Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation | Andrew Marantz

Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation | Andrew Marantz

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and join our amazing community. And with that, please enjoy this week’s episode. What’s up everybody? My guest today is Andrew Marantz. Andrew is a staff writer for The New Yorker. He’s written extensively for the magazine
about technology, social media, and the alt-right, topics he explores at length in his newly
released book titled, “Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians and the Hijacking
of the American Conversation.” For several years Andrew was embedded in what
were effectively two symbiotic worlds. The first was what he calls “the gatekeepers”
of Silicon Valley, who we commonly think of as the Facebooks and the Googles of the world,
and their executives and employees, and the other was what he calls “the gate crashers,”
and these are people like Milo Yiannopoulos, a celebrity troll and lightning rod for woke
outrage, or Gavin McInnes, an internet shock jock, who happens to also be a cofounder of
Vice Media. These are people who, many of us, may not
know, but who Andrew contends exercise as much power over shaping the national conversation
and driving the new cycle as some of the most deft propagandists operating in mainstream
media today. This book is not easy to categorize. It’s not a book about social media algorithms,
it’s not, in other words, like Zuboff’s Surveillance Capitalism, but it does cover this. Certainly, with the chapters on techno-utopians. It’s also not a book about politics, though,
again, politics is central to the story. I think it’s really not about anything. There’s no argument being put forward. It’s more like a series of reports from the
frontlines of the online culture wars told through the stories of all these different
characters that Andrew embeds with for what must have been three very torturous years
of his life. And we talk about this. We talk about what it was like for a Jewish
reporter from a liberal magazine to spend time with what were, in some cases, legitimate
anti-Semites and neo-Nazis, and in other cases, just generally not particularly likable people. So this was challenging for me as well, because
it’s hard to get away from the viscerally unpleasant experience of reading about some
of these people, and that’s a way of saying, “Hang in there,” because we do muddle through
some of these anecdotes during the middle of the episode before we get into what I feel
is the best part of this conversation, which is a discussion about race relations, gender
norms, the masculine appeal of guys like Joe Rogan, to people like me, and what that says
about what might be missing in popular culture that attracts both men and women to alternative
media, and in some cases, to subversive elements of media. And that conversation goes well into the overtime,
where I also share some personal anecdotes. I know some of the people featured in Andrew’s
book, personally. In some cases, extremely well, and I probably
watched hundreds of hours of videos put up by Alex Jones, David Icke, and all of these
different characters that will pop up on your YouTube feed, because, like many Americans,
I lost faith in our government. Not only after watching CNN and MSNBC and
Fox sell an unpopular war on false intelligence, but also watching how both the Bush and Obama
administrations handled the bailout of Wall Street, which was how I got totally red pilled
and went down all of these various rabbit holes. So I think it’s important not to discount
the legitimacy of the paranoia that drives people to consider all sorts of radical theories
to fill the gap left by these institutions and their narratives that have lost so much
credibility with the electorate over the years. So, I hope you all enjoy this conversation
as much as I did, and without further ado, here’s my conversation with Andrew Marantz. Andrew Marantz, welcome to Hidden Forces. Thanks. Thanks for having me. It’s great having you on, man. Yeah, yeah. I’m happy to get into it. I mean, it’s funny, you know- So, are you in therapy right now? Are you… I’m working with a post-traumatic stress physician. You know, my wife is very… She’s unaccredited, but she’s very patient. She’s unaccredited. Yes, she is a lawyer, so she’s… but we have
a lot of blue pilling sessions in my house. You know, that’s another cool thing about
your book, all the different idioms that arise from the internet, whether it’s being red
pilled or whatever. We’ll get into those. So, I told you, I read the book. It’s quite a book. How are you sleeping now? You know, we’ll get into the experience of
reading it, but before we do, maybe you can give us some context. How did you decide… I believe you actually did a great interview
on the Longform podcast with someone who is your cousin by marriage, or something, right? Yeah. Yeah. And he said the subtitle could have been How
Nice Jewish Boy From Brooklyn Got Caught Up With Hanging Out… The worst people on the internet. With white supremacists and Nazis. So, how did this happen? It’s a good question. I mean, basically, I wasn’t one of those people
who went in being like, “Who are the craziest, scariest, darkest people on the internet?” Because I feel like there’s almost a danger
of turning them into antiheroes in that way, like you’re looking for Breaking Bad or something. I didn’t want to do that, I didn’t want to
romanticize it, and I didn’t want to overestimate their importance. A lot of these people, people who are propagandists
and trolls, they’ll often try to inflate their importance because they want to seem big and
bad and cool, and sometimes they’re actually not that influential. Really my way in was like 2014, 2015. I was just very curious and concerned about
what the internet was doing to us, to our brains individually, but also as a society
and as a polity, politically. And so I, basically, had a couple of moments
of this kind of dizzying feeling where I was like, “Okay, we have this notion that there
will be these traditional structures of media. That people will know what they know because
of getting it through official channels.” That was never entirely true, but it had just
become so much less true than it had always been. There used to be Walter Cronkite, there used
to be a kind of gatekeeper apparatus. That was extremely imperfect and had lots
of flaws and I try not to be too nostalgic for some golden age that never existed. But when I really looked at what social media
was doing in terms of chopping up and rearranging our national psyche, I went, “We might be
screwed here.” Because there’s no common arbiter of fact
any more, there’s no common arbiter of decency any more, and so, because I’m a Longform immersive
reporter, because I don’t like to just do arguments and polemics. Arguments and polemics are fine. I read them. I like them. But I didn’t want to spend 400 pages going,
“This is why social media is bad and scary.” I wanted to get in there and see it for myself
and do some observational reporting, because I feel like opinions only get you so far,
and seeing it for yourself, watching how these people operate, how they interact with each
other, how they look when their mask starts to slip off, that’s the only way we’re going
to actually move forward and redescribe the world to ourselves as it really is, and not
as we want it to be. I have a bunch of quotes in my rundown of
yours that I liked, as well as quotes of some of the more dislikable characters like Milo
Yiannopoulos or Mike Cernovich, but there’s a quote of yours that either was from the
book or was from the press kit where you said, “Something was happening and I was trying
to figure out what it was.” Yeah. Yeah. And, so, I mean, that’s kind of like all of
us, right? Because I think this is a shared experience,
irrespective of where you’re coming from. Most people are just trying to figure out,
