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Mike Broomhead Found a Home as Talk Radio Host

Mike Broomhead said he found a new home as a radio talker, adding he liked the platform and that it was exhilarating to cover so many topics.

Jim Cryns

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If you’re gonna be dumb, you better be tough.

That’s not only my personal mantra in life, it’s the title of Mike Broomhead’s book. 

When I spoke with Broomhead, he was driving from Fort Myers, Florida to Daytona. He’d just cleared all the Disney traffic in the Orlando area, and it was 58 degrees in Orlando. But nothing keeps people away from Mickey. 

Broomhead has been in morning drive for 15 years. You can hear him on weekday mornings, 8-Noon, on KTAR 92.3 FM, as a guest host on the nationally syndicated Glenn Beck Show.

He grew up in Florida. Not Miami, Palm Beach, or even Fort Lauderdale. Broomhead grew up in the murky and beautiful areas of the state. So pristine is the land you can still see God’s fingerprints. 

“I’ve always loved Florida,” said Broomhead, who now lives in Phoenix. “I miss driving to the middle of the state. I don’t miss the ocean and beaches so much. I like the swamps. I like the redneck central Florida. There is so much agriculture. My best friend’s dad owned some produce packing houses. We’re talking about a very rural area. Florida at one point had more beef cattle than Texas. The grass is so lush. We had tomatoes growing and orange groves. It’s really something to see.

The recent devastation caused by Hurricane Ian was hard to look at wherever you lived. Up close and by a native of the area, it can be traumatic.

“My brother is a Captain in the Sheriff’s office,” Broomhead explained. “He drove me out to Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel. It’s really hard to fathom the devastation in the area.”

Broomhead said he’s confident the area will be rebuilt to its pre-hurricane condition. “It makes sense. Perhaps not everybody will rebuild who owned homes before the storm, but the area will see new people. There are so many big resorts that I know they’ll rebuild. The streets are cleared and work is already underway.”

A number of the big resorts are still closed, some had been flooded through the first and second floors. Immediately following the storm there was absolutely no power, no fresh water. The causeway connecting the island to the mainland was severely damaged and closed.

“When my brother was deployed to the search and rescue team right after the storm, his wife was home with the kids,” Broomhead said. “They had no internet or electricity, so from Arizona, I was telling them over the phone more information about their immediate area than they could find.”

The oldest of three brothers who were raised by a single mother, Broomhead got his first job by the time he was twelve. On his own by 16, he eventually earned his GED and, with dreams of being a cowboy, he moved to Arizona to become a bull rider.

Bull rider. Somehow I can’t see Hannity or Levin doing that.

“The first time you ride and you get to that eight-second whistle it doesn’t matter which bull or what your fear is, you feel 10 feet tall,” Broomhead explained. “It is the best feeling of accomplishment because it’s terrifying,” 

Broomhead decided early to go into the trades. Becoming an electrician sounded appealing. 

“I was just out of high school and knew I wasn’t going to college,” Broomhead said. “I worked since I was 12 and kind of fell into the trade. At 18, I knew absolutely nothing.”  Broomhead went to school to study to become an electrician.

He began electrical work on Sanibel Island and Captiva, cutting his teeth. 

“I did a lot of electrical estimation work and learned quickly,” he said. “I made decent money and had my own business, but I had to close it because of the economic crash of 2008.”

Even before his business went under, Broomhead had been voicing his opinions on a larger level. His brother Tom was killed in Iraq on Memorial Day in 2003, and Broomhead began to speak out at largest pro-troops rallies across the country. He was only two years older than Tom. 

“We fought like crazy as brothers do,” he said. “But we stuck up for each other. Our parents divorced when I was 14 years old. It was mom and the boys against the world. We were very tight knit and I have absolutely no regrets.”

He was called upon to debate against the anti-war crowd on both television and radio and is still highly requested around the country to speak at events. Mike joined the George W. Bush campaign as a volunteer in 2004 and has had the privilege of being the master of ceremonies for two Presidential visits to Arizona. 

For Broomhead, everything began around telling Tom’s story. 

