Interview: Gary Johnson

Former Governor of New Mexico and 2012 LP Presidential candidate Gary Johnson joins us to discuss the NSA, the drug war, Rand Paul, Our America Initiative, his future plans. Listen Here.

Interview: Julie Borowski, TokenLibertarian Girl

We spent some time talking with Julie Borowski, sometimes know as TokenLibertarian Girl. By day Julie is a policy analyst for Freedomworks, and in her spare time she makes fun, short videos that share the libertarian perspective on current events. She takes us behind the scenes of her creative process, her background, and how she found libertarianism. Follow her on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and at her site. Listen here.

Noam Chomsky, Coverage of Cruz and the Future of Journalism

Ryan, Joe and Chris interview Noam Chomsky on linguistics, propaganda, terrorism, American foreign policy, and his view on modern libertarianism. We then talk about the media’s slant on the government shutdown and the future of journalism. Listen here.



New Yorker Profile of Chomsky

On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare


The media has decided to slant the Obamacare funding/government shutdown as the GOP holding out for their way or the highway. However, President Obama made it clear from the beginning that he would not negotiate on the shutdown or the debt ceiling. Why is the blame a one way street and why isn’t the President taking some of the blame for his obstructionist stance as well?


Are journalists making a mistake by working for a large media outlet instead of building platforms of their own? Ben Domench says YES!  Facebook and Twitter have changed the game and allow journalist to have the opportunity to do better on their own.

FROM THE ARTICLE: “Domench wonders how important it even is for someone with a decent brand and a  solid Twitter following to be associated with a larger media outlet. What is more, he suspects some writers are leaving money on the table. “So much of [the news] is socially fed, that someone is dropping into the story pages directly, as opposed to the old ‘browsing a magazine’ that people used to have… ” And so the question is: “Can you monetize that? Can you turn that into something that you can build on?

Read more:



Seymour Hersh – Pulitzer Prize winner – has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism – close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90% of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider.




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The Shill Report Episode 13: How to Make News, Op-Ed Pages

Ryan, Joe and Chris discuss how they made the Ron Paul interview go viral, do we care what celebrities think, and the duty of op-ed pages. Listen here.
Let’s tell the story about what was going on behind the scenes when the WAL was able to take the interview with Ron Paul and turn it in to national news:
  • Joe Ruiz gets the talent
  • Timing is everything – previous day on MSNBC with Alex Wagner
  • The interview that almost didn’t happen
  • Spangle takes to Twitter
  • The news site belly flops when HuffPo and Blaze pick up the story
  • Lessons and insights
From the article:
“That begs the question: will the attorney general, as chief law enforcement officer of the country, now go on record that he will guarantee the safe return and safe passage of journalists who have exercised their rights under the first amendment?
Or would we accept the creation of a generation of exiled watchdogs, who are trying to hold their government accountable from afar?”
A New York Times reader called out the paper for publishing the recent op-ed by Vladimir Putin. In response, the Times decided to share the process of how op-ed pieces are vetted and ultimately approved for publishing. It gives some insights in to how the media works behind the scenes and also demonstrates the risks that come with publishing opinion pieces.
From the article:

“The Times editorial department was approached Wednesday by an American public relations firm that represents Mr. Putin, offering the piece. At the same time, Mr. Rosenthal said, Mr. Putin’s spokesman had called The Times’s Moscow bureau with the same purpose in mind.

Mr. Rosenthal agreed to review the article and quickly decided to publish it. It was posted on the Times Web site by Wednesday evening.

“I thought it was well-written, well-argued,” he said. “I don’t agree with many of the points in it, but that is irrelevant.”

“Syria is a huge story and Putin is a central figure in it,” giving the piece great news value, he said.”

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The Shill Report Episode 12: Jeffrey Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker of  Laissez Faire Books joins us to discuss the digital revolution in publishing, the history of, the future of knowledge, and the importance of internet freedom in an age of crumbling institutions. Listen Here.


Executive Editor of Laissez Faire Books, Distinguished Fellow of the Foundation for Economic Education, an adjunct scholar with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and an Acton University faculty member. He’s also the past editorial vice president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and past editor of


FROM THE ARTICLE:  “As now amended, the legislation would include individuals who have been employed as journalists by media organizations for at least one year in a two-decade period or at least three months within the five-year window, along with student journalists and those with a substantial amount of work as a freelancer.

In addition, federal judges would be permitted to cover other individuals with the privilege when circumstances warrant.”

Republicans and Democrats have effectively come together to shred past SCOTUS rulings and the 1st Amendment. What are the implications here? Clearly this is an attack against new media (social media) and independent news sources — such as We Are Libertarian.  Is this a case of the state fearing the shift in the flow and power of information?

