My last day at TheBlaze was about two three ago and people keep asking me,
“Now that you can speak freely… What was it like to work for Glenn Beck?”
I’m about to leave the state for a while, so hey, here goes…
(everything I’m about to say really happened)
There was the time our plane nearly crashed over the Bermuda Triangle. That was the same trip that a few of us, including the Great Mike Opelka, took a spur of the moment trip into smoldering, riot torn Athens, to shoot an overnight documentary. I took a midnight portrait of Glenn on Mars Hill with the Acropolis in the background. He didn’t seem to hear when I told him, in the pitch dark, that I didn’t bring a flash. So we shot it with two glowing iphones, a and a flashlight bounced off a white shirt for a reflector. We ate gyros at 4:00AM and headed back to the plane.
He sent me to chase two different tornados that year.
He told me that any sentence that begins with “I am” is like a prayer, since “I AM” is a name for God, so make sure it’s reverent. “I am lousy, I am afraid, I am not good enough…” all don’t have place in someone who believes in God.
One night, he almost sent me last second to the GOP national convention just to prove with my camera that “Conservative women aren’t all as fat” as the pool photographers were making them look.
Late night emails from Glenn are the stuff awesome biographies are made of.
I was with him all week when Victor, his dog, passed away.
Another time, we went rogue when security wasn’t looking. We hopped in his car and headed into Fort Worth on an errand from Tania to come back with a table and chairs for the new house. Three paintings, one stuffed buffalo, an antique Presidential medal of peace, and a life-sized wooden Indian later, we were leaving the store… on the way out, he grabbed a table and chairs. *Turbulence over the Bermuda Triangle was less scary than Glenn’s driving on the 820S into Fort Worth.
Speaking of security, he has the most loyal and talented security detail in the world. He loves them and never stops expressing it.
I heard him pray hundreds of times, almost always in private… and yes, even for the President and congress. And in a strange twist of fate, I prayed with him that “those in the company that were supposed to be elsewhere would receive a great opportunity and take it.” About a month later, my opportunity fell out of the sky and it was unmistakeable. Didn’t see that coming. (I’ll talk more about my life-changer in due time).
During a grueling tour, he took time to visit my Grandma in AZ a month or so before she passed away.
Once he told me to leave for a week and come back with a Christmas album (thank God for talented friends and family). The album hit #14 overall on itunes, #3 on holiday (just sayin’), it trashed the charts on Amazon. Around the same time he introduced me to Hutch and asked me to stay by his side till God let us know Hutch’s message was delivered. About 4 months later Hutch passed away and Glenn let me cry on his shoulder.
And yes, Glenn does really cry more off camera than on it. It’s actually contagiously emotional around Glenn.
He even cried when reading the Disney prospectus at 2:00AM by full moon at his ranch.
Early on, he confided in me that there were things he’d said that he would take back if given the chance… Later, he said the same thing on radio.
A few months ago I got an email invite from Tim Ballard (operation underground railroad) to go undercover and purchase two kids in child trafficking sting operation. Glenn emailed, “I can’t tell you to do something that risky, but if you feel like it’s right…” I learned to recognize when he was winking via email. I subsequently, with the cooperation of the Haitian government, bought to kids and was arrested at gunpoint. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
My bold prediction, TheBlaze is going to become huge. People are floored to find out that in the top 45 trafficked sites on the internet already.
His art department is innovative and wild. His show producer can do just about anything. My closet is packed with 1791 clothing from LJ who became a dear friend.
Tania and my wife, Tara, are like sisters. They even looked like it. His kids call me uncle Mark… One time, Glenn busted us all for jumping off the roof onto our trampoline…. and honestly, it hurt like hell when Raphe asked why I quit. Especially when the answer is one of those intangible ones.
My solace is that his dad knows the feeling of needing to zig when common sense says that you should probably zag.
I walked out of Mercury Studios after a tearful and inspiring meeting with Glenn wondering what he would think about me when the tears settled… people just don’t leave working for Glenn.
A few nights later he invited us out to dinner and a movie… just like old times. We email, we talk, and he’s still my friend.
What was working for Glenn really like?
He’s probably the most misunderstood man I know, he was always more than honest and more than fair, and will be a dear friend for life.