Glenn Beck, Russia and the Mainstream Media

I was listening to the Glenn Beck Program on the way to the airport this morning, and heard him talking in the first segment about the recent developments concerning the infamous Golden Showers Dossier.  As the Washington Post has reported, it now appears as if the Hillary Clinton campaign, coordinating with the Democrat National Committee, paid the shadowy research company Fusion GPS to create the dossier in a deliberate effort to sabotage Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.  The story is important in that it flips the whole “Trump colluded with the Russians” narrative on its head, and instead has Clinton playing footsie with the Kremlin to dig up dirt on Trump.

More than that, however, it also reveals a level of corruption in the federal government that is stunning even by Clinton standards.  It’s highly likely that Barack Obama’s Justice Department laundered the dossier—which was nothing more than uncorroborated opposition research—through the FBI and used it as justification for getting FISA warrants to conduct surveillance on principals in the Trump campaign.  To call this an abuse of executive power would be an understatement for the ages.  It means there’s a level of rot at the highest levels of the FBI and the DOJ that we’re only beginning to understand, and it’s only likely to get worse the more we find out.

At the same time, though, Democrat accusations that the Trump campaign tried to collude with the Russians—efforts that seem to have been fruitless, by the way—are not entirely without merit, as Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Moscow lawyer proves.  As Beck pointed out during his monologue today, no matter where you look, it’s Russians all the way down.

That’s why he pleaded with his listeners:  Stop ignoring the fact that Clinton colluded with the Russians just because you hate Donald Trump.  And stop ignoring the fact that Trump tried to collude with the Russians just because you hate Hillary Clinton.

The bottom line is that Russia doesn’t care who wins our elections, just as long as they can sow discord and division among the American people.

In this, Beck is exactly correct.  What he forgot to mention, however, is how much the mainstream media have contributed to the problem with their dishonest reporting.  From the beginning of the Trump administration, the media have sought to undermine the president at every turn with innuendo about his ties to Russia—attempts that have mostly failed, and given credence to Trump’s claims that the entire story is a hoax.  The problem is that Russian interference in our electoral process isn’t a hoax—and it represents a very clear danger to the future of our republic.

The media’s slanted coverage has obscured that danger.  More than that, it has only increased the discord that the Russians seek to spread.  In that respect, at least, the media have inadvertently signed on to the Russian plan—just as Moscow hoped they would.

More honest coverage would alert the public as to the real nature of the threat, and help to unify the country when it needs unity the most. Here’s hoping that the Blaze, with its renewed efforts to get the truth out—no matter where it leads, or what it exposes—can assist with that effort.

One More Way To Keep The Blaze Burning

Earlier this week, I posted a story about Glenn Beck taking his media company the Blaze in a new direction, with the news-gathering arm focusing less on opinion journalism and more on the facts.  Glenn’s rationale is that while there is a glut of programming and websites dedicated to offering up conservative opinion and analysis, it’s becoming damn near impossible for audiences to find a source of straight-up news.  Ditto the liberal end of the spectrum, which faces an even greater problem in that most of what the mainstream outlets offer up as news is really just left-wing agitprop dressed up as objective reporting.  Just as Roger Ailes, when he started Fox News, said that he wanted his programming to target an underserved niche–i.e., half the country–the Blaze will aim for people who are tired of the usual cast of characters who bark talking points at one another night after night on the cable news shows.

Make no mistake, this will be a Herculean task.  Audiences may not like the dog food they’ve been served since the cable news model became dominant, but they’ve been conditioned to accept it–and cutting through the cognitive dissonance bubbles in which people have been living is going to be tough.  I think it’ll be a lot like deprogramming members of a cult:  there will be a lot of resistance, but if just a few people can be convinced to leave, they’ll spread the word to others.  Get enough people on board, and pretty soon the chain reaction will become self-sustaining.

But how can the Blaze do that?  The key, I believe, is fairness.  Right now, the network’s brand is as a conservative news outlet.  Changing that will be the hardest part, and will require ideological balance at the top–and a ruthless dedication to objectivity in reporting.

