• Podcast

    Matt Taibbi: Don’t Trust The News

    Award-winning journalist explains how the media is badly failing us
    by Adam Taggart

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020, 6:22 PM

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“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do, you’re misinformed.”

~ Mark Twain (apocryphal)t

If you feel you can’t trust the news anymore, you have good reason.

Award-winning — and newly independent — journalist Matt Taibbi (of “vampire squid” fame) returns to Peak Prosperity to break down for us how the news media industry became corrupted by the profit motive and now intentionally produces content to “entertain” rather than “inform”.

The five media behemoths who own more than 90% of all US media outlets (Comcast, Viacom, Disney, Time Warner, Newscorp) have discovered that it’s much more profitable to focus on discrete audience segments and give them the information they want to hear.

Which is why the time-honored approach of “just the facts” reporting to a general audience has practically disappeared. There’s less money in it, so it’s just not pursued anymore.

So we’re now served a steady diet of intentionally-biased outrage and pablum, with opinions replacing facts, and any intellectually “triggering” content quickly gunned down by today’s trigger-happy censors.

It’s no wonder that a recent Gallup poll revealed that the majority of Americans no longer trust the US media to report accurately or fairly.

This is a huge social challenge. In such a world, where can one turn for objective information? And what are the consequences of creating such a poorly-informed populace?

While there are no easy solutions, Taibbi shares how he and other respected investigative journalists are ejecting from the system and self-publishing their work, freeing them of the control and biases of corporate overlords.

To understand just how broken our news media is and to learn how to navigate your way to the few reporters and channels remaining dedicate to sourced, factual journalism, play this interview with Matt Taibbi:

Transcript

[unedited]

Adam Taggart: Welcome to Peak Prosperity. I’m Peak Prosperity Co-Founder Adam Taggart here with Matt Taibbi. Matt’s an American author, a national magazine award winning journalist and podcaster. He has keenly researched and reported fearlessly in the areas of finance, media, politics, and sports. You may know him, he’s forever endeared himself to the Peak Prosperity audience by coining the term Vampire Squid for Goldman Sachs. And Matt is here with us today to talk about the media landscape. And one of the main reasons why I wanted to get Matt on here, not only because he’s such a seasoned and accomplished journalist in his own right, but he has also recently gone independent with publishing his work. Though he does remain a contributing editor to Rolling Stone. But I wanted to get an independent perspective into the area of media.

And the reason why I want to dig into that is that it’s all about trust in media today which has actually plummeted to all time lows. Back in the old days, the vast majority of the country listened to the likes of Walter Cronkite or Edward R. Murrow. And they trusted that they were being kept well informed. Now you contrast that to today where the landscape of news sources has fractured into millions of different options with opinion often replacing facts and accusations of fake news. Resulting in a tsunami of modern day censorship the likes that we haven’t seen for many decades.

So Matt I want to start here with a recent Gallup poll that shows that a full 60% of Americans no longer trust that the US media is accurately and fairly reporting the news. And these results came out before the Presidential election with its contested results. And the huge tangle of conflicting narratives that have erupted since then. So my question for you Matt is what has brought us to this point where the majority of the masses no longer trust the press?

Matt Taibbi: Yeah I’m actually surprised, first of all thank you Adam for having me on. I’m surprised that number isn’t higher frankly. We’ve been in a trend where belief and trust in the news media has been on a downward planed trajectory for some time now. And there’s an odd kind of paradox there because as people trust the news media less, they’re actually consuming it more. Which, to me, tells me that news is moving into the entertainment space. And it’s becoming more of an entertainment product that people do consume a lot of, they just don’t believe it as much anymore. And that has a lot to do I think with the commercial strategies of the news business. I wrote about this in a book called Hate, Inc. Basically I think in our business we’ve switched out an old model that was based on the idea of the news being non-denominational, nonpartisan, and sticking to just the facts, to a highly politicized, opinionated presentation that people enjoy but they don’t necessarily believe. And that model I think is going to have negative consequences for the business in the long run.

Adam Taggart: And is that driven by the profit motive of corporations? Or is it driven by other agendas? Just one stat I want to mention here. In 1983, there were about 50 corporations that owned pretty much most of the media in the country. Today that has concentrated to just five key players: Comcast, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, and News Corp. So clearly, the vast majority of whatever news we see is rolling up into one of those companies which has its own profit objectives and whatnot. Is it just all about the dollar or are there other factors in play here too?

Matt Taibbi: I think the economic considerations are central to all of this. You talk about the concentration as you go up the chain, but the products have been atomized and fragmented since 1983. So back at that time there were only three or four major newscasts. Now, you have hundreds or even thousands of news products dotting the internet including the traditional legacy media. But there’s something for everybody. Most of them are owned by those companies, one of those companies.

But the strategy now has changed from trying to get the entire audience which is what CBS, NBC, and ABC used to try to do, they tried to get everybody. To recognizing that they’re not going to do that anymore. And trying to pick an audience and just dominate it. Which was the strategy that Fox pioneered. Let’s not go for everybody, let’s pick a certain demographic. Maybe older, conservative, suburban, or rural. And we’ll just feed them news that we know they’re going to like. And that’s kind of the business model now. And it works, but it has a tendency to fragment and polarize news audiences when you employ it.

Adam Taggart: Yeah so here’s where I’m going to get to your experience as a journalist working for media organizations. There’s, you hear all the time that they news media is biased. Oftentimes called the left wing media and whatnot. And I think the data does prove that out that most of these major news organizations do have a bias. You just said that they’re kind of picking an audience and selling into that audience. Just another bit of data, a recent Texas A&M, Arizona State University research survey showed that over 60% of journalists identify as being left of center. So not moderate but left of center. Interestingly the number of conservative journalist was surprisingly small. The ones that identified as conservative.

So we have a lot of left leaning organizations. We also have some conservative ones and I think that the severity of bias is just as extreme on both sides. But what happens is you get to a point where their ideology is determining what news is. Right? And we’re seeing more and more extreme examples of that. And I think one and we’ll get to social media in a second, but one important one was when Twitter decided to not let the New York Post tweet out its articles about the Burisma investigation. Which, hard to argue at least it’s not relevant to what was going on there. I’m not saying it’s good or it’s bad. But it was, I think the New York Post is one of the largest, oldest newspapers in the country. Maybe the fourth largest. Yeah and Twitter was just saying hey we don’t believe your version of the news is acceptable. Right?

So when you’re working in a newsroom and you’re trying to be an independent journalist and get the story out as you see it as factual, but maybe the editorial staff comes to you and says no you got to take this stuff out because it doesn’t really fit our ideology. How rampant is that right now? How hard is it to be an honest reporter in today’s environment?