“I was traveling with veterans groups, telling what I thought was a unique story about my brother,” Broomhead explained. “Then you get around the other families and learn what their kids did, what their siblings did. The veterans have done so much and aren’t asking anything for it.”

Broomhead was a regular caller to radio shows, still discussing the troops.

Fate decided to turn Broomhead from an electrician into a radio talker. A friend was called upon to do a shift at a small radio station and asked Broomhead to co-host. He didn’t know what he was doing. 

“She called me to co-host with her,” Broomhead said. “Apparently, I did well enough as I was asked to do a show on Saturdays for an hour. I had to learn to work the breaks, talk to people on the phone. It was so hectic I don’t recall what I said on the air.”

Broomhead felt he’d found a new home. He liked the platform and said it was exhilarating to cover so many topics that were running through his mind. 

“I was asked to speak at pro-troops rallies. I went on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox. Glenn Beck had me on.”  

In just a few years, Broomhead went from calling into a local radio show to hosting the number one morning drive show in Phoenix, as well as being a popular public speaker, TV host, and frequent guest host for Glenn Beck.

“Somebody was looking out for me,” Broomhead said. “I love what I’m doing, but I’d trade this career for another ten minutes with my brother. It opened doors, but it was laid in front of me, presented to me. It’s amazing to see what has happened, how blessed I’ve been with it all.”

Broomhead said his approach to his show and radio is, to be honest. 

“I wasn’t trying to get my own radio show, this was never anything I thought I’d do. I decided if I was going to do it, I had to take it seriously and I wanted to be honest. Glenn Beck became a good friend and I learned a lot from him. He was like a mentor. We’re very different in a lot of ways. He helped me learn the business side of things. He had a working man’s perspective.”

When Broomhead talks on the air, he said he envisions talking to some guy in a work truck. The way other announcers talked to him when he was on a job site.

“I always picture somebody listening while doing their job. We’d listen while we worked over lunch. Sometimes people get mad, sometimes they smile. My political leanings tend to come out. But I talk about issues people deal with. At the end of the day, people are just trying to feed their families. That’s the way I approach things on KTAR.”

His first radio station was very conservative and Broomhead said he was made to feel like a preacher. 

“I would say things to the listener congregation. They all believed the same thing. I think now I’m more of a missionary and I have to win my audience over.”

 He’s a conservative but not a whack-job.

“I try to be fair with people and I don’t try to take myself too seriously,” he said. “I want to understand people. I’m not saving the world. I’m not curing cancer. But I have to be compelling, have spirited conversations. I may not agree with some people but I’ll be respectful. I will ask them to come back if it has been a civil conversation. We are not going to agree on everything.”

His book, If you’re gonna be dumb, you better be tough, was written with writer and author Lisa De Pasquale. De Pasquale wrote for Townhall.com and wrote a piece on Broomhead.

“The publisher asked if I’d like to do a book; let me tell my story,” Broomhead explained. “I said yes, if Lisa was the person I’d work with. We talked on the phone for 45 minutes at a time. She’d tape me and transcribe my words. It was really cathartic. A lot of tears. We talked about my brother and I growing up together.” 

In the recent elections, Broomhead was called upon to host a debate in the gubernatorial election. He explained there’s an agreement with public access television and Citizens Clean Election Commission. If one candidate doesn’t show, as in this case, Katie Hobbs chose not to, there would be an interview with the other candidate. Kari Lake was the other candidate so Broomhead hosted an interview with Lake.

Hobbs, governor-elect for Arizona, refused to debate Lake saying, ‘Debating a conspiracy theorist like Kari Lake — whose entire campaign platform is to cause enormous chaos and make Arizona the subject of national ridicule — would only lead to constant interruptions, pointless distractions, and childish name-calling.”

“That’s how that interview came about,” Broomhead said. “I’ve discussed some of the election controversies. I’ve said on the air, ‘If you have a problem with voting machines, take a look at the maintenance records.’” 

Exactly. You want to check to make sure the pilot is sober before you take off.

“I’ve known Kari Lake for about 5 years,” Broomhead said. “I like her. We don’t agree on something. I don’t believe everybody cheated or was in on a conspiracy. At some point you have to say we’re moving on.”

