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Gawker takedown: Author chronicles Hulk Hogan’s epic smackdown that bankrupted liberal website

How much do you really know about one of the biggest media stories of all time?

Ryan Holiday, the author and strategist behind the marketing expose “Trust Me, I’m Lying,” is back with a book about the famous battle between billionaire Peter Thiel and the now-defunct website Gawker.

Thiel had it in for Gawker after the site revealed in 2007 that he was gay, but the investor was smart enough to bide his time until he could catch Gawker doing something illegal: publishing without permission parts of a sex tape of Hulk Hogan and his former best friend’s wife.

In his new book, “Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue,” Holiday gives an insider’s perspective on the famous Gawker takedown based on his time with both Thiel and former Gawker chief Nick Denton.

According to Holiday, Thiel’s chance meeting with a mysterious “Mr. A” was the turning point. “Mr. A” and attorney Charles Harder worked together to find any potential dirt on Gawker and jumped on the opportunity when the site published the Hogan footage.

Where is “Mr. A” now? Holiday didn’t say who he was or exactly what he’s doing now, but it’s a safe bet to imagine he’s set for life.

“I would imagine when you solve a problem for a billionaire like this, the world is sort of your oyster from that point forward,” Holiday said.

Want more? Listen to the full interview with Holiday in Hour 2 of today’s show here:

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: Do the ends justify the means? Are there real white hats and black hats anymore? Can you actually be a white taking down a black hat?

If you've done them in nefarious ways, are you wearing a gray hat, or are you wearing a black hat?

There are so many things today that we would all like to see, you know, dishonest, bad media go away and collapse on its own weight. We might even cheer when something like gawker, which was a despicable website, when gawker went out of business and had to shut down, we might all cheer.

However, are we all comfortable with the idea that a billionaire can conspire and make that happen?

Even though, the end is good.

STU: Ryan Holiday is an author. He wrote a great book called Trust Me On Lying, which is a fantastic read, to go back and see how the news you see every day gets to you.

GLENN: Sausage.

STU: It's incredible.

GLENN: You'll find teeth and shoes in it.

STU: You have to read that. The new book is Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue. And it's -- it brings us through this entire story, and Ryan joins us now.

GLENN: So, Ryan, can you tell this story like only you can? Tell this story before we get into what we're supposed to learn from it.

RYAN: Well, it's an almost unbelievable story. In 2007, Gawker Media, a gossip website in New York City, has a Silicon Valley arm called Valley Wag, and they out the Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel as gay. He's at that point the founder of PayPal. He was an early investor in Facebook, but a relatively unknown person whose sexuality was known to his friends. But he was not publicly gay.

He's -- he's humiliated by this. He's frustrated by it. He's hurt. Gawker's headline, I believe, was Peter Thiel is Totally Gay, People. So imagine your most sensitive secret being made public in such a flippant way. And he finds this not to be illegal, but to be disgusting. And --

GLENN: Now, hang on just a second. Ryan, when this happens with gawker, is this -- because I find gawker despicable. They've done things to me and my family that are just despicable.

RYAN: Sure.

GLENN: But on this, people were saying, well, we should out people, because that's only going to make people more comfortable with -- you know, with gay people if they know you're around them all the time. So were they using the ends justify the means at that time to do something good, or are they just dirtbags?

RYAN: I think it's a little bit of both, right? I think they thought, why should he keep this secret? And I think they also thought, why should this be a jet? This isn't something to be ashamed of. But the truth is be with he didn't want it to be public. And I believe that's his prerogative.

GLENN: Yeah, it's his story to tell, not anybody else's.

RYAN: He sort of despairs of being able to do anything about it for five years. He just sort of sits on this. He's frustrated. He's hurt by it. But he can't do anything about it. And it's only in 2012, when Gawker makes another enemy, they run an illegally recorded sex tape of the professional wrestler, Hulk Hogan, that Thiel sees the opportunity that he's been looking for this whole time, that he had been looking for. He had hired a lawyer to spot opportunities like this.

He approaches Hulk Hogan, and he says, look, what they did to you is not only despicable, I think it's illegal both federally and in Florida, where you're a resident. I will fund this. Thiel approaches him through an intermediary. This is totally in secret.

I will fund this case as far as you're willing to take it. And he approaches a number of other people in similar cases. And then for the next four years, this case winds its way through the legal system. And he eventually wins 140 million-dollar bankruptcy-inducing verdict against Gawker in Florida, to the shock of all onlookers and legal strategists at the time. And he achieves that thing that he had set out to do in 2007, which was to both get his revenge and to prevent this -- this website that he believes to be evil, from doing what it did to people.

GLENN: So --

STU: Wow.

GLENN: -- I know Peter -- he is a very, generally quiet guy. You know, he's -- he's an odd duck.

RYAN: Sure.

GLENN: He's a really nice guy. Doesn't seem like a guy who is driven by vengeance. But does sound like a guy -- or feels like a guy who will take all the time necessary in the world. He is not in any hurry. He'll wait until it's right.

