#1386 - Matt Taibbi

Nov 16, 2019

Matt Taibbi is a journalist and author. He has reported on politics, media, finance, and sports, and has authored several books including his latest "Hate, Inc.: Why Today's Media Makes Us Despise One Another" is available now & look for his podcast "Useful Idiots" is available at RollingStone.com https://www.amazon.com/Hate-Inc-Todays-Despise-Another/dp/1949017257

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all right my guest today is my personal favorite journalist he is the host of the useful idiots podcast he's a writer for Rolling Stone he is awesome give it up for the Great and Powerful Matt Taibbi

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so Jamie pointed out this this congressman is that who it is

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the Jamie pointed this out that there's a congressman and he released a series of tweets and the first letter of all these tweets if you put them all together it says Epstein didn't kill himself or did not count so though it is it's didn't he did you how do you do this ' yeah you should have gone with did not writing here at that evidence of a link wrapped call God sir what are the odds that this guy did this accidentally really small right that's kind of like one of those monkeys typing Shakespeare yeah yeah I know

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it could it could work and the thing is he did it backwards right so you didn't see what the puzzle was until the last tweet because the last time he doesn't he I got a tweet from someone about 35 minutes ago that I don't know if there's a bunch of people online paying attention to it or what but someone recorded me and a few other people what it is he does he have an image of that fucking that crazy mask is that in his shit too okay he's a weirdo uh of it's got the this allows November 1st V mask yes it is

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that mask again was your Vendetta was it representative of was something it's the Guy Fawkes masks yes that's right there yeah so this guy is he's thinking long alternative lines of thought but that is really an interesting way of saying it alphabet tree that's yeah just making a bunch of tweets don't ever address it leave it there walk away Lewis Carroll was famous for that was he yeah that was one of those he did a lot of sort of tricks with words through the book Godel Escher Bach no yeah there's this

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whole bunch of stuff in there about people who used who put puzzles in text mmm you know it's kind of a thing that people did I guess back more in the 18th century and before well this AB seen case is probably the most blatant example of a public murder of a crucial witness I've ever seen in my entire life or anybody's ever seen and the the minimal amount of outrage about this then I don't minimum amount of cover it's fucking fascinating I mean what's

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amazing to me just as a you know somebody works in the media is that this was shaping up to be the biggest like news story in history yes and the instant he you know he died or was died or however you want to call it it's the story just fell off the face of the Earth yeah it is it's like nobody's doing anything about it and I don't a hundred percent understand that I mean II get it why that's happening but it's it's just amazing well when the woman from

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what was her name Amy that lady the one who Roebuck you had the frustrated moment that you called it a frustrating private moment right when she was talking about having the scoop and having that story and them squashing it right like this this is all stuff that everybody used to think was conspiracy everybody's think this was Stoner talk this is you know you don't I mean like this is stuff where people

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we'll just delusional they believe all kinds of wacky conspiracies sure but the reality is much less complicated well this is not possible this is one of those things that's so obvious it's so in everyone's face well there's a couple things going on because there there are many different ways in this can play out I mean you could have a news director who just sort of instinctively decides when we can't do that story because I might want to have will and Kate on later or I might want to have this politician on later and it's not like anybody tells them this

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early that we can't do this but besides too hot if you grow up in this system and you've been in the business for a long time you just you have all these things that are drilled into you at almost like the cellular level about what you can and cannot get into and I think there but there were some explicit things that happen with Epstein to I mean they keep their there were a lot of news agencies that killed stories about him that you know and we're hearing what some of them Vanity Fair this thing you know so yeah it's bad

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it's terrible yeah yeah when I found out that Clinton flew no less than 26 times on a plane with Epstein I was like dude I haven't flown that many times with my mom right on Dino Epstein yeah I don't know but I mean have that many flights to have the Secret Service people involved I mean that's incredibly bold it was he didn't the just girls was is Clinton that much of a hound that he would

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go that deep into the well that many times 26 times well that's the thing about the option story that makes no sense to me like I thought that the percentage of people who are out and out like perverts who had a serious problem like with Petty Ophelia or whatever it was was pretty small you know yeah but you're but they had a lot of people coming in and out of this compound and it just seems like it's a it's a very strange story what were they really up to I have I have no idea and was was it all a black male

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L scheme it's just it's just so strange well seems like the pedophilia aspect of it might be directly connected to Epstein's himself like he might be the one that has a problem with girls are like 16 and he likes them very young did like them but with the other guys it could just be girls could be yeah yeah I mean that's why it's so crazy like how could it be that these but maybe it's not but they must but they knew who he was yeah but they probably didn't know the extent of it probably not yeah

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until a point up until he was arrested right and then they're like oh well that didn't that stuff when everybody backed off of them right yes yeah I mean I'm not a hundred percent yeah I haven't covered this story in depth I've only I only really got into it a little bit we need you we need you on this one the other guy this is a tough one and yeah because it mixes a lot of things that are are very tough to cover yes you know the intelligence world is very tough to cover you know it's hard to get stories out of there that they don't want you to have yeah and this

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is this is like the mother of all stories and you know in terms of that and they're just little little breadcrumbs here and there that whole thing about Acosta you know the Vanity Vanity Fair quote from him is that when he said that when he looked at the case that he didn't do it because I was told he belonged to intelligence yes what does that mean right whose intelligence you know what I mean like what agency what what for you now and then you pair that with things like you know I have friends on Wall Street who told me I've never

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heard a single instance of this guy actually having a trade right you know so what was his hedge fund doing you know I mean if you think about it hedge funds a perfect way to do blackmail you know because you can just have people putting money in and out all the time and it would look like investment yeah so very strange story well Eric Weinstein had a conversation with him you know Eric Weinstein Peter teal Capital right he's like this got his know what the fuck he's talking about oh yeah it's like he's financially yes he's an actor right this is nonsense

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sense right right is that was initial almost instantaneous response yeah yeah and and what real clients did he ever have what I need what did he trade and what was it got a billion dollars or whatever he had yeah now it's half a billion under management yeah it's ridiculous why the guy who owns Victoria Secrets give him a 70 million dollar home right in New York City like what I mean these are all things that would have been really interesting to get into you know he didn't he didn't try to kill himself to Suicide didn't happen to him like in The Wire

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yeah yeah sure is unfortunate yeah so unfortunately the cameras died so unfortunately sustained an injury that's that you usually only get through strangulation right yeah murders you he fell on the ground and accidentally broke his hyoid bone yeah happens all the time whatever no big deal I mean it's so bizarre II can't stand consume conspiracy theories I'm one of these people who who doesn't like reading but I can't I can't make the story work in a way that isn't

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you know yeah Territorial and so that's the thing it's like it gets to a point where you're like okay even Michael Shermer who runs skeptic magazine like wait a minute the cameras were not working yeah I mean it's okay that excuse seems like conspiracy fucking with Michael Shermer says he that God doesn't believe in anything right right he is fucking he's down the line on virtually every single thing that's ever happened he doesn't believe in any conspiracies well well how do you what's the innocent explanation for any has none that doesn't make any

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you sense you can't you can't spin it in any way to make it not a crazy conspiracy especially when the brother hires a doctor to do an autopsy oh yeah just says like they was fucking murdered right yeah Michael Baden the famous guy from the HBO autopsy show right yep absolutely craziness complete craziness and you know it's an example of of the action starts interesting because it's because it's about

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ends on both sides of the aisle right this is a classic it's something I've written about before is that the Press does not like to do stories where the problem is bipartisan yeah right so when you have an Institutional problem when Democrats and Republicans both share responsibility for it when you know or if it's an institution that kind of exist in perpetuity no matter what the administration is we don't really like to do those stories we like if Fox likes to do stories about Democrats MSNBC likes to do stories about Republicans but the

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thing that's kind of you know all over the place they don't like to do that story Epstein is you know he's friends with Trump and and with Clinton I mean yeah it looks like he has more friends on the Clinton side but still and I think that's this is one of the reasons why this story doesn't have a lot of traction in the media because neither side really likes the idea of going to deeply on it feels like to me well it's but the the blatant aspect of it the only mean the closest that we have to that is absolute

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murder the Jamal khashoggi murder that's the closest thing we have tours absolute murder right this one but it's also so insanely blatant but now you have foreign actors that are involved in it and they all dispersed and then there's left with this confusion of to who's responsible for it well Saudi Arabia that's another example where you can't really say it's you know one side of the both parties have been incredibly complicit in their cooperation with yes Audi regime and in you know the massacres that are going on in Yemen

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it's classic example of what Noam Chomsky used to talk about with worthy and unworthy victims right like if the if the Soviet Communists did it they were that was bad but if death squads in El Salvador killed a priest or a Catholic priest you know then that that was something we didn't write about because they were our client State Yemen is a story we don't write about Syria is a story we do write about but they're really equivalent stories and you know that but you're absolutely right the khashoggi thing I don't think either

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Hardy and or either sides media really wants to get into that all that deeply how much is Media shifting now like you've obviously been a journalist for a long time but how much are things changing in the light of the internet well a lot and this is what I mean I have a new book out now that's really about this right there what why the business has changed what's it called Hey tank yeah it's out its out now and it's it's really about how the press the business model the Press has changed I mean it's something

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you talk about a lot here you and your show all the time talking about how news agencies are always trying to push narratives on people trying to get people wound up and upset and that is a conscious business strategy that we didn't have maybe 30 years ago you know you think about Walter Cronkite or what the news was like back in the day you had the whole family sitting around the table and everybody watch him sort of a unifying experience to watch the news hmm now you have

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is for the crazy right-wing uncle and then you have news for the kid in the Shea t-shirt and they're different channels and they're trying to win these people up you know to get them upset constantly and stay there and a lot of that has to do with the internet because before the internet news companies had like a basically freeway of tomato making money they dominated distribution newspaper was the only thing in town that had a you know if you wanted to get a want ad it had to be through the local newspaper now with the internet the internet

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is the distribution system anybody has access to it not just the local newspaper and so they're the easy money is gone and we have to chase clicks more than we ever had had to before we have to chase eyeballs more than we have to so we've had to build new money-making strategies and and a lot of it has to do with to sort of monetizing anger and Division and all these things and we just didn't do that before and it had a profound difference on the on the media as a writer of you personally experienced this sort of

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Florence where people have tried to lean you in the direction of Click bait or perhaps maybe alter titles that make them a little bit disingenuous in order to get people excited about the stumbling you know I my editors at Rolling Stone are pretty good and they gave me a lot of Wheatley way to kind of explore whatever I want to explore but I definitely feel a lot of pressure that I didn't feel before in the business because especially in the Trump era and you know I've written a lot about the Russia story right but you know that's an example

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sample of one sides media does has one take on it and another sides media has another take on it and if you are just a journalist and you and you want to just sort of report the facts you feel a lot of pressure to fit the facts into a narrative that your audience is going to like and I had a lot of problem with the Russia story because I thought you know I don't like Donald Trump but I'm like I don't think this guy's James Bond consorting with Russian spies I think he's corrupt in other ways and there was a lot of blowback on my side of the

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business because you know people in sort of liberal quote liberal media you just have all there's a lot of pressure to have everybody fit into a certain narrative and I think that's really unhealthy for the business yeah very unhealthy right it soon because as soon as people can be manipulated to conforming to that narrative then all sorts of stories can be shifted oh yeah yeah absolutely and you the job used to be about challenging your audience every now and then right like you think a certain thing is true well it's our job to give you the bad

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bad news and say that you're wrong about that that used to be what the job was to be my journalist now it's the opposite now we have an audience we're going to tell you exactly what you want to hear and what you and we're going to reinforce what you think and that's very unhealthy a great example of this was in the summer of 2016 I was covering the campaign I started to hear reporters talking about how they didn't want to report poll numbers that showed the race was close they thought that that was