“What’s happening?” And I don’t even mean it politically or… I mean it culturally. What’s happening culturally? How is this all changing? When you went into the book, when you went
into the research for the book, you said you tried not to be biased but you were unapologetically
biased in a way, which you actually talked about in the book. But you mentioned, you didn’t want to go and
looking for this kind of antihero, but what was the thesis that you went into the book
with? Well, I think you are totally right to say,
first of all, that culture and politics can be fused into this one thing and I think it’s
sometimes dangerous for us when we see politics is over here, culture is over here, business
is over here, media is over here. One of the thesis’ concepts that I went into
the book reporting with was that those distinctions no longer applied, and that actually all these
things were really blurring. And in fact, if those things were blurring,
then the political outcomes that people were predicting might not make much sense, right? Because you remember, in most of 2015, and
for that matter most of 2016, everybody was saying, “Well, Donald Trump is this cultural
figure, but he’s not a political figure. We can’t take him seriously in that arena. He’s a reality star. He’s on The Apprentice, and stuff.” Which to me was like, “Okay, again, there’s
nothing in the Constitution that says that people are going to vote for who they see
getting endorsed in their local newspaper.” Quite the opposite. An endorsement could be toxic. Exactly. And also, they might just not see it, right? So much of it has to do with, what are they
actually seeing and paying attention to? Where is our attentional energy being drawn
to? And that, this is one of the great insights
of Andrew Breitbart, who was a despicable guy in lots of ways but who was a media savant,
who saw way ahead of time… He died in 2012, but he prefigured a lot of
the people in my book, and his great insight was, “Politics is downstream from culture.” And of course, the stream goes in both directions,
but to see it in that direction was a real insight at the time. And so he knew that even though Donald Trump
wasn’t a Conservative and didn’t know anything about politics, of course he could be president
because he’s a celebrity and he understands how the attentional ecosystem works. Now, if you put that… That’s true enough in the age of mass TV and
mass media and top-down gatekeeping. Once you get to the fractured media landscape
that social media creates by chopping everything up and turning it into algorithms, it’s even
more the case that someone like Trump could take over the political system, and that was… I didn’t want to go in with preconceived notions. I had my own moral compass and I had my own
fidelity to truth, but I didn’t want to go in with factual presumptions like, “Oh, well,
I’m from The New Yorker and what The New Yorker does is really heavily fact-checked and heavily
reported. There must be a place for it to succeed on
the internet.” Well, you can look at the numbers and see
whether it’s succeeding or not, and actually a lot of times the garbage bottom-of-the-barrel,
racist, mean-o-sphere was out competing with The New Yorker, when I looked at it, so that
was not a pleasant thing for me to realize because I don’t like that fact and I’m biased
in favor of my thing because I think it’s better than the garbage on the internet, but
I didn’t want to be biased in the sense of not seeing the facts for what they were. So, sticking to this point about bias, there’s
a point in the book where you’re on the phone with Mike Enoch, and that’s a pen-name he
adopted at some point, and Mike is sort of the quintessential neo… Well, I guess, Richard Spencer- Enoch is like the house philosopher of the
online Nazi movement. He kind of puts the words in Richard Spencer’s
mouth in a lot of cases. Fascinating. Well, he is the guy that grew up in the suburbs,
in New Jersey. Oh, yeah. His parents are both progressive. They’re both horrified by his transformation,
but there’s a scene where you’re talking to him on the phone where he realizes that you’re
Jewish. In fact, you’re eating a bagel and lox, and
you thought, he asked you what you’re eating for… and you said, you held back because
you assumed he knew you were Jewish. I assumed he knew, and I honestly, also- Based on- … based on just- The obvious fact that you’re- … I have a Jewish name, I have a Jewish
face, I have written for Jewish publications. Like, come on, man, I was like, “If your job
is to be a professional anti-Semite and you’re constantly bragging about your Jewdar, as
he called it, come on, I’m not that hard to spot.” So, that’s what I wanted to say. So I want to commend you on the way in which
you navigated this in the book, because you are a Jewish reporter working for a liberal
magazine, talking to, in some cases, white supremacists and Nazis, and in other cases
just people that you find generally dislikable, and that comes across. And I think you do a good job of owning that,
and you often do it stylistically by breaking the third wall and speaking directly to the
reader and having these honest moments where you’re basically saying, “Hey, this is what
I’m thinking, and this is what I’m feeling right now because this is also a new experience
for me.” Totally. Yeah. It was a really tough line for me to walk,
as you say, because on the one hand, I don’t want to just be arbitrary in my preconceptions. I don’t just want to say, “Oh, I don’t like
you because of your shoes you’re wearing,” or whatever. That would be bad reporting. On the other hand, when people consistently
lie or say misogynist things or say racist things or just show some kind of nihilistic
glee at desecrating all the norms of the country that you live in, you can’t just look at that
all with a blank stare and go, “I have no opinion about that. I am a neutral, unbiased reporter, and so,
therefore, somebody who thinks that women shouldn’t be allowed in the workplace is of
no meaning to me.” Like, of course, that has meaning to me, and
I hate it. So I think people get caught up a lot of times
on this notion of reporting that’s unbiased as if reporters aren’t allowed to have brains
and eyes. But, yeah, at the same time, I didn’t want
to say, “Oh, because I’m some latte-sipping, oat milk-drinking soy boy from Brooklyn, therefore
the world has to be funneled through my vision and if you step outside of my vision I’m going
to slam you.” But I feel like, we get so caught up in these
things, especially now, and I mean, again, this is another thing that Trump has done
to us as a society. Suddenly the media is getting slammed by half
the country for being against the president when, yes, of course, sometimes that’s true,
but a lot of times they’re just pointing out his obvious lies or his obvious corruption,
and that’s somehow seen as biased. So, we’ve got to get out of this thing where,
if you refer to unpleasant facts, that’s seen as bias. That’s an interesting thing you said, what
Trump has done to our country. Is that what you said? That’s an interesting way to put it. I wonder if that is accurate, and I think
one of the things that came across in reading your book, and also in reading other journalists,
is that there seems to be a perception among a certain class of academics, coastal “elite”
people that go to… You went to Brown University, for example,
you’re highly educated. It’s no Wharton, but, yeah. It’s not Wharton. It’s, actually, in some ways, a much better
university. But you have to be very self-motivated and
sure-footed. I also watched your commencement speech, is
that what it’s called? Yeah. Yeah. That’s funny. It was very, very good. Thanks. That was a while ago. I’m sure your teachers were proud of you. There seems to me to be a desire somehow to
simplify the problem and say, “It’s Trump, or it racism, or it’s all these things, and
we just need to fix these things and then our country will move on and everything will
be all right.” That doesn’t seem to be the case in my view. I think, Trump, to me, just seems to be an
