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DEBATE PREVIEW: It’s a Thankless Job, and Unfortunately She Has to Do It

The stakes are even more complicated now that the Commission on Presidential Debates has changed the rules.



NBC News White House correspondent Kristin Welker has the job nobody wants tonight.

Welker will try to reign in President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday night in the second and final debate of the 2020 election.

The president attacked Welker on Twitter and in rallies this week, calling her terrible and unfair, setting up a debate showdown with both his opponent and the moderator.

It’s a thankless job for Welker, who will have to corral a president who needs to do well in the debate to shore up what appears to be a several-point disadvantage with less than two weeks of voting left in the election.

Several colleagues and other news personalities came to Welker’s defense this week, but the true grit will come on Thursday night when she will have to tightrope between keeping personalities in check and not becoming part of the story of the night. 

The stakes are even more complicated now that the Commission on Presidential Debates has changed the rules.

Just as in the first debate, the debate will be 90-minutes long divided into six 15-minute segments. Each candidate will deliver uninterrupted remarks in response to a question from the moderator at the beginning of each segment. Then the debate will move to an ‘open discussion’ period for the remainder of the 15 minutes.

What’s different this time is that the mics will be muted during the 2-minute answer period for each candidate. They will not be muted during open discussion.

This is where things will get tricky for Welker.

The president, anxious to make his points and make up ground on Biden, will likely be even more aggressive during the open discussion. Their personalities are starkly different without the pressure of playing catch-up. 

How will Welker react if Trump simply talks over Biden and dominates his time during the open discussion? 

Interruptions will “count toward their time,” but again, that puts the pressure back on Welker. She becomes the center of the evening at a time when public trust of the media is at or near all-time lows, and one candidate is actively undermining trust in the media at-large and this moderator specifically.

It’s a job nobody would want, but Welker is a seasoned professional. 

Here’s wishing her luck.

BNM Writers

Bypassing the Media, Right to the People

O’Reilly says he wants to cut through the personality-driven hype and the leftist media hate to get to the facts.



(Nathan Congleton | Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

There is a reason the term journalist commands such little respect these days. Normal Americans have caught on to the game and realize that, unless otherwise noted, the term simply implies radical liberal party activist

Take just a few examples from this week, where Americans learned what they probably knew all along – that the media blatantly and purposefully lied about key developments during President Donald Trump’s first term. 

Remember when Trump touted the possible pandemic-fighting benefits of Hydroxychloroquine? They said he was an unstable nut. However, as reported this week, Trump was right. A study shows using the drug plus zinc increases survival of the virus by three times. 

Remember when they said Trump cleared out Lafayette Park across from the White House, shooting “peaceful protesters” with rubber bullets and bombarding them with pepper spray, all so he could have a photo opp in front of church? Well, it turns out he didn’t order the clearing of the protesters. The plan had been made days earlier, to build a fence to protect police officers.

And the worst part, the media knew the truth all along, yet declined to share it with the public.

How about the cringe-worthy moment from a recent White House press briefing, where a breathless reporter asked subserviently, “as we are covering the Biden White House, what are we getting wrong?”

And these are just a few of the purposeful media deceptions from this week alone, designed to influence and convert the citizenry, rather than inform it.

The good news for truth-seekers, however, is that the real story is soon coming right to the people. The people will soon hear directly from the source.

Veteran broadcaster Bill O’Reilly is launching an upcoming Trump History Tour, where he will interview the President during a series of fireside-talk themed events at the end of the year.  O’Reilly joined Glenn Beck’s radio program this week to explain the concept.

“The approach here of the president, sitting and talking and having someone like you, who can rope him in in a fun way, I think is going to be extraordinarily effective,” Beck began.

“Here’s how it all came about,” O’Reilly said. “So I’m watching the inauguration of Joe Biden, and I’m taking notes. In the back of my mind, I’m going…I don’t know what happened in the last four years inside the White House, I don’t know anything. Because all the reportage was we hate Trump and want to destroy him, or we love Trump and want him to be emperor forever. The basic history arc was empty.”

O’Reilly says he wants to cut through the personality-driven hype and the leftist media hate to get to the facts.

“How on earth did the United States get a vaccine to defeat a pandemic in seven months? That seems to be a miracle,” he pointed out. “How did that happen…nuts and bolts. What did you do, Mr. President? Who did you speak to? How much money changed hands, and all that. Now these are essential, important questions for every American to know, particularly now when we’ve entered another era of chaos, absolute chaos is happening in Washington, D.C.”

O’Reilly notes that it took some arm-twisting to get Trump to agree to the series of discussions.

“You’re not going to be able to recover your political profile, if you don’t put things on the record for history,” O’Reilly recalls telling Trump about the importance of bypassing the liberal media. “You must tell the American people how you did what you did. And you cannot get a fair shake.”

For his part, Beck wants to know how Trump consistently taps into the instincts of Americans, saying “he has the best gut I’ve ever seen.”  

Certainly, Mr. Trump has been known to embellish or hyperbolize at times, a tactic that many think is warranted, considering the culture of hatred pushed by Democrats and their media. 

