Walter Heyer: Transitioning Is Not an Effective or Proper Treatment for Childhood Troubles

Monday on radio, Glenn was joined by Walter Heyer, who has become a noted voice on the struggles facing transgender people. Walter suffered childhood abuse then transitioned to a woman following decades of struggling with gender dysphoria. After living as a woman for eight years, Walter transitioned back to living as a man. He now works with others walking a similar path.

"Walter, I have to tell you, I think America has changed from when you were young. And I think we saw it with Bruce Jenner when he came out and said he's been feeling this way his whole life. I don't know anybody --- none of my friends at least said anything --- but I can't imagine going through that and the empathy [people have] for [others] feeling that way," Glenn said.

Walt's reply was frank and refreshing.

"Well, yeah, my heart breaks for everybody who is struggling with it today. I'm fortunate because I've come out the other side. I've been married now for 20 years. And I'm working with transgenders who want to be transitioned, after they found out, as I did, that it was not effective or proper treatment for things that happened during early childhood," Walt said.

His statement caught both Glenn and co-host Pat Gray by surprise.

"That must be politically incorrect for you to be working with other transgendered people," Pat said.

"To even say that you can come out the other side . . . I mean, that's a nightmare, politically," Glenn said.

According to Walter, it happens quite a bit.

"Two teachers, who are struggling to, you know, come out with the union and tell them, gee, I need to go back after they got such support. So it's much, much more difficult to de-transition because of all of the efforts that went into transitioning. So this is the tough part, is to step up and come back," Walt said.

GLENN: Walt, how are you, sir?

WALT: Yes. Well, what a pleasure and honor to be on your show, Glenn. Thanks so much for inviting me on today.

GLENN: You bet. I will tell you, Walt, that you have a remarkable story, and I don't know how much you're comfortable sharing. But can we start at the beginning of your story?

WALT: Oh, absolutely. Sure. Any questions you have, I want to answer right here for your audience.

GLENN: Okay. So, Walt, start with your childhood and your grandma and your dad and your uncle and everything else.

WALT: Yeah. Well, I started out, you know, four years old. Interested in female things and cross-dressing. And my grandmother helped me by making me a purple chiffon dress, which we both delighted in. And it was our little secret. She did this while babysitting me. So that started the journey of gender dysphoria. Journey of transgenderism. Journey of confusion over gender. And then when my dad found out a couple years later, when the secret was out, and both my mom and dad found out -- my dad obviously was furious. And he -- you know, not knowing what to do -- keep in mind, this is, you know, before 1945. Because I'm 76 years old.

GLENN: Uh-huh.

WALT: So there wasn't much out there about this. So he was -- you know, he's a part-time police officer. Industrial goods salesman. Strong guy.

And I'm sure inside him was just turmoil. And so he decided that, you know, to toughen me up, he was going to exercise real strong discipline. And when the secret got out, my uncle, who was an adopted uncle, decided that, you know, it was appropriate to tease and sexually molest me.

So, you know, before you get very old in life, you're cross-dressing, and you've got some heavy discipline, and then you're molested.

GLENN: My gosh.

WALT: So it's not the best way to start.

GLENN: So at 13, you were told you had multiple personalities.

WALT: Well, it wasn't quite that early. I did start changing my name. I became -- I changed my name at 13 to Crystal West. And people began to wonder that I was confiding in, which was a small group of people. And so I didn't know what was going on. All I knew was I had these very, very strong feelings. And it just didn't go away, Glenn. They went on literally every hour in my head. I kept thinking that I was in the wrong body and that I should change to be in a female.

GLENN: Walter, I have to tell you, I think America has changed from when you were young. And I think we saw it with Bruce Jenner when he came out and said, he's been feeling this way his whole life. I don't know anybody -- none of my friends at least said anything but, I can't imagine going through that. And the empathy of feeling that way. I mean, I -- do you feel America has changed? When you can tell your story and -- I mean, I think the vast majority of people just their heartbreaks for you.

WALT: Well, yeah, my heartbreaks for everybody who is struggling with it today. I'm fortunate because I've come out the other side. I've been married now for 20 years. And I'm working with transgenders who want to be transitioned, after they found out, as I did, that it was not effective or proper treatment for things that happened during early childhood.

PAT: Wow.

WALT: You know, so I'm quite comfortable with who I am as Walt today.

PAT: That must be politically incorrect for you to be working with other transgendered people.

GLENN: My gosh. And to even say that you can come out the other side and this is not --

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: I mean, that's -- that's a nightmare politically.

WALT: Oh. Well, quite frankly, it happens quite a bit.

PAT: Hmm.

WALT: I've had as many as three people in a week contact me. Some of them are doctors, physicians that are changing, airline pilots.

PAT: Wow.

WALT: Two teachers, who are struggling to, you know, come out with the union and tell them, gee, I need to go back after they got such support. So it's much, much more difficult to detransition because of all of the efforts that went into transitioning. So this is the tough part, is to step up and come back.

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: Okay. So, Walt, you -- at what age did you decide to become a woman and begin to transition?

WALT: Yeah, well, at about 40 years of age, I went and saw a psychologist up in San Francisco who specialized in this. And he diagnosed me with having gender issues and said that I needed to undergo hormone therapy and wait the two appropriate years and then have surgery then by Dr. Biber in Colorado. And so I thought, "Well, this is pretty radical, but, you know, I've been struggling with this now for 36 years," by that time.

And so the feelings are extremely strong. And my heart goes out to anybody who is struggling with them. But I listened to the guy as though he was an authority on it. And two years later, you know, I got my second letter of approval. Went and had the surgery in 1983. I was an executive for American Honda Motor Company at the time. And they promptly terminated me, which was I think appropriate actually.

GLENN: Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.

PAT: Why?

GLENN: Why?

WALT: Well, you know, when somebody is struggling with that depth of issues, personal issues, they're not going to be effective in doing their work. I totally understand that. And so I -- I've never begrudged people for not wanting me -- and I went and interviewed for over 200 jobs, Glenn, and couldn't get a job because I was one of the early people who went through this. And I understood it. I told my counselor in California at the time, "You know, I understand that." It's a confusing issue. And people should have the right to not employ anybody who they don't want to employ.

GLENN: Where did you get --

PAT: What a hatemonger.

GLENN: Here's a guy who has been abused. You have every reason to be, you know, cut me some slack. Where are you getting this Christ-like attitude of, "Hey, I just need to do my thing. And I understand if you disagree." Where are you getting that kindness?

WALT: Jesus.

PAT: Just as you said, yeah.

WALT: I get it from Jesus. I totally understand that people are confused. Listen, I was a little confused for a while. Frankly, now it's nice to have my feet on the ground.