expression, the apotheosis of something deeper. Yeah. I definitely agree with that and I- But I would also say that these guys, these
characters in the book, like Mike Cernovich and some of these other figures like Gavin
McInnes or Alex Jones, I think they’re way more on the fringe, but they channel or speak
to some of the concerns or sources of frustration or disconnect that many people on the country
find relatable. Does that make sense? What do you think about that, what I just
said? I have a lot of things I think about what
you just said. I mean, first of all, if we could fix racism
and fix Trump, I think it would do a lot for our country. I think there’s, like you said, people imagine
that if we just fix racism we’d be able to move on as a country. I think it would be great if we could racism
and it would help us to move on, but I don’t- But I was suggesting that racism or latent
racism or white supremacy or these pockets of this type of whatever you want to call
it, is part of a problem but it’s not the only issue or it isn’t what’s driving it is
my- Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I’m extremely clear in the book that it’s
not the only issue. I go to great lengths to say that racism is
part of an interlocked, intersectional, if you will, stack of multiple problems. I also go to great lengths in the book to
exactly refute the thing you just said about how, once we get rid of one or two problems,
our country will be on some automatic shining path to an inevitable future. That’s in fact the antithesis of what I wanted
to get across in the book. I think the whole point of the book is that
the antithesis of some faith that we’re on some automatic tracks to some inevitable future
is a concept that I call contingency, which is really the whole point of the book. Hm. All right, so let’s… We’re going to circle through and around all
sorts of stuff. There’s so many things that I’ve written down
here. This is one of the most difficult rundowns
to put together because, you really could have written one book on just the Deplorables,
and even the Deplorables doesn’t capture all of them. The Deplorables are like the stunt doubles
you see in Spaceballs. You know when Lone Starr and his cadres are
running through the Starship Spaceball One getting chased and then they end up in this
room and it’s their stunt doubles. Like, “You idiots, these are not them. You’ve captured their stunt doubles.” And so I feel like the Deplorables are the
stunt doubles. For who? For… whatever the movie. It’s like, if you film the movie, and you’ve
got the stunt doubles. They’re not- Because they’re pathetic. … but they’re also below the bar. Yeah. They’re beneath the JV squad. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Totally. Totally. Well, but what’s so shocking is that, even
though they are the JV squad, or below the JV squad, and they’re kind of bumbling and
pathetic in many ways, they are way more influential than we like to think. I mean, I think, part of what was embedded
in your last question is, “Well, how much do we really need to be talking about these
people because they’re obviously so beneath our contempt?” Yeah, that was an implication of my questions. Yeah. And to me, it’s like, “Well, yeah, I felt
that way in the beginning, of like, well, I don’t want to spend too much time around
these people. They make my skin crawl.” But first of all, they’re actually sometimes
way funnier and weirder than you think, and not funny in always an intentional way, and
second of all, they’re way, way, way more influential than we like to think. I mean, you could say the same thing about,
I don’t know… It’s hard to believe. I believe you on one level, right, because
I don’t think you’re lying, right? Yeah. Right. Right. Like when you talk about, again, Cernovich,
and you’re actually in his home, which, I… You know, it’s such a weird book to read because
it’s visceral. Like it’s viscerally disgusting when you talk
about them. By the way, you also talk about the techno-utopians. I think you’re much, probably more, forgiving
of them than I would have been. Oh. Interesting. Yeah. But I find, they- I was super hard on them. Yeah. That’s interesting. I think depictions of the Deplorables are
way worse. That might be because they’re worse or worse
in your view, but interestingly, to stay on this point of visceral experience, the techno-utopians,
like when you’re with Emerson Spartz in his office, or when he’s talking about remaking
the future and all that stuff, it made me want to vomit. But that wasn’t as bad as with the Deplorables,
because there I felt like I was in some… like, the entrails of the internet and there
was like crust and moldy piping and stuff all over me. By the time I got out, I just couldn’t get
it off me, which was just- I love that. That should be a blurb for the book, because
that’s the thing about long-term fly-on-the-wall reporting. It’s one thing to say, “I heard about these
terrible people and I saw them Tweeting and they’re really bad and they shouldn’t be on
Twitter,” or whatever, but it doesn’t give you that visceral sense, like, that was why
I wanted to do it in this form. So gross. It’s so gross. And the guys are grosser than the girls. And they feel oftentimes developmentally stunted. Their humor is very juvenile. Their humor, that you expressed in the book,
is like, caca poo poo, penis humor. Totally. And so, a lot of those guys, like the Deplorables,
for example, there’s a distinction between them and the Nazis. They don’t seem to believe in anything. Like a Milo doesn’t believe in anything. He was the editor of what at Breitbart, and
he’s gay and he doesn’t have any particular beliefs. Right. And his beliefs that he expresses seem to
go counter to being gay. And also to the beliefs he was expressing
four years earlier, so, yeah. So, there is, I totally agree, there is this
whole spectrum from pure nihilism opportunism to actual committed ideologues among the more
white nationalist or anti-Semitic fringe. And again, with all these people, I mean,
I totally… I wouldn’t have just inflicted this on people
if it was just 400 pages of gross-out, like, “Oh, my God, you won’t believe the crazy,
terrible things these people say.” There’s definitely an element of that, but
I think of it as like, you know that book, it’s like 20 years old now, Among The Thugs? It’s about soccer hooligans. It’s one of my favorite books. No. You would love it. I think everyone would love it. It’s a very specific time. It’s this guy who embedded for a few years
with soccer hooligans in England because, again, there was this question. I mean, it was pre-internet, it wasn’t really
political, directly, but it was just a similar question, like the quote you said earlier
about something was happening and I wanted to know what was going on. I feel that any book like this where you’re
descending into a sub-culture like this, it could apply. And that was his… He saw a bunch of people come through a train
station and just demolish the train station for no reason other than their football team
had won. Yeah. Or lost. Whatever. They’re just like this group violence. And so, he spends time with them for two years
to try to figure out why. On one level, I was just sort of doing that. Like, who are these people and why are they
doing it? But as you were starting to say earlier, if
it had just been that, it would have been one very specific kind of book, and it would
have been like a tour through the circus of weirdos who live on the internet and who the
internet has empowered. But it was very important to me to do the
other threads of the book about what the internet fundamentally is and how it’s built at a mechanical
level that makes this possible, because without that, I did feel like it was verging a little
too close to antihero territory where it’s like, “Oh, you know, Bonnie and Clyde, they
really ought to stop robbing banks but look at them, they look dark and glamorous while
they’re doing it.” I didn’t want it to have that quality. I wanted it to have the quality of, the reason
