a poorly worded joke, et cetera, et cetera. But I -- I want to know how long after did you talk to her? And have you talked to her since?

What has changed in her life?

JON: Okay. So the first time I talked to her was probably about two weeks later, when I met her in a bar. And she was just crushed. I mean, she couldn't stop crying.

GLENN: Two weeks later.

JON: She just couldn't believe this sort of -- that the whole world had gotten her wrong. She just couldn't -- she couldn't believe it. And then I spoke to her again a couple of weeks after that. She lost her job. And she continued to lose her job for about a year when she finally got a new job. And, of course, when Twitter found out that she had finally got a new job after a year, they tried to get her fired all over again.

JEFFY: What?

GLENN: Oh, my gosh.

JON: I know. Because, you know, when we watch Making a Murderer, whose side are we on? We're on the side of the kind-hearted defense attorney. But when we have the power, what do we turn into? Hanging churches.

GLENN: Really, we are witch hunters.

JON: Yes. But I don't want to go too far with my metaphors. But I remember at one point in the midst of this, I sort of yelled to my wife, "It's like the Year Zero. It's the Khmer Rouge." And my wife was like, "It's not like the Khmer Rouge."

(laughter)

GLENN: Yes. Yes.

PAT: A little context.

GLENN: But honestly, it is the same mentality of the witch hunt. We're just not burning them at the stake.

PAT: Exactly.

JON: Yes.

GLENN: But it is the same group insanity.

JON: Yeah. It really is. And it's done -- you know, in the old day social --

GLENN: For sport.

JON: -- psychologists would say, this is madness. This is literal madness that we lose our sense of sanity in the crowd. But I don't think that was what was happening. What was happening was people -- you know, within the echo chamber of Twitter, people wanted to -- it was like a sort of performance piety. People wanted to show the people who followed them on Twitter that they cared about people dying of AIDS in Africa. So to perform that kind of public compassion, anybody committed this profoundly uncompassionate act of tearing somebody apart while she was asleep on a plane.

GLENN: All right. Jon -- we'll be back with Jon Ronson. The name of the book is So You've Been Publicly Shamed. It is a fascinating look at the past. But also, the future. Because we are one tweet away, each of us, from this happening to us. And do you think you're not, you know, open for this. Well, she didn't think so either. Everybody -- she had 170 Twitter followers. Nobody was following her.

[break]

GLENN: So, Jon, we were talking during the break -- we're with Jon Ronson. So You've Been Publicly Shamed. We're talking about that woman that went over to Africa on the plane. She tweeted something. It was taken out of context. She was incommunicado for 11 hours. The world went crazy. We're looking for our tweet. We think that we tweeted a kind of --

STU: We talked about it on the show.

JEFFY: We talked about it on the show.

GLENN: Or we talked about it. A weak defense of her. Because we didn't know all the facts. But we were like, "This sounds like a joke."

STU: It's written that way. It looks like it's a joke mocking the separation.

GLENN: Right. So -- and we're looking up for the tweets because we believe we were also attacked. And this is the problem. This is why people don't say, "Hey, guys, let's be reasonable."

JON: Yeah.

GLENN: Because then, immediately, oh, of course, you're saying that. You're a hater too.

JON: Right. In fact, a really great British feminist writer called Helen Lewis that night tweeted, "I'm not sure Justine Sacco deserves what she's getting. Maybe her tweet wasn't intended to be racist." And straightaway, she got a whole bunch of tweets like, "Well, you're just a privileged bitch too."

JEFFY: Yep.

JON: So -- and so to her shame, she wrote about my book, and so I know this story. To her shame, she stayed silent and watched as Justine Sacco's life got torn apart.

GLENN: And she feels bad about that that now.

JON: Yeah, and feels bad about it.

GLENN: How does the Gawker guy feel?

JON: You know, actually in the summer -- he wrote another article about her when he discovered that she had got a new job. Wrote another article saying, you know, the lousy has-been's got a new job. So Justine, who I've stayed in touch with the whole time, emailed him and said, "Look, we've got to have a drink to sort this out."

So he met her for a drink and then wrote a bit of a mea culpa article afterwards. Yeah. So he did some mea culpa.

GLENN: Really quite amazing how we don't see people as people.

JON: Yeah. I'm -- you know, both sides do it. That story, in particular, from my book, became really famous. Because I wrote an excerpt for it for the New York Times, and it became really famous. And I think a few people misunderstood as a result, thought my book was an attack on the left. But that's not it at all. I mean, there's plenty stories in my book about the right doing exactly the same thing.

GLENN: Yeah. It's not a left or right thing. It's a human thing. It's like racism. Racism exists everywhere.

JON: It's a human thing. For me, it's a story about justice. Like, you know, what we did with Justine Sacco was, we tried her, convicted her, and sentenced her to a year in Purgatory, not getting another job, while she was asleep on the plane and had no idea there was even a trial. And not only was there no feelings of guilty about that, people thought it was hilarious. The number of tweets that were like, "This is the best thing that's ever happened to my Friday night." #JustineSaccolandedyet may be the best thing to happen to my Friday night. People thought it was so funny that she was unaware of her destruction.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh. We have -- we have two more stories of destruction. And are we engaging in this? Next.

[break]

GLENN: Welcome back. Welcome back to the program. Jon Ronson is with us. He is the author of So You've Been Publicly Shamed.

We've been talking about fake news. And I'm particularly interested in the ability of the average person to destroy and to be destroyed because now we're all publishers. We are all able to publish something to the entire world. And the entire world gets to judge a book by your one tweet or your one Facebook mention. And that's it.

I mean, we are judging a book by the cover. And it's a frightening thing when you come to think about it and you see the people who have been destroyed.

Jon, should we go to Hank?

JON: Sure.

GLENN: How do you say her name?

JON: Adria.

GLENN: Adria.

JON: Yeah, this is a particularly I think kind of upsetting and difficult story.

So it begins at a tech conference in Santa Clara. Hank is sitting, chatting to a friend, making stupid kind of Beavis and Butt-Head type jokes. Something is happening on the stage about dongles. And Hank whispers to his friend something about dongles, like some kind of stupid joke, but like whisper.

As he told me afterwards, it wasn't even conversation-level volume. So the woman sitting in front turns and takes a photograph. And Hank assumes that she's taking a photograph at the crowd. So he tries to not get into her shot.

But then a few minutes later, Hank and his friend are called out of the conference and told that -- there'd been -- a complaint about sexual language.

So they apologized and then -- because they're kind of nerdy guys, they left the conference. You know, they didn't like conflict. So they left the conference.

On their way to the airport, they saw what happened there. Like what happened.

And the nightmare scenario is that the woman in front had complained via a public tweet on Twitter. And that is exactly what happened. She'd -- she'd sent -- she'd tweeted the photograph of the two men with the comment, something like, "Not cool. Jokes about big dongles, right behind me." And so two days later, Hank was called into his boss' office and fired.

So that night, Hank went on to Hacker News, a message board saying what had happened. Saying, you know, I was fired. You know, I -- I shouldn't have said what I said, but the woman in front just smiled and --

GLENN: It's a stupid -- it's not even her business. It wasn't directed to her. I mean, why does anybody care?

JON: Right. Well -- before we go on to that. Can I tell you what happened next?

GLENN: Yeah.

JON: Because what happened next was really important too.

GLENN: Yes.

JON: So Hank was fired, and then 4chan and the other groups all decided to get Adria. Now -- and so she was then subjected to months and months of photographs of beheaded women with tape over their mouths and death threats.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh.

JON: And rape threats. And she lost her job too. So it was just carnage. I mean, everyone was just like babies crawling towards guns.

