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Ben Swann: Needs a reality check?

Ben Swann, largely known for his television show "Reality Check" for Fox affiliate WXIX in Cinncinatti, became a popular beacon of balanced/objective journalism/reporting during the 2012 election cycle. His original audience in Cinncinati, was ultimately dwarfed when Ben's videos went viral online and skyrocketed his reach nationally/globally (10 million YouTube views in over 140 countries).

Thirsty to better connect to this new audience, Ben Swann left his gig at Fox to pursuit an independent venture of his own, "Ben Swann Full Disclosure," allowing him full editorial discretion. A large and risky undertaking, Ben is now relying on his audience to not only support his vision... but pony up $1.25 million to make it a reality. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/439668500/liberty-is-ris...

$1.25 Million? Does Ben need a reality check?

Aiming for 100, 5 minute episodes... The math breaks out to $12,500 per episode, $2,500 per minute.

Is that a reasonable ask? Many liberty supporters are both emotionally & financially drained from the 2012 election, fresh off numerous money bombs. Not to mention it's an off-cycle political year.

Business partner Jeremy Richter, heading up the video production and marketing of the new series, claims "that's what this stuff costs". http://www.dailypaul.com/288822#comment-3104786. But does it? They're asking for world class production value without a world class means to deliver the content. Jeremy compares their budget with feature films, celebrity kick starter budgets, and the #1 cable news show on television.

Reality Check: these webisodes won't be broadcast on National TV with national advertisements and a multi-billion dollar media infrastructure. These videos will need to go viral, with little budget and competing in a very noisy market... On an off-cycle election year.

Are Ben & Jeremy putting the cart before the horse? Others have been just as successful, if not more, on a fraction of the cost. For example, Reed Timmer, gained popularity from the show "Storm Chasers" on the Discovery Channel. The show aired for six seasons before being cancelled. After the show, Reed similarly looked to kick starter to keep the dream alive. His ask: 12 HD, high quality episodes, ~20 minutes each for $75,000. That's $312 a minute.

The results were fantastic (check out 2012 season here: http://tvnweather.com/). They're driving thousands of miles each year in what is essentially a gas guzzling tank designed to survive a tornado.

So, I ask again. I want Ben Swann to succeed just as much as anyone else... but, is he in need of a reality check?

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Not to say I told you so... But... Even Ben has said he'd do it differently if he could do it over again.

Fortunately, I think he will learn from this & launch a more reasonable kick starter (250k) in the next political cycle. Meanwhile, looks like he's garnered up 75k-100k in direct donations via his website.

Check out BenSwann.com tonight for a live stream @7pm

In all honesty, I don't see

In all honesty, I don't see any validation of your original objection as the cost per episode still remains the same. ;)

True, since Ben switched from Kickstarter to direct funding, he's gathered ~ $100k in just over a week. Personally, I think that amount is very good in a short period of time. Abandoning Kickstarter was a wise idea. In fact, Ben should have sought direct funding from the beginning as he's well-known among certain groups. If Ben had directly funded his "Truth in Media" project from the beginning, he'd likely be far beyond the currently pledged $250k in donations since many potential donors don't want to register with Kickstarter just to donate to Ben.

I think the current cost is still ~ $12k per episode even without Kickstarter. ;)

I'm still on the fence about

I'm still on the fence about this Jeremy Richter guy.

Justification For 100 Episodes

Hi Everyone,

Ben will be releasing an explanation for our decision to pursue 100 episodes this week. We feel it will address many of the questions that have been put out there recently. Stay tuned.


I really like

How Ben has his feet on the streets promoting the effort on several different shows. Hope the hard work pays off and look forward to hearing more.

Support for Ben Swann Update

Sunday, 6/16/2013

6:32pm pdt | 7:32pm mdt | 8:32pm cdt | 9:32pm edt

2,057 Backers, $141,545 pledged of $1,250,000 goal, 39 days to go

They are trying to get as many backers by tomorrow as possible; even if they only pledge $1. They are more interested in the number of supporters, at this point. I think it has something to do with getting the interest of the "big" backers.