Matt Taibbi: That’s a great question. That dynamic has changed drastically since I first started working in media 30 years ago. My father was in the news media also. Once upon a time, it was a virtue, it was considered a virtue in the business if nobody knew what your politics were. And especially the viewers in the audience were supposed to be left guessing as to what you really thought about things. They had to trust your factual reporting so they didn’t really want to know what you thought about things. And that was true inside the newsrooms as well. It tended to be true that most of the people who worked as reporters were misanthropes and just hated everybody if they had an orientation at all.

That has changed dramatically and especially in the last four or five years it’s now the case where if you’re not a team player politically, it can become a serious problem in newsrooms. And we saw over the summer there were a number of controversies at publications, ranging from The Intercept to the Huffington Post, to Bon Appetit, to Variety, to a whole bunch of others. Where there were internal revolts directed at people whose politics were unorthodox. And that’s a problem. Again, it’s okay to have political leanings and to have political beliefs. I think it would be odd if you didn’t have them. But for the job, you have to be able to shut that off and with each story, approach each set of facts with a clean slate and at least embrace the possibility that things are going to be different this time. Right? You have to consider alternative news stories.

And so items like the Hunter Biden story, there’s no evidence to suggest that that wasn’t real. People might have said it wasn’t important or that it wasn’t something that needed to be paid attention to. But I don’t see the justification for yanking it out of the news landscape. That doesn’t make any sense to me.

Adam Taggart: Yeah so I want to talk just a moment about your decision to go independent which I mentioned at the beginning of the video here. Because I know others are also following your lead. But I’m just curious, I’m going to dig into this point just a little bit more. What is it like to be a journalist in this environment maybe before you headed off on your own, hung your own independent shingle? In the newsroom, can you go out and identify a story and work on it the way that you see fit? Or is it really sitting down with the editors and the editors are kind of giving marching orders. Hey, we want a story, an article that tells this to get our angle of the story. How much independence does the average journalist have today? Do they still have leeway or are they really just order takers today?

Matt Taibbi: So it’s not really like that. They don’t give you orders. I think what happens in news organizations is that over time, journalists are sort of given, it’s made clear to them what is desired and what isn’t desired. Right? So just to take a really crude example. When I worked in Russia, that was where I began my career was in post-Communist Russia. I learned pretty early on that editors love stories about American culture being exported to the Soviet Union like McDonalds or Ikea or whatever it was. I guess that’s not American, but western culture.

But they hated stories about western programs failing. So American advisors would advise shock therapy and that would not do well. And they didn’t want to hear that. So it’s not like they would tell you not to file or to present those stories. But you would learn that if you did file those stories, they probably wouldn’t make it. You know? So over time you develop a sense of what editors want and what they don’t want. And what’s happening in this environment politically is that just everybody knows what the editors do and do not want. And where it gets uncomfortable is where you feel like you have an obligation to try to push something because you think it’s true or important but you know that the editors aren’t going to want to deal with it.

And I think one of the first stories that was a serious problem for a lot of progressive journalists anyway was the Russia Gate story. Where it was made clear to everybody early on that nobody wanted to hear the idea that there were problems. There were problems with that story. So everybody who had an aggressive take on that got published and everyone who didn’t, either kept their mouth shut or didn’t get published. And that’s where you have problems, is when there’s the self-editing that goes on.

Adam Taggart: Got it. And it sounds too like you said that there’s sort of this incentive of attrition which means you know sure write what you want to write. But if it’s not fitting our narrative that we want to tell, it’s just not going to see the light of day type of deal.

Matt Taibbi: Right or you learn that there are going to be additional problems. So you file that kind of story and they say oh it’s really good but we just want you to work on a little more. So you learn that it takes X amount of energy to get this kind of story published and a lot less energy to get the other kind published. And what end up happening is you just start selecting for the easier path.

Adam Taggart: Got it and I think this is probably obvious but it sounds like this is probably a term that has accelerated during the course of your thirty years in journalism?

Matt Taibbi: Oh yeah absolutely. And I should emphasize, I have kind of a unique situation. I always did with Rolling Stone. I always had a lot of freedom. They always encouraged me to pursue ideas that maybe the editors didn’t necessarily agree with. And that was really great. I mean if you look back, you can see that I criticized, for instance, the Obama Administration when the rest of Rolling Stone wasn’t doing that too much. But for most people who are in journalism, you kind of get an idea of where the newsroom is politically and there are now basically there's a price to pay for sticking your head up and being the one who tries to be different. And that’s so unusual because this business used to be about people who wanted to be different. Like most journalists were independent minded once upon a time. And now it’s much more of a herd type activity which is really strange.

Adam Taggart: Yeah alright so let’s now talk about your transition to being an independent publisher of your own work. First, if you can tell us your main reasons for doing that. I’m assuming that they’re tied to what we’re talking about here but if that’s an incorrect assumption, let us know. And also, there have been some other big people making similar departures like that. So very recently Glenn Greenwald just announced that is going to the same service that you're publishing on, Substack. And the really interesting part about Glen’s story is is first he worked for The Guardian, ended up colliding with the editorial issues we’re talking about there. And founded a company called The Intercept. And ended up having similar collisions of interests with the partners that he had worked with to put that together. So now he’s gone totally independent.

We also have Bari Weiss at the New York Times, who very sort of publicly said hey look I did this for as long as I could, but it’s just not the place I originally joined. So you’re seeing these, I would call these types of journalists kind of the modern day paragons for independent investigative work. These are the people that are breaking big news. They’re really telling important stories that weren’t being told before they got out there and advanced them. And it really does seem like a breaking point on their end where they’re just saying I can’t work within the system anymore. I'm going to have to start working outside of it. So anyways if you can comment on your transition to Substack and what you and your peers, why you guys are making that transition?

Matt Taibbi: So my situation is slightly different from Glen or somebody like Matt Yglesias who’s another amazing example because he was the Co-Founder of Fox and he ended up having to basically leave his own company because he was squeezed out by the pressures you’re talking about. I really wasn’t experiencing that so much. It was more that I had kind of an inkling that this was going to be a successful for people like me in the future. And I had some experience with this company because I had serialized a couple of books through them. It was an experiment that I had done. So I made that move that was more of a professional calculation than what’s actually happening with a lot of these other people is that they're being literally forced out of their companies. And this is where they’re going because they have to.

Where the tie in for me is, is that a lot of audiences are now leaving organizations like the New York Times or The Intercept or Salon or Vox because they’re tired of getting basically a media monoculture and they want some independence of thought. So they’re going to these new sites like Substack where we don’t have editorial constraints because that’s where you can find it. And so that’s where I’m connected to people like Greenwald Andrew Sullivan whose politics are different from mine or Matt Yglesias. It’s because there is a big audience out there that is leaving traditional media and they’re looking for something new and that’s what we’re trying to deliver on.

