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Television versus Joe Rogan, and other topics

Spotify's dilemma: Censor Joe Rogan or call his podcast free speech? | National Post

 

This past week I spent a few days with friends at their cottage. They have a complete spectrum of broadcast television available, whereas I have not subscribed to cable for at least five years. During that time, I have cultivated my news and opinion sources by selecting twitter feeds, facebook friends, and youtube videos. I am not living in an outrage bubble. I see more of Joe Rogan and Douglas Murray, for instance, than talking heads. Even my favourite broadcaster, Tucker Carlson, is watched solely through the Intertubes. I have become accustomed to conversations on Triggernometry and other interview shows where questions are asked sincerely and answered comprehensively, where issues are engaged, and answers are open to debate rather than assumed to be false or true according to the Narrative – the tale the media are making up today for our consumption.

It was thus something of a shock to the system to watch reaction to the Speech From the Throne on CTV this week. I simply could not believe the rudeness of the chief Talking Head, Lisa Laflamme. Every question was a gotcha or a “when did you stop beating your wife?”. She made the current Finance Minister look good in that Chrystia Freeland answered hysterical questions with factual responses, and kept her cool throughout.

So naturally as Joe Rogan enters the world of broadcasting, he becomes the target of the hysterics and witch hunters of the MSM. The case in point this morning was a hit piece by Sadaf Ahsan, “Spotify’s dilemma: Censor Joe Rogan or call his podcast free speech?”

She writes:

“But here’s the thing: Rogan has long had a habit of spreading misinformation, sharing his own personal feelings and thoughts as facts, and he’s also a very big fan of conspiracy theories. It’s partly why he’s so popular for a very specific brand of fanboy, which Slate once generously described as “freethinkers who hate the left.”

Oh my goodness, how shocking! An opinion journalist who is sometimes wrong! And add to this the phony dilemma of whether Spotify’s staff has some role in censoring Joe Rogan, or Douglas Murray, or amy of the other thinkers who appear in Youtube. Apart from factual errors he is also accused of “transphobia” – the thought crime of insufficiently accepting that biological males are fmals when they declare themselves to be so.

Joe Rogan now draws viewership that competes seriously with entire cable TV networks.

This is from the article hyperlinked above.

  • “Joe probably gets 5-7 million views of full podcasts a day, which makes him far larger than any TV host.

  • Joe gets 200 million podcast views a month. CNN gets 330 million views a month, NBC and Fox are way bigger.

  • Factoring in Rogan clips, and media website views. Joe gets 400 million views a month. CNN 800 million, Fox 1.2 billion, 700 million for NBC. So Rogan is gigantic, but not bigger than the big media corporations. 1/2 of CNN though, and 2/3 of NBC. That’s insane.”

Other sources show cable networks drawing about 2-3 million viewers a month.( https://www.statista.com/statistics/373814/cable-news-network-viewership-usa/)

Our busy little thought controller Sadaf Ahsan writes:

“Relatively politically liberal, Rogan has supported Bernie Sanders (though recently shifted his support to President Donald Trump), is pro-choice and believes in more social spending for the working class, but he also regularly gives right-wing commentators the space to share their ideas and often questions issues of LGBT equality. So it’s not all that surprising Rogan is loved by so many and that, as a figure who perpetuates a kind of toxic masculinity – what with his penchant for hunting, MMA fighting, and heteronormative views – he has become a beloved figure particularly in conservative circles that largely thrive online.”

 

Joe Rogan is a centrist Democrat, a male, a focused martial arts combattant, and a political liberal who likes Trump (sort of). He sounds like a quite typical American male of his generation, and he and millions more like him will secure Trump’s next term as President.

Rebel Yell rightly chides me for my naivety, in that I still think there might be some truth occasionally permitted in the MSM. Maybe there is, but the economics of slime hurling obviously provide more eyeballs than sobriety. The economic incentives of the MSM are skewed towards lies and outrage. Stay away from them.

 

 

Going around the mainstream media – surprize, suprize!

This is Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) on Twitter this morning. He makes the case that the mainstream media are being circumvented, and that, in consequence, millions of people are getting a view of reality that the MSM cannot control. This comes as news to them, it would seem. I have seldom seen so well confirmed the view that we are all in information bubbles.

My liberation began when I got rid of cable television, with its state-approved sources of “news” and its minute number of approved filtering agents for the much wider assortment of filtering agents, whom I choose.