we’re getting to know these people is, yes, to understand and try to figure out their
weird psychological quirks and their histories and their gender relations and all that stuff,
but also to try to see systemically, if we had a functional media informational ecosystem,
these people would not be empowered in the way they are, and I really wanted to capture
how empowered they are. And I know that creates a lot of cognitive
dissonance because they shouldn’t be. That’s really interesting, the word power. This came up to me when I was thinking about
this conversation. Before I express that thought, I do want to
reiterate something I said earlier, but didn’t, I don’t think, emphasize enough, which is
really, you could probably get 500 books out of this book. For example, Samantha, is just one chapter. You talk about this girl, Samantha, and the
way she became radicalized and became… I don’t know what you would call her. And that feels very parallel to a lot of the
stories you hear about people that become radicalized in Isis, or their terrorist organizations. This thing about power, this really sticks
out to me because I wrote, again, in the beginning of the rundown, I talked about how this book
explores basically two things. One is how technology has changed the culture-making
process, through we build a shared consensus view of reality, and the other was an examination
of the various realities. These little subcultures. But the one thing I don’t think it examines,
that it doesn’t necessarily intend to, it doesn’t have to, but it’s something that I
find very interesting, is the power dynamic. And the reason why I come back to this point
again and again, which is, do we really need to focus on these people, is, they’re not
very powerful. You’re saying they are. I’m curious to understand really how powerful
they are. But the ones that are clearly powerful are
the techno-utopians. It’s the people that write the code, that
run the platforms, that decide, right? I mean, you have this great chapter in the
book, it’s actually more than just one chapter, where you talk about Reddit and the decisions
that were being made at Reddit in order to decide what subreddits to ban and what not
to ban. And this also brings us to a great conversation
again. You could write a whole lot of frigging chapter
on this, which is, where do we draw the line? Right? Maybe we can focus on both of those. We can talk about the line after, but let’s
talk about power. How do you think about power in the context
of the work that you’ve done here? There’s lots of ways to get into it, and I
agree, there are lots of threads coiled around each other in this, and that was… Yeah, I didn’t want to resolve all these questions. I wanted to have it be playing off each other
in these ways that just provoke you into thought and some, frankly, worries sometimes, without
resolving them. So, one way of getting at it that is just
pretty simple and not even all that political, you know, someone like Cernovich, let’s take
as an example, or someone like Lucian Wintrich, the guy who goes into the White House briefing
room- Which you seemed to like him more than the
others, or disliked him less. It’s hard to say. I mean, he’s way far onto the annihilist end
of the spectrum. You don’t get the sense that he believes anything
he says. So, it’s like, all right, at least he’s not
a Nazi, but, on the other hand, his performance art is just all trying to troll the mainstream
media out of any meaning or legitimacy at all, which I get why that’s fun for people
and I get why- I know. It’s crazy. And you call him Milo light. He is Milo light. Yeah. And I get why. I mean, I have a little thing where it’s like,
back in the day, we all found it fun to just bash the twerps on TV. It’s really fun to look at CNN and be like,
“Oh, you know, Wolf Blitzer, he’s a tool,” whatever, because that is the mainstream arbiter
of gatekeeping that we all have, and it’s fun to be anti-establishment. It’s fun to be, “Oh, you got something wrong
or you don’t get it.” I mean, you see this every day with The New
York Times or with CNN. And in a way, it’s a fine national pastime
because it shows that people are awake, it shows that people are skeptical. You’d rather have that than like North Korea,
like, “Oh, everything CNN does is perfect.” But if that becomes your entire persona, it
just gets really tired. So this gets me to the power thing, right? I don’t think… I’ve never been a huge, uncritical fan of
the way mainstream media works. I’m kind of in it as a writer for The New
Yorker, but I’m kind of also not because The New Yorker in another way is kind of this
weird little literary artisanal thing, so it’s not like I write for The Washington Post
or something. And even, at those legacy print publications
print itself is becoming a more relegated thing, so, I have this weird dual lens onto
to it. One of the things about power is, we are so
obsessed with the way that a story editor on MSNBC uses their power, or the way a New
York Times reporter uses their power, which we should be. But also, their power is, as an individual,
pretty minuscule next to the power of someone like Mike Cernovich, who actually can dictate
on a day-to-day basis. All right. Now you’ve got me. So, explain this to me, because I read it
in the book, and I had a hard time scaling that up. Totally. Help me understand that. Well, because it seems- Help my listeners understand this. It really seems like it shouldn’t be. It truly should not be the case that someone
like Mike Cernovich is a more powerful media manipulator than someone who- Than Rachel Maddow. Right. And, you know, there you could go toe-to-toe
because she has a TV show, she has a built-in audience. But then if you start going down the chain,
somebody, a reporter who’s work is featured in a segment on Rachel Maddow, how about a
segment producer at Rachel Maddow, you start going down the chain, at what point do you
hit the singularity point where Mike Cernovich is more powerful, more influential than that
person? It’s way sooner than you would like it to
be. So, to break that down- That makes sense, segment producer. Okay. But in a way, that’s insane, right, because
Rachel Maddow is one of the 30 most influential people on mainstream media. Once you start going down that list, somebody
who’s credentialed, who goes to 30 Rock every day and has 20 years of experience and has
the right kind of… someone who is a legit member of the mainstream media. Well, is that the issue? Is it the issue that their credentials, or
is it the issue that Mike is just creating just falsehoods? He’s just been making things up. It’s definitely the latter. There’s nothing special about credentials. It’s just that, and again, this is where I
don’t want to romanticize the active gatekeeper. There’s nothing about me intrinsically that
thinks gatekeeping is cool, and I actually have this little ref in the book about how
I’m such a reluctant institutionalist, and I resent these people for making me stand
up for people- Well, here’s the quote. “Of all that I resented about the Deplorables,
one of the most irksome qualities was that they forced me to think like an establishment
shell.” Exactly. There it is. So, like that, I hate them for that, because
I used to think I was this cool, anti-establishment whatever, but at a certain point, it’s like,
the aesthetic catharsis that you get from being anti-establishment pales in comparison
to the things that are being desecrated. It’s one thing if it’s just like, “You told
me not to skateboard on that statue. I’m going to do it, anyway.” Like, that’s cool. When it comes to, “Okay, you told me to be
nice to strangers, but I think the Statue of Liberty is bullshit and I’m going to just
be mean to strangers and indulge my worst basis instincts,” then I go, “Okay, it’s no
longer cool. Now you’re just being an asshole.” Okay. So, to explain the Cernovich thing. And yes, the thing that’s worrisome about
these people is what they do, not their credentials, but the credentials are a shorthand for saying,
