Video Blog... June 14
Photo Blog... June 14
Glenn and Chris from Graeter's Ice Cream. Glenn, can't you just wait until the Insider Convention is over before you start to eat the ice cream?
Glenn and Rich doing a walk through in Akron
Okay, okay, one exception to the "no posed photo" rule. Glenn and I in Akron.
Thank you to Angie's List and our Golden Circle Members!!!
Glenn and his Graeter's ice cream. He's actually turned a pint of ice cream into a giant ice cream cone by squeezing the bottom, forcing the ice cream to the top and just chomping away at it--I'd rather watch Bobey drinking.
Bobey can't hold his liquor...Beck can't hold his ice cream...
The world's most expensive umbrella. Glenn seeking shelter from the rain under someone's private airplane.
Photo Blog... June 13
The new book Glenn is reading. Stop reading, get some sleep!
John Bobey, Rich and Adam waiting for Glenn
Glenn putting pen to paper
Glenn preparing before the show, alone with just peace and quiet to keep him company
Celtics? Wow, did Glenn jump on that bandwagon pretty quickly or what????
Backstage snacks...they just look so good.....
Video Blog... June 13
Four Students and Why They're Glenn Beck Fans
Video Blog... June 12
Airplane Food & Plastic Knives
Glenn Beck's Carbon Footprint
Live from Syracuse!!! Why's it So Dark in Here?
Fan Feedback on the Syracuse Show
Photo Blog... June 12
Glenn & Adam walking across the bridge into the WSYR studios for the radio show
Glenn, Coke Zero and morning story review
Glenn & Adam getting ready for the radio show from studios of WSYR
Don't Ask, Don't Tell...Because What Happens on Tour Stays on Tour (John Bobey's door)
Glenn with John Carney and John Bobey doing a pre-show theater walk trough
Glenn and Rich preparing for the sound and prop check
Glenn, Rich and John Bobey during the walk through
Forget the Red Bull...it's Thursday so break out the "No Fear" and "AMP" Energy Drinks...
Still no Peach Fresca, I've stopped requesting it--apparently not a popular drink on tour
This picture really doesn't capture the beauty of the Landmark in Syracuse...what a beautiful theater!!!
Adam & Rich checking emails, and phone messages
John Carney, working the PHONE...
Glenn's 570 WSYR interview...
Before the Tour I thought only Chinese Food came in a box (that and pizza)
Glenn leaves a stool sample...
Insider Convention, Beck Babes & Akron - Going Home
Blogging by Joe Kerry
My first Insider’s Convention, Glenn has been talking about this since morning breakfast. Listeners have flown in from Hawaii, driven up from Dallas, Oklahoma City, and California. These are the individuals who make a difference. The insiders are going to be real surprised as Tania is attending the convention too—it’s the perfect meeting—Tania and passionate listeners.
We spend the morning re-reading the responses from the insiders to a survey Carolyn sent out asking what they wanted to see and experience at the convention. Glenn let’s us all know that his goal is to make sure that each insider leaves with a perfect experience. Glenn decides to answer questions, take photos and read snippets from his yet-to-be published book, “The Christmas Sweater”.
Veterans of insider conventions tell me to be prepared for the energy and passion. The ‘Johns’ tell me I’ve never seen anything like it—and they’re 100% right. During the question and answer session I am struck at the range and depth of topics discussed. I thought this was going to be, “Hey, Glenn—what’s your favorite fish color?” But it’s nothing like that. The questions hit on the Second Amendment, the economy, the mortgage crisis, his relationship with CNN, the death of Tim Russert and where does he get all his energy from—and lots more. Glenn doesn’t pull any punches with any of his responses.
The next three hours are spent taking pictures. Glenn told us before we arrived that he didn’t want to leave the convention until every insider who wanted a picture or autograph. It’s great to see Glenn and the insiders taking pictures together and signing books. It’s like a group of really good friends who haven’t seen each other in a long time getting together and just doing nothing but catching-up on what’s been happening in their lives since the last time they got together.