For years, I’ve postulated that the only way the mainstream media could solve their bias problems would be to install managing editors from both ends of the political spectrum.  Right now, the biggest issue with outfits like CNN and MSNBC is that the people who decide on content live in the same leftist bubble as the reporters who work under them.  Accordingly, they make the same assumptions and have the same prejudices.  A good example is the way the MSM covers an issue like gun control.  Reporters routinely make rookie mistakes such as confusing the difference between a semi-automatic weapon and a fully automatic weapon, which completely undermines the entire story.  That’s because most of these reporters have never even met someone who owns a gun, much less fired one themselves.  If there had been an editor around who actually understood the issue from a conservative or libertarian perspective, those kind of mistakes would be less frequent.

From the perspective of the Blaze, this means employing editors who understand issues from a more liberal viewpoint.  This doesn’t mean running “liberal stories” to balance out “conservative stories”–rather, this would entail running all news stories past both editors to ensure that all facets are covered, including ones that might have been overlooked because a reporter’s own political leanings.  That is, after all, the job of a good editor.

Moreover, having people in charge who run the ideological gamut provides insurance against groupthink.  They will question all assumptions, and make reporters back up their stories with solid facts.  They will kill stories that are simply “too good to check” because they confirm an institutional bias, before fake news can trash the network’s reputation.  And they will make sure that all stories of importance get covered, regardless of whom they make look good or look bad.

In short, they’ll provide what the MSM won’t:  real news, and a reputation for providing it.

That’s something worth building.

The Blaze Rebooted

It’s no secret that media personality Glenn Beck is no stranger to reinvention.  A while back, I wrote about his turn away from partisan politics and his own reputation as a conservative firebrand, and his attempts to bridge the left-right divide in the country by trying to find common ground with well-known figures on the left.  I believed in what Glenn was doing, and still do–my only concern was that he partner with people who acted in good faith, not bomb-throwers like Samantha Bee who reverted to form as soon as it suited her.

It was a pretty big risk for Glenn, but hardly the first time he had taken a stand based on principle.  His media company, the Blaze, has also suffered ratings losses over his refusal to support Donald Trump during the 2016 election, and finds itself in an uncertain position–one not unlike the conservative movement itself, which is struggling to find an identity somewhere between the rising tide of Trumpian populism and a feckless GOP that is great at talking about limited government but shows little interest in actually implementing it.  How does a liberty-minded network serve its audience in an environment like that?

To most of the media, the answer has been to keep everyone moving from one outrage to the next, spinning opinion, innuendo and loosely-sourced facts into a noxious mix that doesn’t inform so much as incite. In this relationship, however, the roles are reversed:  the audience actually serves the media, providing them with ratings and clicks as they await their next fix of information.  Never mind that it’s fake news, often packaged by people who have a vested interest in deceiving the public. As long as it gets eyeballs, it’s all good.

To this, Glenn Beck is saying no more:

We begin tomorrow a new experiment. To prove to the media and to ourselves that you can be profitable and tell the truth…

If those of us on the right don’t stop our infighting and figure this out we will fall one by one and google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple will be the portal of all information.

We will not waste your time or our resources one more second on things you can get everywhere else. The Blaze has done too much of it.

Glenn goes on to note that the Blaze will be refocusing its energies on what is working and divert them away from what is not, starting with a refocus on one of its greatest strengths–its radio presence.  But there will also be a pivot in the way that it reports the news:

On September 11, the Blaze news team spends a solid week with me working on a completely different approach to news which we will begin to roll out as MVP, Sept 18.

The world dismisses us and most believe it is too late or will not work. Perhaps they are right. Perhaps you must run click bait, misleading headlines and say outrageous things to be successful.

If this is true, I will shut it all down and find some other way to make a positive impact. Even if it is just to teach my children…

I am not promising anything to you. I cannot promise success, or that we will change the world. I have failed at that too many times.

All I promise to you is what I promise myself and family. That we will give our best work to figure out a way to make sense of the news, expose the lies on all sides, teach our children true history including the worst and then the best of American history and most importantly, do our utmost to help find a way back to each other and the things that made our nation the light of the world in the first place.

