‘No Escape’: Author Details the Horrors of North Korean Prison Camps to Explain This Phenomenon

People in North Korea live in fear of what the government can do to them because they know they have no escape, author Michael Malice said on radio Thursday.

North Korea’s isolation from the rest of the world has been decades in the making. It’s easy enough for U.S. media to make fun of North Koreans for being brainwashed by their communist government that teaches them that their leader, Kim Jong Un, is basically a god and that their country is the greatest in the world. But North Koreans shouldn’t be blamed for simply trying to keep themselves and their families alive.

Malice, who wrote about the Kim regime in “Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il,” detailed one of North Korea’s horrifying human rights violations: concentration camps for government prisoners.

“They send your whole family, three generations,” Malice said, explaining that the three-generation “extermination” policy was handed down by Kim Il Sung.

“You have a [work] quota and what’s insane, even by concentration camp standards, if you kill yourself, your family still has to fill your quota,” Malice asserted. “So even death is not an escape.”

Glenn remonstrated journalists who don’t give the full picture when they report on North Korea.

“I think some people tune this out … because they don’t think anybody wants to watch it or pay attention to it,” he said. “That’s your job.”

Kim Jong Un has threatened the U.S. and its allies with nuclear warfare in recent months, and North Korea has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, according to reports. The North Korean army this week threatened U.S. territory Guam, a location that houses several U.S. strategic bombers.

GLENN: Yesterday, on the program, we had Michael Malice. He's -- he is an amazing guy. He actually was born in the Soviet Union. His parents defected in the '70s. And he got out. And so he has been struggling with things. He's also Jewish. Struggling with things like modern day concentration camps and the evils of communism and totalitarianism.

Yesterday, we talked to him about Korea, on a high level. He went over to North Korea and really got to know some of the people and the culture. And it's a terrifying place.

I wanted to invite him back today. Because I wanted to talk to him about life in the former Soviet Union because I don't think people even understand how free we are today. But I also wanted to talk to him about something that -- you know, if the media really cares about the people of North Korea and the people of South Korea, then they would be doing things like what I'm going to ask him to do. Tell us about the concentration camps that are happening currently in North Korea.

Michael, welcome to the program.

MICHAEL: Thanks so much, Glenn. Man, this is going to be a dark day on the Glenn Beck show. Because, I mean, starting with that sad opener, and I'm about to make it even darker. So when you --

GLENN: Hang on just a second. I want you to know, that wasn't a sad opener. I think that was -- there are miracles. People provide miracles.

MICHAEL: Sure. I meant very touching. Very -- very touching and intense.

GLENN: Yeah.

MICHAEL: In the North Korean concentration camps, as we discussed yesterday, they send your whole family, three generations. The leader of North Korea, the founder, Kim Il-sung said, "Class enemies must be exterminated to three generations."

So when you get sent to the camps, you still have to work. And what is -- you have a quota. And what's insane, even by concentration camp standards, if you kill yourself, your family still has to fill your quota. So even death is not an escape in these camps from the reach of the Kim dynasty. There are children there. You know, men and women.

And you hear these stories of, for example, it is illegal to have relations with the camp guards. So very often, these women are assaulted by the guards who have complete power over them. But then the women are the ones who are punished. There was this one story where a woman was assaulted. They ran her over with a truck. Cut off her legs. And she still had to report to work, pushing herself on a tire. They're not going to give her a wheelchair.

You have stories where even the camps -- they can punish you. So you have men sentenced to work in mines. And they never see sunlight again. So their skin starts to slough off from Vitamin D deficiency.

So this is a level of barbarism that has almost never been seen on earth, and so much of the press is focused on how fat Kim Jong-un is and his rhetoric. And I was so pleased to hear you talk about this yesterday. This is why I wrote Dear Reader so that people can realize that the focus is on 25 million slaves in this country.

And so much of the rhetoric in the press is like, "Well, it's better that they die than we die." And it's like, "Well, how about we figure out a way where no one dies." That's my goal.

GLENN: You know, Michael, I don't know how to solve this. And I think some people tune this out, you know, the press because they don't think anybody wants to watch it or pay attention to it, which I think is just total laziness. It's your job to figure out a way to present it in such a way that you can feed it to people.

