Top Glenn of 2010!

Below is a recap from the daily email newsletter special, Top Glenn of 2010! Be sure to sign up for the FREE email newsletter to get more exclusive articles and stories from Glenn!


 

 

December 30, 2010

#1 The Miracle on the Mall

 

The biggest moment of Glenn in 2010, and probably his whole broadcast career, was undoubtedly the “Restoring Honor” Rally on 8/28. From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC Glenn addressed hundreds of thousands of people (sorry CBS), and gave them an inspirational message about faith, hope, and charity. There were numerous guest stars at the event, including baseball superstar Albert Pujols and Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell. Sarah Palin delivered a message in support of the troops. And at the end of it all, Glenn unveiled a new Black Robe Regiment, a group of spiritual leaders who would go back to their communities and carry the message of 8/28.

Of course, the event didn’t just end when people left the mall. The MSM couldn’t stop debating everything from the crowd size to the message. Other groups and media figures tried and failed to recapture the same spirit and energy that was there on 8/28, and in the end only the people that were there and took part in the shared experience that day will truly understand what it meant. Read about the weekend HERE.

The Spirit of 8.28

  

For months, Glenn poured his efforts into a non-profit cause, auctioning off anything he could think of. The goal for Glenn was to give as much as possible to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation on August 28th at the “Restoring Honor” Rally. During a broadcast of The Glenn Beck Program, Glenn recounted a story that he felt embodied the virtue of charity, a recurring theme on his TV and radio programs over the 2010 year.

On his way back from a fundraising dinner, Glenn was reviewing the recent donations he had received, focusing on some of the big donors. Glenn said, “What else did we get? And [a staff member] said, well, we also got a letter in and the person said, I can't make it because I can't afford to come, but I believe in our special forces and I believe in what you're doing. And honor is the key. I wish I could come, but I can't but I wanted to show my support and this is all I could afford. In the envelope was a baggy, and this is not from a child. 8 cents, 8 pennies.”

Glenn was speechless. He tried to wrap his mind around what motivated a person to make a donation of eight pennies. And then he took the pennies and put them in his pocket - after replacing them with eight new ones, of course. Glenn explained, “I remember filling up my gas tank and having to count it out in change. I remember the days that, you know, my kids didn't think that my gas tank held more than $5.27. This to me is the epitome of our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”

For Glenn, those eight pennies epitomized the notion of charity, where an individual gives as much as they can, of their own free will, to a cause in which they believe. Glenn had those pennies in his pocket during his speech on 8/28 at the Lincoln Memorial.

Divine Destiny

The night before 8/28, Glenn assembled a group of loyal listeners for a free event at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center. For hours, people waited in line outside the Kennedy Center in order to get tickets to what Glenn promised would be an uplifting and spiritually enlightening event. And what an event it was! While ticket quantities were limited, Insider Extreme members were able to watch the event live over the Internet. Glenn and David Barton hosted the event, which was highlighted by gospel music, prayer, and testimonials. Chuck Norris even made an appearance on stage!

The abundance of miracles, amazing moments, people & memories makes 8.28, The Miracle on the Mall, the top Glenn moment of 2010. Click HERE to see the complete list.


December 29, 2010

Redefining media: Glenn launches the all new Insider Extreme @ Nokia Theater

This ain’t your momma’s webcam (wait – that sounded kind of creepy. That’s not what was intended – anyway)…Glenn may broadcast everyday from high above Times Square, but for the launch of Insider Extreme he took the show right to the heart of it all. Setting up at the Nokia Theater, Glenn unveiled the future of broadcasting in March of 2010. Glenn took the audience through the history of media, from print to radio to television, and finally to the web. More than any other event in 2010, the launch of Insider Extreme was a revolutionary moment for The Glenn Beck Program. The radio show, once a mostly auditory experience with a single web cam, became a professional six camera shoot. GlennBeck.TV saw the launch of a second show, the 4th Hour, which saw Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray step into a starring role tackling the news and issues that don’t fit into the regular three hours, as well as fan’s favorite topics (Sports!) and games l ike More On Trivia. The stage show was also the first Insider Extreme Special Event, a precursor to live events like Divine Destiny, Election Night, and America’s First Christmas. Check out this recap video of the first 5 months HERE. Look for even more to come in 2011 - get details on some of the new features  HERE.

