LUMPENPROLETARIAT—It’s true that a big problem with mass media and journalism today is the atomization of the public into narrow media silos. So, we do our best to read a diversity of perspectives. But, I gotta tell ya, after listening to loads of right-wing rhetoric, tuning in to a Glenn Greenwald podcast is like a breath of fresh air. He simply makes so much more sense to me and, evidently, to his growing audience than many other legal or political analysts. With clear, sober, and articulate analyses and explanations of contemporary issues, Dr. Greenwald speaks sincerely.
On this episode of System Update, “What Explains Elite Contempt for Joe Rogan?”, Greenwald is in conversation with Shant Mesrobian, who was “formerly with the Obama 2008 campaign” and is the “current co-host of ‘The Backchannel’”.
Greenwald and Mesrobian discussed the social impact of Joe Rogan’s platform, which amassed over 15 million views recently with an Edward Snowden interview. That’s many times more than prime-time news on their best night. And the establishment seems to be taking note. Some even say Joe Rogan ‘sold out‘ by migrating his popular podcast exclusively to Spotify, just as his political clout and influence is growing large enough to wield electoral influence.
Yet, the Democratic Party is averse to allying themselves with someone ‘on the fence’, like Joe Rogan is, willing to switch his political endorsements from Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump, bypassing Biden on account of ‘senior mental decline’ and whatnot, also bypassing any ideological loyalties. Mesrobian argued that the two corporate political parties, within a two-party system, care less about winning elections or even holding the Oval Office, than they do about keeping control of their party and keeping the political cartel-like racket going: serving the corporate funders and banksters, whilst leaving the public hanging out to dry.
Democrats would rather push Biden to the presidential ticket, and watch him lose to Trump, than allow Bernie Sanders or any other more viable candidate to win and take control of the Democratic Party. Greenwald reminded us how we observed the same toxic two-party dynamic in the UK when the Labour Party bosses lost control of their party to Jeremy Corbin.
They preferred to destroy Corbin and retake control of the party, even if it meant empowering the Tories and making Boris Johnson prime minister because […] their top priority is insuring that they maintain control of their party, and secondary, or even more distantly, is actually winning elections.
Channel: The Intercept
Program: System Update with Glenn Greenwald, “What explains elite contempt for Joe Rogan?”, 22 SEP 2020
[Transcript excerpts by Messina for Lumpenproletariat and The Intercept.]
SHANT MESROBIAN: (c. 1:02:08)
“I mean it’s the argument, that the left’s been making, you know, for years now. Right? Like, this is the guy to be studying. Right? [Someone like Joe Rogan’s] the one that we can kind of crack the code on.
“As for, you know, why that’s the case, I think it’s real, again, it’s really threatening. I don’t think—you know, the Democratic establishment, what I tend to tell people is that the democratic establishment, their main priority is not really to actually even win elections. It’s to keep control of the Democratic Party. Right?
“Like, that’s where most of their power comes from. It’s certainly where their most reliable source of power comes from; it’s keeping control of the party because as long as you can keep control, and you keep control of the cultural levers of power in the country, you’re always going to be able to command 50% of the political system. You’re always going to be able to command, you know, the entire media apparatus, that’s devoted to politics—Right? You’re good—or at least half of it. Right? You’re going to control the liberal half.
“And, so, I think it’s—I mean it’s—I’m sorry to say. But I think it’s a very cynical calculation that cultural elites and democratic party elites are making when they make these decisions because when you engage Joe Rogan, and you engage his viewers, you are bringing in a ton of people you can’t necessarily rely on to keep these clean lines of political and cultural engagement. You’re completely blowing up the political system.
“You’re blowing up the political racket. Right? And why would you want to do that because, at the end of the day, hell, Trump could get re-elected and they’d still control the party. They can still control the other half. They’d be raising hundreds of millions of dollars for their think tanks. And, therefore, you know, the media institutions and—so, it’s a great racket. Why would you risk that just for winning the presidency for maybe four years, eight years. Don’t get me wrong. Obviously, they’d like to win that, too. But I don’t think that’s the real game. I don’t think that’s ever been the real game.”
GLENN GREENWALD: “We saw that in the UK—right?—where the centrists and Blairites and moderates, who controlled the Labour Party, the levers of power forever, whether they were in power or out of power. When they lost control of their own party to Jeremy Corbin, they—it was very obvious, if you were just paying minimal attention, but we now know from documents, that have been leaked and reports, that have been issued—they were actively working against the Labour Party. They preferred to destroy Corbin and retake control of the party, even if it meant empowering the Tories and making Boris Johnson prime minister because, as you say, their top priority is insuring that they maintain control of their party, and secondary, or even more distantly, is actually winning elections. (c. 1:05:19)
Follow Shant Mesrobian: https://twitter.com/ShantMM The Backchannel: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheBackchannel Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ggreenwald Read Glenn’s work: https://theintercept.com/staff/glenn-…
[9 OCT 2020]
[Last modified on 11 OCT 2020 at 22:41 PDT]