Any newbies want to pledge $1 by tomorrow?

Private Pledgers? check here:

Info from here:

Ben's 1st preview episode of Full Disclosure (meaning non-Kickstarter funded) will cover the U.S. government arming Syrian "rebels". Stay Tuned. (tomorrow?)

We're now at 2,000+ supporters within the first week of the "Truth In Media" project. That's absolutely outstanding, folks. Our hope is to be to nearing 2,500 by Monday. If you follow this page, please consider taking five minutes of your time to pledge this weekend, which you can do for as little as one dollar. We are going to achieve this goal together and, when we do, I guarantee we'll never have felt more proud. This was succinctly stated by a new supporter who posted this remark on Kickstarter today:

"I became backer 2,019 with a pledge of $50 and I wanted to say I am proud to be apart of Ben's project. I wish him the best of luck and hope everyone can do their part to spread this message."

Ben is doing his part, I'm doing mine and so is the rest of the team for this effort (we're launching BenSwann.com shortly). We are very encouraged by the progress we're making. We have lots of great stuff going on this week that I think you guys will absolutely love, including new Full Disclosure episodes featuring Ben. So, please consider joining our growing army this weekend. You will be making a big difference. Please know that it's the total number of supporters that will propel this into the stratosphere, not individual dollar amounts. The bigger donors (who of course we're talking to) will join once they see the supporter count becoming impressive. YOU have the power to make this a reality. Let's each do our part and spread the word, become a supporter and build upon the outstanding foundation we've established so far.

Pledge here:

Here is a reality check

If you don't think it is worth it....don't donate. Then you won't have any skin in the game and you won't have to worry about how he chooses to spend the money that other people who are not you chose to donate. Pretty simple.

They tried to bury us, they didn't know we were seeds. -mexican proverb

I guess we'll wait and see how it pans out

Again, not rooting against him. To me, there seems to be a sizable gap in the approach/ask. Perhaps I'm wrong, great thread though

Backup Plan

When I first learned about this whole thing and about how Ben Swann was leaving his previous job, I cringed. I was and am still afraid about what happens if he fails. If he does fail, I hope he can get picked up by someone awesome. I'm a fan of his and I'd hate to lose his voice. It's not that I doubt Ben Swann so much as I'm a naturally risk averse person and he's put himself on a limb here.

I'd rather his project succeed, but heaven forbid his project doesn't pan out, maybe we can talk JAGTV to pick him up or something. It's supposed to be the first libertarian traditional TV network and he'd make a great news anchor there.


We just had a radio talk show host spot open in MN... Hope he comes here :)

Phxarcher87's picture

Ben Swann

Needs to keep doing what hes doing.

James Madison

Sheeple again and again

There seem to be a lot of you saying you want to spread the word to the "sheeple". Sheeple, to me, implies that people are ignorant followers of whatever is put in front of them. Is that any way to promote liberty? Do see Ron Paul going around calling people "Sheeple"?

The problem is, that following Ben Swann without asking where the money is going, by the same definition, could be considered just another kind of sheeple. And then ridiculing those such as Daily Rube, because he is critical thinker, could be considered another sheeple move.. down voting what he has to say, you may as well be saying "baaa baaaa"... but maybe you are not a sheep, maybe you are doing your best to figure things out... well maybe so is everyone else.

Another problem with this project is how can Ben Swann and Jeremy Richter wake up the "sheeple" and bring them out of the Matrix, when they don't even get things fully themselves? James Corbett, James Evan Pilato, Sibel Edmonds, and others are reporting in more depth on the details of what is going on behind the show, behind the curtain, what the PTB are really up to, whereas Ben, although ahead of the game in the MSM genre, still is just interviewing the show puppets, Obama, Romney, etc. Why interview puppets? If you are interviewing the puppets of the puppet masters, what do you think they are going to say? They are going to say the same old BS, because that is what they do, and if you look at the interviews Ben did with them, that's what they did.

