Norman Finkelstein: Was Obama an Intellectual Fraud?

to just
09:15
just let me enter a footnote but just in
09:18
a site
09:20
it was very interesting to watch who
09:22
pulled it off
09:24
when he establishes his first campaign
09:26
team
09:28
it’s proof axelrod and gibbs
09:31
they’re all white
09:33
then
09:34
he assembles the team of writers
09:37
he has eight writers
09:39
and lyd makes the point
09:42
they’re all white males
09:46
it’s very striking wouldn’t it strike
09:48
you
09:50
yes it has
09:52
of eight writers
09:54
eight
09:56
including
09:57
around three who just did comedy
09:59
sketches because he was going on like
10:02
you know the
10:03
washington press club comedy night you
10:06
know
10:07
he couldn’t find one black writer
10:09
through comedy yeah i think that was a
10:11
really interesting point that you made
10:12
that apparently none of the black
10:14
comedians kind of passed muster to join
10:16
to join the team and yes it’s something
10:18
that i you know people have commented on
10:20
and that you know as i listen to
10:22
the kind of
10:24
crooked media
10:25
podcast
10:27
family
10:28
where a whole lot of people are have
10:30
very lucrative careers now as the host
10:32
of positive america etc because they
10:34
were his speech writers
10:37
and thinking about
10:38
how none of those opportunities befall
10:41
any any black people or any women in
10:42
part because that’s not who barack obama
10:45
to keep around him and put words in his
10:46
mouth it’s really striking in his inner
10:49
circle there were two blacks
10:51
valerie jarrett
10:53
who for all intents and purposes might
10:55
as well have been white well why do you
10:57
say that professor finkelstein well
10:58
first of all
11:00
valerie jarrett just physically let’s
11:02
start with the physically okay but
11:04
that’s but never how race operates in
11:06
america okay okay let’s start there and
11:09
then say finish there
11:12
when her child was
11:14
born
11:15
the hospital administrator put the child
11:18
down as white
11:19
i went to law school with her child in
11:21
fact actually
11:22
one of the most notable moments of i was
11:24
very quiet one all year she was a year
11:26
or two ahead of me and one of the most
11:29
notable moments of my 1l experience was
11:31
a
11:32
professor feldman who’s in the news for
11:33
other reasons not so charmingly right
11:36
now uh called on her and called her mrs
11:38
gray which is about the biggest
11:39
impression i ever made on anybody in
11:41
that class
11:45
so
11:46
and she grew up
11:48
and actually her her mother when her
11:50
mother
11:51
gave birth to her the administrator put
11:54
down white so just at that level at that
11:57
level but you’re right it’s that’s you
11:59
can call it a trivial level because we
12:01
have the one drop rule
12:03
in the united states okay correct she
12:05
she had nothing to do with black people
12:10
why do you say that well because she was
12:11
the mascot for richard daley
12:14
when richard daley when she when the
12:16
richard daley administration came along
12:18
in chicago he appointed her on every
12:21
board
12:22
she was the head of the chicago housing
12:24
authority she was the head of the
12:25
chicago transit authority she was the
12:28
the head of the the chair of the stock
12:30
exchange they just used her for
12:33
everything when she was the head of then
12:35
she became part of this habitat company
12:38
a private public um co-op cooperative
12:42
she was
12:43
she was a one-person gentrification
12:46
machine so i think
12:48
all the black neighborhoods chicago but
12:51
that’s different
12:52
when i challenged the idea that you said
12:54
quote you know she has nothing to do
12:56
with black people but that’s those are
12:58
this is this is the thing you know i i
13:00
all i do is sit around critiquing
13:01
identity politics
13:03
but there’s a
13:04
but it’s a very
13:05
when she is the only representative of
13:09
black people in his inner circle
13:12
she is the only one except for reggie
13:15
love right i understand that but you
13:17
can’t that is not the same thing the
13:19
problem with valerie jarrett is that she
13:22
doesn’t have good politics that connect
13:24
with what the bulk of black voters want
13:26
and need not because she’s light-skinned
13:29
right that’s not the issue and not
13:31
because of what her personal connection
13:33
is no and it’s also not because you said
13:35
she has nothing to do with black people
13:36
i know nothing about her personal life
13:38
who she hangs out with how she grew up
13:40
or how much she has anything to do with
13:42
black people so what i’m i’m not
13:43
disagreeing with the substance of your
13:45
critique of valerie jarrett but i’m just
13:47
cautioning you to be careful especially
13:49
since you aren’t black frankly something
13:52
that that’s who he chose
13:55
it’s right something
13:57
if the leading intellect black
13:59
intellectual in the united states is i
14:01
think clearly hands down is cornell west
14:04
and it’s very striking that obama
14:07
couldn’t find any place for cornell west
14:10
in his administration that tells me
14:12
something
14:14
it tells me something but he finds a
14:16
place from valerie jarrett and the only
14:18
other person is reggie love and reggie
14:22
love it was just
14:23
he was the gopher
14:25
oh obama wants an exotic meal can you
14:27
get it for him obama needs a new pair of
14:29
shoes can you get it for him that’s how
14:31
reggie loved it i actually i i liked
14:34
reggie loves memoir because he didn’t
14:36
give
14:37
he used a memoir to talk about himself
14:40
which i i kind of like even though of
14:42
course there’s the praise for obama but
14:44
it tells you something i don’t know why
14:46
you wouldn’t want to see that
14:48
that the people i don’t need
14:52
i don’t think that you are hearing what
14:53
my criticism is
14:56
does it bother you that does it bother
14:58
you
14:59
that valerie jarrett sings the praises
15:02
of al sharpton
15:04
yes that is a substantive critique of
15:06
valerie jarrett valerie jarrett being
15:09
light skinned her daughter being
15:11
perceived as white as a kid it derails
15:13
the rest of your argument that’s the
15:15
point i’m trying to make
15:16
it’s not helpful no i’m i’m telling you
15:19
i’m telling you as someone who is
15:22
sympathetic to your argument and who is
15:23
perhaps the
15:25
person outside of
15:27
the reeds who has written most critique
15:30
of identity politics on the left that
15:32
there are aspects of what is written
15:34
here that even alienate me and force me
15:38
into a defensive posture that is
15:40
unnecessary
15:42
and you cannot you cannot you can choose
15:44
not to care professor finkelstein that’s
15:46
completely you’re right but we we could
15:48
be talking about
15:49
we could be talking about the
15:51
substantive things that we agree with
15:53
but we keep getting derailed because of
15:56
these kind of assigns that do wait i’m
15:58
sorry if i could just finish the
15:59
sentence
16:00
that do open you up to i think
16:02
legitimate criticism that this isn’t
16:04
about the substance but it’s about a
16:06
personal animus for barack obama and i
16:10
personally don’t have a personal animus
16:12
barack obama beyond the extent to which
16:14
he has failed to stand up for the
16:15
promises that he made to the american
16:17
people who are suffering
16:18
at a historic level right now and
16:21
particularly because he’s a black person
16:22
who traded on
16:24
his blackness in order to convince
16:27
people without a lot of substance as
16:28
you’ve written so persuasively
16:30
to invest in him and to trust him with
16:34
the future and the fate of the most
16:36
historically marginal you know one of
16:37
the most historically marginalized
16:38
groups in this country that is my beef
16:40
with barack obama but when you say
16:42
things like i don’t find him interesting
16:44
that’s fine you don’t have to i
16:46
personally find him to be very
16:48
interesting and deeply compelling and i
16:50
i mean like the whole phenomenon i find
16:52
to be fascinating
16:53
but the i it begs the question you know
16:56
why is it relevant whether you find them
16:58
interesting and i find them just
16:59
uninteresting i said i don’t think it’s
17:01
relevant but it comes up you end up you
17:04
said it i didn’t say it you said it and
17:06
those kinds of asides and those frogs
17:08
and detours i would put to you i would
17:10
put to you
17:12
set you up to be written off and set all
17:14
of your critique to be written off
17:16
as a personal vendetta as opposed to a
17:19
substantive analysis which i think is
17:21
very much here and that’s all that i it
17:24
is that i’m flagging
17:25
because
17:26
um
17:28
i don’t like
17:29
identity politics
17:32
why not
17:33
why
17:34
yeah i mean i don’t either but i want to
17:36
hear i’m interested in hearing
17:38
your
17:38
analysis because
17:41
i know enough young people
17:44
not from the elite schools
17:47
but
17:48
young people who are
17:50
struggling
17:52
very hard
17:54
now
17:55
i had a wonderful life
17:58
not in terms of professional success
18:01
but enable
18:03
in terms of being able to do with my
18:05
life
18:06
what i wanted to do
18:08
you set a goal as a child a youth
18:11
and then you
18:13
are able to realize it
18:16
i had a friend richard herskowitz
18:19
he loved film
18:21
he became a film uh impresario festivals
18:24
organizing festivals
18:26
larry spivak he was in the school band
18:29
the orchestra leader
18:32
he became the leader of the greenwich
18:33
orchestra
18:35
then there’s the whole slew who became
18:37
doctors
18:38
that was their goal and there were quite
18:40
a few just money in wall street
18:43
this generation
18:47
they
18:49
it’s the very rare person outside the 20
18:52
the 20 will make it
18:54
the 80
18:55
who i know
18:58
they’re not going to see anything in
18:59
their lives it’s very hard for me to
19:01
tell them that
19:02
i um
19:04
often they’re asking me what do you
19:05
think i should do where do you think i
19:07
should go
19:08
i don’t even know what to counsel
19:09
anymore
19:11
because i don’t see any prospects at all
19:15
so
19:17
to me
19:18
this identity politics
19:21
it’s a complete and total
19:24
diversion
19:27
from anything meaningful
19:29
and substantive
19:32
for the young people i know who are poor
19:36
who live four to a room
19:39
in new york
19:40
or four to an apartment in new york
19:43
who struggle each month
19:46
to make the rent
19:48
who keep down
19:50
three dead end jobs
19:53
with no job security no vacation no sick
19:57
benefits nothing nothing
20:00
and then
20:01
juxtaposed to that
20:04
is this idiotic
20:06
identity politics
20:09
which
20:10
so far as
20:12
the young people i know
20:14
has absolutely no meaning
20:17
no
20:18
substance
20:20
whatsoever
20:22
so i just want to make sure i understand
20:24
what you’re really
20:25
one last thought sure
20:27
it was very striking to me
20:31
the
20:32
juxtaposition of the obama campaign
20:37
with the bernie campaign
20:39
the obama campaign was just
20:42
elect obama it was just all focused on
20:46
electing this person president
20:49
the bernie campaign
20:51
was entirely focused on his platform
20:55
everybody the moment he thought bernie
20:58
you thought first medicare for all
21:01
student debt
21:03
abolish tuition
21:05
jobs
21:06
and infrastructure
21:08
it was an identity politics campaign
21:12
juxtaposed against
21:15
a class politics
21:17
it was a very in my opinion
21:21