GLENN: Okay.

PAT: Especially Walt, at that time, because the only person I can think of that I knew about when I was growing up, that was in your situation, was Renee Richards, the tennis player, who went from man to woman.

WALT: Right.

PAT: And then there was the big controversy of, should she be allowed now to compete against women, when she's -- she just came from being a man. That had to be a really difficult time period because America wasn't socially where it is now.

WALT: Oh, yeah. Yeah. And keep in mind, Renee Richards has come out later and said -- regrets, I have a few.

PAT: Really?

WALT: Oh, yeah.

PAT: Wow.

WALT: So, you know, these are the stories that don't get talked about. And Renee doesn't suggest anybody have it.

In fact, Renee stays very quiet about it. But I don't. I -- I'm troubled by the fact that we have a population of people that are changing genders.

And from 1979 to this day, Glenn, they've been reporting extremely high rates of suicide.

GLENN: I know.

WALT: And suicide attempts at over 40 percent. So if this is so good and so effective and so wonderful, why are 40 percent of this population attempting suicide? That's a question I ask all the time.

GLENN: Well, it's interesting to me, when we talked about this last week and we spoke about how the, you know, pre-surgery suicide rate is 46 percent. Post-surgery it's 45 percent. So it's the same. So obvious, this does nothing to those feelings at all.

WALT: Yeah.

GLENN: And so it's -- it's not a life-saving surgery by any stretch of the imagination. And we are just -- we are just -- just throwing in with this and saying, "Yeah. This is all good." And if -- if I'm not mistaken, the numbers for suicide for, you know, people under 30, are -- are even higher than that.

WALT: Yeah. The suicide attempts -- I don't know what the actual rate of suicide is. The suicide attempts are at 50 percent. And at lower age-groups, children especially, 12 to 24, 28, somewhere in there.

So, you know, this is just not a healthy thing psychologically or emotionally. And what we do know is that, according to the studies, that 60 to 70 percent of the population are struggling from what's known as comorbid disorders. That's separation anxiety, dissociative disorders, body dysmorphic disorder. And schizophrenia and a whole bunch of other disorders that we are totally ignoring. And the treatment of modality of -- of people who are suffering.

We should sit these people down. And what I do is actually talk to them and say, what do you think was the trigger mechanism that set this in motion?

And 100 percent of the time, Glenn, every one of them, over a period of time, when we have this discussion, can identify the moment of trauma or event or situation that caused them to not want to be who they are and attempt to be someone who they can never be.

GLENN: Walt, we're with Walt Heyer, somebody who transitioned from male to female and then back to male. We'll continue with him here in -- in just a second.

(OUT AT 10:23AM)

GLENN: We're glad to have Walt Heyer on. He is a guy who has had really an amazing life. Started out in the 1940s with his grandmother cross-dressing him, his father physically abusing him, and his uncle sexually abusing him. Then he was diagnosed with a personality disorder and then gender dysphoria. He had a sex change to a man. Walt --

PAT: To a woman.

GLENN: Sorry. To a woman.

Can you tell me, Walt, what that is like, going through that?

WALT: Well, I -- you know, when I went from male to female, there was a period of euphoria, where, I thought, wow, I finally solved all the problems. And that all of this stuff that I had gone through and suffered was going to be behind me.

You know, the truth is, it's only a temporary reprieve because early childhood issues, when you have any event happen that you're struggling with, you need to go to psychotherapy and get it done. So I -- you know, within eight years of trying to suppress what had happened in my early life, I finally started going -- well, I went to -- as I went to UC Santa Cruz and studied psychology, I realized, you know, the whole gender thing is really built on a foundation of psychological issues, and they're trying to cure psychological issues by giving people hormones and surgery, which are defective.

GLENN: So, Walt, before you have transgender surgery, no one is recommending to you to have serious psychological work done on your childhood to see where those scars are? Is that just too politically incorrect now too?

WALT: Oh, that is really politically incorrect. In fact, in California and other states, it's actually against the law for a therapist to -- if the kid is under 18 years of age who comes in and said, I want to change genders. It's against the law for him to probe into what might have stirred this idea that --

GLENN: So wait.

PAT: Wow.

WALT: Yeah.

GLENN: So teachers -- teachers can -- are required to probe on sexual abuse and anything else if they have any inkling. Yet, a psychiatrist cannot probe a child who is having gender dysphoria?

WALT: Well, no. That's -- I know it sounds totally absurd. When I had -- just got an email yesterday from a mother who said, "My daughter is getting hormone blockers. She's 12 years old." I think it was. And I know there is something wrong because my child was sexually abused by her father. But they don't care. So they're going to give the child hormone therapies and send them down the track of changing genders. This is so common today. They don't want to acknowledge early childhood trauma in the transgendered population. They do not want to do that.

GLENN: Why, Walt? I mean, that's what Freud has been all about. That's what the progressive movement has been all about, you know, these hidden sexual fantasies and problems.

WALT: Glenn, if they allowed in-depth effective sound psychotherapy for people who struggled with gender issues, it would collapse the entire hormone and surgery procedure. Because they would be able -- to do effective psychotherapy, they would be able to pinpoint what the psychological issues are and would make surgery and hormones --

GLENN: But, Walt, you're -- I mean, I just have to play devil's advocate and push back here. What you're saying is, is that there are no doctors out there that are in this that don't -- that just say, this -- you know, I don't care about the money. We're talking about people here.

I mean, the whole industry is okay with doing that?

WALT: Well, I think there are some really good doctors. Because I've had people report to me that, you know, they would do it because they -- the doctor found that they did have coexisting disorders and wouldn't approve them. And, you know, whether it's a condition called autogynephilia, which people don't talk about. That's a sexual disorder. And so there are some excellent therapists out there that do provide good therapy.

GLENN: All right. So I want to pick it up there. I mean, you would have to get rid of other issues first and then go in. I want to talk to you about what is -- what it was like. And then your transition back into a man, which they say is a very rare procedure, when we come back.

(OUT AT 10:32AM)

GLENN: Walt Heyer is with us. WaltHeyer.com. H-E-Y-E-R. A guy who has just led an incredible life. Started off young. Grandma cross-dressing him. He says that planted the seed or fanned the flames of desire. Physically abused by his father. Sexually abused by his uncle. Was diagnosed with personality disorders. Then was a very early adopter of being transgendered, back in the 1980s, when it must have been -- you were remarkably alone, Walt.

This was the time, wasn't it, where -- I mean, that's early for America doing this. I think growing up, when I was growing up in the '70s, it was all in Sweden or someplace. Wasn't it?

