TheBlaze TV audience is in for an eye-opener.
The level of domestic surveillance in the United States has reached such shocking levels in the post-9/11 world that people will find it hard to fathom, said Laurie Dhue, host of TheBlaze TV's new investigative series "For the Record." The show's first episode, "Surveillance State," tackles just that in its debut tonight at 8 p.m. ET.
"I think this is going to open a lot of people's eyes...people will be absolutely shocked to know that things have gotten even less transparent in the last 10 years -- there's even more surveillance going on than ever before," Dhue told Beck on his radio show Wednesday.
The show reveals how the National Security Agency transformed from its stated purpose of foreign intelligence gathering into an arm to listen in on U.S. citizens -- all on the taxpayer's dime.
"After 9/11 the spigots just opened, money continued to flow in the NSA. The NSA got everything it wanted, and the taxpayers basically just got taken to the cleaners," Dhue said.
What information the government collects, they keep -- including in a massive Utah facility slated for completion earlier this year, Dhue said.
"This is all being done in the name of protection, in the name of keeping us safe. But it's scary stuff when you think about it," Dhue told Beck.
Joe Weasel, senior producer for TheBlaze Documentary Films, heads a team of seven editors and producers out of TheBlaze's Columbus, Ohio office to make "For the Record" happen.
"My job is to find areas that need a lot more attention – investigative, historical, educational or whatever it is,” Weasel told GlennBeck.com. “And the key is to try to put that in a format that your average viewer can watch, consume, be entertained."
Weasel estimated some 1,000 hours went into the premiere hour-long episode of "For the Record." Everything was built from scratch -- starting with the very concept of the show right down to the graphics that appear on the screen. As senior producer, Weasel oversees each level: pre-production, where they pin down the topic, discuss research and create an outline for the episode; the actual production, which includes the writing and the filming; and post-production, where the final product is edited into a cohesive program.
Some aspects are trickier than others -- when it comes to filming, finding the right sources to interview is key, and it's not always easy.
“Nobody wants to do something for nothing – and I don’t just mean money. They either want their story out, or they have a friend who needs help. Nobody just usually grants an interview. So you have to find out what their motive is,” Weasel said. “Once you get past that, you have to have a comfort level that it is actually legitimate and make sure you are both on the same page in terms of information gathering.”
"For the Record" aims to fill a void in investigative journalism once dominated by network giants, including CBS's "60 Minutes." The show gets back to the roots of old-fashioned journalism but in a format that will "entertain and enlighten," Weasel told TheBlaze.
"For the Record" is planning to shoot 24 episodes this year, some of which might feature two or three stories within a single show, Weasel said. Future topics are set to include human trafficking out of Mexico and the Obama administration's crackdown on government whistleblowers -- the type that brought the NSA's domestic surveillance to light.
“For the Record” debuts Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on TheBlaze TV.