One thing to mention before I move on. Chris, a store manager from Graeter’s Ice Cream was serving ice cream to all the insiders, compliments of Glenn. I’ve got to say it was some of the best ice cream I have ever had.
I also want to say ‘thank you’ to everyone, but especially the insiders who came up and told me what they liked about the blog and how they read it everyday and looked at the pictures and watched the posted videos. Thanks!
Around 3:30 we went over to the theater in Akron. It was the first theater on tour that didn’t have aisles. You entered from either side and made your way to your seat. I think Glenn referred to this as continental type seating. It allows more seats because you don’t have to set any aside for aisles.
Even though Glenn has now performed the show in several cities, he isn’t casual about his preparation time. He still reviews the script and incorporates several local stories into it that he’s come across in reading the local newspapers and stories online. He’s especially cognizant of how tough things are economically in the Akron area. He reads how the township has passed a ‘must mow’ law and how local officials want people to ‘adopt’ homes which have been foreclosed on. He can’t believe how a local power company wants to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on zoo lights when people are so hard hit financially—he works all of these stories into the script while he prepares.
He tells the team how Akron, Ohio helped save his life. How Akron is the birthplace of Alcoholic Anonymous and how that organization was instrumental in saving his life. He tells us he wants the audience tonight to know that—to know how close he feels to this community. It’s amazing that with only a handful of hours before the curtain goes up he is comfortable making these changes.
With about an hour before the show begins I catch Glenn onstage doing a voice check and going through a solo rehearsal. I walk out onstage and notice that he’s got a copy of Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight” book on the stand (see photo)—I’m convinced it’s his A.D.D. He probably goes rehearses a few pages and then reads a few pages from “Twilight” and then rehearses a few pages and then back to “Twilight.” I see a dog-eared page and this tells me he’s had another night of late night reading.
It reminds me of a picture I took earlier in the tour (see photo). Glenn’s sitting alone in the theater with my laptop computer balanced open-faced on his head. I snap a photo before I walk up to him. As I approach I can hear that he’s listening to music. I ask him what he’s listening to—he tells me that he’s reviewing music for his Christmas 2008 tour.
When asked, I tell people that one of the important things I’ve learned on my first tour is that Glenn reviews all the details of every project. He is involved in all the projects. The Christmas 2008 tour for instance: here he is 6 months from Christmas and he’s reviewing some proposed music from the script!!! That’s why his radio, tv, magazine, newsletter and tours—they’re not things that he just does—they are part of him—each of these is Glenn because he’s generating it all—that’s what makes it all enjoyable to his audience—but it’s also what makes it so demanding on him personally.
The first-half of the show is slightly off. I watch each performance form the audience seats and I’m keenly aware that he’s deviated from the script in several places and has flipped changed the order of some of the stories. There’s no way the audience can tell—it’s funny and it’s still all coming from the heart—but having watched the show for the past week, I can tell. Backstage John Bobey and Glenn are discussing this—maybe he’s tired? Maybe he’s trying to change the pace? But Glenn senses it as well. I do a bunch of audience interviews and they love it.
Since the first half was slightly off I was expecting something similar for the second half. But that didn’t happen. Glenn was amazing in the second half of the show—it was the best performance to date for the second half. As I listened to the second half, it was the first time that I watched Glenn and thought, “this guy really could run for office”. There are several script deviations—but each one was powerful. There were at least three times when a crowd of about 3000 people was TOTALLY silent—it was amazing—no sound—no talking, no coughing, no movement. Remember the saying that “the pen is mightier than the sword”—I saw that here in Akron—that power of the spoken word.
Glenn talked about Alcoholics Anonymous—about it saving his life—about this community, its heritage—its promise. I wish I could have heard it but I needed to be backstage before it was said, but I later learned that it was one part of the show which really moved the audience.
