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The Chicks on the Right Created Space for Listeners With Nowhere to Land

Amy Jo Clark told BNM’s Jim Cryns that when The Chicks on the Right started its podcast, it was their goal to create a spot for people who had nowhere to land.

Jim Cryns



The Indianapolis Star

I can love two Chicks at once. I’m not being politically incorrect, it’s the truth. The Chicks on the Right are two charismatic, beautiful, entertaining and energetic women who have a highly popular podcast. I adore them. They’re also not afraid to kick some ass when required.

The Chicks are Amy Jo Clark ( a.k.a. Daisy) and Miriam Weaver (a.k.a. Mockarena a.k.a. Mock.) In a previous incarnation, Clark was a medical writer and communications consultant in the private sector. Weaver worked in corporate human resources. Amy Jo has a degree in English rhetoric and composition from the University of Tennessee and a master’s degree in communications from Southern Polytechnic State University in Georgia. Miriam has a psychology degree from the University of Kansas.

These are smart Chicks. Tough Chicks. Opinionated Chicks. Engaging Chicks. Hilarious too. 

You can’t fake the laughs or reactions they offer on their podcast. As a listener or watcher, you’d smell it if they were being disingenuous and that would cheapen the whole experience and vibe of the show.

“I have a tattoo of a daisy,” Clark said. “When we first started out I didn’t know what to call myself. So, it was a no-brainer. I chose Daisy. (Or Day-Z as it’s sometimes spelled.) 

Weaver asked for a little help from her husband regarding a moniker.  “He said you like to mock people, so how about Mockarena? I said, ‘That’s perfect.’ At times that is truncated to Mock.”

There’s momentum with the podcast you can feel it in your bones. I picture the Chicks as a young ingenue sitting at the counter at Schwab’s drugstore in Los Angeles about to be ‘discovered.’ In this scenario. In my opinion, the Chicks are going to take the country by storm. 

The Chicks said that’s not their end goal. They’re happy where they are. They’re not sure they’d even enjoy more high-profile success. 

“I would love lots more listeners and watchers in the morning,” Weaver said. “I’d love the growth of our podcast to a larger audience. But we’re not interested in fame at all. A bigger community would be welcome. Fame is not what we’re looking for. We’re not aiming to be on TV. We did enough television promo for the book. There’s all the fuss about makeup, hair. TV is exhausting.”

Would being ‘bigger’ kill some of the chemistry? Probably. Just ask the Beatles. 

Clark said when they started their podcast, it was their goal to create a spot for people who had nowhere to land. 

“We wanted to appeal to people who felt they didn’t belong anywhere,” Clark explained. “We felt like dorks when it came to some things so we imagined other people felt the same way. Some people may disagree with everything that comes out of my face, but that’s okay.”

They work extemporaneously at times, and that’s part of their charm. “We did an election night podcast live from Florida and we just shot the shit for four hours,” Weaver explained. It’s not just about subscribers or listeners at this point. Sufficient to say there are a lot of them. They worked together on a radio show at WIBC in Indianapolis. David Wood, who wasn’t the PD at the station yet at the time, was a casting agent of sorts.

“They just have infectious personalities,” Wood said. “They’re smart, funny and I can’t say enough good things about them. They’re not shoving anything down your throat. They definitely have their point of view. They can bring a hot take.”

Wood said the Chicks were booted off Facebook for a short time, some kind of content thing. 

“I’d been following their website and watching them on Facebook. They were talking about bailing on Facebook,” Wood said. “I emailed them and said, ‘You don’t know me from Adam; you didn’t ask me for any advice.’ In spite of that, I still gave them my opinion. I told them not to abandon Facebook as it was the biggest bullhorn out there at the time. I told them to continue with their brand.”

Wood said Weaver emailed back and thanked him for his unsolicited take. 

“They had videos on their site and I remember them sitting in a bedroom with tiaras on their heads,” Wood continued. “I hadn’t seen anything quite like it and I started thinking about how they’d sound on the radio. So I turned the screen away from me and just listened to them.”

He liked what he heard. Wood invited them to come into the station to talk. 