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hurt Hillary write like this in other words we had information that the race was close and we're not telling this to audiences because they wanted to hear that it was going to be a blowout for Hillary right and that didn't help Hillary it didn't help the Democrats do not warn people about this right but it was just because if you turned on MSNBC or CNN and you heard the Trump was within five points or whatever it was that was going to be a bummer for that audience so we stayed away from it

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and you know this is the kind of thing it's not politically beneficial to anybody it's just we're just trying to keep people glued to the set by telling them what they want to hear and that's not the news that's not that's not our job you know and it drives me crazy yeah it should drive you crazy that what you said about journalism being used to be something that you're challenging your reader you're giving them this reality that may be uncomfortable but it's educational and expands their view of the world

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where where do they get that now they don't that's the whole problem like you get you can predict exactly what the each news organization what their take is going to be on any issue by going all just to get take an example when when the business about the Isis leader Al baghdadi being killed hit the news instantaneously you knew that the New York Times CNN and the Washington Post that they were going to write a whole

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whole bunch of stories about how Trump was overplaying the significance of it that he you know that he was telling lies about it they would they mate they you knew they were going to make the entire thing about Trump and then meanwhile Fox had a completely different spin on about how heroic it was but but news audiences didn't have anywhere to go to just simply here who was this person why was he important what were the rights of the people in the region think you know what kind of what is this going to mean going forward is a actually going to have any

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packed you know is are we going to have to continually you know is there going to be a new person like this every every time I did we actually accomplishing it like you don't get that anywhere all you get is Trump is a shit head on one side and Trump is a hero on the other side that's that's not the news you know and but the thing is it's like the business aspect of it is so weird like you have your guys like Hannity where you can absolutely predict what that guy's going to say every single time you know what side he's on

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and he's blatant about it and when you see someone like that you go okay well this is okay where this is this is Peak bullshit right so where where do we go where I see both sides where's the where's the where's the middle ground where someone goes well this is true but you gotta say this is honest to and this is this is what's going on over on this side and the Republicans have a point here and you don't you don't there's no mainstream media place where you can go for that right now no there isn't and that's mean

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one of those one of things I write about this is one of the reasons why I chose like yours are so popular I mean I think there's a complete loss of trust that they feel like people are not being honest with them right and they're not being straight and you know they they come to people like you and a lot of other people enter sort of independent folks who aren't like the quote-unquote mainstream media because they it's not really thought it's not reporting it's not anything if you can predict a hundred percent what a person is going to say that's not

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not thinking that's not reporting this that is just marketing someone like me that's so disturbing I'm a fucking comedian in a cage fighting commentator when people are coming to me like this is this is the source where you go for unbiased representations of what's going on in the world that's crazy well I mean this is the mean I saw your interview with Barry Weiss right and you just you did a simple based even go journalism school right no no so she said something about how you know oh she's in a sod

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the and you said what does that mean you just ask the simple basic questions right what does that mean where is that coming from how do you know that you know yeah like journalism isn't brain surgery that's all it is it's just asking the the simple questions that sort of Pop to mind when you when you're in a situation like where did this happen how do we know that how do you know that's true and but there's a whole generation of people in the Press know who just simply do not do that go through the process of just asking simple questions how do I know that's true like

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after each story to report you're supposed to kind of like wipe your memory clean and start over so just because somebody was banned the last time you cover them doesn't mean that they're necessarily going to be the bad guy this time you cover them right you have to continually test your assumptions and ask yourself is this true is that true is this true how do we know this and we've just stopped doing that like the it's just the morass of like pre-written takes on things and it's really really bad

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and you can see why audiences are fleeing from this stuff that they just don't have the impact that used to well it's really interesting this a lot of this is this unpredicted consequence of having these open platforms like Facebook and like we're people are getting their news and then the algorithm sort of directs them towards things that are going to piss them off which I don't even think necessarily was initially the plan I think the plan is to accelerate engagement right so they find out what what what you're engaging

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with what stories are engaging with and then they give you more of that like alright my friend Ari shaffir actually tried this out and what he did was he went on YouTube and only looked up puppy videos and that's all he looked at for like weeks and then YouTube only started recommending puppy videos to him so it's not necessarily that Facebook wants you to be outraged but that when you are outraged whether it's over abortion or wore whatever the subject is you're going to engage

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age more and their algorithm favors you engaging more so if you are engaging more about something very positive you know if you're all about yoga and meditation your algorithm would probably favor yoga and meditation because those are the things that you engage with but it's natural for people to be pissed off sure to look for things that are annoying especially if you're done working and you like cod this world sucks what's going on it sucks worse and then you go to your Facebook and I'll Jesus look at these goddamn border crisis right oh Jesus look at this while fucking

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here's the problem with these goddamn liberal they don't know show and you you engage and then that's your life and then it's saying oh I know how to get mad all fired up I'm going to fucking send him some abortion stories whoa right and then that's your feed right yeah exactly but the but there's so many economic incentives that go in there right they know the the more that you engage the longer that you're on right the more ads yes it you can you're going to see ya right so that same Dynamic that Facebook and the social media companies figured

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out which is that if you keep feeding something somebody something that you know has been proven to spin that person up and get them wound up that they're going to they're going to come back for more of it and they're going to keep coming back and actually you can expand their desire to see that stuff by making them sort of more Angry overall and they will they will come back and they will spend more and more and more time well the news companies figured out the same thing and that they're just they're just funneling stuff at you that they know you're going to there

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you're going to just be in an endless cycle of sort of impotent mute rage all the time but it's kind of Addicting you know and they know that and there and it's sort of like the tobacco companies they know it's about it's a product that's bad for you and they just keep giving it to you because you know it makes money for them yeah and it's just the thing about it is all of it is about ads told how many clicks they get an ads if they just said you can have a social media company but you can't have ads there's a new

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federal law no more ads on Facebook no more ads on YouTube no more ads on Twitter no more ads on Instagram good luck right yeah it was beautifully brawl collapse yep yeah but that seems to be what it is it's like they figured out that your data is worth a tremendous amount of money and the way they can utilize that money is to sell advertising ya know they could have coming and going yeah they're not only selling you ads or but they're also collecting the information about your hat

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Abbott's which they can then sell again yeah so it's a dual Revenue stream you know the media companies they're basically they're just consumer businesses where they're trading attention for ad space right so if they can get you to watch four hours of Television a day they have that many ad slots that they can show you and they know how much money they're going to make you know but the the social media companies get it two ways there they get it by you know attracting your eyeballs and then also selling selling your habits to the other than

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set of advertisers which you know is very Insidious but what's interesting about this is that most people don't think about this as a consumer business right like Americans is a very conscious of like what they put in their bodies you know they won't eat too many candy people depending on who they are right but people at least look at what the calories are but they don't think about the news that way or social media what that what they put on their brains and it's also a consumer product yeah it really is I've gone over that many times the people that that's how diet this is your diet you have a

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mental diet as well as you have a physical like food diet absolutely of it information diet and a lot of people are just eating shit with their brain it's the worst kind of junk food it's like it's like a cigarette sandwich the stuff it's so funny bad and it's getting worse it is it is getting worse and it's what's weird is that this is a ten-year-old problem and no one saw it coming and it's kind of overtaking politics it's overtaking social discourse everybody's wrapped up and social media conversations they carry him on over to the

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their table and it gets people in arguments and work and all this stuff no one saw coming these that no one saw the this outrage economy from you know social media sites from things like Facebook no one saw that no one no one ever predicted that your data is going to be so valuable no no the fuck's all that I don't think anybody I mean I think some people in the tech business probably saw early on that yeah it's a potential for this but you know in terms of other other

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other businesses like the news media and also politics I mean you have to think about the impact of this on politics has been enormous and you know I cover Donald Trump trump would really was just all about whatever you're pissed off about I'm right there with you you know and people are just sort of pissed off about lots of things these days because they're doing this all day long you know and if you can if you can take advantage of that then you're going to have a lot of success and I think I think a lot of people haven't figured that out and some of these things are real

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causes like people are upset about real things but it's just and you're absolutely right people did not see this coming and they didn't prepare for me it's just weird that it's one of the biggest sources of income online and people didn't see it coming I mean Facebook is generating billions of dollars and now yeah potentially shifting global politics yeah and you know the whole issue of of a couple of companies like Facebook having control over what you do

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and do not see it yeah it's an enormous problem that nobody nobody really cares about I've tried to write about it a few times I've written a couple of features about it and about how what a serious problem this is look if you look at other countries like Israel China there are a number of companies where you seen this pattern of Internet platforms liaising with the government to decide what people can and cannot see and they'll say well we don't want to see you know

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protest movements we don't want to see you know the Venezuelan Channel tell us or look we want to take that off you think about how that could end up happening in the United States and it is already a little bit happening it's a little bit but it seems to be happening only in the terms of like to leaning towards the progressive side which people are okay with because I think especially in the light of Donald Trump being in office this is acceptable censorship yeah but they're I think they're wrong about I think they're wrong about that too yeah and terribly dangerous it's very short-sighted yes

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yes in and they and I think there's there's also this thing that happens with people where they think all this is never going to happen to me you know like you can do that bad thing to this person that I don't like but you know as long as it's never going to happen to me exactly but they're wrong me history shows that always does happen to you you know and that's so we're giving these companies an enormous amount of power to decide all kinds of things what we what we look at what what kind of political ideas we can be exposed to you know it

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I think it's very very dangerous that biased interpretation of what something is that was what people talked about when the initial Patriot Act was enacted when people like hey this might be fine with Obama in office right it oh baby Obama is not going to enact some of the worst Clauses of this and use it on people or the was the ndaa so it was yeah where this is some of the things we're just completely unconstitutional it but don't worry we're not going to use those but your

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setting these tools aside for whatever fucking president we have like what if we have a guy who out Trump's Trump right me we never thought we'd have a trump right what if we have a Next Level guy post Trump what if there's some sort of catastrophe tragedy attack something that really gets people fired up and they vote in someone who takes it up to another level and then he has these tools and then he uses these tools on his political enemies which is entirely possible well I mean we've already seen that a little bit I mean

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people don't want to bring this up I mean but you know a lot of the stories that have come out about Trump they're coming from leaks of classified information that are coming from those war on terror programs that were instituted after 9/11 yeah the fight this sort of fisa amendments act the NSA programs to collect data like they're unmasking people like the we have a lot of evidence now that there was a lawsuit a couple that came out about a month ago that showed that the FBI was doing something like 60,000 searches a month

► 00:35:25

month at one point where they're on your they were asking the NSA for the ability to unmask names and that that sort of thing so we're I mean these tools are incredibly powerful incredibly dangerous but people thought after 9/11 they were scared so you know we want to protect ourselves so that's okay for now you know we'll pull it back later but they know but you never do pull it back Rino and I mean it always ends up being used by somebody in the wrong way and I think we're starting to see that that's going to be a problem

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I'm real concerned about pit places like Google and Facebook altering the path of free speech and and leaning people in certain directions and silencing people that have opposing viewpoints and the fact that they think that they're doing this for good because this is how they see the world and they don't understand that you have to let these ideas play out in the marketplace of free speech and free ideas if you don't do that if you don't do that if you don't let people debate the merits

► 00:36:25

grits the pros the cons what's wrong what's right if you don't do that then you don't get real discourse we don't get real discourse you're essentially you've got some sort of intellectual dictatorship going on and because it's a progressive dictatorship you think it's okay because it's people who want everybody to be inclusive and you know I mean this is this is a weird time for that it's a really weird time for that because as you said people are so short-sighted they don't understand that these like the first amendment's in place for a very good reason set up a long fucking time ago

► 00:36:55

they did the math they saw where it was going and they're like look we have to have the ability to express ourselves we have to have the ability to freely Express thoughts and ideas and challenge people that are in a position of power because if we don't we wind up exactly where we came from hmm yeah no and and courts continually reaffirmed that idea that the the way to deal with bad speech was with more speech yes and they did it over and over and over again you know we the the legal standard for