Adam Taggart: Good, good. I’m going to ask you in a second how that’s working out so far. But I just want to underscore, so we at Peak Prosperity we are an information site. And I think we’re in existence because there's plenty of people out there that are looking for information sources that they feel are more trustworthy, more agnostic. Just sort of more pragmatic and unbiased. And of course I'm biased in my opinion to that because it’s the company I created. But as you said I think people out there are really hungry because they’re looking at the major mainstream sources and just again losing faith for all the reasons we've talked about and we’ve already shared all the survey data and stuff like that. So I’m curious Matt, I know it’s a relatively recent transition of yours, within the past year or so. How has it been working out so far with the initial results?

Matt Taibbi: It’s amazing. One of the other Substack writers said to me Substack is the greatest invention since penicillin. It definitely works. Financially I think it’s working better than I expected. But I think what I would say is that this is a model that’s going to work for people who already have some profile before they make a move like this. The subscriber based model is going to be difficult when it comes to trying to figure out how we pay for institutional investigative reporting. Just something that’s disappeared gradually since going back to the 80s. We still don’t really have a way to pay for that. We might be able to pay for some individual people but the problem is that this model depends on regular content. So you can’t be a Seymore Hirsch who works on one story every five months and live on Substack. I think that’s going to be difficult. So this is a solution for a certain kind of media figure but it’s not a cure all for the problems of news media.

Adam Taggart: Alright great. Two more questions for you before we wrap this up. Again real quickly I just want to cite an experience that we’ve had here at Peak Prosperity is we saw a huge influx of new readers and viewers primarily coming in through YouTube due to our coverage of the coronavirus. Particularly in the earlier months of the epidemic where just quality information was really hard to come by. Initially, the government, our leaders weren’t really sharing too much. They weren’t, from our opinion, taking it as seriously as they later on realized they needed to. But there was just so much conflicting information out there. And people I think coronavirus, 2020 has really done a lot to continue to kick trust in the media while it’s already down. You had the coronavirus for those reason I just mentioned and then of course you’ve had run up to the elections and all the dust still in the air from that. Where people are just hearing so many different narratives from so many different sides.

But again here at Peak Prosperity we witnessed that firsthand this year by just seeing our YouTube audience basically jump from I can’t remember it was like 50,000 subscribers or something like that, it’s up to like 370,000 now. Because that many people were that hungry. Alright but that’s a good segue into this next question I want to dive into. We mentioned it super briefly with the hyper fragmentation of the media landscape now. But I just want to get your opinions on social media. I’m assuming and tell me if you haven’t, but I’m assuming you’ve seen the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma or something similar to that. And for those that haven’t seen it, it basically just really kind of deconstructs how social media is creating just literally billions of bespoke custom newsfeeds for each individual. And so we are increasingly just living within our own eco chambers. So from an information standpoint, we’re getting a very slanted view of reality. And then on top of that, information is being pushed at us that’s largely being driven by sponsors and advertisers who want us to think a certain way, behave in a certain way. And it very clearly does influence beliefs and behavior.

So people are waking up to that and I think increasingly they are questioning the news they’re getting whether it’s through social media or other channels and saying look is this actually information at all, or is it just marketing? Am I just basically being marketed to all the time through these channels? What’s your opinion of the impact of social media on these issues that we’re talking about in terms of being able to trust the media?

Matt Taibbi: Oh it’s horrid and pernicious and it’s as destructive to your mind as tobacco is to your lungs. As a consumer product, they’ve turned information into something that’s completely unhealthy. And I was talking about this with somebody the other day who described it this way. Imagine a circle and then within that circle is a smaller circle, and that smaller circle is the information that, say, a company like Facebook is guessing that you’re interested in. And so what they do is they just find all that information and they keep feeding all this stuff that’s in that circle to you.

Now if they were trying to be responsible and trying to create people who had a little bit more breadth of opinion, they would at least move the subset of content out of that circle occasionally. But they’re not doing that. They want to give you the pure heroin of information that they know that you agree with. Right? And they do it relentlessly over and over and over again. And what they’ve done is they’ve created these addictive patterns for people where they’re just on their phones all day long looking at stuff that is designed to either trigger them or reinforce their anger or whatever it is. But it’s designed to do everything except make you think. It’s the worst possible use of this technology.

And from the standpoint of the news business, this is terrible because what it’s doing is it’s raising a whole generation of people who are unable to take in information that they disagree with or that is uncomfortable for them. And that makes the job of people like me infinitely harder because our job is to try to convince people of stuff that might be difficult or unsetting. And it’s been awful. And that documentary was right on the money and I think that issue going to start becoming more important.

Adam Taggart: Alright. I was kind of hoping you were going to poke some holes in my negativity there but you just added a few. And I know you’re a parent as am I. And I think any parent watching this, you probably had a real nervousness in your gut around social media for many years watching your kids increasingly become addicted to it. And I think everything you just talked about Matt just says that we’re right to be that concerned.

Alright well Matt as we wrap up here, I'm going to try to inject hope into this story if there’s any to inject. So what is your advice to concerned viewers? People that are watching this and are agreeing and maybe a little outraged, maybe a little bit more concerned again about where things are headed. Two questions basically. What changes should they be demanding either with their votes at the voting booth or with their wallets in terms of the type of media models that they’re going to support? And then how can they reduce their exposure to media bias? How can they find sources of information that they feel are more factual, will give them a more informed world view than these kind of biased channels that we’re talking about?

Matt Taibbi: Great question. The first one’s harder. Like what do you do about it? I’m not really sure. I really wish that people were more concerned about the censorship angle because I think what’s going on there is that you have a whole series of very powerful actors who realize the power of this technology and rather than try to make it less harmful, they want to harness it for propaganda purposes. And that is deeply troubling. So any kind of cooperation between the federal government and this handful of tech distributors that dominates news, I would hope that people are on the lookout for that and are urging their elected representatives to at least pay some attention to that.

In terms of how people can break out of these patterns, I think people do break out of those patterns. The amazing thing about the situation that we’re in is that we’re seeing this amazing flowering of independent media, whether it’s your show or shows like Joe Rogan’s that just completely crush the cable news networks in terms of views. There’s a lot of stuff out there that is really interesting and creative and well done. And the history of our country is that we have a lot of, that there’s always an independent powerful voice that rises and that people learn to trust and it breaks through the propaganda. Whether it’s IF Stone or Attatar Bell or Hunter Thompson or Tom Wolf or whatever it is. We have a really strong history in that area in this country. And I think that tradition will continue. It’s just going to be in a different medium going forward. And until they completely clamp down the internet, I think we can expect that something like that is going to lead the way to something better. That’s what I’m hoping anyway.

Adam Taggart: Alright great. Well in just a second I’m going to ask where people can go to find out more about you and your work. Because Matt you are one of my trusted sources of information and I presume you are for many other people too. But real quick before I let you do that. Is there a topic that we haven’t touched on yet, a question I haven’t asked that you think is important for folks to know about this general topic about media trustworthiness?