“If you did half of the stuff these people do, your employee pass would be revoked at
any meaningfully, reasonable, reputable institution.” We’ve seen some pretty crazy shit on the mainstream
TV outlets. Yeah. At Fox News, yeah. Yeah. I mean, Fox News, for sure. I’ve seen stuff that Rachel Maddow puts out
that I think is veered on the conspiratorial, but I agree that’s it’s done with more…
probably, a bit more class. Yeah. Well, and this is the thing, where, look,
I’ve seen… Actually, speaking of Cernovich, I’ve seen
him give a lot of talks. His favorite thing to hit on. He gave a lecture at Columbia University about
this, and there were a lot of protests outside because, why someone like that at Columbia. We should back up and explain who he is, but,
his favorite thing to hit on is, “Well, the mainstream media makes mistakes all the time,
and Russia is a big conspiracy theory.” And he’s right. It literally is a theory about a conspiracy. It’s just that, when they’re reporting on
it, they’re trying to get it right in ways that he’s not, and they issue corrections
when they get it wrong. I mean, they are literally reporting on a
Mueller investigation, they’re not making stuff up. But when you listen to the media outlets,
when I was listening to the whole Russia thing, one of the things you’d hear all the time
is, they’d say, “The Russians,” or, “Russians,” or, “Russians said…” Right. And the reason they kept saying this is because
they didn’t have some material to back it up. They had to use vague language. Right. Right. Now that whole thing, I don’t know, I think
the… We’re digressing a little bit, but, again,
the media, what even is the media? Right. Well, it’s meaningless at this point, and
it gives people who are media insurgents or metamedia insurgents- Exactly. … much more fodder, because… And again, we should not take these things
at face value. We shouldn’t take anything on faith. The more of these categories break down… And this is, by the way, exactly what the
GRU wanted. This is exactly what the IRA wanted. They wanted, “Well, you don’t want me to say
Russians, so I’m using specific acronyms for the institutions that couldn’t use this to
try to destabilize our view of truth.” This is the goal. The goal of the Internet Research Agency is
not to get us to believe everything they put out. It’s to get us to disbelieve our own eye and
ears. Yeah. Sure. Anyway- Sow division and skepticism and doubt. Absolutely. Right. And there should be skepticism, but again,
there’s a… I did a TED talk where I tried to distinguish
between smart skepticism and dumb skepticism. I love skepticism. I literally… my whole thing in college was
studying how to be a better skeptic, but there’s a bad way to be a skeptic and to just say,
“Well, everything I don’t like is a hoax or a conspiracy theory,” that, again, you know,
the book isn’t about Trump, but we live in this moment where we have a president who
just says, “Climate change is a hoax because it’s inconvenient for me.” That poisons the discourse. So, okay, to explain who this guy Cernovich
is, and he’s one of, as you point out, dozens of people in this book. He Tweeted right before the book came out. “I hear there’s a book coming out about me
and the thesis is that I’m mediocre.” And I was like, “Actually, bro, the book’s
not really about you, but…” I didn’t say that, I just sub-Tweeted him
in my mind. But he’s a very interesting guy. He’s not a dumb guy, he’s not like a 14-year-old
troll in his mother’s basement. He’s a guy, he’s about 40 when I meet him,
he lives with his wife and kid, and they have two kids and a dog in Orange County, California,
and the reason I went to him and to the whole series of other people that I ended up going
to is that, I called it a reductio ad absurdum, meaning, again, philosophy concept. A reductio ad absurdum is a thing that, it
points out how the premises you are beginning with were flawed in the first place. So, our premise is, we have built up this
informational ecosystem and it’s going to basically show us what’s real, what’s true,
what we need to know, and the fact that someone like Cernovich was, in my view, one of the
most… 100 or 150 most influential Twitter accounts
leading up to the election, of the president of the United States. How… What number? I would put him in the top 100. There was this- Top 100 of the most influential Twitter accounts
that the president of the United States was following? No, no. No, no. Leading up to the presidential election. Are you serious? Yeah. Well, because it doesn’t matter who the president
is following. First of all, the president doesn’t real very
well. Second of all, it’s not about who he, as an
individual, is following. It’s about who is going to get him elected. The press is following. Who the press is following. Who influential activists and voters are following. How do you quantify that? It’s very hard to quantify, and actually there’s
an MIT study that didn’t put him in the top 100. It put Bill Mitchell in the top 100, and this
account TEN_GOP, which turned out to be a front by the Russians that was a fake account
that was run out of Moscow. So, there are multiple candidates for this,
and then other accounts that are like the official handle of Ted Cruz, or the official
handle of Fox Business, or whatever. So, one of the basic points is that, whether
you love it or hate it, it’s just a mix of everything now, the way the algorithms have
chopped everything up. There is no system any more. It’s designed to be… There’s this chilling Mark Zuckerberg quote,
and maybe one of the reasons that it didn’t shock you as much this stuff I did about the
techno-utopians is because it’s more familiar now, but if you really think about what they’re
saying, I quote this thing from 2010, where Mark Zuckerberg says, “We’re going to rebuild
all information around relevance.” And what’s relevant to you, a squirrel dying
in your front yard might be more relevant to you than people dying in Africa. Yeah. That is a sociopathic way… It’s a great way to run a business. I mean, it’s a phenomenal way to run a business. That’s why it did so well, but it’s a sociopathic
way to run a civic informational organ. That is not giving people what they need to
know. It’s the exact opposite. And it’s all based around emotional engagement. So, people like Cernovich, Bill Mitchell,
all these people that I’m mentioning, they know how to hijack people’s neurocircuitry
to get them to pay attention to stuff. Which is exactly what Mark Zuckerberg does. Yes. And Emerson Spartz, and all these people. That’s why they all deserve to be in the same
book. Right. I guess my point was, and maybe this was my
own bias, because the reality is that we live in America and in America there are certain
objective metrics of success, and you can dislike someone but if they’ve made a lot
of money or if they have a lot of power, on some level you respect them, you know what
I mean, or you respect them more than, let’s say, someone else. And it’s very difficult to respect the Deplorables,
right? But in some ways, the Deplorables are doing
much the same thing that some of these other people are doing, but they’re just super-successful
at it, they’re way smarter, some of them are worth billions of dollars. A good example was something like Emerson
Spartz where his company, all he was doing was exploiting the Facebook’s algorithm and
helping companies to exploit it and just make money off of that. He’s just basically siphoning attention off
the internet. Totally. And I’ve had a few people say he’s the most
despicable person in the book, actually. But there- That’s interesting. Yeah. It’s all a matter of… I try not to signpost, “Okay, here is the
person who you have to hate the most.” Sure. And I think it’s cool that people have different
ways of reading it, and I think that’s as it should be. So, to put a loop on the Cernovich story. So, I tried to go into everyone’s back stories. I went to a tiny town in Illinois where he’s
