Inside the Battle to Be the Trumpiest Streaming Channel

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty
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As Donald Trump faces mounting legal problems, the former president has consistently turned to one of his favorite YouTube channels, the fiercely pro-MAGA “Right Side Broadcasting Network,” to spin the news in his favor.

And yet, RSBN—as it’s colloquially known—is facing criticism for not being Trump-y enough from an unlikely source: current and former staffers.

The YouTube channel has survived by attracting the most loyal Trump followers, who want to see the entirety of Trump’s rallies, and by using cheaper, less experienced broadcasters to live stream and offer commentary on the former president’s latest moves.

But more recently, people closely affiliated with RSBN have been detecting a slight shift in the channel’s editorial stance. And with a new pro-Trump streaming channel waiting in the wings, RSBN sources suddenly think their employer may soon be supplanted as Trump’s favorite online streaming network.

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Five current and former RSBN staffers who spoke to The Daily Beast said the pro-Trump media group has been showing some warmth toward Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, much to the chagrin of these ride-or-die Trumpers.

“It’s just a bad business move if you’re going to go in on DeSantis, which obviously the base is not a fan of, and the poll numbers reflect that,” one former RSBN correspondent told The Daily Beast.

Another source familiar with RSBN operations said that when DeSantis initially entered the race, “there were questions raised about how to cover him.” This source said there was “blowback” from RSBN superfans that the network was uncritically covering DeSantis.

“We got blasted,” this source said.

RSBN also cut ties with a contributor over DeSantis criticism. Opinion contributor Preston Parra said on Twitter that he “parted ways with RSBN” because his views on DeSantis “were seen as potentially unfavorable to the outlet.”

“It was explained that Ron’s PR team might not want to work with an outlet that employed writers who criticized him in the fashion that I do on my personal social media,” Parra added.

Still, for all the drama over the network not being pro-Trump enough, one former employee who spoke with The Daily Beast suggested it’d be difficult to be more pro-Trump.

“I didn’t know that was possible,” one former camera operator said.

In a right-wing media landscape where personalities fall over themselves to praise Trump and look past his glaring deficiencies, the battle to somehow be the Trumpiest outlet may seem like a ridiculous competition. But Trump’s ability to get his message out, without criticism or question, is integral to his electoral success.

The allegation that RSBN is somehow insufficiently pro-Trump isn’t the only criticism current and former staffers are leveling. These sources also claimed that RSBN has been uncharacteristically moving toward the GOP “establishment.”

“RSBN is becoming obviously a little more buttoned up, cozying up to the establishment,” a former staffer said.

This source continued that the network was “on the record” for Kevin McCarthy getting the speakership, and they noted that many people in the conservative base thought that position was “kind of weird.”

An attendee reacts as former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Reuters/Lindsay DeDario

While the network, which once billed itself as a “rag-tag bunch of media outsiders,” has since become the leading network for streaming Trump rallies, there is a new rival for that title.

Live From America TV, which goes by the acronym LFA TV, wants to become what RSBN is for YouTube but on Rumble. (Rumble is the conservative video platform that hosts Trump’s social media network, Truth Social, and is trying to overtake YouTube in its own right.)

So far, LFA TV has enlisted former RSBN talent, including former pundit Mike Crispi, and RSBN’s former vice president of operations, Liz Willis.

In a phone interview with The Daily Beast, the founder of LFA TV, Jeremy Herrell, said he heard through the “grapevine” about RSBN’s troubles, and he was looking to capitalize on it.

“From what I understand, if any anti-DeSantis stuff was talked about on air… they weren’t going to put up with that,” Herrell claimed. He further alleged that RSBN had become “RINOs” aligned with the “establishment.”

“We are in it for something completely different,” Herrell said. For good measure, he added that RSBN was “fake.”

Later in the interview, Herrell alleged that RSBN and Real America’s Voice, another far-right television channel where Herrell once worked, have made a push behind the scenes to “blacklist” LFA TV out of Trump rallies.

The growing rift between RSBN and LFA TV may have come to a head Saturday evening, as Crispi and Willis broadcast the Trump rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, for the newer network. On the same riser at the rally, their old RSBN co-workers were right next to them.

On Rumble Saturday afternoon, LFA TV found itself with prime placement, on the right-wing streaming platform in the “picks” section of the homepage, just below the far more established RSBN in the main square.

A Trump campaign spokesperson didn’t return The Daily Beast’s request for comment.

For all the hype about a new channel, Trump himself frequently does interviews with RSBN’s director of programming, Brian Glenn.

The ex-president’s top confidants have also spoken highly of Glenn, with one of Trump’s allies, Siggy Flicker, sharing with The Daily Beast a video of herself aboard “Trump Force One,” calling Glenn an “amazing host” as the ex-president watched in the background on his way to a rally.

“He did enjoy the coverage on the day we were flying to South Carolina for his rally where 67,000 people were waiting for him,” Flicker said.

Still, Herrell’s excited to take on the more established Trump streaming venture and thinks it’s only a matter of time before RSBN goes up in flames.

“Where there is smoke, there is fire,” he said.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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