“We started them on weekends for six months,” he explained. “After that, our afternoon drive personality was retiring. They were up for doing afternoons, filling that slot. They were an anomaly in drive time, two women. But they were very successful.”

They were a program director’s dream. A fantastic duo just appeared in front of Wood’s eyes. A brick of gold landed in his lap.

A midday slot opened and the Chicks opted for the move.

“I’m not sure they knew afternoon drive was a higher profile gig,” Wood explained, ‘but they seemed happy to go to middays because they had family responsibilities. It didn’t occur to them that they were giving up a prime spot.”

Wood said he was certainly disappointed when they left the station, but he understood the reasoning. 

“Amy Jo left first to do a corporate communications gig. We had a producer on the show.  I hired Rob to produce their show and he already had chemistry with them, so I created Mock and Rob. That show was also successful.”

The podcast started as a side hustle. Since they started working on this podcast full-bore in the spring of this year, the Chicks said things are going strong. 

“We’ve been around for 14 years,” Clark said. “I think you could describe our base as a cult following. Not underground but a distinct niche. People will come up to us and say, ‘I’ve heard about you guys.’ We’re not well-known across the board, but we do have subsets of fans.”

They describe themselves as counter-conservative, apparently a market that has gone underserved. Theirs is a distinct brand. 

“We decided to devote 100 percent of our time and efforts in February of this year. We’ve been best friends since 2008,” Weaver said. 

Their friendship is what drives the on-air chemistry. As PDs will tell you, that’s not easy to find and nearly impossible to fake.

“We would be terrible at trying to act, to fake who we are,” Clark said. “In the beginning, a lot of PR people came to us and suggested tweaks and changes. ‘You need to do this or that.’ We resisted all of that and stayed true to ourselves.”

As they prep for their show, the Chicks say they know what they are going to cover based on their prep work, but nothing about the show is scripted. “We know what stories we’re going to cover as a base and starting point,” Weaver said. “Beyond that, we have no idea how the conversation is going to go.”

Think of it as a friendly free-for-all. Two women sitting, having coffee, talking honestly about anything they feel like.

“A lot of what we do is raw material,” Clark said. “When people listen to us I think they feel they have a spot at our dinner table. It’s very comfortable and inclusive. It’s like we’re a small club and everyone is welcome.”

A club that welcomes everyone. We need more of that in the country. 

The Chicks probably agree on 90 percent of what they discuss, but that doesn’t mean they don’t differ on occasion. “We disagreed with each other on the air the other day,” Weaver said. “It was about the 2024 election. I said I didn’t think Trump was going to win, and was pretty pessimistic about the GOP’s chances, and some of the audience blew up on me.” 

They have a magic that takes place whenever they are together, even though they do their podcast from different locations. The magic is impossible to replicate. They’re lightning in a bottle. If they could be replicated, radio stations and podcast producers across the country would jump at the chance. There’s no checklist for success.

“I’m in a constant state of amazement that so many people listen to us,” Weaver remarked.  Clark credits their authenticity.  “Listeners get that we’re not stuck-up. We’re one of them. They hear what we genuinely feel. It’s important to us to build our community. We love the experience of our meet-and-greets.”

The women look like they’re having way too much fun. I suspect they are.

“We don’t have to report to anyone but each other,” Weaver said. 

The Chicks do a weekday morning show. They also deliver Deep Dive, a weekly show separate from the daily podcast. On Deep Dive they offer their unique take on the world, from the dinner table to the swamp. 

With Deep Dive they can focus more on a specific topic. Last week they discussed the backlash that conservative commentator Candace Owens faced recently when she asked men to weigh in on their opinion of women’s use of Botox and fillers to enhance their lips.

The duo added their own views of the ever-growing use of injectables, wondering why so many women ‘put all that crap in their faces.’ See? They have fun, but they’re not going to hold back.

They get instant feedback from watchers and listeners. “We have live comments so we can get the pulse of what is happening all the time,” Clark said. “We see it live, in real-time. If people are outraged by something we say, they can weigh in quickly.” 

“But even if we see someone criticize what we said, that doesn’t mean we’re going to change our course or apologize,” Weaver pointed out. “Some listener/watcher may get mad at me for my take and say something like, ‘Daisy needs to reign in Mock. Set her straight.” 

