Humans of Mercury Studios: Confessions of a Chef

When the boss gets hungry, what's gonna be on the plate?

Part newsroom, part soundstage and part historical museum, Mercury Studios is home to Glenn Beck's companies, Mercury Radio Arts and TheBlaze. Every position in this fast-paced environment is important to keep things running smoothly. But one role that's often overlooked is that of Glenn's personal chef.

What is it like to be responsible for satisfying the culinary cravings of Mr. Beck himself? We decided to find out. (We may have bitten off more than we could chew.)

Here is his story, in his own words.

Matthew Shelton, Glenn's Personal Chef

Got to be honest with you, Glenn, I thought I hated your guts.

I see a lot of [Glenn] and I’m around him a lot. I see what he’s trying to do and what he has done. And it’s unbelievable. And I wish, somehow, we could capture that. I challenge any person on this planet to sit down with him and just eat, have a meal, eat a bowl of cereal. And you will like him. Even if you hate his guts.

Ten years ago, that wouldn’t have been the case. But today, absolutely. We travel all over the country with him. I see him meet these people who literally despise him walking into the place. And they always go, "Got to be honest with you, Glenn, I thought I hated your guts, but you make a lot of sense."

Really good timing.

I got here because of really good timing and a level of trust that was kind of naturally there. Glenn had some health issues come up and he needed somebody that was 24/7 and had more of a relationship than just a random person would have. So, he actually had my father [Robert Shelton, who previously filled in temporarily as Glenn's chef] look at some of the resumes that were submitted to be his chef and they were crazy. They were asking for gigantic salaries and crazy vacation time, all this stuff. And, Glenn just felt uncomfortable with all of it.

And one day he called me up and said, “Hey, would you ever want to be my chef?” And I wasn’t a trained chef at the time. And, I was like, “Um, I have no idea. What does that entail?” And he basically said, "You know, travel with me. I have a really strict diet” --- there were crazy limitations on what he could and couldn’t eat --- and I said, “Sure.”

And so, we did a three-month test period and I’m in his home, I’m with his wife and kids, and we travel together. I go up to their family ranch with them for three weeks at a time. It’s a very intimate, close relationship which has grown even stronger over the years. But I wasn’t very qualified for it and then it was --- ok, well, learn as you go. So, I went to nutrition school for eight months and really learned. You know, I knew how to make chicken taste good, but I didn’t know the point of why it was good for you and how to prepare it with certain things to make it better.

My biggest compliment is a completely clean plate.

I have a very unique look on food and my career. It’s way more than just a job. I really enjoy it.

It’s quite exciting, because now I get compliments and I’m like, "Man, I get to cook for some really cool people." My biggest compliment is a completely clean plate. You don’t have to tell me anything. But if the plates completely empty, I don’t care how hungry you are. If something doesn’t taste good, you’re not gonna eat it.

So, I see that now and I’m like, man I’m only 30. And my father is mid-50s and he is still learning. It’s pretty impressive.

I’m all about quality of life.

It’s funny, because my mom is Canadian and my dad is from the South. So, it’s like two drastically different cuisines growing up. And, my dad’s mom, when we were kids, every Christmas morning would make biscuits and gravy from scratch. And it’s my favorite meal. It’s so good. We’d have a huge portion of biscuits and gravy. It was amazing.

So, as I got older, she got dementia. And so, one Christmas the biscuits and gravy weren’t being made properly. And we were like, Grandma, what’d you just put in there? So, my father pulled me aside and said, “Learn how to make biscuits and gravy.” So now, every Christmas, I make biscuits and gravy from scratch. And it's tradition. And it’s so bad for you, but so unbelievably delicious that it doesn’t matter.

Quality of life, you know what I mean? Do an extra sit-up. I’m all about quality of life.

People talk about, you know, eating nutritious, and I wholeheartedly back that. It’s just, why not pro-long your life for as long as you can? Trust me, I love cheeseburgers and I still eat cheeseburgers. But I exercise to counteract that. I always preach to people --- quality of life. Eat the pizza! Pizza is unbelievable, right? Make sure you do something to balance that out.

What About You?

