Here’s a link to Dave Rubin’s YouTube channel. One of the few genuine and intelligent voices on the platform, and has some cool people on as well. Worth the watch:
For a long time now the keepers of old media have been trying their best to sink their already failing businesses even further into the depths of irrelevance. Publications like the New York Times and Washington Post put out false headline after false headline, and misreport so often I immediately scroll to the bottom of every article to read the corrections. The personalities of failing network news like CNN and Fox have had one career killing scandal after another. Its to the point where our president can yell, “FAKE NEWS” at a reporter, and most of America laughs and agrees with him. For a long time coming now, people have been replacing this old, false, and irrelevant media for new, independent, and digital publications. While these publications vary in quality and price, the consumers have spoken, and obviously people would rather see InfoWars or The Young Turks break a story and offer opinion than Anderson Cooper or Rachel Maddow. This isn’t to say that the dying media is going down without a fight, far from it. This fight has taken the shape of slander, libel, and misrepresentation towards these new personalities, most famous and apparent a few months ago with PewDiePie and the Wall Street Journal.(1) We’ve seen some major stars take some pretty big hits, either through direct demonetization from YouTube, perma-bans from Twitter, or almost even more dangerous, misrepresentation in mainstream publications. This misrepresentation happened twice today, once between Alex Jones and Megyn Kelly, and the other time between Dave Rubin and the publication Mother Jones. Much to my excitement though, both of these new media stars fought back, and thus the culture war takes a turn.
To start, let’s take a look at what happened to Dave Rubin today, as it wasn’t a massive media attack, but instead a typical use of coded language used by mainstream publications to associate somebody from new media with more toxic members of the right. If you don’t know who Dave Rubin is, you’re missing out. A self-declared “classical liberal”, Rubin’s channel consists of him interviewing people of all backgrounds and beliefs, including the likes of Sam Harris, Larry Elder, and even Larry King. Rubin’s not only a master interviewer, but he’s also a man of reason, facts, and understanding where those who disagree with you come from. In terms of identity, Rubin is a married gay man of Jewish descent, and still identifies as a liberal despite how toxic the mainstream followers of liberalism have become. You would think that all these factors would make Rubin a highly promoted and household name, but instead he’s found the opposite. Among fans, Rubin has found plenty of popularity and runs a successful Patreon with an open-minded and friendly online community. In public perception though, Rubin is constantly called Alt-Right, getting lumped in with people who are extreme, offensive, and actually part of the right wing, while Rubin is anything but. This hasn’t stopped YouTube from demonetizing videos of his, despite not having anything remotely offensive in them. This is obviously an attempt to destroy Rubin’s credibility, devalue his fan base, and stifle a free voice that is willing to question politics as they’re presented today. This has happened multiple times, but today, after an inaccurate and poorly written Mother Jones article, Rubin fought back publically on Twitter. Here’s what he said:
The “journalist” who wrote the article, Josh Harkinson, attempted to handle the dispute through private means, but Rubin stood his ground, and in a huge win, Mother Jones fixed the article. This of course was after an onslaught of public support from Rubin’s various friends and former interviewees, including Eric Weinstein and fellow victim of media slander Colin Moriarty. What makes this significant is that although there are hundreds of articles that lie or misreport every day, the mistake Mother Jones made was so far from the truth and so potentially destructive, something had to be done about it. It was exciting to me to see so many people back Rubin up in this instance. It also makes me realize that there is sometimes a good use of the Twitter mob, and it was nice seeing them go after somebody left wing and mainstream for once. Here’s hoping this step in the right direction is permanent. Then again, this is the media we’re talking about, so big if.
The other major story of today is the beef between InfoWars’ Alex Jones and longtime Fox News but now NBC’s Megyn Kelly. Unlike Dave Rubin, Alex Jones is a man of strong, loud, and extreme opinions, and is often called a conspiracy theorist. Hilariously, during the Bush-era he was called far-left due to his anti-Iraq War stance and his beliefs on 9/11. Ever since former president Obama took office though, he’s been called far-right, due to his reporting on the illegal activities of the Clinton family and the people associated with her. Thanks to his now public affiliation with Roger Stone, Alex Jones and his channel InfoWars have seen more success than ever among those who saw Donald Trump as a liberation from crony government and the corruption of the left. While Jones might say things that out of context sound silly or in poor taste, if you actually listen to him he’s actually an incredibly well-researched man with his finger on the pulse of every major topic that happens around the world. His passion for the truth often just leads him to go into “full Alex Jones mode”, but if you actually break down what the guy’s saying, not only can you learn things you might not have known about, but you might also find yourself agreeing with him more often than not.
That all being said, Megyn Kelly contacted Alex Jones recently to do an interview with him for her new show on NBC. She apparently promised that she wouldn’t do “gotcha” journalism and bring up the more controversial topics associated with him. The reason we know this is because today, Jones released both his phone conversations with Kelly, as well as the full version of his interview with Kelly, without the edits that will appear when it airs on television later this week.
His reasoning was that after being promised by Kelly that he wouldn’t be misrepresented publically on the show, and then seeing that the cut was typical hit job, he had no choice but release the footage that he saved just in case something like this happened. Much like Rubin, allies of Jones have come out publically to promote this footage, and overall it seems those who dwell online side with Jones on this one. This is unprecedented, as typically as an audience we only see the fully produced version of any interview put out by old media, but instead, Jones is breaking this seal, showing audiences what frauds mainstream media really are.(2)
While the wins today aren’t totally positive (Mother Jones and Megyn Kelly thought they could get away with their actions in the first place) what they represent is. Hopefully this maintains, where truth and facts trump the fake news that has been put out so often. Whatever side someone is on politically, there seems to be a growing center of people who are rejecting the extremes of both sides. Today was a step in the right direction, let’s keep that ball rolling.
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