(laughter)

I think what it shows is that we are -- social media is such a kind of primitive thing. And all we can think to do is lurch towards outrage and lurch towards shaming. So a woman shames a man in an inappropriate way. What did the men then do? Shame her back in an even more inappropriate way.

I think -- these are the -- these are the stories that maybe in years to come will form chapters and books about how Donald Trump ended up being our president.

GLENN: I think -- I think in many ways, you're right.

JON: Yeah.

GLENN: I will tell you this, this is probably about six years ago. And I would like to go back into the Twitter feeds and see what could be found now. But I remember as a family, we were in a park in New York. And, Ron (sic), you're from the UK, right?

JON: Right. Yes. Yes.

GLENN: Yeah, so I'm not sure if you know how unpopular I can be in the United States.

JON: I am. I am aware.

GLENN: You're aware. I've made international fame.

So I was in the -- the -- Bryant Park, when I was in New York. And people were mocking my family. And one woman spilled wine on my wife intentionally. And the reason why we know is because they started tweeting things about, Glenn Beck's family is here. And ha, ha, ha how funny it is. I accidentally, in quotation marks, spilled wine on his wife. People also think they're invisible while they're --

JON: Yeah.

GLENN: You know what I mean?

And maybe that's six years ago. But these people in this crowd didn't -- didn't think that we would also be reading what's being said.

JON: And if did you do anything about it?

GLENN: We left.

JON: Right.

GLENN: I just took my family -- we were surrounded. My children and my wife got up to go to the bathroom, and they were almost half a block away from me. And they were being chanted at, "We don't want your kind here." And it was -- it was just -- it was a mob scene. It was a mob scene.

JON: Right.

This is why -- I -- personally, I think kind of conciliatory centrism has become really unfashionable. And there should have been more of it the night Justine Sacco got destroyed. But, in fact, being a centrist was considered to be like a weakness. Like if anybody said, "Let's wait for her to land so we can hear what she has to say about that joke," people thought that was kind of pathetic weakness.

Like, why should we wait to hear what she has to say? We know what she means. That was a clue to her kind of secret inner evil. So as a result, I really admire anybody who is trying to move away from this kind of, you know, pollution of polarization. And I've noticed that that's what you've been doing lately, Glenn. And I really appreciate it. I think people on all sides need to do what you're trying to do.

GLENN: Well, I will tell you, Jon, that's one of the reasons why I wanted to have you on. Because the first thing is to make people aware of what's happened and to start to see people on Twitter as people.

JON: Yeah.

GLENN: Because I don't think we would do this -- well, I mean, I just told you a story in Bryant Park where it was in person. But for the average person --

JON: But you're Glenn Beck.

GLENN: Yeah, I'm Glenn Beck. So I'm not a person anymore.

JON: Right. And you're right. Everybody, Glenn, on Twitter has become -- everybody on Twitter has become like corporations that have to learn damage limitation, which is very stressful, given that Twitter was supposed to be kind of fun.

GLENN: Yeah.

JON: And Twitter was supposed to be like a fun way to connect with our fellow humans.

GLENN: Go ahead.

STU: Jon, this is an interesting point on this. Because the two examples we've talked about so far, both Justine Sacco and the guy with a dongle joke, I think to a conservative audience, you say, this is ridiculous. You know, you make a kind of an off-color joke, and maybe it's not right, but you get beat up and you get fired for it.

I like that the example you have of Lindsey Stone -- because to our audience, I think it's more challenging. But all the same principles apply here.

JON: Right. Yes. Absolutely.

So Lindsey Stone, you couldn't meet a nicer person. I mean, on many levels, Lindsey is even more sympathetic -- I mean, I think most people are sympathetic.

But she works with adults with learning difficulties and was great at her job. Took them on a trip to Washington, DC. Sort of went to the mint and the Holocaust Museum. And then they went to Arlington. And Lindsey and her friend have this little douchey joke that they would share amongst their Facebook friends. And the joke was to stand in front of the sign and do the opposite. So they would smoke in front of a no smoking sign or loiter in front of a no loitering sign.

JEFFY: It's funny.

JON: It was just like a little private joke.

Anyway, at Arlington, they see a sign that says, "Keep off the grass," and they thought, "Should we?" And they thought, "No, we don't want to get in trouble." Then they saw another sign that said, "Silence and respect." And so, as Lindsey told me later, "Inspiration struck."

(laughter)

They were pretending to shout and flip the bird. And so she puts it out on Facebook. And then a friend of hers who was in the military said, "I think that's kind of disrespectful. You should take it down." And Lindsey went, "Oh, don't be ridiculous. It's just us being us. You know, it doesn't mean anything." And then they forgot all about it.

And then a month later, suddenly, it just went super viral. Some pro military website had picked up on it, and she got everything that just even got. Death threats. Rape threats. And because it was from the right, it was things like -- you know, when it was Justine, it was like, "Typical privileged white woman," when it was Lindsey, it was "Typical feminist." So it's exactly the same. Exactly the same demonization happening, just from a different spectrum.

And it went on and on and on. And Lindsey was completely ill-equipped to deal with it. So she went from being this happy-go-lucky young woman who went to karaoke to somebody who stayed home for a year and a half, having suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, insomnia. Of course, she lost her job too. And, you know, by the time -- go on, sorry.

GLENN: No, no, no. Go ahead. By the time...

JON: By the time, I met her -- again, she was just crushed. I mean, we always end these stories by thinking, "Well, I'm sure they're fine now." But they're not -- I mean, people kill themselves. Everybody I spoke to will have complemented suicide. But some people do kill themselves.

Frequently, people kill themselves because of social media shamings. And there's no outrage about that because we don't want to feel bad about the bad things that we won't be.

STU: But there doesn't seem to be a line in our society anymore of -- like, if Barack Obama went into Arlington and flipped them off and started fake screaming in front of the sign, I think there would be a righteous outrage over that act. But some person we don't know -- we don't know anything about them --

GLENN: We all want to be outraged.

STU: Yeah. Why? I don't want to live like that. Why does everyone want to live like that? I don't get it.

GLENN: I don't either.

JON: I think it's in part because social media, in its earliest form, it was kind of a beautiful egalitarian thing, where suddenly everybody had a voice. So voiceless people had a voice. And by voiceless, I mean, you know, people from marginalized communities. And I also mean people who were so socially awkward in real life.

GLENN: Oh, yeah.

JON: That when you met them at a party, they'd just be standing in the corner of the room. But suddenly they -- on social media, they were funny and eloquent.

And this was like powerful. But -- and then we thought, "Wow, we can do things. We can right wrongs." So we would get people who kind of deserved it.

I mean, I can think of lots of things in the early days of social media when a corporation had done something really bad, and social media put pressure on them and they changed their policy.

But then, you know, I think what happened was that a day without a shaming felt like a day sort of picking fingernails and treading water. It's like we fell in love with getting people so much, that we lowered our standards and started getting anyone.

GLENN: So let me ask you this -- have you watched Westworld, the TV show on HBO?

JON: Yes, I have. I watched the last episode last night.

GLENN: Okay. It was great, wasn't it?

JON: Great.

GLENN: One of the best endings -- but let's stay on track. Sorry. Riddled with ADD.

STU: Come back for another hour-long interview on Westworld.

JON: Right.

GLENN: Yeah. So, Jon, the question in the park is, does the park make you into something, or does it reveal who you are?

JON: I think in terms of social media, part of the -- part of it is this is lying dormant within all of us. But it's also partly because of the technology itself.