RYAN: Well, that's what's so brilliant about what he did. I think most of us, when something is done to us, we react. We respond. Right? A fight breaks out.

A conspiracy, to me, is more something that bruise, that develops. And that's what it was so brilliant about Peter. He didn't -- he said, look, what they did to me I don't think was right. And I'm angry about it. But it's never good to be driven by anger. And so, instead, he steps back. He never forgot what happened. But he looked for an opportunity, where he actually had legal -- legal ground to stand on, where he actually could have an impact. Where the public would be so universally repulsed by what these people did, that he would have a shot at making a difference. So I think both that patience and that ability to be strategic, is why he was able to solve a problem, if that's what you want to call it. That many other powerful people had looked at, and said basically, there's nothing you can do about this.

GLENN: But he didn't do -- did he become the thing that he despised?

I don't get the impression that he did. He -- he did this on the up-and-up. The only thing -- the reason why it's a conspiracy is, he didn't want to be out front. But now that it's known -- he doesn't mind. I mean, he's owning it now.

RYAN: Sure. Look, I think secrecy is a fundamental element of a conspiracy. And I respect that he was willing to see that the optics of a billionaire being publicly in front of this thing completely changes how the public would look at it. You know, he said to me, he got this advice from one of his friends. His friends said, Peter, you have to choose your enemies carefully because you become just like them. So that's really the danger of spending nine years scheming to destroy or ruin someone or something, is that you study them so much, they consume so much of your mental bandwidth, that you can kind of become like them.

I don't think that he became anything like Gawker. But, for instance, there's a seminal moment in jury selection, where they notice that overweight female jurors are the most sympathetic to their case. Now, that's not disgusting. But there is an element of unpleasantness in selecting a juror to then exploit their most vulnerable body issue to win a case --

GLENN: But don't you think -- that's done in the court system every day of the week.

RYAN: Agreed. My point is, I think we -- we tend to be idealists about change.

GLENN: Yes. Yes.

RYAN: We think that we can make change without getting our hands dirty or without dealing with some of this unpleasantness.

GLENN: Yes.

RYAN: And so there's compromises of pursuing something of this magnitude. And I think Peter was so committed to what he was doing, that he felt that that end did justify -- that means did justify the end.

STU: Hmm.

GLENN: So Ryan has spent a lot of time with Peter Thiel. Peter Thiel -- this is not an anti-Peter Thiel book. Peter worked side by side. He had unprecedented access to Peter. And while Peter didn't -- I don't think, Ryan, unless there's another conspiracy theory. He didn't fund this book. He just gave access. More with Ryan Holiday.

The book is Conspiracy. And there's some tough questions that we have to ask ourselves. More in a minute.

GLENN: We're with Ryan Holiday, he's the author of a book called Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue. It's a very tough question that we have to tackle, but I want to get a couple more facts out of the way here before we do with Ryan.

STU: Ryan, a couple of things that we picked up from the book, one thing that Peter had conversations about his strategy, trying to get Gawker to go away.

RYAN: Uh-huh.

STU: They discussed at least seemingly -- he comes off a little flippantly, but at least considered doing things actually illegal when it comes to the approach.

GLENN: Yeah. What was the -- what was the example, Stu?

STU: Well, I'm sure -- I'm sure Ryan can walk us through the examples. I don't have them in front of me.

RYAN: Sure.

GLENN: Go ahead, Ryan.

RYAN: Sure. It struck me as a little bit of a tempest in a teapot by the media coverage. Because it's like getting in trouble for thinking about speeding and then not speeding.

GLENN: Yeah.

RYAN: But, you know, if you think about Thiel's position, he finds Gawker to be this great evil. He's trying to do something about it. But as a billionaire, he has essentially limitless resources. He's also the majority owner of one of the most powerful in intelligence and defense companies on the planet. So he has these immense resources.

And so it's a question then of, which of them is he going to use and what limitations is he going to impose on himself?

So theoretically, could he hire private detectives to follow Gawker writers and attempt to find dirt on them, that would be embarrassing? Could he start a rival website that would focus, but nothing on their personal lives? Could he bribe employees to leak information to him? Could he -- could he lobby politicians to go after them?

Like there's many things that he could do. But what he decides, actually, early on, after sort of laying all these options on the table, is that he -- that he wants only to do what's legal and ethical, because he's -- he's both, I think an ethical and moral person. But also, because at some point, your involvement is made public. At some point, you win.

And then the public looks at what you did, and they judge you for this. Right?

And so his belief was that, if they accomplished this thing they were trying to accomplish with unethical or illegal means, the victory would stand. And it would also be, as we were talking about earlier, it would be pyrrhic, in that it would come at a great cost to himself because he would have had to become the thing that he was trying to change in the first place.

GLENN: I have to tell you, this is kind of being spun as an anti-Peter Thiel book, and just that alone speaks volumes. I don't know how many billionaires there are that would have the self-control that he had, to say, no, I want to do it -- I want to do it the right way.

Can you tell me anything -- because you have an exclusive in this about a guy named Mr. A. I know you're not going to tell me who. But what is Mr. A's role?

