A few months ago while planning a 2014 project to work on together, Doc Thompson, Skip LeCombe and I had lunch at a very non pretentious Springboro, Ohio deli—a little hole in the wall that might be considered in future years to be a kind of sacred spot for the fires of independence. It was a brilliant autumn day, rain bursts mixed with intense sunshine as the leaves were rapidly changing color and Doc was telling me what was in store for The Blaze—not just the online news organization, the television show on The Dish, but the massive ground swell of listenership that had rocketed the new radio format into a stratosphere with intensely loyal listeners. I myself had become a fan of The Blaze Radio formally being faithfully supportive of my home town radio station WLW. Prior to that meeting with Doc, The Blaze had taken over as my premier news providing service. This of course was before Politico announced that Glenn Beck—who is the man behind The Blaze was one of the top 10 journalists to watch in 2014. The Blaze Radio had become in a very short span of time a kind of rebel radio for those yearning old-fashioned traditional values in broadcasting that they weren’t getting anywhere else. It was easy for me to see why; as The Blaze is not controlled by the FCC because it’s all internet based broadcasts are beyond the reach of such government control. The limits to such a thing even two years ago have now been overcome and this new format was making a serious push to become not an ornamental gimmick, but a legitimate force in the media.
During our lunch I reminded Doc of the days not that long ago when Voice of America which had a famous set of three towers just down the road in West Chester, Ohio—right next to 700 WLW’s gigantic tower in Mason, began in 1942 as a radio program designed to explain America’s policies during World War II. When I was a kid listening to AM radio I’d hear some of those broadcasts in several languages which sounded deeply mysterious and exotic. For many of the residents of Lakota—the recent come-lately types from the progressive East—the latté sipping Lakota levy supporters—they have no memory of the big towers which have since been taken down and replaced with a gigantic park. Most of them do not even attempt to check out the museum at the park explaining the past history of the place as they are content to see and be seen by the whose its and what’s it’s of Butler County around the large lake. VOA piped in music to the Soviet Union during this early period against the communist movement with the simple words, “Hello! This is New York calling.” Each night suppressed communist residents would hover around their radios waiting eagerly for the latest music coming out of the United States—especially American jazz which they developed a bottomless appetite for. Culture had been destroyed by the communists in the U.S.S.R and the only semblance of art and entertainment that the poor people of communist Russia could get was from the VOA.
After the Cold War the towers came down and West Chester built a park to memorialize the place—a very impressive endeavor which will allow the memory of the VOA’s importance to be remembered as long as the park remains. People have in a very short time forgotten the role the VOA played in spreading freedom throughout the world—and seemingly the book had been closed on the issue. Meanwhile, the Russians under KGB influence had some of their own mechanisms in place to spread their message of communist propaganda. They didn’t have the VOA—but they had a collectivist philosophy to broadcast so they infiltrated through a spy network communist advocacy that took hold in the Democratic Party rooted in colleges and all levels of academia which targeted not the older generation of Americans dead set against communism, but the youth of tomorrow—who are today’s grown-ups. The net result is the bell-bottomed latte sipping prostitutes in favor of high taxes—for the children at Lakota schools–spending the day at VOA Park renting paddle boats and gossiping about their neighbors have more in common with the communists hovering around the radio in 1957 Russia than they do their parents and grandparents who actually built, provided content and advocated freedom to the world with the VOA. The KGB had infiltrated American education with a collectivist mentality that would eventually shape the modern-day European Union while American influence in Russia would bring down the communist front of a repressive government. The repressed people in poverty struck Russia thirsting for American jazz on the VOA threatened to rise up against Russian leaders forcing them to compromise reluctantly with capitalism. The rest is history.
The KGB strategy of turning American youth against their parents and traditional value worked. In the present day millions upon millions of confused people educated by collectivists for the spread of large central government are attempting to put shackles on human thought—which is colliding violently with the easy access people have to means of freedom, video games, underground news organizations, and internet businesses like Amazon.com and eBay. The old broadcast mediums like 700 WLW are losing major ground to upstarts like The Blaze just as ABC, CBS, and NBC television is losing to Fox News, and the new A&E program Duck Dynasty—places where traditional value is re-emerging. On The Dish and cable outlets all across America The Blaze television is emerging as a serious force to be reckoned with as the old stations heavily encumbered by the FCC are stifled by bureaucrats trained by the KGB through public education to think as non-competitive statists. My former school teacher father-in-law who lives in Louisville in a half million dollar home which resides in a neighborhood where the average home costs over $1 million keeps The Blaze Television station on constantly—out of all the channels on The Dish. The Blaze is his primary choice over CNN, Fox News, or even The History Channel. And he’s not alone; many of his neighbors are doing the same. Ten years ago this same group of people were tending to their boats on the Ohio River—hobbies only the very well-off could afford. Now they are cleaning their AR-15s and daring the government to come after their money and flying Tea Party type flags from their garages. And what does anybody think these people listen to in their cars on satellite radio? Of course, Doc and Skip on The Blaze Radio Network. Companies encumbered as such like 700 WLW are slowly dying as companies not held to such restrictions are thriving. The Blaze is one of those examples of a thriving endeavor.