a very striking juxtaposition
21:25
most people like bernie not because they
21:27
had any particular
21:29
affection for him
21:31
but because they trusted him they knew
21:33
this guy’s been in politics for 40 years
21:35
he’s been saying the same thing since
21:37
the 1970s
21:39
so they figured okay the guy is the real
21:41
thing he’s the real deal uh that’s the
21:45
kind of politics
21:46
that’s always interested me
21:50
i care i care about the fate of humanity
21:53
i do
21:54
i don’t much care about abram x candies
21:57
um
21:59
hair
22:01
it doesn’t much interest me
22:04
is uh
22:06
these are fashion shows
22:08
this is not scholarship
22:10
it’s not politics
22:13
it’s
22:14
tamika mallory doing cadillac
22:17
commercials
22:19
it’s
22:20
patrice coolers
22:23
buying her four homes and then taking
22:25
the money and run
22:28
it’s also
22:30
beyond the scam
22:33
it’s really destructive
22:37
i was out every night
22:39
during the george floyd demonstrations i
22:41
was the only one over there was nobody
22:44
over
22:44
[Music]
22:45
there was literally over 30 at the
22:47
demonstrations because it was jaren
22:48
covert
22:50
so i was the only one
22:53
not for my age cohort
22:55
for four decades
22:58
after 35
22:59
three decades
23:01
and what was most striking to me
23:03
a veteran as it were of demonstrations
23:08
i had never seen
23:10
such anger among the whites the young
23:12
white people
23:15
it was not this kind of no bless oblige
23:18
solidarity with black people no
23:21
it was solidarity
23:23
however
23:25
it was we’re all in this together
23:29
and it was very striking
23:31
let’s say the
23:32
uh barclays center
23:35
which is the big center in downtown
23:37
brooklyn
23:38
here were the cops lined up
23:41
and here were
23:42
the demonstrators
23:45
and
23:46
there would be the white women
23:49
and there was such a fierce
23:52
anger
23:54
they were screaming it was not the most
23:56
sophisticated
23:58
of the of slogans they were shouting
24:00
nypd sucked my dick nyc
24:04
so angry
24:07
and
24:08
you you could see
24:10
it was the rage against the machine
24:14
that the police were the symbols
24:16
of this whole
24:18
system
24:21
that left them with no future
24:24
a futureless future
24:26
and there was real potential there
24:29
it was real
24:31
black and white
24:33
solidarity
24:35
as i had never before seen it
24:38
and it was very
24:40
inspiring
24:42
to see it because it wasn’t fake it
24:43
wasn’t the martha’s vineyard
24:47
it wasn’t performing
24:48
it was real
24:50
because a lot of these kids you know how
24:52
do you find a place in new york there
24:54
are three people they need a roommate
24:57
so a person comes along they randomly
24:59
choose them there is like a co-op
25:01
screening you know what i mean
25:03
so you have
25:05
every different type living together
25:08
a black person a white person a gay
25:10
person the trans person through living
25:12
together
25:13
there was a real sense of
25:15
community there you know recognition
25:17
that blacks are getting shafted more
25:19
than
25:19
everybody else but we’re all getting
25:22
shafted by this system
25:24
and the identity politics wrecks all
25:27
that it destroys it
25:30
by
25:31
by
25:32
balkanizing
25:34
the
25:36
solidarity
25:37
creating this competitiveness
25:40
who is the most oppressed
25:43
among the group
25:45
who should get bumped to the head of the
25:47
queue
25:48
it’s such a destructive
25:51
politics
25:52
i was a maoist
25:54
in my youth i made many errors
25:57
i’m perfectly willing to
26:00
acknowledge them
26:02
but there are things about that period
26:04
that i look back and they make sense
26:07
mao’s famous slogan was unite the many
26:09
to defeat the few
26:12
unite the many to defeat the few
26:15
the slogan of identity politics is
26:18
disunite the many to enable the few
26:21
to create enough divisions
26:23
fragmentations
26:25
and so forth
26:27
uh it’s a very destructive
26:30
and at the end of course the whole
26:32
identity politics in the george floyd
26:34
demonstrations what do they what
26:36
happened instead of putting forth a
26:39
slogan which could have united people
26:41
the obvious slogan was
26:43
justice meaning justice against the cops
26:45
and jobs because all these people don’t
26:47
have work
26:49
instead of justice and jobs
26:51
it came to
26:52
pummeling
26:54
statues of
26:55
whomever they were pulling down
26:58
and if you were if you attended those
27:00
demonstrations i don’t know if you did
27:03
by the third week the first week it was
27:06
50 50 50 black 50 not black
27:11
by the third week it was about 80 10 80
27:15
white
27:16
the black people sort of
27:18
it wasn’t going anywhere and they
27:20
started to disappear
27:22
and then the whole craziness with the
27:24
statues started
27:26
and then the whole thing just fizzled
27:27
out
27:29
i had there right well i think that the
27:30
i mean there’s a lot to be said about
27:32
those protests and we’ve said some of it
27:33
on the show i would dispute that it
27:35
fizzled out i think that there were a
27:36
lot of things that happened there was
27:38
the media turned on the protests and
27:41
started characterizing them
27:43
as kind of unhinged and violent and that
27:46
the ongoing protests were direct
27:49
um
27:50
there was going to be a direct trade-off
27:51
between the george floyd
27:54
movement policing movement
27:56
and
27:58
joe biden’s electoral chances and that
28:00
deflated some energy out of it and there
28:02
was an unwillingness of figureheads as
28:04
you’ve pointed to to actually stick that
28:06
landing and create any real use it for
28:09
any real leverage in an electoral
28:10
context in the middle of a journal
28:12
election and there was a lot of there
28:13
was a lot going on there
28:15
but um i want to bring this back uh
28:18
to
28:19
the subject to hand and ask you then
28:23
in a broader critique of identity
28:24
politics why is it that you felt the
28:27
need to write a chapter on barack obama
28:30
especially if to your point the younger
28:32
generations let’s say the under 40 crowd
28:35
is pretty woke and hip to
28:38
the
28:39
failures of obama
28:42
and doesn’t need need the pitch who who
28:44
is this who is this for hey youtube
28:47
don’t forget this is a podcast to get
28:49
full episodes including ones that are
28:51
behind a pay wall go to patreon.com bad
28:55
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28:57
please do subscribe to this channel hit
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29:01
video
29:03

What Bernie’s former press secretary thinks of media bias | Andrew Yang | Yang Speaks

 

New York Times and corporate bias is invisible.  Briana joy gray shares her experience getting the Times to say just what had happened at a NAACP conference in Detroit when Bernie was the only candidate to get a standing ovation and was the number two candidate and the narrative was that Bernie had a black problem.

Starts: 22:57

 

14:40
i’m a huge fan of the intercepts
14:41
journalism everything i’ve seen out of
14:43
there
14:43
just seemed so real and on point
14:47
uh is different than other outlets that
14:49
way
14:50
and i think there’s like a major problem
14:53
with what some people call
14:54
corporate media am one of those people
14:59
oh no i mean hey like i i like that as
15:02
moniker
15:03
it makes you think you’re like yeah
15:04
corporate media and then you’re like
15:06
what’s the opposite of corporate media
15:07
so i i think the massive crisis in
15:09
journalism um you know
15:11
the first thing it’s like a layer cake
15:13
and it’s all terrible
15:14
um but the first layer is that over to
15:16
the local papers
15:17
have gone out of business and so if
15:19
you’re in a community it’s like no local
15:20
news like how that can you vote on
15:22
anything that’s going on in your
15:23
community and then you have the national
15:25
media was completely polarized at
15:27
various directions
15:29
because your economic incentives drive
15:31
you that way
15:32
and then you have the social media layer
15:34
on top of it that describes you even
15:36
more to extremity even into like
15:38
different versions of reality where at
15:39
this point
15:40
it’s like you know up is down left is
15:42
right you know
15:43
like vote totals or whatever we say they
15:44
are yeah well i have mixed feelings
15:46
about the
15:47
the um social media piece but to your
15:49
point about the the independent media
15:51
versus corporate media piece
15:52
you know there’s a legitimate criticism
15:54
that can be made about the intercept’s
15:55
funding model as well but there is a big
15:57
difference
15:58
when you have uh to the incentive
16:00
structure when you’re working at a place
16:01
like the intercept where
16:02
you don’t have requirements to get a
16:04
certain number of clicks or publish a
16:06
certain number of articles a day
16:08
um you can spend time doing research and
16:10
reporting without the kind of financial
16:12
pressures of
16:13
the typical ad revenue model because
16:15
it’s funded by
16:16
you know a billionaire there’s like a
16:18
large amount of money that’s guaranteed
16:20
to the intercept to do its work
16:21
regardless of how much money
16:23
it makes um whereas other outlets tend
16:26
to have to make sure that this is one of
16:28
the good
16:28
this is one of the billionaires right
16:30
like well you know that’s what i
16:31
when i say that there’s a legitimate
16:32
criticism legitimate critique to be made
16:35
of the internet study model there are
16:36
pros and cons of that obviously but
16:38
there are firewalls up between the
16:40
intercept and um
16:41
the the ebay billionaire who’s the one
16:43
that funds the intercept
16:45
um and there are a lot of on the record
16:47
i am a fan
16:48
of uh omidyar i think pierre omidyar has
16:52
done so much good work
16:53
not just the intercept but i ran a
16:56
non-profit for years and the omidyar
16:58
social fellows and the social innovation
17:00
investments
17:01
he’s made i think the fact that he
17:04
already saw the problems with journalism
17:06
and was trying to do something about it
17:08
early on uh that there are
17:11
um legitimate criticisms of our winner
17:13
take all economic system but
17:15
in like in my mind omidyar is among the
17:18
most benevolent
17:19
uh wealthy people out there yeah i think
17:23
look the the point is not ever
17:26
in the critiques that come from the left
17:27
about the massive accumulation of wealth
17:29
etc
17:30
is not to say that any one individual is
17:33
you know
17:33
evil or that you know there aren’t
17:36
people who can do good things with their
17:37
wealth the idea you know do you say
17:39
winner take all obviously um
17:41
uh a non-giorados wrote this great book
17:44
about this this idea
17:46
the idea is we shouldn’t have to rely on
17:48
private charity
17:50
um to fix the problems of the world and
17:52
that the enormous accumulation of wealth
17:54
in the hands of very few people
17:56
can have really um um styming effects
17:59
for
18:00
journalism the fourth estate our
18:02
democracy you know the ability of
18:04
someone like
18:05
you know michael bloomberg who was what
18:06
the ninth richest person
18:08
on the planet to enter the race what
18:10
that means is that you know
18:12
he has the money to fund his famed
18:14
mayor’s school right
18:15
where so many people were arguably
18:18
willing to endorse him and particularly
18:20
a lot of black mirrors it did seem like
18:22
a lot of mayors
18:24