► 00:37:25

speech you know still I think remains that unless it's directly inciting violence you can you like you can have speech that incites violence generally and even the Supreme Court even upheld that you can have speech that's the comes from you know material that was stolen illegally that's okay but we had a very very high bar for prohibiting speech always and you know the libel cases the cases for defamation you know that also established a very very high standard for

► 00:37:55

a speech but now all the sudden people have a completely different idea about it it's like you know forget about the fact that this was a fundamental Concept in American Society for you know two hundred and thirty years or would it but they just want to change it I you know without thinking about the consequences well that's where a guy like Trump could be almost like it's like almost like a trojan horse in a way like if you wanted to play 3D chess which you would do you get a guy who's just so gracious and so outrageous and then

► 00:38:25

many people oppose them get that guy let him get into a position of power and then sit back watch the outrage bubble and then take advantage of that and funnel people in the certain directions I mean I don't think that's what's happening but if I was super fucking tinfoil hat e that's how I would go about it I would say this is what you want if you really want to change things for your direction put someone that opposes it that's disgusting and that way people just rational intelligent person is

► 00:38:55

never going to side with him so we're going to side with the people that oppose him and then you can sneak a lot of shit in that maybe they wouldn't agree with and any other circumstance Trump selection sort of like another 9/11 right like you know 9/11 happened all of a sudden people who weren't in favor of the government being able to go through your library records or listen to your phone calls and all the sudden they were like oh Jesus them so freaked out like yeah fine when Trump got elected all of a sudden people suddenly had two very different ideas about speech ain't like they you know hey that guy is so bad

► 00:39:24

dad you know the maybe we should consider Banning X y&z you know yeah and yeah it's me if he was conceived as a way to discredit the First Amendment it went and some other ideas that would that would that would be a brilliant 3D chess move yeah super sneaky yeah that's like China level many steps ahead right yeah exactly what do you mean what do you think all this goes

► 00:39:55

it seems like this is I mean obviously just wrote a book about it but it seems like this is accelerating and it see it doesn't seem like anyone's taking a step back and hitting the brakes or opting out it seems like people are just ramping up the rhetoric yeah I mean I think that the the divisiveness problem is going to get worse before it gets better the business model of the media now is so entrenched that until some of these

► 00:40:25

is these companies start going out of business because they're doing you know they're losing audience because people don't trust them anymore the you know the news is going to keep doing what it's doing its going to catch that Hannity model is going to become normal for for news companies I think it are it already basically is you know on both the left and the right and in terms of you know the internet companies they're consolidating their getting more and more power all the time and there's the I think

► 00:40:55

we've already seen that people have I think too much tolerance for letting letting them make decisions about what we can and cannot see and I think it's going to get worse before it gets better I don't know what do you think I that's what I think I mean fake Facebook Twitter all these plate think Twitter has some of the most ridiculous reasons for Banning people one of them is dead naming oh yeah so if you call Caitlyn Jenner Bruce right okay I like you better when you were Bruce banned for life right you can't even say I liked you better when you were Bruce banned for life right yeah and and actually

► 00:41:25

that what's really interesting about that is that's a that's a core concept that we've changed completely like all the different ways in the past that we punished speech we punish the speech not the person yes right so if you know libel defamation all those things first of all they were all done through the courts so you had a way to fight back if you thought you were unjustly accused of having defamed somebody reliable somebody but if they found against you the the person who got

► 00:41:55

got something out of it was the person who is directly harmed right in the in the courts judge that and they you know it wasn't like you were banned from for life from ever speaking again right they just gave a bunch of money to a person who might have suffered some kind of career injury or whatever it was because of that and usually there was a retraction or it was removed from the press or whatever it was but it wasn't like we were we were saying we're never going to allow you to be heard or seen from again we kind of won't we were sort of encouraging

► 00:42:25

Lee people to get better right and yeah and to be different right now and now we're not doing that at all now we're just saying no one strike or two strikes whatever you're gone

► 00:42:35

and it's not like it's a public thing so you can't sue over it yeah right yeah well that's what's crazy about it because it is a public utility in a way yes it is shouldn't even Jack Dorsey from Twitter and admitted as much on the podcast and he wishes that we would view it that way he's actually proposed to versions of Twitter a Twitter with their standard censorship in place and then a wild west Twitter mmm but I'm like sign me up right now I get on that wild west Twitter because the problem with like things like Gab

► 00:43:05

and I've gone there a few times and watched it and I'm even Milo you innopolis is criticized for being this is that it's just like so hate-filled because it's the place where you can go and fucking say anything right so the only people that it's attracting a people that just want to go there and just fucking shoot off Cannons of n-bombs and call everybody a kike it's crazy I mean it's and there's real communication there as well there's there's plenty of that too but the the the the sheer number of people that go there just to blow off

► 00:43:34

off steam because they can't say those things on Twitter or Facebook or any other social media platform without being banned because of that it becomes a channel for it you know and it's like it doesn't get a chance it got doesn't get a chance to the concept is great the concept is if you're not doing anything illegal we're not going to stop you're not doxing anybody you're not threaten anybody's life we're not going to stop you go ahead but if you you do that and you're the only one that does that unfortunately everyone who wants to just say fucked up shed goes right and you get a disproportionate

► 00:44:04

out of fucked up shit yeah and it's directly because of the fact that these places like Twitter or Facebook have censored and they make it so you are scared to say whatever you want to say hmm and so you can see even if you have controversial ideas that maybe some people would agree with in some won't you get banned for life for just controversial ideas even controversial ideas that are scientifically and biologically factual like the transgender issue like if you say there's a woman i'm broader up a million times so Megan

► 00:44:34

and Murphy referee yeah a man is never a woman she says they tell her to take it down she takes a screenshot of it puts that up takes it down but takes a screenshot of the initial tweet says haha look at that banned for life right A man is never a woman is a fact that is a fact it's a biological fact now if you decide to become a woman and we recognize you as a woman in society well that's just common courtesy in my eyes like you have a person who has this issue they feel like they're born in the wrong body okay I get that I'm cool with that

► 00:45:04

to make it so that your band forever you can call someone a dumb fuck an idiot a piece of shit your mother should have swallowed you everybody's like yeah terms of service seemed fine here everything's good say a man is never a woman gone for life right yeah call Caitlyn Jenner but I liked you better when you're Bruce Dunn That's it ya know and and it's crazy and obviously people see that and they just get matter and it seems to legitimate you know it makes people very very resentful

► 00:45:34

in full in ways that they wouldn't be otherwise and it makes there's no pathway there's no there's no other thing right there's no free speech platform that's universally accepted like these ones like I said like gab or there's a couple other ones out there there's no one's using them yeah it's a very small percentage of the people in comparison to something like Twitter which is enormous right and so because people don't want to be kicked off the platform they're they're radically changing their behavior yeah yes some sense right and we're seeing this a lot also

► 00:46:05

political ideas to like you know I have a podcast useful idiots it's called right we like we try to talk to people who are kind of excluded from mainstream media because that's happening a lot now right like if you have the wrong idea about anything whether it's Russia gate or israel-palestine conflict or Syria or whatever it is you'll you will suddenly be sort of labeled thing with Tulsi gabbard friends they call her and assadist right like once you get stuck

► 00:46:34

the term assadist on Twitter nobody wants to associate you with you no one wants to defend you right they all kind of and it's your like suddenly like the kid with lice and people don't want that to happen to them so they stop saying X y&z yeah right and and they just sort of go with the flow go with the crowd and it causes this sort of you know uniform conformist discourse that doesn't really about anything right because people are just afraid

► 00:47:04

to talk which is crazy yeah right well you're not supposed to talk to someone I experienced this all the time the this idea of giving someone a platform like like if I have someone on like a bench appear or something like that you shouldn't give that guy a platform well he's already got a platform should wouldn't be better if I just talk to him and find out what his ideas are and ask him about those ideas like we had a very bizarre conversation about gay people where it means basically full on biblical religious interpretation of gay people

► 00:47:34

which to me is always strange like okay how do you stand on shellfish you know the you just as strong on shrimp right as you are on gay guys right like what why is it gay guys it's that like the Bible is pretty clear on a bunch of different things that don't seem to fire people up the way homosexuality does like why why do you care if you had a friend that was eating shrimp would you go to his house so if you had shrimp cocktail no but you wouldn't go to a friend's house if

► 00:48:04

he was having a gay marriage mmm so you won't celebrate gay marriage but you don't mind a guy who's got a fucking a shellfish platter right out at a party like that's in the Bible man right you're not supposed to wear two different kinds of cloth your you know that is the bunt there's a bunch of shit in the Bible that you like well God was wrong about that like how confident are you right how confident are you that you can interpret God's word so perfectly that you like you let the lobster slide but I'll that but fuck

► 00:48:34

we got to stop that you know like it's really weird but that's the whole point is your you challenge the idea yes yes but but the prevailing view now is that even having the discussion yes because you have a platform I mean I read that thing in a lamp the Atlantic you know where they're like you you give people to forget what the phrase was there were saying something like you had I give to people too many chances too many chances people who had already forfeited their right to have them or something along those lines okay

► 00:49:04

I was silly here guy gave up his hand when he said about me that I'm inexhaustible but that he like snaps right I know it's about you and your nap that's what it is you're not you like naps okay so you don't like people that have energy I'm super sorry but that the you know I thought that piece was really interesting because that whole idea that there are people who have forfeited the right to communicate forever to communicate forever well who decides that I mean it again there's this there's this intellectual snob is mmm

► 00:49:34

goes on and you know really frankly on my side of the media I'll wear will decide what wouldn't what an appropriate thought is what's right thinking what's wrong thinking you know what who gets to have a platform who doesn't get to have a platform who were going to call a monster who are not going to put mean I just don't understand that the arrogance where that comes from to decide that some people you know what I totally disagree with people like you know Alex Jones or Shapiro or you know most things and

► 00:50:04

but I don't think that they should be wiped off the face of the earth I mean I don't know well it's interesting to challenge people on these weird ideas and find out how they come to them and you will get a lot of fence sitters that will recognize the flaws in their thinking if you let them talk because there's a lot of people that are on sure either way maybe they haven't invested a lot of time investigating it maybe they really don't know what this guy stands for me but they just read a cartoonish version of who he is and then you get to hear him talk and you go oh well I see the flaw in his thinking or oh well he's right about something

► 00:50:35

and a lot of people are right about some things you're wrong about things and they're right about things in the only way you can discern that as you communicate with them but as soon as you deep platform people like forever you're just going to make a bunch of angry people he's gonna bet make a bunch of people that are completely distrusting and you're going to absolutely empower the opponents of your ideas but like people that do get to when do they get a chance to have their voice well when they vote so the more you do this shit in the more you censor conservatives

► 00:51:04

the more they're going to vote against liberals this is just a fact there's no getting around that this is human nature yeah I mean I lived in the former Soviet Union you know for 11 years and 100 percent if you lived in Soviet Russia and something was published by an official publisher people thought it was basically full of shit right but if it was in this on this dot if it was in the privately circled stuff that had been repressed and censored people thought that

► 00:51:34

coolest thing in the world like that that was the hot ticket right and you're automatically giving something cachet and an added weight by censoring it I mean this is just proof it's just the way it works is human nature if if people think that you don't want them to see something they're going to run through it twice as hard you know so I just don't understand a lot of that instinct I think people people have this idea that it works that you know the D platforming works but you can't D platform an idea

► 00:52:04

you know you may be able to do it to a person or to yes but you eventually you have to confront the idea you could do it to a few people and it has been successful which is one of the reason why people are so emboldened like they have a successful Ed platform Milo I mean it really have it's very hard to hear him talk anymore you don't he's not in the public conversation the way he used to be right cuz they kicked him off of all these different platforms and if you go into why they kicked him off these different platforms but even if you don't agree with him and I don't on a lot of things