Patrick Lehey (D-VT):  “All of us — whether Republican, Democrat or independent — have an interest in enacting a balanced and meaningful media shield bill to ensure a free flow of information to the American people,” Leahy said. “This bill carefully balances the need to protect confidential source information with the need to protect law enforcement and national security interests, so that we can better protect the American people’s right to know.”

Surprising to hear a Democrat use this logic to deny individuals their 1st Amendment right and a Republican below advocate for the opposite of this restrict policy??

John Cornyn (R-TX) said the definition was limited to too narrow a group of people and should be afforded to anyone qualifying as part of the “free press” under the First Amendment.



FROM THE ARTICLE:  “Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook struck back on Wednesday at critics who have charged tech companies with doing too little to fight off NSA surveillance. Mayer said executives faced jail if they revealed government secrets.”

During an interview with Tech Crunch, Mayer was asked why didn’t Yahoo release more information about the NSA activities. Her reaction clearly demonstrates the idea that government equals force: “Releasing classified information is treason and you are incarcerated.”

To further support the point, from the article: “Yahoo has previously unsuccessfully sued the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court, which provides the legal framework for NSA surveillance. In 2007 it asked to be allowed to publish details of requests it receives from the spy agency. “When you lose and you don’t comply, it’s treason,” said Mayer. “We think it make more sense to work within the system,” she said.




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Episode 11: Ron Paul!

This week, we interview Ron Paul! He discussed Syria, the media’s mistreatment of him to attack Rand, and the future of liberty! Listen Here.


Today we have the honor of welcoming three-time presidential candidate, former congressman, and author of the books that introduced Chris, Joe, and I to libertarian principles, Dr. Ron Paul.   Dr. Paul, thank you for joining us.

RYAN:  First, we must ask about Syria. If we were to intervene in Syria, in your opinion, what are the dominos that are tipped by that action?

CHRIS:  As you look at the media through the last two weeks as Syria has been debated, do you think the media and the American people learned lessons in the lead up to Iraq?

JOE:  As Rand Paul, your son, is rumored to be a contender in 2016, we’ve seen more and more hostility towards you personally in the media. How do you personally deal with complete misrepresentations about your beliefs and character?

RYAN:  Dr. Paul, millennials are receptive to the liberty message and interested in politics, but aside from contacting their representatives, what should they be doing to move the cause of liberty along?

JOE:  You’ve been VERY active since your retirement. You have the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, the home school curriculum, the television channel. What do you see as your goals, and possibly your legacy, in your post-Congressional career?

Dr. Paul, we appreciate your insight and the time that you spent with us today. It was great getting to speak with you sir.


Don’t miss the condescending and hateful graphics they put in the screen — “Father of the Fringe” “Paul-Bearers,” etc. The mentality of the corporate media is that of a junior high school student.



“The newest of those enterprises is his just-launched subscription-based video “channel,” a platform presenting Paul’s unfettered commentary on the news of the day for which subscribers pay $9.95 a month. That gets them access to a handful of episodes a week featuring the indefatigable libertarian standard-bearer editorializing at length on his favorite subjects and interviewing friendly guests, with Paul broadcasting from Texas and most of the technicians working from California.”
Read more:


Episode 10: Avoiding the Media and Syria

Listen Here.

Ryan Asks Gary Johnson A Question

LINK: (22:50 – 25:33)


O’Reilly ended his show on Thursday night with an apology to his viewers for incorrectly stating that Republicans were not invited to speak at the 50th anniversary event in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and his “I Have A Dream” speech. He owned the mistake and encouraged his viewers to not assume facts, but to verify them.



What purpose do anonymous quotes serve and should people be skeptical of comments made by people unwilling to speak on the record?

From the HuffPo article:

“I leave it to you to decide whether or not you believe anonymous quotes that are included in AP stories, or an on-the-record statement from people who have looked at exactly the same information and reached a different conclusion,” Earnest said, citing, among others, public statements by President Obama saying that the Assad regime was definitively responsible for the attack.

Earnest’s repeated denials prompted CBS White House correspondent Major Garrett to note that the wire service was a “trusted news organization” and AP White House correspondent Julie Pace to note that “you guys talk to us anonymously all the time.”




From Brian Howey: “Some friendly advice to the governor: As a congressman, you championed media access and shield issues. As a radio and TV talk show host, you thrived on access to lawmakers. As governor, your accessibility has been far below that of your predecessors. You probably should rethink that”


LINK: (0:20 – 1:53)

Episode 9: Al Jazeera, Rue Britannia

  • Ryan, Chris, and Joe discuss the launch of Al Jazeera America and the need for a 1st Amendment in Britain. Listen Here.


