One of the most interesting things that has happened since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March of 2020 is the events that have transpired have affected more friendships and changed more allegiances than any other time in my personal history. I listen to podcasts, read articles, and listen to interviews where individuals that questioned the government narrative regarding the Wuhan Lab, vaccine effectiveness, or mask mandates have lost family members and close friends because of their diverging opinions. In my own personal life, there have been some friends that have completely disappointed me regarding these same questions. But there has been no entity that has caused more personal grief over the past 17 months than the media. This personal change has been occurring since Donald Trump took the oath of office back in January of 2017. I always thought my understanding of the media was crystal clear due to my 13 years working inside the television industry. The last five years caused me to re-evaluate these media choices and forced me to discover new voices and gain some insight into the media environment in 2021.
First, let me start with a little history so you can understand my evolution. I grew up in a family that had a liberal slant. My parents were both union retail workers in the 1970s into the 1980s. Going to a Catholic school, I will never forget the poll that my 5th Grade teacher did in class. She asked who was going to vote for Ronald Reagan or Walter Mondale in the 1984 election. My ENTIRE CLASS raised their hand for Reagan. I was the only one who raised my hand for Mondale. Jimmy Carter’s Vice President got as many votes in my class as states that he won on election night. My family always had political leanings. My father was a hardcore Democratic Party supporter and paid close attention to politics. My mom was more flexible. She jumped around on the political spectrum because her father was a proud Republican through most of his life. But she had liberal leanings through most of my childhood. As I aged and became more politically aware in the 1990s, I started out as a leftist with a libertarian edge. During the Bush Jr. presidency, I became an avid reader and film watcher of political entertainers and media journalists like Michael Moore, Eugene Jarecki, Greg Palast, Keith Olbermann, Cenk Uygur, Air America personalities like Rachel Maddow, Al Franken, and Janeane Garofalo, and satirists like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Their opposition to the wars and analysis of the bad economic policies and loss of freedoms coming out of that administration gave me an intellectual foundation to understand the important political issues of the 2000s. But there was always a part of me that lived outside the left-wing liberal world. Justin Raimondo (RIP) showed me a more historically conservative ideology and libertarian edge with his writings on antiwar.com. I later discovered left wing and libertarian leaning Glenn Greenwald. I was also a big supporter of the Huffington Post (RIP Good Content on that website). Three events changed my way of thinking about politics and the media over the past decade.
1) The Ron Paul Presidential Campaign of 2008 and 2012 – This decision to support Ron Paul caught most of my friends and liberal allies off guard. Who the hell is this Ron Paul and why are you voting for a Republican? But many of my friends have always failed to understand one important facet of my personality. I have a strong moral sense of right vs. wrong, personal freedom is an incredibly important issue for me, and my opposition to war is absolute and will never change. Only one candidate checked off all these boxes and it was not Barack Obama. Ron Paul introduced me to the world of libertarian and paleo-conservative thought that writer Justin Raimondo often pontificated about. Into my world came Ludwig Von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Tom Woods, Lew Rockwell, Henry Hazlitt, and anarchists like Kevin Carson and the 19th Century thinker Max Stirner. This began my evolution into a different way of thinking about politics and was my introduction to political anarchism.
2) Barack Obama’s Presidency (2009-2017) – Many of the liberals in the media that garnered a great deal of my respect were jettisoned during the Obama presidency. Despite his amazing oratorial skills, Obama really did not do anything to change the status quo. He prosecuted more journalists than any other president in history. He seemed to embrace the concept of government power even when he spoke out against it. He continued the wars and started a couple of more (Libya and Syria). I got disgusted with the liberal defense of Obama when he was engaging in many of the same acts as his predecessor. So I stopped listening to many of these liberal voices. Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann (Through his moving to Current TV, a station I did not have), Cenk Uygur’s YOUNG TURKS, the bankruptcy of Air America (Good riddance), the dumbing down of the Huffington Post, and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. But I gained some journalists during this time like Matt Taibbi and Jeremy Scahill whose writing was top notch and who reated the current president with the skepticism that excellent journalists possess.
3) Donald Trump Presidency (2017-2021) – This is when I realized that the liberal press was officially as crazy and conspiratorial as their conservative counterparts. As flawed as a person as Trump was, almost nothing they said about him ever came true. Russia Gate was garbage. What really surprised me was one of the biggest liberal talking points of the last 20 years being proven completely false. Many ‘liberals’ see the government and corporations aligned on the conservative side of the political aisle. This lie was exposed during the Trump years. The worst billionaires on the planet are all leftists like George Soros, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos. The tech industry eliminated the President’s Twitter account permanently. The Trump presidency, which caused a collective liberal meltdown, showed how the liberal politicians are actually the “ESTABLISHMENT” aligned with Big Business. The Trump presidency is also when the best liberal writers who had some semblance of a moral conscience began to see this with their own eyes.
