Riding the glory train

 

“I am outraged to find my name associated with this man.”
–Kennedy Grey, writer

Jeff Rense calls his website, Rense.com, “your first source for reality & honest journalism.”[1] He describes his radio show as “one of a kind”, and elaborates: “No ego, no arrogance, no shouting and ranting, the program is genuine journalism, intellect, reason, care and concern, and true inquiry.”[2]

Given that Rense is so keen on “honest journalism” and “true inquiry”, we decided to take a closer look at a profile piece about Rense that is reprinted on two of his web pages, “About the Program” and “About Jeff”,[2][3] both of which are linked from a prominent position on the Rense.com homepage.

Both of these promotional pages contain information about Rense, his website Rense.com, and his radio show. Each page includes the same reprint of an article entitled The Most Dangerous Man in Talk Radio, written by Kennedy Grey and first appearing in Whole Life Times magazine in September 1999. [Update 11 May 2012: The Kennedy Grey article has now been removed from the “About the Program” page, but can be accessed through Archive.org; see link [2] below.] [Update 01 June 2012: The Kennedy Grey article has now been removed from the “About Jeff” page, but can be accessed through Archive.org; see link [3] below.]

There’s no doubt the article is a complimentary one. It details Rense’s disillusionment with mainstream media’s “thinly-disguised press release ‘fluff’ journalism”, and describes how Rense “set out to re-invent himself into a liberator of truth from the confines of a corrupt and bloated news broadcast industry.”

Links to "About the Program" and "About Jeff" on Rense.com (click to enlarge)

We decided to contact Kennedy Grey to see if he recalled the article. Even though he wrote it over 12 years ago, he does indeed remember it–and the publication it appeared in. Whole Life Times, said Grey, was “a relatively obscure Malibu beach newspaper with low circulation and no real editorial fact/checking process.” And the article?

If it were WIRED* they would not have published it. When you get paid 25 bucks, you get one source and write a fluff piece.

(*WIRED is a magazine & online periodical that Grey has written for.)

So, The Most Dangerous Man in Talk Radio was a $25 puff piece with one source–Rense himself–written for a low circulation periodical. Well, you might say, what’s wrong with that? Media personalities like Rense have to avail themselves of every available promotional opportunity.

But that’s not all there is to the story.

Turns out, the article that appears on Rense’s website is not quite the same as the one Grey wrote back in 1999.

When Rense reprinted the puff piece on his own website, he couldn’t resist tweaking it to make it just a little more… puffy.

We asked Grey to look at the changes Rense had made to his article. He wasn’t pleased.

Journalism works because it does its best to provide the truth. To find this or any piece rewritten as a self-serving PR piece disrespects both me as a writer, and the realm of responsible journalism.

After closer evaluation of the information available about Jeff Rense, Grey had this to say:

I am outraged to find my name associated with this man. To have been duped by someone with the wanton and reckless desire to further his own reputation by engineering something I wrote is an indication of a deeply troubled individual.

Kennedy Grey was kind enough to send us a copy of the original article[4], and here we compare selections from it with Rense’s altered version.

