Meet The Media Disruptors Hollywood Loves To Hate


Comedian Tim Dillon offered a simple rationale for Business Insider’s recent hit piece on Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy.

Portnoy, the comedian said, is a “disruptor.” Barstool Sports offers a frisky take on athletics, one that counters what a staid network like ESPN offers. Portnoy steals eyeballs from mainstream channels, and reporters aren’t happy about it.

Dillon, who also called himself a disruptor, has a point. People like Portnoy and Dillon hit it big by offering something fresh and original. They deliver content free of the usual, left-leaning narratives on culture, politics, journalism and more.

It takes talent — and courage — to be a disruptor in modern times. Disruptors wear a large, red and white target on their backs, 24-7. Yet they persist, giving fans a true alternative to existing platforms.

The following “disruptors” are doing just that, and they’re finding huge success in the process.

Bari Weiss

This left-leaning journalist famously torched The New York Times by publicly quitting the once great paper in 2020.


“Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor,” she wrote, freeing herself from the increasingly unreliable outlet.

Weiss went rogue, joining the emerging Substack platform and creating her own subscription-based newsletter. Market Watch estimated she now makes $800,000 annually for creating “Common Sense with Bari Weiss.”

That reinvention coaxed others eager to push back against conventional media to go solo, too.

She may not have changed some of her left-leaning views, but her clear-eyed punditry now reaches the masses on her own terms.

Glenn Greenwald

The fellow Substack superstar went solo after a bizarre public divorce. The liberal Greenwald founded The Intercept in 2014, but quit last year after the site’s editorial team refused to publish a story because, he claims, it indirectly helped President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.

“The Intercept’s editors, in violation of my contractual right of editorial freedom, censored an article I wrote this week, refusing to publish it unless I remove all sections critical of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the candidate vehemently supported by all New-York-based Intercept editors involved in this effort at suppression,” he said in his public resignation letter.

Since then, Greenwald rebuilt his brand on Substack, joined the free speech platforms Rumble and Locals, and continued his blistering attacks on media bias via his massive Twitter account, which boasts 1.7 million followers.

Phelim McAleer

The Irish muckracker was disrupting Hollywood long before it was cool. McAleer, along with his creative partner and wife Ann McElhinney, stunned the crowdfunding world by raising $2.1 million to produce “Gosnell.”

The film shared the ghastly details behind abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s house of horrors. 

McAleer was just warming up, though. He went on to produce a Verbatim theater production dubbed “Ferguson,” using actual court transcripts to paint an accurate picture of Michael Brown’s controversial death. His “FBI LoveBirds: Undercovers” play shared a similar approach, turning texts from Trump-loathing FBI agents into a darkly comic romp.

Now, he’s in Serbia shooting “My Son Hunter,” the tale of a drug-addled man-child and his father, a mentally addled Commander in Chief.

Hollywood wouldn’t touch such a project, even though it offers rich dramatic potential. Late night comedians avoid jokes tied to Hunter Biden, even though they practically write themselves. Team McAleer will do both with their upcoming film.

Joe Rogan

The UFC commentator and stand-up may be the most dangerous man in media. By dangerous, we mean he’s willing to engage with people on both sides of the aisle. And when the media fills our smart phones with lies, he’s happy to call them out.

He did just that when CNN and others erroneously said he gulped down horse dewormer to treat his COVID-19 condition. Now, he’s out to mock media lies on his massively popular podcast.

Rogan developed “The Joe Rogan Experience” outside existing channels, but some feared he’d lose his independent streak when he signed an exclusive deal with Spotify last year for a reported $100 million.

So far, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has his back and Rogan isn’t backing down from media attacks on his show and character.

Buddy Brown

The country singer pined for mainstream stardom, and who could blame him? Brown had a strong voice and talent for songwriting, attributes record executives spotted when he went to Nashville to pursue his musical dreams.

He says his plans derailed when those executives insisted he tamp down his right-leaning lyrics. No dice, Brown said, before he left to forge his career on his own terms. 

He did just that courtesy of YouTube, sharing politically incorrect songs and country originals alike on the video platform. The fans rallied to his side, and soon he forgot all about those mainstream dreams. He had his own version, on his own terms, and he didn’t have to squelch his conservative instincts in the process.

Nick Searcy

The versatile actor had it made. Searcy’s credits as a go-to character actor spoke for themselves, including key roles in movies like “Fried Green Tomatoes,” and FX’s “Justified.” He could be a scoundrel, a law enforcement official or an authority figure, and the work kept coming.

Except Searcy refused to stay silent about his conservative views. He opened his career up to alternative projects, from co-starring and directing “Gosnell” to producing documentaries like the faith-friendly “America, America God Shed His Grace on Thee.”

He’s also part of The Daily Wire’s upcoming western, “Terror on the Prairie.”

Megyn Kelly

The former Fox News superstar stumbled after leaving the network for an NBC show to call her own. “Megyn Kelly Today” suffered weak ratings, which likely made the network eager to fire her after she made innocuous comments about Halloween costumes and blackface.

The dismissal left her a very wealthy person, and she could have settled for an early retirement. Instead, Kelly rebounded on her own terms. She created a media company and joined the podcasting revolution. “The Megyn Kelly Show” became a quick hit, hitting number one on iTunes right out of the gate. The podcast drew big name guests and caught the attention of SiriusXM. The satellite radio network partnered with Kelly, allowing her to expand her audience without sacrificing her voice.

Now, an emboldened Kelly excoriates the crooked press, defends parents who want a say in their child’s education and scolds politicians who used COVID-19 to boost their powers. She’s fighting the system on her terms, without sacrificing her journalistic bona fides.

Clay Travis

The mind behind Outkick.com shares something in common with Portnoy. Neither thinks current sports networks speak to both halves of the country. For Travis, frustration with ESPN’s liberal bias clearly informed his Outkick the Coverage project, which grew so big he sold it to Fox Corp. earlier this year.

That hasn’t muted the site’s counter-culture voice, though. Nor did it stop Travis’ career ascent. Earlier this year Travis teamed with podcaster Buck Sexton to replace the irreplaceable Rush Limbaugh on the EIB radio network.

Now, Travis savages establishment players like Dr. Anthony Fauci and hypocrital athletes like Lebron James from both perches. 

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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