WALT: Right. Yeah. Dr. Biber in Trinidad, Colorado, was kind of the sex change capital of the United States. And by the time I had gone there, he had -- he had done -- it sounds like a lot then, but about 2800 or 2700. So he was well on his way. He had started in the late '70s doing the procedure. So he was pumping them out almost daily.

GLENN: So when you had a sex change. I don't need to get graphic here. But all the parts were changed. What is that like, Walt?

WALT: Well, you know, at first, you think this is good. And this is the way you should be. And then you realize that you just have been mutilated totally unnecessarily because people didn't look at the early childhood issues. So that's devastating. And it's hard to deal with. And then you realize, back in those days, they didn't have, you know, good surgeons who could do anything to replace the destruction and was extremely expensive. And I was financially destitute. And so, you know, there's some things you just weren't able to do. So you transition back in as many ways as you possibly can. But even today, many of the -- what they call phalloplasty, which is putting things back together, isn't totally -- it's not going to function as it once did. And so that can actually be another deeper psychological issue after you detransition and have the surgery. Some of them -- reports are that they work fairly well. Other reports are that they don't. So it's kind of a mixed bag.

GLENN: Well, you wouldn't have any feeling down there. And you've taken away, I mean, chemically in many ways, some of the things that make you a man.

WALT: Well, you know, one of the things, Glenn, that I came to the conclusion, that appendage did not make me a man.

GLENN: No, I understand. I mean, I just don't want to get graphic.

WALT: Right.

GLENN: But there are things involved that, you know...

WALT: Yeah. Yeah. So it isn't -- it isn't totally replaceable, let's just put it that way.

GLENN: Yeah. So, Walt, what was it -- when you had transitioned to a woman, you say it lasted for a while, this euphoria. And then it kind of started to go back to the way it was, to where you're like, I am -- what? Because you had thought you were a woman, or you would just be happier as a woman beforehand?

WALT: I thought I would be much happier as a woman. But then you realize that -- the same thing, Glenn, kind of happens again. I don't remember at what point it was, but a point on down the road, you realize, now you're a man trapped in a woman's body. How do you fix that? And this is the reason for this. Is because you never really resolved the original issues that caused you to not want to be who you are. And so I think that's the core issue. We need to look at this as people not being who they really are and attempt to be somebody who they cannot be.

GLENN: I have to tell you, I can't -- I cannot imagine -- I mean, look, you know, I said this last week. And we've had this for a long time. You know what, that is between you and your maker and whatever -- you know, I just am not going to judge people. And I can't imagine living the life that you have lived. I thank God I haven't had to.

But you have come out of it on the other side happy and whole and finally at peace. But there are -- I can't imagine that people wouldn't say, hey, let's overturn every stone before we start doing this. Let's just make sure that this is what's really going on with you before we take some really dramatic -- to push that all underneath the rug is -- is sickening to me. But at the same time, Walt, you have said more things -- I know this show is going to show up on all of the lefty sites and going to say that I've had a hatemonger on and that I am bigoted and everything else, when I've not heard anything but compassion from you, compassion from us, and you -- but you have said some controversial things that nobody wants to say like, it's -- you're not born that way.

WALT: Right. Yeah.

And, you know, Glenn, I would be here today -- let's just take it for what it is. It's Jesus and my 31 years of sober living that make this possible. And so once I came to know the Lord and got sober, things began to fall into place. So I understand that people -- and I struggled when I didn't have those two things in place.

GLENN: Me too.

WALT: So I know there are a lot of people who are not going to like what I have to say. But I'm concerned about the number of people who are attempting suicide. And that's why I speak out. Because I hate to see that. I was one of them who attempted suicide. And my heartbreaks for them, that they become so confused and so -- just entrenched into this whole transgender life that they just want to kill themselves. I mean, that to me should stop the hormones and surgeries right in their tracks until, like you've said -- basically, turn over stone. You're so correct on that, Glenn. They should turn over every stone.

GLENN: Well, until you go to AA, I mean, as a recovering alcoholic, you know, you'll go to a doctor and they'll treat you with all kinds of stuff. They'll give you all kinds of drugs and everything else, to help you through whatever it is. But until you -- until you turn and find a higher power and you start doing the 12 steps and realize there's something in you, you know, you could say it's a disease all you want, I don't care. I don't care if I was born this way.

There are tons of alcoholics in my family. And there are tons of people that have committed suicide or at least it seems like that, in my head, in my family that have killed themselves. If I was born that way. Fine. I'm born that way. But it doesn't matter to me. Because I know what has helped. And AA and going through and plowing through the whole life and making peace and then serving is the answer, at least for me and millions of other people. It sounds like it's the same kind of thing that you're saying.

WALT: Exactly.

You know, and in AA, we talk about doing the same thing over and over again. It's insanity. Well, here we are, with the transgender surgeries and hormones. They've known since 1979 that people attempt suicide, and they're still attempting suicide today, and they're still giving hormones and surgery to people. I mean, that's insanity.

PAT: Walt, are you completely comfortable in your own skin now, do you feel like a man?

WALT: Oh, absolutely.

PAT: So those feelings -- none of that lingered. You've overcome that?

WALT: No! No lingering.

PAT: Wow.

GLENN: How -- when did you meet your wife? And how did you go through all of this with her?

WALT: Well, I was actually speaking at an AA meeting, a recovery meeting. And she had nudged a friend that she was there with and said, that's the kind of guy I want. He's been through all this stuff, and he's out the other side, you know.

So we started seeing each other. And so we knew each other for about five years before we got married. And so -- like I said, we were married in May, 20 years. So it's wonderful. I mean, she is, you know, just my -- my companion. My rock. She edits all my books and all my writing. And -- and is so supportive of what I do. And she's just fantastic.

GLENN: You know, I looked at your website during one of the breaks, and I see the people who are there who are -- you know, have transitioned to women and now want to transition back. And the -- the heartbreak there.

WALT: Right.

GLENN: At what point, Walt, did you -- I just talked to somebody who said to me, you know, I don't talk about my alcoholism, Glenn. I know you do. But I don't really talk about it at all. I don't see any good that comes of that. And I said, well, to each his own. For me, I've seen tremendous good from that. Because I'm not hiding it and I don't care. And it helps other people.

And at what point in your life did you say, I don't care if people know that I want to be a woman. I don't care if people know that I want to go back to being a man. And I don't care that the world seems against me on political correctness. I'm going to say it.

Was there one turning point in your life?

WALT: Well, yeah, I think when we started the website about 12 years ago -- and I thought I was probably the only person in the entire world that regretted it. And then all of a sudden, you know, within that first year, we realized -- we had 700 people came to the website that first year. And, you know, one person contacted us. And I thought, okay. Well, I'm not alone. Well, to give you an idea, in 2015, 350,000 people came to the website.