RYAN: Well, that's -- it's one of the weirdest twits of this story, this incredibly well-covered story.

I think people thought, I guess myself included, felt like Peter Thiel was involved on a day-to-day basis. And, in fact, he sort of follows the start-up model, which is, in 2011, he has -- he has dinner with this promising young college graduate, who has told Peter he has an idea. They sit down to dinner.

And this kid says, Peter, I think I can solve your Gawker problem. I think that buried in their archive of posts are illegal acts or acts that make them vulnerable to -- to civil judgments. And I think -- he says, if you give me $10 million and three to five years of time, I think I can make something happen here. And basically, on the spot, Peter invests in this kid. And this kid is Peter's go-between, his operative who hires the attorneys, who vets the cases, who makes the decisions day-to-day. And Peter is -- is -- and the way that Peter puts $500,000 in Mark Zuckerberg's hands and he goes and makes Facebook, Mr. A goes and makes this conspiracy a reality.

STU: Wow.

GLENN: So what do you think Mr. A is going to be doing now?

RYAN: Well, I would imagine when you solve a problem for a billionaire like this, your world is sort of your oyster from that point forward. I think he's got basically limitless options now. And has one patron who is probably willing to back him on any project under any condition.

GLENN: Holy cow.

STU: Wow. What was Peter's motivation in cooperating with you, Ryan, on this book?

RYAN: Well, as I'm sure you guys have seen, in the coverage just talking to me. This is a story that has been intensely covered, but with such bias and such sort of tribal instincts on behalf of the media. Because the media sees what happens to Gawker. And they think, oh, that could happen to us. Let's circle the wagon. So there's been this incredible amount of judgment about what's happened.

And I think that's greatly impacted the coverage, right? To such a degree, that Peter has become, in many people's eyes, this sort of James Bond villain. And that's really not what he is, when you read him and you see what he did and why he did it. So I think -- I had written critically about Gawker many times. You know, myself. My emails were once hacked and leaked to Gawker. So I know what that feeling is like. So I was willing to at least be fair. You know, I told Peter, look, you're not going to get to see the book before it's printed. You're not going to have any input on it. I'm going to play it down the middle, but I think he at least believed that I would play it down the middle, rather than holding him up as the villain, if that wasn't true.

GLENN: Yeah. So, Ryan, there's -- if -- I'm just trying to think this through. If a billionaire -- let's say George Soros, who is not a friend of mine. If he decided to go after me and I was doing something -- and TheBlaze was doing something that was blatantly illegal. And I don't mean death by a million paper cuts, what a billionaire could do.

RYAN: Sure.

GLENN: I don't think I would have sympathy for Peter, if he had just been paper cut after paper cut, technicality after technicality, just keep him in court and bleed them dry.

RYAN: Right.

GLENN: I don't think this is a problem for the First Amendment, if they're going after things that are really, truly illegal and they're big.

And I'd like to get your response on that when we come back. What does this mean for the First Amendment? That a billionaire can mark somebody and then take them out? Is that good for the republic? When we come back.

GLENN: I am -- I'm currently on a -- on a couple-week rant of, we've got to do something, and how that always leads to bad things. You just don't make good decisions when you're angry, upset, emotionally. We've got to do something usually also means, I'll violate my principles because I want this pain to stop.

So what are our principles? I -- I don't -- I didn't like Gawker. Gawker did some things that were dangerous for my family. I thought they were despicable people. And I did wish them to go out of business. But I wouldn't have done anything to get them to go out of business. And I like the way Peter Thiel did this. He waited to see, is there something that they have done that breaks the law? When they had Hulk Hogan, that was an illegally recorded tape. And for what? What was the purpose of exposing that?

So Peter took them to court on that. The problem is, he's a billionaire, has unlimited resources. And are we setting a precedent that somebody who has an axe to grind can put another company out of business? One man can put a media company out of business if they want to?

Are we -- did anybody learn that lesson in a negative way? Ryan is with us.

Ryan Holiday is the author of the book Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue.

What have you come to, Ryan, on that?

RYAN: Well, that is the big question. And it is potentially scary to think a billionaire could shut a media outlet down? And then when you step back, you know, your point about not reacting emotionally, well, did Peter actually do anything new that doesn't happen every day, anyway, right? The ACLU. The Sierra club. The NRA. They back cases all the time that they think move their ideology forward or stands up for one of their constituents. And so the idea of a wealthy person backing a lawsuit, not out of financial gain, but out of ideological alignment is actually not remotely new. And if you were to ban it, society would undoubtedly become a worse place, right?

Why shouldn't your rich uncle be able to support you against a person who ran into you, with their truck, right? You want that.

GLENN: So there's the legal question, which I think he did everything right. And then there's the ethical question, which I think he did everything right.

But you have to ask that ethical question too. And would you have felt different if he would have taken Gawker on, with -- with almost frivolous lawsuits and just done death by 1,000 paper cuts? Do you think it would have been a different story for you?