► 00:52:35

boy I don't agree with kicking him off those platforms if you listen to what he got kicked off for it's like man I don't know this this doesn't seem like this makes a lot of sense yeah no I mean the same thing with Alex Jones yeah Alex Jones has said you know he's got after me a couple times in ways that were pretty funny actually but when he was you know kicked off the all these platforms you know I wrote a piece saying I think people are kind of doing a an end zone dance a little early on this one you know because

► 00:53:04

um Jones is a classic example of how the system the way the system used to work they would have punished them for for being in the libelous about the Sandy Hook thing right because that was sort of fit the classic definition of what was what prohibited speech was before but we wouldn't in and he would have lost probably a lot and he still might on in those court cases but to remove him forever I think you know it just sets it creates a new way of

► 00:53:34

of dealing with speech that I think is very dangerous you know I because the goalposts keep getting moved right if you can ban him for that then what why don't you ban me for repeating the things that I said about Megan Murphy right are banned because what I said about Bruce Jenner ban this for that mean you it gets you get further and further down the lawn you keep moving these goalposts and next thing you know you're in a very rigid tightly controlled area where you can communicate and your suppressed and that just it could celebrate

► 00:54:05

your desire to step out of that boundary and it makes you want to say things that maybe you wouldn't even thought of before and also logistically it's an incredibly it's an insane thing they even think about asking platforms to rationally go through all this content I talked to somebody who was a pretty high-ranking Facebook executive after the Alex Jones thing and he said think about what we used to use to do just to keep porn off Facebook and we're dealing with what a couple of billion items of content every single

► 00:54:34

day we had these really high-tech algorithms that we design to look for flesh tones that that's and that's how the Vietnamese running girl photo got taken off foot Facebook because they like automatically spotted a naked girl I know and they took that down then you know he's like the Facebook algo doesn't know that's an icon of fucking journalism right like it just knows it's a naked girl so you say you take that and now you're going to ask Facebook to make decisions about about ideas right

► 00:55:05

if it's that hard and that expensive for us to go through and just just keep child porn off of Facebook think about how crazy it's going to be when we when we start having entry level people deciding what is and is not appropriate political content yeah it's not only going to be impossible to enforce its going to they're going to make a mess of it and they will and they already are you know I think that's what we're seeing well that's why I Twitter so weird because you can get away with shit on Facebook

► 00:55:34

book you can say things on Facebook like Facebook doesn't have a policy about dead naming or Facebook doesn't have a policy about misgendering people but they do have a porn policy well now Twitter you can have porn right me then I have to be very careful when I give my phone to my kids the make sure they don't open up the fucking Twitter app yeah because I follow a lot of dirty girls and some of them I mean they're dead it's just right there there's no warning bang right your face I mean it's kind of crazy right yeah

► 00:56:04

have such an open policy when it comes to sex which I'm happy they do I'm happy not even that I want to see porn but I am happy that their attitude is just fine it's legal to yeah you don't have to follow those people if you don't like it seems like it's in the American Spirit tube you know but but when it all comes down to for me but but ya know the the policies are completely inconsistent to with with Twitter like I've seen and I've talked to people who have been removed from Twitter for saying

► 00:56:34

I'm pretty you know pretty borderline things right like they're you know basically pretty mild insults or something that would be threatening only if you really squinted hard you know there was a guy from The Ron Paul Institute you got who got taken down for instance because he was having a fight with some you know guy who was I think a Clinton fan I forget what it was exactly but you'll see Behavior that's much worse from people who have another political ilk and they will not be removed or

► 00:57:04

might be a smaller profile person they won't be removed so then what is that all about right like if it's only a person who has 20,000 followers or higher we're going to mean it's just so you just can't do it they're just too many layers and I'm against it just generally but just in terms of the logistics that doesn't make any sense I'm against it generally to and when I talked to Jack and he was explaining to me the problems with trying to manage things at scale you really kind of get a sense of it like oh you guys are dealing with billions Billy billions of

► 00:57:34

Owens using these things right yeah yeah and but there already you know in many countries around the world they have armies of thousands of people who go through content to try to flag this for that kind of political content yeah you know punish people yeah they have you know in Germany has got I forget what the term was they have the some some really scary sort of authoritarian word for like filtration centers or for something like that you know the Chinese have

► 00:58:04

armies of people I mean I did a story about Facebook and how it was you know teaming up with groups like The Atlantic Council here in the United States remember a couple of years ago the Senate called in Twitter Facebook and Google to Washington and ask them to devise strategies for preventing the sowing of Discord you know so they basically it's asking them to come up with strategies for filtering out fake news and an also certain kinds of

► 00:58:34

offensive content but you know that is a stepping stone to what we've seen in other countries I think you know and I think it's really worrisome but nobody seems to Care on our side of the aisle which is which is very strange my side my side of the aisle as well it's a censorship issue you know and it's it's a short-sighted thing as you said before people and it's not even there's people that do pretty egregious things from the left like the Covington school thing

► 00:59:04

and people were saying we got to Doc's these kids and give me their names release their names these people are still on Twitter to this day right I'm talking about kids that just happen to have these make America great again hats and I have a friend who used to live in that area said like no you don't get it like there's these stands these kids are on the high school like field trip there's these stands we could buy these hats everywhere these kids bought the hats there they think they're being funny these guys play the music and then get in their face you take a photo of it it looks like this guy standing in this native

► 00:59:34

second guy's face but then you see the whole video it's no no no the Native American guy was playing his drum walking towards him

► 00:59:42

and then everybody starts pot everybody just limiting their emotions you know what against us that it's outrage cycle it's just so exhausted and signaling everyone signaling her virtuous they are everyone's signaling there on the right side everyone signaling you know I want names take these guys down like you're talking about 16 year old kids right it's so fucking crazy and all what is evict is a he's guilty of smiling was already guilt he's guilty of yeah no he's going to Maga hat on me yeah it's crazy and the the signal

► 01:00:12

is crazy and you know for me the in the news business a lot of people that I know when into the went into journalism precisely because we didn't want to talk about our political views like the whole point of the job is like you know we're just gonna tell you what the facts are like not going to tell you what I'm all about you can't do that anymore everything's editorialize everything is about at a editorializing and signaling it's just like what you're saying you're telling people what your stance is on things and that's

► 01:00:42

that's that's the opposite of what the job used to be and this is again the one of the things I've been trying to focus on is that you know what's exactly what you're talking about people used to go to the news because they wanted to find out what happened in the world and they can't do it anymore because everything that you turn on every kind of content is just editorialized content where people are sort of telling you where it where they stand on things and you know I don't want to know that I want to know what the information is so hard how does this get resolved because we're dealing with essentially a two decade old

► 01:01:12

right mean give or take before that before the this the social media and before the internet and websites this just wasn't this wasn't what it was you could count on the New York Times to give you an unbiased version of what's going on in the world I don't necessarily know that's true anymore no none of the times those kind of gone over to this model as well and they're super woke they've struggled with it they they were there was an editorial and I wrote about this in the in the book that the in the summer

► 01:01:42

2016 this guy Jim ruttenberg wrote the side of this piece said Trump is testing the Norms of objectivity that was the name of the piece and basically what he said is Trump is so bad that we have to like rethink what objectivity means we have to not only be true but true to history's judgment he said and we have to have copious coverage and a greatcoat and aggressive coverage so we're going to cover Trump a lot we're going to cover him aggressively and we're going to show you we're going to take a stand on this issue rather than just tell you what happened

► 01:02:12

right so rather than doing the traditional New York Times thing of just the facts will tell you sort it out right you figure out we're going to tell you you know kind of had a fat what your stance should be and you know I think where does where do we go from here how does it get resolved I don't know because you know unless the the financial incentives change their they're not going to change you know the business used to be back when you're talking about it in your times and then there were three networks and there were

► 01:02:42

all trying to get the whole audience right so they were they were they were doing that kind of neutral fact-finding Mission and it was working for them financially now they can't do that because the Internet it's your hunting for audience and little groups yeah and they're just giving you hyper politicized stuff because that's the only way they can make money I don't know how we change it I don't know how he go you know we reverse it it's a problem it's so interesting though because I mean if you looked at

► 01:03:09

human interactions and if you looked at you know dispensing news and information and you follow Trends from like the 30s to the 40s to the 50s to the 60s to 70s he'd be like oh well people are getting better at this people getting better and then whoa what the fuck is going on now everything's off the rails yes two camps barking at each other is blatant misinformation on both sides blatant distortions of the truth blatant editorializing of

► 01:03:38

acts and you're like well hey what happened guys ya know it's crazy and not not that the news didn't have distortions before like you think about you know we covered up all all sorts of things you know massacres in Cambodia the secret bombing you know use of Agent Orange like stuff like I just didn't appear in the news in the wind and degree it should now though you turn on either MSNBC or Fox

► 01:04:08

and you're right you'll find something that's just totally full of shit within five minutes but yeah usually and that did not used to be the case you know I think individual reporters used to take a lot of pride in their work you know and it's different now and now when you make mistakes in the business you don't you don't get bounced out of the business in the way you used to do and that's that's really strange like only plagiarism right plagiarism still bounces you could put plagiarism can't you is pretty yeah

► 01:04:37

usually fatal right you're not going to usually recover from that I mean some people have kind of near any problems with that and they you know not going to yeah it was but but but no but you think about people who got stories like w the wmd thing wrong right not only do they not get bounced out of the business they all got promoted you know they're like the editors of major magazines now and you know and and so what does that tell people in the business well it tells you you know if you screw up as long as you screw up with a whole bunch of other people it's

► 01:05:07

okay you know which is not good and we used to have a lot of Pride about that stuff in this business and that we now we don't anymore you know that it's there isn't the shame connected with was screwing something up that there used to be I think there's a real danger with in terms of social media especially in not complying to the Constitution not complying to the First Amendment and there's a real danger in that and I don't think we recognize that danger because I don't think we saw what social media was until it was too late

► 01:05:37

eight and then by the time it was too late we had already had these sort of standards in place and the people that run it we're already getting away with enforcing their own personal bias their ideological bias and this is this is at when you're at this position where you go well how does that ever get resolved are not going to resolve it on their own they're still making ass loads of money what do you do is the government resolve it well if Trump steps in a resolves it looks like he's trying to resolve it to save his own political career or right

► 01:06:07

to you know to help his supporters it's like ya know and no matter what if Trump does anything about it automatically everyone's going to be against it right right even even if it's even if there's some sense in there somewhere people won't won't won't get behind it but now I do anything about it it's going to be a correction time there's going to be a gap time where it's going to be like that where it's just going to flood with people that are just like with this newfound freedom to just going to go

► 01:06:38

and ship the town you know but I mean but how would you how would you fix it now that's the thing because it's not only about rules it's also about culture like people have already there in this pattern of you know not saying the wrong thing right and they don't I think there's we're in a culture that doesn't even really know how to deal with free speech if we actually had it in the same way we used to you know no one seems to have a forecast like no one's like wow the storm is Gonna Last about four years and then like there's no

► 01:07:07

there's no forecast no no one's like well so fucking the uncharted waters right right but if you historically the tendency is once you have a tool that kind of can be used to keep people online and enforce compliance of ideas and then it always ends up worsening and becoming more and more dictatorial and authoritarian mm yeah again you go back to the Soviet example like once I started you know really exercising a lot of

► 01:07:37

all over the press and literature and things like that it didn't get better you know it just continued becoming more of a you know an entrenched thing until so that's when I worry about I think we're headed more in that direction yeah I think so too I'm not really I'm just really concerned with on both sides when people dig their heels in ideologically the other side just gets even more convinced they're correct oh yeah yeah and there's no cross dialogue of any kind not anymore