If you have a story about an experience connected to Mercury Studios or how Glenn has impacted your life, please submit your story in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!

Get to know more Humans of Mercury Studios here.

This compromise is an abomination

Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Three decades ago, "The Art of the Deal" made Donald Trump a household name. A lot has happened since then. But you can trace many of Trump's actions back to that book.

Art of the Deal:

In the end, you're measured not by how much you undertake but by what you finally accomplish.

People laughed when he announced that he was running for President. And I mean that literally. Remember the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner when Obama roasted Trump, viciously, mocking the very idea that Trump could ever be President. Now, he's President.

You can't con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don't deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.

This empire-building is a mark of Trump.

RELATED: 'Arrogant fool' Jim Acosta exposed MSM's dishonest border agenda — again.

The most recent example is the border wall. Yesterday, congress reached a compromise on funding for the border wall. Weeks of tense back-and-forth built up to that moment. At times, it seemed like neither side would budge. Trump stuck to his guns, the government shut down, Trump refused to budge, then, miraculously, the lights came back on again. The result was a compromise. Or at least that's how it appeared.

But really, Trump got what he wanted -- exactly what he wanted. He used the techniques he wrote about in The Art of the Deal:

My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I'm after.

From the start, he demanded $5.7 billion for construction of a border wall. It was a months' long tug-of-war that eventually resulted in yesterday's legislation, which would dedicate $1.4 billion. It would appear that that was what he was after all along. Moments before the vote, he did some last-minute pushing. A national emergency declaration, and suddenly the number is $8 billion.

Art of the Deal:

People think I'm a gambler. I've never gambled in my life. To me, a gambler is someone who plays slot machines. I prefer to own slot machines. It's a very good business being the house.

In a rare show of bipartisanship, Senate passed the legislation 83-16, and the House followed with 300-128. Today, Trump will sign the bill.

It's not even fair to call that a deal, really. A deal is what happens when you go to a car dealership, fully ready to buy a car, and the salesman says the right things. What Trump did is more like a car dealer selling an entire row of cars to someone who doesn't even have a licence. When Trump started, Democrats wouldn't even consider a wall, let alone pay for it.

Art of the Deal:

The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people's fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It's an innocent form of exaggeration—and a very effective form of promotion.

He started the wall on a chant, "Build the wall!" until he got what he wanted. He maneuvered like Don Draper, selling people something that they didn't even know they wanted, and convincing them that it is exactly what they've always needed.

As the nation soaks in the victory of the recent passing of the historic First Step Act, there are Congressmen who haven't stopped working to solve additional problems with the criminal justice system. Because while the Act was impactful, leading to the well-deserved early release of many incarcerated individuals, it didn't go far enough. That's why four Congressmen have joined forces to reintroduce the Justice Safety Valve Act—legislation that would grant judges judicial discretion when determining appropriate sentencing.

There's a real need for this legislation since it's no secret that lawmakers don't always get it right. They may pass laws with good intentions, but unintended consequences often prevail. For example, there was a time when the nation believed the best way to penalize lawbreakers was to be tough on crime, leading to sweeping mandatory minimum sentencing laws implemented both nationally and statewide.

RELATED: If Trump can support criminal justice reform, so can everyone else

Only in recent years have governments learned that these sentences aren't good policy for the defendant or even the public. Mandatory minimum sentences are often overly harsh, don't act as a public deterrent for crime, and are extremely costly to taxpayers. These laws tie judges' hands, preventing them from using their knowledge and understanding of the law to make case relevant decisions.

Because legislation surrounding criminal law is often very touchy and difficult to change (especially on the federal level, where bills can take multiple years to pass) mandatory minimum sentences are far from being done away with—despite the data-driven discoveries of their downfalls. But in order to solve the problems inherent within all of the different laws imposing sentencing lengths, Congress needs to pass the Justice Safety Valve Act now. Ensuring its passing would allow judges to use discretion while sentencing, rather than forcing them to continue issuing indiscriminate sentences no matter the unique facts of the case.

Rather than take years to go back and try to fix every single mandatory minimum law that has been federally passed, moving this single piece of legislation forward is the best way to ensure judges can apply their judgment in every appropriate case.