RYAN: Absolutely. Because there you're not attempting to win. You're not attempting to have your argument validated. You're attempting to destroy someone for something they may not have done something wrong.

So Peter's decision, for instance, not even an attack on First Amendment grounds because he believes that's sacred. But to look instead at the individual's right to privacy, right? Is there a newsworthiness in this sex tape, or is there a copyright claim here? He specifically did not sue them on say frivolous, libel, or defamation grounds because he was worried about the precedent that it might set. And he didn't believe that there was anything wrong there.

So his distinction is really, really important. And I think, you know, a potential hypothetical would be, what if a liberal had backed Shirley Sherrod in her lawsuit against Breitbart, when they ran that deliberately edited, manipulative tape of her in I believe it was 2011.

GLENN: Yes.

RYAN: And I don't think many of the people who are deeply upset about what happened to Gawker, I don't think they would be upset if Breitbart had gone out of business in 2012. I think they would be cheering at the exact same way.

STU: It's very interesting. Yes, that's absolutely true. I wanted to get your take quickly on -- I can't remember the guy's name who actually wrote the story.

But he -- he's become somewhat of a cause celeb on the left of a guy -- because he's not the guy -- he's not Nick Denton who ran Gawker. But the guy who actually just did the post.

He's a lowly --

Yes. Yes. Just -- you know, a writer. And he's working for Gawker. Not making a ton of money. And he was involved in this lawsuit. And he has been presented as this guy who got in the middle of this thing. And he was helpless in this situation. And now he has no chance of making any money. He owes an ungodly amount of money for this lawsuit and can't do anything about it. He wasn't wealthy. He didn't own Gawker. Do you have any perspective on that and how that went down?

RYAN: Yeah. So in a way, he's just doing his job. Gawker publishes these stories all the time. It's so unremarkable when you get to the Hulk Hogan tape, that Nick Denton, the CEO isn't even notified, right? The case that bankrupts the company, the CEO doesn't know about it until after it is published. Because that's how run-of-the-mill it actually was.

So, yes, it was unfortunate that this individual, this writer doing his job, takes the full brunt of it in the public eye. You know, during the trial. And then is held liable -- the jury says -- holds him personally liable for about $100,000 of this 140 million-dollar judgment. But what people forget is that months after the verdict, Peter and Hulk Hogan settle with Gawker that releases both Denton and Daulerio from these individual claims. And they're able to walk free.

You know, they were not necessarily ruined by it. And Peter said, look, my goal was to destroy Gawker, not to ruin these people personally. But individuals are held accountable for their actions.

GLENN: Yeah.

RYAN: And that's life.

GLENN: I mean, we all have choices, no matter if everybody else is doing it. We still have a choice.

You know, I'm so intrigued by Peter. I think he is a real force for good. And I think he's a deep and thoughtful man, that doesn't make everything that he -- everything that he does right or good. But he really seems to think about things.

RYAN: Yes.

GLENN: And I heard him say once, it's not that I think I'm right, I'm not even sure if I'm right, I just don't think other people are even thinking about these things. What does that tell you about him?

RYAN: He would say that even about this case. That it's often not that he was right and other people were wrong. It's that Gawker wasn't even -- Gawker just assumed that this Hulk Hogan case would get settled. They weren't even taking it seriously. And so Peter is a person who has theories about the world. And he's willing to put some skin in the game. Right? He's willing to throw some weight behind them and see what happens. And I think -- to me, the lesson of what happened, and what I tried to write about in the book, is that, you can fundamentally disagree with what Peter did, and you can think that it's dangerous and alarming that Gawker doesn't exist anymore. But there is something to study, a lesson to learn, about how this guy did it. And why he did it.

And how he was able to effectuate the change that he needed to happen, outside of writing op-eds or putting out a petition. You know, he -- he made real change in the real world, where other people said, there was nothing you could do about it. And to me, that's a lesson that -- and in some ways, that's an inspiring things right now, in this society, where we're stuck, you know, on both sides of the aisle. I think we just feel like change can't happen. And here, a guy made something happen.

GLENN: Yeah. When -- I saw that in the book that -- that phrase.

I -- I thought to myself, that is something that the world is not even rewarding now. It doesn't reward you to think. It doesn't reward you to think outside of the box and to think differently. And it doesn't reward you to say, I'm not sure if I'm right. I just want us to think about that. And that's really what we're missing.

RYAN: And the irony is that in some ways, Gawker was part of that problem, right? I think one of Thiel's objections to them is not just the despicable things that they did and the violations of privacy, but as the site that just sort of made fun of everyone for every mistake, every failure, every personal idiosyncrasy.

They were dis-incentivizing people from thinking outside the box, from being weird. And weirdness is where innovation comes from and creativity. And we should want people to take risks and turn out to be wrong. What we don't want to do is mercilessly mock them, to the point where nobody tries anything because they don't want to end up on the front page of Gawker.com or any website.

GLENN: Ryan Holiday, thank you very much.

RYAN: Thanks for having me.

(music)

STU: I think we sold you on that story.

GLENN: Good story.