Social media is created by engineers. You know, it's engineered in Silicon Valley. And what do engineers love? They love stability. They love everything going along, nicely. And that's why I think Twitter has evolved into a kind of echo chamber, where we surround ourselves with people who feel the same we do and we approve each other. And that's like a good feeling.

And then -- and it's such a powerful feeling, that when somebody gets in the way who is not like us, like Lindsey Stone or Justine Sacco, we're like a machine furiously ejecting a destabilizing fragment. So I think the machine contributes to -- to the problem.

GLENN: Jon, I would love to have you in and spend more time with you in person. Because I just think you're a fascinating guy. And this is -- this is something that I think historians will be reporting on. This is the beginning of a massive cultural change globally and what we do and how we, each of us, act as leaders in our own home, in our own circle of influence, and how we either hang ourself or don't hang ourselves as individuals is important. And I'm glad you're watching this, Jon. Thank you so much.

JON: Thank you, Glenn. I really appreciate it.

GLENN: You bet. Jon Ronson. The name of the book is So You've Been Publicly Shamed. It is a fascinating look of stories that you have heard.

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: But you've never heard it from their side. You've never seen what happened afterwards. Isn't it amazing? He's the only -- only person in the media to reach out to her, to this day.

STU: Well, at least successfully.

JEFFY: Right.

STU: Since he wrote about it, I'm sure people have been interested.

GLENN: I'm sure people also -- she's not taking very many that she doesn't know. Yeah.

STU: No. She wants out of this.

Featured Image: Be More Human: Mindshare meets Jon Ronson during Advertising Week Europe 2016 at Picturehouse Central on April 18, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Advertising Week Europe)

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Mercury One would like to invite you to be a neighbor in your community to help us restore the human spirit through simple — yet impactful — random acts of kindness and volunteer opportunities on November 16, 2019.

This nationwide Be A Neighbor Campaign, hosted by VOMO in association with the film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, allows us to honor the legacy of Mr. Rogers and the impact he made in communities across the world.

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Celebrities aren’t our culture warriors

Screenshot/YouTube

Because this is the state of our politics nowadays, the past few days have seen the Washington Nationals World Series victory overshadowed by the team's visit to the White House. When catcher Kurt Suzuki donned a MAGA hat and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman praised Trump, Woke Twitter erupted and another outrage cycle began—and has yet to dissipate fully.

At this point, anger with celebrities for their politics has become a normal function of our culture. And frankly, it's exhausting. Yet, when entertainment becomes a substitute battleground for politics, it's also inevitable. We not only welcome, but expect our celebrities to actively advance our political agendas. But for the sake of American discourse, we must re-learn the value of separating entertainment from our politics.

The root of this conflation problem originates from a psychological phenomenon called "the halo effect." We seem to presume good characteristics from a person simply because we appreciate another characteristic about them. For example, person A is talented at X, so that person must also be talented at Y. With celebrities, we incorrectly assume they have expertise in whatever they do, which is why we care deeply about their political and cultural viewpoints. And their silence is perceived as complicity, as we saw with the bizarre campaign to get Taylor Swift to denounce President Trump.

With celebrities, we incorrectly assume they have expertise in whatever they do, which is why we care deeply about their political and cultural viewpoints.

Under this paradigm, it's only natural that we end up having female soccer star Meghan Rapinoe questioned not solely on her athletic success, but also her thoughts on the president and the state of the 2020 election. Some have even gone so far as to suggest that she become a politician one day.

But whenever celebrities espouse political views that run afoul of our expectations, it engenders a startling, gag-like reaction because we assume, often erroneously, that they were enlightened and adherent to our political vision. This leads certain conservative figures to behave rather hypocritically, such as when they demean Lebron James, telling him to "shut up and dribble" while extolling Kanye West because he supports the president.

But of course, expertise is not transferable. A great baseball player can have a tough time understanding Alexander Hamilton's writing. A renowned popstar can make for a lousy thinker. There is not one good reason why MSNBC, a purportedly serious network, needs to interview actor Robert De Niro about impeachment or director Rob Reiner about the findings of the Mueller Report. Neither of these figures have any especially unique insight or political experience.

Of course, Kurt Suzuki and Ryan Zimmerman have been venerated by Trump's base and targeted by the Resistance. Surely, many more figures will follow their lead and occupy the news cycle for all of the wrong reasons.

The only remedy for all of this, then, is to fortify the separation between entertainment and politics.

The only remedy for all of this, then, is to fortify the separation between entertainment and politics. That requires celebrities to push back against calls to disavow certain figures on the basis of politics. Things looked hopeful when Ellen DeGeneres recently stood up for her friendship with George W. Bush, despite profound political differences.

But more importantly, it requires the American people to detach themselves from the political hysteria that has infected every aspect of our daily lives. The reality is that some celebrities are smart—but many aren't. We shouldn't presume political prowess because they're talented in other arenas. And we shouldn't crave their opinions or denounce them when they disagree with ours. In other words, we need to recognize that they are regular people, and we should approach their viewpoints no differently than we would anyone else's.

Ethan Lamb (@realethanlamb) is a Young Voices contributor and a law student at Georgetown University.

Kevin Ryan: America, country versus city

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Imagine a prairie, red in bloodshot light, swollen with corn.

You're in a rocking chair, on a porch, looking out at fields of grain, surrounded by friends and family. Now imagine an urban sprawl, a landscape of fog and metal and sidewalk and car horns. From the patio of your high-rise apartment, you look out at the city, as a dinner party churns.

One thing I hear repeatedly from people in rural areas is, "I cannot believe the amount of hatred Trump faces. It's unprecedented."
If you measure public opinion via mainstream media — excluding Fox News, which is definitely part of the so-called mainstream media — you'd understandably assume that most Americans hate Trump's guts.

Yet nearly 63 million people voted for him in 2016. Still fewer than Hillary Clinton, although Trump nabbed the electoral vote by a far larger margin.

When I talk to people in cities, they often have a gauzy idea about Trump supporters. To them, Trump supporters are faraway anomalies. The obverse is true in smaller towns, especially in the countryside — and not just the South or in Middle America, you'll find tons of Trump flags along the backroads of Oregon and California, same for the East coast.

Earlier this summer, I was at a gun range in Clear Lake, Texas and a half-dozen people were wearing MAGA hats, including one of the Ranger Officers. Drive an hour north on the Gulf Freeway, into the Montrose neighborhood of Houston, and you'll find a much different dynamic.

And Clear Lake is by no means a small town, not compared to all those towns throughout Texas with 200 people and a gas station.

Because the divide is multifold. And impressively, nearly all of the separate attributes at play are polarized.

Probably because liberals and conservatives literally don't even live in the same places. Rarely cross paths.

There are two America's, same as ever. The countryside and the city. I've lived in both. And as I travel around America for this series, I see the delicate kingdoms of each.

So as I travel around from state to state, through all the different towns and cities, I feel the presence of Walt Whitman's great poem "America."

Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear'd, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
Chair'd in the adamant of Time

*

In 2016, a paltry 12 percent of Trump voters lived in urban areas, compared to Clinton's 32 percent. The numbers were basically flipped, with 35 percent of Trump voters in rural areas, compared to 19 percent of Clinton voters in rural areas.
This divide was even more dramatic along partisan lines.

As noted by Pew Research Center,

Virtually all validated voters with consistently liberal values voted for Clinton over Trump (95% to 2%), while nearly all those with consistently conservative values went for Trump (98% to less than 1% for Clinton).

So it makes sense that neither side would understand the other. Especially when you toss in a dose of American combativeness.

*


In the words of Aristotle, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

Which is not to say that Americans aren't of an educated mind, although it is something we have historically been sensitive about, particularly in relation to art and literature.