The following is Kevin Roose of the New York Times, reporting to a CNN panel his surpise at “discovering” the parallel universe of FaceBook.

“Didn’t have time to list it, but I pulled some data for this segment:

August FB interactions CNN: 21 million NYT: 8M Ben Shapiro: 55M

August FB video views CNN: 73M NYT: 12M The Hodgetwins: 84M

August FB shares: CNN: 2.2M NYT: 800K Dan Bongino: 5.6M”

 

I had onlhy become aware of the cheerfully moronic Hodgetwins last week, and Dan Bongino is as yet unknown to me. But I will look them up, fast.

 

“On the outer edges of rationality”

Nutters will be nutters. Even a court ruling is not sufficient to get the UK police to consider they might be wrong. No evidence is required to establish a hate crime. Repeat – no evidence is required. How is the hate crime established? By the subjective state of any nutter that your post was “hate”.

A short moment of vindication

Wait for a moment and allow yourself the pleasure of realizing that you were right all along. Before politics returns to its usual hysterical mode, contemplate for a moment the discomfiture of the fanatics who cannot find the crime that Trump has not committed. As Scott Adams points out, this is a time when psychologists should be on television talking to the newspeople about mass delusions, group think, and cognitive dissonance. What we do not need is more political analysts pretending they will not be satisfied until they get to the bottom of the Mueller report. The last thing the fanatics want is more information exonerating Trump. We know it, and they know it.

Some sources played it straight and admitted that the dream of impeachment is over. The New Yorker, to my great surprize, admitted that, though trouble for Trump will continue, The Donald is largely out of the woods. Salon thinks that Trump has succeeded in stonewalling Mueller.

Slate is occupying itself handwaving to draw attention away from Trump’s exoneration. The slagging of Robert Mueller can now begin in earnest.

It matters not. To the satisfaction of many, and the consternation of the Left, Trump has had his entrails investigated, and he has been found not guilty of illegal collusion with Russia or its agents.

Matt Taibbi has rendered judgment on the capacity of the media to get anything right, and found them extremely wanting. Is there any reason to believe what you read and see on television? No, it has been demonstrated, there is no such reason. If you still have faith in the media, you are hopelessly naive.

Taibbi writes: ” As a purely journalistic failure, however, WMD was a pimple compared to Russiagate. The sheer scale of the errors and exaggerations this time around dwarfs the last mess. Worse, it’s led to most journalists accepting a radical change in mission. We’ve become sides-choosers, obliterating the concept of the press as an independent institution whose primary role is sorting fact and fiction.”

A lot of institutions are in trouble these days: The Roman Church, the American left wing news-engines, the Canadian federal Liberal Party, to name some that come to mind. They richly deserve it.

Support David Warren

David Warren, former journalist, and now inspired  blogger, has pissed off more people than me, way more. He is also a brilliant writer and thinker and a staunch Romanist and self-avowed reactionary. I once read a paean of his to Pharaonic rule, where he lauded the fact that there had been absolutely no progress or change in Egypt for three thousand years. Here at Barrelstrength, we hold to views that are more moderate, meliorist, and, dare I say, progressive.  The influences of Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, and David Hume fight it out for supremacy here. Barrelstrengthians are ever so slightly better adapted to modernity, and we have, in the main, accepted the legitimacy of the House of Hanover (Windsor) to the British throne, instead of those feckless Stuarts. We have held jobs and not lost them to personal piques and quarrels, nor have we gone over to Rome in despair at the state of the Anglican Church, because once you go to Rome, expecting to at last be received into true religion, you end up in a worse place.

I once heard a Liberal consultant swear he had cancelled his subscription to the Ottawa Citizen three times because of editorials Warren had written when he was there. What more recommendation of Warren can I offer?

Warren and and the cheerful loons of Barrelstrength each would be derided as fascist racist sexist classist reactionaries.  However we have jobs and pensions while Warren does not. Hence my appeal to go on his site and send him some money.

He needs it, and we don’t.

His is a great talent, and his voluntary poverty should be alleviated periodically.

 

David Warren

How the media work

The press is dissected in this entertaining interview by John Cleese of  Graham Johnson and John Ford, tabloid journalists. There is only one line and one story allowed. All the questions are directed to reinforce the chosen line.

“Fake news” was made identifiable by Donald Trump, says Graham Johnson. Stories are made up, and the penalty for failing to do so is to be fired. It is that simple.