I can’t help but think this sounds a lot like the mission statement that Jerry Maguire wrote, after he had the revelation that almost everything he had been doing in his business life was wrong.  Of course, in the movie Jerry ended up taking a big hit–much like the Blaze itself, with the layoffs of 20% of its workforce–but in the end, he had to lose in order to win later.  I hope this is the case with Glenn’s venture.

As to what that new approach with news might be, the standard seems pretty simple:  just tell the truth.  How exactly that will be carried out, though, remains a tantalizing mystery.  Glenn has promised to hire “creative disrupters” to carry out his vision, but beyond that we don’t have many clues.

For what it’s worth, I do have one suggestion.  Perhaps the greatest shortcoming in the news business has been its retreat not only from the rest of America, but also the world.  Newspapers can no longer afford to maintain foreign bureaus, and the big operations based out of New York and Washington rarely get out of their bubbles.  As a result, so much of what the average news consumer sees is actually produced by third parties such as corporate interests and political action committees, with very little effort put into finding out if any of the claims are even true.

But what if the Blaze could harness the power of people who aren’t professional reporters, but who know how to tell stories?  Citizen jouralism has already proved itself to be a potent force in the blogosphere–so why couldn’t that particular model also work for network news?  In a world where everyone has a high-definition video camera in their pockets, literally anyone could be a reporter with just a little training.  All they would need beyond that is strong editorial guidance, which the Blaze could provide.  In short order, they could have a footprint across the country that would rival any network.  More that that, they’d have a perspective that nearly all of its competitors lack.

Like I said, it’s just a suggestion–but with just a little imagination, perhaps the Blaze can change the paradigm.

Here’s hoping that they succeed.

Glenn Beck RIPS the GOP on Healthcare and it’s Fantastic





Glenn Beck did not mince words when describing the GOP’s efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. After 7 long years, the GOP is out of excuses. (Start at 2:00.)

LISTEN:



TRANSCRIPT:

GLENN: Here’s what happened yesterday with health care. The GOP got together, and they voted to discuss health care out in the open. That’s all that happened. Now, why would you have the president speak right after? Why would you fly John McCain back for this historic vote and have him give a stirring speech right after? Because this is the best the Republicans can do.

Now let me explain this. Let’s say that we all went to a company, and we said you guys have to hire us because we’re going to build an amazing car. I mean, we can fix the car industry. You think self-driving cars are great? Wait until you see what we have, and we’re going to be able to make it at half the price. So a company hires us. And all we do is spend seven years arguing about nothing. We first say, you know what — boss, shareholders — we want to make that car, but Ted in accounting keeps stopping us. We need Ted out of accounting. So they fire Ted. And then they’re, like, well, it wasn’t just Ted in accounting. It’s also Bill in product. He is crazy bad. So they fire Bill. And you’re, like, it wasn’t just Ted and Bill. We also need to be on the board of directors. Okay. All right. You’re on the board of directors. Okay. Now we can get something done.

Then everybody in the company watches for something to come out of that factory. No car. No car. Nothing going in. Nothing going out. Maybe it’s like Professor Potts when he bought that car in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Yes, I had to throw that reference in. Where nobody went into the barn and…

Read the full transcript at glennbeck.com .

 

Tomi Lahren is the Embodiment of the Bratty Millennial Stereotype

There is a fundamental problem with Tomi Lahren that no one likes to talk about. For those of you who do not know, Lahren is the proudly unread, unnaturally blonde young thang who had a show on The Blaze until she self-immolated on national television in a moment of opportunism that blew up in her face.

But here’s the thing. Just how bad is Tomi Lahren, despite the little cult of personality she has tried to create? She’s this bad: in a show that runs for one hour, people only know about the last two minutes of her show when she gives some scripted monologue.

That’s a real problem. There’s a whole 38 other minutes and she cannot hold it. Somehow she thinks she is entitled to it. She fits every single stereotype of bratty, entitled millennials out there. And, before she deleted them, her tweets from her college days further prove it.

