The Most Powerful News Story Glenn Ever Heard Was Six Words

"Chicago O'Hare, Eastern Airlines, 111 dead."

That was the news from Paul Harvey on July 19, 1989. The master storyteller and radio host had a way with words that resonated among Americans --- including a younger Glenn Beck.

"He was way ahead of his time.  Most powerful news story I ever heard, and one of the reasons why I wanted to get into radio: Orson Wells and Paul Harvey," Glenn said Monday on radio.

This followed a conversation about social media and its impact on the new way Americans consume news. Sharing a story from FiveThirtyEight, co-host Stu Burgiere recounted the author's recent three-month break from social media.

"They had a writer who had a book situation, so [she] had to go off social media for three months. And [she] wrote about, 'Hey, how did this affect my opinion of the news cycle?'" Stu explained. 

Christie Aschwanden, the author, came to a realization:

It dawned on me that I’d mostly stopped visiting websites directly and instead had been following the recommendations in my feeds to wherever they might lead me. My reading was no longer deliberate but curated by external forces that may or may not have aligned with my interests. I’d ceded control of my most valuable currency: my attention.

That trend --- having news pushed to us by an outside algorithm rather than seeking out sources independently --- has dramatically changed the way we consume news.

"Unbelievable, that's the way most people do it," Glenn said.

"Totally, you just get led down these roads, and you're not necessarily even reading what's most interesting to you or what's most important to you," Stu agreed.

Regarding the Paul Harvey story, Glenn had this to say:

"I knew everything that I needed to know. That's really kind of what America wants right now. They just want that, plus they want a confirmation of their opinion. Tell me my opinion is right," he said.

Aschwanden found exactly that to be true:

What became acutely obvious when I stopped taking their recommendations was how tribal online discussions can be. So many posts in my feeds were people broadcasting their political or professional identities by expressing outrage or praise for a particular news event or article. It seems to me that these kinds of posts aren’t so much about instigating thoughtful discourse as they are about broadcasting your own tastes or positioning yourself on a team. By opting out, I wasn’t missing thoughtful discussions, I was skipping pep rallies for various factions.

"It's because we've lost the American tribe. We've broken into political party tribes because we don't have a common story that threads us together anymore," Glenn said.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

GLENN: Thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you for listening to the Glenn Beck Program. We are back off from vacation. What did we bring back?

STU: One interesting little I saw from FiveThirtyEight.com. They had a writer who had a book situation. So they had to go off social media for three months. And they wrote about, hey, how did this affect my opinion of the news cycle? Like, they went through all these big events not being connected to social media. And here's part of it: It dawned on me that I mostly stopped visiting websites directly and instead had been following the recommendations in my feeds to wherever they might lead me. My reading was no longer deliberated, but curated by external forces that may or may not have aligned with my interests. I ceded control of my most valuable currency: My attention.

GLENN: Unbelievable. That's the way most people do it.

STU: Totally. You just get led down these things -- these roads, and you're not necessarily even reading what's most interesting to you or what's most important to you.

JEFFY: I mean, we all do that.

STU: Yeah, that's true.

GLENN: I think it's 80 percent of traffic now from most sites comes from what's called the side doors. So people aren't going to TheBlaze.com. Or the NewYorkTimes.com. They're getting it from their Facebook feed, and that leads them in from the side door. So they're only getting one story. And on that story, the average time is like 46 seconds or --

STU: Jeez. If it's that high, I would be stunned.

GLENN: Yeah. I keep wanting to say it's six seconds. But it can't be that. It's some extraordinarily low number. And it gives you time enough just to read the headlines and glance and move on. That's how people are getting their news now. And it's -- it's -- it's really kind of frightening.

STU: Yeah, I was listening to an interview about someone who was a writer -- like long form pieces. Like the magazine profile. Right? Those old school things that we don't really seem to have anymore, except for a few sources. And they were talking about how they would spend so much time writing that last paragraph. If you watch House of Cards, which I will not give anything away here, I promise. But the last few moments, as you would expect of the season, were amazing. And that's how articles used to be. That last paragraph was crafted -- it was perfectly worded. It lead you to that exact point.

GLENN: And it was referenced three times before in the article.

STU: Oh, yeah. It set you up.

GLENN: Yeah.