As Doc and I spoke I went on one of my hour-long dissertations about the history of the world, the vile reaches of limited educational perspective and just how important The Blaze was proving to be in all of it. I reminded Doc and Skip that what they were doing with the radio show set up from hotel rooms and small bungalows all across the nation—set up in airport lobbies, marathon broadcasts from Oklahoma, and constant travel to Dallas, New York, and Dayton was more powerful than the original VOE stations. They had more power in their computers, microphones and portable devices than those gigantic towers in West Chester used to have. In this day and age the iPads the iPhones, Twitter, online streaming have far more ability to reach people than at any time in the entire history of the world. On a daily basis I am in constant communication with important people all over the globe. I actually use the clock feature on my iPad so I know what time it is where people I’m talking to are at—so to plan my messages to them around their sleep schedule. I check their local times regularly so not to be disrespectful. Those messages are real-time conversations communicated with the tap of a virtual keyboard which in itself is an amazing achievement.
On my iPad, The Blaze is always on in the background. The iPad has become my new radio. I just leave it on, and because of modern technology I can do that. I can listen to The Blaze unbroken from Florida to my home in Ohio without ever being concerned about losing a signal. If I stop for lunch at a Steak & Shake outside of Knoxville, Tennessee I can take my iPad in and listen to Doc and Skip at 3 AM in the morning—that is the kind of world we are living in. With the app features being as convenient as they are this means pure competition is dominating the new broadcasting market. This is bad news for old stations like 700 WLW in Cincinnati who used to dominate because of their gigantic tower which dwarfed the old VOA towers. However, on a drive from Central Tennessee to Cincinnati the station is reliant on the AM signal and cuts out in the deep valleys of lower Kentucky. Internet streaming radio on an iPhone or other satellite service through iHeart Radio or Pandora does not miss a beat. If I wanted to listen to Doc and Skip on The Blaze in the middle of the Cumberland Gap next to a roaring campfire outside of my tent—I can. I can listen to The Blaze at an airport in Chicago as I wait for a flight or on a transfer flight across the Pacific at LAX. I can pick up Doc and Skip in Tokyo, Hong Kong, or on a long flight from Singapore to Paris. It is no problem in this day and age—no problem at all.
When Tampa Bay—my favorite football team is the Buccaneers—fired their head coach Greg Schiano, I listened intently around the clock to 620 WDAE in Tampa to get the inside of what was going on with one of my favorite cities and the coaching prospects coming in the wake. Without question some people still listen to 700 WLW and their online streaming to keep up with the Cincinnati Bengals and Reds while they travel for business around the globe. But what endures is content that the listener values—not values shaped by the FCC—and going head to head against stations like 700 WLW, The Blaze is dominating. In 2014, it looks like The Blaze Radio will expand even more. Conventional stations like AM broadcasts in Los Angeles are now syndicating Doc and Skip the traditional way in an attempt to stay relevant. That is the power of The Blaze Radio which the engineers of the Voice of America would have marveled at only half a century ago.
So it’s an exciting new time, and good things are happening in 2014. There are a lot of bad things too, but for the first time in human history, those bad things can be discussed clearly, aggressively, and resolutely on The Blaze without distance, government regulation, or international boarders stopping the conversation. I can listen to Doc and Skip on The Blaze as clearly from a private table in the corner of the Restaurant Bar la Madonna at La Isla Shopping Village in Cancun, as I can from along the river at The Anchorage in Milwaukee over fine wine, and seafood flown in daily from all three coasts. That freedom new to the human race—has never occurred before—and Glenn Beck is on the cutting edge of it. As I’ve said before, Glenn Beck has the opportunity to be the new Walt Disney. He will continue to provide political commentary and news content—but it’s what he’s otherwise working on that will take him in the coming years from something of a fallen star at Fox News and CNN—intentionally sidelined as a way to appease the dark forces afoot in statism—and take him to well beyond where Duck Dynasty currently is. This will occur because when competition goes head to head with various ideals, the good ones that have always been supported finally have the ability to fight it out under a free market system for the first time. And that—is why Glenn Beck’s The Blaze is something to watch out for. It is growing by the day and Doc and Skip are at the front of that wave. I’m happy to know them both—because this is an exciting time—a time that nobody has ever experienced before—and it’s happening right now.
To see why Doc Thompson is the new “Cincinnati Liar,” watch the video above about the history of the VOA in Cincinnati. Doc went from an employee of 700 WLW to a star on The Blaze, and the rest is history. Hitler did not like Cincinnati–and neither did Stalin. People who think like Hitler and Stalin in the present and future will not like Doc for the same reasons–but they can’t stop it now.