    The launch of Al Jazeera promises to be a test of what the American consumer really wants from cable news networks. Is the current trend of infotainment a winner, or will viewers tune in to 14 hours of hard news and documentaries?

    “Viewers will see a news channel unlike the others, as our programming proves Al Jazeera America will air fact-based, unbiased and in-depth news,” said the channel’s acting chief executive


    Q: The question is does this spin happy, reality TV saturated culture really want facts?

    Rocky start, AT&T Uverse dropped the channel, prompting a lawsuit from the network and cutting out 5 million potential viewers. Within the first 5 minutes, subtle jabs were taken at MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News for not providing the new in a way to Americans deserve


    Q: Bumps in the road that will smooth out, or is this truly a massive uphill battle? Is it smart to start a fight with the other networks right out of the gate?

    Glenn Beck had a warm welcome for the new network: “I do this because I believe in it.” He said to his followers, “Our voice has got to grow, because Al Jazeera–quite honestly the voice of the enemy.” Imagining his critics who might say “it’s only Soledad O’Brien,” Beck replied, “Oh really? Sell me another shill.”

    VIDEO: (6:35 – 6:48)

    Q: Al Jazeera is owned the royal emir of the oil-rich Persian Gulf state of Qatar. Is this an issue for American viewers?


    Guardian editors revealed that they were forced by the British government to destroy hard drives that held files leaked by Edward Snowden. Under threat of legal action, the Guardian took this step in order to continue reporting on NSA and global surveillance programs. Despite being told that other copies exist, the agents from the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) required that the drives be obliterated.

    “You’ve had your fun. Now we want the stuff back,” Rusbridger quoted a senior British official that was unnamed.


    Q: Do they know that copies exist? If so, was the purpose intimidation?

    The White House has said that it would not be “appropriate” for the US government to destroy leaked government secrets obtained by media organisations in the way ordered by the British government.

    “It’s very difficult to imagine a scenario in which that would be appropriate here,” said White House deputy spokesman Josh Earnest on Tuesday

    The White House did not criticize the British, nor would Earnest speak about the data and where it might be located or who is analyzing it.


    Following the hard drive incident, Glenn Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda was detained in Heathrow airport for 9 hours under a provision of the UK Terrorism Act of 2000. He was in route from German to his home in Brazil.

    Miranda had gone to Germany to pick up files from Greenwald’s investigative partner Laura Poitras and bring them back to their home in Brazil. Materials he was carrying, including a laptop and other drives, were confiscated from him, but he claimed not to know if they contained classified materials.

    Q: Jeffery Toobin compared Miranda to a “drug mule”. Fair or not? Does this imply that journalist having classified information is a “terrorist” act?

    British officials stole a line from the US play book to justify the detainment: The home secretary, Theresa May, said on Tuesday: “I think that it’s absolutely right that if the police believe that somebody is in possession of highly sensitive stolen information that could help terrorists, that could risk lives or lead to a potential loss of life, that the police are able to act, and that’s what the law enables them to do.”

    Q: Was the US involved in this detainment?

    David Miranda has been granted a limited injunction at the high court to stop the government and police “inspecting, copying or sharing” data seized from him during his detention at Heathrow airport – but examination by the police for national security purposes is allowed.


    Q: We keep talking about the criminalization of investigative journalism…Fair to say that we are now there?


    Interesting facts: There are about 65,000 journalists working for brands of one sort or another, according to a report in the Nieman Journalism Lab. And 5 million Americans now hold a security clearance.

    In other words, there are about 77 people keeping secrets about the government for every single person whose professional duties might include asking questions about that government.

    “This one, Barrett Brown, is a journalist, and his crime is copying a URL. Mr. Brown did not perform any hacking himself; he merely linked to a site that published emails hacked from a private security contractor, HBGary.”

    ““The heart of the case is linking to something,” Mr. Swift said when he took the case. “Classified, secret information held by the government is public property, and, if it’s leaked, the press has the right to publish it. The government now uses private subcontractors to store information, and the question is: Do the same protections apply to private information being compiled for the government?”

    Now the government is attempting to put a gag order on the case. Meanwhile, the mainstream media is quiet on the topic. Suppose they don’t want Big Brother’s eye on them?


    NEW GAME: TWEETS FROM TWITS! Jay Carney is out this week on so we introduce a new game for Spangle to suck at!


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Episode 8: Rob Kendall and LP Inclusion in Debates

We invite Rob Kendall, author and host of the Rob Kendall Show, on to discuss writing a book, political activism, and working in radio. Listen Here.