Matt Taibbi: I mean not really I think we’ve covered a lot of it. I think the main thing is, and you touched on this is this idea of people becoming aware, that what they’re experiencing is marketing and not news. I think that’s going to become more important. Like people have to start having consumer awareness about information in the same way that they have learned to have it about food or cigarettes or cars or energy sources. This is also a consumer product. And I think we have to have a debate about what’s healthy and what isn’t. And so that’s the only other thing I would stress is that people start thinking about that a little bit. Because it’s become a serious issue in our lives.

Adam Taggart: Alright great it’s honestly just like the, I liked your analogy about food. We talked with Joel Salitan who very famously noted of America’s farmeries the figurehead for sustainable farming in America. And one of the things Joel talks about all the time is we can vote with our votes, but we can also vote with our dollars. And there are all these better models for food production. Many of them local and whatnot. And yeah that might cost a little bit more but you’re also getting lots and lots of additional benefits for that additional cost. Both health benefits, local economy, etcetera. And basically says the more that we direct our dollars and our patronage to those models, the more they’re going to blossom and eventually hit critical mass and whatnot. And I think it’s very much the same dynamic here. So alright so as we wrap things up Matt first thank you so much for taking your time and giving us so much of your expert opinion. Great conversation. So if people do want to learn more about you, follow your work, where should they go?

Matt Taibbi: Primarily to Taibbi.substack.com. I’m also on Rollingstone.com and I’m the Co-Host with Katie Halper of a show called Useful Idiots. So that’s once a week, comes out every Friday. And @mtaibbi on Twitter.

Adam Taggart: Alright great and I’ll put up the URL there for your Substack site and also your Twitter handle there too. Alright folks as we wrap, again Matt thank you so much and if you are new to Peak Prosperity, if this is one of the first times you’re watching this video and you are interested in hearing more conversations like this that are hopefully delivering informative, unbiased, and practical information, take a quick second and just subscribe to this YouTube channel. The subscribe button is right there below the like button there. And if you click the little bell icon you’ll get alerted the next time we publish another video like this. Alright Matt, wonderful talking to you. Look forward to having you on again soon.

Matt Taibbi: Likewise. Thank you so much Adam. Take care.

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39 Comments

  • Wed, Dec 02, 2020 - 8:26pm

    #1
    MKI

    MKI

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Jan 12 2009

    Posts: 330

    9

    Very Excited to see Matt Taibbi here

    What an great topic and guest for an interview. Very honored for the privilege to hear this.

    I started counting the number of "unexpected" questions that kept me on the edge of my seat to hear the answer - and I've heard Taibbi before - and gave up at over 10. Thank you.

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  • Wed, Dec 02, 2020 - 8:32pm

    #2

    000

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Dec 10 2013

    Posts: 316

    7

    See also Glen Greenwald

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  • Wed, Dec 02, 2020 - 10:55pm

    #3

    thatchmo

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Dec 13 2008

    Posts: 259

    4

    thatchmo said:

    Thanks Adam.  You are doing some excellent interviews here.  Much appreciate it.  Aloha, Steve

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 2:29am

    #4
    chipshot

    chipshot

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 15 2010

    Posts: 57

    17

    What Liberal Media?

    For those who claim there is such a thing, first define liberal.  Then explain how this left-leaning, biased media ignored or slandered Bernie Sanders, and almost never addresses true left issues such as reducing the military budget, ending trickle down economics, tackling climate chaos, wealth inequality, and so on.

    My point is there is no liberal media, it's all corporate media that represents the 1% and oppresses the working class.

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 2:55am

    #5

    Oliveoilguy

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 932

    8

    “Heard Immunity” (Heard from Fauchi)

    I heard from Fauchi that 75% of the population must be immunized to reach “Herd” immunity. Is this science or calculated spin?
    I want to know more ..... Would like to see a thorough investigation and vetting of the vaccine process from objective sources like was done on the Hunter Biden allegations; the Clinton Emails; and the Dominion servers.
    Maybe we have to go to Germany and listen to Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi  to get outside the sphere of the CNN manufactured reality. (Thank you James O’Keiff for your courage).

    And Thankyou Laura Ingraham for raising good questions.

    https://cloudfront.mediamatters.org/static/D8Video/2020/12/02/FNCHD_The%20Ingraham%20Angle_2020-12-02-10_00_00-PM.mp4

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 5:06am

    rheba

    Status: Member

    Joined: Apr 22 2009

    Posts: 51

    11

    Agreed

    The corporate media is only liberal in the sense of  "neoliberal" which, in my opinion, is really utopian libertarian stuff.  The NYT has supported every war in my memory (that goes back to Vietnam.) I have only lived through the last four years - media wise - because of Matt T.

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 5:11am

    #7

    rheba

    Status: Member

    Joined: Apr 22 2009

    Posts: 51

    3

    Our Finite World Video

    Also, Chris, I want to tell you how much I appreciated the panel discussion you led with Gail Tverberg, Art Berman and Richard Heinburg. It is posted on her Our Finite World blog site. I assume it is linked to this site somehow but I would not have found it.

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 5:58am

    #8
    Penguin Will

    Penguin Will

    Status: Member

    Joined: Aug 20 2019

    Posts: 81

    12

    Penguin Will said:

    Liberal...

    Man that is a loaded term isn't it? And it's definition has certainly underwent change in the past decade or two. After so many years of seeing things play out on this front I think we can draw some concrete conclusions though.

    The first is that there are elements of what was once considered the mainstream (economically) on both the left and right of the current political spectrum.

    Second, these elements are not popular or accepted by either political party or their lapdogs in the media.

    Third, that hoping that the Democratic Party will somehow come to its senses and retake the mantel of the working person's party is a fool's errand.

    Thomas Frank has done a great job of documenting the devolution of the party but hasn't gone nearly far enough. It is not that the people running that outfit can't see the harm their policies have done and continue to do. It is not even that they don't care about this harm. It is that they consider it just and equitable that the system does harm to 'those people'. It is the way things should be... according to them.

    Taibbi has done a great job exposing this and I salute him.

    Will

     

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 7:11am

    #9
    Carl

    Carl

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    Posts: 35

    2

    Transcript

    Adam,

    Any chance of a transcript?

     

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 8:02am

    Adam Taggart

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 6756

    3

    Yes, transcript on the way

    Yes, Carl, a transcript of this interview is on the way. We'll post it as soon as it comes in.

    This was such a good discussion, we wanted to get it out to folks while it was still fresh from the oven 🙂

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 8:37am

    brushhog

    brushhog

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    12

    What was liberal a few years ago isnt what liberal is today

    And, of course, this has been moved along by the very fake news media that Adam is discussing. Anti-war? These are the people who were beating burning and looting across the country for months. Not exactly the koom-bah-yah pacifists of yester-year.

    Wealth inequality? They support trillion dollar companies so long as they adopt the "orange man bad" mantra. They oppose tariffs and secure borders which were the hallmarks of the democrat party for decades.

    The new "liberal" is a communist.  A violent pawn of the corporate elite, brainwashed attack dogs who are let loose against anyone who threatens their oligarchic power.