GLENN: Wow.

WALT: And now we have people contacting us frequently from around the world and United States, Canada, Australia, Italy, everywhere, who are struggling with these issues. Because we're really giving them the wrong information about what and how to treat gender issues. And so I'm excited today that I can lend an ear to it. You know, I can't change, you know, what the powerful groups are doing. But if I can help one person, if I can prevent one person from committing suicide, which I've already done -- if I can prevent somebody from totally unnecessary surgery, then, you know, my life has meaning. And that's why I'm here.

GLENN: If you had one message for somebody or a parent that was struggling with this, what would the message be?

WALT: Well, any time somebody is announcing that they are transgendered. Someone needs to look back and see when that onset of that desire, that feeling, that struggle, and begin to explore what caused it. Was it a traumatic event? Was it an illness? Was it -- something always has happened in somebody's life that caused them to not want to be who they are, and then they began looking around for a way to escape. And what I want to do is let people know that they don't need to escape. They need to face whatever issue it is. Get effective sound psychotherapy and avoid hormones. Avoid unnecessary surgery. Turn your life around. And you're going to be far better off than struggling with the issues of a lifetime of hormone therapy and surgery that mutilated your body.

GLENN: Walt Heyer, thank you very much for talking to us today. I appreciate it, sir. God bless.

WALT: Thank you.

GLENN: Remarkable life.

STU: Yeah, whether you agree with him or not, I mean, what an experience to go through.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh. And he's going to be bashed. So are we for having him on, I'm sure. But you can't say that that guy hasn't lived it. I mean, that guy has as much right to say what he believes as Bruce Jenner.

STU: Sure.

GLENN: When he came out and announced -- I have the same feeling about Bruce Jenner, you know, when he was Bruce and he came out and said, I've -- I'm Caitlyn. I mean, I feel the same way. How are you going to argue with somebody's, you know, life experience? You can't.

Ryan: Kanye West and the Great Society

Graphic by Alexander Somoskey.

Donald Trump has been name-dropped by nearly every major rapper of the last 30 years, starting with a reference by Beastie Boys on their iconic album Paul's Boutique, the Sgt. Pepper of hip-hop.

He's been mentioned by Jay Z. Ludacris. Young Thug. Nelly. Kendrick Lamar. Juicy J. Rick Ross. Eminem. Big Sean. A Tribe Called Quest. Scarface. Lil Wayne. The Coup. Master P. Ice Cube. Mos Def. Raekwon, Ol' Dirty Bastard, and various other Wu-Tang Clan affiliates. R. Kelly. Pete Rock. Nas. E-40.

And don't forget this surreal moment in our nation's history.

Then-candidate Trump on SNL ... dancing to a Drake parody.(Screenshot from YouTube)

When Bun B referred to Trump on the Chopped-n-Screwed anthem "Pocket Full of Stones," he was keeping with a tradition of rappers admiring Trump. This only changed a few years ago.

But then there's Kanye West, who proudly donned the red MAGA hat after discovering Candace Owens and being called "a jackass" by our nation's first black President. Then Kanye was hugging President Trump in the Oval Office? While wearing a Make America Great Again hat, supposed symbol of white supremacy, Nazism, hate, evil?

(Screenshot from YouTube)

People flipped. Everyone did. Longtime critics suddenly — and bizarrely — embraced Kanye as an ally, while longtime defenders disowned him, abandoned him like nail clippings, often mocking his struggles with mental illness and labeling him, if you can believe it, a white supremacist.

Then, in a moment that changed music history, Kanye released the single "Ye vs. the People."

Ye vs. the People (starring TI as the People) www.youtube.com

In it, he challenges what he sees as the unspoken rule that black Americans have to vote Democrat. He had hinted at the idea on his track "Black Skinhead," from the hauntingly gorgeous album Yeezus, but now he was addressing it head-on, with the passion of a man going to Confession for the first time in a decade.

Why should black folks have to abide by any set of cultural or political or artistic guidelines to begin with? And, he argues, the pressure to adhere to this longheld framework is itself undergirded by a subtle and cleverly masked racism, imposed by a group of people who portray themselves as the champions of race and enemies of white supremacy and destroyers of dumb yokel rednecks with their Rebel flags and monster trucks and fully-automatic AR-15 assault weapons. All of which, it turns out, is some next-level projection.

Kanye also confronts the presence of these expectations and stereotypes in hip-hop. The idea that rappers must invoke a negative persona in order to succeed. And the moment they deviate from that image they are rebuked or ignored, even though the persona is damaging to the black community as a whole. Which is especially ironic given that the people who voice the most outrage tend to be highly privileged, supposedly progressive white folks who love to rant about white privilege and black oppression.

Is it better if I rap about crack? 'Cause it's cultural?
Or how about I'ma shoot you? or f**k your b***h?
Or how about all this Gucci, 'cause I'm f****n' rich?

Best of all, Kanye has answers. And they differ from the erudite solutions offered by, say, A Tribe Called Quest, who, like Kanye, have modeled a healthy, positive image of blackness for the black community.

A central theme within "Ye vs. The People" is empathy as power, rebellion, freedom.

Make America Great Again had a negative perception
I took it, wore it, rocked it, gave it a new direction
Added empathy, care and love and affection
And y'all simply questionin' my methods.

This concept is an extension of the powerful devotion to positive energy that Kanye adopted around that time, a purview he has cultivated into a wild new form of electronic gospel.

But his personal transformation was tough.

That [MAGA] hat stayed in my closet like 'bout a year and a half
Then one day I was like, "F**k it, I'ma do me"
I was in the sunken place and then I found the new me.

This is a struggle that many Americans undergo. Researchers call it the spiral of silence. The idea that the news media and social media present biased opinions as though they are fact, and when the message conflicts with a person's opinions or values, they feel isolated, alone.

Kanye and T.I. during the making of "Ye vs. the People"(Screenshot from YouTube)

As Kanye raps in "Ye vs. the People"

A lot of people agree with me but they're too scared to speak up.

Because we have an incredible ability to sense public opinion. So when we suspect that we hold a belief that rails against acceptable thought, we tend to keep quiet about it. That silence makes the opinion seem even more taboo, resulting in a more widespread silence.

In reality, many of these supposedly taboo opinions are not only popular, they are normal and practical and logical. Healthy, even. And the real danger is in demonizing them. But too many people are afraid they'll be ostracized for expressing their beliefs.

Like how — despite what we've been led to believe — most Americans cannot stand political correctness.

But the small minority of people who champion it are powerful and loud. They're like that cardboard city in North Korea, just visible enough from the border to make it seem like a thriving community. They're the Wicked Witch of the West, or Iago from Othello, or Plankton from Spongebob Squarepants.