Rather, my point is that there are gradations of ignorance.

A continuum.

Some forms of ignorance are more forgivable than others. And a certain type of ignorance is not forgivable at all.

*

Our hindrance, as Americans, is that we are — well, we are stubborn people. I've lived outside America, and traveled extensively. My father is Irish, and I have dual citizenship.

I will say that every country has problems. Unique problems.

As Americans, we tend to lean on convenience, even if we don't see it as a luxury. Which, let's be real, it totally is.

We take for granted that, when you're in public and you need to use a toilet, there's one nearby. And it's free. And clean.
Or showers. How often are we forced to take cold showers?

I know I'm doing a lot of generalizing here, but I've thought about it a lot, and it's all based on my desire to see Americans get along better. To rouse the humanity in all of us.

We Americans will always thrive with a pioneer spirit. A wildness. Rebels.

And Americans are undoubtedly some of the kindest, most generous people on earth.

*

But we also tend to focus exclusively on ourselves, our country, our city, our town, our yard, our skyline. Which happens everywhere, yes, but not like here. More often, we can't even imagine the other worlds within our own country.

*

Here's an exercise, if you're a born-and-bred American.

Name a dozen living world leaders. Now a dozen more.

Describe the Croatian flag, or the flag of any African country. Can you tell the difference between the Salvadorian flag and the flag of Argentina?

Sing a few national Anthems.

Revolutions or uprisings are currently taking place in the following countries or regions: Chile, Iran, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Hong Kong, Libya, Niger, Lebanon, Iraq, France, Puerto Rico, Haiti, you get the idea.

Because people in other countries know far more about America than we know about them. Which, at times, can be heart-breaking:

Protesters singing the American national anthem youtu.be

Don't get me wrong, I probably got the same score on that little quiz as you did.

Probably lower, actually, as the folks who contact me about my stories have the most astute and insightful observations.

*

Want to know the one thing we can all agree on as Americans? Cutting in line is unforgivable. Any sort of line. We learn this from a young age. Internalize it, collectively. If you ask us, we say that line-cutters deserve the great heat of an eternal hell!

*

Real talk here. We're spoiled, and occasionally we act like it. Although, most of the time — say, while traveling abroad — we're so kind that we come off as naïve, which is charming when you think of it.

And most of all, we are big, in mind and heart and spirit. In the words of the great American poet Walt Whitman, we contain multitudes.

You'd never know it, but Americans comprise a mere 4 percent of the world's population.

And, look, I'm not here to trash America. I love our country.

And I find much of the criticisms of our country to be rooted in cowardice, even when they are legitimate.

More than a few times, in Spain or Germany, I listened to locals excoriate the States. While drinking a Coca-Cola, and wearing Levi's Jeans, and nodding their head to Bruce Springsteen, as the Simpsons plays on the TV and a Cormac McCarthy novel rests on their bookshelf.

Most people I've met abroad like America. And they love Americans.

They admire our weird, endless spirit.

Poet Theodore Roethke wrote, "What's freedom for?"

In readings of the poem, he lets the question hang in the air for a moment, then answers it with a bellow.

"To know eternity."

*

Not only are we heartedly multicultural, our diversity is natural.

With regard to race and ethnicity, the U.S. usually occupies the middle of the chart.

But what's unique about the U.S. is that an American can be any race, ethnicity, sex, gender, age, color.
And this is our golden age.

You'd never know it, but Americans comprise a mere 4 percent of the world's population. Because, most of all, we are big, in mind and heart and spirit. To paraphrase Walt Whitman, we contain multitudes.

*

Ask liberals to describe conservatives, and vice versa, and you'll find that both sides tend to depict the other in a ghoulishly inaccurate and unflattering way. Conservatives often see liberals as elitist, intolerant, self-important, and out-of-touch.

Whereas liberals see conservatives as dumb, intolerant, backwards, and out-of-touch.

Either way, it's a pretty bad way to start a conversation.

*

We know the statistics by now. White voters accounted for 88 percent of the Trump vote. And far fewer Trump supporters were non-college whites.

More white women voted for Trump than for Clinton.

Of all the groups, Black women accounted for the fewest Trump votes, so few that its nearly statistically insignificant. In total, Trump got 6 percent of the Black vote.

A few things have changed since then. Specifically, Candace Owens and Kanye West.

I'll profile Owens in a later installment, for the last six months or so, I've been reporting on it. The vociferous, charming, and unbelievable 30-year-old woman at the helm of a strange new countercultural movement re-shaping America. She wears her MAGA hat when she travels, and she travels most days of the year.

She has led #Blexit, a movement geared at empowering the black community to vote Republican.

Kanye West, who was emboldened by Owen's unflinching style and bold words, regularly defends his support of Trump.

Those two events alone are bound to increase the number of Black Americans who vote for Trump in 2020.

I'll be at Kanye's performance in Houston on Sunday, at Joel Osteen's mega-church. And, about the time this story publishes, I'll be en route to Bossier City, Louisiana for my third Trump rally in as many weeks. And everywhere I travel for this series, I see the recurring qualities unique to our country.

Those two events alone are bound to increase the number of Black Americans who vote for Trump in 2020.

We Americans are generally honest people. We are straightforward yet empathetic. Just contrast general American English with general British English. We are cowboys and roughshod poets, they are royalty and cautious essayists.

In the introduction to this series, I described today's America, our America, as "a country that is — everywhere, secretly — hurting."

My aim, along the way, has been to scour for remedies. To posit whatever positivity I can. Like prayer in public, to tens of thousands of people every week.

As I see it, we will fix America by living out our most American ideals. By speaking from our spirit, no gimmickry or slogans or con men in the way.

We need truth. Its function is to guide us to redemption.

*

The most insidious criticism of America comes from inside. It is much different than protest. Because America is a free country. We can express our beliefs and opinions how we like. That includes kneeling athletes and flag-defiling musicians. Dissent is allowed and patriotism is by no means required.

What I'm talking about is subtler. It can arise from any point on the political spectrum. Left, right, center. Even be apolitical. It embodies the unforgivable ignorance I mentioned above. People who spit at the world around them, lacking self-awareness, unaware of the privilege that comes with living in America. They've never left, never even tried. Yet they remain certain, until their opinions mutate into hatred, and only want to destroy. They deny humanity, they choose nihilism.

It's easy to be cynical about something you don't understand. Humanity is the realization that all of this has meaning. That every moment of life is charged with an existential purpose. That death is a life with no meaning.

This video makes the rounds every once in a while. It's meant to denounce the spirit of our country, to drain it of meaning, but just comes off as snotty and high-minded, which, to be fair, are trademarks of a quality Aaron Sorkin monologue.

All my life, my father, an immigrant, has told me that America is the greatest country in the world. Just look at the Democratic Presidential candidates. Andrew Yang's parents emigrated from Taiwan, he flourished, now he's running for President. Bernie Sanders, son of a man who fled Poland as a teenage high school drop-out with a poor grasp of English, is now also running for President. Or Pete Buttigieg, whose father emigrated from Malta in 1979. Kamala Harris' mother emigrated from India, her father from Jamaica.

In other words, seven immigrants, all from different continents, traveled to America with hope and their eyes, and now their children have a realistic chance of being the President of the country. From the bottom to the top, in one generation.That would be like if your parents emigrated to America from another country, worked hard, then you went on to become a realistic candidate for the most important job in the entire world. Now do that three more times.

Because there is nothing to compare it to.

It becomes all the more impressive the farther you zoom out.