The Chicks don’t like being told what to do.  “It’s not our job to police each other’s opinions,” Clark said. “We will never change what we’re talking about just because someone gets offended. They can bite me.”

The show mixes it up and the loyal base digs it. You never get the feeling the Chicks are beating you over the head on a topic with a polo mallet. The dialogue is real and it comes across that way. The Chicks have the ability to attract people to the show because of who they are, not just because of what they talk about or say. You may listen to Tucker or Levin to hear their view or rant of the day, but I’m willing to bet it’s not because they make you feel comfortable or welcomed to the table.

There was a video on YouTube recently which showed a mother rescuing her daughter from a raccoon attack on their front porch. Weaver said she might have hugged the raccoon after it was dashed against the ground. Clark said she’d have taken out her Glock. That should speak volumes about their personalities, at least at that moment. Either can take the other stance on a different topic. 

“We feel an obligation to at least be knowledgeable about all the news,” Clark said. “at least a little. If not we’re going to sound like complete idiots. We’re total dorks, super-fun and grateful every day.”

BNM Writers

Dagen McDowell Is Ready For A New Adventure With Fox Business

“Every decision in America is born of policy, On the show, we bring that to our show. Talk about the news of the day.”

Jim Cryns




To know Dagen McDowell, you must understand what she comes from, where she comes from. You won’t know her until you know the lessons, kindness, and determination set forth by her parents.

Her parents operated a small grocery store, LW Roark and Company. Charles and Joyce McDowell were high school sweethearts and both went to college but decided to go back home and open a business. “This is in the middle of nowhere,” McDowell said. “It was a wholesale grocery store. They sold it in the late 90s.”

She said her parents were smart, encouraging, and took every opportunity to teach McDowell and her brother.

“They’d constantly talk up people who came into the store. Both of them have and had an insatiable curiosity about everything. They felt they learned things through their customers. It was more fun to learn about things from other people.”

McDowell’s parents never took a week off work. Never. The family took no vacations as most families would. Once while McDowell was in college at Wake Forest University, the family visited the Air and Space Museum on the Mall in D.C.

“Both of my parents were very interested in architecture and landscapes. We’d go to Williamsburg and just look at the buildings.”

McDowell joined FOX News Channel in 2003 and helped launch FOX Business Network as a founding anchor in 2007.

Her mother passed away three years ago and her father is still very much a part of her life. Her father was a constant teacher.

“One time my father, who we called Dowell McDowell, was putting up an outbuilding and asked me how long one line should be if the other line was such and such. He taught me the Pythagorean theorem when I was about 4 years old.”

McDowell was nurtured by parents with endless curiosity.

“I was raised by parents who would always debate and converse around the dinner table. We shared breakfast and dinner together every day. They loved learning, were always inquisitive, never afraid to ask a question. My parents shared a fearlessness and passed that on to me. I’ve never been embarrassed to ask people questions. I love talking to people and finding out about things.”

For a long time, McDowell had no idea what she wanted to do for a living. She knew if she worked at different jobs she’d eventually figure out what she was good at.

“I knew I was a decent writer, but I always tried to get information out of people, what they were doing. Ask if they were fulfilled and happy.”

At Wake, Forest McDowell majored in art history and had every intention of working in a museum, possibly as a curator.

“I interned at the Center for Contemporary Arts. I lived in Venice, Italy for a while. Wake Forest owns a house in Venice.”

After that it was Colorado. She moved back to New York during the recession of 1991 with a duffel bag. She took the Amtrak to New York City and sublet an apartment for six months.

“I had no TV, just a radio. I knew I could find something good to do in New York, there were so many jobs. I always wanted to live in the city. Either the city or way out in the country. Nowhere in between.”

She said being in New York made her feel anything was possible. This was January in 1994 when job ads were still in the physical newspaper, like the New York Times. McDowell interviewed at Institutional Investor through a referral from a friend.

“It was a brilliant magazine with terrific writing,” McDowell explained. “Very prominent in the industry. They were looking for someone to work with the newsletter written for the financial community.”