Afterwards we board the airplane for the flight home. Instead of uncorking bottles of booze (much to John Bobey’s surprise) Glenn breaks out a container of Graeter’s Ice Cream—we all talk about the tour for about 10 minutes—then slowly and subconsciously the talk turns to the Christmas Tour 2008. Glenn’s not participating in that conversation—he’s talking to Tania eating his ice cream. The team is talking about the upcoming Christmas Tour. They’re talking about how it’s going to be much more involved and they’re already jockeying to see how they can get Glenn onto the scheduled to do this, that or something else.
Glenn’s finished making a mess with his cream (see photos) and for the first time, I see him close his eyes on the plane. Wow, he’s going to finally get some sleep—less than a minute later, his eyes are open, he leans forward and says, “let’s make sure we talk about drilling for oil on the outer continental shelf on Monday’s show.” He truly is a sick twisted freak.
(I hope that the blog has brought you closer to Glenn and the tour team. There are only two blog rules: (1) I’m solely responsible for the stories and commentary because it’s not reviewed before posting and (2) I really try to avoid taking posed photos—I try to capture everyone at being themselves.
There’s a lot of pictures and video footage that I haven’t posted. Primarily because when I prepare the blog it’s usually around 1am. I’ll go through it once I’m back in New York and see if we can post a post-tour series of video and photos.
I know the tour isn’t officially over. We are going to Dallas July 17, Houston July 18 and Columbia South Carolina July 19th—but it’s nice to be going home.
And thank you again for all the email. I really do try to incorporate your suggestions and answer your questions. As Glenn reminds us, “you are the show”, thanks for letting me be part of bringing a behind the scenes look to you)!
The Final Stretch, Tania joins the Fun and New Video Discussed
Blogging by Joe Kerry
7am Met up with Glenn and Adam for our trip over to WHYN 560 here in Springfield. We were met by Danielle from the station who has been running on about 1 hour a day for the past several days helping promote the station’s fund-raiser while helping out with Glenn’s tour preparations. She seems to draw on some unlimited pool of energy.
9am The morning started with a monologue Glenn prepared for his father. He listened to every word and was emotional while it played. Even though he was talking to a national audience in a way I think he was speaking directly to his father. Glenn doesn’t read from a script during these monologues. It comes from his heart and mind. It’s like he sits there and thinks about the events he is talking about—and actually sees them in his mind which brings the emotion for his heart.
After the monologue Glenn asks if people can relate to what he just said about his father and at times the need to reconnect. That they had to agree to give their relationship time and trust and how it was so worth it. Adam says that he can relate.
11am I should have known this was going to happen. The ‘game plan’ for today’s show was scrambled when Glenn impulsively went with his feelings and heart and started talking about Father’s Day and fathers. Our light-hearted planned Friday morphed into a tribute to dads. Two calls come in from men who tell Glenn ‘thanks’ and that they’re re-focusing on being better dads. It’s been a really good morning.
Noon Questions and Answers from Blog Readers
Q: (This question is really a generic question from so many readers that I decided to respond to all of them here). When is Glenn going to come to (Alaska, Michigan, Seattle, Tampa, Ontario-yes the one in Canada, Hawaii, or Alabama, etc) on this tour?
A: Great news. On today’s radio show Glenn announced that on July 17th the Dallas Unelectable Show will be telecast LIVE to over 350 theaters across the country. Click here for details and locations...
Q: For some inexplicable reason, I find it especially humorous when you all lampoon and ridicule John Bobey. I have nothing against the guy and know almost nothing about him. I just get the sense that in some cosmic way he has some Karma coming back to him. - Robert
A: I don’t look at it as ridicule or lampoon, just a recitation of the facts as I see them. John’s a great guy and I really can’t explain it very well, but he’s got a darker side, much like Glenn—not in an evil or mean way—just lots of protective layers.