Broomhead explained how John McCain always won by double-digits. 

“The problems tend to come from party leadership here in Arizona, inside the Republican party,” Broomhead said. “McCain was hated. There was such a disconnect with party voters and leadership. If election fraud is your lead issue, you’ve got a very small pool to draw from.”

Broomhead would like to see more agreement, or at the least more conversation. 

“It’s about right and wrong, not Right and Left. It doesn’t mean you call the other side out all the time. If you’re just chirping, it does no good.” 

Broomhead loves doing his show, but he would also love to do a stand-alone podcast. Right now they package his show into a podcast. 

“That kind of long-form platform would allow me to have conversations without constraints,” he said. “If I’m having a great conversation with someone I would love to stay with it. Extend the conversation.”

Looking back at his life, Broomhead said he finds he can become frustrated that he couldn’t do more. 

“I see people on the radio who have done well, but they give generously. I give my time when I can. I write checks when I can. I want to make a difference in people’s lives.”

BNM Writers

Dagen McDowell Is Ready For A New Adventure With Fox Business

“Every decision in America is born of policy, On the show, we bring that to our show. Talk about the news of the day.”

Jim Cryns

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To know Dagen McDowell, you must understand what she comes from, where she comes from. You won’t know her until you know the lessons, kindness, and determination set forth by her parents.

Her parents operated a small grocery store, LW Roark and Company. Charles and Joyce McDowell were high school sweethearts and both went to college but decided to go back home and open a business. “This is in the middle of nowhere,” McDowell said. “It was a wholesale grocery store. They sold it in the late 90s.”

She said her parents were smart, encouraging, and took every opportunity to teach McDowell and her brother.

“They’d constantly talk up people who came into the store. Both of them have and had an insatiable curiosity about everything. They felt they learned things through their customers. It was more fun to learn about things from other people.”

McDowell’s parents never took a week off work. Never. The family took no vacations as most families would. Once while McDowell was in college at Wake Forest University, the family visited the Air and Space Museum on the Mall in D.C.

“Both of my parents were very interested in architecture and landscapes. We’d go to Williamsburg and just look at the buildings.”

McDowell joined FOX News Channel in 2003 and helped launch FOX Business Network as a founding anchor in 2007.

Her mother passed away three years ago and her father is still very much a part of her life. Her father was a constant teacher.

“One time my father, who we called Dowell McDowell, was putting up an outbuilding and asked me how long one line should be if the other line was such and such. He taught me the Pythagorean theorem when I was about 4 years old.”

McDowell was nurtured by parents with endless curiosity.

“I was raised by parents who would always debate and converse around the dinner table. We shared breakfast and dinner together every day. They loved learning, were always inquisitive, never afraid to ask a question. My parents shared a fearlessness and passed that on to me. I’ve never been embarrassed to ask people questions. I love talking to people and finding out about things.”

For a long time, McDowell had no idea what she wanted to do for a living. She knew if she worked at different jobs she’d eventually figure out what she was good at.

“I knew I was a decent writer, but I always tried to get information out of people, what they were doing. Ask if they were fulfilled and happy.”

At Wake, Forest McDowell majored in art history and had every intention of working in a museum, possibly as a curator.

“I interned at the Center for Contemporary Arts. I lived in Venice, Italy for a while. Wake Forest owns a house in Venice.”

After that it was Colorado. She moved back to New York during the recession of 1991 with a duffel bag. She took the Amtrak to New York City and sublet an apartment for six months.

“I had no TV, just a radio. I knew I could find something good to do in New York, there were so many jobs. I always wanted to live in the city. Either the city or way out in the country. Nowhere in between.”

She said being in New York made her feel anything was possible. This was January in 1994 when job ads were still in the physical newspaper, like the New York Times. McDowell interviewed at Institutional Investor through a referral from a friend.

“It was a brilliant magazine with terrific writing,” McDowell explained. “Very prominent in the industry. They were looking for someone to work with the newsletter written for the financial community.”

She’d cover topics like the bond business, Wall Street, and money management. The magazine made her take a reporting test where you’d make up a story and write it. She was offered a job and worked there for three years.