    All Soros has to do is point his attack dog at any political rival and say the special word "racist", and they charge, mouth foaming, to do his bidding. Facts be damned because the fake media will gin up all sorts of excuses, support, and justifications for anything they do, while ignoring any information that goes against the narrative.

    Thats what's left of the "liberal" in America. He's been turned out by the elite global pimps. It wasnt that hard to do because his weakness was always that he put emotion before logic, feelings before facts, and impression above truth. At best, the "liberal" was ever the well intentioned fool of the political world. It was always his fate to be turned into Marx' "useful idiot".

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 11:03am

    #12
    Mike from Jersey

    Mike from Jersey

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    7

    Untrustworthy media

    A country cannot have a real democracy unless they have a trustworthy media.

    And we don't have a trustworthy media.

    But as Adam notes, the lack of a trustworthy media creates a second problem. How do you make decisions about things that are important to you when most of the media (along with the government) cannot be trusted?

    In a short period of time, the government may make vaccines either mandatory or too burdensome to avoid.  "Too burdensome to avoid," means "no flying, no riding on trains or busses, no staying at hotels, no going to sporting events, no attending graduations, no attending concerts, no going to restaurants, etc.," without a vaccine passport.

    I am gearing up to study if any of the vaccines are actually useful and / or safe. If none of them are safe, I have to decide whether or not to become an ex-pat and where I can go.

    That is a lot of research but what choice do I have at this point?

     

    Edit: About 10 minutes after posting this comment, I saw this article.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/medical/covid-19-vax-status-be-tracked-cdc-database-everyone-issued-vaccination-cards-according-dod

    The Department of Defense is printing and will be supplying "Immunity Cards" to all Americans.

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 12:17pm

    #13

    Beckett Bennett

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Feb 06 2011

    Posts: 114

    11

    Isn’t It Interesting

    Isn’t it interesting that those who mandate mask wearing the loudest are not ones who have to wear them 8 to 10 hours a day or while doing physical activity.
    Isn’t it interesting that after 10 months we are still being routinely lectured to “wash our hands, social distance snd wear a mask” as if hearing that message the first 500 times wasn’t enough.  We must need that on a recorded loop to play continuously. Group conformity dammit!
    Isn’t it interesting that the rules regarding the virus apply to “regular” people but not the privileged elites.
    Isn’t it interesting how people plug into the news to get their daily dose of “fear”!
    Isn’t it interesting that we are afraid of other peoples fear.

    Freedom is taken it is NOT given.  How long are you willing to wait to be GIVEN the right to not wear a mask?  Given the right to work to put food on your table? Will it be - masks from cradle to grave?  Freedom is not free. Just sayin.

    AKGrannyWGrit

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 12:32pm

    wotthecurtains

    wotthecurtains

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    Joined: Feb 27 2020

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    5

    Isn’t It Interesting

    One of the many articles on ZeroHedge that I feel guilty about not giving enough time to made the case that historically pandemics end in one of two ways:

     

    1) Medicine comes up with treatments

    2) People just say "fuck it, Im going back to life".

     

    Historically its usually door #2 that ends up being taken as medicine wasn't fast enough to offer a solution before people got fed up.

     

    The technology for official messaging wasn't as strong back then nor were the insights into human psychology as great as those now wielded by power interests.

     

    At this point people could take to the streets by the millions and you'd never hear about it through "reputable" news sources so Im not sure how this works as a political movement.

     

    Maybe a million individuals committing ticketable offences at 100x the rate of the authorities ability to issue tickets?  It would end up a bit like marijuana being illegal and then becoming legal.  We would all know someone who got into trouble for breaking the rules, but we would also all know many more people breaking them and not hurting anybody so that after a while there would be a realization that no one actually believes this shit and its time for legalization.

     

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 12:55pm

    thc0655

    Status: Platinum Member

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    6

    Options

    I am gearing up to study if any of the vaccines are actually useful and / or safe. If none of them are safe, I have to decide whether or not to become an ex-pat and where I can go.

    That is a lot of research but what choice do I have at this point?

    “Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.”

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 1:23pm

    #16
    Mike Anderson

    Mike Anderson

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    Joined: Nov 25 2019

    Posts: 15

    4

    Bias: self-organizing or top-down?

    Like Matt Taibbi, journalist Tim Pool also leans on decentralized market forces such as profit motive to explain biases in the media. Some media personalities have made a name for themselves as conspiracy theorists, and we wince. Most of us would prefer to build on sanity instead of hysteria, to get along well with our colleagues rather than gamble with potentially false accusations. So how far can you get without invoking conspiracy?

    You can push a decentralized origin hypothesis pretty far, actually. We know there are only a handful of large media corporations and only a handful of editors, who could easily see themselves as conscientious activists, and that might support a conspiratorial perspective, but is there reason to think they are following far more than creating divisions in society? Jonathan Haidt and Jordan B Peterson have noted the large hereditary components of personality, which align with differently-ordered societies. Add some trauma to create anxiety (especially in typically-more-neurotic women) and unfairness to create revolt (especially in typically-more-angered men), with most everyone trying to hold together the prosperous society that was, and you might even convince yourself that those activists editors are valiantly holding society together, or at least creating some stability for the big corporations who pay the bills.

    I’m not really impressed with the hereditary hypothesis. Together with trauma and provocation it might account for the way someone leans politically when the facts are so doubtful they become a Rorschach test, or the style of an adjustment reaction when far-away rumors come close to home, but give any person a strong enough narrative and they will probably, eventually, adjust to it. No one is born a communist who can’t be persuaded to reconsider when they are faced with the gulags, or a personal-responsibility-is-everything conservative when someone they care for is not able to succeed in a competitive society, unless they are narcissists who guard their public personas at all costs.

    I’m also not really impressed with the profit motive hypothesis. At the level of transnational corporations and think-tanks there is far more gravitas in their decision-making. “Stakeholder” corporations are cooperating with some kind of master plan in order to carve out slices of future earnings, functioning more as a coalition than competitors. There can’t be many people upstream casting the vision for this fascism, and this seems confirmed when Western leaders adopt the same talking points at the same time.

    Several days ago I visited Scientific American after many years away. I know I’ve changed over the years, becoming more confident in identifying bad science, but I’m pretty sure they have changed even more. There was an ethics opinion piece that mirrored Thomas Aquinas’ universal destination of goods and an analysis of Wigner’s Friend experiments which favored the interpretation that there is no objective reality, undermining the cornerstone of science without adequate cause. I think the effect is to further confuse and disorient, preparing the way for a big, positive, feel-good narrative to come save us all. Which, of course, is not based in objective reality, because what’s that? Nobody is allowed to know.

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 1:27pm

    #17
    MKI

    MKI

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    Joined: Jan 12 2009

    Posts: 330

    3

    Bias and ideas

    Because Matt you are one of my trusted sources of information and I presume you are for many other people too.