from, and his dad works on a junkyard there, his mom never finished high school. I tried to get into these people’s back stories
and their weird, personal lives. His wife also worked at Facebook and got a
bunch of money in the IPO, so, all of this stuff is extremely intertwined. At the same time that his wife was paying
his bills, he was having this antifeminist awakening and saying, “Feminism is enslavement,
and I’m reading a lot of Nietzsche and he’s telling me to an uber-man,” and all this stuff. You’re shaking your head. It’s a little bit sad. But it’s real for people when they go through
this radicalization process. I wanted to reflect. I didn’t lose my moral compass into being
like, again, with the neutrality thing. I know how I feel about this, but I wanted
people to have enough of a sense of how it could feel real to someone. So, he ends up being this iconoclastic antifeminist
blogger who, through learning the tricks of trolling and attention baiting and all these
things on the internet, builds his own brand and comes up into 2013, 2014, through Gamergate
and all these other things, to become… You talk about entrepreneurial success. I mean, he’s not Mark Zuckerberg, but he takes
these things that really should be relegated to the fringes and pushes them into the mainstream
through the sheer force of his will, and frankly, a weird disgusting kind of talent. So, that brings us to a question I have to
get it off the personal, for a moment, which has to do with masculinity, and I do want
to go back to the feminine, also, because the women in these movements are a very particular
type. You could really identify them. They have characteristics, and I’m curious
about that, but- And we should do the gender thing. I just want to make sure that I convince you
and your listeners about his power, because up until this point, it does seem a little
bit sad, like beating up on the guy who never quite figured out how to make an honest living
or whatever. How much was he making? Well, he was making… He said, a lot, and he would send me bank
statements and stuff, from his books. He has this self-help book for men called
Gorilla Mindset. That’s just basically… I mean, whatever. It is what it is, and that’s partly because
of the Amazon algorithm, he’s able to hijack all these algorithms. He’s able to hijack the Amazon algorithm to
sell books. He’s able to hijack Twitter and Facebook to
push memes into the mainstream. And the point is, by the time… This is all his back story. By the time I get to his house in Orange County,
California, I’m able to sit next to him in his living room and watch him go, “Okay, it’s
Hillary versus Trump, I want Trump to win for all these reasons. And my reasons might be more high-minded and
I might be worried about Hillary being corrupt, or whatever, but I know that that doesn’t
get people at their emotional core, so I want to create an association between Hillary and
disease, or disgust, or fear, or terrorism.” And I would watch him, just day after day,
sit there, open up his iPad and go, “Okay, I’m going to do a Periscope video, I’m going
to livestream to 2,000 of my followers. Just the hardcore inner circle fans. We’re going to talk in the comments. I’m going to talk, they’re going to type back
at me. We’re going to come up with a hashtag. Once we agree on a hashtag, we’re going to
go post to Twitter. That hashtag will trend. Once it trends, all the journalists will see
it. It will get on the Drudge Report. From there it’ll leap to Hannity. From there it’ll leap to CNN.” And then, literally, I would watch him be
able to do this with such ease- Every day, he could do this? He would do this every day? Multiple times a day. I mean, he would do four or five Periscopes
a day. These guys are driving the new cycle, is your
point. Constantly. To the point where I would wake up and read
the newspaper and go, “This news story has Cernovich’s fingerprints on it.” To the point where I wouldn’t have believed
it if he had told me. I would have been like, “Oh, this is swagger. This is bluster.” But I watched it happen. So that’s what I mean by power. Nobody’s credentialing him, and if they knew,
frankly, how they were being manipulated, they wouldn’t be playing into it, but because
he’s been able to reverse engineer these algorithms, no one had to give him that power, he just
takes it. Yeah. I mean, again, I read the book. I believe you. But I don’t believe it. It shouldn’t be, it shouldn’t- It’s one of those things. … it should not be the case. Yeah. And I think this book is actually a really
important contribution to this attempt to figure out what’s happening. Right. So do the math, kind of thing, because it’s
important. Yeah. Because I think it’s interesting, and it’s
something… This thing again, to what’s happening, I wondered
to what degree there is a repression of, or an insufficient road map for men, and for
masculinity. I have a certain idea of what masculinity
is, I don’t need that to be someone else’s, but I feel like, in our culture today, a lot
of what I think is masculine, I often feel like I’m being told that that’s bad. That’s a very common thing that I have with
my friends, or a feeling that I have with my friends, and I feel like a lot of these
guys are tapping into that. Of course, they’re not masculine. This isn’t masculine what they’re putting
forward, but I feel like there is a crisis of masculinity, and one of the things that
I thought about as an analogy is like in the Odyssey. When all the men leave Ithaka to go to fight
the war in Troy, and what happens to Ithaka as long as Odysseus is gone, as long as the
king and the men and the fathers are gone, the boys become suitors and they become rambunctious
and they tear up the castle. I do feel like there’s a crisis of masculinity
and so I feel like I see this in a way with these folks. What do you think about that? Yeah. It’s an interesting set of things. So, I worry about a crisis in masculinity,
and particularly in white masculinity in the sense that it leaves people vulnerable to
all kinds of radicalization. I guess my emphasis might be less on worrying
about people demonizing it or saying it’s bad, and more on a deeper… in a similar
way that I think you were accurately saying that Trump is a symptom, not a cause. I think a lot of the ways that the superficial
discourse around gender stuff feels corrosive or degraded is a symptom of a much larger
cause of how our entire national discourse is corroded. So, I do worry that there’s a crisis in masculinity,
but I wouldn’t lay the blame at the feet of people who are calling out so-and-so for stepping
across a line. I mean, obviously, that stuff can be excessive
or whatever, but I would put it more at a deeper level of just like, how did we arrive
in a place where feeling a certain type of identity affiliation is the only thing people
have in their lives that feels meaningful? How can we create a better sense of meaning
production other than, I can bench a lot or I can fight a lot or I have a lot of guns
or all these sort of weird phallic substitutes. Yeah. Yeah. That feels like a crisis to me and it feels
dangerous, and I know it’s dangerous because I’ve seen a lot of people, both men and women,
but there is specific to each identity, get so worried that they don’t have anything in
their core that they just follow these fantasies. I mean, literally, the most debunked ideas
in modern history start to seem appealing to them. When you are a white kid in your teens and
you don’t have anything to feel allied to spiritually, intellectually, morally, civically,
and then, for some percentage of those kids, they’re going to see whiteness and maleness
in a narrative that’s been told to them that you don’t have to apologize for anything. The secret is that you are actually supposed
to inherit everything without trying, and that the people who are withholding that from
you, be they feminists or Jews or whoever, they are the real conspiracy, they’re the
real enemy. I worry terribly about that. Right. That is something that you cover in the book,