Imagine taking a time machine back to Ancient Egypt and trying to make your way up the ladder so that your son could become Pharaoh. You'd zap into the sand and straight into slavery. Immediately. And your kids? Assuming you even had time for love, on account of all the pyramid building, slaves, also.

And even if you were somehow able to maneuver to the top, you could still die at any moment of some horrific, now-curable disease.

Or be poisoned by Cleopatra.

Or be "suicided" by Romans, never to be found.

Or just vanish, despite your being the Pharaoh.

Or be decapitated by your own father.

Or drown in the Nile.

Or lose your firstborn in a Biblical plague.

All of which were fates that Pharaohs actually suffered. And even the lucky Pharaohs, they didn't have air conditioning or cars or pizza delivery.

New installments of this series come out every Monday and Thursday morning. Check out my Twitter or email me at kryan@mercurystudios.com

Editor's Note: You don't want to miss this! To get the whole story, watch this special now. If you like what you see, use promo code GB20OFF to get $20 off a full year of BlazeTV. Help support research like this and get access to more Glenn content with breakdowns issues and complex ideas daily. With a BlazeTV subscription, you're not just paying to watch great pro-free speech, pro-America TV. Your subscription funds the intensive investigations that let BlazeTV tell the stories the liberal media wants to keep in the dark, giving you the unvarnished truth, showing you what the media doesn't want you to see.

"As one falls, two more will take their place."

Democracy does die in darkness and is being strangled in secret, back-door arrangements. In the third part of our special series on the REAL Ukraine scandal, my team's research exposes a much bigger story into what Democrats were doing in Ukraine. Disturbing details and explosive documents reveal how the Obama Deep State allowed the theft of a country and has set the stage for devastating consequences on our democracy today. It's all happening under the nose of the president and, more importantly, without the approval of the American people.

There's a big difference between conspiracy THEORY and conspiracy FACT. A conspiracy THEORY is an attempt to explain or connect the dots on something, but without any hard evidence. Everything in this is backed up with hard evidence. Is it a conspiracy? Absolutely it is, but it's a conspiracy FACT.

Watch the full special here:

As you watch the special, take time to explore the documents below, with all the proof you need to come to your own conclusion about the impeachment inquiry, Soros, and Ukraine.

Here are the facts

The Obama Administration has been working IN TANDEM with George Soros, supporting his NGOs, going all the way back to the months leading up to the Ukrainian Coup in 2014. In 2013, just before the coup, Soros' International Renaissance Foundation was their primary financier, but the U.S. Embassy was also strangely giving them money.

Link: https://antac.org.ua/en/pro-nas/ (Go to finances and mouse over 2013, notice IRS and US Embassy.)

From 2014 through 2017, basically up until Trump became president, the two main sources of funding came from George Soros and the Obama Administration through USAID.

Link: https://antac.org.ua/en/pro-nas/ (Go to finances and mouse over 2014-2017, notice IRS and USAID.)

Now look at 2018. The Trump Administration halted the money from USAID, so look who stepped in to pull the extra weight: Soros doubled down, and then the U.S. Embassy resumed their funding role just as they did BEFORE the 2014 coup.

Link: https://antac.org.ua/en/pro-nas/ (Go to finances and mouse over 2018, notice IRS, Open Society and US Embassy.)

Why is the U.S. Embassy, and by extension the State Department, working with George Soros? What do they have to gain from this relationship? Let me ask you this: have you noticed where all the people that have been called to testify against Donald Trump in the impeachment inquiry have come from? They're ALL career diplomats. They're all privy to what went down in the months leading up to the Ukrainian Coup, and everything that went down from then up until Donald Trump. And this includes, if the rumors are correct, the whistleblower, whom everyone in Washington believes is Eric Ciaramella.

Link: https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2...

Ciaramella is a CIA analyst, and was on the NSC during the Trump Administration as a Ukraine expert. He was later kicked out of the White House for leaking information and pushing Russia collusion hoaxes. He also worked directly with DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa who was tasked with working alongside the Ukrainian Embassy in the U.S. to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. And if all of this isn't enough to discredit him as a witness, he ALSO worked alongside Joe Biden when he was made the “point man" in Ukraine. It's becoming all too painfully obvious why Adam Schiff doesn't want anyone talking to this guy.

Why are all these State Department officials, and CIA/NSC staffers so scared of Donald Trump poking around in Ukraine? I wonder ... does it have anything to do with the financing of some of these groups like the Soros funded NGO? I pointed out in my mega chalkboard that Ukrainian prosecutors claimed to have evidence that over SEVEN BILLION had been misappropriated. Is this part of that, because that's kind of important here. And would it also be important, or relevant, if the people currently involved in impeachment were dealing with these funds that were being given to groups like the Soros NGO? That is an answer we can not find, but that is an answer that Donald Trump was asking for on they July 25th phone call ... and it MUT BE ANSWERED in a Senate trial.

Link: https://foia.state.gov/Search/results.aspx?searchT...

This email chain was released via a Freedom of Information Act request. The first email is from the alleged whistleblower sent to all the heavy weights within the State Department that were working on Ukraine. The entire email has been redacted. Whatever Ciaramella specifically said, the State Department doesn't want us to know about, but the final email in the chain reveals the overall context: Obama Administration dollars, going through the U.S. Embassy via USAID.

And the State Department official that replied with this information, was Christopher Anderson. Now why does that name sound familiar?

Link: https://www.npr.org/2019/10/30/774552056/read-chri...

Oh that's right. He was testifying against Donald Trump at the impeachment inquiry twi weeks ago. They're ALL connected ... and the coup is on

But still, this begs the question: what was really going on in Ukraine and WHY?

Being that U.S. funding to Soros backed groups began in 2013, we started looking beyond our initial timeline. We noticed one name pop up again, and again and again. That name is Alec Ross.

Ross was appointed to the State Department as the Senior Advisor on Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He first started popping up in Ukraine in late 2011.

This is Ross at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine on a fact finding mission where he was quote:

Learning about the local status of internet freedom and discussing Secretary Clinton's 21st Century Statecraft agenda.

Link: https://usembassykyiv.wordpress.com/tag/alec-ross/

This is Alec Ross addressing the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine in October 2011 (5:03 to 5:23).

Disruptive change. Some might describe this as CHAOS, but ultimately — for those willing to exploit it — the reward is ... POWER.

For most of us, no matter which side of the aisle you're on, we all pretty much agree that regime change and stoking chaos is NOT what the American people want. But this is EXACTLY what was going on under the Obama Administration, and it was all being done in YOUR name.

Hillary's State Department was bastardizing a plan that actually began a few weeks after Obama was elected in November 2008.

Link: https://2001-2009.state.gov/r/us/2008/112605.htm

It was an initiative called Public Diplomacy 2.0, and it's stated goal was to enable people in other countries to combat violent or extreme ideology. More specifically, Islamic radicalism from Al Qaeda.

Link: https://2001-2009.state.gov/r/us/2008/112310.htm

The State Department invited tech savvy people from all over the world to show them how to network and launch Social Media campaigns to counter radical ideology.

Link: https://2009-2017.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/nov/1...

But just a few months later, under the Obama Administration, Clinton changed Public Diplomacy 2.0 to “Civil Society 2.0." Here's Alec Ross on what Civil Society 2.0 was doing, and how they were actively training groups to mobilize through Social Media.

Let's just call a spade a spade here. Civil Society 2.0 was a training ground for the foot soldiers of what began to be known as “indigenous, spontaneous uprisings." And if you're curious as to what “civil society" or “open society" groups should be advocating, here's Hillary Clinton speaking THIS YEAR on civil society organizations (1:00:52 to 1:01:40).