STU: Ryan tells it well.

GLENN: Good book.

STU: And there's a lot in here that's not previously been reported on.

Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue by Ryan Holiday. Also, we should have Ryan back on for Trust Me On Lying.

GLENN: For Trust Me. Yeah. He is a guy who has had firsthand experience, really, with fake news. I mean, it was really kind of his job as a PR person.

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: And he knows how it works. And it's really fascinating.

STU: Yeah. Quickly on it, the concept in that book was that he -- you know those weird stories that bubble up to the national media. And you're like, how did we even hear about that?

It was his job to try to get them elevated from -- from a blog to a local media, to regional media, to national media, to try to get attention for clients and all sorts of stuff. So he was in the media manipulation business for a long time.

GLENN: And, you know what, it goes to -- remember the first thing that I said when we went to CNN and I said, I'm really uncomfortable with this. The ingesting of news.

STU: Oh, yeah.

GLENN: Because if you make one mistake, that is your basis forever.

STU: Uh-huh.

GLENN: And it's interesting. Because what he did was, it was on a blog. And then he would call the local news and say, did you see this? Did you see this blog?

STU: Did you see this blog?

GLENN: And they would use that as a credible source. And then he'd go to the regional news and said, did you see this in the newspaper? And it got more incredible as it went on.

STU: Yeah.

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Transcript

Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors

GLENN: Carol Roth, the author of that book, You Will Own Nothing. Which is ridiculous.

How would you possibly bankrupt people, so they would to have sell everything. Or couldn't afford it. And have it taken away from them.

I mean, you'll own nothing by 2030.

Oh, what a ridiculous idea.

Hello, prophet, Carol Roth. How are you?

CAROL: I thought I was a conspiracy theorist, Glenn. But I'll take prophet/conspiracy theorist.

GLENN: Isn't it amazing, Carol? Every day -- every day I see something -- just McDonald's. You go to McDonald's. This is how you have a country that owns nothing because they no longer can afford to buy anything.

Anything.

CAROL: Yeah. It's so frustrating when I read this in the media. The corporate press, of all sudden waking up and saying things like, oh, fast food and restaurants are more expensive than ever. And people can't afford them.

It's like, wow! That's a giant shock to me, who has been telling you this, for years and years, based on the fiscal and monetary policies of this country.

GLENN: You know what is more frustrating to me?

Is the fact that we know that they're wrong. We've seen that they're wrong. Over and over and over again.

They're lying to us. And saying we're a conspiracy.

And then when it turns out to be right. They announce it's suddenly true and right.

And then people go back to them. For the answer on how to solve it.

It's crazy.

CAROL: Right. It's the arsonists who are burning down your house. And then they bring a water bottle. And say, hey, I'm going to put out the fire. It is frustrating.

And the gaslighting, when we're telling people, what it is that they're going to experience, or what they experience from the Biden administration. From the press. Saying, no, no, no.

You just don't understand. You're just not smart enough. When people are experiencing this every day.

It's just like an extra gut punch.

GLENN: Right. Right. Talk 2078 about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

This was one of the biggest collapses during 2008. But if I'm not mistaken, it wasn't really taken that way, because the federal government.

We the taxpayers foot the bill for that one. So they didn't actually fail.

But they did!

CAROL: So do you remember the scene in -- after Trading Places when Randolph and Mortimer Duke went bankrupt, and then they pop up in Coming to America. And Eddie Murphy hands them this wad of cash. And all of a sudden Randolph says, Mortimer, we're back!

I feel like this is exactly the same thing that's going on with Freddie Mac. And certainly, if it happens with Freddie Mac and it gains acceptance, it's going to happen with Fannie Mae.

So right now, these two government sponsored enterprises, based on what happened with the great recession, and financial crisis. They were put into conservatorships with the FHFA. So they have been watching them. And making sure they don't do anything risky, right?

GLENN: Right.

CAROL: Well, now Freddie Mac had this great idea. Because people have so much equity in their homes. Let us go ahead and offer second mortgages.

Now, you have to remember that these government sponsored enterprises, Freddie Mac and as well as Fannie Mae. The whole point of them is to extend credit, make sure people can get into housing.

But second mortgages don't get you into housing. Those are consumer loans. Those are people taking money out of their homes and using them for whatever it is.

And that equity is perceived equity.

Right?

Because they haven't cashed out the house.

They have been sold the house.

They haven't cashed out. They don't have that guarantee. They just think that today, it happens to be worth this much money.

GLENN: Wait. Let me make a case for this. I did a lot of thinking on this, a couple of years ago.

Some people, that may be good for.

Other people, horrible. Or do you think it's always horrible?

CAROL: Here's what it is. It's taking money out of your home. The equity. The ownership that you have. And you say, no longer do I have this ownership. Now I have the pile of cash. So what are you doing with that cash? Are you using it to reinvest?

Because right now, that's really expensive to do. We're not in a zero interest rate environment. So even if you're paying a second mortgage. Eight or nine, or whatever percentage it is. How will you get a better return on that? That seems to me, that people are taking their wealth. Their ownership. And going and blowing it, spending it.