“This is not going to be a debate,” O’Reilly noted. “I’m going to ask the questions. If he doesn’t answer them I’ll point it out to him and there will be seven thousand people looking at us. It’s not going to be a rally, no MAGA hats on stage, we’re not going to do any of that. It’s all going to be history.”

Ultimately, it came down to Trump agreeing with O’Reilly that citizens deserve the truth the extremist liberal media consistently hides from them.

“The clincher for President Trump was, I said the American people have been deprived, and they have been deprived on purpose, of information about their country which affects them directly. I was looking at him in the eye when I said this. I said that these people, even the people that voted against you, and don’t like you, they have no blanking clue what you actually did, because the corporate media assembled to destroy you. And so anything that you did that was positive, including the vax, they were not going to report it accurately if it helped you. And it’s the same thing going on now. If it hurts Joe Biden, they’re going to black it out.” 

Tickets for the upcoming Trump History Tour with Trump and O’Reilly are widely available starting today.

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BNM Writers

Big Tech Censorship Doesn’t Worry Penn. News Talk Station

Following the death of talk pioneer Rush Limbaugh, stations like News Talk 103.7 FM are doing a great job of finding unconventional ways to deliver the message of conservatism.



(Fox News Graphic)

Freedom of speech is under attack. Radio stations all over the country are having to think twice about the content they post on social media for fear of being censored, throttled, or even banned from platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

In January, former President Donald Trump was banned from Facebook and Twitter after hundreds converged on the U.S. Capitol. Big Tech blamed him for the alleged insurrection despite conflicting accounts of what took place on that day.

The fallout from that event further divided a nation still reeling from a global pandemic and a contentious election. Conservative talk radio stations who spoke out in favor of Trump felt the wrath as general managers’ report losing clients who felt compelled to separate themselves from the firestorm of controversy. Talent was caught in the crosshairs of the imminent threat posed by Big Tech who was silencing voices on the right.

The growing list of conservative voices who have complained about being censored on social media include Candace Owens, Dan Bongino, Mark Levin, Joe Pagliarulo, and former Pittsburgh talk show host Wendy Bell.

In Pennsylvania, where tensions were high following the election and subsequent riots at the Capitol, one conservative news/talk station is pushing on and using workarounds to overcome any attempt by Big Tech to censor its message.

News Talk 103.7 FM in Chambersburg is led by general manager Pat Ryan who was recently promoted to Vice President of Magnum Broadcasting. Ryan sat down with Barrett News Media recently for a one-on-one discussion about several subjects including how he manages people who view the world differently than he does.

As the landscape of talk radio shifts dramatically following the death of talk pioneer Rush Limbaugh, stations like News Talk 103.7 FM are doing a great job of finding unconventional ways to deliver the message of conservatism.

Ryan Hedrick: Is interest in radio waning from a local market perspective?

Pat Ryan: It is on the way up. The local newspapers here were all absorbed by the USA Today monster and they are not producing local content. Our radio stations speak to local politicians, state senators, and business leaders. We love our platform here. We are not limited in anything, other than our imagination.

RH: Big Tech has banned conservative voices like former President Donald Trump and other advocates who have expressed conservative beliefs. How do you balance expressing your views/beliefs via social media without fear of not getting banned or suspended?

PR: I do not make any apologies. I think the radio station reflects the market very strongly. The first go around for Donald Trump where he had the highest per capita turnout was Fulton County, the same county where the station is licensed to. Franklin County is heavily Republican, Western Maryland, the values are much the same. In fact, I would say that in the Tri-State area, the values are much the same.

RH: Do you place a greater emphasis on what you post on social media or the content that you create and air on the radio?

PR: I would say the launch of our new website has given us an advantage on the methods and options that we have when it comes to creating and distributing content. Take for example a guest like Congressman John Joyce who represents a large majority of our listening audience. Joyce was one of the federal politicians who was ahead of the theory that the coronavirus leaked from the Wuhan lab. Once our radio interview with Joyce is complete,we recap the interview by writing an article that is published on our website. The article is not written from any other perspective other than the banter that we had with Joyce. Listeners and readers can come to their own conclusions as to what was said. After publishing the article on our website, to use social media to boost the story and get more eyeballs on it.

RH: As a general manager, how do you manage people that view the world differently?

PR: Our clients that do not necessarily align with us politically are wise because they want that conservative audience. They have a message to share, and they know that there is great value in sharing their message with everybody. In fact, we routinely share the message on the air that all people are welcomed to share their message with us. We especially want to hear if a particular group feels like they have been denied service. The radio station has an obligation to help those people out. We want to help our community out and do whatever we can for prospective clients.

RH: Are you guys monitoring the rise in censorship against conservatives by Big Tech? Does this trend concern you?

PR: I am not concerned about it. Luckily, the radio station’s website is off the Amazon’s fields. We have seen some of Big Tech’s throttling but in this area, people know where to come for conservative content. They listen to us on the radio, they read the TriStateAlert, and they consume, engage, and share our social media links. Knock yourself out [Jeff] Bezos, and Jack [Dorsey], if you want to throttle us, go ahead, and knock yourself out.  