Was that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren or was that Hillary Clinton? Civil Society 2.0 came to Ukraine in 2011. Alec Ross' TechCamps commenced shortly after, teaching native activists and NGOs how to mobilize, and carry their online presence to the streets.

I want to show you a video taken within the Ukrainian Parliament in November 2013. This was BEFORE the Ukrainian uprising ousted the former regime (0:20 to 1:07).

It's important to point out that this lawmaker was very pro-Russia, and he was being shouted down because of that. But it's also important to point out that everything he just said, WE KNOW was actually happening.

As we analyzed Ukraine, we started to break down the left's strategy in tearing down an entire country, and molding it in line with their political ideology. The founders of the Fabian Society would be impressed.

It's a four part strategy, and — since Ukraine was so successful for them — we'll use it as the case study. I want you to know that I'm only using Ukraine as an example, but this is happening all over the world.

Step one: The U.S. State Department - and their proxies like the National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House - identifies, trains and funds “Civil Society" groups to mobilize.

This is Civil Society 2.0 and operations like Alec Ross' “TechCamps."

Link: https://2009-2017.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/09/19...

It all began in Ukraine — eerily enough — on September 11, 2012.

And make no mistake ... these programs are designed for one thing: REVOLUTION. They operate to nurture chaos and collapse regimes. They're not even trying to hide that fact. Check out this quote from Alec Ross:

Some of the things that I spoke about when I came into the department — things like leaderless revolution or virtual organizations — might have been really edgy or a little off-center. But after Tunisia and Egypt, nobody is questioning the abstraction of leaderless revolutions, and after WikiLeaks, certainly everybody understands the power of virtual, globally distributed organizations.

Link: https://mashable.com/2011/08/22/alec-ross-tech-int...

Leaderless revolutions ... kind of sounds familiar doesn't it? “You can't ban or go after ANTIFA. They're just a leaderless activist group." “We can't shut down Occupy Wall Street ... there's no leadership."

No administration in their right mind — outside of Obama and Hillary — would condone something like this. That's why they built it to run separately within already established organizations like the State Department. These policies are being pursued RIGHT NOW, and they could give a flying crap who the president is. Again, from Alec Ross:

Instead of trying to create a new bureau, what we wanted to do was build a long-term institutional capacity. I leave feeling that the work has been fully institutionalized and that the programs will live on.

Link: https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/03/14/tech-guru-ale...

A little tip for Alec and Hillary: Hydra from Captain America ... they're the BAD GUYS. Maybe you should stop talking and acting like them.

Is it starting to become clear now why the U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine was telling Ukrainian lawmakers to keep their hands off of Soros NGOs? One fo the satr witnesses for Adam Schiff in the impeachment is the former ukrainian ambassador that trump and the new president of ukraine spoke about in the Jukly 25th call. Multiple sources verify that she told the prosecutor general in uktraine to keep their hands off of the soros ngos, and various others. Is it now a littl emore lcr]ear why should would have said that? Because Soros is working with the State Dpearmtnet. Its not criminal to them… its the plan. And why a CIA analyst was involved in USAID money going into Ukraine, and now is a whistleblower against a president that was looking into it? Or maybe why the main witnesses in the impeachment are all from the State Department and diplomatic corps? And also how the intelligence community and FBI has seemingly been operating on their own to bring down Trump. It's because, as Alec Ross said, this operation has now been quote, “institutionalized and will live on.'' This House impeachment trial is why Elliot Ness had to switch jurys. Because Al Capone had paid off the jury, press, judges and was controlling who was testifying.

Step 2: When opportunity emerges, U.S. trained activists go into action.

I'll talk about the Arab Spring more in a bit, but the opportunity in the Middle East and North Africa was a Tunisian fruit vendor setting himself on fire. For Ukraine, it was when the former president decided to side with Russia over the European Union. That's when all the people that Alec Ross and the State Department trained went into action.

Step 3: The State Department, and their proxies, actively support the opposition.

Under Obama, this was actual Administration policy, but now this happens REGARDLESS of the elected administration's policy by the “INSTITUTIONALIZED" Deep State. This institutionalized policy is what all witnesses were talking about in the impeachment trial. Trump is a threat to the policy they have going, and they will NOT STOP doing this policy no matter what the president says.

As activists, protesters and riots began to overtake the streets in Ukraine, Victoria Nuland — the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs — travel to Ukraine 3 separate times. In December 2013, she was even seen handing out cookies to activists in the streets!

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/15/john...

That same month, John McCain showed that Obama's regime change policy was a bipartisan effort when he went to Ukraine to meet with the Ukrainian opposition. But lets not forget, it was the same John McCain that went over to Syria to meet with the terrorists who later became ISIS. When the administration used this very revolutionary system to try and overthrow Assad.

The National Endowment for Democracy, which I just showed you in our little history lesson a few minutes ago, reported that it spent over 3 million of YOUR tax dollars in Ukraine.

Link: https://web.archive.org/web/20140831044648/http://www.ned.org/where-we-work/eurasia/ukraine

Question: Why has this report has been scrubbed from their official website? And when will people learn the internet is forever?

Their funding included more than thirty thousand dollars to George Soros' Open Society Foundation. Again, this begs the question: why was the U.S. Government helping George Soros? What was their ultimate goal here?

The answer to those questions lies in the final stage of this plan.

Step 4: Once regime change has occurred, infiltrate the new government with hand picked “Civil Society" leaders.

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26079957

Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was caught red-handed in a leaked phone conversation, discussing how they were manipulating who would become the next Ukrainian Prime Minister. And — surprise surprise — their man ended up getting the job.

But even though they'd been publicly outed, manipulating the affairs of a sovereign nation, they didn't stop ... they doubled down.

We already know that the State Department, and the Obama Administration as a whole, were working to protect a George Soros funded NGO called the Anti-Corruption Action Center. Soros and the Obama Admin were specifically using them to target Ukraine's criminal justice system. But their coordination didn't stop there. Newly released emails, obtained by Freedom of Information Act requests, shows near weekly communication between Nuland and Soros.

Link: https://www.scribd.com/document/421081817/SorosNul... (See last line in paragraph on first email at bottom.)

This email chain from June 1st 2016 shows Soros setting up a call with Nuland for one of their scheduled “updates."

Link: https://www.scribd.com/document/421081036/SorosNul...

This next email chain just one week later, initiated by Soros' organization, details how the State Department and Soros were actively working together on projects relating to Ukraine's criminal justice system.

Do you recognize any of these names? Wait ... is that the whistleblower? Crazy ... it's almost like this guy had his hands into EVERYTHING. The State Department, the NSC, CIA, DNC operatives, Joe Biden, and now George Soros. This is the REAL reason why Adam Schiff and the Democrats are so scared of naming the whistleblower. There's no way they want him testifying in an open forum, and they'll do everything in their power to make sure it doesn't happen.

What I'm about to show you is absolutely insane. This is the final piece that shows you the full extent of how embedded the State Department and George Soros were in the Ukrainian Government. This right here is how they sealed the deal on the theft of an entire country.

Link: https://www.scribd.com/document/421078499/Soros-Uk...

This is a leaked document that was actually written by George Soros personally, entitled: "Comprehensive Strategy For The New Ukraine"

In this paper, Soros identifies the institutions that need to either be set up or targeted.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau needed to be established.

They got this done right from the beginning. It's also relevant to point out that this relationship bore fruit for the Obama Administration after they pressured the Bureau to investigate Manafort. They later hit a home run when they illegally released information implicating Manafort in the “Black Ledger," and that kicked the Russia Investigation into overdrive. And why did I say “illegally" released the information? Because a Ukrainian court convicted the head of the Anti-Corruption Bureau for doing this, and interfering in the U.S. 2016 election.