and that’s a real issue. I don’t know how big of an issue it is, that’s
a different question I have which is really, how powerful these folks… And is that even really the question? Is it how powerful they are, or is it, because,
of course, the Nazis weren’t powerful until they came to power, or… It didn’t happen overnight. Right. This thing about the vulgarity, for example,
another common thing. The vulgarity that these people deploy, and
it feels like the vulgarity that you see on the subreddits, it feels like that’s also
a reaction to something being suppressed. Some kind of aggression that’s being suppressed,
or something. Maybe it’s also an accumulation of the failures
of a large cohort of society that can’t get a girlfriend, they can’t get a job. I mean, that’s a huge part of it as well,
but let’s take Joe Rogan for a minute. One of Joe’s appeals for guys like me is that
he represents much more of the traditional, masculine, archetype that I’m familiar with. Like when he talks about girls, when he talks
about sex, when he talks about fighting. That’s something that I find relatable, and
I wonder and I’m curious what do you think about this. It feels like, on some level, though it’s
not perfect, women have progressed into fit their new roles better than men. Because for women, I don’t know if there’s
a similar assault on femininity, because for women it’s like, “How do I balance being feminine
and being a woman, a traditional woman and being a mother with, now, being an empowered
career woman, which is something I want,” and with men, it’s really unclear. Those dual roles aren’t really clear. It’s not clear, certainly, that men have accepted
the other role, which is not really clear what that is, and of course, women don’t find
that necessarily sexy. So there seems to be some kind of… I don’t know what the word is, I don’t- Attention. I don’t want to use crisis. There’s something that’s not working in our
society around gender roles. I see. Yeah. I mean, I totally get the appeal of Joe Rogan’s
show. I listen to it a lot. There are parts I like better than others,
but I get the appeal. I guess society keeps changing, right, and
the internet is supposed to be this thing that just reflects all changes seamlessly
because it’s supposed to be the case that when we bring somebody together this is where
the techno-utopianism comes in. When we bring people together, when we allow
voices to flourish, there is this assumption that it’s all going to work itself out, and
that assumption was always flawed. So, the reason that the book is called Antisocial,
and the reason that the subtitle is Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians and the Hijacking
of the American Conversation, the online extremist is just one little part of it. The techno-utopian idea that tells us that
the national conversation is going to keep growing toward some shining future, the arc
of history is going to keep bending toward justice, that was always a flawed idea, and
that was the techno-utopian idea that, look, yeah, gender roles might be changing and it
might be confusing for people, but let’s just throw all these voices out there and they’ll
find a way to coalesce. And that didn’t happen. It’s not happening. So, in terms of whether the way to solve that
is to go back to hunting with bows and arrows in the woods of Los Angeles County or whatever- Fascinating that that has taken off as a thing. … yeah, or whether that is just a weird
throwback thing like hipsters playing records and it’s all just playacting and trying to
get at something that’s a little more ephemeral, or whatever- And that’s what it is. Sure. But the point is, the internet is not going
to iron out those wrinkles for us. We have to do it ourselves, and it’s a lot
harder than it seemed to be at first. And so, all these people like Mark Zuckerberg
and Jack Dorsey who are trying to just throw the gates open wide, have this widespread
marketplace of ideas and just outsource the difficult part to the marketplace of ideas
to work it all out, we don’t even have a marketplace, an actual financial marketplace that just
works stuff out on its own, so why would the marketplace of ideas work this stuff out on
its own? It’s interesting. The question is also, how does culture change? In the 1960s for example, there was a huge
cultural shift. We did have television, that played a huge
role, but how much of it is ideas and how much of it is… It’s unclear because in some cases the momentum,
there are guys for example that aren’t going to change, right? And they’re a certain age. They’re not going to change. Either their ideas aren’t going to change
or they’re economically set in their ways. So, it’s really not clear to me how cultures
change, but do you feel this thing that I’m expressing, this kind of… again, I don’t
want to use the word crisis because I’m not sure if that’s the right word, but this thing,
you mentioned it. I mean, like bow and arrow shooting animals
in the woods, right? I actually think that a lot of what we’re
experiencing is, sure, there are people who aren’t going to change, but again, the reason
that I’m harping on the national conversation element of this and the reason that so much
of the book is actually not about… There’s a lot about individuals in the book,
but when I come to the conclusive stuff and the threading throughout it, it’s much more
about this notion of cultural vocabularies in a cultural discourse. The reason I do that is because my theory
of how history changes is not about great individuals showing the way. My theory of how things change or how things
are constituted is about systems, and we’re embedded in systems of thought that, sure,
there are individual lags and lapses, but there are people who you never thought, and
we all know people like this, who we did not think were going to be okay with same-sex
marriage. And then within a space of eight or 10 years,
it just became a thing that everybody had to be okay with. And they might grumble about it, but they
keep the grumbling to themselves and they’re more ashamed of it now than they used to be. And I’m not saying shame is always a good
thing, but it’s not always a bad thing, either. Well, that’s also a great example, because
gay rights has moved at a lightning pace. It’s crazy. This is why I talk about the Overton window
so much in the book, that we’re used to thinking of Overton window shifts- Tell our audience what that is so they know. It’s a concept of, and it’s related to the
concept of cultural vocabularies. It’s a concept of, what is acceptable versus
what is controversial versus what is unthinkable. If it’s unthinkable, it’s outside the Overton
window, but the Overton window can move, that’s why it used to be unthinkable that two people
of the same sex could be married. Now it’s basically unthinkable that any politician
would oppose it. Now, we like to think of it going in that
direction, because that’s the nice direction. But, my point throughout the book is that
it can shift in any direction, and we like to tell ourselves, going back to what we were
talking about earlier, these people are so fringe, they’re nihilists, they’re misogynists,
they’re whatever, they’re Nazis. Why are we talking about this? This stuff is unthinkable. But as you point out, the actual Nazis, it
was unthinkable until it wasn’t. So, I’m not saying that we’re going to fall
to some Fascist dictatorship tomorrow. What I’m saying is, we’ve got to be aware
of the directions that our vocabularies are going in, and not just have this blind faith
that they’re always going to go in the right direction. Now, the reason I started talking about Overton
window stuff is that, yeah, gender roles are changing, and the racial makeup of this country
is changing, and I think that creates a lot of tension and a lot of fear in people, particularly
the dominant people who see it as a loss. But my larger view of the crisis in masculinity
and the crisis in whiteness is that a lot of this stuff is driven by, yeah, you’re losing