GLENN: That's what will happen. That's what will happen. I mean, second mortgages, to pay down like a credit card at 25 percent. I would rather pay nine, than 25.

CAROL: Sure. Sure. But rather, we would rather to use other money to pay down 25 percent, than taking down your ownership. So obviously, it is specific to everyone. But overall, I think we have to ask ourselves a few questions here. One, why is it that the taxpayers should all of a sudden back consumer loans?

Why is that as it that we want to encourage more consumer debt spending, particularly during a time of inflation? And why do we want people to reduce the ownership, the equity in their homes?

GLENN: May I guess?

CAROL: Sure. Please do.

GLENN: Because I am a helper.

And if you reelect me. I can help you with all of your troubles. But the other guy, he is not going to help you with that. I will help you get a loan, so you can do the things you need to do. Invest in your business. And pay down your loans. And a lot of people are struggling even to pay for food.

So I will help you.

CAROL: Bing, bing, bing. We have an election around the corner. And obviously, we have seen Biden try to do this cancellation of student loan debt. And that is not working out as well as he hopes, although he keeps pushing it. So now, how do we make people who are maybe struggling financially feel like they're wealthier, feel like they have more cash in their hands?

Oh, we'll let them take this, quote, unquote, equity out of their homes.

Which is buying both. Which is increasing consumer spending. Which pushes up the GDP. Which we know is faltering based on last quarter.

So all these things make him look like the economy is doing better.

By the way, also likely highly inflationary, that we're adding consumer spending.

Into the mix here.

So this is being proposed, by --

GLENN: Hang on just a second. And more inflation, makes it harder for you to buy things, later. You've got now, a second mortgage.

And you're going to be in the same situation you were in, if you spend that money to do anything other than pay off very high interest rates.

You take a loan out, and do anything with it. When the -- because this won't happen until after the election.

I mean, you won't feel the effects.

But I'm telling you, inflation next year is going to be insane.

Do you agree with that?

CAROL: Well, particularly, if these programs that he's pushing, continue.

So if that comes back and says, sorry, we're not going to do this. Which one of the things that is pretty interesting here, and goes back to this election thesis. Normally when you have a rule like this, that pops up. There is a comment period.

That comment period is six to 12 months, depending on the variety of factors. Do you know what the comment variety on this was? Thirty days. Thirty days.

GLENN: Two weeks.

CAROL: Which, again, goes back to saying, there is an urgency, of why it is they're trying to push it through.

Now, I will add something else super fun here.

So if Freddie Mac does this. There's no reason why Fannie Mae is not going to try to do this.

They're under conservatorships, right?

How do they really expand this market.

Right now, it's a decent sized market.

But this could expand, up to, for both of those agencies. Maybe 2 trillion. I've heard maybe four to 5 trillion of leverage capacity.

How do they extend that?

Well, they could then. If the conservators. At the Treasury. Say, okay. You're no longer at conservatorships.

They can go back to securetizing these.

Is it this sound familiar. That means they take a bunch of these secondary mortgages. They package them together, into a new security. And they sell them into the markets.

And these were the same types of securities, if you recall, which started the whole ball rolling, with the great recession, financial crisis.

Nothing to see here, guys. I'm sure this will work out really well. And I'm super excited for taxpayers to back consumer loans.

You're not even backing first mortgages. You're now backing consumer loans. Way to go. Really glad the government wants to get --

GLENN: And, again, it's estimated to be $2 trillion.

However, you and I both know. Uh-huh. It could go as high as $5 trillion.

Don't just think of that as your debt that we need to pay, think of it this way, as well.

That's two to 5 trillion dollars, being dumped into the economy.

What do you think will happen to the value of the dollar, and your buying power.

$5 trillion. Out of thin air.

CAROL: It's insane. And at a time when we have the Federal Reserve, who is frustrated with their fight to -- their attempt to fight inflammation.

And the government continuing to spend like drunken sailors, no disrespect meant to the drunken sailors.

Then you keep having these consumer stimuluses. And this is what happened with the Biden administration when they came out right out of the gate, a few months later, and they did direct consumer stimulus. It's in the name. Stimulus. It stimulates the economy. That is the intention.

And the same thing here. If you take money that is locked up in homes. And all of a sudden, you unlock that. And again, it's theoretical money.

Because if the price of houses end up going down in that area. Then they could end up being underwater and be in real financial trouble.

So this is theoretical dollars that they have, that they're going to take out, and use the dollar to spend in the economy.

It officially inflates the GDP. It makes everything look like the consumer is doing much better. And it absolutely will eat away at your purchasing power.

Devalue your labor. And devalue your wealth.

Once again, it's the same cycle repeating for political purposes.

GLENN: Carol, I would love to have you on, later this week.

Because there's a couple of other things, that are affecting small businesses. And independent workers. Again, so you will own nothing.

But you will be happy, apparently.