When someone is facing numerous charges from a single incident, mandatory minimum sentencing laws stack atop one another, resulting in an extremely lengthy sentence that may not be just. Such high sentences may even be violations of an individual's eighth amendment rights, what with the imposition of cruel and unusual punishment. It's exactly what happened with Weldon Angelos.

In Salt Lake City in 2002, Weldon sold half a pound of marijuana to federal agents on two separate occasions. Unbeknownst to Weldon, the police had targeted him because they suspected he was a part of a gang and trafficking operation. They were oh-so-wrong. Weldon had never sold marijuana before and only did this time because he was pressured by the agents to find marijuana for them. He figured a couple lowkey sales could help out his family's financial situation. But Weldon was caught and sentenced to a mandatory 55 years in prison. This massive sentence is clearly unjust for a first time, non-violent crime, and even the Judge, Paul Cassell, agreed. Judge Cassell did everything he could to reduce the sentence, but, due to federal law, it wasn't much.

The nation is facing an over-criminalization problem that costs taxpayers millions and amounts to the foolish eradication of individual liberties.

In cases like Weldon's, a safety valve for discretionary power is much needed. Judges need the ability to issue sentences below the mandatory minimums, depending on mitigating factors such as mental health, provocation, or physical illness. That's what this new bill would allow for. Critics may argue that this gives judges too much power, but under the bill, judges must first make a finding on why it's necessary to sentence below the mandatory minimum. Then, they must write a clear statement explaining their decision.

Judges are unlikely to risk their careers to allow dangerous criminals an early release. If something happens after an offender is released early, the political pressure is back on the judge who issued the shorter sentence—and no one wants that kind of negative attention. In order to avoid risky situations like this, they'd use their discretion very cautiously, upholding the oath they took to promote justice in every case.

The nation is facing an overcriminalization problem that costs taxpayers millions and amounts to the foolish eradication of individual liberties. Mandatory minimums have exacerbated this problem, and it's time for that to stop. Congresswomen and men have the opportunity to help solve this looming problem by passing the Justice Safety Valve Act to untie the hands of judges and restore justice in individual sentences.

Molly Davis is a policy analyst at Libertas Institute, a free market think tank in Utah. She's a writer for Young Voices, and her work has previously appeared in The Hill, TownHall.com, and The Washington Examiner.

New gadget for couples in 'the mood' lets a button do the talking

Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash

Just in time for Valentine's Day, there's a new romantic gadget for couples that is sure to make sparks fly. For those with their minds in the gutter, I'm not talking about those kinds of gadgets. I'm talking about a brilliant new device for the home called "LoveSync."

This is real — it's a simple pair of buttons for busy, modern couples who have plenty of time for social media and Netflix, but can't quite squeeze in time to talk about their... uh... special relationship.

Here's how it works. Each partner has their own individual LoveSync button. Whenever the mood strikes one partner, all they have to do is press their own button. That sets their button aglow for a certain period of time. If, during that time window, their partner also presses their own button, then both buttons light up in a swirling green pattern to signal that love has "synced"...and it's go time.

According to the makers of LoveSync, this device will "Take the Luck out of Getting Lucky." It brings a whole new meaning to "pushing each other's buttons." It's an ideal gift to tell your significant other "I care," without actually having to care, or talk about icky things like feelings.

If you find your significant other is already on the couch binge-watching The Bachelor, no problem! You can conveniently slink back to your button and hold it in for four seconds to cancel the desire. No harm, no foul! Live to fight another day.

Have fun explaining those buttons to inquiring children.

No word yet on whether LoveSync can also order wine, light candles or play Barry White. Maybe that's in the works for LoveSync 2.0.

Of course, LoveSync does have some pitfalls. Cats and toddlers love a good button. That'll be a fun conversation — "Honey, who keeps canceling my mood submissions?" And have fun explaining those buttons to inquiring children. "Yeah, kids, that button just controls the lawn sprinklers. No big deal."

If you've been dialing it in for years on Valentine's Day with flowers and those crappy boxes of chocolate, now you can literally dial it in. With a button.

Good luck with that.