 

For evident reasons, trust in British journalism is especially low. See

https://www.statista.com/statistics/683336/media-trust-worldwide/

for a comparison of the level of trust in media across countries. It proved impossible to block and copy.

 

 

Krauthammer

If Charles was wrong in his beliefs that the Middle East could be made better by American intervention, as I believe he was, his error was on the side of hope.  A splendid man, with a great gift for the opinion business. On Trump he could be wrong. I will leave it at that.

To live the life that you intend – that is the point.

 

VDH on Conrad Black’s bio of Trump

Why Trump Is a President Like No Other

“What made Trump different from his competitors? Likely, his cunning, his almost Thucydidean reading of human nature, and his sixth sense about timing and salesmanship. In Plutarchian fashion, Black focuses on Trump’s physicality, especially his boundless energy and his impatience with nuance and self-doubt (“desperate cunning, unflagging determination, unshakeable self-confidence, ruthless Darwinian instincts of survival, and a sublime assurance that celebrity will heal all wounds”). Of course, the media and politicians were not ready for the naked applicability of these traits to the White House. But, as Black notes, the American people after decades of misgovernance were—as if to let loose Trump on their country as both avenger and deliverer.”

5 for 5

 

My subject is the astonishing level of incomprehension of and contempt for Trump by the American elites.

A perfect illustration is available from Real Clear Politics’ Monday edition of the state of incomprehension of Trump by the American elite. It is called “the End of Intelligence”, and appeared first in the Sunday New York Times. It is written by Michael Hayden, who was the director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009 and the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005.

His concern is with ‘post truth’ America, and what follows is Hayden’s line of argument.

He illustrates his case with some whoppers (outright lies), exaggerations and nonsense that Trump told during the election. [No discussion is made of anything from Hillary].

Hayden writes:

We in the intelligence world have dealt with obstinate and argumentative presidents through the years. But we have never served a president for whom ground truth really doesn’t matter.

The case in point is the ill-conceived Presidential directive that has come to be called ‘the Muslim-ban’. Hayden detects a pattern: something starts with a Presidential tweet, then the legions of  experts are called in to dampen, palliate, or moderate the instincts of the President.

“Sometimes, almost magically, he gets it right”, as when Trump agreed with the establishment to keep troops in Afghanistan.

But most of the time, Trump does not agree with the establishment, as on sanctions against Russia. In fact Trump disagrees with large sections of official opinion.

In this post-truth world, intelligence agencies are in the bunker with some unlikely mates: journalism, academia, the courts, law enforcement and science — all of which, like intelligence gathering, are evidence-based. Intelligence shares a broader duty with these other truth-tellers to preserve the commitment and ability of our society to base important decisions on our best judgment of what constitutes objective reality.

On how many issues is the American establishment wrong? They consist of journalists, academia, the courts, law enforcement and science.  And on how many issues are the the general consensus of the establishments in North America and Europe absolutely, completely wrong?

  1. Global warming/climate change: a concatenation of errors in false analysis, false conclusions, and wrong-headed solutions that will impoverish us, all driven by an anti-development ideology masquerading as “science”
  2. Iran deceiving us about their nuclear plans, and we being willing to be deceived
  3. Russia, seen as if it were still the Soviet Union, a confusing the thuggish Putin with the mass-muderer Stalin
  4. Islamic terrorism – you cannot be allowed to see or speak to the link between Islam the religion and Islam the political idea
  5. Korea – seen as insoluble

I would say it is five for five, on the most important issues confronting the West today. And I am not talking about the ideological mess of our universities.

Of course Hayden and his ilk believe that Trump is irrational in opposing Establishment views, because it is impossible that they could be wrong. We have all read their 60-page memoranda; we have all taken our lessons from the professors; we have all bowed our heads to the liberals in robes on the courts; and the police are busy policing thoughts and attitudes, as they ought. How can we all be wrong?

How can the establishments in law, policing, science, foreign intelligence and academia be wrong? The answer is quite simple, really. They have been animated by wrong ideas for fifty or a hundred years, and the results are now being seen.

I was once subjected to spiteful derision from a man who thought my views on global warming were utterly wrong. Without his ever having researched the subject, he found most offensive the fact that I dared to have an opinion that was not the consensus of scientists, as he saw it. How could I be so bold? [As a Protestant I am culturally accustomed to taking on Establishments and declaring them without authority, is the answer.]

The heresy or sin is in having a view that is not an establishment view. And Trump is five for five. And that, my friends, is why the Establishment thinks that Trump is irrational. Because they cannot be wrong.