- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 16, 2018

The recent media merger between CRTV and TheBlaze — founded by conservative broadcast titans Mark Levin and Glenn Beck, respectively — is fired up, clearly focused on both audience and marketplace, and ready to rumble. The new hybrid is Blaze Media, an appropriate name since the entity drew 2 billion social media views in its first days of existence and is expected to reach 165 million people a month through on-demand broadcast, assorted digital platforms and of course social media itself.

A mission statement is feisty: “Blaze Media provides news, opinion, and entertainment — with varied perspectives across the spectrum of conservative thought — on the day’s most pressing issues and events. The formation of Blaze Media is in response to the marketplace’s clear need for a powerful, independent, media platform that honors the individual liberties protected by the Constitution, celebrates our uniquely American values, welcomes the debate of opposing views, and refuses to capitulate to angry mobs that seek to silence free speech.”

The industry is watching this merger of the titans, and it has drawn considerable coverage from The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline Hollywood, AdWeek and other industry publications.

“The mainstream media spins the illusion they are unbiased and the American people see straight through it. Conservative media discloses its viewpoint upfront and that honesty is refreshing. It’s why audiences are abandoning the mainstream media in droves,” Blaze Media co-president Gaston Mooney tells Inside the Beltway.

“Tens of millions of Americans have had it with the biased, ideologically-driven mainstream media outlets that sanctimoniously advance their own agendas under the guise of ‘news’ and ‘journalism,’” said Mr. Levin in a statement, while Mr. Beck praised the stable of talent which will people 30 live broadcasts each week.



That talent includes Eric Bolling, Steven Crowder, Phil Robertson, Andrew Wilkow, Deneen Borelli and Steve Deace, among others.

“Our hosts will have differences, but we share a common belief in free expression, honest discourse and a society founded in the principles of the Bill of Rights,” Mr. Beck notes.

NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT

“Why hasn’t someone made a GoFundMe for Trump’s wall?” writes New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin, who offered a rundown of the complicated political and financial dynamics regarding the future of the southern border between Mexico and the U.S.

President Trump, who sees the barrier as a national security must-have, vows to shut down the government if the $5 billion he has asked for to accomplish this task goes by the wayside. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer say they will only offer $1.4 billion.

“Perhaps there is a third way, one that would provide the money and keep the government open. Let the people who support the wall pay for it — directly and voluntarily. That’s what a number of readers suggest,” Mr. Goodwin notes.

Reader Mike Triunfo is ready to start the GoFundMe effort itself. Ronald Gibberman suggested finding the dollars through a new federal tax on legal marijuana.

Jack Murray was blunt and creative. He did the math and came up with this calculation: If the 63 million people who voted for Trump each pledge $80, we can build the wall,” writes Mr. Goodwin.

“All those ideas are useful, and there are no doubt others. Whatever the direct mechanism, I find the suggestion of a People’s Wall intriguing. If nothing else, it certainly keeps faith with the spirit of the Trump revolution — to shake up Washington and both parties. And if Congress won’t secure the borders, then it is necessary for the public to step in. It would be a modern and critical twist on the Founders’ ideal of self-government. Where do I send my check?” asks the columnist.

A TRUMP FAMILY MOMENT

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump greeted their White House guests at a festive gathering Saturday evening, one and all there for the annual Congressional Ball, and all assembled for a precious few minutes in the Grand Foyer of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

“It’s been very exciting living in the White House. To me, it’s a happy place. You know, a lot of presidents have said it’s not a happy place. I find it to be a happy place,” Mr. Trump advised his guests.

“I want to thank Melania, our great first lady, for the decorations. As you know, she worked so hard on all of the beautiful decorations. I don’t know if you’ve gotten to see all of them, but upstairs, downstairs, all over — people love what she did. And I love what she has done. And I’ll tell you what, she does it from the heart. She has done a terrific job. People love our first lady. So, thank you very much, honey. Very nice,” said Mr. Trump.

AND A WORD FROM THE BOOK REALM

C-SPAN has revealed the most-watched programs on Book TV for the year, measuring audience response from Jan. 1 through Dec. 10. Seven of the events — which indeed feature a showcase of books and their authors — are “political in nature,” C-SPAN advises.

Without further ado, the top 10 of the year:

An appearance by Tara Westover, author of “Educated,” drew the most viewers and was in first place. In second place was Jodi Picoult (“A Spark of Light”); followed by James B. Comey (“A Higher Loyalty”); Sarah Kendzior (“The View from Flyover Country”), David Cay Johnston (“It’s Even Worse Than You Think”) and Steve Almond (“Bad Stories”) in a three-way joint appearance; Jerome Corsi (“Killing the Deep State”); Jonah Goldberg (“Suicide of the West”); David Frum (“Trumpocracy”); David Baldacci (“The Fallen”); Robin DiAngelo (“White Fragility”); and Malcolm Nance (“The Plot to Destroy Democracy”).

POLL DU JOUR

57 percent of Americans oppose banning the Christmas song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”; 70 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independent and 46 percent of Democrats agree.

32 percent overall rate listening to Christmas music in general as “great”; 44 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of independent and 27 percent of Democrats agree.

21 percent overall say listening is “good”; 21 percent of Republicans, 19 percent of independent and 26 percent of Democrats agree.

32 percent overall say listening to the music is “OK”; 26 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independent and 32 percent of Democrats agree.

15 percent say it’s “bad” or “terrible”; 9 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of independent and 15 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Dec. 9-11.

Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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