Legendary Political Reporter Jack Germond Died At Age 85

    • Covered 10 presidential elections – regular on the McLaughlin Group
    • 50 year newspaper man
    • Germond co-wrote “Politics Today,” a five-day-a-week syndicated column, for more than 24 years.
    • Part of the old school late-night poker game, cigar, and whiskey crowd
    • Disdain for talking heads and smooth political shows – liberal leaning


    • Radio Career
    • Time with Mike Pence
    • Podcasting
  • Life as an elected official


Article from A. Barton Hinkle discussing the race for governor in Virginia and how the Libertarian candidate being left out of the media narrative is not only bad journalism, but also bad politics.  Below is excerpt:

“The article then moved on with its main theme: the “negative tone” of the fight between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli. It never pointed out that voters actually do have a third choice: Robert Sarvis, who is running for governor on the Libertarian ticket, will be on the ballot as well.”

The article also discusses the use of polling limits to exclude 3rd party candidates and debunks some of the more common defenses for that practice.



A court has ruled that journalist James Risen must reveal his source in open court in the criminal trial of former CIA official Jeffery Sterling. Sterling was indicted for leaking classified information to Risen for his book – State of War. The 4th circuit court of appeals has ruled that Risen could not claim 1st amendment protections and must testify.

The settings of these decisions have come in to question. These rulings have taken place in Maryland and Virginia — setting an unsettle precedent in two states that are also home to the NSA and CIA. Rosen has refused to co-operate and could face time behind bars. More stunning is the utter lack of interest from the mainstream media especially given the ramifications of this case for the entire industry.



This story is contradictory to Eric Holder’s promise to not prosecute reporters… James Ball is watching the Risen story closely as he too has been investigated by the government for his involvement with WikiLeaks.  From the article:

“Such reassurances are false. What happens to WikiLeaks today happens to New York Times reporters tomorrow.

There are two reasons I can say this so starkly. The first is that we’ve had time to see it happen. In the last year, AP reporters learned their phone records had been secretly subpoenaed and analyzed in a bid to uncover their confidential sources. A Fox News reporter was surveilled . And veteran New York Times reporter James Risen faces jail for refusing to disclose a source.”



  • NBC’s Meet the Press recently fell to a 21-year low. It is now third place on Sunday morning, trailing CBS’s Face the Nation and ABC’s This Week.
  • Face the Nation has moved in to the number one spot for the first time in 15 years.
  • What’s gone wrong for NBC?
    • David Gregory was a horrible choice to replace Tim Russert?
    • David Gregory does not garner the level of respect of Fact the Nation’s Bob Schieffer?
    • David Gregory does not get the big stories that This Week’s George Stephanopoulos can?
  • Is Meet the Press still relevant?



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Episode 7: Cable News Shake-Ups and WaPo

We discuss the potential prime-time shake-ups at cable news outlets, the Bezos purchase of the Washington Post, CNN’s reach for relevance, and when to use inside information. Listen Here.

Facebook Protest Event. 

BEZOS BUYS THE WASHINGTON POST founder Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post for $250 million.


Does this purchase signal a change in direction for the newspaper industry as Bloomberg suggests?

“The patrons underwrite a relatively small cadre of professionals, while the amateurs use other sources of income to subsidize their work.”


2nd take from the Post:

Is this another massive technology change that will alter the way we consume news forever?


Is the purchase a win for Libertarians?


The Guardian sees the purchase as a sign of the times, out with old minded and in with the innovators. The most likely play for Bezos is to use the WaPo as a content vertical with some interesting Kindle delivery apps. Agree?

FROM THE ARTICLE: “This is a new business. Realizing that, and understanding that they can’t possibly compete, old owners will now rush to the exit, with even less hope of getting anything than they had before. New potential owners, conscious that a historical transformation is finally in progress, and that a power shift is occurring, are going to look to stake their ground.”



We talked last week about Jake Tapper reporting on Benghazi. During a recent The Situation Room broadcast, Arwa Damon conducted an interview with a suspect in the Benghazi attacks. Following that interview, Drew Griffin reported that more than 30 CIA agents were on the ground in Libya during the attacks and that they are under pressure not to talk to the media or Congress.

Now Erin Burnett on Out Front went after Jay Carney and his perpetual deflection machine, and the inability of the administration to give a straight answer on anything other than food.


CNN’s new found willingness to report on stories that could be troublesome for the Obama administration have some reporters worried that their access to the President and members of his administration could be in jeopardy. Is access granted and revoked based on the contents of the stories being told? Are “loyal” reporters rewarded with exclusives and sanctioned leaks?

FROM THE ARTICLE: “Access is a very serious consideration when it comes to stories that could adversely impact a show, correspondent, or network’s relationship with the administration, a campaign, or any political leader,” one source with insider information told Mediaite.




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