were like bloomberg and you’re like oh
18:27
maybe there’s something going on there
18:29
yeah and it’s not it’s not again that
18:30
the mayors are bad people or like
18:32
you know wanting to do a bad thing but
18:34
if you go through as mayor’s i had
18:36
nothing
18:37
for the record if i were mayor of a city
18:40
and mike bloomberg had
18:42
uh funded something in my city and then
18:44
decided to do something
18:46
you know like i i’m not mad at anyone
18:47
who said look the best thing for my
18:49
community
18:50
is for me to get on on board with this
18:51
campaign well here’s the thing
18:53
you can there’s it’s one thing to to
18:56
critique the
18:57
system the system is that a lot of
18:59
mayors particularly these black mayors
19:00
from
19:01
poorer districts right who are from
19:02
predominantly minority districts who
19:04
have
19:04
a harder time raising money same goes
19:06
for black disproportionately black
19:09
congress people right who are similarly
19:10
coming from districts where it’s harder
19:12
to earn money because they have a lower
19:13
income population
19:14
um for all the historical reasons that
19:16
we understand you know tend to be more
19:18
susceptible to these kinds of
19:20
buyouts and that’s not because they’re
19:21
worse people it’s because of these
19:23
structural issues in terms of their
19:25
inability to raise funds and the fact
19:27
that when especially when you’re a
19:28
congress person your number one job is
19:29
to raise funds for the party and there’s
19:31
enormous pressures on you
19:32
to get that money so the critique is not
19:35
to say
19:36
you know keisha lance bottoms is a
19:37
problem is to say what can we do to make
19:39
it so
19:40
keisha lance bottoms is more free to
19:42
vote her conscience to reflect the
19:44
interest
19:45
of the people that she presides over um
19:48
her constituents instead of feeling the
19:51
need to take this money and then to give
19:52
an endorsement
19:53
i don’t remember i thought keisha lance
19:54
bottoms was for joe but there was a
19:57
there were a number of other young
19:58
mayors there were sorry
20:01
yeah i’m sorry i didn’t mean to like
20:02
throw her in particular under the bus
20:03
but she was the first
20:04
the first uh southern black black mayor
20:07
that came to mind she is very cool
20:08
um you know spent a lot of time in in
20:10
atlanta of late
20:12
so one of the things that people i don’t
20:14
think um
20:15
make enough of bree is that at this
20:17
point
20:18
vast wealth often technology wealth and
20:20
the media have now
20:22
converged where you have these legacy
20:25
media properties that can’t make money
20:27
or can’t make enough money to keep
20:29
people happy
20:30
and so then some tech mogul titan
20:34
who does not like sports as much decides
20:36
to buy the publication
20:38
so mark benioff buys time magazine
20:42
jeff bezos buys the washington post
20:44
laureen powell jobs buys the atlantic
20:46
now some of these people i like uh you
20:49
know like
20:50
like some of them i like less
20:53
but but there’s definitely a thing where
20:56
um where tech money and you
21:00
i guess you could use the intercept as
21:01
an example though we didn’t buy it it’s
21:02
not like a legacy media property that um
21:05
that omdr decided to buy um but there
21:08
has been this convergence
21:09
and i don’t know if people this is
21:12
something that i
21:13
actually am very very frustrated by is
21:15
that there’s this veneer of media
21:16
objectivity
21:18
um where it’s like nothing to see here
21:19
don’t worry about it where objective
21:21
we’re objective
21:21
and then the ownership structure has
21:23
completely changed
21:25
there was a point when you had these
21:26
firms that were very profitable firms
21:29
you know newspapers even great business
21:31
for generations
21:32
uh and then that business has gotten
21:34
decimated so now
21:36
you have two thousand local papers out
21:39
of existence
21:40
over half of the papers that still exist
21:41
are owned by private equity so just like
21:43
ringing them for cash
21:44
and they don’t really care about the
21:45
local coverage so much and then you have
21:47
the legacy publications that have often
21:49
gotten consolidated or brought up by
21:51
their individuals
21:52
or private equity or other firms and
21:54
then you have the more successful
21:56
national media organizations that have
21:58
become polarized because
22:00
of audience share
22:03
generally like if you decide to become a
22:06
little more partisan then you can
22:07
actually get a more consistent audience
22:09
yeah i think that’s an accurate
22:11
diagnosis
22:12
and to your one of your first points
22:16
what’s partly so frustrating is in
22:19
addition to the bias that it exists but
22:21
that there’s a certain
22:22
invisibility to the bias among
22:24
mainstream
22:25
corporate outlets right so i will often
22:28
hear people say if i tweet out an
22:29
intercept article
22:30
oh gosh that’s your that’s your source
22:32
for saying x y and z i’m not gonna
22:34
believe it
22:35
which is kind of the opposite of what
22:37
you should be thinking
22:39
um you should trust a relatively more
22:40
independent outlet over
22:42
you know frankly the the new york times
22:45
i mean i
22:45
i know that it sounds people might be
22:47
tired of hearing about bernie bros and
22:49
media bias
22:50
um and i understand that but i’ll tell
22:53
you
22:54
working um on the calm side and the
22:56
campaign
22:57
oh my gosh yeah that’s true you have all
22:58
the inside scoop what the heck was going
23:01
on over there
23:01
you know the conversations that i was
23:03
having with people
23:05
in an effort to just say what had
23:07
happened right
23:08
so there was an episode where
23:11
um i was on the road uh bernie sanders
23:15
and all of the candidates i think almost
23:16
everybody maybe you were there andrew i
23:17
can’t quite remember
23:18
had uh spoken at i believe an naacp
23:22
conference in detroit
23:23
and everybody spoke but
23:26
bernie sanders was the only candidate to
23:28
get a standing ovation from the room
23:30
and when i read the new york times
23:32
write-up of the event
23:34
uh the words bernie or andor sanders
23:36
were not mentioned once in this article
23:38
at the time bernie was a number two
23:40
candidate in the polls
23:42
right so i reached out to the author
23:44
this must have driven you
23:45
insane right especially given all of the
23:48
narrative around bernie having a black
23:50
problem right he’s the only one at an
23:51
naacp conference who gets a standing
23:53
ovation from the room
23:54
so i reached out to the the writer who i
23:56
had recently met at netroots
23:58
and i thought we had a lovely talk and i
24:01
said hey i just wanted to you know reach
24:03
out and ask about why it was that bernie
24:04
wasn’t mentioned especially since he did
24:06
so well and because he is
24:07
literally the number two and he’s a
24:10
black audience
24:11
right and he said oh i must have been in
24:14
the bathroom when that happened
24:17
no way so so i said oh okay well the
24:22
footage went up immediately after you
24:24
know you could have watched it
24:26
you can watch your bathroom break
24:28
footage this is like a football game
24:29
where you have
24:30
you have tevo right and you know if you
24:33
were gonna time a bathroom
24:34
a bathroom break i perhaps would have
24:36
timed it not during
24:37
the number two candidate in the race’s
24:39
remarks but you could wait till yang
24:44
yeah we all know that you were a dark
24:45
horse and people were sleeping on you
24:46
for too long
24:48
um but you know you know what you know i
24:51
think it’s true
24:52
but you know his response at that point
24:53
was you know
24:56
not good and relatively hostile and he
24:58
pivoted to some other concerns he
24:59
thought
25:00
you know he thought that the campaign
25:01
had unfairly hit beat up on one of his
25:03
um colleagues because she had written a
25:05
piece that had gotten a lot of criticism
25:06
not from us but from the public because
25:08
it was not a great piece and i was like
25:09
well this isn’t really my issue and
25:11
the conversation devolved but that kind
25:12
of thing happened again and again there
25:14
was another time
25:15
a journalist had written that bernie was
25:18
not not gonna make the debate after the
25:19
heart attack
25:20
that he was going to miss the next
25:21
debate after the heart attack it was
25:22
said declaratively like that
25:24
and so i reached out and said okay well
25:25
all the doctors are saying this kind of
25:28
procedure that he had usually has a
25:30
four-day recovery window
25:31
and people are back out on the golf
25:32
course or whatever and could you would
25:35
you mind
25:36
changing that um and he said no
25:39
absolutely not
25:40
uh i i’m just i’m not gonna i said on
25:43
what basis
25:43
you know this person has a doctor in
25:45
front of their name but they’re not a
25:46
medical doctor i said you are not
25:48
your writer he was an editor your writer
25:50
should not be quoting you
25:51
as a source of medical expertise as to
25:54
when bernie sanders
25:55
can attend a debate and of course he was
25:57
at the debate
25:59
right so it was this kind of thing over
26:01
and over and over again you know bernie
26:03
wins nevada
26:04
and um chris matthews is talking about
26:06
how people are going to be
26:08
you know chopping heads off in central
26:09
park bernie you know bernie supposed to
26:11
be chopping people’s heads off in
26:12
central park
26:13
there’s no mention of the fact that he
26:14
got 70 of the latino vote and how
26:16
important latino vote was going to be in
26:17
the general election
26:19
right um you you had a person bringing a
26:23
swastika a nazi
26:24
flag to a burning rally and getting no
26:26
coverage but you know the use of some
26:28
snake emojis under other candidates
26:30
um you know instagram pages being a 45
26:33
minute
26:34
interview subject for rachel maddow you
26:36
know and on and on and on
26:38
and important things were happening
26:39
right the country was going into a
26:41
crisis toward the end of the primary
26:43
bernie sanders was standing there with a
26:46
lot of the answers and you know assad
26:47
has been championing
26:48
universal basic income we needed big
26:51
ticket ideas
26:52
to get us out of this crisis which we
26:54
all saw coming down the pike
26:55
by the end of the primary season and
26:58
right now
26:59
we are struggling we have gotten this
27:01
stimulus package now that is
27:04
half of what was being offered up prior
27:06
to the
27:07
election and none of the substantive
27:11
structural changes
27:12
that were on offer managed to make it
27:14
through the primary season
27:16
and it’s it’s demoralizing to have seen
27:18
such promise and inspiring ideas from
27:21
people like you
27:22
people like bernie people like elizabeth
27:24
warren and to see
27:25
none of that really reflected in our
27:28
party at present
27:29
your experiences on the bernie campaign
27:33
with the media
27:34
are reflective uh and so i i want to dig
27:37
into this uh
27:38
more because and i also don’t want to be
27:40
like oh
27:41
you know like that like media this is
27:43
that
27:44
um but hearing your perspective is
27:47
fascinating
27:49
[Music]
27:55
all right if you’re like me or let’s say
27:58
like anybody
27:59
in this pandemic your mental health is
28:01
probably going for a
28:02
bit of a rollercoaster ride not being
28:05
able to see friends not be able to go