Original text Altered text Comment
When Jeff Rense walked away from a #1 rated Oregon-based TV talk show, people suspected job burnout. When Jeff Rense walked away from a #1 rated Oregon TV news anchor position, people suspected job burnout. Seems that working for a #1 “TV talk show” doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as being a #1 “TV news anchor.”
Twelve years as an on-air news personality and production person “up and down the west coast”… Twelve years as on on-air news anchor and News Director “up and down the west coast”… Why be a “news personality and production person” when you can be a “news anchor and News Director”?
“I witnessed television news in the ’70s recede from film journalism to a video product.” “I witnessed television news in the 80s recede from journalism to ‘product’.” Is changing the decade meant to give the perception of youth?
Sightings runs the gamut from outright lunacy… to more down-to-earth topics like China’s oppression of Tibet and government whistle-blowing. His show content runs the gamut from outright lunacy… to more down to earth topics as government intrugue[sic], secret weapons, and cutting edge health issues. It would appear that “China’s oppression of Tibet and government whistle-blowing” isn’t nearly as sexy as “government intrugue[sic], secret weapons, and cutting edge health issues.”
Rense’s fears about media consolidation are easily validated. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 allows any network or company to own TV stations reaching as many as 35% of the nation’s households (previously, the limit was 25%). In areas with fewer than 35,000 people, the local phone company can completely buy out the local cable company. The TC act also lifts national limits on radio station ownership–now one company can own up to eight stations in the market (AM or FM). [Not in altered version.] Why clutter up a perfectly good puff piece with all those relevant facts? Better to just delete the whole lot.
The TC Act also allows local phone companies to offer cable, and long-distance carriers to offer local phone service: cable can offer phone, or one can offer all three. With the expense of getting into new businesses like phone service or cable, these interests are more likely to merge than compete. [Not in altered version.] Ditto.
[Not in original version.] (The top trade magazine, Talkers, named Jeff to the top 100 talk show hosts in America in 2001…) Always room for a bit more puffery.
Rense’s <www.sightings.com> website is also quite popular, currently drawing over 4 million total hits per month. Rense’s world-renowned news service, www.rense.com, is currently drawing over ten million total hits per month. Why be a “quite popular” website when you can be a “world-renowned news service”? Might as well change “4 million hits” to “10 million” as well.



Previous: Truth or “puffery”?


Sources:

[1] Rense.com. Retrieved 06 May 2012.
[2] About the Program (archived). Retrieved 11 May 2012. [Rense has removed Kennedy Grey article from current page.]
[3] About Jeff (archived). Retrieved 01 June 2012. [Rense has removed Kennedy Grey article from current page.]
[4] The Most Dangerous Man in Talk Radio(pdf).

  13 Responses to “Riding the glory train”

  1. Putting himself in a better light, quite reasonable! You are makimg mountains out of mole hills.

    • NJ: Though i will be the first to admit Whole Life Times is not the most cutting-edge of late-breaking journalism, all journalism is by its very nature based on the idea of balance. The imbalance began once the interview started: the story assigned was to cover the topics of his show, and ended up being re-routed into a press piece and glorious cover letter for the man himself during the interview. There simply was no answer about the topics covered in his show that didn’t immediately re-route to his own history in radio. When i realized that the show itself was not even on the radio (it was podcast I believe), i had little choice but to allow the focus of the story to became Rense himself given the interview and the time alloted to its completion. At the time I was uncomfortable handing in something that gratuitous, and few seemed to notice or care since he was really not available in the media without the (at the time) somewhat arcane knowledge of podcast access. So i will agree that there’s nothing wrong with it–as a press release written by a one-sided corporate shill– However, in its rewritten form, it is a mockery of balanced journalism and a sham that speaks to a personality type I can only classify as a blend of sociopathic and megalomaniacal. Such wanton disrespect for both the magazine, to me as a journalist and to the first amendment itself is reason enough to buy into this man’s growing infamy.

  2. “Riding the glory train” is too fitting as J Rense wants his own private choo-choo around his Neverland Ranch….given his father worked in the Military Industrial Complex I wonder what role that has in Jeff’s psychosis…it can’t just be spoiled brat syndrome (or could it), and his sad story about his mother having relations with other men within earshot of him is pathetic as so many of children grow-up with far worse horrors than that and yet don’t develop such a personality disorder…perhaps the combination of factors but I am now guessing.

    Whatever his reason for having a “personal demon” I can’t sympathize with a man so full of himself. However, I am very pissed after years of listening to him talk about his poor ass needing a hand out — by the way, I bought some of the crap he personally promoted and sold on his site and it was a waste. Given that Jeff is so self-obsessed then I have high hopes he will read this…good! Or his stooge P. Drockton will read it and report back to him. Perhaps, “Dog Poet Transmitting” (pathetic) will write an overly long, flowery and too obviously self-aggrandizing piece about it…if I’m lucky he’ll do one of those “it’s a woman and you have to make love to it” pieces …sick stuff really.

  3. So the puff piece didn’t contain enough puffery for the ‘world renowned’ newsman who, like Matt Drudge, simply copies and pastes stories written and published by others?

    And what’s the stated purpose of Rense’s website and radio program??