► 01:08:07

or there and even now it's interesting if you had you had Bernie Sanders on your show and Sanders Sanders is one of the few politicians left who has this idea that we should talk to everybody like there's there are no illegitimate audiences out there they're not and like we know that's my job as a politician is to try to convince you a things but that's not normal in the Democratic party anymore I mean Elizabeth Warren you know his made a big thing about not going on

► 01:08:37

Fox and about to having certain people taken taken off Twitter and yeah and and I think that's increasingly the sort of line of thought in mainstream Democratic party thought now is that we're just going to rule out whatever whatever that is 47 percent of the electorate we're just not going to talk to them anymore right right I don't know how that can possibly be a successful political strategy and what the point is you know I yeah no it doesn't make any sense

► 01:09:08

I was reading something where people are going after Tulsi gabbard for being on Tucker Carlson she's like I'll talk to everybody like and I'm glad she does and by the way it's like it's hard for her because she's kind of an outside candidate it's hard for her to get time on these other networks and so they want to punish her for being on Tucker Carlson's and then they have this you know reductionist view of who he is he's a white supremacist like the always she supports white supremacist she goes on a white supremacist show it okay is that what he is

► 01:09:37

is that really what he is and he's an idiot it's neat a lot more than that there's a lot going on there right as you guys are fucking with life you know you're fucking with the reality of life and you're saying it in these sentences you're printing it out in these paragraphs as fact and you sending it out there irresponsibly and it's just really strange that people don't understand the repercussions of that yeah something we talked about on our podcast easily it's all the time is that the the this it's a catch-22 right like you don't

► 01:10:07

don't invite somebody like Tulsi gabbard on to CNN MSNBC or their kind of excluded from the same platform the other politicians get so they go to other platforms right and then you say oh you went on that platform so your illegitimate yes you know what do you want them to do like you know what they do the same thing with people who go on Artie for instance right oh well you're helping the Russians because you went on Artie well there that's because you didn't invite them on any I mean yeah you there people are going to try to talk to anybody they can spread their ideas and that

► 01:10:37

that kind of propaganda thing is is pretty constant now another in the use of the term terms like what white supremacist with Tucker Carlson I mean there are there are a million terms now that you use to just kind of throw at people and what they're trying to do is create this X Factor around people yeah right like once you get someone gets a label associated with them then nobody wants to be associated with that person right right and they quickly kind of died out of the public scene and that's I think that's really bad too you know it's like

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it's just an anti-intellectual way of dealing with things and I think it's it's not good it's weird that it's so prevalent it's weird that there's so few proponents of a more you know open-minded way of thinking right yeah and just to take the Gap we had we had Tulsa together on our show to and immediately we got accused what do you love Assad right do you want to bomb Syria and show you want to keep murder see Rachel no I you know

► 01:11:37

is a presidential candidate and we want to talk to when you hear what she has to say but they immediately go to the maximalist interpretation of everything and then they're what they're basically saying when they ask you those questions are do you want to wear that label to reckon she's got it already so if you have her and again you're going to you're going to have that label and people they see that you know and and so you know people who have who don't have a big following and who are who are worried about their careers and about you no money

► 01:12:07

me and advertisers and stuff like that they they think twice about you know interviewing that person the next time yeah and examine other way to get at speech exactly and again I don't know how you get out of it you know and I mean I've experienced some blowback I guess but it doesn't hasn't worked yet right you know I mean it's not real it's like it just words like okay well but yeah and but you're handling it the right way benefit I think

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your audience is rewarding you for for not not bowing to it you know and I think that more people if they took that example and said I'm not going to listen to what the pack says about this and not going to be afraid of being called a name you know fuck that I'm going to talk to who I want to talk to and I'm going to you know explore whatever ideas I want to explore then the the stuff kind of stuff wouldn't be as effective so yeah so easy to do to people and so

► 01:13:07

for them 2D platformer people yeah so easy and Shadow Banning and all this other weird shit that's going on yeah they're channeling people and and pushing people into these areas of their platforms that makes them less accessible and I know where it comes from you know I was I was young and politically active once you know you want to change the world you how to make it a better place so you're in college and you don't have any power you don't have any way

► 01:13:37

a two input make something into legislation you know what I mean yeah so what do you do you use social media gives you the illusion that you're having an impact on the World by you know maybe getting somebody D platform door taken off Twitter or something like that it feels like it's political action to be able but it's not you know what I mean it's something that they that is open to people to do but it's not the same as you know getting 60 Congress 660 members of the Senate to

► 01:14:07

to raise taxes on a corporation that's been invading them for 20 years you know what I mean like that's that's real action this you know getting some random person taken off the Internet is just not change you know but people feel like it is and they want to they want to do the right thing so I get it but I know it's not you know real political action I don't think know it's fucking gross yeah and it just lie it's there's so much of it

► 01:14:37

there's so little logic also in and this must be a personal thing for you but is this isn't this the unfunniest time in American history like yes and no because you were awarded for for stepping outside of the box that's true in a big way like yeah you mean Dave Chappelle gets attacked but guess what he also gets rewarded in a huge way right he goes on stage now people go ape shit that's true and part of the reason why they go fuck

► 01:15:07

going bonkers is because they know that this guy doesn't give a fuck and he's one of the rare ones who doesn't give a fuck so when he goes up there you know if he thinks something crazy about whatever it is whatever protected group or whatever idea that he's not supposed to explore that's not going to stop him at all he's going to tell you exactly what he thinks about those things regardless of all this woke blowback he's not he doesn't care right so because of that he's rewarded even more and same thing with Bill Burr same thing with a lot of comics I experienced it with my own jokes

► 01:15:37

sure more controversial bits get people more fired up now they love it because everyone's smothered the your smothered by human resources and smothered by office politics in your smothered by social discourse restrictions and he's don't feel like you can express yourself anymore this is true and all people also don't have a they feel like they're being watched all the time yes another thing so that she'll like I kind of can't let it all hang out anywhere right and and so that's yeah that

► 01:16:07

they do feel incredibly like repressed and under the gun yeah I think that that's that's true yeah I just I feel like it'd mean I'm not a comic but I've but I just imagine it must be a more challenging environment it's more challenging but more rewarding to run my friend Ari said it best he said this is a great time for comedy because comedies dangerous again right that's true yeah that's true yeah it's kind of goes back to like a Lenny Bruce era right yeah when when you could kind of completely freaked people out with a couple of saying a couple of things sure yeah

► 01:16:38

for good or bad your prior yeah well you look like you saw it with like Louis C.K right Louis CK's under the microscope now that joke that he made about Parkland is absolutely a Louis CK joke if you followed him throughout his career what was the joke again I'm sorry joke was why am I listening to these Parklands survivors why are you interesting because you push some fat kid in the way like see you're laughing right like that is it Lucy Coe

► 01:17:07

a joke he's saying something fucked up you're not supposed to say that is throughout his goddamn career he's done that that's what heart always done but after the you know jerking off in front of him and all that stuff and him coming out and admitting it and then taking a bunch of time off now he's a Target right now he does something like that and they're like oh he's all right now like no this is what he's always done right he's always taking this sort of contrarian outside the box fucked up but hilarious take on things and that bit

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unfortunately because it was released by someone who made a YouTube video of it he didn't get a chance to he was gone for ten months and he'd only done a couple sets when he's flushing these ideas out I guarantee you he would have turn that idea into a brilliant bit but he never got the chance because it was just it was set out there in the wild when it was a baby he was mauled down by Wolves it needed to be needed her travel right yeah I mean that's what a bit of these bits they grow and they develop and that was a controversial idea that we're supposed to think that someone's interesting just because they survive

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dived a tragedy and his take is like no no no you're not interesting write your fucking boring or annoying get off my get off my TV and a lot of us have felt that way sure he just the way he said it was easy to take and put in you know out of context put it in quotes and turn him into an asshole well yeah but that's what comedy is right it's taking what people the thoughts that everybody has and vocalizing that thing that forbidden thing in a way that people can kind of you

► 01:18:39

come together over right I mean I think that was a lot of what Richard Pryor's humor was about like he took a lot of the sort of uncomfortable race problems right and he just kind of put them out there and both white people and black people laughed at it yeah right like together you know and that was what was good about it yes but if you can't if people are afraid to vocalize those things that they think it's going to you know ruin their career I mean I guess you know that that makes it more interesting

► 01:19:07

write it down it's more High more high stakes but if you can navigate those Waters and get to the promised land of the punchline it's even more rewarding right but you just have to explain yourself better you have to have better points you have to have you have to have a better structure to your material where you you while the people who may find your idea objectionable they you you coax them like hold my hand I'm going to take you through the woods we're going to be okay follow me

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and boom isn't that funny right right right but you have to navigate it skillfully and you have to navigate it thoughtfully and you have to really have a point you can't have a half-ass point but you can't have a situation where it's fatal to be off by a little bit I know like there was a writer that I loved growing up a Soviet writer writer named Isaac Babel Stalin ends up shooting him but he gave a speech about I think it was 1936 you know too

► 01:20:07

to a Soviet writers Collective and he said you know people say that we don't have as much Freedom as we used to but actually all the all that the you know the the Communist party has done is bring is prevented us from writing badly the only thing that's outlawed now is writing badly right and everybody laughed but he was actually saying something pretty serious which is that you can't write well unless you can you know screw up to you know what I'm like on the way to being creative in a good way you have to miss yes you know and if missing is not

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loud and there's High punishment for missing you're not going to get art yeah you're not going to get Revelation you're not going to get all these things well and comedy it's particularly important because you have to work it out in front of people absolutely yeah no I used to sit at a comedy club in Manhattan when I was a in college that you know they would try out their material like on a Wednesday right you know early and that was always the most interesting time for me like they're trying South stuff out and a lot of it wasn't so good

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good but you know it was interesting right and you just can't have a situation where people feel like you know one wrong word is going to ruin their careers yeah you know yeah I don't know but there's also people that are wolves and they're trying to take out that little baby joke wandering through the would they want that feeling of being table to take someone down right and that's you know that's you're getting that now too which is just and so now because that there's like Yonder bags at The Improv I'm performing tonight they they use the on

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bags you have to put yourself on the bag when you go in there so you can't record things the under bag yes it's a company called Yonder it's just so strange it's like all the shows I did with Chappelle he uses Yonder bags and the idea is to prevent people from from filming and recording and you know and then eventually putting your stuff out there well you know look I'm kind of all for that I mean I've seen this with politicians on the campaign Trail like they are so tight now in ways that they used to not

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B we saw the Donald Trump thing Donald Trump jr. where Trump jr. what they didn't want them to do they want him to do a Q&A and he didn't want to do it so they budem the right-wing people are booing they're yelling out Q&A Q&A because they want to be able to talk oh I want to be able to say something to him and these are people that were like far-right far-right people they just didn't think he was being right enough for who's playing the game wrong or he wasn't wasn't letting them complain to him right right yeah no that's bad and

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and politicians are aware of that now and they're constantly aware that there are there on film everywhere and so there you know a thousand percent less interesting because yeah there there I mean I remember covering campaign in 2004 and I was I saw Dennis kucinich give a speech somewhere and he was going from I think Maine to New Hampshire and I said what can I get a ride back to New Hampshire's like yeah sure so you know takes me on the van he like takes his shoes off he's like

► 01:23:07

cracking jokes and everything and like eating udon noodles or something political candidates would not do that now like they'd be afraid to be off the record with you right now right right and and they're afraid to be around people and just behave like people you know which is not good I don't think it's the weirdest time ever to be a politician because it's basically you've got this one guy who made it through being hugely flawed and just gonna fucking locker room talk

► 01:23:37

and I was like well yeah it is locker room talk I guess and then it works and he gets through and he wins and so you've got him who seems like he's so greasy like nothing sticks to him and then you have everyone else who's terrified of any slight misstep yeah totally and and you can't replicate the way Trump does this you know Trump trump is he was born this way there's like a thing going on in his head like he is you know pathologically driven to behave in a certain way and he's not going to