28:06
out
28:07
uh your job is probably different i know
28:10
these feelings i’ve had on myself
28:12
and it’s one of the reasons why i’m
28:14
happy
28:15
to be sponsored by betterhelp for this
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yang
29:56
so when you talk about corporate media
29:59
uh
30:00
sometimes it brings to mind for me it’s
30:03
like okay
30:04
what is the uncorporate media like what
30:07
is a
30:08
source that you can actually just shrug
30:10
and say they don’t have any incentives
30:12
around suppressing one candidate or
30:14
elevating another
30:16
uh and uh one outlet that people do
30:20
trust more than others um is
30:23
npr which is publicly funded uh you also
30:26
have c-span which is the most boring
30:28
thing in the world but it literally just
30:29
but it just like sticks a camera on
30:31
people and just like it lets them work
30:32
um
30:33
so i had a store like a time when i was
30:35
in a hotel in iowa after a day of
30:37
campaigning
30:38
and then i turned on tv and i was just
30:40
flipping channels then i saw c-span i
30:42
saw myself
30:43
and i was like like what’s this that was
30:45
an event i’d done that day
30:48
and it was just presented without
30:50
commentary it was just me hanging out
30:51
with high school kids answering
30:53
questions
30:54
and i was like wow uh this is
30:57
up um at c-span uh
31:00
very very different than the cable news
31:02
coverage which has a completely
31:03
different rhythm
31:04
and presentation style so
31:08
if we were to want to mend journalism
31:12
like do you have any ideas uh like i
31:15
i think that there should be much more
31:16
public investment in journalism
31:18
i do not see any other way because right
31:20
now you have the corporate incentives
31:22
going one direction
31:23
and then in my mind it’s either
31:25
philanthropy or public resources those
31:27
are really the only two
31:29
and the tech version is philanthropy
31:32
essentially because if you look at the
31:33
wealth and the people who care about
31:34
this it ends up
31:35
being techies very often um
31:38
and so if you don’t love that and you
31:41
know their ups and downs to it like i
31:42
you know i think some of them do a great
31:44
job i’m
31:46
a fan of the atlantic’s work like you
31:48
know i love the atlantic
31:49
um i think intercept is great work um
31:52
but then you pretty quickly land on
31:54
public uh support for journalism
31:57
and then there are a lot of folks that
31:58
are like oh you can’t have the
31:59
government from journalism because
32:01
like you know it’ll be corrupt orwellian
32:02
big brother like you know they’ll like
32:04
censor everything and the rest of it and
32:05
you’re like
32:06
well there is like the bbc which is
32:09
publicly funded and they seem okay you
32:11
have npr
32:12
seems okay you have uh you know
32:15
different
32:15
examples of this throughout the world
32:17
yeah so the
32:19
the conversation about kind of
32:21
government versus private funding is the
32:22
same conversation that ends up happening
32:24
about
32:24
between republicans and democrats about
32:26
big government versus all government
32:28
right and what what is missing from that
32:29
conversation often is like sure
32:32
hypothetically the government could have
32:34
could be corrupt
32:35
but we all know there’s an enormous
32:38
amount of corruption
32:39
in the business world and there are no
32:41
democratic mechanisms for us to do
32:42
anything about that
32:43
so at least when we we have government
32:45
we have some semblance of
32:47
democracy still and we can vote people
32:49
in and out and have an accountability
32:51
mechanism
32:52
nobody really talks about okay we have
32:54
the free market how are we going to hold
32:55
jeff bezos who’s richer than god
32:57
accountable for anything that he does to
32:58
any of his employees et cetera
33:00
but there’s a third option right there
33:02
is independently
33:03
um subscriber-funded media that’s
33:06
neither government or business based and
33:08
that’s where you have outlets like
33:09
current affairs where i’m a contributing
33:11
editor you have outlets like
33:13
the intercept is partially independently
33:15
funded they are trying increasingly to
33:16
get off
33:17
of um peers funding and when people
33:19
subscribe it helps them to be able to do
33:21
that
33:21
um you have outlets like david sirota
33:24
who was my colleague on the campaign but
33:25
a veteran journalist of 20 years before
33:27
that
33:28
who started his own blog the daily
33:29
poster you have a lot of people
33:31
advocate for defecting from their
33:33
journalistic institution glenn greenwald
33:35
recently left the intercept to start his
33:36
own blog
33:37
um that is independently funded on
33:39
patreon where people
33:41
give money to these people you know to
33:43
these individuals
33:44
or in david’s rhoda’s case he’s trying
33:46
to start not just an individual platform
33:47
but a platform where a lot of
33:49
progressive journalists can come and
33:50
write about
33:51
corruption and other kinds of issues
33:53
that get very little hearing
33:55
in the mainstream media but are really
33:57
at the root of a lot of the problems in
33:58
this country
33:59
through his outlet called the daily
34:01
poster so i do think that
34:03
people are finding a lot of interest in
34:05
this and it’s a sustainable model
34:07
to a certain degree but if we are ever
34:09
going to be able to compete
34:11
with the msnbc’s and cnns and fox news
34:14
of the world
34:14
i agree that something more substantial
34:16
has to change and i think
34:18
viewers demanding more of those
34:20
corporate institutions
34:22
would be really helpful because
34:24
currently i think the average american
34:27
believes that those that reporting out
34:29
of quote unquote liberal institutions
34:31
liberal
34:32
um media institutions is being done in
34:34
good faith
34:35
and they don’t know that so many of like
34:38
msnbc
34:39
newscasters um pundits are conservative
34:42
they don’t even know that some of the
34:44
people who are giving advice to the
34:45
democratic party on a daily basis
34:47
you know george bush’s former comms
34:49
woman has a prime time spot at msnbc
34:52
you know fair vote in other
34:53
organizations that have assessed media
34:54
bias
34:55
show that the average msnbc panel is
34:57
skewed more conservative has more
34:59
republicans on it
35:00
than the average fox news panel you know
35:02
and so people are digesting this
35:04
information in good faith not even
35:05
really realizing
35:07
that the institutions that they think
35:08
are liberal and have a liberal bias and
35:10
that they want a liberal bias
35:11
aren’t even liberal they are echoing the
35:13
same kinds of right-wing talking points
35:15
that you get on fox news
35:16
and in fact due to this kind of weird
35:18
populist surge that’s happening
35:20
on the right sometimes you get a fox
35:22
news pundit who’s more willing to talk
35:23
honestly about
35:24
something like trade policies or
35:27
health care even than some of the msnbc
35:30
hosts
35:33
there are two things i’d like to suggest
35:34
here one is
35:36
it’s not left or right anymore it’s kind
35:38
of
35:39
in the institution or outside the
35:41
institution and i love the folks like
35:42
you who are like trying to
35:44
like create the outside of the
35:46
institution
35:47
um ecosystem and voices the second thing
35:51
is that i love the subscriber model
35:56
um that you and others and just
35:59
to be like i don’t know whether this is
36:01
true you’re working at current affairs
36:02
as an editor
36:03
um are are you now at a point where
36:06
you’re generating subscription for
36:07
yourself personally or
36:08
like are you working for a um a
36:11
publication
36:12
so i don’t i don’t get paid by current
36:14
affairs i’m kind of there as a
36:16
um you know an advisory in an advisory
36:19
role as a contributing editor and stuff
36:21
like that
36:21
i my income comes through my podcast bad
36:24
faith so
36:25
you know my co-host virgil texas and i
36:27
and he’s from chapel trap house
36:29
check out bad faith it’s a great podcast
36:31
i’ve been there
36:32
yes you have it’s great everything is
36:34
worth your time and donation don’t you
36:36
want to support brie
36:37
and virgil i appreciate that andrew
36:41
but yeah we you know the subscriber
36:42
model has worked
36:44
um you know for a relatively small sum
36:46
of money each month
36:47
people can unlock you know a ton of
36:50
premium episodes plus we put out a free
36:52
episode every week
36:53
um and they get a lens on the news that
36:56
they wouldn’t
36:57
otherwise get now everyone you know
36:59
doesn’t work
37:00
as well for everyone obviously we’re
37:01
advantaged by the fact that we had
37:03
you know platforms because we knew who
37:04
we already yeah you’re like national
37:06
voices and one
37:07
of the things that that too bree like i
37:09
i struggle with too because you know
37:10
you to yourself you’re you uh but
37:14
you are remarkable virgil is very very
37:16
well known
37:17
and the fact that you can make it work
37:20
um
37:21
does not mean that you know like the
37:22
bottom whatever 90
37:24
some odd percent of folks could make it
37:26
work in the same way that’s true
37:28
but but take take this into account i
37:30
was when i was a completely anonymous
37:32
citizen with 200 twitter followers i
37:34
started a podcast
37:36
and over the course of two years we got
37:38
to about
37:39
i don’t know 8 000 people listening to
37:42
the podcast on average every week
37:44
every two weeks actually and and that
37:46
was that’s that puts you in like the top
37:48
echelon of podcast the vast majority
37:50
of podcasts barely get anyone listening
37:52
to them ever
37:53
um and we have a lot of people listening
37:55
to this are like
37:57
you know like i mean that that sorry
37:59
that resembles reality it’s true
38:01
continue i mean it’s hard to break
38:03
throughs but we we managed to to break
38:05
through
38:06
to go viral a couple of times and we
38:09
never we never monetized the podcast but
38:11
i think that we
38:12
could have and we could have grown it we
38:14
ended up stopping it because i left and
38:15
went to the intercept
38:16
but the thing i will say about the
38:17
internet is that it has a democratizing
38:19
effect
38:20
i my political career to the extent that
38:22
i have one
38:23
came fully out of engaging with people
38:25
and having arguments and discussions
38:27
on the internet inviting people to
38:29
continue those conversations on the
38:30
podcast
38:31
writing articles that concretized my
38:33
views and were able to be disseminated
38:35
far and wide and went
38:36
viral on their own kind of merit not
38:39
because i was a
38:40
big name not because i was associated
38:41
with any institution my most viral
38:43
articles continue to come out of current
38:44
affairs magazine
38:45
i’ve never been published in the new
38:47
york times you know and so
38:49
i want to say yes it’s hard but it’s not
38:51
as hard as it would be if we didn’t have
38:52
the freedom of these
38:53
internet platforms to get around a lot
38:56
of the gatekeeping that has
38:57
traditionally been done
38:58
in this sector again this is why so many
39:01
people
39:02
uh want to be you
39:05
really give me your husband awesome
39:08
um i want to hear more horror stories in
39:11
terms of
39:12
corporate media mistreatment of the
39:14
bernie’s campaign
39:18
you’re gonna get me in trouble look you
39:20
