Bernie Sanders killed it on Joe Rogan

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/08/08/electoral-dark-matter.html

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My fist read of the headline, I missed “it”, so it seemed as though Jos Rogan had conducted an interview so damaging that Sanders chances had been extinguished. Im so used to media outlets clutch their pearls at how unelectable he is.

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I wasn’t expecting Joe to essentially hand Bernie an hour to walk walk through his talking points, I felt like Joe was lobbing him soft balls. I kept wondering if his more conservative fans were getting furious about not pounding him with socialist nonsense.

I have switched hot and cold on Rogan so many times over the years. I don’t think he is a great thinker, but he does know how to play to both sides. An alpha bro that was raised in tolerant S.F., interesting concept.

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agreed, but unlike others, he has the ability to self-reflect, at least most of the time.

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I finally listened to it and liked it overall. It’s interesting he is seen as a radical, but I think he had point that everything he’s pushing the majority of Americans are for. He certainly doesn’t seem crazy like some pundits like to make him out to be.

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Joe Rogan’s long form and mostly non-argumentative style I find very useful for understanding other viewpoints, and his willingness to interview some awful people.

Anyone with suggestions for similar podcasters who are a bit further left?

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he isnt at all. never was. at least not in the eyes of an european.

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I have quite a few political conversations with family members far more conservative than my gun owning UU self and there are many things we agree on when we drill down to the core of issues. Our differences lie in how we propose to get there. Finding that place requires compromise and our political representatives have all but abandoned that field. Nothing substantive is achieved. It may be my own bias showing, but the abandonment began with the Gingrich devolution of the 1990’s. We are doomed unless our politicians start to work together.

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Absolutely. I think he does try to see both sides, but then other times I wonder if that is just his schtick? But then I think we all practice schticks.

I keep going back to his stand up roots, comedians are trained to observe every detail and they are allowed to push social boundaries.

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Yeah, but everyone knows that Europeans are a bunch of commies! /s

And honestly, when Sanders puts his platform out, in general many Americans do agree with him. We’ve just been trained to just have a pavlovian response to the word “socialism” that most people can’t break that indoctrination, even if the meat of his policies are something people find acceptable.

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In many ways the overton window in the US has shifted so far to the right over the past 30 years that the media has practically convinced itself that the things almost everyone wants are categorically impossible and even dangerous to talk about… What Bernie, Warren and others talk about are bog-standard positions that moderate progressives have been talking about as long as I can remember.

This primary season, you’re hard-pressed to find articles that even mention that Sanders despite him consistently polling at #2 (now that Biden is in)… Articles will often mention the rankings of Buttigieg and Harris, but not Sanders… It’s lunacy. In 2016, 538 predicted that he would loose the Michigan primary to Hilary by 21 points. They said he had a less than 1% chance of winning. He won by 1.5 points.

He’s being willfully ignored by the big media companies (maybe at their own peril). If Sanders has any kind of chance in the primary, it’s by turning out the youth - not in converting those who would vote for Biden… Rogan has a lot of young listeners - the kind that aren’t being polled - so I support Berine talking to this weird muscle-juice salesman if it gives him a better shot at getting the word out to people who wouldn’t be voting otherwise.

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If you liked that Bernie interview, you have got to see the Cornel West appearance from a couple weeks ago https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViWvAnvT17c

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A skill plenty of “great thinkers” lack…

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The Centrist Democrats need to get the f#ck out’a the way, STAT!

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those comments are full of undecided and even GOP-leaning voters who found Sanders’ message compelling

That tracks, and not just because the message is compelling to anyone who doesn’t have $10-million in the bank.

Rogan’s core audience is young, white undereducated or narrowly credentialed guys of the sort who virtue-signal and try to sound smart by saying things like “I’m an independent voter [or Libertarian] because the Dems are as bad as the GOP” or “I’m a skeptic and seeker of Truth”. They’re prone to falling for conspiracy theories if they’re framed with some internal logic and coherence.

In many ways they’re like the character Rogan played for laughs on the “NewsRadio” sitcom (and, I assume, in his standup):

Joe Garrelli (Joe Rogan) is the station’s street-smart electrician and handyman. He is notorious for his seemingly cavalier approach to his profession. Believing that consumer products are “rip-offs”, he is known to personally craft his own supplies (such as homemade duct tape) and gadgets for others around the office (among many a stun-gun, a white noise machine, and a two-way radio). He also espouses various conspiracy theories, particularly with regard to the government’s suppression of information about extraterrestrials. Throughout the series, he displays an infatuation with Catherine Duke. On several occasions, the other employees at the station speculate that Joe might have been the Unabomber.

In his new career as a podcaster, he’s now riffing off that persona in an interesting and creative way. And if he’s making more of these guys aware that progressive politics can benefit them, too, I’m not going to complain.

That’s his schtick as a stand-in for the audience described above. Like Larry “Softball” King, Rogan asks simple questions, lets the guest speak and listens, and shows amazement whenever the guest makes a credible-sounding point (Joe is big on the "wowww"s). That’s true whether the guest is a nutty conspiracy theorist or a charlatan like Jordaddy or a reality-based person like Sanders or Cornell West (Larry King was a starf*cker, so unlike Rogan his guests were more mainstream).

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“I would still like to see more wonkiness from Sanders”. I would too, but buried on his website, not in an interview that’s meant for a wide audience. Most people don’t have enough time to make sense of the wonkiness, so they need a simplified version of the idea that stresses the aim of the policy, not the details. The details are important and I encourage people to look them up, but in an interview, no.

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I have noticed this too.

Almost in the same strange vein as Donald Trump somehow getting away with saying whatever the hell he wants and many people just look away as he inverts reality, Bernie seems to be ignored almost consciously by everyone who isn’t already listening to him.

I keep hearing the same doom bells from everyone about socialism and everything else with him, but when most people stop to actually listen to him they start to agree with him.

I still remember the primary in Pennsylvania in 2016 where despite working for a local campaign for Bernie and knowing he had a very good shot, the media completely ignored him even when he was the only person Hillary was running against.

This attitude of he just doesn’t even exist just baffles me honestly

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It’s because he doesn’t serve monied interests, and in fact tends to point out extremely embarassing facts about the ruling class.

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It’s all the mainstream media can do with him now. As I’ve said elsewhere, he consistently refuses to play the role they’ve laid out for him in their reality show and doesn’t fit into any of the generic roles. He also doesn’t stick to the expected script for Dems of canned platitudes and comforting Boomer illusions and the occasional empty zinger. Given that (and, y’know, the soshalism), the corporate MSM has no choice but to pretend he doesn’t exist when they can.

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