    He is for me. And this interview was one of the most "hopeful" videos I've seen in the last year. I feel like real change is happening.

    Adam, one tiny criticism: I would push back at the "unbiased" claim for Peak Prosperity, MT, or anyone at all. And it's not the bias that bothers me, it's the utter conformity of opinion in the MSM that crushes "unapproved" opinions and creates an information lockdown.

    The real reason I come to MT or PP is not for the "lack of bias". Both are plenty biased, and I generally disagree with both most of the time. But what makes both a breath of fresh air? They are speaking with their own voice, having dissenting opinions that make me think. It's clear both MT & PP are seeking the truth as best they can with their bias. And that makes for very interesting reading and fresh ideas to kick around. That's real media, God bless you both.

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 2:29pm

    #18
    EddieLarry

    EddieLarry

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    Joined: Jul 04 2020

    Posts: 89

    1

    Mitch McConnell did it!

    Remember , years ago, when Mitch stated that his job was to make Barack Obama a one-term president?  In carrying out that promise the Republicans have tried to foil every liberal interest and policy.  They still are in denying stimulus money to Cities, i.e., Democratic cities.  When President Trump was elected, he had lots of chances to move to the center to do some deals with Democrats.  He never did.  He stayed amazingly loyal to the Tea Party.

     

    Democrats and liberals, progressives, you name it, had no option but to resist.  Sorry.

    The country is divided and angry and the politicians and media folks play on that.  If the people don’t move to the center, than the system won’t.

    When I read comments and articles on PP, I get the idea that we are trying to create a separate reality that works for us.  I think that is the way to go.

    I think that the pandemic shows that the US healthcare system stinks, and social media shows the tremendous divisiveness and anger.

    I actually think it is kind of hopeless.  Time for an old fashioned!

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 3:12pm

    #19
    richcabot

    richcabot

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    Joined: Apr 05 2011

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    14

    Another explanation

    I don't buy the profit explanation.  I'm sure it's a factor, but it doesn't explain it.  Even Fox News wouldn't give Obama's misuse of the intelligence agencies to attack Trump the attention it deserved.   I'm not a Trump fan but Obama made Nixon abuses look tame.   Real investigation of the weapons of mass destruction claims was never done before we invaded Iraq.  Just ask Phil Donahue.  His audience wasn't Bush supporters but he got axed immediately after asking some basic questions on air.

    The real reason the media is what we have today is a concerted effort by the CIA to place operatives in positions of power in the media.  Operation Mockingbird wasn't just a one-shot thing under Dulles, it has continued and expanded.  The mechanisms Matt described are real, but they are the tools used by the Deep State operatives to control reporters (and ultimately the populace), not the reason the control exists.

    The techniques Philip Agee described the CIA using in other countries decades ago are now being used here for the same purposes.

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 3:29pm

    Mike from Jersey

    Mike from Jersey

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    Posts: 220

    1

    Disinformation and money

    I think you are right. Part of it is money but part of it is deliberate disinformation.

    If actual news gets reported that's okay - just as long as it does not interfere with cash flow and disinformation.

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 3:34pm

    #21
    nordicjack

    nordicjack

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    Joined: Feb 03 2020

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    4

    most media still stating out-right donald trumps "false" claims about the election

    How and when did the media become a jury or election security experts to make such assertions.  basically the fact that they do shows that the claims are at least worthy..

    why could a journalist not use the the appropriate responsible ethical and correct term "alleged claims"     its just crazy simple..  even with the journalist writing like this , how does it pass the editor?? can that many people really be just ignorant.  Oh of course not.. you know its a ploy...   They just proved the presidents claim , as far as I am concerned.

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 3:43pm

    #22
    Mohammed Mast

    Mohammed Mast

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    Joined: May 17 2017

    Posts: 1224

    8

    Daniel Schmachtenberger: The War on Sense Making

    Daniel is one of the great thinkers of the 21st century. Most here will not watch this video. It is too long for the average attention span here and in meme nation in general

    It is actually a multi part series. Highly recommended.

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 3:47pm

    wotthecurtains

    wotthecurtains

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Feb 27 2020

    Posts: 258

    2

    Daniel Schmachtenberger: The War on Sense Making

    That video is one to watch for sure.   So much wisdom backed into that 2 hours...

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 4:05pm

    #24
    Mohammed Mast

    Mohammed Mast

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    3

    The Gazillion Pound Elephants in the Room

    No one , including MT ever mention where the message and control of the narrative comes from. There is a cut, it is duly noted and a need for bandaid is called for.

    Has anyone here ever looked at the roster of the CFR? Didn't think so. Tom Brokaw, hmmmm. Ceo's of the major news media, well known reporters. Why is this important?

    Flashback 1992: GHW Bush loses to Bill Clinton. Dubya is deeply offended. Dubya then sets out to develop the Christian Right into apolitical force. If people are being brainwashed by media how do you get your message to them? Churches. Many people go to church multiple times a week. It is very easy to get all those pastors on board and disseminate it to the flock. It was a multi year program.

    Thus you have the major media concentrated in a few very powerful corporations (thanks to Clinton). The leaders and personalities are members of these groups. CFR, Tri Lat, Bilderberger, WEF etc. It is a very tight exclusive club and you aint in it. The narrative is formed in the club and filters through to the rank and file. The techniques of Edward Bernay are being maximized in service to the "club"

    The other side of the coin is censorship of a competing narrative. It went into hyper mode this year because of the election. Say what you will about Alex Jones but strangely he was deplatformed and thus demonetized by EVERY platform on the internet on one day.

    How do you make sense?

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 4:12pm

    Mike from Jersey

    Mike from Jersey

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    Joined: Jan 22 2018

    Posts: 220

    2

    Schmachtenberge

    Good video, Mohammed.

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 4:14pm

    EddieLarry

    EddieLarry

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    1

    EddieLarry said:

    Hi Mohammed, hope your feeling well.
    I would just like to answer this question, “No one , including MT ever mention where the message and control of the narrative comes from. ”

    I suggest the answer is “from other people.”  Check put J P Sartre’s “No Exit.”

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 4:17pm

    EddieLarry

    EddieLarry

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    Joined: Jul 04 2020

    Posts: 89

    0

    WMD

    Rich, do you know, where these weapons of mass distruction are today?  I have always thought that they could of existed.  But I thought that Otto Betts and international monitors could handle it.

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 6:11pm

    Mohammed Mast

    Mohammed Mast

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: May 17 2017

    Posts: 1224

    2

    Hi Eddy

    I think you miss the point. BTW I have not read Sartre or Camus since HS.

    The point is the narrative is formulated in small groups of elites. The formulate it and control it then disseminate it through techniques crafted by Edward Bernays.

    Most people I encounter consider their opinion to be intelligence. Thus it is very easy to manipulate the asses, er I mean masses when there are limited opportunities not only for information you can "trust" but the opportunity to dialog is limited to facebook and twitter. Complex nuanced issues get reduced to meme pablum.