know it
39:22
it it was hard it was hard largely
39:25
because
39:25
you know i know that everybody who works
39:27
for every campaign
39:28
well i think that a lot of people who
39:30
work for a lot of campaigns really
39:32
believe they’re in it for the right
39:32
reasons and
39:33
because their candidate is the one that
39:35
can truly help america and so i don’t
39:37
mean to
39:38
sound like pollyanna about this now i
39:40
just want to interject for a moment brie
39:42
i cannot tell you how many times i did
39:44
an event
39:45
where there were uh tons of journalists
39:48
present
39:49
where i did what i thought was a good
39:52
job
39:53
and got zero mentioned
39:58
i know over and over again i i will tell
40:00
you that i told you this on our podcast
40:02
on bad faith podcast right i remember
40:04
being at the intercept and because i’m
40:06
so online i remember looking at youtube
40:08
videos i would see
40:10
i would be watching burning youtube
40:11
videos and see people from the yang gang
40:13
commenting in them
40:14
right like everywhere i looked on the
40:15
internet i saw yan gang yang and i was
40:17
like
40:18
this feels like an organic phenomenon
40:19
this feels like something
40:21
real and that’s not going away in the
40:22
same way that i saw in a lot of youtube
40:24
comments
40:25
and twitter comments people who who were
40:27
from california who were from kamala
40:28
harris district
40:29
who were not big fans of her and i said
40:31
well this doesn’t bode well for her
40:32
campaign i suspect that this is not
40:34
going to go well
40:34
it was an early indication of the fire
40:37
that you were able to
40:38
you ignite organically despite having no
40:41
participation
40:42
from the media and i remember getting a
40:44
request from your team
40:46
to see if the intercept had any interest
40:49
in profiling or interviewing you
40:50
and you know taking it to my editor and
40:54
like asking what he thought and
40:55
there was a kind of well this isn’t
40:56
really going to go anywhere attitude and
40:58
and i don’t say that to like throw any
41:00
under the anybody under the bus a lot of
41:01
people don’t go anywhere and
41:02
i was i was going off of like youtube
41:04
comments and i could have very easily
41:05
been wrong
41:07
but i can perceive that there’s a
41:09
certain kind of doom or pessimism
41:11
about new people and new ideas among the
41:14
left
41:15
that can sometimes hurt candidates that
41:18
could be really successful aoc barely
41:20
got any attention until she had that
41:21
viral um ad
41:23
in like spring of 2018 right so in your
41:26
case i think there are a lot of factors
41:28
i think that there’s a hostility to new
41:30
people period
41:31
i think if i can say this there’s a
41:34
certain amount of
41:35
you know like racist bias
41:39
frankly i i think that you mean the
41:41
asian thing
41:43
yeah i mean like they were like taking
41:44
inches off of your height and articles
41:46
they were like shrinking you down
41:48
a little bit odd the old the the old
41:50
incredible freaking candidate
41:52
was like huh i did it it was ridiculous
41:55
look
41:56
we haven’t had a you know a large number
41:59
of examples of of american civilization
42:01
descent
42:02
like taking politics by storm that’s not
42:04
a reason for you to ignore it’s a reason
42:06
for you to celebrate first
42:08
the way that you do when a lot of other
42:10
firsts happen in this country and it was
42:11
really remarkable to me
42:13
you know pete buda judge being the first
42:15
openly gay candidate to run
42:17
is a big deal but why wasn’t your first
42:20
status heralded more
42:21
we heard a lot about kamala harris’s
42:23
first status
42:25
you know she’s our first you know asian
42:27
american vp
42:28
or will be but you would have been our
42:30
first asian american president and
42:32
you can’t pretend to care about these
42:35
identity things which are important
42:36
which i think
42:37
matter on a certain level but care
42:40
selectively because you’re obviously
42:41
trying to boost
42:42
certain people’s interests versus
42:43
another and that’s why i think there’s
42:44
so much cynicism
42:45
about identity politics and that’s
42:47
ultimately destructive to a lot of
42:49
broader movements
42:50
um but yeah like i i i thought you
42:54
instantly were exciting largely because
42:55
you were bringing a new idea to the
42:57
table
42:58
new ideas to the table people you know
43:00
we all know that bernie sanders
43:02
you know isn’t popular because he was
43:04
some like rhetorical dynamo
43:06
and he was like wowing everybody with
43:09
these obama-like speeches no
43:11
people were impressed with bernie
43:13
sanders because he stood on a stage
43:15
and said hey health care is a human
43:18
right
43:18
i don’t think that you should die just
43:20
because you can’t afford your
43:23
vision of values principles and goals
43:26
yes very very compelling and it’s
43:28
unadulterated
43:30
until it’s not poll tested you can tell
43:31
he actually believes
43:35
and you and you have some of that too
43:36
andrew like people
43:38
have a lot of resp respect for folks who
43:40
are willing to stand behind an idea
43:42
especially one that’s not test driven or
43:45
pull
43:46
you know pole vetted or whatever and
43:48
just sell it
43:49
and there’s not enough of innovation
43:51
there’s not enough of
43:52
pitching that’s done in the democratic
43:54
party there’s too much pull testing and
43:55
saying well let’s like fit ourselves in
43:57
the image of whatever this print sheet
43:58
of you know
43:59
printed out sheet of paper tells us to
44:00
be instead of having confidence in faith
44:02
in the american people to be able to
44:04
internalize
44:05
digest and adopt a new idea i’m going to
44:08
ask this just because i’m personally
44:10
curious
44:10
do you remember any uh conversations
44:14
on the campaign about universal basic
44:17
income and bernie
44:18
because i was waiting for him
44:21
to uh say something positive about
44:24
universal basic income really the
44:25
the whole time honestly do you remember
44:29
any of those conversations i was curious
44:30
i don’t and i asked but i also wouldn’t
44:32
have really been privy to them
44:34
in my role i will say that in the
44:36
discourse in the lefty discourse i’ve
44:38
noticed there’s
44:38
um you know there’s there’s the jobs
44:42
guarantee camp and the ubi camp and
44:43
there’s some like tension between them
44:45
and there’s a lot of people who are like
44:46
i don’t really care either or both good
44:48
ideas and i think
44:50
that what it felt like to me was that
44:52
bernie
44:53
with the jobs guarantee that was a part
44:54
of the green new deal
44:56
program had just decided maybe maybe for
44:58
messaging clarity reasons like this is
45:00
what we’re going to do it’s a green new
45:01
deal and jobs program the green new deal
45:02
and jobs program that’s what we’re going
45:04
to do
45:04
um but certainly now in the context of
45:08
covet
45:09
when you know bernie’s been talking
45:11
about twelve hundred dollars a lot of
45:12
other people
45:13
went two thousand bill right and has
45:16
been since
45:16
the beginning right meanwhile and so has
45:19
kamala harris by the way
45:20
before she joined up with joe biden she
45:21
was championing two thousand dollars a
45:23
month relief
45:24
but now that she’s a part of this ticket
45:25
has been silent on it and joe biden has
45:27
also been silent on
45:29
wildly silent and media has not pressed
45:31
him on this on whether or not he
45:33
supports cash relief so
45:35
i i think that in a lot of ways you won
45:37
the messaging battle
45:38
even if it took this horrible tragedy um
45:41
to get us there
45:42
i mean i wish that we weren’t in these
45:43
circumstances uh that
45:45
accelerated enthusiasm for universal
45:48
basic income it’s interesting hearing
45:51
your parallel
45:53
set of experiences with the media
45:56
where it blew my mind many many times
45:59
brie because like i’d be there like you
46:01
would have a conversation with a
46:02
journalist and then you’d be like oh
46:03
that was nice and then
46:05
um you know and then it’d be like you’d
46:06
do something and it’s like it didn’t
46:07
happen
46:08
[Laughter]
46:10
and in my case too i’ll share this that
46:12
when i did get press coverage it was for
46:14
things that had nothing to do with um
46:16
what i was campaigning on most of the
46:18
time
46:18
it was for something very personality
46:20
driven uh like
46:22
like when i danced a cupid shuffle like
46:24
and then i showed up on the sunday news
46:25
programs that
46:26
weekend it was like me doing the cupid
46:28
shuffle as like uh
46:30
you know andrew yag like having a good
46:32
time on the trail sort of thing and i’m
46:33
like
46:34
huh yeah anyway
46:38
it’s hard it it reminds me of this
46:40
conversation that’s going on right now
46:41
all right about whether or not
46:43
the squad should use the fact that there
46:45
is a really narrow margin for democrats
46:47
in the house
46:48
to hold up nancy pelosi’s floor vote
46:50
right if a very small number of
46:51
progressives could say
46:52
yes force the vote let’s talk about
46:54
foreign um so they could make
46:56
make it so that nancy pelosi can’t be
46:58
speaker of the house unless she concedes
47:00
to certain demands and what the main
47:01
demand that’s being pushed right now is
47:02
that she
47:03
have a floor vote on medicare for all
47:05
and the idea being not because
47:07
there’s a high likelihood that they that
47:08
we would win um that the house would
47:11
pass medicare for all
47:12
um they’re only 118 co-sponsors in the
47:14
house now democrats have a majority and
47:16
they if
47:17
every democrat in the house would for
47:18
medicare for all we could pass medicare
47:20
for all and i think we should reflect
47:21
on what it means that all the house
47:23
democrats wouldn’t pass medicare for all
47:25
in the middle of a global pandemic
47:27
that’s a real i think indictment of
47:29
our politics right now but you know
47:33
there’s this a lot of people are pushing
47:34
back against the idea saying well you’re
47:35
not going to win anyway so what’s the
47:37
point and it’s all performative
47:38
well for a lot of us especially on the
47:40
left if you don’t do something that can
47:42
grab attention if you don’t do something
47:44
performant if you don’t do the cupid
47:45
shuffle if you don’t
47:46
figure out a way to marry the
47:49
performative and the substantive to say
47:51
force the vote
47:52
and let’s hold hold up nancy pelosi
47:54
speakership let’s let’s
47:55
threaten nancy pelosi who uh you know
47:57
obviously politically
47:58
um because she is one of the least liked
48:02
her favorabilities are worse than trump
48:03
three quarters of americans think she
48:04
should
48:05
should sit down let’s make step down
48:06
let’s make her the center of the story
48:08
and also wet it with some substantive
48:10
policy goals let’s get richard neal out
48:12
of the ways and means committee because
48:13
he’s going to block medicare for all
48:15
let’s get rid of pay go because that
48:16
stands in the way of us being able to
48:18
get all kinds of big ticket items that
48:20
pego requires you to fund them as you go
48:22
along and it makes it very difficult
48:24
um do we kind of put those things
48:25
together because the average american
48:27
doesn’t want to hear a bunch of wonkery
48:29
about paygo
48:29
but they might be interested in nancy
48:31
pelosi right
48:33
and and vice versa and you gotta learn