“I learned to be a journalist there,” McDowell said. “I could write but I became a better journalist. We’d break news, create our sources, and learn more and more about finance. People love to talk about what they do if you show interest.”

The next big job was SmartMoney.com, a resource and web newspaper for private investors. There McDowell wrote a personal finance column. She started doing commentary on television shows, the way a lot of people in different professions tend to do. “Then I started making more appearances on weekend financial or business shows,” McDowell said.

She got a call from Neil Cavuto about 20 years ago and he told McDowell, ‘Kid, you want a job? I know you don’t have much professional TV experience. We’ll give you some training and you’ll figure it out. If you do, you stay. If not, you go.’

McDowell said she was glad she was a writer first before she arrived at Fox. She writes her own scripts and has a background in finance and business writing.

“Before the business network was launched, they had only one business reporter and two senior business correspondents,” she said. “I’ve gotten to do so many different jobs, use different muscles, so to speak. As the years have passed I’ve discovered other talents I may have and I’m incredibly grateful for that.”

There’s a new show in town. McDowell and Sean Duffy will co-host The Bottom Line which will air on weeknights from 6-7:00 PM ET.

McDowell said she and Duffy come from extremely similar backgrounds. Duffy is from rural Wisconsin and McDowell is from Virginia.

“We know what small-town living is like, “McDowell said. “I might live in New York City but where I grew up affects the way I view the world. I’m still grounded in my hometown. On the show, we look south and west with everything we cover. You have to think of your audience. Rather than talking about them, we talk with them. That’s our shared background and vision. Sean is extremely down to earth and generous.”

McDowell said the show is not financially based, but steeped in business.

She said Duffy’s experience as a former U.S. Congressman, he understands policy as well as financial matters.

“Every decision in America is born of policy,” she said. “On the show, we bring that to our show. Talk about the news of the day.”

This is different from anything McDowell has done in the past.

“It’s a two-anchor show in the evening,” she explained. “This is not taking place during market hours. We tie all the business happenings together from the day. Again, it’s not about Washington or New York. It’s about the people we grew up with. We talk to them. Build a relationship with them on the air. For me, this is not just sitting in front of a camera. I can run off at the mouth as well as anyone, hang in there with the filibuster.”

McDowell says she is blunt, but hopes she isn’t rude. During a recent interview for the new show she used the terms ‘pig potatoes’ and ‘chapped backsides.’

“Those are terms I just made up,” she said. “I make up a lot of phrases and don’t always know what they mean. I have an entire repertoire of those kinds of phrases.”

Duffy assumed they were southern phrases he had to learn from McDowell, but she assured him she’d never heard them anywhere else.

“I’m just making stuff up,” McDowell said. “You can’t curse. Can’t say BS. At least you shouldn’t say BS on television. You don’t want to say manure. You never want to say something that makes people wince or evokes a smell.”

Dealing with people directly and bluntly seems to come from her mother.

“My mother had grit,” McDowell said. “She was also very kind, never syrupy. I used to say she had no magnolia-mouth.

That’s got to be a southern phrase.

McDowell said her mother was not a servile flatterer, but she was kind. Always there when somebody was in need.

“She had real grit. She’d stand and fight for her friends and family members.”

Her mother passed away after being diagnosed with stage-four cancer.

“She went through unimaginable pain,” McDowell said of her mother. “For nearly six years. You want to talk about somebody who was tough. There was nobody more pugnacious than my mother.”

She explained even with her illness, her mother was always on the go. Continuing to live her life. When questioned about being so active while she was ill, her mother continued to show grit.

“My mother would say she didn’t want to walk around looking like she had cancer. She asked, ‘What choice do I have? I could lay in bed and wait to die, or I can get up and do what I can .’”

McDowell said her mother’s illness taught her to be a caregiver in ways she never could have imagined. Her mother taught her to find moments of joy every single day, in the smallest of things.

“It can be as simple as telling a stranger to have a great day. Treat a perfect stranger with kindness. I do it all day long. I know it sounds corny, but I want to be known as a person who brings a casserole to a friend when they’re ill.”