Election Night 2010 & subsequent gloat-fest

No one had ever seen election coverage quite like this. Rather than spending thousands of dollars on fancy technology and “qualified” experts, Glenn broke out chalkboards and stickers. He relied on Stu for expert analysis, while Pat provided some armchair commentary. Brian Sack provided “on the ground” coverage from Times Square, San Francisco, Alaska, and, of course, Jupiter. Among the night’s many highlights was Glenn wandering off camera for twenty minutes, Brian Sack's “wardrobe malfunction”, and general conservative domination of the election results. But there was perhaps no bigger highlight than Alan Grayson losing the election, which Stu, Pat and Glenn pointed out over and over again. And again. And again. The five plus hours of coverage was available exclusively to Insider Extreme members and was the only place that Glenn could be found on election night.

Gloat-fest!

Not quite as fun as Gloat-fest 2004, but fun nonetheless. For one day only, Glenn & Co put all common decency aside and had a good hearty laugh at the expense of the Democrats who were absolutely thrashed in the mid-term elections. All the news wasn't perfect, of course - Barney Frank and Dick Blumenthal won their races. But Alan Grayson didn’t win! He lost. Badly! Watch gloat-fest 2010 HERE.


December 28, 2010

Glenn nominated for Time Person of the Year

Love him or hate him – one thing about Glenn that everyone can agree on is that people love to read about him. Fans want to hear what he has to say and so do the haters. That meant (unfortunately for America) Glenn’s mug was popping up everywhere.

Forbes Cover

Glenn talks a lot about how his business practices are more than a little unconventional, and yet 2010 has been Glenn’s most successful year yet. Forbes took notice, and on April 8th Glenn was the cover story on their magazine. It was an article about the success of his company. But it was really an article about you because Glenn's company literally wouldn't exist if it weren't for you. Your support has been amazing and it is truly appreciated. You work extremely hard for each and every dollar earned  - Glenn knows this and that's why it is his mission to ensure that when you spend your money (and even your time) with him, it's an investment you won't regret. Read the full article HERE.

NY Times Magazine

Glenn was all over the place in 2010. Washington DC, Wilmington, OH and various other cities all over the country. But perhaps the most shocking place Glenn showed up was on the cover of New York Times Magazine. The article made somewhat odd comparisons between Glenn and Drew Carey, talked about Glenn’s past and tendency to break out in tears, and - of course - his emergence as a media superstar. Nevertheless, Glenn found the article to be very fair, especially since it came from the bastion of media liberalism. To read the in depth (very long) article and see Glenn’s reaction, click HERE.

All the attention culminated with Glenn being nominated for Time’s Person of the Year – which eventually was awarded to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. But the real story isn’t that Glenn received recognition – this is recognition of you. Only a year prior you were ignored by Time in their ‘year in pictures’ – you felt alone – now everyone is hearing you loud and clear.


December 27, 2010

The Blaze

As if Glenn didn't have enough on his plate, he thought it'd be a good idea to pick up the slack for the mainstream media and start a brand new media platform. The latest is The Blaze ( theblaze.com), a site for news and opinion that's dedicated to covering all the big stories, and the stories the MSM are neglecting, spinning or not understanding. As Glenn put it, too many important stories were being overlooked or being distorted by the MSM. Let’s face it, Glenn was no stranger to complaining about the media. So he decided to do something about it. He went out and hired a team of journalists to go out and report the news the way it really happens.

Why call it The Blaze?

Glenn explains that when Moses saw the burning bush – the fire blazed  but the bush was not consumed. That fire was God. Stand in the truth and you will not be consumed – everything that isn’t the truth will eventually crumble.  Everyone at the Blaze will seek out truth and insight into current events, popular culture, and matters of faith and family. Built over just two months, The Blaze has already become a force to be reckoned with in the arena of online news, and 2010 was only the beginning. 2011 promises to be a big year for The Blaze as it continues to grow and become your #1 source for breaking news. Read Glenn's welcome note HERE.


December 24, 2010

Christmas Message from Glenn

Tomorrow is December 25th, what most think of as the end of the season.  But me, I see it as the “middle child” in our trilogy of American holidays.  We started back on Thanksgiving, preparing for the renewal that comes at the start of the New Year.  The thing is, January 1st can often be a disappointment. Not because your goals or resolutions were unrealistic, but because you didn’t properly prepare yourself spiritually.  That’s the process we’re going through.  So now that you cleared away the unnecessary distractions in your life on Thanksgiving (both material and otherwise) Christmas is the time to stop and think about what you really have and what it is you are truly grateful for.  This Christmas, I say that instead of spending the day saying, “Merry Christmas,” maybe it’s time we started to instead say, “Thank you.”