MICHAEL: Yeah.

GLENN: That's your job. And instead -- go ahead.

MICHAEL: That's why I wrote my book.

GLENN: Right.

MICHAEL: Because it was driving me nuts that you see people completely uninformed on television making these claims. You know, making it like another Iraq or another Nazi Germany. And it's not. And I said, "I'm going to do something about this once and for all, and I'm going to write a book so people can understand how it got to this place."

It didn't happen overnight, Glenn, as you know. This is a long, methodical process, to take a population and reduce them to this state.

GLENN: Michael -- Michael Malice is the name of the author, and the book is Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong-il.

How do you -- in some ways, in a different way, so hear me out on this question. When we went in and we freed the -- the concentration camps of the Germans.

MICHAEL: Right. Right.

GLENN: At the very beginning, our help actually killed them. By feeding, it killed them. It's -- it's -- you know, it was a horrible situation. And so we had to be really, really careful on how to bring people back to health.

MICHAEL: Right.

GLENN: How do you -- for people who have been in a concentration camp for three generations, how do you -- how do you bring those people back to any kind of understanding of -- of what -- of how people should even be treated.

MICHAEL: Well, what's even more insane is that when North Koreans send people to the camps, sometimes those people are freed. And they return to North Korean society. They have to basically sign a non-disclosure agreement, and they have to try to pick up the pieces of their lives. So there have been instances of this, where people have been returned, but they're obviously broken human beings. And there's different types of camps. There's political camps, and there's work camps.

Because one of the things these totalitarian nations have the idea -- you remember the slogan over Auschwitz was "work make makes you free." They claim and they believe in North Korea that by working, you will learn to love the leader and you will work your way to kind of enlightenment and understanding the Juche idea, which is the philosophy that guides North Korea.

So it's -- it's so depraved in so many ways. But thankfully, you know, there are stories of people who have -- the book that really moved George W. Bush, it's called the Aquariums of Pyongyang. And this is the book that really blew the lid off the camp system. Because the people -- the family went to live in the camps. And they were freed. And then one of the guys became a refugee. And he told the stories of what's going on there.

And more and more people are escaping North Korea and telling the stories of what life is like in these camps.

So we've -- but here's the scary part: The people in the camps are told, should the Americans invade, we are going to kill you all and burn these camps down. And that's something that no one takes into account when they're advocating starting war with North Korea.

GLENN: How many people are estimated to be in these camps?

MICHAEL: One hundred to 200,000. And you can see them for yourself on Google Earth.

GLENN: What do I Google?

MICHAEL: I mean, just go to Google Maps. I forgot -- you know, just Google "North Korea concentration camps." You'll find it pretty quickly. Maybe not using Google. Maybe another search engine these days.

GLENN: And there's no doubt that the North Koreans would slaughter them. I mean, that's what the Germans tried to do. They just didn't have enough time. You have to erase these crimes against humanity.

MICHAEL: Sure. Of course. Of course. That's the other point you made yesterday. Everyone talks about, they're crazy. They're crazy.

They're not crazy. They're evil. They're smart, and they're conniving. And exactly like you said, they want to wash their hands out of these crimes against humanity, and that means murdering at a huge scale.

During the '90s, they refused to allow food into the country. And up to 10 percent of the population starved -- 1 to 2 million people -- because Kim Jong-un said -- Kim Jong-il, the father said, "If we let the UN give them food, they're not going need to the government."

And the people who were the most loyal to the regime were the first to starve because they were the ones thinking food's right around the corner. I believe in the leader.

It's the shady ones and the cynical ones who were like, I'm going to lie, cheat, and steal to feed my family, who survived.

GLENN: Michael Malice is on with us. MichaelMalice.com. Also, the book is Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Biography of Kim Jong-il. We'll talk to him a little bit more about North Korea and what to do there.

But also, I want to hear his story, life behind the Iron Curtain. His parents came to the West to escape the Soviet Union, and I want to hear his story on that as well.

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(OUT AT 10:24AM)

GLENN: We're with Michael Malice from MichaelMalice.com. He is the author of the book Dear Reader. It's an amazing book about what life is like in North Korea. And it's a conversation that I think should be had in -- on -- in all media centers, instead of focusing on, "Did you see what outrageous thing this guy said?" How about we actually have a real adult conversation about what we're doing?