    Oh yes, to broadcast ‘the truth’.

    OK then.

  4. Mr. Rense has some ‘splainin to do it seems, but I wonder why he left out some of the most interesting facts and descriptions from the above article that Mr. Grey wrote? While Mr. Rense has a nice radio voice and obviously some talent to interview people, he must have had an overactive libido and questionable tactics in obtaining info. I think many women must believe the fact you’ve been married so many times is an indication you’re a great lover.

  5. just more fraud from this liar who pushes masonic lies, even admitted masons like les visible,,,,and yet attacks Henry Makow for no reason.

    I’m preparing my own site against this liar

    • I don’t know if Les Visible is a mason or not, but he’s definitely a lying, drug addicted sociopath.

      proof at cassiopaea

      You did take drugs when here, Les. Do you not recall brewing tea just prior to the chateau visit? Ask Susanne. It brought a side out of you I was not prepared for. Dissociating, Les?

      Excerpted from an email, to Les Visible:

    • Apparently Les Visible is no longer allowed in the United States.

      Based on what I’ve read I figure it’s due to some serious drug related offense. Probably has a drug related warrant out for his arrest. Who is Les Visible?

      “Who is Les Visible?

      Les was once an American and he doesn’t hide the fact that he was once arrested and detained for a few years in one of America’s fine Mental Institution. The institution was St. Elizabeth’s Hospital located in Washington D.C. In fact he was on the same wing as the late poet Ezra Loomis Pound. This is the wing reserved for the criminally insane.”

      Nice of Rense to publish on his website the ramblings of a criminally insane degenerate.

    • More proof about the real Les Visible in the comments section here.

      Quote:
      This appeared in the COMMENTS(!) section of “Reflections in a Petri Dish” on 9/5/12, “Maurice Chagrin on the Grassy Knoll in NYC.” ostensibly written by Les Visible as a response to some comments.

      “I’ll point out that we have the capacity to pinpoint the location and identity of everyone who comments here and comments like yours are the sort of thing that can find themselves routed onward to those who take an interest in those kinds of statements. I’m not a snitch and I avoid that kind of thing at all costs but I cannot speak for everyone who works around here; word to the wise.”
      “No, this is not a one man operation. I have help keeping the place up…”

      This should raise anybody’s eyebrows; the first quote is an outright heavy handed, possibly government backed THREAT. The second is a repudiation of his previous claims that he is a one-man operation.
      :Unquote

      Les Visible’s threat can be read directly here: Reflections in a Petri Dish

      More at: Lasha Darkmoon’s website, for anyone interested.

  6. As I suspected when I wrote this article, the Kennedy Grey fluff piece on Rense was based upon info from one source only: Rense himself.
    See here:

    Jeff Rense: A Reinvention of What?
    by Lisa Guliani
    http://www.wingtv.net/thorn2006/rense1.html

    Rense subsequently threatened his former employer Patsy Smullin with a $500,000. lawsuit if she didn’t retract her statements made to me about him and in addition, add additional statements in praise of him as well, in order to make this lawsuit go away. He also threatened to sue me, but you can’t get blood out of a rock, so nothing came of that nonsense, even though his lawyer did contact me.
    All it did was inspire another article exposing the coercion and intimidation tactics employed by Jeff Rense.
    I’m happy that someone found Kennedy Grey and cleared this article up.
    I tried to find him years ago, without success.

    Thanks for sharing this very interesting information. Great stuff…:-)

    Lisa Guliani

  7. Come on. I never trusted this cat from the get-go. One look at this douche bag’s picture told me everything I needed to know about him the first time I saw it many moons ago.

  8. Heh heh, you Ouija Board nutjobs are something else. I brewed tea before I came to visit? A lie …and extracted from hearsay and not even author attributed. Warrants out for my arrest? Ridiculous. Have any of you met me other than reading about me at the Ouija Board Wonderland? No. Diabolus (the Devil) taken from the Greek means, “slanderer”. I think that says it all. Jesus, most of you don’t even have names and one last thing; “proof is over at Cassiopeia.” Since when did opinion and conjecture and 2nd and 3rd party commentary become proof?

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