So far, they have been successful. Although "success" by their metric is anarchic and primal, all destruction and loudness and people nervous to speak their mind. And the cost of rebellion can be devastating.

By the time Kanye West wrote "Yay versus the People," he had gotten sick of this power dynamic. So he broke the spiral of silence."

*

In the words of German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer, "Whoever has language has the world."

Humans alone have it.

But in order for us to know freedom in our world, our language has to be public, shared, active. Because each of us thrives constantly with language, a stream of it always in our mind. Aristotle defined "thought" as the infinite dialogue between the soul and itself. Conversation is the exchange of thought between people. When we converse, we simultaneously release our infinite dialogue and accept the other person's. By speaking, we shape the world and free ourselves.

*

Another way to say it is that Donald Trump might have inspired the song that could very well signify the end of Hip-Hop, which is not only the most popular genre of our zeitgeist, it's the most popular, and successful, form of music in American history, which is the most important era of musical history.

If the Beatles were bigger than Jesus, and Drake literally outpaces the Beatles, then, well, you get the point God forgive me. And Kanye is bigger than Drake. So who better to have the final word on the capacities of Hip-Hop than Kanye West?

Nobody.

Every genre must come to a close. There's a reason why people aren't eagerly awaiting the next great disco album, or flocking to arenas to hear the newest bluegrass superstar, or asking to get their hair done like the latest syringe-armed guitarist of Guns N Roses.

(Screenshot from Instagram)

The great era of Rock 'N' Roll ended roughly about the time Radiohead traded their guitars and drums for synthesizers and sequencers, not long after Kurt Cobain took an insane amount of heroin and cradled a shotgun in his guesthouse, only to be discovered several days later by an electrician. Even worse, Nickelback soiled Cobain's legacy with godawful anthems, and who have their own weird and contradictory and hilarious connection to President Trump.

These days, Rock N' Roll lives mostly via nostalgia, as evinced by the explosion of cover bands. Notice how you don't see any hip-hop cover bands. You will, someday. But, for now, Hip-Hop reigns supreme. And Kanye is the King.

The brilliant Nina Simone once told a reporter that "An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times."

Because music accords itself to the gravity and creative truth of the era. And currently we entrust hip-hop with this complicated maneuver.

But the past year, Kanye has been crafting a new sound through his Sunday services, weekly jam sessions with acoustic musicians and a choir and everyone dressed in white, praying through song, herding us into a better place, looking above for guidance. If it's anything like his track "Ultralight Beam," it will bring calm to our divided culture.

Mark my words: The resultant album will usher in an entirely new era, a magical flash in human history.

So far, hip-hop has been the defiant child of R&B and Electronica, the grandchild of Spoken Word and Steve Reich Minimalism, with tinges of Punk. Not for much longer. Kanye will see to that. And, weirdly, President Trump has helped inspire this transformation.

Meaning, Donald Trump will have had a hand in reinventing music as a whole, in spreading a movement of positive reformation. Love him or hate him, it does not matter. What other politician can make that claim?

There's an optimism to this that Dave Chappelle captured in his now-infamous Saturday Night Live monologue, just days after Trump was elected, asking Americans to at least give the man a chance. And again in his special "Equanimity," when he said

I swear no matter how bad it gets, you're my countrymen, and I know for a fact that I'm determined to work shit out with y'all.

In a moment of now-tired irony, the usual suspects heaped a barrage of hate at Chappelle for these remarks. But their outrage does not matter, in the grand scheme of things. Because it is an incredible time to be alive. It's beautiful. We should never forget that, no matter how petty or outrageous daily life gets.

At the moment, we are a country that is — everywhere, secretly — hurting. But we are Americans. Together. This is America. And, every day, God delights in our greatness and our empathy and our endless gift for love. So open your heart and listen. Say what you need to say.

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

Ryan: Michael Bennet, Little League

Photo by Sean Ryan

Every day, life getting shorter. Every day, life going faster. Every day, like a roller coaster. These were the kinds of things that Michael Bennet was saying.

Michael Bennet, God bless him, he seemed like a decent lad. All week he had his family there. He said his campaign was their family vacation. He had had prostate cancer but would you believe he survived?

"Life is getting shorter," he said. "Every day."

Photo by Sean Ryan

He was well spoken. Dry. Talked with an air of consultation. Like you were in his office, and he had things to tell you.

Like a Little League coach who could actually be a coach someday.

*

I would encounter Bennet again the next day, at the Iowa State Fair.

Having just seen Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) at a small Baptist church, we ventured to the fair to see Bernie Sanders' riot of a Sunday speech. Bennet was on before him, so I got there early, and I paced off to get a restroom break. The media center is in the basement of the administration building, right by the Political Soapbox stage.

For whatever reason, the first-floor men's restroom has giant windows along the wall, and you can see right out onto the walkway that wraps around the building. I did not realize that this was the path that the candidates take to get to the stage.

Photo by Sean Ryan

And, this far into the 2020 presidential election, they never went many places alone. They had a press swarm and their wives and maybe an old friend who relocated here when the hurricane sank his house.

I was rushing. Panicking, really. Because I heard all the commotion. But nature abides by its own pace. And as I shuffled to the sink to wash my hands, my pants fell all the way down. I was exposed. Out in the open and in such desperation, you clobber yourself outside of time. It was all slo-mo with the Chopped-n-screwed voices as I scrambled to lift my trousers and audibly gasped the words, "Well just no." At that exact moment, that "accidental Renaissance" painting occurred as I locked eyes with Michael Bennet, slowly maneuvering the walkway.

These sorts of things happened, didn't they? There you were in a restroom, at an NFL game or a concert or maybe a bar, and you see someone you work with, or someone from church or school, and you lock eyes for a moment in confusion then revert to cave talk and shrug and get on with what you were doing. But it's weird when only one of you is actively part of the etiquette and allowances of a restroom and one of you is held to a higher standard, for the sake of common decency. Now let's say that you, the restroom occupant, happen to be credentialed press, and the outsider, Michael Bennet, happens to be a candidate for president of America.

Once the herd passed by behind him, I laughed a bit, quietly, because life could be very funny.

*

Onstage, Bennet, a senator from Colorado, gave the performance of a cake falling into a pool. Like he had been ghost-busted. Like he had spent the last two months learning the Fortnite dance moves and now that he had mastered them, suddenly Fortnite was for losers, and Fortnite dances, well, they were even worse.

The Political Soapbox is great because every candidate has 20 minutes. Those 20 minutes were theirs. Most of the time, they got romantic like a Backstreet Boy singing up toward an open window. Occasionally, they lost it. Bennet did neither. He belly-flopped into hay bales.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Remember that the growing crowd had the dangerous feel of a natural disaster. And it was gaspingly warm that day. So neither the crowd nor the environment were ready to give Bennet a freebie.