RH: Given the rise in censorship today, how do we get back to a place where talent can feel comfortable rather than being always under a microscope?

PR: Just be yourself. Being real is a great quality and a great way to sidestep any controversy that may arise or get censored. Talent that shares life experiences and takes the listener inside of their reality is creating a scenario that is hard to censor and hard to argue with. 

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BNM Writers

CNN Enjoys Ratings Lift Thanks To Documentaries

“The latest feature documentary from CNN Films, topped cable news on May 31 among total viewers and adults 25-54, according to Nielsen Media Research.”



The premiere of “Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street“, the latest feature documentary from CNN Films, topped cable news on May 31 among total viewers and adults 25-54, according to Nielsen Media Research. On the night of Memorial Day, all three news networks had featured special programming.

From 9-11 p.m., CNN was the most watched with 1.413 million total viewers. Fox News averaged 1.272 million and MSNBC did 985,000. In the key demo adults 25-54, CNN averaged 314,000, which also easily bested FNC (155,000) and MSNBC (109,000).

The May 31st airing of “Dreamland” was also CNN’s top single telecast in total viewers and adults 25-54 since President Biden’s first official address to Congress on Apr. 28, based on Nielsen’s live plus same day data.

The film was directed by Salima KoromaLeBron James and Maverick Carter of The SpringHill Company, and Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton of CNN Films all served as executive producers.

CNN’s other recent documentary “The Story of Late Night” drew decent numbers this past spring. The six-part chronicle of the decades-long evolution of late night television aired in the 9 p.m. hour Sunday nights from May 2 thru June 6. From observing its live plus same day viewer track for its initial telecasts, the program lost steam as the weeks progressed:

May 2: 1.027 million

May 9: 1.125 million

May 16: 0.862 million

May 23: 0.865 million

May 30: 0.668 million

June 6: 0.587 million

Nonetheless, it added another 215,000 viewers to each episode when factoring live plus seven-day which encompasses DVR, on demand and streaming. In addition, the aforementioned data for “The Story of Late Night” does not include figures from the many rerun telecasts CNN has aired.

The direct time slot competition for the CNN documentary was Fox News’ “The Next Revolution“. The Steve Hilton-hosted hourlong program’s track within those same Sunday hours were, as follows: 

May 2: 1.159 million

May 9: 1.159 million

May 16: 1.359 million

May 23: 1.069 million

May 30: 0.950 million

June 6: 1.351 million

Fox News was the total viewers leader (in cable news) within the hour, but the program — a discussion of current events — adds only approximately 44,000 viewers (on average) within its 7-day period following initial airings.

Using the Live+7 metric, only the first two parts of the six-part “The Story of Late Night” were able to top “The Next Revolution”: on May 2 (1.293 million vs. 1.19 million) and on May 9 (1.327 million vs. 1.202 million).

Here are the cable news averages for May 31-June 6, 2021 — cable’s best mark for the week in total viewers based on total day was by Fox News Channel; the 16th consecutive week FNC has accomplished this achievement:

Total Day (May 31-June 6 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.107 million viewers; 189,000 adults 25-54 
  • MSNBC: 0.751 million viewers; 98,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.554 million viewers; 120,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (May 31-June 5 @ 8-11 p.m.; June 6 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.974 million viewers; 296,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.261 million viewers; 158,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.779 million viewers; 168,000 adults 25-54

Top 10 most-watched cable news programs (and the top CNN program with their respective associated rank) in total viewers:

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 6/2/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.983 million viewers

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 6/3/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.903 million viewers

3. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 6/3/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.599 million viewers

4. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 6/3/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.598 million viewers

5. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 6/2/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.576 million viewers

6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 6/1/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.574 million viewers

7. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 6/1/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.486 million viewers

8. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 6/2/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.479 million viewers

9. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Thu. 6/3/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.446 million viewers

10. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Wed. 6/2/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.436 million viewers

48. CNN Films “Dreamland: Black Wall Street” (CNN, Mon. 5/31/2021 9:00 PM, 120 min.) 1.413 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs (and the top MSNBC and CNN programs with their respective associated ranks) among adults 25-54:

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 6/3/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.505 million adults 25-54

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 6/2/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.488 million adults 25-54

3. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 6/2/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.421 million adults 25-54

4. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Wed. 6/2/2021 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.400 million adults 25-54

5. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 6/3/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.398 million adults 25-54

6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Fri. 6/4/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.391 million adults 25-54

7. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 6/1/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.383 million adults 25-54

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 6/3/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.380 million adults 25-54

9. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 6/2/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.375 million adults 25-54

10. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 6/1/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.369 million adults 25-54

15. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Wed. 6/2/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.325 million adults 25-54

17. CNN Films “Dreamland: Black Wall Street” (CNN, Mon. 5/31/2021 9:00 PM, 120 min.) 0.314 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

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