48:35
how to do a stunt how to figure out how
48:37
to
48:37
exploit the system which is yes very
48:40
biased against the interest of the left
48:42
biased against the interest of of
48:45
working people
48:47
uh i like the idea of forcing the vote i
48:49
mean you know like you should be able to
48:51
vote on a policy that a lot of people
48:52
support and just
48:53
and if you if you’re not for it then you
48:56
don’t vote for it and then we know or
48:57
you know i mean
48:58
you know it’s like it shouldn’t be that
49:00
controversial in my mind um
49:04
well one thing i want to return to
49:06
because it speaks to this problem you’re
49:08
describing right now and i think this is
49:09
one of the core things
49:10
so you said earlier that a bunch of
49:12
folks trust
49:14
liberal media um to report things with
49:17
good intentions and maybe they make
49:18
mistake every once in a while but
49:19
there’s nothing sinister
49:20
afoot uh now
49:24
the trust in media and the trusted
49:26
institutions
49:27
actually changes dramatically
49:30
based upon your political alignment so
49:34
society-wide right now trusted media is
49:36
approximately 42 percent if you say hey
49:39
do you like trust national media to like
49:40
report the news like 42
49:42
not great that’s not very not great it’s
49:44
better than congress though
49:45
yeah congress is like 15 or something
49:47
like that right so
49:49
re-election rate of 94 though so that
49:51
that’s a real problem
49:54
exactly hashtag right all that we could
49:57
get into
49:58
for sure so 42 of people trust the media
50:01
but it actually varies wildly
50:03
uh depending upon your politics uh it
50:05
turns out republicans do not trust the
50:07
media
50:08
at all more or less so you look at them
50:09
it’s down to something like 24
50:12
you look at independence it’s around the
50:15
42
50:15
whatever the national average is then
50:17
you look at democrats it’s in the 60s
50:19
it’s maybe like 62 percent
50:20
so what so what’s happening is you have
50:24
uh democrats who are among the last
50:26
people that believe
50:28
that uh the media is getting it right
50:30
and that
50:31
the liberal media or as you’d call the
50:33
corporate news sources are getting it
50:34
right
50:35
and so there’s like this conversation
50:37
that’s being had
50:38
um that that folks uh
50:41
on really on on either side are feeling
50:44
someone excluded from like in in your
50:46
case the progressives like hey
50:47
is this really what’s going on like my
50:50
guy just knocked it out of the park
50:51
the naacp like you might want to report
50:53
on that you know
50:55
like a lot of people like the idea of
50:56
giving everyone healthcare might want to
50:58
get behind that not treat everyone as
50:59
loony
51:00
who’s for it uh and and then there are
51:02
folks on the
51:03
the right who have a different
51:05
perspective um
51:07
no i’m you know obviously more aligned
51:08
with with democrats
51:10
um but this institution non-institution
51:13
thing
51:14
is actually to me one of the most
51:15
powerful dynamics and the
51:17
media and the folks who trust the media
51:19
and trust that our institutions are
51:20
functioning
51:21
comprise the majority of the democratic
51:23
party uh
51:24
and and then there is this subset that i
51:26
think you are a part of that’s starting
51:28
to question a lot of that and they’re
51:30
like independent news media sources
51:32
there are some independent voices um but
51:36
it’s difficult because there are a lot
51:38
of folks
51:39
who really do not want to question the
51:42
institutional
51:43
powers that be and to me the most
51:45
powerful example of that
51:46
which really blew my mind was before the
51:49
election
51:50
when uh they couldn’t come to terms in a
51:53
relief bill
51:54
and uh steve mnuchin
51:57
i had like a 1.8 trillion dollar
52:01
offer that you you referenced earlier
52:03
and then
52:04
uh nancy did not want that deal for a
52:07
couple of reasons
52:08
and then i was looking around being like
52:10
why are people suggesting
52:12
should probably take this deal like
52:13
people are hurting we can’t wait through
52:15
the winter
52:16
like let’s just do this thing um and i
52:19
said
52:19
that and there were so few people
52:22
that were on board with my saying that
52:24
yeah i was like
52:26
yeah it was me and ro thank you rokhana
52:28
for not leaving me
52:30
all alone on this one um but there were
52:32
so many people that attacked me
52:34
oh yeah uh oh yeah
52:40
yeah you told me i was like look up like
52:42
i i have my
52:44
opinion on this negotiating stance like
52:47
i think you should probably jump on this
52:49
thing
52:49
uh you know and and you can disagree
52:51
with me you can say hey andrew
52:53
i think you’re wrong um without it being
52:56
some kind of
52:58
like you know like uh attack and so
53:00
there was this thing
53:02
there’s this thing that happened at
53:03
least to me and i think bernie for sure
53:06
but uh there was like this institutional
53:09
resistance
53:10
to so to someone uh questioning
53:14
nancy pelosi’s uh process or judgment
53:18
um and it shocked me that there weren’t
53:20
more people that were questioning it
53:22
at that point you know my friend
53:25
at every stage this is this is what
53:27
we’re faced with look
53:29
i i expect that you probably got some
53:31
people accusing you of
53:33
secretly trying to support trump or why
53:36
do you hate the democratic party so much
53:38
you might as well go be a republican i
53:39
mean that’s
53:40
that’s the kind of response that i get
53:41
if i say anything mildly critical of a
53:43
choice made by a democrat
53:45
and in my case i was actually accused of
53:47
sexism that that was oh
53:49
there you go there’s that’s the talk
53:50
there’s another one that happens look
53:52
obviously sexism is real and true in the
53:54
world but
53:55
it can’t be this is again the cynicism
53:57
around identity politics
53:58
identity matters people have been
54:01
marginalized on the basis of their
54:02
identity
54:03
both socially and desure like legally
54:05
our government until
54:07
50 years ago was doing this identity
54:09
matters as a political metric
54:11
however identity cannot be cynically
54:14
used
54:15
by the party apparatus in order to
54:17
deflect substantive criticism
54:18
and the way that’s being done repeatedly
54:20
and that cynicism around identity
54:22
is driving people to the right is
54:24
driving people into the arms of right
54:25
wingers that we
54:26
in in the you know neo-fascist populist
54:30
uprising that created trump in a way
54:32
that we don’t want to happen we need to
54:33
be honest about what’s going on and be
54:35
willing
54:36
to accept criticism so i think that you
54:38
were right about that i think that a lot
54:39
of people now that we see the deal that
54:41
we got
54:42
are understanding that a choice was made
54:44
explicitly
54:45
because nancy pelosi didn’t want to give
54:48
donald trump
54:48
points anything that he could campaign
54:50
over before the election now
54:53
that raises a lot of other questions for
54:54
me why was the election so close
54:56
if donald trump was so vile right why
54:59
was the election so close that the idea
55:01
of letting him
55:01
put out a stimulus check with his name
55:03
on it could have thrown
55:04
maybe we don’t even know that that’s
55:06
true but maybe could have advantaged him
55:08
meaningfully in the election
55:09
why wasn’t the democratic party long
55:12
before we got that close to the price to
55:14
the general election
55:15
running explicitly on cash payments to
55:18
americans why wasn’t that
55:20
arms favored by 88 of voters i don’t
55:23
know what the other 12
55:24
are thinking uh 88 is pretty high
55:28
yes by the way you know what else 88 of
55:30
voters support
55:31
medicare for all 88 of voters support no
55:34
sorry 88
55:35
of democrats support medicare for all 72
55:37
percent of voters according to a fox
55:39
news exit poll a fox news exit poll
55:42
should that 72 percent of americans
55:44
overall support medicare for all
55:45
and about 50 of republicans do so why is
55:48
it that
55:49
joe biden is in in the context of the
55:51
general election saying
55:52
i would veto medicare for all even if it
55:54
passed the house in the senate why is
55:56
why aren’t we asking the questions about
55:57
why the democrats are
55:59
running on these enormously popular
56:01
beneficial policies
56:02
that can make the election not so close
56:04
that we had to deny
56:06
americans much needed economic support
56:09
at a national low point in terms of both
56:12
the economy and our national health
56:15
the the lack of stimulus between
56:18
april and december was
56:22
it’s morally yeah like morally criminal
56:26
you know like looking at that
56:29
objectively
56:30
be like and if you withheld for
56:32
political reasons
56:33
um that’s awful and
56:36
you know you can’t know whether that was
56:38
the motivation but certainly
56:40
it felt a whole lot like that they said
56:43
at one point
56:44
they it was made explicit at one point
56:47
that you know this could this could help
56:48
trump like that was an explicit message
56:50
i don’t remember at this point
56:51
don’t quote me that it came out of
56:53
pelosi’s mouth or somebody else in
56:54
democratic party leadership
56:55
but that wasn’t a creation of the media
56:57
that wasn’t just conjecture that that
56:59
was the message
57:00
and democrats you know a lot of
57:02
democrats who trust the party bought
57:04
into that and said
57:05
well yes the most important thing is
57:06
defeating donald trump therefore
57:08
even if it hurts millions of americans
57:11
were going to keep the stimulus in the
57:12
bag
57:13
and you know that that’s that’s why i’m
57:16
saying again like it should never have
57:17
been that close whether or not it helps
57:19
donald trump was only an issue because
57:21
i believe the the party leadership in
57:24
in the the chosen candidate didn’t do
57:28
enough to distinguish themselves for
57:29
trump and fight affirmatively
57:31
for what they were going to do for
57:32
america instead it was i’m not trump
57:34
let’s defeat trump’s sort of campaign
57:36
and that just doesn’t galvanize people
57:38
the way that cash relief
57:40
medicare for all canceling student debt
57:42
legalizing marijuana
57:44
ubi mobilizes people
57:47
so bree uh now that and i remember
57:50
the the spring very well and i know it
57:54
was deeply painful for everyone on the
57:55
bernie campaign where it felt like it
57:57
was this
57:58
close like right there post nevada and
58:00
then
58:01
um jim climber endorses joe in south
58:03
carolina and then the entire tide turns
58:05
and all the candidates
58:06
um
58:10
had a particular direction
58:14
so it’s been seven eight months since
58:16
then you’ve now pivoted to become
58:18
an independent voice a journalist you’re
58:22
producing things that you believe in
58:24
what do you see
58:25
as like the next number of steps uh for
58:29
progressives for trying to make some of
58:32
these
58:32
changes happen politically for yourself
58:34
individually
58:36
you know i mean you’ve had like a
58:37
fascinating career already and you’re
58:39
still
58:39
just getting started um but like i i
58:42
look up and
58:43
you know there are times when i’m very
58:44
optimistic um there are times when i
58:46
think that the mechanics of our system
58:48
are just desperately broken uh and that
58:51
uh and when you start digging into some
58:54
of these numbers like