Another big thing that you don't seem to get, is that James Corbett and others are not in the mainstream in front of more people because of LOW PRODUCTION QUALITY!!!!! They are not in the mainstream because the mainstream is owned by the puppet masters!!!!! I don't care how high-quality you get, if you don't own the distribution channels, you're not going to put your message in front of anyone. Why do you think Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka Shing, would put millions behind a 16 year old (who is probably a fake front), to boost his news app "Summly", that secretly directs the news that people get? And then Yahoo buys the app for $30 million? They want to control the news distribution channels...why else would anyone pay that for an app? And they want it to look safe so they put a 16-17 year old as the front man and pretend he made it... when you look into the details, he met the billionaire first, and then made the app, along with help from "artificial intelligence experts around the world", that "summarizes the news" for you.

Another big thing Ben and Jeremy don't get is that the constitution, that is just a piece of paper written by a bunch of men... go watch "I'm allowed to rob you" video by Larken Rose.

Please realize when using the word "sheeple" and insulting your fellow men/women that you still may be one... if you are not questioning everything, including questioning Edward Snowden's validity, when that is what the MSM is pushing, you may not really be awake yet.

3.5 hour report from a nerd? More insults! Here's the latest 5 minute James Corbett video with fantastic commentary on the "Transformation of Society"... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHTDmZuDwYA&feature=player_em...

Here's another one on NSA Catch-22, Bankster Bail-Ins, Less Peace, only 16 minutes from both James Corbett and James Evan Pilato: www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=x8tGtSQS5WA


i agree with a lot of what you said. but i didn't insult anyone.

"There's a big segment of the population that doesn't want to watch a 3.5hr documentary starring some nerdy looking guy talking about monetary history. They don't know whether they can trust him and more importantly, they don't give a shit."

i didn't call him a nerd, i was speculating that was how many would view him.. this guy..

and more importantly, i was saying that they would be very unsure whether or not they wanted to invest 3.5 hours sitting at their computer talking about such a dull topic especially since they don't know how trustworthy he is. who as it turns out is just another friedmonite socialist.

so yea, you brought up some very valid points. support whoever you want. i love corbetts and hortons work. they do incredible things with a shoe-string budget. but i also think some people need to be weened off of msm. which i view to be ben swann to be the man for the job. he will lead them to more in depth, alternative coverage.

i haven't payed attention to swann for a long time, but i recognize the value he can offer. it's up to you to decide whether it's worthwhile or not.

pressure from all sides, my friend.
that's the best strategy.

Consider yourself downvoted, sir.

That should teach you to ask reasonable, cogent questions in a thoughtful manner.


I know exactly where you're coming from. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw the goal. I'll still kick in a few bucks and wish him the best though. He provided a lot of credibility and charm to the message.. Which is pretty valuable, imo. There's a big segment of the population that doesn't want to watch a 3.5hr documentary starring some nerdy looking guy talking about monetary history. They don't know whether they can trust him and more importantly, they don't give a shit.

But then if the debonair Mr. Swann waltzes into their living room and spoon feeds them a delicious 5 minute pudding cup of sweet, unadulterated truth in a clear and easily understandable manner then.. voilà! the irate minority continues it's creeping ascendancy.

So the way I see it, when you're faced with a situation in which you're fairly certain of the integrity of the individual as they've never given reason to doubt and they are putting their ass on the line.. but you're uncertain of the possibility of him attaining his goal (which is your own goal as well), throw a little caution to the wind.

No.7's picture

Exactly the way I see it

It doesn't hurt anything that Ben Swann looks exactly like Ryan Seacrest. Sheeple love Ryan Seacrest.

Liberty Idol anyone?