A one-sheet from Fox tells you McDowell and the culmination of her background is perfect for The Bottom Line. The fact is, it’s true.

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BNM Writers

Airing The Tyre Nichols Video Was A Necessity

There were hard moments to watch in those videos, hard sounds to hear. But they aired.

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Far be it for me not to address this outrageous and embarrassing instance in humanity. After the videos of Memphis police brutally beating Tyre Nichols were shown on television there really seemed to be more outrage emerging from society this time than from the media, for a change. One would think that’s how we wish things to be.

In instances like this, where the video and audio images are far from brief but are instead chaptered as they unfold, there are few options other than to let them run their course. Clocks — breaks hard and soft — are out the window, just as in live coverage.

Because that’s what this was, only the live this time was us, and as we all absorbed and reacted to actions disapprovingly familiar yet somehow foreign at the same time, the impact was still becoming apparent even though we already knew the outcome.

It’s happened before.

Not always like this but we’ve seen it before, police encounters shown on the news overtakes and become the news.

It takes effect as the sights and sounds are digested, dissected, and discussed, often before their potential impact could really be imagined.

In 1991, when the Handycam footage crossed screens for the first time and we learned Rodney King’s name, we didn’t know then but we had a feeling.

We were on the right track, though as newsrooms evolved and street reporting incorporated a different type of storytelling.

I was a cop in 1991. Changes came. Some.

It’s 2023, I’m no longer a cop. Changes will come again. Some.

Turning points — or the overused watershed moments — mean just as much to the news media as they do to law enforcement.

The “why’s” that make this a turning point are more society and community based this time around than they were in 1991.

At least I think so. And I don’t think it makes a bit of difference who’s involved this time.

There were hard moments to watch in those videos, and hard sounds to hear. But they aired. Where they couldn’t air, they were described in great detail; descriptions sometimes can be worse than the real thing. Sometimes, not this time.

And they should air, they shouldn’t stop airing. This is what happened and this is what people need to see and hear and this is exactly why we are here.

Warn them, provide them with a heads up that they’re not going to like what happens next. It’s life and we show life, and we show what some of us do with it when it’s someone else’s.

Overall, I would say the news platforms held their composure, even after the videos were released. I saw, read, and heard some refreshingly neutral coverage, even from outlets where I expected hard turns into the lanes on either side of the road.

Legitimate questions were asked by anchors and reporters and much of the time, the off-balance issues were raised more by those on the sidewalks and those on the other side of the cameras and microphones.

As much as I find myself in disagreement with what I often see on the cable networks — all the cable networks — I did find a sense of symmetry watching CNN’s Don Lemon speak with Memphis City Council Chair Martavius Jones in the hours after the videos were released.

Regular protocols be damned, Lemon and producers lingered patiently as Jones, visibly overcome by emotion, struggled to regain breath and composure enough to be able to speak. Rather than cut away or move to other elements, they stood fast and it became an example of what often requires no words.

There were fewer punches pulled on other platforms as well.

The sounds of the screams, the impacts, and the hate-filled commands were broadcast through car radios.

As were Tyre Nichol’s calls for his mom. They aired. They had to.

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BNM Writers

Does the Republican Establishment Get It?

For many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections.

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In a move that seemed to go against the wishes of the patriotic American grassroots, the Republican party on Friday re-elected RNC Chairperson Ronna McDaniel. 

The media immediately took notice, as many on television and radio are now wondering why the party would re-elect a chairperson who has been so unpopular with the base of its party. 

Grant Stinchfield discussed this issue Friday night on his program, Stinchfield Tonight, which airs on Real America’s Voice network.

“Ronna McDaniel holds on to her chairmanship of the Republican Party. By a whopping total of — what were the numbers– 111 to 54. Harmeet Dhillon only received 54 votes. Mike Lindell 4 votes. This is proof to me that the Republican establishment is dug in,” Stinchfield — formerly of Newsmax — said. “Don’t tell me they’re out of touch. See, you tell me they’re out of touch, that implies ignorance. They’re not ignorant about anything.”

As sentiment for Dhillon grew in the days leading up to Friday’s vote, many influential politicians and party donors publicly offered her their support and endorsement. These included Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), as well as donors Mike Rydin, Dick Uihlein, and Bernie Marcus.