    The result? Look out your window

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 8:26pm

    #29
    Redneck Engineer

    Redneck Engineer

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    Posts: 144

    3

    MSM Bias

    1. The mainstream media is better thought of as PR/marketing for certain narratives, rather than a source for objective reporting. Seeing the bias and distortion is the first step.

    2. The next question is: which narratives are pushed? In the US, most journalists (90+ percent) vote and financially support Democrat candidates. That speaks a lot to ideological or partisan bias and a resulting echo chamber, which is distinct from a conscious conspiracy.

    Look at which stories are pushed vs suppressed. Look at the top of pages for common sites like CNN or FoxNews. The Hunter Biden laptop story was all over Fox but not mentioned at all on CNN.

    Social media isn't a traditional news outlet, but in the run-up to the election, Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter clearly weighed in behind the scenes to push certain narratives. In "The Social Dilemma" the example is brought up of encouraging likely Democrat voters to go vote - but not encouraging likely Republican voters.

    When it comes to judging politicians, Democrats are given a lot of leeway and excuses, while Republicans are condemned - often for the very same actions.

    So it is clearly a partisan media, now joined by partisan social media companies, that are pushing a number of partisan narratives. If calling these "liberal" views bothers some, find another word for it, but often it is along the lines of a Democrat, big government view.

    3. Media has found that telling people what they want to hear is very profitable. So CNN doesn't try to bring in all viewers - they go after their echo chamber. So does Fox. So does MSNBC. Sometimes these viewer groups overlap, sometimes not.

    Some say this is a new phenomenon, but it may not be. It may be that until recently the legacy media (NYT, NPR, ABC/CBS/NBC, etc.) spoke with one voice, and that was all we had. We didn't have "alternative media" of any large scale until talk radio took off in the early 90s and then the internet.

    Today, DrudgeReport and FoxNews have shifted much more to the center or even left than they were say 5 years ago. I understand Matt Drudge sold his website a few years back and the editorial view is much different. (And there is hardly any breaking news there, as used to happen.) And his readership has fallen by half.

    Online journalism has shifted to a more establishment-oriented position. The free-wheeling days of the internet are gone. Large corporations have taken it over and squeezed out that fresh, revolutionary, homegrown energy in favor of ultra-polished, commoditized consumption.

    4. Does a liberal media go after far left politicians? Of course. What matters is supporting the establishment. Sanders or other Marxists will be tolerated to an extent, so the news organizations don't alienate the far left viewership, but more subtle efforts are made to promote establishment power brokers and their views. So the media will go along willingly with Hillary's attacks on Sanders, for instance.

    5. I don't think modern journalism is fundamentally about profit. In journalism schools, they haven't taught journalism as objective reporting for decades. Instead they preach social change and activism. In college, I can't tell you how many liberal/leftist students thought it was perfectly acceptable to lie for The Cause - in other words, the ends justified the means. These are the people who graduated and went into newsrooms. Did their ethics and political views change? Hardly.

    These folks are perfectly willing to lie, cheat, and steal if it furthers their cause. That's literally the meaning of "by any means necessary" - though for some reason that point is more often missed than not.

    6. With the death of local journalism, and the consolidation of news into a few hands and the storage of information online likewise in another small set of hands, it is too easy to erase the past. There are fewer and fewer printed newspapers to keep records, so changing the online history is sufficient. Wipe out someone's Wikipedia page, or edit their history; delete internet archive pages like the Wayback Machine; take down videos; go after ISPs hosting controversial pundits; direct searches to only approved sites; and so on.

    We are on the verge of 1984, where today's Winston Smith works at YouTube to take down videos of thoughtcrimes.

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  • Thu, Dec 03, 2020 - 8:27pm

    EddieLarry

    EddieLarry

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    Joined: Jul 04 2020

    Posts: 89

    0

    Christmas lights

    Well M, it is night so when I look out the window I see the lights I put up the other day.  As an investor, I suggest that it is important to spend some of those bitcoin billions you have.  When you are having fun, you are not being dominated by any elite.
    We have to will to be free.

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  • Fri, Dec 04, 2020 - 3:37am

    Hladini

    Hladini

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    Joined: Dec 28 2011

    Posts: 271

    5

    Neoliberal is not Libertarian

    Good Morning Rheba,  Your comment comparing Neoliberal philosophy to utopian Libertarianism caught my attention.  As I identify as a Libertarian, I thought I would share how I perceive these two political philosophies compare to each other.

    My understanding of Libertarian philosophy is in no way similar to neoliberalism.  The two philosophy's are diametrically opposed in the foreign relations department and Libertarianism is not about "isolationism" it's about free and fair trade, diplomacy, and self defense without pre-emptive action.  It's about strict property rights, for instance, not allowing local governments to permit your property rights away to an industrial hog farm up river polluting the air, river and ground water for all the neighbors, or big developers who will get your beach front hut and turn it into a mega hotel complex.

    It's about letting people live their lives without trying to control their behavior (think war on drugs and the draft).  It's about budget restraints, sound/honest money, and not picking winners and losers in the big monopoly game.  It's about protecting individual property rights and individual civil rights.  Neoliberalism sacrifices for the so-called greater good while Libertarianism sacrifices for the rights of the individual.  After all, those hog farms and hotel megaplexes will bring in a lot of jobs, a bigger tax base, etc., right?

    Socially/Politically, my understanding of Libertarianism is a live and let live philosophy, whereas Neoliberalism needs to convert others or destroy them (think economic sanctions against an entire country - a nation wide torture operation).   We don't have to agree with everyone and we don't have to associate with everyone, but we don't have a right to tell anyone what they can and cannot do so long as the behavior does not create a crime victim.

    While Libertarianism allows for differences of opinion, Neoliberalism does not.  Neoliberals must convert or conquer those with differences of opinions and lifestyle choices.  We are seeing this censorship and cancel culture in real time.  We are literally living in an era of book burnings in America under current neoliberal politics.  Libertarians may not agree with your opinions or life style, but they will defend your right to both.  While Libertarianism opposes putting people in cages for victimless crimes, Neoliberalism has advanced the private prison system and swollen our prison population with inmates convicted of victimless crimes.

    Even the Wall is an example of Neoliberlism.  If you go down the memory hole, all kinds of famous donkeys including Hillary have called for building a wall, with some good reason: serious organized crime on the border.  Remember fast and furious under Obama?  That operation was a reaction to this border crime problem.   Libertarians don't really believe in 'borders.'  Why can't/shouldn't people travel freely between countries?

    A big, big difference between the two ideologies is in the area foreign policy.  Our current neoliberal foreign policy has us now fighting in Afghanistan for 19 years, and Trump is  thwarted at every turn to bring these people home.  For the life of me I cannot understand that.  But then again, I'm not a donkey or an elephant .  Libertarian philosophy only supports war in self defense, not pre-emptively.  That doesn't mean not to build up your defenses!