► 01:24:07

be cowed by the way you know people are with social because he just doesn't think that way no he's and but that's no one else is going to behave like that what do you think about him and speed what do you think to do all that does he take speed you mean yeah so did you ever see his speech after super Tuesday yeah that's the one we was slurry he was out that was the one we is ramped up he was very I just say watch that speech you know we're not supposed to draw conclusions

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but but you know what might be going on pharmaceutically with somebody but I would say just watched aren't Donald Trump's performance after the results of the super Tuesday roll in in 2016 let's hear some of that first of the Chris Christie is hilarious I've been poor and everything's poor and everything's doing badly but we're going to make it she's been there for so long I mean if she hasn't straighten it out by now she's not going to straighten it out in the next four years it's just going to become worse and

► 01:25:07

worse she wants to make America whole again and I'm trying to Fan it what is that all about this it yeah I mean we just have to go back and look but yeah but he got he went on and on also that the Christie Factor was really funny with that because he was looking at him he's just sitting back there going what am I doing what am I doing with my life look at this face you literally can see his brain wonder why the fuck did this happen I was going to be the man like I was the goddamn president I was gonna happen for me I could see it happening

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I saw him in in Ames Iowa basically standing alone in the park waiting for people to try to shake his hand you know yeah it was pretty bad like you see that and but you do you have a theory about Trump and speed yeah yeah yeah I think he's on some stuff I think first of all I know so many journalists that are on speed I know so many people that are on Adderall and it's very effective it gives you confidence it gives you a delusional perspective you get a delusional state of confidence it makes

► 01:26:07

people think they can do anything it's basically a low-level meth it's very similar to methamphetamine chemically sure and people on it yeah it is tell me what it's like because I haven't done it yeah I mean I've done speed to I mean you know all those all those drugs are yeah they're like baby baby speed basically yeah and you're absolutely right I think people who it's not good for a writer because writing is one of these things where one of the most important things is being able to step back and and ask am I

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really my full of shit here is you know are my jokes as funny as I think they are like right if once that mechanism starts to go wrong you know you're really lost yeah right or right because you're just you're not in front of an audience you're with yourself in front of a computer so I don't think I don't think speed is a great drug I mean you get a lot of stuff done so that's that's good but but yeah no I think there's a lot of people who are on it now and also a lot of us because kids come up

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through school and they're on it yes you know and they get used to it so I know I have kids I wouldn't dream of giving giving them any of those drugs you know I think it's crazy yeah I did too did you saw the I'm sure you saw the Sudafed picture to right now what was that a trumpet was sitting in his office eating a it was that famous photo where he's like I love Hispanics where he's eating a taco bowl at Trump Tower and behind him is an open drawer and in that open drawers boxes of Sudafed and Sudafed sort of

► 01:27:37

yeah I mean you gives you a low-level buzz and the the the I mean this is why I used to have to go to CVS to buy this stuff used to have to give your drivers I guess you still do you have to give your driver's license because they want to make sure you're not cooking meth right fine like ten boxes of it at a time and cooking up a batch yeah if you're like in a holler and Kentucky and you go in and get 20 20 boxes of Sudafed and pretty much people know what you're doing there yeah that's really funny did he say we had a bunch of Sudafed be random

► 01:28:07

yeah in his box and you know there was that one reporter that was that guy's name again who had a whole he wrote a series of tweets which eventually wound up taking down by the way Jamie I can't find those fucking tweets he wrote a series of tweets that there was a very specific Duane Reade Pharmacy where Trump got amphetamines for something that was in quotes called metabolic disorder Kurt I can walled fun fact hurt ya 1982 Trump started

► 01:28:37

take an amphetamine derivatives abuse them only supposed to take two for 25 days stayed on for eight years really now is he full of shit so yet Kurt I can weld is an interesting because he's written some really good books about Finance he wrote a book about Enron you wrote a book about Prudential it was really really good and when I was starting out reading the Wall Street I was like wow these books are really incredibly well research but he had some stuff

► 01:29:07

in the in 2016 we're like that's an example of something as a reporter I see that Michael where's that coming from you know and because you in journalism you can't really accuse somebody of certain things unless it's backed up to the nth degree so right he had a couple of things that I you know would be concerned about he took a leap I don't know I mean look at that that's what I'm saying stepped outside of the journalistic boundaries of what you can absolutely prove and not

► 01:29:38

and took a leap and that's why I think he took down the Duane Reade Pharmacy didn't take it down so it's still there as well there wasn't okay there it is there was another thing about a while he's got the milligrams per day wow where's this from

► 01:29:52

the I don't know it doesn't show it or anything but I believe he drug is copy of it from someone or talk to the doctor drug was diethyl propane 75 milligrams a day prescription filled at Duane Reade on 57th Street in Manhattan not that I know things so you know get the doctor's name to dr. Joseph Greenberg I counter with medical records a White House admitted to me only a short time for diet that he took it when he was not overweight and that's fun he says I counted with medical records they caught me

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► 01:30:24

wow yeah I mean you know one thing I will say is that in when you're when you're covering stories sometimes you hear things and you know they're pretty solid but you put you it's not quite reportable because the person won't put their name on it or you know you're not a hundred percent sure that the document is a real document maybe it's a photocopy and that can be very very tough reporters because they know something's true but they can't they can't and social media has eliminated a barrier that we used to have we used to have to go

► 01:30:54

editor's in fact Checkers and now you know you're on Twitter you can just kind of loop you know right right right or you can hint at something you know and I think that's that's something you don't want to get into as a reporter too much you know yeah that's a weird use of social media right it's like sort of a slippery escape from journalistic Rules yeah exactly yeah you know or you can you can insinuate that somebody did XY and z or you can you can use terms that are a little bit

► 01:31:24

it's sloppy like you know again like but it seems like they did admit that he took that stuff for down yeah so if you have the the White House you know spokesperson saying that they he took it for a short time for a diet then you find that's a reportable story right yeah yeah well I think when people get into that shit it's very hard for them to get out of that shit and that's the speed train and I've seen many people hop on it it's got a lot of stops nobody seems to get off yeah not with their teeth intact right yeah I know it's that's that's

► 01:31:54

good good mood and so old he's so old he doesn't exercise eats fast food he gets so much fucking energy and I mean people want to thank he's a super person you know but maybe he's on speed maybe yeah maybe he's just going to collapse turn over and collapse one guy I'm not maybe you can go a lot longer on speed than people think maybe if you just do it the right way but isn't that kind of the way out history always works it's like again not to go back to the rush of thing but all the various terrible leaders of Russia that they

► 01:32:24

all died of natural causes when they were 85 right where is he in a country where people get murdered and died of industrial accidents and bad Health when they're you know 30 all the time right but the worst people in the country make it to very old age and you know and die and they're alcoholics and and maybe that's a thing right maybe maybe you know he has the worst diet in the world and maybe he's on the speed and maybe it's also your perception of how you interface with the world maybe because he's not this introspective guy that's really

► 01:32:54

worried about how people see him and feel about him maybe he doesn't feel you know what it whether it's sociopathy or whatever it is he doesn't feel the bad feelings they don't get in there yeah and this he doesn't have the the stress impact right and that's the thing about speed apparently it because of the fact that it makes you feel delusional and it makes you feel like you're the fucking man like you don't worry about what other people do this fucking losers who cares right right yeah Greenland yeah you know that was why not buy Greenland wine

► 01:33:24

Not by Greenland yeah that came out awesome what's wrong with that we bought Alaska well yeah he stood laska yeah yeah we were supposed to give it back but we we didn't it seems like Greenland would be a good place to scoop up especially as things get warmer right yeah exactly and the fucking tweet that he made when he put the Trump Tower I promise not to do this and have a giant Trump Tower in the middle of Greenland I was laughing my ass off and like love or hate that is hilarious his trolling skills are top-notch very good there they're fantastic oh he knows how to fuck with people

► 01:33:54

when he starts calling people crazy or gives him a nickname like it's so good because like it sticks oh yes I mean part of me wants to see a trump button race next year just for that reason is because the the abuse will be on Bolin not that I'm encouraging that necessarily but just as a spectacle it's going to be unbelievable you can tell that he he's salivating at the idea of by most horrible moment Biden to me is like having a flashlight

► 01:34:24

light with a dying battery and going for a long hike in the woods it is not going to work out it's not gonna make it yeah I know he's he's so faded he you know he has his moments on the campaign Trail where he'll be speaking and you know these guys do the same speech over and over again so they can kind of do it on cruise control but every now and then he'll stop in the middle of it and you this look of Terror comes over like where am I yeah you know

► 01:34:54

what town am I in you know like you he confused he thought he was in Vermont when he was in New Hampshire I'm sorry I'm sorry yeah he was he got those States confused was like what's not to love about Vermont he was New Hampshire you know that can happen obviously but it happens to him a lot but he's clearly old yeah you know I mean he's not much older than Trump right but he needs to get on the same pills yeah yeah actually I think we should get a go fund me to buy him

► 01:35:24

imagine yeah they just filled him up with steroids and just jacked him up with amphetamines and how to going after Trump because I really think he needs something like that he whatever he's doing on the natch it's not working right yeah yeah he's too tired needs a little bit of enhancement it's not going to work if he if he gets the nomination the Democrats are fucked I just I don't see I don't see him I don't see him with standing The Barrage to Trump is going to throw at him Trump's gonna take him out like Tyson took out Marv

► 01:35:54

Frasier he's got was a bad fun yeah it was a bot that was a bad fight that's going to be that kind of fight right he's got a bomb on them yeah doesn't have a chance he can't stand with that guy he doesn't have a change to he's also too impressed with himself yes he's too used to people deferring yeah like he thinks like the things he says makes sense and her cool and are profound when they're just Bland right he just serving bad Meat Loaf and he's like tah-dah and you're like no this is

► 01:36:24

bad Meat Loaf yeah that's how he got to be vice president by being just bland enough yes right to get whatever constituency Obama was trying to get but you saw that exchange when he called Trump an existential threat earlier this year and Trump basically he just went off on him you know Joe's a dummy he's not the guy he used to be like you know yeah that's going to be every day yep you know every minute of every day and then other people going to chime in because they love it people love piling on oh yeah and his

► 01:36:54

Enzo my God the he's the asshole King where people never had a representative before there's a lot of assholes out there like that where's my guy right then finally bam look at this area is asshole made it to the White House holy shit I can be an asshole now the president's an asshole he wants me to be an asshole lock her up lock her up yeah lock her up yeah totally called that's mean that that's gonna wear on a guy I mean if you've been doing one of Trumps rallies no chance yeah I can I have it

► 01:37:24

a rubber nose and fucking I've covered them and what they're like they're unbelievable first of all that the the t-shirts are amazing you know it like Trump 2020 fuck your feelings you know what I mean like your Trump is the Punisher you know it's like the Punisher skull with a thing like it's it's it's amazing and in the crowds it's like totally out of Idiocracy exactly is there a fucking Punisher skull with a trump wig on it yeah yeah oh my goodness I might have to get one of those

► 01:37:54

I mean he's there's there the t-shirts are no such loud laugh hahaha oh my God what a game it's a red white and blue American flag skull Punisher Style with a Trump trump wig on it so I saw that I need that chest sung it wasn't the one red white and blue one it was the blood of the moment the black and I saw that on my God

► 01:38:24

like an eight-year-old kid right it was like a mother with her little kids in the trend Trump Punisher skull but do they sell that shirt on Amazon can find out they shot I'm sure thing sold everywhere is now oh my God I know these fucking people I mean the the merchants he is he's the most t-shirt of a president in history I mean Trump 2020 grab him by the pussy again clank what I mean