Christmas is a time for gratitude.  Think about just how blessed you are, and not just for your friends and family and whatever may be under the tree.  Think bigger. Think deeper.  Think of the Christ child and what he grew up to do.  What did he give up for you?  What are you willing to give up for others?  This is a time for service. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  Be a shelter for someone else.  Help shoulder a burden and lighten someone’s load.  You, me…we all deserve a second chance, and that clean slate comes in the form of God’s redemption.  It’s the one gift we can all receive whenever we’re ready to accept it.  His redemption is always there for you, and not just on December 25th.

Be humble, get down on your knees and help your family rise up by getting down on their knees with you.  Christmas is a glorious time of year and perhaps the best time to remember the saying that goes, “All that is not given is lost.”  Show your gratitude through deeds and not just words.  Reflect on who you really are and what you really have. And through it all, be grateful that you’re here to experience it and know that the path towards redeeming your own life runs through the lives of others who also need help.  Then and only then can you be ready for what lies ahead in the New Year.  What a year it’s going to be!

And while I’m talking about gratitude, let me say just how thankful I am for you.  This year you have been especially gracious with your time and attention. You’ve sent me and my family your warm thoughts and prayers, and for that I will never be able to say thank you enough.  But I promise I’ll try.

May God bless you always, and I wish for you and yours a very Merry Christmas.


December 23, 2010

5pm on Fox still steamrolling

It was another great year on TV – the ratings continue to defy all the odds in the cable news world, routinely pulling down primetime numbers in a non-primetime slot. There were so many highlights, chalkboards, radicals and more – here’s 2 moments that stood out:

Glenn takes on Spooky Dude

Glenn had been talking all year about “Spooky Dude” George Soros, the power behind the throne of the Progressive movement. Well, after George Soros made a donation of a million dollars to support Media Matters in their crusade against Fox News, Glenn decided to reveal the puppet master behind the progressive structure that has taken hold over America. No stone was left unturned, as Glenn exposed Soros’ involvement in collapsing multiple governments throughout his lifetime. He tackled Soros’ childhood and education, drawing connections between his youth and his current world view. Glenn also went into depth about Soros’ connections to President Obama, known radical Van Jones, The Center for American Progress, and controversial legislation such as cap and trade. Glenn could have spent weeks and weeks focused solely on Soros, but rather than give all the answers on air, he put up the research needed for viewers to do their own homework.

The Red Phone finally Rings

It was a day that will live in infamy. Something happened that had never happened before. The red phone rang. As far as anyone on Glenn’s staff knew, the only people who had the number for the red phone were White House employees - so when Glenn was in a commercial break and the phone rang everyone went into a panic. The phone had sat quiet for so long on the set that no one could remember quite how to patch the audio into the control room! Glenn answered, and everyone was wondering who had called. Was it Robert Gibbs? John Holdren? President Obama himself? No, it was Tim from Texas. During one of Glenn’s monologues earlier in the show, he picked up the phone and the observant viewer was able to pause his DVR and copy down the number. After everyone calmed down, Glenn thanked him, got his information and made sure to send him something nice from the show. The staff made sure to change the number that night. The phone has not rung since.


December 22, 2010

The blueprint for America

“America’s First Christmas” from where Glenn dubbed ‘the ground zero of the recession’ Wilmington, Ohio. One of the themes all year long for Glenn was his core belief that we should expect miracles. In the midst of a tumultuous year, some incredible miracles still happened – including most recently in Wilmington. The people there are just incredible, and as soon as Glenn heard about them (a story in itself, how he found out) he knew their tale had to be told. Here were people who get it – America the way she was designed to be, people helping each other to get through very difficult times. The town had been thrust into economic hardship after DHL packed up and left town, taking 7,000+ jobs along with them. Glenn brought the show to Wilmington, not to bring them a message – but to bring their message to the rest of America. The values, principles, and all around human goodness in Wilmington and the ripple effect it’s already having on other Americans everywhere makes this a top moment of 2010…and look for more to come in 2011!


December 21, 2010

Health issues

Cancer? Rumsfield disease? Aspartame poisoning? Glenn’s health was a major concern in 2010. It’s hard to imagine someone built as rock solid as Glenn could have health issues (*cough*) but it was a scary year for Glenn and family this year. He announced he could go blind (he hasn’t), occasionally lacks feeling in his hands and feet (he’s still working like crazy), and has been working with a trainer to improve his health (on occasion). While Glenn underwent a series of tests at The Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, UT, there was one disease which could not be ruled out: nanobots!