That is why I am glad to see Glenn Beck fight back against her lawsuit in which she tries to bite the hand that fed her for so long.

Lahren claims she was fired and is apparently too stupid to know that when one continues to get a paycheck, that means they are not fired. It is pretty standard in television and radio contracts that a person can be taken off the air and, as long as they are paid, have no reason to complain.

What’s more, Lahren truly believes that she is being taken off the air for having an opinion on a controversial issue. No, that is why she was put on the air. The reason she was taken off the air is that she changed her position, publicly, only a few months after taking the exact opposite position and then called everyone who agreed with her prior position a hypocrite. Insulting your audience is a great way to get taken off the air.

You don’t get to keep your show on a TV network by calling the audience hypocrites. Lahren went on The View and, trying to suck up to the hosts, declared herself in favor of abortion and decided anyone on the right who thought otherwise was a hypocrite. Lahren had, only a few months before, declared herself pro-life and denounced the pro-abortion cause.

There is, of course, more too it than that. Having read both the countersuit and knowing people who work at The Blaze, the stories are all consistent. She is a terrible person who treated people badly when they worked with her. She was hard to work with, clearly not all that bright, and her latest antics show how spoiled and entitled she is. For Pete’s sake, she bragged about not liking to read. That right there explains so much. Were I in charge instead of her blessedly patient current bosses, I’d have fired her then.

Tomi Lahren is not the poster child for successful millennials. She is, instead, the epitome of why millennials are given such a hard time. She is not a hero or martyr for any cause. She is a brat who is acting out at being deservedly disciplined.

Again though, this all overshadows the most important point and why her future in television deserves to crash and burn. She had an hour show and the only memorable part was the last few minutes where she said outlandish things in the name of MAGA. If she had an extremely strong audience and a highly rated show, she’d have never been taken off the air. As someone who has been in this industry for a while, it is pretty obvious that her show numbers were not great for her to be yanked like that. Business is business and, again, she could not hold an hour.

If Glenn Beck deserved any criticism, it would be that he gave her a chance in the first place. But the reality is that Glenn Beck is a very nice guy and saw potential. He gave her a chance. She blew it and now, like the entitled millennial stereotype she epitomizes, cannot accept any blame for her own actions.

Tomi Lahren should be thanking Glenn Beck and The Blaze for giving her the opportunity of a life time. They gave her a TV show, a platform to build her brand and an audience for herself, and she set it all on fire by calling her fans hypocrites and reversing herself publicly on an issue within months of taking the diametrically opposite position.

Good riddance.

Drama, Drama: Tomi Lahren Wants Her Voice Back

Tomi Lahren’s new weapon in her fight against her former employer, Glenn Beck, and his outlet, The Blaze is to take to outlets that are normally antagonistic to Beck and conservatives, and to play the brave victim for the world.

Seriously, I watched this clip, and had I not known who Lahren is and why she was bounced, it would probably work up a bit of outrage from me, too.

Unfortunately for Lahren, myself and others do know who she is. We do know why she had her platform with The Blaze shut down, and we’re not buying the crocodile tears.

In the clip, which was a portion of a more expansive interview done with ABC’s “Nightline,” Lahren accuses her former employers of taking her ability to work and silencing her voice.

Entitlement.

You’re not owed a job, Tomi. You can certainly earn a job. You’re young enough that you have many years to learn and develop your brand.

There have been many who have faltered in their youth, failed at something, or even screwed up so royally that “comeback” seemed a distant shore, with no hope of rescue.

What separates those who can and those who cannot is the ability to get up, brush themselves off, and keep at it.

A continued narrative of victimization – “They held me back!” – won’t get you there. It’s a shtick that wears thin, quickly.

So do you really want to get your voice out there?

You’ve got a YouTube channel, surely.

Give up the Facebook page and start a new one.

Sometimes razing the past and rebuilding from the ground up is cathartic, and it sounds like it’ll be a good lesson for you.