► 01:38:54

they like Embrace that shit it's the the trolling aspect of all of it is like the fun part for his crowds sure what they get off on is how freaked out you know quote unquote liberal audiences are by their appearance their attitude and everything and they lean into it you know I mean which is which is interesting because you know that kind of like group camaraderie thing that you don't really find that on the campaign Trail on the Democratic side

► 01:39:24

different I mean it's a different vibe entirely but yeah it's crazy well it's dumb and that's the thing that he's sort of like captured is this place where you can be dumb like it's fun to be dumb and say grab her by the pussy look everybody knows that's kind of a dumb thing to say publicly course but you can say it there because he said it yay you know Build That Wall Build That Wall yay right like it's like it's this chance to like shut off any possibility of getting over like 70 rpm like you were

► 01:39:54

that cut this bitch off at 70 there's no high function here cut it off and 70 and just let it rip right yeah no totally totally and and it's funny the way you say that they all everybody knows is a dumb thing to say right so like I would talk to people at the crowds and you know talk like a 65 year old grandmother and you say do you agree with everything Trump says and like almost the last they all say well I wish he hadn't said this particular thing right but

► 01:40:24

are all their Channing you know what I mean like they're all into it and and the Crowds Are there so huge like I was in Cincinnati and I was late to one of his events and I made the mistake that I couldn't drive in because they blocked off all the bridges if you've ever been there right you I was in the Kentucky side so I had to walk like three miles away and like walk over a bridge and I thought I was going to be the only person there and it was like something out of a sci-fi movie was just like a line of Maga hats like extending over a bridge all the way into Kentucky like a mild

► 01:40:54

a road I mean they had to turn away thousands of people to get into this event it wasn't it's incredible and that people that see it was like 17 or 18,000 it was the you know the forget what they what arena that is it's the it's the indoor one and look at the size of those places he's the only one that can pull those kind of crowds here oh yeah there's no no one no one can do that you know Bernie and Warren have had big crowds Bernie had a he had a 25,000 person crowd in

► 01:41:24

means a couple of weeks ago you'll see crowds that big but Trump's Crowds Are just dating back to 2016 they're just consistently huge everywhere and and again this gets back to what I was saying before all the reporters saw this and they all saw that Hillary was having real trouble getting four and five thousand people into her events and so we all you know we were all talking to each other like that's gotta be in it a thing that's gonna you know play a role in the election eventually but nobody kind of brought it up or they

► 01:41:54

it away well I think they felt like if you discussed it and brought it up that somehow or another you go you were contributing to Trump being Trump winning right but that's the that's the fallacious way to look at it because covering up the reality of the situation I think created a false sense of security for Democrats sure they thought they were going to win by a landslide yeah that's what everybody was saying but it wasn't true I mean there were sitting there were serious red flags throughout the campaign for Hillary and

► 01:42:23

so I think we're too afraid to to bring up a lot of this stuff because they didn't want to be seen as helping Trump but that's not what the business is about we're not supposed to be you know helping backbone facts don't have you know political indications were just supposed to tell you what we see how do you get journalism back on track is it possible at this point I mean is it is a lost art is it going to be like calligraphy I mean I think yeah like a right yeah like like yeah exactly Japanese calligraphy right yeah it to pass it down through Masters yeah this is yeah maybe

► 01:42:54

it's going to be one of Journalism is like a Min then use the there's two things that could happen one is that like if you created something like neither side news right now right and just like a that's a great name yeah like a network where it was a bunch of people who just kind of did the job without the editorializing I think it would have it would probably have a lot of followers right away would make money and nobody has clued into that yet like if some canny entrepreneur were to do that and that were to bring back the business that or

► 01:43:23

you know journalism is always been kind of Quasi subsidized in this country you know going back to the Pony Express Newspapers were carried free across to the West right that US Postal Service said that the original 19 the communications Act of 1934 the idea was you know we could lease the public Airways but you had to do something in the public interest so you you could make money doing sports and entertainment but you could take a loss on news and so it was kind of Quasi subsidizing that way but that doesn't exist anymore there's no

► 01:43:54

absolutely really for news anymore I'm not installed sure I agree with that that being the way to go but there has to be something because right now the financial pressure to be bad is just to is too great you know like there's no there's no way to sort of go on this but I can't when I came from the business when the money started getting tighter the first thing they got rid of where the long-form investigative reporters like you couldn't just hire somebody to work on a story for three months anymore because he knew them to do content all the time

► 01:44:23

they got rid of the fact Checkers you know which had another serious problem you know and and so now the money is so tight that you just have these people doing clickbait all the time and they're not doing real reporting and so they have to fix the money problem I don't know how that would do that how much is it changed recently because like when that piece that you the stuff that you wrote about the banking crisis was my favorite coverage of it and the most relatable and understandable and the way you spelled everything out could you do that today

► 01:44:54

yeah but I think it would be harder because that's not that long it's it really isn't it's only you know that was really stop doing that and like 2014 or so less or five years out but the the big difference is a social media has had a huge impact on attention span so you know I was reading like 7,000 word articles about credit default swaps and stuff like that and I was trying really hard to make it interesting for people you know you use jokes and Yammer and stuff like that but now

► 01:45:24

people would not have the energy to really fight through that you'd have to make it shorter even TV you know they people you don't see that kind of reporting that in-depth kind of process reporting where your teacher you're teaching people something because people just tune out right away that they need just a quick hit a headline on a couple of facts so yeah there's a big problem with audience right we've trained audiences to consume the news differently and

► 01:45:53

and all they really want to get is a take now you know it's like the everything's like an ESPN hot take right things you know so that's easy counter that though is this what we're doing right now like these are always these long-ass conversations their hours and hours long and there's a bunch of them out there now it's not like mine is an isolated one and there's so many podcasts that cover and some of them cover them like in a Serial form like the Dropout was out there was other called it yes it was the

► 01:46:24

about was the one about that woman who created that fake blood combo yes right yeah Susan was her name

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► 01:46:35

what is her name Elizabeth whole it's right there that's right Sarah knows yeah the the completely fraudulent company that was an amazing podcast absolutely that if I read it I probably you're right I probably would have liked boring right I probably did abandon it earlier but listening to it in podcast form listening to actual conversations from these people listening to people's interpretations of these conversations listening to people that were there at the time telling you

► 01:47:05

telling stories about when they knew things were weird when they started noticing the there's like tests that were incorrect that there are covering up that kind of shit like you can do that now with something like this and I think that one of the good things about podcast too is you don't need anybody to tell you that you could you could publish this yeah no absolutely I think you're you're right and I'll say I think formats like this reveal that the

► 01:47:35

news companies are wrong about about some things about audiences like they think that people can't handle an in-depth discussion about things they think that audiences only want to watch 30 seconds of something they don't they're they're interested they do have curiosity about things it's just it's very difficult to convince people in the news business especially to take chances on that kind of content you know Bill do it for a podcast I'll do it for a documentary but but for four

► 01:48:05

news they just they're making things shorter and shorter and shorter you know I was really lucky to have an editor who I you know I understood the idea that we have to get into this in depth or else it's going to be meaningless the probe right that's pretty rare you know for the most part they you don't see them taking that kind of bet anymore but maybe podcast will help people puncture that but the flip side of that is that they're not they're not investing and stuff like like international news in the way they used to like when I came

► 01:48:35

came up in the business every Bureau every big Network had bureaus in every major city around the world you know Rome Berlin Moscow whatever it is right and they had news rooms full of people who are you know out there Gathering news now there's none of that you're right because they figured out that can make the money just as easily by having somebody sit in an office and in Washington or New York and just you know link to something and have a take on something you know so the I think the news is getting worse

► 01:49:05

Castor getting more interesting maybe maybe there's a happy medium that can find in between well documentaries as well documentaries are commercially viable if it's a great subject like like a good examples that wild wild country one you know I didn't even know that that cult existed I have no idea what what happened up there and then so this documentary sheds light on it does it over like I think it was like six episodes or something like that it's fucking amazing and it made a shit ton of money yet we're making a murderer was another one that was

► 01:49:35

really good like they you take because that's something that happens all over the place you have these criminal justice cases and their terrible injustices happen and you know if you really tell the whole story and make characters out of people and invest the time and yeah it's to tell it tell it well people still like really good storytelling but but I think within the news business they just they have this belief their hard-headed belief that people can't handle difficult material and I don't

► 01:50:05

my that is you know yeah I don't know why it is either it's I mean I think there's a large number of people that aren't satisfied intellectually by a lot of the stuff they're being spoon fed and they think that because the the vast majority of things that are commercially viable are short attention span things I think it's like this real sloppy way of thinking non risk-taking way of thinking they're like wasn't this is how people consume things you got to give them like a music video style editor

► 01:50:35

Ting or they just tune out but there's always been a thirst for actual long-form conversations yeah you don't an actual real in-depth exploration of something in a very digestible way like one of the good things about doing your podcast for this podcast any podcast really is that you could listen to it while you're commuting listen to it and it'll actually give you something that occupies your mind and interests you during what would normally be dead time right yeah and you're absolutely right about the

► 01:51:06

The Thirst for something else now and again I think when people turn on most news products they're getting this predictable set of things and that doesn't quench that thirst for them they're not they're not being challenged in any way they're not seeing different sides of a topic you know you're not approaching covering a subject Honestly by genuinely you know exploring the idea that such that people you may have thought were bad or right or people you may have thought

► 01:51:35

a good or wrong it's just all predictable so I think people are fleeing to other things now right they just they want they want to just get the story they don't they don't want to have a whole lot of editorializing on top of it yeah and yeah and they I think also there's a lot of under estimating of audiences going out there and like we we just think that they can't handle stuff and they can yeah they're interested but we just take it for granted that they can't do it

► 01:52:05

maybe I'm guilty of that too you know because I've been doing this for so long but but yeah it does happen I think people have changed that much yeah no probably probably not it's just it's just difficult you know maybe it's also we don't have the stamina to to stick with a story in the same way that we used to like now if a story doesn't get a million hits right away we don't go beyond return to the subject you know you think about stories like Watergate like when Woodward Bernstein first did those

► 01:52:35

stories differ complete Duds I click everybody thought they were on the wrong path they were the only people who were covering it and a lot of those stories kind of flailed around you know what I mean they didn't get the big response and it wasn't until much later that it became this hot thing that everybody was watching and you wouldn't so that wouldn't happen now right like if reporters were on a story if it didn't catch fire within the first couple of passes your editors probably going to take you off it now what was that

► 01:53:05

that story that the New York Times worked on about Trump and they worked on it for a long time and it was released and went in and out of the new cycle in a matter of days and nobody gave a fuck the yeah the one about his finances yes and it was like a 36,000 word story it was like unbelievable it was it was like six times as big as any is the biggest story of ever written in my life they thought it was a giant take down right yeah and it was it your it was like a 36-hour thing if that right and maybe maybe

► 01:53:35

yeah and people kind of said oh this is amazing it's got all this information and it just fell flat you know and that's and the important thing about that is that news companies see this and they say wow we invested all this time and money we put our you know really good reporters on this we gave them six months to work on something and it got the same amount of hits as you know some story about you know a carp with a human face that was filmed in

► 01:54:05

China you know what I mean like something that we you know we picked up the wires and stuck it in page 11 whatever it was so then that what that tells them the incentives now are let's not bother let's let's not do six months investment investigations of anything anymore because what's the point we're going to get as many hits doing something dumb wow so they just don't take the risk anymore God it's so crazy that that's the incentive now that it's all clicks totally it's such a strange trap to fall into and there's also the the

► 01:54:35

thing which is the litigation problem you know the and this is another thing I wrote about in the book is that there was a series of cases in the in the 80s and 90s where reporters kind of took on big companies and I'm at the Chiquita banana thing that the Cincinnati Enquirer did remember the movie The Insider up Ryan Williams yeah that's a backhoe company CBS right there was another one with Monsanto in Florida where some Fox reporters went after Monsanto and they so they all got sued