STU: And we've been very adult so far. And it's understandable with the context of the times. Though, Michael, your book is really entertaining. I don't want that to be lost in like a really serious topic here because you made the choice to write it as Kim Jong-il.

MICHAEL: Right. It's in the first person, and I want it to be the kind of book you can read on -- in the beach and/or bathroom. Right? And unless you make things fun and entertaining and kind of a page-turner, it's so dark and so depressing, people shut down. So I thought, "Let's make this something that people can enjoy." And one of the reviews I got -- it just really hit me -- was, "This is the funniest and most terrifying book I've ever read."

GLENN: That's great. That's great. Mission accomplished.

MICHAEL: Yeah, I'm sure a lot of your audience have seen the movie The Incredibles. And they talk in that movie about how super villains gloat, and they go on their monologues.

So when you read their literature, they boast about all the things that they do. And there is a sick kind of humor to it, that with a straight face, they're saying things that -- when you stop and think about it, you're like, this is madness.

GLENN: Like, what?

MICHAEL: Well, for example, Kim Jong-il hates the Mona Lisa, I learned, from reading their propaganda. And I asked my mother, who grew up in the Soviet Union, I'd say, "Why do you think Kim hates the Mona Lisa?" And it took her one second. She goes, "Because she has an ambiguous smile."

And that's right. According to North Korea, if art is ambiguous, it's not art. Art has to have a propaganda message that's very clear to the masses, or else you can't consider it art.

And imagine living in a country where every piece of art has to have some political message. And that political message is always the same.

GLENN: I think I do live in that country.

(laughter)

I hate to point that out, but I think we're there.

(laughter)

Do the people -- do the people there actually believe the stuff like, you know, he came down and was born and was delivered by a flock of birds, and he remembers his -- the day he was born --

STU: That's the first line of the book. What is it? I remember the day I was born perfectly.

MICHAEL: I remember the day I was born perfectly.

STU: And it's not a funny statement where you're grandiose and stating what Kim Jong-il said. He actually told people that, and they're really forced to believe it.

MICHAEL: Yes.

GLENN: I heard he does -- that he doesn't go to the bathroom. That people believe that he has no bathroom needs.

MICHAEL: No. See, a lot of times, the West gets it on wrong.

GLENN: Okay.

MICHAEL: And let me explain how they view him. What that bathroom line is, what they meant is, he works so hard, he doesn't even take breaks to go to the bathroom. So that's not really a big expression.

GLENN: Okay. Okay.

PAT: Does he wear adult diapers?

GLENN: I don't think we need to go there.

Go ahead.

MICHAEL: Yes.

But they look at him, not like a person. They look at him kind of the way we look at Uncle Sam, right? Now, Uncle Sam, we know what he's like, what he does. If I asked you, well, if it's Uncle Sam, who are his nieces and nephews? You never stop to think about that, right? It doesn't make -- but he's an uncle.

So you don't perceive him as a full human being. However, there's another story, which was amazing to me, at how they view Kim Jong-il.

There's a building. There's an obelisk in North Korea called The Tower of the Juche Idea. It's got this flame at the very top.

GLENN: Hang on. Hang on. We'll get the rest of this story, and maybe they should learn Uncle Sam wears stripes, meaning he should be in prison. Maybe they should learn that about their uncle as well. We'll get the rest of the story and then move to the former Soviet Union. What is -- what was life like for Michael's family?

(OUT AT 10:30AM)

GLENN: So we're talking to Michael Malice. He's the author of a book called Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Biography of Kim Jong-il. His family immigrated here from the Soviet Union in the 19702. We'll get into that in just a second. But finishing up a story on how people view the dear leader in North Korea. And you were talking about an obelisk?

MICHAEL: Yeah, they have this tower. The Tower of the Juche Idea. It's the stone tower in the capital city of Pyongyang. And when you read their literature and how they discuss how this tower was being built, you have all these architects.

And they came up with all these plans. And Kim Jong-il shows up and says, "Hey, why don't we make it the tallest tower in the world?"