58:55
you know an 18 approval rating for
58:57
congress and a 94
58:58
reelection rate you’re like whoa like
59:00
how does that work and then you you
59:02
start
59:03
looking at mechanical fixes um one
59:05
mechanical fix i’ve been pushing very
59:06
hard is ranked choice voting
59:08
and open primaries which i think would
59:10
uh make our politics much more dynamic
59:12
and responsive
59:13
and genuine and then you can you
59:15
couldn’t bully everyone being like
59:17
you’re going to waste your vote
59:18
you’re going to like elect the evil or
59:19
whatever it’s like well if you’re ranked
59:20
as voting we don’t need to worry about
59:21
it anymore so
59:22
let’s pursue true democratic reforms
59:26
yeah i i’m a huge fan a huge advocate of
59:28
ranked choice voting
59:29
um the number one bully pull put to your
59:32
point the democratic party has is
59:34
if you don’t vote for the lesser of two
59:35
evils you’re going to make the evil win
59:37
and we have been operating on that logic
59:39
since you know realignment and the
59:41
democratic
59:42
party became what it is today um in the
59:45
republican party
59:46
became the you know southern strategy
59:48
party of
59:49
of uh white racism that you know it
59:51
emerged as
59:52
and we’ve been trying to struggle out of
59:55
that since the 1960s
59:56
since the 1950s and uh
60:00
i raised this question you know at this
60:03
point kind of infamously
60:04
on our podcast in an episode with noam
60:06
chomsky where i i simply asked look
60:08
let’s assume that donald trump presents
60:10
a unique evil and we all have to vote
60:12
him out this time
60:13
what do we do between now and 2024 to
60:16
make sure we’re not in the same
60:17
situation how do we get out of this
60:19
lesser of two legalism structure
60:21
and if we are willing to pledge our
60:22
votes the democratic party no matter
60:24
what under any circumstances
60:26
i you know i thought michael bloomberg
60:28
um was a closer call in terms of who was
60:30
worse with respect to donald trump
60:32
because he’s a lot more capable
60:33
and has actually enacted had actually
60:35
enacted a much more extreme
60:37
racial pogrom in new york city than
60:39
donald trump managed although he
60:41
certainly tried
60:42
um because michael bloomberg is an
60:43
incompetent unlike donald trump
60:45
um and people were you know willing to
60:48
vote for him
60:48
you know there were donnie joyce people
60:50
were saying they wouldn’t vote for
60:51
bernie but they would vote for for
60:52
bloomberg if he was the eventual nominee
60:55
so what authority do we have what what
60:57
line in the stand
60:58
can we is there if if the democrat if
61:01
democrats are never willing to say
61:02
enough is enough this is not the kind of
61:04
candidate we want representing us this
61:05
is not the kind of party we are
61:07
is there any policy that they won’t
61:08
throw under the bus is there any kind of
61:10
candidate that we won’t accept
61:11
and if the answer is no we’re go we
61:13
should expect that the party moves more
61:15
and more and more to the right over the
61:16
course of history
61:17
the way it’s been doing so what’s going
61:19
to stop that movement i think that
61:20
ranked choice voting is one of those
61:22
things
61:23
i think greater union participation in
61:25
figuring out how to organize
61:26
massive blocks of voters that can
61:29
meaningfully incredibly threaten
61:31
democrats to say we are going to
61:32
withhold our vote we are not going to
61:34
mobilize our population
61:35
unless you adhere to some basic
61:37
standards like the fact that 88
61:40
of democrats want medicare for all but
61:42
barely half of the house of
61:44
representatives
61:45
will co-sponsor the bill
61:48
what that the idea the idea people
61:51
people
61:52
are arguing against forced to vote who
61:53
are like well it wouldn’t pass anyway
61:54
that’s not an indictment of the idea of
61:56
forced to vote that’s a
61:57
colossal indictment of elected
62:00
representatives
62:01
democratic representatives in the house
62:03
we are in the middle of a global
62:04
pandemic where
62:05
15 million people have just lost their
62:07
employer-based healthcare
62:09
all of the people who are arguing if you
62:10
like your healthcare you can keep it
62:12
during the primary election should be
62:15
put on the mat
62:16
by a journalist every single day asking
62:17
have you revised your
62:19
position do you want to apologize for
62:21
misleading the public and spreading
62:22
right-wing talking points because none
62:23
of that was true and now you have to
62:25
answer to
62:25
15 million americans 15 million
62:29
who in the middle of a global health
62:30
crisis have no recourse
62:32
with respect to paying for their health
62:33
care that’s unconscionable
62:35
and yet we don’t have a media apparatus
62:37
who’s willing to do that
62:38
and for people like you and those in the
62:41
left who are willing to stand up and
62:42
articulate
62:43
some you know break from consensus
62:47
are ridiculed called traitors to the
62:49
party
62:50
accused of sexism or some other kind of
62:52
identity based bias
62:54
and there’s no real reckoning at any
62:56
point so i do think that yes
62:58
ranked choice voting needs to be pushed
62:59
democrats will never do it because
63:01
that’s the source
63:01
one of the main sources of their power
63:03
but we have to agitate for it
63:05
um we need to start going to town halls
63:08
take a lesson out of the tea parties
63:09
playbook which is was a lesson out of
63:11
salalinsky’s playbook on the left
63:13
and make life uncomfortable for our
63:15
elected representatives until they
63:17
start actually representing us and that
63:19
goes for some of the people who have
63:21
been progressive champions as well it’s
63:22
not about throwing them out
63:24
or saying they’re terrible people or
63:26
questioning their motives
63:27
but it’s about understanding that there
63:28
is a such thing as institutional creep
63:30
um when you are in office your motives
63:33
start to change
63:34
and you have an incentive in maintaining
63:36
your status and your position
63:37
and you have all these incentives to
63:39
raise money and and give money to the
63:41
parties that you can get
63:42
hierarchy and status within your
63:45
committee positions and all these kinds
63:46
of things which are important
63:47
but shouldn’t come at the expense of the
63:49
people that you were elected to
63:50
represent
63:51
we need to give money to independent
63:53
candidates so that they can rely on the
63:54
people and be beholden to the people
63:56
instead of being beholden to
63:58
corporate interests we need to push for
63:59
campaign finance reform so they don’t
64:01
have the option
64:02
to be dependent on corporate interests
64:04
and we all just have to stay a lot more
64:06
engaged and have
64:08
confidence have faith keep the faith
64:11
that if we do these things and we stand
64:13
together and we recognize that it’s not
64:14
left right that it is top down
64:16
and the 99 stands together it is
64:19
possible for us to have a better world
64:21
it is possible and we should not let
64:23
pessimism cow
64:26
oh you’re like the antidote to cynicism
64:28
i love it anyone
64:30
anyone who needs needs a reminder
64:33
of the the fact that we can do great
64:36
things
64:36
uh brie’s got a podcast every every week
64:39
with
64:40
virgil who’s more of a virgo’s more of a
64:42
downer than bree so you guys know
64:43
there’s a little bit of a
64:44
yin-yang good bad cop situation
64:48
oh yeah there you are you’re a very good
64:49
team um so for you personally
64:53
i’m sure there was like a sense of
64:55
depletion
64:56
after the campaign and then you’ve just
64:58
gotten kind of your
65:00
legs underneath you in terms of this
65:03
new podcast and your new independent
65:05
media project
65:07
would the plan be to just keep on uh
65:10
building your um voice and work until
65:14
like the
65:14
the next candidate catches fire and
65:17
manages to get your attention
65:19
yeah i mean certainly i’m interested to
65:21
see what happens electorally but i’m
65:22
also
65:23
really interested to start to explore
65:25
non-electoral activism you know
65:27
there’s been a little bit of a circular
65:29
firing squad on the left this past week
65:31
or two about force the vote
65:32
and to try to break out of that i’m
65:35
reaching out to
65:36
union leaders and organizers to try to
65:37
come on and give us a more
65:40
um concrete sense of how change happens
65:42
you know
65:43
a lot of left pundits like to say well
65:45
your idea doesn’t work because it really
65:47
requires organizing it requires
65:48
grassroots support i mean like that’s
65:50
great but don’t we play a role in
65:51
helping to germinate that
65:52
can’t we do that why not right like i’m
65:54
not doing anything else i’m just a
65:55
podcaster let me let me call up the head
65:57
of my local dsa
65:58
let me write to my representative and
66:00
see if she
66:02
she can get on the record on for us to
66:03
vote you know let let me
66:05
reach out to the medicare for all
66:07
advocates let me reach out to black
66:08
lives matter advocates
66:10
let’s see what does it actually take to
66:11
get 3 000 people sitting in front of the
66:14
capitol what does it take to organize
66:16
a million person march or the women’s
66:18
march let me let me ask um
66:20
you know this woman not doing anything
66:22
this woman can do anything she doesn’t
66:23
date
66:23
it’s beautiful well i haven’t done it
66:25
yet one thing i want
66:27
oh yo you you you will do um all of
66:30
those things are very doable
66:32
one thing i want to just insert into
66:34
this forced to vote conversation
66:35
and this is something that a member of
66:37
congress informed me of that i was like
66:38
wow that’s freaking
66:40
terrible um is it’s very hard to get any
66:42
vote going
66:43
on the floor because of something called
66:45
the denny hastert rule
66:46
where you need the majority of the
66:48
majority party to be on board
66:50
to even introduce anything so i want you
66:52
all to
66:53
imagine being first let’s say a minority
66:55
legislator so let’s say you’re
66:57
a democrat the senator or republican in
66:59
the house you’re like well i can’t force
67:00
a vote on a single thing
67:01
maybe because we’re not we’re not a
67:04
majority of the majority
67:06
and then i want you to imagine being a
67:07
minority of the majority party where you
67:09
also can’t
67:10
get a vote on anything uh because you
67:13
know like you you don’t have
67:14
i suppose it would be um you know like a
67:17
hundred and
67:18
uh 30 or 140 colleagues on board or
67:21
whatever the number is
67:22
um so that rule just strikes me is so
67:26
terrible like it just seems like such a
67:28
dysfunctional body where it’s literally
67:30
like if you have the majority of the
67:31
majority then you can
67:32
actually advance things and if you don’t
67:34
you can’t and then
67:35
you can just chill out like like yeah
67:39
so it is an action which is why this
67:41
opportunity
67:42
right because the speaker can bring a
67:43
floor vote the speaker regardless of
67:45
the numbers you’ve got can bring us four
67:47
votes well the speaker is the one that
67:49
enacted this rule that’s not even a rule
67:51
it’s like you know it’s like the speaker
67:53
saying well i’m not going to do it
67:54
unless the majority majority so they
67:55
clearly can do what they want yeah and
67:57
it’s an aggregating party for
67:58