some of your power and that it’s going to be messy, it’s going to be personally painful
in a lot of ways, but I don’t see that as a departure from some golden age. I see it as a departure from oppression, frankly. See, that… I think you just nailed something that I wasn’t
really conscious of. I think I dispute the idea, or, I hear this
a lot, this idea that white people were the dominant race in America for so long, and
that now they’re becoming a minority, or they are. They’re not yet, they’re going to be, right? Mm-hmm (affirmative). And that a big part of this just reflects
the change in power dynamics between races. I feel like that actually misses the larger
point, where that’s not where the power is. It seems to me that there is… I talk about this in the rundown in terms
of dispossession. There is a dispossession in the country, but
I think that has much more to do with education and wealth, than it has to do with skin color. In other words, what I see is that we have
the biggest gap in wealth since the Gilded Age. And I think a lot of the people that, let’s
say, watch Alex Jones, or Tucker Carlson or whatever, and are angry, I wonder, to what
extent are they angry because they think that some guy who’s darker skinned than they are
is getting a shot at their job, and how much of it is because they feel increasingly like
they’re screaming at a screen, and they can do nothing, and there’s a certain class of
people that’s getting wealthier and wealthier and they’re setting the rules and they’re
setting the norms of discourse, and they feel increasingly powerless. Sure. I think that’s totally valid. I guess the question then would be, why is
that populist rage being channeled into Tucker and Alex Jones instead of into Bernie and
Democracy Now? It’s a great question. So, first of all, you highlight Sandra Fairbanks
in the book. She was a Bernie supporter, and then she flipped
and became a Trump supporter. That’s an interesting phenomenon, too, right,
that there were people that were on Bernie’s side and then went to Trump’s side. And a lot of these people… I mean, nobody’s born alt-right, right? This is a new thing. A lot of these people come from the left. Most of them, probably. So, how much is Trump’s support a reflection
of people that are… because Trump doesn’t have any ideas. He was a Democrat. Right. No one thought of Trump as a racist until
he became president. Well, he was a racist- Well, I guess some people that knew about
it, went into his buildings in the Queens, or whatever, but most people didn’t think
about Trump like that. That wasn’t his brand. Right. But that’s because we’re suckers and we fall
for branding instead of paying attention to what he said all along. He’s an empty vessel, isn’t he? Does he have any ideological beliefs? I think he’s been a racist the whole time. I don’t think he’s been a very effective one,
but- Well, you could say, what’s it called? When Pat Buchanan described Nixon, he described
him as a country club anti-Semite. Right. Right? Except that, when he was in the Oval Office,
he stopped talking like he was in the country club. We have a lot of tapes of him being a very
not-country club anti-Semite. Yeah, no. He was disgusting. And so was Buchanan. Yeah. So the thing is, these things have been accepted. You talk about the Overton window. Again, we tell ourselves this story of the
American Exceptionalist myth that, “Oh, a white supremacist in the White House. That’s unthinkable.” It’s actually unthinkable that we’ve had anything
but white supremacists in the White House. It’s happened like three times. That we’ve had anything other than white supremacists. Right. What do you mean? Who… Well, everyone up through Woodrow Wilson was
proud of it. Right. I mean, it was just part of the country. Well, he’s famous for it. Right. But I mean, just also historically, it was
just part of the country. Sure. And it just, obviously- But what about like Bill Clinton, what about
George Bush, both senior and junior? Yeah, those would be the three. And Obama. And Obama. Because you’re saying, Reagan. But here’s a good example. The Bushes were elite. Elitists. And they were way more powerful than Reagan. Oh, they weren’t great people. Yeah. And I guess, I’m just… I don’t know- And they were all… They all played racial politics in ways that
I think we would and should find disgusting now. I mean, Sister Souljah, all the stuff Bill
Clinton did, locking up more black men than any other president in history. I mean, no one’s hands are clean in this. I’m just saying, it’s just weird that we’re
surprised by this stuff. Right. And George Bush senior had the- The Willie Horton. The Willie Horton gaffe in Boston. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Andrew, stick around. We’re going to go to the overtime. I’m doing my best to [crosstalk] We got a lot more to talk about. I have interrupted you way more than I normally
do- No, this is good. … and I’m not sure. I’m not sure, man. I’m a little overwhelmed. I want to get to all the stuff on your pages. It’s all great. I’m really excited. I want to continue this conversation, because
this is actually the meat of what I find most interesting. For regular listeners, you know the drill. If you’re new to the program, head over to where you can get access to this week’s overtime where Andrew
and I, I’m going to continue this conversation. There’s also a link in the description to
this week’s episode that you can click on that will take you to that page. You can also get access to a transcript of
today’s conversation as well as the rundown which Andrew… Andrew, what do you think of this rundown? This is you, Andrew. I’m loving it. Did you see you? That’s not me. That’s my cartoon. Well, this is you. But this is you, actually, right here. You guys got to check this out. This is… You put a lot of work into this, man. Yeah, man. This is Adam Driver in… what’s the movie
again? BlacKkKlansman. BlacKkKlansman. There’s David Duke played whatever his name
was. Dude, I would love… I mean, that is like my dream to be that character. So you can gain access to the rundown as part
of the Super Nerds subscription or the transcripts are available to Autodidact and Super Nerds,
and everyone has access to the overtime, including a link to the RSS feed, that you can put into
your favorite podcasting applications and listen to this just like you listen to the
regular episode. Andrew, stick around and we’ll be right back. Yeah, let’s do it. Today’s episode of Hidden Forces was recorded
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Posts created 37718

8 thoughts on “Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation | Andrew Marantz

  1. Hey Demetri why don't you actually talk to a white nationalist rather than reading the skewed and biased Jewish takes that you read through their warped world view prism.

  2. This podcast is just propaganda. The radicals online are mostly (in numbers) authoritarian progressives coming from the political side of the supposed expert and who label everyone else who does not agree with them as extremists, including many liberal centrists. Journos in the MSM support them and are part of that rising extremism. Look how JOURNOS accept and protect antifa while condemning non-radicals like breitbart… Demetri you are dumb and this is the last podcast I Iisten from you. Learn from Rogan how to do interviews, you brainwashed dumbass !!

  3. Astounding Work, I really enjoyed it!, See this New Album 'Monish Jasbird – Death Blow', channel link , doo check 🙂

  4. This book seems to cover the same ground that Michael Malice already covered in The New Right. Malice is also Jewish and interviewed Neo-Nazis at Charlottesville. Malice is also good friends with Gavin McIngus, and has appeared several times on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

  5. Listen to Ari Shaffir's new pod with Milo. He's trolling you. Hard. Exposing the CLOWN WORLD of the left. Is the left oblivious or just refusing to listen?

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