    While Neoliberalism is all about worrying, acting, and regulating to make sure everyone is following the Neoliberal program, Libertarinism is about living your life the way you choose while respecting and defending other people's right to live their life the way they choose.  Again, so long as those choices do not create a crime victim.

     

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  • Fri, Dec 04, 2020 - 6:41am

    #32
    Penguin Will

    Penguin Will

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    Joined: Aug 20 2019

    Posts: 81

    1

    Penguin Will said:

    @redneckengineer & brushhog:

    I enjoyed reading both of your posts. They remind me of the good old days when I had the energy to fully engage in internet arguments. I salute those who really do still have the fire, I fear it burns low with me now. 🙂

    A couple points:

    If you look around with a steady eye you will see the culture war is being waged on several fronts where the definition of a word or concept is at the center of the conflict. It is an old trick that has been used by both the right and left, not the exclusive property of one or the other. But one of the things I have noticed is that nowadays you have a lot more of it from the left, and that there seems to be a cottage industry among university academics, and those exposed to them, where this emanates from. A good read on this phenomenon from a fellow I admire and respect, not because we agree because on everything - we don't, but because he makes me think:

    https://benjaminstudebaker.com/2020/09/28/the-rump-professional-class-and-its-fallen-counterpart/

    My second point is that we must ask ourselves who is served by the policies pursued by both parties and the media. I believe it was either JM Greer or Thomas Frank who coined the term Professional Managerial Class (PMC). In my opinion (and the lord knows I could be wrong) the turning away of the Democratic Party from working class to neoliberal can be traced to the takeover of the party by the PMC. The Republican Party has begun (in baby steps) to recognize this AND the fact that if they are to have a future it is as a party of the working class. Trumpism without the madness accompanying it. More hardcore policy initiatives and less juvenile tweet storms.

    Again Taibbi has been at the forefront of showing how this is playing out in real time.

    Will

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  • Fri, Dec 04, 2020 - 7:10am

    Penguin Will

    Penguin Will

    Status: Member

    Joined: Aug 20 2019

    Posts: 81

    2

    Penguin Will said:

    Hladini, 

    Perhaps there is a difference in perspective and ~some~ policy initiatives, but to deny the common ground of the two and it's takeover of large portions of the economic discourse is, I believe, to deny reality.

    Common ground of libertarianism and neoliberalism that now is accepted by both Republican and Democratic power brokers:

    1) Free trade - national industry is not necessary, or necessarily a good thing... destroy what we had, who cares? It's all good.

    2) Mass immigration - a worldview for libertarians and a vital part of neoliberalism

    3) Anti-trust neutering - neither accepts or wants enforcement of anti-trust laws

    4) Mobile Capital - again, a vital part of both world views

    5) Tax corporations as little as possible, eliminate if at all possible

    I could go on. I really could. For hours. But one thing you will notice is that these policies run counter to everything considered vital to a well functioning economy before, say, the 60s or 70s. IOW when we actually had a growing and vibrant middle class. The fact that your side won on so many fronts and we ended up with, not a stronger and more stable economy, but a hollowed out shell... a mess?

    Well, by all means don't let reality interfere with a good narrative.

    Will

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  • Fri, Dec 04, 2020 - 7:35am

    #34
    SunFarmer

    SunFarmer

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 07 2019

    Posts: 25

    1

    These aren't the droids your looking for

    Fantastic !!!! was waiting for REALITY pain points -  Currency debasement, No coins, Money, Assange, Snowden, Monetizing the debt, etc.  Can one not be assimilated?

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  • Fri, Dec 04, 2020 - 7:38am

    brushhog

    brushhog

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Oct 06 2015

    Posts: 155

    3

    I agree

    Of course there is a group that is manipulating and benefiting from what is happening. Generally speaking we are talking about the global elite. Its a dash toward globalism, and no I dont think liberals are the only ones being manipulated as we saw during the Bush years, the right was hijacked into promoting mass surveillance schemes, and perpetual war under the guise of "patriotism".

    Of course the left thinks they are going to get a socialist utopia where the system is designed and run for the benefit of everyone. The people pulling the strings are using that narrative to empower themselves.

    "Trumpism without the madness accompanying it. More hardcore policy initiatives and less juvenile tweet storms."

    Well....that might help a little but rest assured any movement that actually attempts to empower the people and wrest control from the ruling class is going to be demonized, made fun of, ridiculed and hated by the mainstream [and those dumb enough to follow them].

    Whether or not Trump made Tweets, the reaction to him by TPTB would have been exactly the same. What ever package you attempt to wrap such a movement in will be torn down by the same forces. You have to accept that going in.

    As far as my ability to comment online...you seem to be doing quite well at it yourself. No lack of energy is apparent. My trade secret? Caffeine is a hell of a drug.

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  • Fri, Dec 04, 2020 - 7:44am

    #36

    Beckett Bennett

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Feb 06 2011

    Posts: 114

    5

    Light Bulb Moment

     

    There is so much I do not understand, but I search for answers and try to make sense out of a crazy world.  Today I came across a video about the 4 ways to break a country and re-engineer it.  Thus creating a compliant, but disgusting mess.

    For instance I never quite understood how the government could want everyone to pay for Obamacare but give free healthcare to illegal immigrants.  Answer - it doesn’t make sense nor should it. The goal is demoralization.  Wanting to get rid of “ God Bless America” and the National Anthem” because they are not “woke” but not replacing them with anything.  Yep - it’s intentional demoralization.

    Next - destabilization, then create a crisis and the final goal.  Re-engineer society to fit the conquers plan.

    It doesn’t make any sense because that’s the plan.  Create demoralization!  I think - it’s working.

    Intentional demoralization - it’s incredibly cruel!

    AKGrannyWGrit

     

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  • Sat, Dec 05, 2020 - 6:56am

    wlhaught

    wlhaught

    Status: Member

    Joined: May 31 2020

    Posts: 8

    0

    Classical "Liberal" Economics and Libertarianism are the Parents...

    ...neoliberalism and the "libertarianism" of the "Libertarian" and Repugnant Parties the bastard sons.

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  • Sat, Dec 05, 2020 - 7:12am

    wlhaught

    wlhaught

    Status: Member

    Joined: May 31 2020

    Posts: 8

    0

    wlhaught said:

    Its not Faux And former Ohio governor K Sick that shifted, its the center that shifted so far to the right that they are now at today's center, unless the subject is about who can go in what restrooms, of course.

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  • Sat, Dec 05, 2020 - 10:32am

    wlhaught

    wlhaught

    Status: Member

    Joined: May 31 2020

    Posts: 8

    0

    wlhaught said:

    I do not know what Stuart Blarney of Fox Plunderbund's definition of communist is, but it seems that since Pinochet would not privatize the copper mine Allende nationalized, my guess is that today in the Less than Useless Deluded Nation even people who think like Pinochet are considered outright far-left Marxists rather than fascists.

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