herself a power rather for herself all
68:00
of it so much of what we see in politics
68:02
is that people get
68:03
a little bit of power and they hoard it
68:06
you know even you know we talked a lot
68:07
about
68:08
george bush’s overreach and expansion of
68:10
executive power
68:11
and then barack obama came into office
68:13
and instead of dismantling it once you
68:14
get there like well i’m the good guy
68:16
so it’s good if i have power so let me
68:18
keep let me keep what was aggregated for
68:20
me in the last administration and then
68:21
get a little bit more
68:22
and so what we get is increasingly
68:25
individuals
68:26
who are able to lord their preferences
68:29
in a very anti-democratic way over the
68:32
rest of us
68:33
which i’m going to suggest is
68:34
particularly problematic when you’re
68:35
looking at
68:37
legislative body of hundreds of people
68:40
like that
68:40
that to me is like more problematic even
68:44
i mean
68:44
the executive abuses have their own uh
68:46
you know like separate category of
68:49
problem but i feel like in a legislative
68:51
body like hoarding it at that level just
68:53
seems particularly
68:55
um egregious at least to me
68:58
yeah i mean they’re supposed they’re
68:59
literally it’s it’s especially the house
69:01
that kind of representative body the
69:04
most representative body that we
69:06
have basically being frozen
69:09
in an action you know in this idea that
69:10
you know to your point about republicans
69:12
not being able to bring something to a
69:13
floor vote too
69:14
look what’s happening right now who
69:16
who’s fighting for cash relief
69:18
it’s a it’s a independent and a
69:20
republican
69:22
you know um you know who are who are
69:25
leading the chart bernie’s
69:26
you know so it was in the senate it was
69:28
bernie sanders
69:29
and josh hawley exactly and then there
69:31
were some folks working it
69:32
behind the scenes including cory booker
69:35
and then i know this because i’ve been
69:37
actually working this scene for
69:39
a while like i’ve been having
69:42
calls and sessions about cash relief and
69:44
then uh
69:45
and then in the house i’m happy to say
69:47
that dozens of
69:49
um members on both sides of the aisle
69:52
uh got on board with with cash relief
69:54
and so there was like this four corners
69:56
negotiation around the stimulus bill
69:58
if you remember the bipartisan senate
70:00
bill that got proposed in the beginning
70:01
of december didn’t include cash relief
70:03
and we had like a freak out here i had a
70:05
freak out i was like how can there not
70:07
be cash relief in this thing
70:08
um but we’ve been trying to get folks
70:11
excited about cash
70:12
as um part of this bill for weeks
70:16
and so i’m just going to call out a few
70:17
people some of whom you know and love
70:19
but uh lisa blunt rochester and david
70:22
mckinley were the bipartisan sponsors of
70:23
a cash leap bill in the house
70:25
and then i’m happy to say that like
70:27
people from all over the political map
70:29
from
70:29
pramila jayapal to uh to tom reed to
70:32
others and one of the rules we had on
70:34
that bill
70:35
was that we want a republican for every
70:37
democrat um and we got it
70:39
like so it just like it grew it was like
70:41
noah’s ark
70:42
it was wild um but but but so you should
70:46
know that that was happening in the
70:47
house the house i think was more
70:49
um uh stridently for cash relief
70:52
in the senate it blew my mind that after
70:56
bernie and josh hawley came out and like
70:58
hey we should really have stimulus which
70:59
they were totally right
71:00
um and and i was working like senators
71:03
being like you want to get in on that
71:05
because they’re right and like you know
71:06
like everyone agrees with it
71:08
um and so it was odd that we couldn’t
71:10
get more senators on the record
71:12
um for cash relief uh there were three
71:15
that were
71:16
for it behind the scenes anyway sorry
71:18
just one month
71:20
that’s really useful and i think that
71:21
part of it is that they’re not as
71:23
senators aren’t as accountable you know
71:24
they have longer terms
71:26
um their races tend to be uh more
71:28
expensive
71:30
you know um i think they can
71:33
in a lot of ways be less less
71:35
accountable to their constituents plus
71:36
to the earlier point about
71:38
uh media bias i don’t know if you saw
71:40
the clip where bernie sanders
71:42
you know went on msnbc to talk about
71:45
um cash relief and he was pressed by i
71:48
believe it was stephanie rule
71:50
she said well i’m looking at a sheet of
71:53
paper here bernie she had a graphic all
71:54
ready to go that says you’ve only passed
71:56
whatever the handful of uh bills and
71:59
your entire
71:59
time in congress don’t you think you
72:01
should take a different approach
72:03
so she completely took the conversation
72:05
off of this relief bill and millions of
72:07
americans who desperately need it
72:09
to try to give some dig about how she
72:10
doesn’t think that bernie sanders has
72:12
done enough while he is in congress and
72:13
like that’s the kind of crap you get
72:15
and and people get away with it people
72:18
get away with it
72:19
i mean i certainly have an axe to grind
72:21
with msnbc i don’t know
72:24
i don’t i don’t know if you were
72:25
surprised of the entire
72:28
like uh dynamic over there i saw it
72:31
happening i saw you
72:32
you know all the little stuff not
72:35
cutting to you during
72:36
the debates you know like it was it was
72:39
apparent to me
72:40
you know it was apparent to me what was
72:42
happening to you what was happening to
72:42
marianne williamson
72:44
um you know before like a second there
72:48
like
72:48
build a block like i had my eyes open
72:52
um and i don’t think it behooves us even
72:54
if it were to like advantage my
72:55
candidate i don’t think it behooves us
72:57
in the long term for us to um
73:01
ignore those things because it hurt
73:02
every candidate at a certain point right
73:04
there was a point at which
73:05
um uh corey cory booker
73:08
and julian castro both raised concerns
73:10
about whether or not joe biden had the
73:12
stamina to be president
73:14
and in the spin room
73:17
they were kind of immediately shut down
73:20
the coverage of julian castro asking
73:22
that question during the debate of like
73:23
did you just
73:24
you know forget what you just said was
73:26
really
73:27
pilloried even though if you listen back
73:29
to the tape he was completely right you
73:30
cannot disagree with his tone or
73:31
something but he was accurate
73:32
in his assessment of what had just
73:34
happened on the stage and then
73:37
the the little the statement the mild
73:40
you know
73:40
cory booker is so polite he gave a
73:42
really soft mild you know like i’m just
73:44
concerned like it’s something that we
73:45
should consider
73:46
you never heard a peep out of them ever
73:48
again the back it was
73:50
it was like a hard shut down we’re not
73:51
gonna talk about joe biden’s
73:53
um you know stamina anything cognitive
73:56
and we’re just gonna
73:57
we’re gonna push for like this never
73:58
happened and then the idea that anyone
74:00
would question
74:01
whether joe biden’s you know little
74:03
peccadillos here and there
74:05
were a part of or an indication of
74:06
something bigger that was going on
74:08
it was it was fun as this is a left-wing
74:10
attack i’m like
74:11
you know cory booker is
74:14
it’s not exactly what i would call left
74:16
wing he’s like a lovely man
74:18
but he’s this is not exactly what i
74:20
would call a part of the left vanguard
74:22
you know and so this kind of stuff adds
74:25
up and it doesn’t help people not to
74:26
have
74:27
conversations that are gonna emerge in
74:29
the general because donald trump isn’t
74:31
playing by those rules
74:32
vetted in a primary when we can still do
74:34
something about it
74:35
this is something um that’s come out
74:38
recently about diane
74:39
fein feinstein yes yes um
74:43
no and um the average
74:46
age of a u.s senator is 62 and that’s
74:49
average
74:50
so you know and to me age is just a
74:54
number but they’re like some folks that
74:56
like are are um
75:00
feeling their age and others that are
75:02
less so and so you know if there’s some
75:04
kind of
75:05
way to verify what i mean i certainly
75:07
think trump’s been freaking
75:08
deteriorating before our eyes
75:10
last over the last number of years um so
75:14
this to me is i actually something that
75:16
the media
75:18
um should be considered like really much
75:20
more responsible for
75:22
um that we are not uh it it’s like
75:25
uh that that um we have
75:29
leaders who um would not
75:32
be considered for leadership positions
75:34
in other industries
75:37
based upon their um their age and then
75:40
in the public sector it’s like a taboo
75:43
subject to raise
75:44
um in various ways just age like you
75:47
know obviously i supported a very old
75:49
candidate
75:49
you know and you know as much as i felt
75:52
like it was biased and sometimes not
75:54
constructive
75:55
i’m not going to be mad at anyone for
75:56
having a conversation about you know
75:58
does bernie have the stamina after a
76:00
heart attack like that’s a legitimate
76:01
conversation to have
76:03
but the bias the unwillingness to have
76:06
that conversation about joe biden
76:08
you know the unwillingness to have a
76:09
conversation you know
76:11
in light of specific instances of him
76:14
misspeaking or getting facts wrong or
76:16
having
76:16
an emotional outburst at a reporter
76:19
listen
76:20
fat pushing people you know like this
76:22
this stuff is
76:23
fair game if it’s going to be fair game
76:24
about other candidates
76:26
and the idea that it could be spun into
76:28
a left-wing attack it’s just it’s
76:30
it boggles the mind yeah that should be
76:32
there should just be a standard
76:35
even stevens that’s all i ask yeah
76:38
um wow this is so much fun i can’t
76:40
believe
76:41
that time has flown by we should do this
76:43
every week
76:44
i’m going to urge you to replace virgil
76:47
with me
76:48
let’s let’s go to podcast
76:51
at that point i would i would have to
76:53
like answer for why
76:55
i only do podcasts with asian american
77:00
men
77:05
or something about it i didn’t know
77:06
pre-virgil there was another though
77:08
no like my first oh wait you saw you
77:10
told me yes
77:12
that’s right wow
77:15
no wonder you know this feels so
77:17
familiar
77:18
um but incredibly grateful to you
77:22
um really and learned a lot you are such
77:26
a positive voice of both reason and
77:30
progress
77:30
i appreciate the heck out of you if
77:32
there’s anything i can do to help let me
77:34
know
77:34
um and certainly let virgil know that if
77:37
he needs me to pinch hit for him anytime
77:40
show up unannounced i appreciate that
77:42
and i appreciate you two so much andrew
77:44
you’re a clarion voice
77:46
and i appreciate your willingness to
77:48
kind of go against the grain and i
77:49
really look forward to
77:51
whatever is up your sleeve next as well
77:53
thank you bri
77:54
so much fun have a great holiday season
77:56
you too stay safe
77:58
thank you for listening in i hope you
77:59
enjoyed this conversation if you did
78:02
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78:04
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78:06
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78:06
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78:18
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