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The Problem With Jon Stewart

London Edition: Satire in the Age of Murdoch and Trump

Wed Mar 08 2023
  • The hosts interview Ian Hislop at the offices of Private Eye magazine in London about his running of the magazine and British politics.

  • Rupert Murdoch's influence on media and politics is discussed, including his failed attempt to set up Talk TV in Britain and the News of the World phone hacking scandal.

  • UK leaders like Boris Johnson and Donald Trump are following a similar playbook, leading to concerns about a world where corruption goes unpunished.

  • Boris Johnson was removed from office for appointing a known groper to a government post against his cabinet's objections.

  • Scandals such as the health secretary caught kissing his assistant during COVID lockdowns are blowing up in British politics.

  • Repetition is effective in calling out lies and making them a liability.

  • The right wing in the US has laid the groundwork for Trump over 40-50 years by building parallel structures to control the narrative.

  • Extreme positions taken by certain media outlets and the revolving door between government and media make controlling the sensible narrative difficult.

  • Brexit was an outbreak of Trumpian nationalism and little England isolationism.

  • Populism has taken hold in various countries due to factors such as globalization, destabilization of the Middle East, and failure to consider the worst off sections of populations.

  • The Brexit movement was driven by a desire for control and nostalgia, but it was a bad idea executed poorly.

  • Joseph Goebbels warned against reading mainstream media and promoted propaganda.

  • Liz Trust's austerity measures led to disastrous consequences, including bankrupting the country.

  • Public figures often say one thing while doing another behind closed doors, as seen in leaked WhatsApp messages from UK government officials and the Dominion lawsuit in the US.

  • The UK economy is predicted to perform worse than Russia this year.

  • Boris Johnson's lack of understanding of basic math during COVID outbreak is concerning.

  • Accountability for explicit corruption in American life is lacking, while mechanisms for accountability still exist in the UK.

  • AM talk radio and selective news stories have led to an impermeable divide in American society.

  • Putin's regime is not democratic and has a history of authoritarianism, despite being viewed as an ally by conservative groups in America and Britain.

  • The alliances between conservative groups and tyrants suggest a willingness to align with those lacking morals or ideologies.

  • Practical problems such as climate change require compromise, negotiation, and coordinated effort, not culture wars.

  • Propaganda in authoritarian regimes is explicit and corrupt, as seen in the emails of the Dominion lawsuit.

  • The power of money behind the scenes is corrupt and can influence what happens without being tested.

  • There is a growing awareness of the need for multiple narratives and a desire to turn a corner away from corruption.

  • A public figure has been compared to Trump and it may be the end of their career.

  • Exposing the flaws and ridiculousness of those in power is important, as seen in the downfall of the Ku Klux Klan.

  • An upcoming podcast episode features an interview with David Petraeus where he admits to being wrong about the military industrial complex and comes out as a pacifist.