Q: We missed our child birth class to come see Glenn’s show, what do you think we missed? - Jeffrey & Maria, Syracuse
A: That’s not really the right question—the question should be, was it worth it? Having attended childbirth classes let me assure you that you didn’t miss anything. Just look up ‘childbirth’ on the internet. You can believe everything you read there.
2pm Glenn hasn’t done a show in Springfield, MA before. It’s an interesting demographic political mix separated by what a local resident described as a ‘tofu curtain.’ Since each audience is different and reacts differently I’m waiting to see if this audience thinks the show is off the charts like the other crowds.
4pm Glenn learned that Tim Russert died of an apparent heart attack. I think for Glenn he’ll always remember where he was when he first heard this story. It’s father’s day and in many ways Tim Russert was one of the father’s of modern television. Glenn’s always said on and off the air that Tim Russert was fair and he beat up on both sides, regardless of political orientation.
I also think that another reason Russert’s death struck Glenn so strongly was that Russert was a relatively young, not in excellent but good health combined with a job that placed enormous stress on him physically, mentally and emotionally.
5pm Glenn’s in a really upbeat mood. Tania’s coming in for tonight’s show and we’re going to pick her up right now. I never thought about it but I guess I assumed that family life was different.
9:30pm The radio station and our local affiliate WHYN 560 has been raising funds for St. Jude. Glenn’s asked his general manager, Chris, if he can donate the profits from the show to the radio-thon. He’s given permission for a $5,000 donation but Glenn can’t stop himself and announces he’s donating one-half of the profits from the show to St. Jude. Chris is not going to be happy. Glenn says it won’t be a problem because he’s sure that there will be a number 5 in the amount that’s eventually donated.
11:06pm Glenn throws a curveball. He’s been talking about fathers all day today and it’s on his mind. So he asks me about my own dad and my relationship with my father. He remarks that we’ve been friends for about 5 years and he really hasn’t heard me talk about my dad. I’ve got to give Glenn credit—he’s pretty perceptive, but sometimes his frankness can make people wince.
11:30pm There’s a group discussion on whether video I took yesterday should have been posted on the internet, I opted against it. I thought it was too dark. Glenn really wants it posted, he thinks it’s funny. And there is humor in a macabre way. It’s a video I took in the plane where Glenn and John Bobey have a discussion about suicide. Glenn’s family has a history of suicide. I’ve heard him talk about it and he’s told me that he either looks at that familial past and get depressed or look at it and try to laugh—he and John Bobey went for laughs. You might be thinking—Joe works for Glenn so why isn’t the video on the blog if Glenn wanted it that way. Well, the blog has two rules—one, it’s your blog through my eyes, so there won’t be any editing of content—that way you get it as I see and experience it; two, no posed photos.
Midnight We discuss the National Insider Convention. Glenn wants to make it special. John Carney, Rich and John Bobey all agree to head over early to help Carolyn out with registration and set-up. I’m excited, it’s my first Insider Convention and I’ve heard lots of great things.
Glenn’s Excitement, Bobey’s Comedy Darkside, Airplane food video and Your Comments
Blogging by Joe Kerry
6am How can it be 6am so early? It feels like I just went to bed a few hours ago, when I realize that I actually did go to bed just a few hours ago. Funny though, my dreams seem to have more color and more vivid. Go figure.
I meet Glenn and Adam downstairs and head out to the radio station. Everyone has that nasally tired voice. I can’t really described it well, but those of you have been tired for a few days and not able to get the sleep you need know what I’m talking about, right?
Syracuse has great weather. It’s perfect. Everyone at the radio station give us the royal treatment. They are so kind and considerate. Glenn’s on a tear preparing for the radio show. I have a portable printer and actually burn through an entire black ink cartridge printing out all the material Glenn wants to review before the show begins.
9am I watch Adam set-up the radio equipment for a remote broadcast and realize that he’s a pretty serious individual—not a lot of laughs or gratuitous conversation. He has a knack for taking the complex and reducing it to the plain and simple. He’s a good balance for Glenn who needs someone to reign him in, settle him down—and on occasion just reinforce the reality of limited time on a very tight schedule.
