Idol Chatter

Megyn Kelly announced that she will be leaving Fox News where she worked for 12 years and will join NBC News in a broader role. She will host her own daytime news show, host a discussion program and help with political coverage according to published reports. The New York Times broke the story and reported  NBC News chairman “Andrew Lack, wooed Ms. Kelly away from Fox News by offering her a triple role in which she will host her own daytime news and discussion program, anchor an in-depth Sunday night news show and take regular part in the network’s special political programming and other big-event coverage.” Kelly has hosted her own program on Fox’s lineup called The Kelly File since 2013 that has garnered 2.5 million nightly viewers. Her last show will be on Jan 3.

The move doesn’t surprise many. There was speculation that Kelly was going to move on from Fox when she told Vanity Fair that “I don’t know what’s going to happen. I really like my show, and I love my team,” Kelly added. “But, you know, there’s a lot of brain damage that comes from the job.”

Kelly wrote to her followers on Facebook regarding the decision.

“I have agreed to join NBC News, where I will be launching a new daytime show Monday through Friday, along with a Sunday evening news magazine program. I will also participate in NBC’s breaking news coverage and its political and special events coverage.While I will greatly miss my colleagues at Fox, I am delighted to be joining the NBC News family and taking on a new challenge,” she added. “I remain deeply grateful to Fox News, to Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch, and especially to all of the FNC viewers, who have taught me so much about what really matters. More to come soon.”




The fake news epidemic continues to spread. And it has now affected even the most powerful of news organizations—CNN.

On December 29th, the Obama administration, in a rare and provocative act, publicly expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the U.S. in retaliation for alleged Russian cyber-activity that may have interfered with the 2016 presidential election. The diplomats and their families were given 72 hours to leave the country.

This is the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats since President Ronald Reagan put out 80 Soviet diplomats in 1986.

Russian officials vowed to respond in kind, with the official representative for the ministry stating that Russia will react to any “hostile steps” that the U.S. might take in response to election hacking allegations.

CNN covered the range of Russia’s reactions, including the closing of the U.S. embassy vacation house in Serebryany Bor. Also included in CNN’s list of reprisals is the closing of a certain Russian school.

It is this latter claim that is the problem.

In a December 30th report, CNN claimed that “Russian authorities ordered the closure of the Anglo-American School of Moscow, a US official briefed on the matter said. The order from the Russian government closes the school, which serves children of US, British and Canadian embassy personnel, to US and foreign nationals.”

If this were true, it would mark an unusually cruel move by Russian authorities—an act which would expel the children of American diplomats from their place of learning. The news of the school’s closing has raced across social media, igniting outrage.

But there’s one problem. The school was never closed.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has stated that the CNN report is undeniably false, and that Putin is taking a wait-and-see approach to any retaliation as Trump takes power in January.

On the school’s own Facebook page, a post dated December 30th, 2016 reads, “Message from the Director regarding media reports of the closure of the Anglo American School Moscow campus. You may have heard and seen reports coming through the media stating that the Russian authorities have closed the Anglo American School, Moscow campus. Senior Russian officials have refuted this story.  The school is planning to open as scheduled following the New Year break. We will keep you updated through e-mails, postings on our website and if it is urgent through SMS.”

CNN’s source on this story remains a mystery, as their article does not cite a call to the school, nor communication with Russian officials.

Profiting on Outrage

Fake news is dangerous. But it’s also profitable.

In this case, it’s likely that CNN simply shot out of the starting gate a bit too early, seizing on an unreliable source in an effort to be the first to cover a hot story.

The more sinister alternative, though, is that CNN deliberately created a piece of fake news in order to garner clicks, and by extension, profit. Unfortunately, we’ll likely never know which is true.

Regardless of the reason behind its creation, fake news preys on our current culture of outrage. We’re all mad. We’re all ready to fight. Culturally, we’re more divided into warring “tribes” than ever before, and news that confirms that “our side” is the correct side gets clicks.

And in the news industry, clicks, for better or for worse, mean revenue. And conflict sells far more than peace.

In this case, CNN was overeager to capture the conflict between Russia and America, focusing on an issue involving children—a sure way of generating maximum emotion—using the small truth of the school’s closure for the holidays to tell the larger untruth that the school had been shut down by the Russian government.

CNN has not retracted or amended the article in which this bit of fake news is embedded, and so thousands of readers have likely adjusted their views of the world based on something that simply isn’t true.

And therein lies the danger.

The news influences the way we think. The way we think influences the way we vote. The way we vote influences how we react to the rest of the world.

So before you accept that next sensational piece of news without a second thought, consider one question.

Do you want the direction of the most powerful country in the world to be decided by lies?

Based on a true story, Greater is a film that touches the dreamer in all of us.

The unlikely career of Brandon Burlsworth is the greatest walk-on story in the history of college football. Known for his distinctive black horn-rimmed glasses and resemblance to Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent, the small-town Burlsworth had always dreamed of playing for the Arkansas Razorbacks, but was considered too short and too fat to play Division I football. Undeterred, Brandon, with the help of his struggling mother, took a financial and emotional risk by walking on to the team in 1994. Despite criticism from teammates and coaches alike, Brandon succeeded in the face of staggering odds. His faith and unstoppable determination helped him rise to the forefront of the team; and by the end of his college career in 1999, Burlsworth was not only a star player in the toughest conference (The SEC), but he was also a 1st Team All-American.  Greater releases on DVD on Tuesday, December 20.

Coach Bobby Bowden’s legacy led the Florida State Seminoles to 3 undefeated seasons and helped the team rank in the top 4 of the AP Poll for 14-straight seasons. Bowden coached the Seminoles from 1976 until his last season in 2009 before his 80th birthday and is one of the most revered coaches of his generation. Bowden’s career started in 1954 and he compiled an overall 377-129 record as a coach. Yet, Bowden is more than a winning coach and he is more than a record-setter–he is a man of faith who is fearless and who unabashedly makes God his priority. He is also known to shine when it came to his players. So, it makes sense that a documentary should be made. And Lifeway Films is doing just that in the new film “Bowden Dynasty: A Story of Faith, Family & Football.” It is courage and grace that makes Bowden not only a legacy but a hero of faith. Bowden, 87, has been using football as a pulpit to inspire his players to put first things first in life.

“Florida gave me that platform,” said the coach. “The West Virginia University did the same thing. They gave me a platform which I could witness from Christ.” If he was coaching today, Bowden said he would still be a light for Christ, regardless of it not being politically correct. The reason is “because I think that is what life is all about. That is one thing the movie tries to show is that you can do it the right way and still be successful.” Former Florida State quarterback Tim Tebow is someone that comes to mind. Tebow is pretty fierce when it comes to being honest about his faith in Christ. Tebow is not afraid to share their faith and Bowden applauds his example.

Since Bowden is outspoken regarding his faith. He explained that he never felt pressure from Florida State or any other university to conform. “I never had any administrator come to me and tell me “‘Hey, you can’t do that.’ I always try to do what I thought was right and let the chips land where they may.” What does Bowden want people to experience after seeing the film? The coach pulled no punches. He said to not be embarrassed by your religion. “Don’t be ashamed of your faith. Speak out, however, you think you should. But keep other people in consideration when you do.”

Check out the film “Bowden Dynasty: A Story of Faith, Family & Football” due for release on Jan. 8th.