She’d cover topics like the bond business, Wall Street, and money management. The magazine made her take a reporting test where you’d make up a story and write it. She was offered a job and worked there for three years.

“I learned to be a journalist there,” McDowell said. “I could write but I became a better journalist. We’d break news, create our sources, and learn more and more about finance. People love to talk about what they do if you show interest.”

The next big job was, a resource and web newspaper for private investors. There McDowell wrote a personal finance column. She started doing commentary on television shows, the way a lot of people in different professions tend to do. “Then I started making more appearances on weekend financial or business shows,” McDowell said.

She got a call from Neil Cavuto about 20 years ago and he told McDowell, ‘Kid, you want a job? I know you don’t have much professional TV experience. We’ll give you some training and you’ll figure it out. If you do, you stay. If not, you go.’

McDowell said she was glad she was a writer first before she arrived at Fox. She writes her own scripts and has a background in finance and business writing.

“Before the business network was launched, they had only one business reporter and two senior business correspondents,” she said. “I’ve gotten to do so many different jobs, use different muscles, so to speak. As the years have passed I’ve discovered other talents I may have and I’m incredibly grateful for that.”

There’s a new show in town. McDowell and Sean Duffy will co-host The Bottom Line which will air on weeknights from 6-7:00 PM ET.

McDowell said she and Duffy come from extremely similar backgrounds. Duffy is from rural Wisconsin and McDowell is from Virginia.

“We know what small-town living is like, “McDowell said. “I might live in New York City but where I grew up affects the way I view the world. I’m still grounded in my hometown. On the show, we look south and west with everything we cover. You have to think of your audience. Rather than talking about them, we talk with them. That’s our shared background and vision. Sean is extremely down to earth and generous.”

McDowell said the show is not financially based, but steeped in business.

She said Duffy’s experience as a former U.S. Congressman, he understands policy as well as financial matters.

“Every decision in America is born of policy,” she said. “On the show, we bring that to our show. Talk about the news of the day.”

This is different from anything McDowell has done in the past.

“It’s a two-anchor show in the evening,” she explained. “This is not taking place during market hours. We tie all the business happenings together from the day. Again, it’s not about Washington or New York. It’s about the people we grew up with. We talk to them. Build a relationship with them on the air. For me, this is not just sitting in front of a camera. I can run off at the mouth as well as anyone, hang in there with the filibuster.”

McDowell says she is blunt, but hopes she isn’t rude. During a recent interview for the new show she used the terms ‘pig potatoes’ and ‘chapped backsides.’

“Those are terms I just made up,” she said. “I make up a lot of phrases and don’t always know what they mean. I have an entire repertoire of those kinds of phrases.”

Duffy assumed they were southern phrases he had to learn from McDowell, but she assured him she’d never heard them anywhere else.

“I’m just making stuff up,” McDowell said. “You can’t curse. Can’t say BS. At least you shouldn’t say BS on television. You don’t want to say manure. You never want to say something that makes people wince or evokes a smell.”

Dealing with people directly and bluntly seems to come from her mother.

“My mother had grit,” McDowell said. “She was also very kind, never syrupy. I used to say she had no magnolia-mouth.

That’s got to be a southern phrase.

McDowell said her mother was not a servile flatterer, but she was kind. Always there when somebody was in need.

“She had real grit. She’d stand and fight for her friends and family members.”

Her mother passed away after being diagnosed with stage-four cancer.

“She went through unimaginable pain,” McDowell said of her mother. “For nearly six years. You want to talk about somebody who was tough. There was nobody more pugnacious than my mother.”

She explained even with her illness, her mother was always on the go. Continuing to live her life. When questioned about being so active while she was ill, her mother continued to show grit.

“My mother would say she didn’t want to walk around looking like she had cancer. She asked, ‘What choice do I have? I could lay in bed and wait to die, or I can get up and do what I can .’”

McDowell said her mother’s illness taught her to be a caregiver in ways she never could have imagined. Her mother taught her to find moments of joy every single day, in the smallest of things.

“It can be as simple as telling a stranger to have a great day. Treat a perfect stranger with kindness. I do it all day long. I know it sounds corny, but I want to be known as a person who brings a casserole to a friend when they’re ill.”