After the COVID-19 lockdowns started happening, it was the ‘conservatives’, the anti-science religious zealots, who started gaining my respect for their research and opinions. There were some conservative governors who were actually concerned about protecting individual freedoms while 100% of liberal governors supported freedom destroying lockdowns inside their states. The only side of the political aisle that would entertain multiple perspectives on the COVID related issues was the right. The liberal establishment decided to censor, pressure and attempt to destroy any “lesser human” who questioned their motives. So my media choices have become a cornucopia of voices from all aspects of the political spectrum. I have gravitated towards journalists that question the status quo, the existing power structure, and are skeptical of our police state and military industrial complex.
This brings us to Substack. Substack has been a wonderful platform for many independent journalists that were ‘purged’ from their mainstream liberal publications over the past couple of years. Substack has become the hub for independent journalism that thrives on a subscription model. This has allowed these journalists to continue their research and do what mainstream journalists “Should be doing.” Mainly, to research and question aspects of our political climate and culture. Currently on Substack, I subscribe to four writers. All these names should be familiar.
Glenn Greenwald: Best journalist in the country for fifteen years running. Has broken some incredible stories.
Matt Taibbi: Made his name exposing the corruption that led to the 2008 financial crash.
Michael Tracey: Broke away from Cenk Uygur’s insanity because he questioned Russia Gate.
Edward Snowden: Exiled whistle blower who has been wonderful at exposing the surveillance tools that the tech industry hides inside their devices.
I follow (But do not subscribe to…yet):
Caitlin Johnstone: A socialist who focuses on American foreign policy.
Quoth the Raven: Libertarian economist who sometimes dives into cultural topics.
Alex Berenson: Ex-NEW YORK TIMES liberal journalist who has been one of the most important voices against the COVID 19 lockdowns and vaccines.
Of these seven writers, five identify as “liberals” while two are “libertarians” (Snowden and Quoth the Raven). I also support Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s medical organization that questions our medical tyranny called Children’s Health Defense. Other great liberal voices are Tulsi Gabbard who now releases videos on the independent Rumble platform weekly. I also still read the mutualist anarchist Kevin Carson’s website the Center for a Stateless Society.
Here are the libertarian journalists that get my attention and this list has increased greatly over the past four years. This is for one simple reason. These people are defending my freedom. I have always leaned towards this political ideology since my teenage years and the lockdowns have made me more radically libertarian. Here are my libertarian recommendations.
Ron Paul Liberty Report
Gold, Goats N Guns
The Burning Platform
The Free Thought Project
The States’ Rights organization The Tenth Amendment Center
The Anarco-Capitalist organization The Mises Institute
And my favorite source of news, Zerohedge.
Onto the conservatives.
Even though FOX NEWS is still mostly toxic, there is one individual with conservative leanings that I have always respected. It is not Sean Hannity who is a gigantic idiot or Laura Ingraham whose journalistic style is divisive. It is Tucker Carlson who has been the one person in the mainstream news who is actively questioning the status quo of our country. He has been a light at the end of a very dark mainstream media tunnel. I used to be a huge fan of Chris Hayes on MSNBC but like Cenk Uygur, Trump getting elected fried some circuits in his brain and most of the bullshit he espouses on the network has reached FOX NEWS levels of ridiculousness. Don’t get me started on Rachel Maddow, the 2020s version of FOX’S Bill O’Reilly. I also have been reading Lifesite News, a Catholic website. While I do not agree with their platform on every topic, their reporting on COVID 19 and the ills of the Catholic Church has been top notch. The best satire site on the internet is now the conservative leaning BABYLON BEE, which is my fifth paid subscription. Awaken with JP (J.P. Sears) has evolved into a libertarian conservative and has been making his best content over the past couple of years. I also enjoy the analysis from the comedians The Hodge Twins, who release videos on YouTube and Rumble and like to satirize the idiocy of the mainstream Democrats. Some of the cultural and analytical articles on American Thinker are well written and researched. Finally, even though the website is a little too pro-Trump, the daily publication, THE EPOCH TIMES, has a lot of wonderfully researched and well thought out journalism.
I can go on with a few dozen more. My choices have radically changed over the past 18 months because of the pandemic and lockdowns. I recently stopped watching John Oliver because his mainstream comedy bits just lost their edge after the lockdowns hit. These lockdowns have also proven one definitive thing. The journalists who kept their morality and ethics through this tyrannical era deserve my support for their brave and fearless journalism. So why would I not throw some money their way to keep these important voices in the public eye. COVID-19 and the reaction to this “virus” could be the most important issue of our lifetime. It is important to learn from as many perspectives as possible and support the people that are questioning the narrative which is moving us towards a dark authoritarian future. My only wish is that you give some of these journalists a chance and see if this aligns with your own personal opinions. Until next week!
EXPERT OF SOME