Also on board were musician and outspoken conservative John Rich, along with the state GOP of Nebraska and Washington State. Countless journalists and media personalities, such as Charlie Kirk, Miranda Divine, and Lou Dobbs, also came out publicly in support of Dhillon. Former President Donald Trump remained neutral, not making a public choice of either of the three candidates.

For many of Dhillon’s supporters, the deciding factor was public sentiment across the party’s base.

“They’re reading the same chat boards. They’re getting the same emails I’m reading. I will literally post something about this race when I was supporting Harmeet Dhillon. There was not one comment – not one – that supported Ronna McDaniel. Everyone wanted change,” Stinchfield said, noting that the party elite saw the same groundswell of support for change.

“Now, nobody has an issue as Ronna McDaniel is some evil kind of person. I don’t believe she is. I believe, though, that she is part of the establishment. She’s been around too long as far as the establishment goes. And she’s been ingrained in doing business as usual. It’s not working.”

In making their choices known, many Dhillon supporters simply pointed to the scoreboard during McDaniel’s reign.

“Think about where we are. 2018, we lost the House. 2020, we lost everything. 2022, we won the House, but we should have really steamrolled the House and we should have taken back the Senate, which we didn’t do,” Stinchfield said. “That means we’re on a real losing track since she took over. I don’t like being on a losing track. I like being on a winning track.

“Something has got to change when you talk about all of this. So how does Ronna McDaniel get 111 votes and Harmeet Dhillon only get 54 votes, when everyone, every Republican voter I talk to said it was time for change?” pondered Stinchfield.

And even more than the losses, for many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections. The most recent example of which came in Arizona, where presumptive gubernatorial favorite, Kari Lake, was “defeated” when countless voting irregularities occurred in some of the state’s most deep-red areas.

“Under her watch, Democrats instituted a mail-in ballot scheme. That may be even worse than losing, when you talk about the House and the Senate and all these things. The fact that we now have a junk mail-in ballot scheme across the country under Ronna McDaniel’s watch is serious trouble. Very serious trouble,” Stinchfield said on Friday. “And so the reason it is is because the Democrats are rigging the system.”

For years – until Donald Trump descended the golden escalator and took the world by storm – the Republican party had the reputation of being the party of the rich. Rush Limbaugh used to refer to this wing of Republicans as “the country club crowd.” President Donald Trump flipped the narrative completely, offering a clear vision of hope and patriotism to working-class America.

Reputable polling — such as Richard Baris’ Big Data Poll — consistently showed Trump running well ahead of almost every Republican candidate during the 2022 mid-term election cycle. In other words, Trump still maintains considerably more support across the country than most of the individual Senate or House candidates experienced.

Many experts believe this is because voters still view Trump as an outsider, while they view the Republican party much less favorably.

“Let’s tell you how out of touch they are, how elitist they are,” Stinchfield said, calling out the GOP establishment. “This meeting that went on, do you know where it is? It’s at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch in California. One of the most expensive resorts in America. You’re lucky if you get a room for a thousand dollars a night down there on Dana Point. Now, it’s a beautiful hotel, but why is the Republican Party holding an event there? Then I went back and I looked at what RedState did. RedState went back and looked at some of the expenses that the Republican Party under Ronna McDaniel’s leadership was spending money on.

“Take a look at this. $3.1 million on private jets. $1.3 million on limousine and chauffeur services. $17.1 million on donor mementos. $750,000 on floral arrangements. Now you compare this to the Democrats. The Democrats spent $35,000 on private airfare. A thousand dollars on floral arrangements. A thousand. Not $750,000. A thousand. And the $17.1 million they spent on donor mementos, the Democrats spent $1.5 million.

“Democrats know where to put the money. It’s not giving donors gifts. Donors shouldn’t want gifts. If you give money, give money. You don’t need the fancy pin to put on your lapel.”

Following her loss, Dhillon warned her party that it must listen to the base, saying, “if we ignore this message, I think it’s at our peril. It’s at our peril personally, as party leaders and it’s at our peril for our party in general.”

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