A one-sheet from Fox tells you McDowell and the culmination of her background is perfect for The Bottom Line. The fact is, it’s true.

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BNM Writers

Airing The Tyre Nichols Video Was A Necessity

There were hard moments to watch in those videos, hard sounds to hear. But they aired.

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Far be it for me not to address this outrageous and embarrassing instance in humanity. After the videos of Memphis police brutally beating Tyre Nichols were shown on television there really seemed to be more outrage emerging from society this time than from the media, for a change. One would think that’s how we wish things to be.

In instances like this, where the video and audio images are far from brief but are instead chaptered as they unfold, there are few options other than to let them run their course. Clocks — breaks hard and soft — are out the window, just as in live coverage.

Because that’s what this was, only the live this time was us, and as we all absorbed and reacted to actions disapprovingly familiar yet somehow foreign at the same time, the impact was still becoming apparent even though we already knew the outcome.

It’s happened before.

Not always like this but we’ve seen it before, police encounters shown on the news overtakes and become the news.

It takes effect as the sights and sounds are digested, dissected, and discussed, often before their potential impact could really be imagined.

In 1991, when the Handycam footage crossed screens for the first time and we learned Rodney King’s name, we didn’t know then but we had a feeling.

We were on the right track, though as newsrooms evolved and street reporting incorporated a different type of storytelling.

I was a cop in 1991. Changes came. Some.

It’s 2023, I’m no longer a cop. Changes will come again. Some.

Turning points — or the overused watershed moments — mean just as much to the news media as they do to law enforcement.

The “why’s” that make this a turning point are more society and community based this time around than they were in 1991.

At least I think so. And I don’t think it makes a bit of difference who’s involved this time.

There were hard moments to watch in those videos, and hard sounds to hear. But they aired. Where they couldn’t air, they were described in great detail; descriptions sometimes can be worse than the real thing. Sometimes, not this time.

And they should air, they shouldn’t stop airing. This is what happened and this is what people need to see and hear and this is exactly why we are here.

Warn them, provide them with a heads up that they’re not going to like what happens next. It’s life and we show life, and we show what some of us do with it when it’s someone else’s.

Overall, I would say the news platforms held their composure, even after the videos were released. I saw, read, and heard some refreshingly neutral coverage, even from outlets where I expected hard turns into the lanes on either side of the road.

Legitimate questions were asked by anchors and reporters and much of the time, the off-balance issues were raised more by those on the sidewalks and those on the other side of the cameras and microphones.

As much as I find myself in disagreement with what I often see on the cable networks — all the cable networks — I did find a sense of symmetry watching CNN’s Don Lemon speak with Memphis City Council Chair Martavius Jones in the hours after the videos were released.

Regular protocols be damned, Lemon and producers lingered patiently as Jones, visibly overcome by emotion, struggled to regain breath and composure enough to be able to speak. Rather than cut away or move to other elements, they stood fast and it became an example of what often requires no words.

There were fewer punches pulled on other platforms as well.

The sounds of the screams, the impacts, and the hate-filled commands were broadcast through car radios.

As were Tyre Nichol’s calls for his mom. They aired. They had to.

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BNM Writers

Does the Republican Establishment Get It?

For many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections.

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In a move that seemed to go against the wishes of the patriotic American grassroots, the Republican party on Friday re-elected RNC Chairperson Ronna McDaniel. 

The media immediately took notice, as many on television and radio are now wondering why the party would re-elect a chairperson who has been so unpopular with the base of its party. 

Grant Stinchfield discussed this issue Friday night on his program, Stinchfield Tonight, which airs on Real America’s Voice network.

“Ronna McDaniel holds on to her chairmanship of the Republican Party. By a whopping total of — what were the numbers– 111 to 54. Harmeet Dhillon only received 54 votes. Mike Lindell 4 votes. This is proof to me that the Republican establishment is dug in,” Stinchfield — formerly of Newsmax — said. “Don’t tell me they’re out of touch. See, you tell me they’re out of touch, that implies ignorance. They’re not ignorant about anything.”

As sentiment for Dhillon grew in the days leading up to Friday’s vote, many influential politicians and party donors publicly offered her their support and endorsement. These included Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), as well as donors Mike Rydin, Dick Uihlein, and Bernie Marcus.