And their jaws drop. And they realize, "No one had ever considered this possibility before."

And it's like, "Wait a minute. You guys are all brainstorming with the dear leader, and no one even threw out, 'We should make it the biggest one on earth?'"

So according to all their literature, it's not that he's a God. He's literally the only competent person in the whole country. And that's very pernicious. Because think about it, to this day, if that leader goes away, that means your whole nation goes to pod. So it's very important -- if the one guy who knows how to do anything in the country is keeping things together, you really to make sure he stays in charge.

GLENN: And, Michael, they thought that the grandfather was -- was actually working with the people. That he would be -- and, you know, in the actual factories. And he wouldn't stop to eat or go to the bathroom. He would just keep working. And he would turn one factory around.

And then the dear leader would get into another car, and he would race to another factory. And he was working there. I mean, they actually believed that.

MICHAEL: Well, I mean, it's kind of true. They have something called "field guidance." And if you look in their newspapers, it's photographs of Kim Jong-il at one factory one day, and the next day he's at a school.

So when I'm reading all the propaganda, the stories are mind-numbing. Because it's -- there's a glass factory. There's a problem. No one knows what to do. Kim Jong-il shows up. He has an extremely obvious solution. Everyone is shocked and amazed.

The next day, we got a problem at the cornflake factory. Gee, I wonder what's going to happen there. So, you know, trying to make it into a funny interesting story was a lot of work on my part because -- and what's really dark about their literature is other human beings and other countries don't exist. So it will say something like, "During the '70s, the great leader Kim Il-sung went to a European country to attend the funeral of its president." It doesn't say which country. It doesn't say who.

No one else has names in most of these stories, other than Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung. And they started even recently taking a Biblical bent, by having everything the leaders say in boldface, in the same way Jesus' words are in red in the Bible. And their names are in a bigger font than the rest of the text.

STU: Hmm.

GLENN: Can you tell me the -- because there's a lot of bizarre things that go on with North Korea that I don't understand.

MICHAEL: Yeah.

GLENN: But let me just say two words to you: Dennis Rodman.

MICHAEL: Oh, yes. I mean, Dennis Rodman -- the hatred I have for him and what he's doing -- and I don't care how drunk or stupid he is or crazy. He was on some Sunday morning show, and they asked him, "How are you paling around with someone who has concentration camps?" And he literally said, "Well, we have prisons. What's the difference?"

GLENN: Oh, my gosh.

MICHAEL: Why don't you go to those prisons and go to those camps and take a poll and see who wants to switch places, and you'll have your answer. So to hand wave that away, to me, is unconscionable.

GLENN: What do you think it is? Is it money? And why is Kim Jong-un interested in him? I mean, the rest of the world isn't interested in him.

MICHAEL: Because how many celebrities are going to be his friend, you know what I mean? First of all, he gets to pretend to his population that everyone on earth thinks I'm awesome. They don't know who Dennis Rodman is. But he can easily tell them, this is the greatest baseball -- basketball player of all time. And he's an American coming to North Korea to praise the leader. That says something else. So these are two aspects that are used to glorify the regime. Plus, I'm sure it makes Kim Jong-un look a lot smarter by comparison, right? And a lot saner.

GLENN: So you're doing this, I gather, because of your -- you're kind of picking up the torch where your parents kind of left off in some ways. Your parents and you for a couple of years lived in the former Soviet Union.

MICHAEL: Right.

GLENN: And you saw persecution. You saw concentration camps. You're Jewish. You saw history.

MICHAEL: Right.

GLENN: I imagine that's where this is coming from.

MICHAEL: Oh, absolutely. Because when I would look at the reports, the news and people treating it like a carnival, and, you know, in high school we ask ourselves, how did we let the Holocaust happen? People wouldn't even talk about the Gulags from the Soviet Union, which preceded the German concentration camps and were around for a lot longer.

And, again, to focus on Kim Jong-il's golf score, I said, "I'm going to do something -- I'm going to at least try do something once and for all." Because, yeah, you can write books that are fun or entertaining. But at a certain point, you're like, I'm put on this earth. Let me see if I can move the needle a little bit.