Isn't it interesting that the establishment of the Bureau was all part of Soros' plan who was coordinating DIRECTLY with the Obama Administration. And it was the head of this very organization that was caught on tape bragging how he worked to discredit Trump on behalf of Hillary Clinton. By the way ... convicted in a court of law for interfering in the U.S. election.

Judiciary Reform, including the appointment of a new High Council of justice.

Rewrite the Constitution.

That's game, set and match. Control those three areas, along with an ally in the Presidency — which they had — and the country was now THEIRS.

But Soros had a problem. As he notes, the newly elected Parliament (the rada) was slowing down his master plan by having the audacity of insisting on that pesky little thing called “transparency." But, not to worry, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

(See end of page 3 and 4.)

Soros notes that after a year of preparation, all the pieces were finally in place for quote “radical reform." His plan called for the creation of the National Reform Council that would bring together the president's administration, the cabinet of ministers, Parliament and — get this — civil society. Which basically means the government — ALL OF IT — would be linked directly to HIM.

And this shows the insane hypocrisy of Soros and all these other organizations, supported by the State Department and Obama Administration, that claim to be spreading Democracy. The NSC had the power to completely bypass Parliament. It was designed to fast track “radical reform" by completely subverting the will of the people. That doesn't sound very Democracy-ish.

(See page 4 paragraph 5.)

Now here's the best part. If you wanna know who REALLY pulls the strings in what had now become the most powerful entity in the “New Ukraine", all you have to do is read paragraph 5 on page 4.

The sole financer for the National Reform Council was the International Renaissance Foundation. Also known as, the Ukrainian branch of the George Soros Foundation. Oh but never mind, it's ok. Soros points out that a Ukrainian department would later take over the funding for the Reform Council… so there's that. The “Project Management Office" would eventually fill Soros' funding role, and lead the charge on implementing reform projects. But where would THEY get their funding?

(See page 4 paragraph 5, particularly “International Renaissance Foundation" and “will be one of the main supporters of the PMO.")

Oh ... George Soros.

(See page 6.)

And he was standing by with one billion of his own money to invest in various Ukrainian businesses. Because why settle with just bending a country to your Leftist policies when you can also make billions to boot? Oh, but he wants to make it clear that he's going to reinvest all of that money into his Civil Society programs. Obama was right: sometimes you have enough money. Soros doesn't want more money. If I can quote Alec Ross: he wants more POWER.

It's really hard to grasp the concept that someone could just start revolutions, collapse countries — as Soros has. He's considered a criminal in many countries in Asia for what he's done. But this is what he's about. As I reminded you in his own words, this is fun for him.

Ukraine became the crown jewel for the now “institutionalized" U.S. Deep State and their like minded partners such as George Soros. And we might not have ever truly known the full extent of how bad it has become if not for that July 25th phone call between Trump and Zelesnky. Hydra mobilized, and they revealed themselves. But Ukraine is just the tip of the iceberg.

When Clinton's Civil Society 2.0 first came to Ukraine, consider the state of the world at the time.

The revolutions going on in the Middle East that he's talking about were more commonly known as ... The Arab Spring. At this point in time, November 2011, revolutions had broken out in Tunisia, Oman, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Libya and Morocco. TWO regimes — Egypt and Libya — had already fully collapsed.

Now for parts of the Arab Spring, the Obama Administration was much more overt in their participation. Remember this from Hillary Clinton?

Everytime I hear that, I think of the video of the barely alive Gadaffi.

Not a good guy. But can you imagine being responsbile for that and laughing about it? Its almost as if this is “fun" for those involved. Clinton, the State Department ... who do they answer to? Certainly not you.

Libya still hasn't recovered, and would eventually become the country with the largest ISIS presence outside Syria. Libya and Syria are absolute dumpster fires, and Alec Ross' “shop" within the State Department were at ground zero right from the beginning.

Link: https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/03/14/tech-guru-ale...

They were training NGOs and rebels in both countries, and actually providing communications technology to enable them to coordinate.

This was going down WHILE the Arab Spring was in full swing, but the meddling began long BEFORE.

Link: https://2009-2017.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/nov/1...

Civil Society 2.0 began in November 2009, and it's no coincidence where they chose to kick it off… North Africa.

And remember what this program is intended for… what it's designed to nurture: revolution and regime change. As they did in Ukraine, they identify “Civil Society" groups, train them, fund them and show them how to mobilize.

Just a few months later, the White House initiated secret meetings with officials from the State Department and CIA. The meetings were led by Dennis Ross, the senior advisor on the Middle East; Samantha Power, from the National Security Council; and Gayle Smith, the director for global development.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/world/middleeas...

They developed an 18 page classified report which the Obama Administration dubbed Presidential Study Directive 11.

Link: https://fas.org/irp/offdocs/psd/index.html

Now, the Obama Admin issued 11 Study Directives in total, and the vast majority have been declassified. But all we know about PSD 11 is that it had to do with quote: “political reform in the Middle East and North Africa."

An official with knowledge of the classified report told this to the New York Times:

"Whether it was Yemen or other countries in the region, you saw a set of trends" — a big youth population, threadbare education systems, stagnant economies and NEW SOCIAL NETWORK TECHNOLOGIES LIKE FACEBOOK AND TWITTER — that was a "real prescription for trouble."

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/world/middleeas...

Could I just ask: Is this why Facebook, Twitter and Google have hired so many democrats specifically form HC's State Department office? Are they an expansion of the SD? You do know that the original seed money for google came form the CIA. What had the gov asked for in return. By the way ... that's a question, not a theory. And not a conspiracy fact as of yet.

Why is this report still classified? I'll just throw this out there ... maybe because there was an office in the State Department that was traveling the world training these “big youth populations" in revolution and regime change, in the months BEFORE the Arab Spring began?

Civil Society 2.0 arrived in the Middle East and North Africa in November 2009. Presidential Study Directive 11 occurred in August 2010. The Arab Spring kicked off just FOUR MONTHS LATER.

I want to make a personal plea to President Trump. If you want to know how institutionalized Hydra is, and why they're coning after you so hard you might want to declassify directive 11. If you want to see how deep the Ukrainian rabbit whole REALLY goes ... declassify PSD 11. You have the power to do it. I have a feeling that the strategy they used to take over Ukraine is probably described IN DETAIL in PSD 11.

Everything that was happening in Ukraine, was being done during the Arab Spring. Civil Society 2.0 had been on the ground a full year before the Arab Spring kicked off.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/world/15aid.html

U.S. dollars then began to flow to the protestors on the streets. They did this through funding from Freedom House and the National Endowment for Democracy.

Remember that State Department meeting in 2008 a few months after Obama was elected? The Egyptian activists that brought down their countries regime ... were at that conference. They were:

Taught to use social networking and mobile technologies to promote democracy.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/world/15aid.html

This is a leaked State Department diplomatic cable where they confirm the participation of the Egyptian activists at the 2008 meeting in New York.

Link: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaa...

It also reveals that the U.S. Embassy in Egypt was putting pressure on the Egyptian government in support of the street protestors.

And, just as in Ukraine, the Egyptian Regime buckled under the weight of these new tech savvy global community organizers.

All three stages that would later be used in Ukraine, were pulled off to perfection in toppling the regime in Egypt. But what about stage 4?

Infiltrating the criminal justice system was harder in Egypt because the military had an iron grasp on the government. So how did they plan on getting around that? Exactly what George Soros proposed in Ukraine ... just rewrite the Constitution.

Link: https://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE71F0...