Willie Robertson's Wild Ride - Worm Farms to 'Duck Dynasty' Fame | The Glenn Beck Podcast | Ep 221
THE GLENN BECK PODCAST

Willie Robertson's Wild Ride - Worm Farms to 'Duck Dynasty' Fame | The Glenn Beck Podcast | Ep 221

Willie Robertson, star of "Duck Dynasty," reflects on his journey from Italy to running Duck Commander. In Florence, he gained an appreciation for art and culture, but you'll never believe what his actual college degree was. His entrepreneurial spirit began early with Willie’s Worms. Influenced by his father, Phil, and supported by his wife, Korie, he embraced the idea of a reality show to spread the gospel. Discussing his new book, "Gospeler," Willie emphasizes the importance of active discipleship and connecting with others to spread faith, showcasing a story of hope, faith, and authenticity. In this episode, Willie shares the lessons he learned about business, the impact of family, and the importance of stepping out of comfort zones to make lasting connections. His journey from early entrepreneurial ventures to leading a multimillion-dollar hunting and outdoor business highlights the significance of resilience and vision. He discusses how his family’s authenticity, faith, and humor made "Duck Dynasty" a hit and stresses the need for believers to actively engage and share their faith with others. He also discusses the real-life situations that led to the hit movie “The Blind,” a biopic of patriarch Phil Robertson.

Will Democrats SCARE the Supreme Court Out of Hearing Trump's Appeal?
RADIO

Will Democrats SCARE the Supreme Court Out of Hearing Trump's Appeal?

Former president Donald Trump has been convicted on 34 counts in his New York hush money trial and the consequences could be massive: Will Joe Biden use this as an excuse not to debate him? Did the Left just want the ability to call him a "convicted felon?" Or is there more at play here? Glenn's chief researcher Jason Buttrill and BlazeTV contributor Jill Savage join him to discuss what may happen next, especially if Trump appeals this all the way to the Supreme Court. Is this why the Left has been attacking Justice Samuel Alito and other conservative justices over the past few weeks? Has it all been an intimidation tactic to tell SCOTUS to back down from any Trump cases? Plus, what if Trump is sentenced to prison, or even house arrest, during the height of election season?

Transcript

Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors

GLENN: So let me ask you: Thirty-four counts yesterday, against Donald Trump. How are you feeling?

JASON: Well, is it out of the realm to say, I'm pissed off? Is that evidence?

GLENN: Oh, no. No. I am -- I am -- I couldn't even -- I saw it. And there was a -- a good portion of last night, I honestly thought about calling in sick.

Because I thought, I am going to be so angry.

JASON: Can I tell you?

So we were taping the news and why it was Sara Gonzales yesterday. We had to completely just stop. Because we heard out of the blue, that the verdict was coming down.

And immediately. Because everyone was predicting that the best-case scenario was a hung jury. That was the best-case scenario. After the crazy instructions, and rules that the judge had set.

Okay. The best-case scenario is hung jury. He's not going to get acquitted. But when it came that fast, instantly, I knew.

The only possible outcome was he was getting convicted. And I couldn't -- I couldn't even explain.

34 count -- felony counts over something that shouldn't have -- in the history of law, in New York, has never been tried like this!

Has never been handled like this. Completely unprecedented.

GLENN: No!

JASON: The only you thing that made sense was like, the John Grisham runaway jury. That's the first thing that popped in my head.

GLENN: Well, you had two attorneys on the jury. You had two attorneys.

JASON: Yeah.

GLENN: And, you know, they were sitting there. And they were advising, and they were the ones going, no. Really. Honestly, this is the way it works.

JASON: Yeah.

GLENN: And I think they made a big, big impact.

This is -- to me, this is the O.J. Simpson jury.

JASON: Hmm.

GLENN: They just -- O.J. Simpson, it didn't matter what the facts were. They wanted him freed. This jury, no matter what the facts were, they wanted him in jail.

JILL: This outcome was predetermined. They went through all of the steps to get to where we were yesterday afternoon. They raided Mar-a-Lago. They went through and tried him. And put him on court. You knew, even if they didn't get it this time. Would that stop them?

GLENN: No.

JILL: They would keep going until they got this.

Because the end goal was to say, Donald Trump, convicted felon. Sentencing at July 11th. The Republican National Convention July 15th. That is not an accident.

GLENN: I will tell you that I think that it also will be used as the excuse for Joe Biden not debating him.

I don't debate a felon. You know, yesterday, I was thinking, wow. Look, they're already moving on, to the Supreme Court.

They're already, they're moving past this. And they're moving to the Supreme Court.

I was dumb enough not to figure, wait a minute. They are launching canon balls at the ship, saying, don't you dare get involved, in this trial!

Because the Supreme Court is -- it may end up there.

JASON: Yeah. Yeah.

GLENN: And, quite honestly, this is such election tampering, they should. Make a decision, one way or another. Make a decision. But they set the message to Alito and Thomas and everybody else. Back up! Stay down.

JASON: Yeah. That's the entire point of this process, in a nutshell, is intimidation.

Telling them to back down. Do not stand in our way. I mean, this was -- I mean, not only intimidation.