He gave a ravishing speech, full of neat invective. Then looked up and realized he still had 14 minutes on the clock. Oof. That was most of it, and he'd already done the Floss and the Robot and the Electro Shuffle, and honestly his shoulder was a little stiff from all that dance practice. So he opened the floor for questions.

Now, that was not the greatest idea. For one, this was not the type of place for such a thing. They called it a soapbox because you were meant to live out the phrase "on a soapbox" by ranting and fist-pounding and all other theatrics.

The Bernie Sanders supporters hadn't arrived en masse yet, so most of the people around the stage were clad in Trump gear. And they all had their hands up ready to ask him questions. Well, firebombs, really, masked as interrogative statements. Bennet shouted without breathing, then said, "I want to find a non-male person who has a question."

This did not sit well with the males who did not like the trend of personalizing all things, cautious gendering, and the sudden change of direction so that now they had to just listen.

Most people did not care.

"I do not support Bernie's plan," Bennet shouted. But would you believe the Bernie supporters had literally just arrived, you could smell their hair dye.

They jeered, then acted exactly — and I mean exactly — like the Trump supporters.

"I would rather support free pre-school than free college," he shouted. "Many people talk about... " but the jeering was too powerful. And the Bernie supporters had likely just had quinoa açaí bowls at their pre-Bernie brunch, so they were unstoppable. Well God bless the man for scratching "Give Presidency a Try" off his bucket list. Because at least he had a bucket list.

What did they have? Student debt and a restraining order? They being the growing factions of Bernie and Trump supporters in the audience. You could not see any pavement. It was just people and faces like the Mediterranean in the evening, all the way to the towering walls of the Grandstand.

Looking out at all that chaos, all that latent disaster, Bennet must have felt a deep stirring.

The night before, Slipknot headlined at the Grand Stand, a sold-out show. Rollicking and bursting and howling. How many drumbeats could drummer Jay Weinberg get per minute? At one point, vocalist Corey Taylor unleashed a demonic bellow, then adjusted his mask and looked out to all those people, those devoted fans, because many of them had Slipknot tattoos, and maybe he, like Bennet, indulged a moment for himself, a personalization of the grand setting, then shrieked, then persuaded the audience to lift their hands into the air, maybe toward a constellation of their choosing, and extend their middle finger like it was an egg landing on a pillow, which symbolizes the human condition.




New installments to this series come out every Monday and Thursday morning. For live updates, check out my Twitter or email me at kryan@mercurystudios.com

President Trump couldn't personally make it to Houston for the 3rd Democratic Debate, so he paid $7,500 for a single-engine Cessna to fly in circles over Texas Southern University campus while pulling a banner that said, "Socialism will kill Houston's economy! Vote Trump 2020!"

For four hours, it chugged around up there. You could hear it everywhere. It was the soundtrack of the night.

You can just imagine Trump's face as he had the banner-plane idea. You can hear him putting in the order. You can see his list of demands. And at the very top, "I WANT THE LOUDEST PLANE YOU CAN FIND!!!"

*

Was that Bret Baier in the aisle, adjusting his reading glasses and thumbing at the strap of his comically small backpack as he crossed the blue-carpeted gymnasium? He looked like the human version of Wisconsin. He was saying something but all you could hear was the plane overhead.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Bret Baier, the stoic host of "Special Report with Bret Baier" on Fox News and the network's chief political anchor. He's underrated, if you ask me. Legacy. Old-school. He just delivers the news, which is what most people want. He talks the way anchors used to talk, with the American accent unique to news anchors even though he was born in New Jersey and raised in Georgia.

I had spent the last year-and-a-half on a series of in-depth profiles on some of the major countercultural figures of our time. People like Jordan Peterson, Dave Rubin, and Carol Swain. So my first impulse was to rush over to Baier and profile the guy. Nobody else would, after all. The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper's. But they ought to. The man has a hell of a story.
He joined Fox News a year-and-a-half after it was founded, as the southeast correspondent in Atlanta. A few years later, on a Tuesday in September, nineteen terrorists hijacked four passenger airliners and crashed into America.

When the first plane hit, Fox producers told Baier to just get in his car and drive to New York City. They needed back-up reporters for the next day. When the second plane crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m., they said, "Step on it, Baier."

He and his producer were an hour outside Atlanta when American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon. Still a good 8 hours away, but closer to D.C. than to New York City. So they re-routed to Arlington, Virginia, as fast as they could. Past a blur of fields full of indifferent cows. Past houses full of people who could hardly talk, people who couldn't describe what they were seeing and hearing, all the smoke and the blood and the office-supply confetti. Past towns that barely moved, gas stations with nobody in them, people sunken into a far-away stare.

Yet there was the sun, with only a few bangles of cloud every so often. America had been paralyzed but the earth kept trucking along, quiet and unbothered. It must have felt strange for Baier, to speed down empty highways — toward literal death and chaos — under a perfect sky, below cascading light and color.

Nature doesn't care if we make it out alive.

*

That day, Baier reported live from a Citgo station across the street from the Pentagon, rubble in heaps of flame behind him. It was like he'd fallen onto a different planet and was reporting back to home.

The next day arrived and it was so quiet everywhere. Nobody knew a damn thing. We could not believe our eyes. We all turned to reporters and anchors for answers. Most often, they blurted out whatever they could.

Something about Bret Baier gave audiences a much-needed boost. Reliable, sturdy. Like he said what had to be said and not a word extra.

Fox kept him in D.C., indefinitely. A friend helped him find an apartment. He never went back to Atlanta. Two weeks later, Fox News appointed him Pentagon correspondent, a position that saw him travel the world, including 13 trips to Afghanistan and 12 to Iraq.

Halfway through George W. Bush's second term, Baier became Fox News' White House correspondent.

Then, a year before he would earn his current position as anchor, Baier became a father. His son was born with holes in his heart — five congenital heart defects. Twelve days later, the boy underwent open-heart surgery. Baier and his wife waited in tiled rooms drenched with flowers and ESPN and drab ultraviolet light, surrounded by machines full of beeps and whirring and beeps and whirring.

Baier's son has since undergone two additional open-heart surgeries, nine angioplasties, and one stomach operation. In an interview with Parents Magazine, Baier said that his son's health problems have "given me perspective about my job, going through policy and politics in Washington, D.C., to see the bigger picture."

*Part of the reason I couldn't tell whether or not it was Baier is he's usually up on the main stage. For the 2012 election, he moderated five Republican debates, and co-anchored FNC's America's Election HQ alongside Megyn Kelly.