And no, Sweetie. You didn’t build those followers for yourself. Had Beck and The Blaze not given you that platform, who would have? You’d probably be pushing hotwings to frat boys at Hooter’s.

You say you’re not the kind of girl that sits in a corner and cries about things.

No. You’re the kind of girl that stands up in the middle of a crowded room and starts screaming and kicking about your rights, when no one has wronged you.

While the stack of books with the MAGA cap on top is a nice signal to your base, it’s also curious.

You’re the same one who once proudly declared that you don’t read books, so why are they there?

Also, is there a copy of “Conservatism for Dummies” in that stack? If so, I’m going to suggest you start your reading with that one.

Litigation Barbie: Tomi Lahren is Back, and She’s Suing The Blaze

You had to know she wouldn’t be merciful. She couldn’t just go away.

The unprincipled millennial token, Tomi Lahren, who enjoyed flash-fame on Glenn Beck’s network, The Blaze, has come stomping back, demanding reparations for what she claims was “wrongful termination” by the network.

To recap, Lahren was booted from the network after appearing on “The View,” which is already the equivalent of sitting at the table of the enemy, if you’re a conservative, and voiced the very liberal position of being pro-choice.

The flighty child added insult to injury by declaring conservatives “hypocrites” for being pro-life.

After some testy comments on social media from the boss, Lahren found herself abruptly bounced.

According to Lahren’s suit, filed Friday in Dallas County, The Blaze cancelled Lahren’s show after she made the controversial statement on The View. But The Blaze wanted to keep paying Lahren, the suit says, “presumably hoping they could find an exit strategy to sanitize their unlawful conduct” in breaking Lahren’s employment contract, which was to continue through Sept. 30.

The hubbub surrounding Lahren’s comments was orchestrated to “inflate Beck’s profile, from what has become a mediocre following, all at [Lahren’s] expense,” the suit alleges.

There’s no doubt that Lahren has a following.

She’s young, plays up her looks to distract from her mind-numbing lack of actual principle, and jumped the Trump train early enough to scoop up a lot of alt-right support.

The alt-right thrives on lack of actual knowledge, and she is their low-info goddess.

With all that taken into consideration, it’s no wonder that her departure would whip up some waves.

Her suit against her former employer also claims that a producer from The Blaze accompanied her to her appearance on “The View,” and that the producer praised her appearance, saying nothing about her pro-choice comments.

“No one told [Lahren] that her statements on The View were either improper or inappropriate; and, indeed, that [Lahren’s] point of view is just that — her point of view and freedom of expression,” the suit says.

Beck and The Blaze knew of her pro-choice position, which she had expressed before, and “never took any issue with it,” the suit says.

Lahren’s bosses ordered her to “go dark” and stay silent on social media, the suit says, and her coworkers placed yellow caution tape spelling an ‘X’ on Lahren’s dressing room door. The Blaze terminated her work email account.

Beck may or may not have known she was pro-choice. Did she not likewise know that her employer was a pro-life conservative, and that as he has sought to create a haven for conservative thinkers with The Blaze, that maybe the last thing they needed was for one of their more popular personalities to go on national TV and speak against one of the core principles of conservatism – the right to life?

People like Lahren never think that far ahead.

She’s very much from the “Me! Me! Me!” generation, and she really doesn’t get what it is to be a part of a team or to work towards a common goal, where she isn’t the focus nor is she the mission.

Giving her a platform was a mistake.

In a real show of where we are as a society, she’s also suing for control of her Facebook page, which boasts 4.2 million followers.

Then of course, there’s the issue of court costs and fees, which she wants The Blaze to pay for.

Lahren is still young, and she will likely find some alt-right home to ply her wares, in time.

Until that happens, however, Glenn Beck and The Blaze will have to find a way to extricate themselves from this particular headache, and I wish them luck.

Reports: Tomi Lahren Out, So What’s Next for The Blaze?

Page Six at the New York Post is reporting that Tomi Lahren, who was recently suspended from Glenn Beck’s multimedia network The Blaze, will not be returning to her show there:

Sources say Lahren — who was suspended last week after flip-flopping on abortion and declaring herself pro-choice — has been banned permanently.