Because we have it pretty good in this country, Glenn. If I move the needle in America, it's not going to make much of a difference. But if I'm moving the needle even a little bit in North Korea, this could actually be saving a lot of lives.

GLENN: Tell me about your parent's experience in the Soviet Union.

MICHAEL: I mean, towards -- it was awful. And it's -- there's so many things that were put into my head that I didn't realize were put in there and that is different from how Americans were raised.

For example, I had a buddy staying in my house. I went to the gym. And to get into my apartment building, there's no buzzer. Someone has to let you in.

And I come back, and he said, "Oh, there was someone at the door looking for whatever -- Jimmy. And I sent him on his way."

And I looked at him and I realized, "If I was staying in someone's house, it wouldn't even enter my head to answer the door." Like, that's not how Russians think.

If there's a knock on the door, it's not even an option. It doesn't -- it doesn't compute. Because there's just so much lack of trust. And the other thing, the Google doc very much was a Soviet kind of story. Because I was always raised to always be aware of who has power over you and realize they might execute that power for completely absurd reasons. And you have to be conscious of that all the time. The idea that people are going to play fair with you when they're stronger than you is an absurdity in the Soviet psychology.

GLENN: So, Michael, I went over to Poland. I took my family four years ago. Went to Auschwitz. Wanted my kids to see -- I wanted them to see Israel with the first stop being Auschwitz, so they knew why Israel was important in today's world. They know the history of Israel.

MICHAEL: Right.

GLENN: But I want them to understand what it's like when a people don't have a home to call their own, to be able to defend themselves.

MICHAEL: Right. Right.

GLENN: And so we went over. And I talked to one of the Righteous Among the Nations. A sweet woman. And she was like 16, when she started saving Jews in the ghetto. And I asked her -- the last thing I said to her was, "Paulina, you know, if dark times come, I'm looking to water the -- the tree of righteousness in myself and my family and others."

MICHAEL: Right.

GLENN: How do we do that? And she said something so profound. And as each day goes by and I see things like this Google doc thing, it just becomes stronger and stronger.

She said, "You misunderstand. The righteous didn't suddenly become righteous. They just refused to go over the cliff with the rest of humanity."

MICHAEL: Yeah.

GLENN: When you see the Google docs and you see people cheering and saying, "We can't even have a reasonable conversation. We must deny things that we know are true."

MICHAEL: Right.

GLENN: And we not only have to not say the things that we know are true, we must join the crowd and say the things we know are not true.

MICHAEL: And if they had their druthers, this guy would not only not be working at Google, he'd never be working again.

GLENN: Yes.

MICHAEL: And for what? I mean, you judge people by their actions, not by their intent. And at the very least -- first of all, no one is claiming he had bad intentions. That's what's even more pernicious. It's not like he set out to write a document, and I'm going to make people uncomfortable. Let's suppose it's all wrong. But this is his scientific view. The kid went to Harvard.

GLENN: And MIT.

MICHAEL: Yeah. This is no dummy. And you have people on Twitter who have never done anything with their lives, feeling free to cast judgment on his understanding of the scientific process and biology and psychology.

So it's a very, very scary thing. However, I think there's a good side in the sense that, thanks to social media and alternative forms of media, this is being exposed as soon as it happens. And back in the day, this kid could have been vanished, and you would never hear about him again. Remember, like, Woodrow Wilson put Eugene V. Debs in jail?

GLENN: Yep. Do you hate Woodrow Wilson? Really?

STU: Oh, come on. You can't kiss up to him by bringing up Woodrow Wilson.

GLENN: Really? Do you hate him as much as I do? Are you like a big-time hater of Woodrow Wilson?

MICHAEL: Oh, he's the worst. He's absolutely the worst president of all time. Are you kidding?

GLENN: Oh, I love you.

So I have to tell you this, just off the -- I just got an email from somebody who is going to make a cartoon on Woodrow Wilson -- the evil of Woodrow Wilson. It will blow you away who is thinking about doing this. And they said, "Will you please be the narrator?" They said, "You know, the people involved completely disagreed, but there is no one that hates Woodrow Wilson more than us, other than you." And I said, "Oh, my gosh. I will help you in every possible way to expose that monster."