The individual who refuses to defend his rights when called by his Government, deserves to be a slave, and must be punished as an enemy of his country and friend to her foe. - Andrew Jackson

I dislike this post, but

I dislike this post, but enjoyed some of the replies. Not only is Ben worth it, but he also has to support his own family and hire people for a living wage of some sort. It sure doesn't seem like a lot of money, to me. I gave what I could, and remember, if we don't get behind him he just can not do it!

Reality Check Indeed!

Fact of the matter is, what gave Ben gravitas was the fact that he worked for Fox News. As such, without the Fox emblem on the screen for the sheeple, Ben's message won't be different than the many libertarians who are already dispensing the same news, regardless of the cost of production.

Sad but true.

It will be very polished and different

The Corbett Report http://www.youtube.com/user/corbettreport is a perfect example of a great channel that is under-funded. There is real investigation behind the reporting and the host James Corbett is very well spoken but, alas, the program lacks the polish to go any further.

Ben's little pieces are the perfect "gateway drug" out of the matrix. Unless we up the production quality we will never make it to cable and that is where the masses still get informed. It is a mindless endeavor but that is where they turn.


So we're speaking for the average viewer, right?

Because I'm sure most of us here know WXIX is owned by the employees, and not News Corp. If it weren't for that fact, he wouldn't have even been able to say what he wanted.


for the average sheeple viewer. And yes indeed, it was a locally owned channel with the Fox emblem, which because of it made it much easier to dispense to the minds of the sheeple.

So regardless, there's going to be a filter

Those people who took stock in what he had to say simply because it was aired by a Fox affiliate aren't going to be hearing him out anymore because they rarely if ever stray into the realm of alternative media outlets. When he was there though, if I recall correctly he was never told he couldn't do a story, but was at least asked to tone things down more than a few times. I think you're right, there's going to be people missing out on the message since he's off the boobtube, but for us, we're getting a guy who's not going to be asked to tone anything down. I guess it leaves it up to us to try to get him into other people's homes through good ol' word of mouth. I think gcdugas is right too, because it's going to be a hell of a lot easier to do that if the videos have a professional presentation on par with actual newscasts instead of being some guy in front of a sheet with a light on his face or someone sitting at their desk recording on a $200 webcam.


I said before I hope he meets his goal. I gave what I could. It is a high number. This won't be easy but I wish him all the luck in the world he gets his goal. I will continue to spread the message and hope others donate as well. If he meets his goal, it'll be a GREAT victory for Liberty.

Daily Rube needs to go do it

cheaper before Daily Rube talks.

Daily Rube jus' got Reality Checked!

I pay people I hire $10 for 4

I pay people I hire $10 for 4 minutes of EDITED green screen footage. They sound very professional, too. LOL. Seriously. The LOL is @ what they say this stuff costs. But, I love Ben. Bless him.

I don't unde

Did Ron Paul need a reality check when he asked fr money when he was campaigning? We donated millions to Ron Paul, why not Ben? If you don't have the money, then don't donate, and stop crying about it.

I'm not so concerned about

I'm not so concerned about the price per episode as I am for asking to finish 100 episodes before doing just 5-10 to see how it goes. 100 episodes is like for 2 years of episodes. Way too much to commit to before seeing fi they even work.

Why not do 10 or 5 and see how it goes? Then people can see what exactly you do and how the money is spent, AND THEN they can decide if it is worth it. I will be surprised if he raises 1.2 million, and if not, they wasted all this time for nothing because Kickstarter does not give money unless you reach the goal.

How do we know most of the money isn't just being pocketed for salaries? How do we know they are spending the money wisely and not on junk (picture/production quality)?

Why not make sure and prove yourself first?

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...

If he hasn't show you already what he's capable of by now

you'll never get it!

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere".

It's hard not to be a menace to society when half the population is happy on their knees. - unknown

ditto and upvote

for Ira Freeman. Well said.

I`m 100% behind Ben Swan and his effort.

The problem is we need 100 Ben Swans.

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people that pay no price for being wrong.
Thomas Sowell