STU: And what they found is, now with the digital world is they realized, first of all, the first program is the only one that anyone reads. And it goes down to, the last paragraph is read by 6 percent of readers or 5 percent of readers. Something so low, that there's no rational reason to spend any time on the last paragraph. It should only be the first few paragraphs that you spend any time on, and the rest of it, just throw all the junk at the end. And that's not the way journalism used to be. It's not the way it was --

GLENN: Trying to write something smart in -- I mean, the only guy that I know that did it was Paul Harvey. Trying to write something smart in -- in one paragraph and really convey a message. The most powerful news story I've ever heard -- he was away ahead of his time. Most powerful news story ever heard and the reasonable why I wanted to -- one of the reasons why I wanted to get into radio: Orson Wells and Harvey. And I used to listen to them, eight years old, I would be washing the pots and pans in the bakery. And Paul Harvey would come on. And he would do his -- in the summer, his noon report. And the rest of the year, I would hear his 5 o'clock report. And he would give the news. And the most -- the most effective story I ever heard was Chicago O'Hare, Eastern Airlines, 232 dead. And that was it.

And the way he said it, I could -- I could almost smell the smoke. I mean, I knew everything that I needed to know. That's really kind of what America wants right now. They just want that, plus they want a confirmation of their opinion. Tell me my opinion is right.

STU: Yeah. And that's exactly what the author found. You know, what became acutely obvious was when he stopped taking the recommendations was how tribal online discussions can be. So many posts in my feeds were people broadcasting their political or professional identities by expressing outrage or praise for a particular news event or article.

You know, that is what it is. It winds up being --

GLENN: It's because we've lost the American tribe.

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: We've broken into political party tribes. Because we don't have a common story that threads us together anymore.

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Protests following the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr quickly devolved into violence, rioting, and looting in Philadelphia, and BlazeTV's Elijah Schaffer was there to document what the mainstream media won't. But while filming the carnage inside a Five Below on Tuesday, Elijah was surrounded and attacked by looters.

Elijah joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to detail his experience and to explain why mainstream media efforts to downplay the violence just show that independent media has never been more important.

"Unfortunately, [the attack] escalated from one person to about a dozen very quickly," Elijah explained. "I'm actually really happy to be alive. Because in that same shopping center, right there, there was a 15-year-old girl who was shot, according to reports. And I heard multiple gunshots throughout the night. Another individual is reported to have heard a gunshot as well, so we try to confirm. I watched people get pummeled beyond belief."

Glenn asked Elijah to respond to mainstream media claims that conservatives are exaggerating the looting and violence in Philadelphia.

"It's so funny to hear people that aren't there try to counter what we're reporting," Elijah replied.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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In the final days before the 2020 election, President Donald Trump is gaining among black voters, particularly men, because his record of accomplishments "speaks for itself" and the "façade" that President Trump is a racist "just doesn't ring true," argued sports columnist Jason Whitlock on "The Glenn Beck Radio Program" Tuesday.

Jason, who recently interviewed the president at the White House for OutKick.com, shared his thoughts on why he believes many black Americans — notably celebrities such as Kanye West, Ice Cube, and 50 Cent — are breaking from the "façade" that President Trump is a "flaming racist."

"I really believe the facts are starting to speak for themselves, and that Donald Trump's record of accomplishments, particularly as it relates to African Americans, speaks for itself," Jason told Glenn. "He actually has a record to stand on, unlike even Barack Obama. When [Obama] was president, I don't think he had much of a record to stand on, in terms of, 'Hey, what did he actually deliver for African Americans?' President Trump has things he can stand on and, you know, beyond that I think black people understand when he starts talking about black unemployment rate. And America's unemployment rate. And then, when you add in for black men, the façade we've been putting on [President Trump] … you know, this whole thing that he's some flaming racist, it just doesn't ring true."

Jason suggested that Trump's fearlessness, unabashed masculinity, and record of keeping his promises resonates with men in the black community. He also weighed in on how media and social media's bias plays a huge role in convincing people to hate President Trump while ignoring Antifa and others on the Left.

"I keep explaining to people, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, they're some of the most secular places on earth. And we've reduced everyone to a tweet, that we disagree with," he added.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Megyn Kelly is not happy about the "disgusting" media coverage of President Donald Trump, specifically pointing to Lesley Stahl's "60 Minutes" interview on CBS Sunday.

On the radio program, Megyn told Glenn Beck the media has become so blinded by the "Trump Derangement Syndrome" that they've lost their own credibility — and now they can't get it back.

"It's disgusting. It's stomach-turning," Megyn said of the media's coverage of the president. "But it's just a continuation of what we've seen over the past couple of years. Their 'Trump Derangement Syndrome' has blinded them to what they're doing to their own credibility. They can't get it back. It's too late. They've already sacrificed it. And now no one is listening to them other than the hard partisans for whom they craft their news."

Megyn also discussed how she would have covered the recent stories about Hunter and Joe Biden's alleged corruption. Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


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