While most “doctors” would not have reached this diagnosis, a caller was kind enough to call in and alert Glenn about “electronic harassment”. While the caller could not identify the sources of the attacks, referring to the attackers only as “they”, he said he had experienced many of the same symptoms as Glenn and was currently partially blind, hard of hearing, and experiencing similar tingling in his hands and feet. Stu immediately spent the rest of his day researching nanobot attacks, but nothing conclusive has been found at this time. But one thing Glenn can say conclusively – he felt each and every one of your prayers during times of doubt. The love and concern of this audience has left Glenn speechless (and often in tears) and the outpouring of support is something Glenn appreciated more than you can ever know, and will never be forgotten.  ( Transcript,The Blaze)


December 20, 2010

The next 2 weeks we are counting down the top Glenn moments of 2010. Today we start with:

Hey HEY, Ho HO, Glenn Beck has gots to GO! 2010 was another big year for boycotting Glenn Beck. He’s seen his share of boycotts since joining Fox News in 2009. Last year the highest profile boycotter was Obama’s Green Jobs Czar Van Jones, who used the group he founded, Color of Change, to lead the charge against Glenn. This year that boycott continued and a few others joined the mix. President Obama’s spiritual advisor Jim Wallis, through his group Sojourners, attempted to boycott Glenn over two words: Social Justice. Also joining in the fight to stop Glenn was the George Soros funded Tides Foundation. This ‘grassroots’ effort caught the eye of another organization: the George Soros funded Media Matters for America. They worked tirelessly and spent millions and millions and millions of dollars trying to get Glenn off the air. They failed. Instead, Glenn grew his radio program to over 400 stations nationwide, continued huge ratings on Fox News, pumped out New York Timesbestselling books, sold out theaters all over the country, had countless speaking engagements – AND actually expanded his media reach by adding 2 brand new platforms. That’s what the youth call a ‘boycott FAIL’.

One of those best-selling books is another top Glenn moment in 2010: The Overton Window

Glenn has spent years conquering the New York Times bestseller list, but the summer of 2010 saw Glenn pen his first political thriller. Noah Gardner, a young PR executive, has little interest in politics until he meets Molly Ross and gradually learns more and more about how America as we know it is about to be lost forever. Glenn blended fact and fiction to address the problems facing our country, andThe Overton Window debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list. Some of the books glowing reviews:

“Let's face it, this book is horrible on all fronts. The plot is completely stupid and gets derailed every three chapters so someone can launch into pages-long political theories that make absolutely no sense.”

“I would never read this book and based on the reviews I read, I think I get the book.”

“The book is garbage. The writing is horrible.”

“This is an excellent read if you are suffering from insomnia, or need to purge your stomach.”

Everyone knew the libs would bash the book no matter what – need proof? To promote the book, Glenn played this fantastic promo which featured a poem by Nobel Prize winning writer Rudyard Kipling. Of course, the progressive dolts from the Huffington Post and others thought the poem was done by Glenn, so they bashed it. Oh, you progressives are sooo culturally superior! Not. Another thing critics get wrong about Glenn is that they often call him a shill for the Republican Party. Obviously they didn’t see his CPAC speech…

CPAC

Back in February, Glenn gave one of the biggest speeches of his career at the 2010 CPAC conference. Glenn was the keynote speaker for the three day conservative conference, and he took the opportunity to deliver a message to Republicans about getting their own house in order and eliminating the threat the Progressives present to America. Was it still morning in America, as Ronald Reagan so famously put it? Yes! It’s just a really bad hangover morning! Glenn accused the GOP of having an addiction to big government and big spending, and that the only way to fix the problem was to admit their problem, enter a “recovery program” and stop being Progressive-lite. Shockingly, most of the media coverage following the speech was fairly positive, or at least ignored.  Check out the full video of the speech HERE.

 

Ryan: Kanye West and the Great Society

Graphic by Alexander Somoskey.

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Screenshot from YouTube)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But his personal transformation was tough.

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

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

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

As Kanye raps in "Ye vs. the People"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

Humans alone have it.

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

*

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

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

Nobody.

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

(Screenshot from Instagram)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ryan: Michael Bennet, Little League

Photo by Sean Ryan

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

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

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

Photo by Sean Ryan

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

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

*

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

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

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

Photo by Sean Ryan

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

Photo by Sean Ryan

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

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

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

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

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

Most people did not care.

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

*

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

Photo by Kevin Ryan

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Billions of dollars. Lost. Gone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If anyone is guilty, they should go to jail.

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

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

Watch the hands, follow the money.

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



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




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

You are seeking the truth.

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