Also on board were musician and outspoken conservative John Rich, along with the state GOP of Nebraska and Washington State. Countless journalists and media personalities, such as Charlie Kirk, Miranda Divine, and Lou Dobbs, also came out publicly in support of Dhillon. Former President Donald Trump remained neutral, not making a public choice of either of the three candidates.

For many of Dhillon’s supporters, the deciding factor was public sentiment across the party’s base.

“They’re reading the same chat boards. They’re getting the same emails I’m reading. I will literally post something about this race when I was supporting Harmeet Dhillon. There was not one comment – not one – that supported Ronna McDaniel. Everyone wanted change,” Stinchfield said, noting that the party elite saw the same groundswell of support for change.

“Now, nobody has an issue as Ronna McDaniel is some evil kind of person. I don’t believe she is. I believe, though, that she is part of the establishment. She’s been around too long as far as the establishment goes. And she’s been ingrained in doing business as usual. It’s not working.”

In making their choices known, many Dhillon supporters simply pointed to the scoreboard during McDaniel’s reign.

“Think about where we are. 2018, we lost the House. 2020, we lost everything. 2022, we won the House, but we should have really steamrolled the House and we should have taken back the Senate, which we didn’t do,” Stinchfield said. “That means we’re on a real losing track since she took over. I don’t like being on a losing track. I like being on a winning track.

“Something has got to change when you talk about all of this. So how does Ronna McDaniel get 111 votes and Harmeet Dhillon only get 54 votes, when everyone, every Republican voter I talk to said it was time for change?” pondered Stinchfield.

And even more than the losses, for many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections. The most recent example of which came in Arizona, where presumptive gubernatorial favorite, Kari Lake, was “defeated” when countless voting irregularities occurred in some of the state’s most deep-red areas.

“Under her watch, Democrats instituted a mail-in ballot scheme. That may be even worse than losing, when you talk about the House and the Senate and all these things. The fact that we now have a junk mail-in ballot scheme across the country under Ronna McDaniel’s watch is serious trouble. Very serious trouble,” Stinchfield said on Friday. “And so the reason it is is because the Democrats are rigging the system.”

For years – until Donald Trump descended the golden escalator and took the world by storm – the Republican party had the reputation of being the party of the rich. Rush Limbaugh used to refer to this wing of Republicans as “the country club crowd.” President Donald Trump flipped the narrative completely, offering a clear vision of hope and patriotism to working-class America.

Reputable polling — such as Richard Baris’ Big Data Poll — consistently showed Trump running well ahead of almost every Republican candidate during the 2022 mid-term election cycle. In other words, Trump still maintains considerably more support across the country than most of the individual Senate or House candidates experienced.

Many experts believe this is because voters still view Trump as an outsider, while they view the Republican party much less favorably.

“Let’s tell you how out of touch they are, how elitist they are,” Stinchfield said, calling out the GOP establishment. “This meeting that went on, do you know where it is? It’s at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch in California. One of the most expensive resorts in America. You’re lucky if you get a room for a thousand dollars a night down there on Dana Point. Now, it’s a beautiful hotel, but why is the Republican Party holding an event there? Then I went back and I looked at what RedState did. RedState went back and looked at some of the expenses that the Republican Party under Ronna McDaniel’s leadership was spending money on.

“Take a look at this. $3.1 million on private jets. $1.3 million on limousine and chauffeur services. $17.1 million on donor mementos. $750,000 on floral arrangements. Now you compare this to the Democrats. The Democrats spent $35,000 on private airfare. A thousand dollars on floral arrangements. A thousand. Not $750,000. A thousand. And the $17.1 million they spent on donor mementos, the Democrats spent $1.5 million.

“Democrats know where to put the money. It’s not giving donors gifts. Donors shouldn’t want gifts. If you give money, give money. You don’t need the fancy pin to put on your lapel.”

Following her loss, Dhillon warned her party that it must listen to the base, saying, “if we ignore this message, I think it’s at our peril. It’s at our peril personally, as party leaders and it’s at our peril for our party in general.”

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Barrett Media Writers

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