The 2016 election would propel him into a much larger role. He anchored three Republican debates, but this time he had to handle Donald Trump.

Baier knew Trump personally, from before the election. They'd played golf together. He described Trump as "a nice guy outside of his TV persona" and never thought Trump would actually make a run for the Presidency. Onstage, Trump was much different. And Baier had been tasked with maintaining control.

A devout Roman Catholic, he appreciates a nice glass of wine and a fine cut of steak. He likes a good joke, too. In January, 2019, Baier signed a multi-year deal with Fox News to continue "Special Report." A few weeks later, he and his family went to Montana for a ski trip. The weekend was wonderful. But they had to get back to New York because Baier was scheduled to appear on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" that Tuesday.

Imagine him, again in a car hurtling toward a fateful destination. How he squinted through the frost-pocked windshield and gripped the steering wheel. As he guided the white SUV along the two-lane road to the airport. The land looked haunted, barren, lifeless. Everywhere, the world was frozen white. Snow and ice blanketing the fields, gauze over the sky.

At some anonymous intersection, Baier pumped the brakes, but the tires hit an ice patch, and the SUV spun loose. An oncoming car slammed into the driver's side, launching the vehicle into an embankment, wedged on its side. A man named Zach stopped his pickup truck and helped the family crawl free, and the Montana Highway Patrol rushed them to the hospital.

"Don't take anything for granted," Baier tweeted later. "Every day is a blessing and family is everything. It's always good to remind yourself of that before something does it for you."

Before every debate that he moderates, Baier spends 10 minutes alone, praying.

*

A Freedom of Information Act request in 2011 revealed that Fox News was actually right. That the Obama Administration really did hate them. And had intentionally excluded them from a press pool two years earlier. Then laughed about it.

The documents unearthed snarky emails between various high-ranking aides in the Obama Administration. In one, the Deputy White House communications director bemoaned Baier's reporting on the bias. "I'm putting some dead fish in the [Fox News] cubby — just cause Bret Baier is a lunatic." That same day, deputy press secretary Josh Earnest bragged in an email that "we've demonstrated our willingness and ability to exclude Fox News from significant interviews."

The Trump administration pulled a similar stunt in July, 2018 by banning a CNN reporter from the press pool. Trump and Fox News had developed a beneficial relationship by then. And CNN was a lifelong competitor, a public enemy.
That night, Baier delivered an official statement, "This decision to bar a member of the press is retaliatory in nature and not indicative of an open and free press. We demand better. As a member of the White House press pool, Fox stands firmly with CNN on this issue of access."

Fox News rebuked Trump in solidarity with CNN. It was a heartening gesture between two seeming enemies. Fox News were standing up for truth, defending journalism, rejecting tyranny even though the ban would have benefitted them as a company.

Who knows how many books and dissertations and articles have been written about Fox News, usually in relation to bias, usually with a scathing tone. The conclusions differ wildly, yet each one claims certitude.

Generally, academics and journalists have taken a doomsday tone when talking about Fox News. Accusations of evil, fear-mongering, bigotry, hatred, misinformation, propaganda, racism, homophobia, and so on.

Despite these outcries, Fox News has consistently held its spot as the most-watched network in the country. Imagine how that makes its critics feel.

In an August 3, 2018 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Baier said, "the biggest problem is that the people who are most critical of Fox are usually people who have not watched Fox News."

Fox News is composed of two distinct departments. Punditry and straight news. Or "opinion news" and "descriptive news." Consistently, surveys of the public rate Fox News as both the least- and most-biased news network.
Last year, a survey found Fox News to be the second most-trusted television news brand in the country, after the BBC.

In a separate study, Democrats rated its bias score at (negative) -87, while Republicans placed it at (positive) +3. Which is like if, at a football game, one referee said "Touchdown," while the other referee said "Turnover, leading to Touchdown for the Defense." It can't be both, can it?

Public opinion may not be the best metric for understanding Fox News, especially in 2019.

Quantitative studies have offered clearer conclusions. In 2016, a content analysis used crowdsourcing and machine learning to examine over 800,000 news stories published over a year by 15 major outlets, from the New York Times to Fox News. They wanted to chart media bias.

What they discovered is that news outlets are far more similar than we believe. Much of the perceived bias is a matter of separating "opinion news" from "descriptive news." For conservatives, it's punditry. For those on the left, it's op-eds and long form investigative pieces, although the left tends to insist that they're not biased, that they are instead just more apt to tell the truth, even though research has disproven this belief.

The researchers found a much larger bias-divide in opinion news, whereas descriptive news was practically neutral. One of the researchers described Fox News' descriptive news as "guided by similar news values as more traditional, legacy media."

University of California Berkeley sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild wrote that "Fox News stands next to industry, state government, church, and the regular media as an extra pillar of political culture all its own."

Say what you want about Fox News, they play a crucial role in the so-called mainstream media. And, despite what Fox News will lead you to believe, they are definitely part of the mainstream. And they are by no means the innocent victim. And certainly not powerless. And they have all kinds of problems that I will not defend. But we'll talk about that in a later installment, the one about Kamala Harris at a gun control rally, advocating for propaganda.

*

After two months of political events, I suspected that different news networks have their own signifiers, like the distinct stripes and markings on various spiders.

Wall Street Journal reporters tended to carry old-timey notepads and interview any bystander they could find. Breitbart usually only sent one person, and he wandered around with his iPhone, recording every single thing. Politico, prim-suited men who could just as easily work on the stock market.

Most of the reporters dressed like that, in stagey business attire. Prim for a high school job fair. Meanwhile, the photographers, mostly men, looked like professional paintball players. The camera crews and technical staff were the only ones decked in tattoos and wearing sandals and generally not caring about the chaos all around them. On-camera talent were covered in makeup and shrink-wrapped into dresses or suits with chip-clips along the spine.

The Washington Post sent the classiest and most bored-looking people I have ever encountered. They never looked at their laptops as their fingers chopped at the keys, and you assumed they were pretending until you read their stories online. You could spot ABC because their camera crew wore faded red ABC hats. Associated Press looked like they had just come back from a battlefield assignment in Syria, and never donned the same press credentials as everyone else, preferring a tattered AP lanyard. And you always knew when someone was with the New York Times because they announced it to the entire room.

And Fox News? At democratic events, they usually hid. But not that day, in Houston, as Bret Baier walked up the aisle to a table a couple rows in front of me.

Most people arrived in the Media Filing Center several hours before the debate. Fox News got there just slightly after that, as everyone was wiggling in their seats and connecting their laptops to a shared outlet.

There were seven or so in the pack of Fox News, all grinning. They all had white to-go sacks from Chick-fil-A. And the room got quieter, so Trump's plane got louder. It was a double trolling event.