10:30a Glenn and Tania talk on the phone. It’s almost funny watching how excited, almost giddy Glenn gets when he talks to Tania and the children. I think going on tour would be a perfect experience for Glenn if his entire family could come with him.
11:30a Glenn asks John Bobey to buy him a “book or two” from the local bookstore. Glenn says he needs the books to help him sleep.
Noon. Review some emails received from the blog. Here are a few of the emails received and responses:
Q: You're doing a great job with the blog and the videos. I love food stories. How Glenn can eat what he does and drink Coke Zero like he does and still deliver the fantastic work that he does is mind-boggling. Your sleep deprivation is worth the infotainment you are providing. Thanks. - Carol, San Antonio, Texas
A: Naturally, I have to include any email which pays such high compliments to the blogger. But I want to assure Carol that it’s not just the Coke Zero, but the butter dipped French fries, whipped cream and chocolate bar chasers he regularly consumes which give him all the power he needs
Q: Hey Glenn, I was at the show in Harrisburg last night. My wife bought tickets for us for my birthday. It was the best birthday gift I have ever received!!!! I laughed my A** off for two straight hours and then laughed continuously while we ate afterwards. I am 25 and just really started listening to Conservative talk radio about a year ago. You guys have it down pat, everything you talk about it so right on it is unbelievable.
A: The whole laughing you’re a** off doesn’t seem to be working for Glenn. I actually think it works in reverse for him. Maybe if he goes a few days without laughing we’ll see change?
Q: My reason for writing today was to ask you if the picture of Adam and John Bobey actually shows Adam holding a rifle? If I were John, I'd be very nervous! - Paul, Harrisburg, PA
A: It does indeed. But it’s not real—at least that’s what we thought at the time. If I’m John Bobey I’d be nervous each time Adam entered the room. Talk about two different types of people!
2pm Sometimes when people have a bit of success they forget how to be nice. To be kind. What they were once grateful for they now take for granted. Glenn’s told us that if we see him moving in that direction to just ‘hit’ him. I’ve known him for several years—long before television, the magazine, and tours. He always treated people with kindness and I see that same kindness today. I want to know where that ‘grounding’ comes from. Is it Tania? His family? His church? A combination?
5pm Dinner. We have dinner from a box and it’s tremendously good. Everyone’s enjoying dinner until a piece of thoroughly chewed chicken mysteriously appears at the center of our makeshift dinner table. Since there are no small children in the room it’s clear that someone on the team placed it there but no one comes forward. John Carney finally picks it up in a napkin and disposes of it. But the damage is done—with each bite of dinner I see that nasty looking piece of chicken in my head—so dinner is over as quickly as it began.
8:30pm Okay, Joe just stepped away from his computer so this seems like a perfect opportunity to take this blog in…another direction. I started the day by meeting my mom for breakfast—had some blueberry pancakes at The Market Diner—they were exceptionally good. Just think—while Glenn was plowing through all that “end of the world, gas is expensive, blah blah blah,” I was eating a giant stack of buttery goodness! After that me and Ma went to see my Uncle Bob and Aunt Karen…and I had a beer—GB was prattling on about heaven only knows what, and I was getting my pre-lunch drunk on! Who’s got the better job now?
Then it was back to the hotel to steal some towels…I mean, check out. I grabbed an ice coffee with tour pal John Carney at Federal Espresso and sat in the lunchtime sun…while on a neighboring bench a fat guy covered in a thick blanket of body hair rubbed his belly like a genie’s lamp. It was not appealing, but I guess you take the good with the bad.
I’m backstage now during the second half and packing up for the trip to Springfield, Mass. We’ll be eating roast beef sandwiches from Clark’s Ale House on the ride—say what you will about the trials of life on the road, but the eatin’s good.