 

“Glenn is reminding the world of his conservative principles by sidelining Tomi after she insulted conservatives by calling them hypocrites,” one Beck insider told me.

The story refers to Lahren’s recent appearance on The View, during which she declared herself to be pro-abortion (well, “pro-choice” was her actual wording, but who are we kidding here?), despite acting the part of an avid pro-lifer during the short but meteoric course of her career as a conservative commentator.

The Post continues:

“He’s trying to balance being a leading conservative thinker and also someone who can unify the country,” the Beck associate told me. “He just couldn’t sit by and watch as Tomi Lahren said there’s no way for conservatives to justify anything other than being pro-choice.”

 

I’m usually skeptical of unnamed sources–particularly from former insiders, who usually have an axe to grind–but Lahren herself seems to be hinting that the story is true via Twitter.

So, what are we to make of all this?

First off, a lot of ink and airtime are going to be spent–much of it by Tomi Lahren, for sure–over how Glenn Beck is somehow censoring views with which he doesn’t agree.  This is nonsense.  Lahren has proven to have an uncanny ability to draw attention to herself, so it’s not like she needs The Blaze to stay in the spotlight–and Beck is under no obligations to provide a platform for anybody.  If Lahren is the conservative she claims to be, she would simply say that The Blaze is Beck’s business and he’s free to do what he wants with it.

Secondly, the pro-abortion crowd–and this includes the majority of pundits on the left side of the spectrum–will hold this up as an example of the intolerance of the right in general, and Glenn Beck in particular.  This is also nonsense.  It’s no secret that he has employed people in the past who support abortion rights, even though he himself is an unwavering pro-lifer.  Rather, Beck suspended Lahren for being unprincipled–and therein lies a big difference.

How’s that, you might ask?  Let’s go back to the Post:

“Beck’s trying to reinvent himself,” a former insider told me. “But he’s burned too many bridges.”

 

TheBlaze, founded seven years ago in Dallas, once had offices in New York and 300 employees. Now, the New York office is closed and the staff is half that size.

 

While the number of paying subscribers (once said to be 300,000) is kept secret, TheBlaze.com attracted 29 million unique visitors per month in 2014, and only 8.8 million uniques in February 2017, for a loss of more than two-thirds of its traffic.

 

Jerry Del Colliano, founder of Inside Radio, said Beck’s syndicated talk radio show has slipped as well from No. 3 to No. 5.

 

“Beck has lost his mojo, and TheBlaze helped him lose it,” Del Colliano said. “It’s hard to figure out where he is coming from.”

Much of this is a direct result of Beck actively opposing the campaign of Donald Trump, which angered a large part of his audience.  Since then, he has also made an effort to reach out to prominent people on the left  in an effort to tone down the vitriol that dominates our political and media discourse.  This has been tremendously risky, and has cost both him and his company a lot of money–but he did it, and continues to do it, out of principle.

Now compare that to Tomi Lahren–who jettisoned her supposed conservative principles for no other reason that she wanted to look cool on The View.  Now can you see why Glenn Beck wouldn’t want her to be part of his team anymore?

Unfortunately, this is par for the course with a lot of media personalities.  They throw bombs and spew outrageous bile just to grab the attention of an easily-distracted public, and who even knows if they actually believe half of what they say?  Whether you agree with Glenn Beck or not, this is precisely the kind of thing he’s taking a stand against.

Firing Lahren was the only thing he could do.

So what does that mean for The Blaze, and Beck’s future?  That remains to be seen.  While I have my differences with his anti-Trump stance (there are times when I feel like the Trump apologist in residence here at The Resurgent), I believe in what he’s doing in trying to find honest partners on the left, who also want bridge the divide between blue and red America.  And he still has a lot of talent at The Blaze (if you want to see a woman with real guts, look no further than Dana Loesch).  With those kind of tools at his disposal, I wouldn’t count him out.

Maybe it’ll just take a little more imagination to get there?  I’ll have to think on that one.