► 01:55:04

and it cost their companies a ton of money and reputational risk and so after that what news company said is why take on a big company that can fight back and throw a lawsuit at us and what do we win by that we're not going to get more audience from that you know so now if you watch consumer reporting you know it like a small TV station usually it's they're going to bang on some little Chinese restaurant that has roaches or something like that

► 01:55:34

I'm going to go after Monsanto or were you know Chiquita banana because there's no point there it's too much of a risk so they just don't do it and that's another thing that's gone wrong with reporting you know they gave the economic benefit of going after a powerful adversary isn't there anymore so they don't do it and that's what that's a problem now clearly you've seen a giant change in journalism from when you first started to where we are now

► 01:56:04

how do you have any fears or concerns about the future of it I mean this is what you do for a living what is your what are your thoughts on it where you think it's going

► 01:56:14

I mean I'm really worried about it because because you need the journalists to kind of exist apart from politics and to be a check on everything I think that the whole idea of having a fourth estate is that it's separate from the political parties right I mean I don't work for the DNC it's not my job to write bad news about Donald Trump right that's the dnc's job you know they put up press releases about them and if people see us as

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being indistinguishable from political parties or being all editorial then we don't have any power any more like that's that's the first thing that the Press doesn't have any ability to influence people if people don't see us as independent and truthful and all those things and so that's what I really worried about right now is like people won't will stop listening to the media they'll still tune us out they don't trust us anymore and like Walter Cronkite from you know 1972 the

► 01:57:14

a Gallup poll agency found that he was the most trusted man in America and that was true also in 1985 like for 13 consecutive years he was the most trusted there's no reporter in America who's who's the president Trusted Man in America right doesn't exist yeah with the it doesn't it yeah exactly so people think of us as clowns and you know entertainment figures and so how are you gonna how are you going to impact the world if people think you're a joke you know and that's why that's what I really worry about we don't have any institutional self

► 01:57:44

back to anymore and we don't we don't feel like we have to you know challenge audiences challenge challenge powerful people you know it's just a bunch of talking points and that's that's not what the business is about so I worry about it and you know I think there are a lot of journalists who kind of say the same thing we all kind of talk some Talk Amongst ourselves which is you know the the the job as we knew it is kind of being phased out and changed into something else and

► 01:58:14

and that's not that's not a good thing you know because people do need in tough times people need need the Press you know as ridiculous as that sounds now because but it's true and I don't know what where we go from here legitimate journalism is so important it's so important it's the only way you really find out what's going on right the only way right you're not going to find out through the depictions of the people that were actually involved in it they want you to see it a certain way you're not going to find out from people that have Financial incentives

► 01:58:44

given you a specific narrative you need real journalism yeah it's so hard to find I think it's one of the reasons why we're so lost and it's one of the more Insidious aspects of the term fake news because goddamn that so easy to throw around it's like it's so easy to call someone a bigot it's so easy to call someone a racist and it's so easy to say fake news and although they all have the same sort of effect they just diminish anything you have to say almost instantaneously totally and and there's

► 01:59:14

when you can cast the entire news is being fake people can tune it tuna now but a lot of that has to do with it but who is doing the news reading now right like in the 60s and 70s and maybe before reporters a lot of them came from the middle and lower classes like the you know they were it was the job was originally kind of like being a plumber right it was more of a trade than a profession and so you had a lot of people who who went into the job and they had this kind of

► 01:59:44

to to just wanted to Stick it to the Man you know like they they they didn't want to be close to power they wanted to take it on people like Seymour Hersh right like if you see that kind of personality who just wants to take the truth and rub it in somebody's face but then after All the President's Men it became this sexy thing to be a journalist and you saw a lot of people from my generation who went into journalism because they wanted to be close to politicians and hang out with them kind of like the primary colors

► 02:00:13

a thing right where you see people who they just want to like have a beer with the king with the presidential candidate and that's totally different from what used to be like not so now we're on the wrong side of the Rope line you see what I'm saying like we're like we used to we used to be outside of power like taking it on and now we're kind of see we're more upper class in the press and we're kind of in bed with the same people we were supposed to be covering and that's that's not a good thing people when people see that they

► 02:00:44

a you know that's that's one of the reasons why they said they'd call us fake news is because they see us as doing PR for you know rich people one of my favorite books ever about politics is Fear and Loathing on the campaign Trail yeah and I wrote the introduction to that did you have to let the last last edition of that that greatest book yeah it's a fantastic book and it's a great example of someone who knew that they weren't a part of that system so they could talk about it as an outsider he knew he was only going to be covering it for a year and just went in guns blazing

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got everybody fucked up drinking on the bus making everybody around all of them yep yeah and he says that in the book he's like he's like look this isn't my beat I don't have any friends I have to keep you know yeah so I'm going to tell you everything that I see and fuck it and and that's that's a real problem in reporting when you when you you rent a beat for too long you end up have developing unhealthy relationships with sources and you end up in a position where you're not going to burn the people who you're dependent on to get your information

► 02:01:44

and when that happens the reporters I think that's one of the reasons it's a good to kind of cycle through different topics over the course of your career look he gets stuck in the same same beat too long eventually that you fall into that trap and Thompson of course never did that like you know every story that he covered was he let it all hang out and just said whatever the hell he thought and you know he let the chips fall where they may and that's kind of the way you can't do that all the time probably but I think that's the thing that was great it was amazing

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and there's no other examples of it no no nothing like that yeah yeah I mean that book was so great on so many levels like he always thought it was being also kind of like a novel because it's a it's this story about this person who's like obsessed with finding meaning and truth but he go he goes to the most fake place on Earth which is the campaign Trail yeah to look for it and so all these depictions of all these terrible lying people they're just so hilarious

► 02:02:44

is sand and and so it's kind of you know it's almost like a Franz Kafka novel it's amazing and then it's great journalism at the same time like he's telling you how the system works and how elections work and it's really valuable for that so yeah that was brilliant he also changed a lot I mean he actually affected politicians like the shit that he did with Ed Muskie where the game that was fantastic what he's on the Dick Cavett Show and The Dick Cavett asked him about it he goes well there was a rumor

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or that he was on ibogaine and I started that rumor I mean it's just he like literally that he got in that guy's head oh yeah and I remember the he put that picture of musky he's found a picture of musky and it's he's basically working like that yeah the caption is musky in the throes of a nibble gain friendly right and you couldn't get really get away with that now like he just he just you know it was just

► 02:03:43

a crazy drug to choose to because the drug that gets you off addictions right yeah exactly what more hilarious aspects of his choice but it sounded great yeah with the witch doctor and all that stuff Brazilian which dog yeah it was fantastic so good yeah but you know that that kind of stuff probably wouldn't go over all that well right now no get sued yeah but the that also he had this very very sort of aggressive

► 02:04:13

lovely caricature Rising way of looking at politics and politicians and that that wouldn't go over that well now either like people don't want you to rip on the process as much as he did in that book so it was great it was just a fantastic book yeah I mean he had a bunch of them that were great but that one particularly its you can sort of redo it you could reread it every time we get to an election cycle and sort of like goes oh you let you know these are these are repeating

► 02:04:43

Michael's this this is just like the same shit that he was dealing with in you know various different forms but you can see it all today and it's funny the reporters everybody's read that book everybody who covers Kent in the campaign's you know I'm on my fifth right now for Rolling Stone like I had I have his old job and everybody has read that book and so they unconsciously try to make the same characters and each election cycle so there's always like a christ-like

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govern figure there's there's a you know a turncoat quisling spineless musky figure there's the enters the villain Nixon trumpet Trump kind of fills that role for a lot of reporters now and then they all a lot of them try to behave in the same way that their characters behaved in that book so you remember Frank mankiewicz was was McGovern's sort of Handler and he was having beers with with Thompson after the events

► 02:05:43

kind of you know strategizing with a more reporters try to do that they all try to do that with the candidates and their handlers now they try to develop those same relationships it's just interesting it's like they're reliving reliving the book you know that's a problem with someone that's really good you know they they take on so many imitators there's so many imitators take on their demeanor and their thought process like and Hunter was just such an iconic version of a writer that it's so difficult if you're a fan of his too not want to be

► 02:06:13

like that guy oh totally I mean I you know I know that I know that you know especially because I'm writing for the same magazine and covering love the same topics you have to immediately realize that you can't do what he did like he Thompson's writing was incredibly ambitious and unique he was using a lot of the same techniques techniques that the great fiction writers use like he was creating almost like this four-dimensional you know

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story but at the same time it was also journalism that you can't really most people couldn't get away with that you have to be a great great writer I'm talking like over rare Mark Twain level yeah talent to really to do what he did which is to kind of mix the you know the ambition of great Fiction with journalism so if you try to do that stuff it's going to be terrible and I've done I've certainly you look go back and look at my red and you'll find a lot of like shitty Thompson

► 02:07:13

imitations and and so I learned to not do that pretty early but ya know it's one of those don't try this at home things for Young Writers if you can if you can avoid that for sure do you have any do you have any hope the zit or anything that you look to Ego maybe this is going to be where this turns around in terms of Journalism and turns of like yes I mean I think

► 02:07:44

I mean I'll be enough I think you know shows like yours and the kind of pull up proliferation of look what you're talking about with with podcasts

► 02:07:52

the great thing about the internet there are lots of bad things but the great thing about it is that it's given its provided a way for people to just have an audience if they're good right if in and if people have a demand for it they're going to there's a man-to-man for it you can exist you can have a platform and and so that's what I think is going to happen is that people are going to crack the code of what what kind of Journalism people want and they're going to create something that people are going to flock to

► 02:08:22

and I don't have a lot of faith that CBS Ms NBC ABC CNN that they're going to figure it out like I think it's going to be some independent kind of voice that is going to come up with something a new formula and people are that is going to rise up you know I mean you've seen it a little bit with things like The Young Turks you know although they're you know they're changed they've changed a little bit but they figured out that if you provide something that's an alternative from the you

► 02:08:52

evil thing that you can you can succeed you can get a viable functioning business a lot faster than you used to be able to what do you mean by they changed you know I I think you know there if they've kind of become a little bit more in the direction of a traditional news organization than they were originally maybe I don't know I don't watch don't watch it as much as I used to so maybe I shouldn't say that but but you know again

► 02:09:22

the ability to do that is a lot different than it used to be like in order to have an independent journalism Outlet used to have to like for instance put out your own newspaper which do what you do your own distribution to your own printing to your own design all this stuff cost a ton of money and it was very very hard to do it without big corporate sponsors now you know now I'm anybody with a good idea can we can pretty much you know do something and I haven't so I have a lot of hope that somebody's going to figure it out it just

► 02:09:52

it just were not there yet I agree with you I'm optimistic I have a lot of Hope to but I'm always like ones hurry up already yeah I know I know and you know and it's just until we get there the the remnants of the old system of media they're just you know it's just so tough to watch flailing you know they're flailing they don't really know what to do that they're kind of caught between just purely chasing the money and trying to adhere to what they thought the news look like in the past so it's

► 02:10:22

not entertaining you know if they were just chasing the money if they just come up organically today they would have had a different product entirely but they're trying to sound like legitimate news but they're also completely selling out at the same time and it's just not working you know yeah and so yeah we'll see worse we'll see where all that goes but it's safe we're not here you're right they're flailing right now well Matt Taibbi I appreciate you man thanks a lot Joe do it so easy to talk to you know look wise your book tell people hey Tink it's not called hey

► 02:10:52

pink it's Bayou our books it's out its out now you can buy it on Amazon and my podcast is called useful idiots with Katie helper rollingstone.com so you wanna check that out once a week thank you thank you very much I appreciate everybody thank you everyone for tuning into the show and thank you to our sponsors thank you to Casper mattress has dope mattresses with a 100 night risk-free sleep on it trial you can

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