This is not the funniest thing I’ve ever written…(John’s wrong—judging by his prior work--this is probably the funniest thing he’s ever written).
9:30p I see John Bobey has taken the liberty of writing in the blog. John Bobey reminds me of Shrek. No, not physically—because Bobey’s not that strong—but with the whole ‘onion/layer’ comparison. John is a nice guy. He’d help anyone out and literally do anything for someone in need. But he’s got a dark edge to him. When we talk about this he tells me that “all comedy is based in pain”. I’ll have to think about that.
10p During the break Glenn wants to know what the proposed 2008 Christmas Tour cities are, even though the list isn’t finalized. Does this guy ever stop thinking about the future?
10:30p We had a great dinner on the plane. You can tell that the tour is more than halfway over as there’s increased levity in the travel now—or maybe it was the beer that was brought onboard? John Bobey says it all helps to keep the voices in his head ‘happy and quiet.’
11:00p Interesting discussion on the plane between the team. John Bobey is asked whether he believes he’s a good person who’ll qualify for heaven or end up in hell. I like John’s answer, something along the lines of “I’m a good person who has done some bad things.” I think most of us fall into that category but wouldn’t admit it as candidly as John just did. He’s got a certain dark humor. The conversation ends with a comparison made by Glenn about how John Bobey is very similar to Dr. House (of television fame).
11:50p I learn that John purchased ‘Twilight’ by Stephanie Meyer for Glenn to read and he’s already 30 pages into it.
I’ve worked on several political campaigns—trying to help individuals get elected to office, both at a state and national level—and this tour experience has been so different. In many ways it’s the same: (1) you’ve got to get a group of people from city to city and (2) deliver a message while (3) reaching out to the public who attend. But that’s really where the similarities end. In politics there is so much formality, and repetition. Spontaneity was considered a negative thing. The cities were different but the speech and everything else was always the same.
I contrast that to Glenn and his team that prize spontaneity. When something pops up the first thought isn’t “how did we handle this in the past” it’s approached with a “how can we use this to make the show better” attitude. There is no blame game, there is no “this is my responsibility, that is yours”; it is a team approach. It’s like working on a rapid response team.
Midnight Arrive at the hotel and start to upload videos for the blog. Funny, I didn’t think it would matter, but I’m more excited about loading the blogs for tomorrow seeing all the positive feedback that came in today about yesterday’s videos. I ask why that matters to me—it’ll give me something to think about as I load these up.
(If you’ve seen the show let us know what you thought! firstname.lastname@example.org)
Quick Links: Unelectable Blog - June 6-11
Have you ever wondered what it must be like to travel on tour with Glenn? Or want to peak behind the curtain to see what happens offstage? Have you ever asked yourself if ‘on-air’ Glenn Beck is the same person when he’s ‘off-air’? I hope to answer these and other questions this week while I’m on tour with Glenn and his team.
I’m a recent addition to Glenn’s crew and it might sound backwards, but I knew Glenn even before I was a fan of the show. Long time fans will remember Glenn calling my cell phone and pulling me out of the courtroom with some pressing legal question which ranged from whether he would be able to sue candy cigarette makers to what the legal definition of ‘entrapment’ was. After four years of unscheduled and impromptu phone calls, Glenn was able to convince his general manager, Chris Balfe, to hire me fulltime.
Now, I see firsthand how Glenn and his team produce his radio, television, tour, magazine, newsletter, and books. With everything he does it always seemed like Glenn was given 37 hours a day while the rest of us lived on a 24 hour clock. How does he do it all?
I hope with this blog I’ll be able to provide some good behind the scene photos and insights to answer these questions—and questions that you may have. I think I have one of the best seats in the house. I’m in the plane as he travels from city to city, I’m backstage as he prepares and am in creative meetings with him and his team—so I hope this blog acts as a type of backstage pass into the tour, his team and Glenn.
(So you made it to the end. If there’s something you’d like to see discussed or have a question about the show let me know: email@example.com).