MICHAEL: Oh, yeah. And it's no coincidence he was a college university president.

GLENN: Nope.

MICHAEL: Because this is where -- I was on the show Kennedy on Fox Business. And I made the point: The university's job is to prepare young minds to be the shock troops for the progressive militia. They are there to program them and have them spread out like a virus and control the media and entertainment. How many -- what percent of journalists have gone to universities? And they're all being programmed by the evangelical left.

PAT: Michael, you just booked yourself a ticket for a third consecutive day on the air.

(laughter)

GLENN: We could be -- we could be best friends, Michael. I don't know what -- I don't know what else you believe.

PAT: Yep. Yep.

GLENN: But you had me at Woodrow Wilson is evil.

JEFFY: We might have you back on Monday.

PAT: Going to be having dinner tomorrow by candlelight.

GLENN: It's a -- it's a real honor to talk to you, Michael. And thanks for all of the hard work and the hard thinking and heavy lifting on trying to get the words out, in a way that people can consume them. I appreciate --

MICHAEL: Oh, thank you so much, Glenn.

GLENN: Appreciate your work.

MICHAEL: Thank you.

GLENN: God bless. Michael Malice.

The name of the book is Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Biography of Kim Jong-il.

Why did you read that, when it came out? This has been out for like five years. Why were you reading that?

STU: It's just -- I mean, I'm fascinated by dictators.

GLENN: Dictators.

STU: And, you know, Kim Jong-un. North Korea, in particular, it's one of the places I desperately in my life want to go some day. Now, I'm -- obviously, at this point, you go there and you die. So I really can't do it.

JEFFY: But you could try.

STU: I would love to see it. It's an incredible place.

GLENN: He won't go to Israel. He won't go to Israel.

PAT: I know. But he'd like to go to North Korea.

STU: Oh, I'm also not going to North Korea because I think it's dangerous. I mean, I would love to see Israel too, but I think --

GLENN: I'm thinking about going to South Korea. Not North Korea. I'm thinking about going to the DMZ.

GLENN: That would be good, yeah.

STU: I would love to see that too. It's an incredible place. And that hotel that we talked about yesterday, The Hotel of Doom is, like, legitimately, like, my favorite building and story of all time. Because, I mean, it is the ultimate failure of communism.

GLENN: Tell them real quick.

STU: They tried -- when the Seoul, South Korea, Olympics in 1988 were going on, they decided they wanted to show -- because they knew the spotlight would be on South Korea. And they wanted to show they were better. So the communists tried -- it was Kim Il-sung, tried to build the largest hotel in the world. Got the structure built. It looks like this bizarre pyramid. Almost like a rocket ship. It's 110 stories. They got through it.

GLENN: Think of it. That's the World Trade Center, in pyramid form.

STU: In pyramid form. It is huge. And it's this big concrete structure. They built it to the sky and then ran out of cash. The Soviet Union started to collapse. They ran out of cash. Couldn't finish it.

So over this city that was supposed to be the best city in the world and how they were dominating in the world and in the economy and everything else, is this giant unfinished disaster that they can't do anything with. But they also can't tear it down because it would be completely unsafe to tear it down and also really expensive to tear it down.

So over the years, as they've sort of recovered a little bit, they've just plastered glass on the side of it, so it looks now kind of like a finished building. But there's video of it from the time where people -- and they would never allow anyone to take pictures of it. They would never allow any people to film it.

A couple people smuggled out video of it. And it's like, you know, this -- this collapsing disaster of a concrete structure. The ugliest building you've ever seen.

It was supposed to have ten rotating restaurants on the top of it. I mean, it was an incredible project. But the ultimate testimony of communism's failure. How this never -- this does not work. And I love it.

GLENN: Who was going to pay for the bazillion-dollar rooms and the ten revolving restaurants when no one has any money?

STU: Yeah. I know. It's not a good idea. That's how I like it.

JEFFY: Are we going to start maybe a GoFundMe page and have Stu go to North Korea?

GLENN: Oh, I'll pay for that myself. I will pay for that myself.

JEFFY: I'm willing to start that up.

STU: I don't understand.

Ryan: Kanye West and the Great Society

Graphic by Alexander Somoskey.

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

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(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.