This is -- I mean, this is humiliation.

Go back to Mar-a-Lago.

GLENN: Oh, not for Trump.

JASON: They went through his wife's bedroom. And logged everything meticulously.

They went through a miter child's bedroom.

And then made notes about it. That they wanted to humiliate Donald Trump. And I'm glad you talk about like this going to the Supreme Court.

This absolutely getting appealed. And taught process just for a quick second. What happens next.

This is absolutely going to get appealed. The first thing he has to go to is the sentencing.

Now, normally, in -- in a sane world, I would say, you know, he's only going to get probation.

Maybe at the very worst, like House arrest.

But is this normal?

Is this judge normal?

GLENN: No!

If they put him under house arrest, where he can't go on the campaign trail, are you out of your mind?

I mean, I keep hearing this. And I see the numbers of the people who are stepping to the plate.

I mean, people who didn't vote, and tonight like for Donald Trump, or don't like Donald Trump.

I have seen them yesterday give and commit to voting for him. There is a chance this works out, horribly.

JASON: Oh.

GLENN: However, isn't it interesting that it fits right in to one of the seven steps to a Colour Revolution. You've completely -- no matter -- even if it was a blowout.

Even if it was a blowout for Donald Trump.

You now have some illegitimate president. Because he's a felon.

JASON: Oh, yeah. And take that even further.

This goes back to process.

If they hand him down, a probation sentence.

Then that's a state level case.

So Trump can't pardon himself in a state had much level case.

But the judge can change that to a more serious sentence after other crimes have been committed.

So he still has to go through how many other trials. There's the classified docs trial.

There's the election tampering charge all that.

Those will probably come down after the election.

So they can tack on more and more. I mean, they can probably say, after that, when he gets probation. After these other crimes, he can go to jail.

GLENN: Did you see what Megyn Kelly said yesterday? What did you think of what she said?

JILL: She wants to have the retribution is what she's saying. And that's what a lot of people are saying. As Republicans out there today, if you can hear us, what are you going to do leading up to the elections, to make sure that they are free and fair?

We see what's happening. We see what they're doing to Donald Trump. So at the state level, which is all you can control now.

What are you going to be able to do, to ensure that you can give voters some peace of mind. That it's going to be legitimate going into it.

GLENN: That has to happen. Everybody has to go out, watching, and recording, and everything else.

However, what she's talking about is when you do get power, take them out. Legally, take them out.

And I'm all for that. I mean, I've been for that since Nixon. I remember my father saying to me, that he hasn't done anything at all, that the presidents do. And he just got caught.

And I remember feeling as a kid, that doesn't seem right. Why wouldn't we put a criminal in jail?

And, but a real criminal in jail. Think about this, this guy is the most investigated man in all of human history.

That is -- that is not hyperbole. Every single intelligence agency, on the planet, has gone through everything and everybody trying to find anything on this guy.

And this is all they could come up with?

I mean, I'm shocked. Quite honestly, I'm shocked. I've told them this to his face. I think you might be the cleanest guy, ever to be in the White House.

I mean, I -- how?

This is all they have on you?

That's remarkable. So they take all of this, and they can't get anything.

And so they have to make things up. And they -- and honestly, if these polls continue to be like they are, I think they'll kill him.

I really believe these people. No.

Let me just ask this. You remember when they said Sarah Palin said the word targeting?

These people 24/7, for seven years, have said, this guy is Hitler!

Hitler! What -- you don't think that there's somebody within the sound of your voice. You leftist -- people who broadcast with differing opinions than mine?

You really haven't thought, or have you?

Or have you? And you're fine with that outcome.

JASON: I think that there's been a gentleman's handshake for certain people of power, especially within the government, going back to Nixon.

Or probably before that. Where, yes. There's a law of the land. But, eh, we're not really going to enforce it on certain --

GLENN: No. You know what, I've always felt that, too.

After that, I thought, you know, it's just a gentle man's club. They're all in it.

Mike Lee said, this was -- when Hillary Clinton, you know, erased her servers. Okay?

And I said, that woman has got to go to Yale.

Mike, everyone would go to jail on that. I mean, prison. Hard-core prison for that. And he said, we don't put our political enemies. And I said, it's not just that she's a political enemy.

She's broken the law. Like six ways to Sunday. Been put our nation in peril. Because of top secret information, on our freaking server.

He said, Glenn, once you open that door, it never closes. And you become a banana republic.


JASON: And here we are today.

GLENN: And here we are today. And what did Megyn Kelly say? Get them.

JASON: Yeah.

GLENN: You know what I feel inside? Get them. Go after Hillary Clinton with everything this -- because honestly, she's right about one thing. It will never stop. Unless their hands are burned by the same fire.

Really? You think you can get away with this. Let's take a look at the Clinton foundation, in just Somalia.

Let's take a look at your gas prom leases, Hillary.

Let's reopen a few things. Oh, the statute of limitations. Well, we'll find a way around that!


JASON: They did for Trump in New York.

GLENN: They did for Trump!