This Reuters article, written right after the regime fell, describes who was involved in rewriting Egypt's Constitution. Look who was in charge:

“CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS had already produced several drafts and a new constitution could be ready in a month."

The main group in charge was the Arabic Network for Human Rights. You'll never guess who funds them.

Link: http://www.anhri.net/en/reports/net2004/thank.shtml (Specifically, “HRINFO gratefully acknowledges the Open Society Institute (OSI) for its financial support.")

And while Soros funded NGOs went to work rewriting the Constitution, he then moved to get his guys into top level positions within the government.

Link: https://www.npr.org/2011/01/31/133307779/could-egy...

Mohammed ElBaradei emerged out of nowhere as the de facto leader of the “revolution." He's also a trustee of an organization called the International Crisis Group.

Link: https://www.crisisgroup.org/

They're a ThinkTank that claims to be:

Working to prevent wars and shape policies that will build a more peaceful world.

They're also founded AND FUNDED by George Soros.

Everything was in place for a Ukraine level theft of a country, but the Egyptian military stepped in and put a stop to it.

What began 10 years ago in North Africa and the Middle East, and then later perfected in Ukraine in 2014 ... still goes on to this very day. We have a new president, a new administration, new lawmakers in Congress ... but Hydra marches on.

But to be fair, you could say that they're only trying to foment revolution in bad countries. Ok, but thats not the case.

A few months after Civil Society 2.0 began in Ukraine, a near identical project popped up in Macedonia.

Link: https://www.usaid.gov/macedonia/fact-sheets/civil-...

In February 2012, the U.S. Government gave George Soros nearly $5 million to carry out a quote “Civil Society Program." According to the financial disclosure, Soros was involved in training and funding Macedonians on freedom of association, youth policies, citizen initiatives, persuasive argumentation and use of new media. So, in other words, they wanted a Macedonian Spring.

The money flowed through the State Department and was facilitated by U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia Jess Baily. Now, at this point, this isn't surprising coming from the Obama Administration, but after Trump was elected in 2016 an additional $9.5 million was allocated to keep the operation going.

Judicial Watch has done some digging on this, and they've interviewed several Macedonian officials to find out what the State Department and Soros are up to. See if this sounds familiar:

The groups organize youth movements, create influential media outlets and organize violent protests to undermine the institutions and policies implemented by the government. One of the Soros' groups funded the translation and publication of Saul Alinsky's “Rules for Radicals" into Macedonian.

Link: https://www.judicialwatch.org/corruption-chronicle...

I wonder ... what did Hydra have against the Macedonian Government at the time? Could it be because they had one of the more conservative governments in all of Europe? They had the lowest flat tax on the continent, close ties with Israel and were strongly pro-life. They had also recently built a border fence to try and deal with the immigration crisis.

The State Department was attacking this government, through George Soros, with YOUR money.

Link: https://www.scribd.com/document/338904121/Senator-...

It prompted Mike Lee to write an official letter to Ambassador Baily, asking him what the heck was going on. This wasn't the official policy of the U.S. Government, this was someone else's SHADOW policy.

Link: https://www.newsweek.com/crisis-macedonia-protests...

And, as it has happened time and time again since this all began, violence, riots and chaos were the consequences of that shadow policy.

The U.S. Ambassador remained in Macedonia up until a few months ago. There was never any explanation as to why he left. There's no entry on the official embassy website. He just suddenly ... wasn't there anymore. I talked to Mike Lee before this broadcast. He told me that he received what the State Department might classify as answers. But Mike says that his questions were NEVER satisfactorily answered.

“Spontaneous, indigenous popular uprisings" continue to break out TO THIS DAY, and the fingerprints of Civil Society 2.0 and George Soros are all over it. They're following their 4 part plan country by country.

I challenge you —everywhere the violence is erupting — try and find one that isn't related to the programs, groups and people that I've shown you here.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/20/world/americas/...

Violence in Chile continues to boil over. Chile ... the one country in South America that has actually seen economic growth by adhering to open and free markets, is now spiraling out of control. More than 15 people have died. And you know what sparked all the chaos? It wasn't self immolation like the Arab Spring. No ... “Civil Society" groups hit the streets in Chile due to a three cent cost in public transportation. THREE PENNIES.

Chile's free market government has been a target of Hydra for a long time.

Link: https://2009-2017.state.gov/statecraft/cs20/index.htm

Civil Society 2.0 began setting up TechCamps in Chile in November 2010. From the press release:

Goals of the program include increasing regional civil society organizations' digital literacy, sharing information, building networks and matchmaking like-minded individuals to organizations.

It always reads the same, and regime change and chaos in the streets always follows. And those “like minded organizations and individuals" included people like this woman (Javiera Lopez).

Link: https://twitter.com/japalola?lang=en

She's one of the lead organizers out in the streets. She's also the National Political Counselor for a far-left Socialist political party called Democratic Revolution. Their top demands, as seen in this tweet, is to force the rewriting of the Chilean Constitution:

Hmm, where have we seen that before? The State Department and Soros, the Hydra that is called Civil Society 2.0.

A year after Civil Society 2.0 began training activists in Chile, Democratic Revolution formed to organize the quote “activities of the student movement." Today, they're leading the charge in the same way Egyptian activists overthrew the Mubarak regime. But none of it would have been possible without the financing of George Soros and his Open Society Foundation.

Link: https://www.biobiochile.cl/noticias/nacional/chile...

Soros was there from the beginning and continued funding through, AT LEAST, 2015. Now they're poised to overthrow one of the most free market economies in South America.

They're taking down country by country, one at a time. The strategies of progressive leaders in the past of establishing large governing bodies such as the League of Nations or the UN, and bending continents under their ideological boots is largely over. Why start from the top, when you can conquer fragile regimes one by one?

And if you think this is happening purely beyond our own borders ... I've got some REALLY bad news for you. Countries like Ukraine, Macedonia, Egypt, Yemen and even Chile are much easier to heat up, destabilize and then cast into your image. You can place allies in the criminal justice system, and do deals with their leaders to fast track legislation. You can't really do that here.

However, is it a coincidence that leftists are being trained here in the U.S. by Soros groups? That our DOJ, FBI CIA, all of it has been so badly damaged in reputation? That corruption is at a level I've never seen in our country before? And our Constitution is constantly discredited and no one really knows it anymore. How far-fetched is it to believe that in the next 5 years you could get America to call for an ACB — some outside force that would rat our corruption? How hard is it to believe that protesters —leaderless organizations — could rise up to create instability and demand that a few changes to be made to our constitution?

Make no mistake, Hydra is active here in the United States. They're skipping the federal government and going state by state, county by county ... city by city. The same tactics they've been employing all over the world have come, and are coming, to main street USA. We are currently in contact with multiple state officials who have been investigating the infiltration of Soros in key positions. It is well organized and well financed and way beyond anything you might have heard before.

You're likely to see a barrage of people on left instantly labeling this entire program a conspiracy THEORY. We're already seeing that in the impeachment proceedings. In her testimony, Fiona Hill said the words conspiracy theory at least twice, and at one point specifically mentions George Soros. But I'll challenge every single one of the naysayers: try and refute any single one of the FACTS I'm about to show you. Just try. I'll bring you on the show and we can talk about, but you better bring facts because I'll be holding all of mine.

And why is it so taboo to call out Soros' involvement in the Ukraine scandal? Why is Soros "the name that shall not be named"? What are they so afraid of? I've been highlighting FOR YEARS how he plays with entire countries. He's already brought several of those countries down.

Crashing economies and bringing countries to their knees is fun for him, but the question has always been: how does he do it, and — possibly more important — are nation states colluding with him to pull it off?