As host of the debate, ABC would be providing dinner. This information was included in the credentials email that all of us had received. So nobody else had brought food with them. No need.

Even better, I was familiar enough with that part of Houston to know that there was not a Chick-fil-A anywhere close to us. Who knew where they'd gotten that Chick-fil-A, but odds are it wasn't warm. Who knew if there was even any food in the bags.

They had brought Chick-fil-A into a building full of national media during the third Democratic Presidential debate. The 2020 election was already full of outrage about plenty of things, and one of them was Chick-fil-A. To some folks, the red chicken logo might as well have been a swastika. That very week LGBT activists had vehemently — cartoonishly — protested the opening of several Chick-fil-A's throughout North America. Chicken sandwiches had become yet another flag on the tug-of-war rope in the Culture War of our country.

To be clear, the political left was anti-Chicken and the political right was pro-Chicken. The media tended to lean anti-Chicken, and frequently wrote about anti-Chicken causes, often scolding pro-Chicken voices, or ignoring the struggles of the pro-Chicken community only to deny any opinion on Chicken at all. That was the cowardly part, of you ask me, the pretending like they weren't activists.

The Democratic candidates definitely leaned anti-Chicken. Sometimes they took it so far that it upset moderate anti-Chicken advocates. Because was it really so bad to eat Chicken? Couldn't you be anti-Chicken but also enjoy Chicken occasionally? Why did everything have to be either "all Chicken all the time unless you hate freedom" or "no chicken ever unless you support hate"?

The fight had spread everywhere. Airports, stadiums, malls, campuses. All had served as battlegrounds for the anti-Chicken versus the pro-Chicken.

The previous President was anti-Chicken. In fact, he may well have enflamed the entire movement. During his tenure, there were nationwide protests that saw pro-Chicken advocates angrily and proudly eating Chicken while anti-Chicken advocates protested outside and occasionally engaged in homosexual affection, which was being threatened by Chicken, according to them.

Every time the pro-Chicken folks bit into a Chicken sandwich, it was like they were gnawing away at the anti-Chicken people themselves. Degrading their identity. Because, for them, it was about the identity.

But the current President, unabashedly proud of his pro-Chicken stance, once served Chicken at the White House to some winning sports team, and the anti-Chicken activists saw it as proof that Chicken and hate go together. And maybe Chicken would even lead to the impeachment of the President they hate, which would mean the Vice President would become the President, but he's one of the most pro-Chicken people in America, so they'd have to impeach him, too. And the Supreme Court, it was overrun with pro-Chicken types.

This election, the Democratic front-runners competed for the bolder plan. They would end Chicken in America once and for all. They would obliterate our evil President and his Chicken Supremacy. Their stump speeches relied on harsh criticisms of pro-Chicken voters, who pretended to find the whole anti-Chicken movement amusing but were secretly enraged by it. In fact, they were certain that the anti-Chicken movement had been systematically silencing them for years, and that they had to fight for their Chicken in order to keep everything that they valued, even all the not-Chicken.

The media and the democrats and Hollywood and academia — all hated the Chicken, because they hated the pro-Chicken people. If they had their way, no more Chicken, ever again. And no more pro-Chicken deplorables. And tonight the anti-Chicken politico-culture complex would prove it, with long rants which get confirmed by glowing articles, calculated takedowns about the merits of anti-Chicken and the evils of pro-Chicken.

Yet here was Fox News, with actual Chicken. And they were smiling. Maybe in part because the police who were guarding us all tended to be pro-Chicken. And this was Texas, after all, an incredibly pro-Chicken state. But there were 49 other states and 14 territories, and all of them were fighting for or against Chicken.

Some experts even said we were on the cusp of a Civil War.


New installments to this series come out every Monday and Thursday morning. For live updates, check out my Twitter or email me at kryan@mercurystudios.com

We've heard the catchphrase "follow the money" so often that it's nearly a joke. It gained added attention in the 1976 movie All the President's Men, which follows the story of the two journalists who uncovered Watergate. "Follow the money," their source told them, "and you'll find corruption."

Problem is, corrupters hide their bad behavior remarkably well. They are masters of disguise. But if you look closely enough, you can spot the seams splitting in their choreographed routine.

One technique that magicians use for psychological misdirection is called the false solution. The goal is to distract the audience, to make them believe that they know what's really happening. All the while, the machinations of the actual trick are happening right in front of them, because "implanting an unlikely and unfamiliar idea in the mind can prevent participants from finding a more obvious one."

Billions of dollars. Lost. Gone.

I want to tell you a story of tremendous corruption, masked cleverly, using many of the same techniques that magicians have used for centuries. Only it's not a rabbit disappearing into a hat or a coin vanishing behind an ear. It's billions of dollars. Lost. Gone.

And the people responsible are the same people who have been so monstrously worked up about Trump's impeachment. The same people screaming about Trump's malfeasance with Ukraine are actually the ones misbehaving in Ukraine.

It's essentially an elevated, highly organized form of projection. Only instead of one person lashing out at the world, it's an entire political party, right up to the top. The very top. Barack Obama. It's right there on video.

Or how about the audio recording we uncovered, with Artem Sytnyk, Director of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine, openly admitting a connection between the DNC and Ukraine?

So far, the story told by the Democrats and the media has been about Trump and Ukraine. Every so often, you hear mention of Joe Biden's dubious history with the war-torn country.

We were the first to talk about Joe Biden's connections to Ukraine back in April, with our candidate profile on Biden.

It turns out, the whole debacle was much worse than we thought. It stretched further than Uncle Joe. What we found out is that the DNC was working with the Ukrainian government.

This isn't a conspiracy theory. And we have the documents to prove it.

Read on to discover everything you need for a 30-second elevator pitch that you can give to your friend and say, "Look, here's what you need to know. Here's what's really going on."

If anyone is guilty, they should go to jail.

Last night, in Ukraine: The Democrats' Russia I revealed the elaborate misdirection taking place.

I said it last night and I'll say it again: If Trump is guilty, he should go to jail. If anyone is guilty, they should go to jail. Because this is too important to the Republic.

Watch the hands, follow the money.

Here are the documents, video, and audio that we found in our reporting. This is the hard evidence that will help you explain this unbelievable situation to other people.



  • June 2016 State Department memos detailing contacts between George Soros' office and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.




As you can see, we did a lot of research on this, and we've done our best to condense it for you. It still requires you to do your own homework, but there's a tremendous freedom to that.

You are seeking the truth.

You are bucking the mainstream media. You are rejecting them. And you are seeking truth. Because they abandoned truth a long time ago and they certainly aren't interested in recovering it now.