TWIG 602: Random Penguin House

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

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@Leo, you used to promote Jitsi and how you had set up your own server. Jitsi also has its own servers running at for free use.

Any thoughts on using that for your shows? From my playing with Jitsi, it seems like a good video chat app.

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I appreciated the conversation on journalism and online harassment, and would love to see if I can bring up an aspect of it for discussion without “stepping in it,” so to speak. I agree with the hosts that Tucker Carlson’s behavior is vile and I’ll leave him aside. I also acknowledge upfront that online harassment is never ok and far worse for women and marginalized groups (and I’m honestly not interested in talking with anyone who disagrees).

The point where I had some cognitive dissonance was when everyone seemed to hold Greenwald to be basically responsible for inciting violence in his coverage and comments. This was most odd to me, especially hearing Jeff complain that “…except for Matthew and Brain Stelter, media don’t cover media.” because by my reading, Greenwald’s writing is clearly and firmly in the genre of media critique, especially his articles pertaining to this topic (this is not an endorsement, btw, just a genre categorization). However, in Greenwald’s case the hosts felt quite comfortable assigning intent (misogyny, inciting harassment) and going so far as saying that the market should strip this kind of writing of any market value.

To highlight the irony in as great of contrast as I can, let me summarize the TWIG segment as follows:
In a media segment devoted to a critique of the media’s critique of other media, Jeff decried a lack of media covering media, and all participants seemed to call for the de-platforming of a journalist devoted to covering media in depth, because by critiquing media, it should be plain to see that he’s advocating harassment.

That lacks nuance, but I think it captures the reality that our biases are getting in the way here in a way that is evading self-awareness. Sorry, that’s a lot,but here are a few questions I’m left trying to figure out:
If someone partakes in well-meaning media critique and there appears to be harassment (again, horrible!) taking place by those who follow this person’s work, at what point does the writer/speaker bear responsibility? Does it depend on the size of there relative platforms? Do we even think we’re capable of placing our biases aside and advocating which type of “media covering media” is valid critique and which is harmful incitement? Thanks for letting me ponder into the void. I love the show. Thanks for making me think on this lovely Friday morning :slight_smile:


What’s harmful incitement? You know it when you see it? :man_shrugging:t3:

I’m just glad such people wouldn’t get on TV over here. Looking at the UK and the US this week, I was left asking myself, how such misogynistic dinosaurs even get any airtime in the 21st century.

Certainly I’ve never seen any news show in Germany with such abhorrent presenters. Here they are mainly professional and report the news. Someone like Carlson or Morgan would be out on their ear before their first show was over, if they were so unprofessional on the air.

I’m not saying the German TV news is perfect, far from it, but it seems much less partisan and generally more professional. I think that is also partly because there has never been a political party that has had a majority government here, it is always a coalition of the poor more parties that make up the majority.


Simple answer, they have craploads of followers :grimacing:

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Yeah, that’s the tricky part when it comes to platforms trying to apply standards at scale. It’s always going to be a judgement call… There also seems to be an inevitable amount of “you see it when it confirms your priors” going on too (very much including myself here).

Maybe. It seems like there should be a way to do media critique without it immediately unleashing a tidal wave of aggressively hateful misogyny, racism or bigotry. If someone can’t do that then maybe they should reevaluate their approach.

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True. My only issue with that in practice is that our metrics for the actual size of said unleashed hatred are pretty flawed (basically the number of articles written on the subject). So getting an outsized number stories published about the bad behavior of someone’s followers (say, Bernie Sanders) seems to have become a pretty easy and effective PR hit taking advantage of this logic (“well if he isn’t spewing hatred I wouldn’t be seeing all these stories about these horrible Bernie Bros, right?”)

And sadly I kind of feel like the levels of misogyny and racism are just so high that some jerks will use any critique of certain people’s work, no matter how valid, as license to unleash on them.

At 42:50, Mr Jeff Jarvis said, “Murdoch and his minions are a cancer on democracy.”

I strongly feel that likening Murdoch to cancer is both inappropriate and incredibly harsh. If I were cancer I would be deeply offended.


At first I was shocked, but then… I see what you did there. :laughing:


At the end, leo mentioned unhook for utube (which works beautifully BTW).
Ant said there was one for facebook also. Can’t seem to find that one. Anyone find it or have a chance to try it?

I am a conservative. I love tech and understand that the vast majority of tech is liberal. So when I listen to shows, I go in with the understanding that there are going to be certain things that might come up that I will not agree with. My issue with what was said on this episode is irony of the hate being thrown at a person and a network. Then holding up another network and newspapers as doing things the “right way” when those institutions have done massive damage of their own to affect individuals lives. The irony of our media is good so it doesn’t need to be critiqued but your media is bad so it must be stopped. I don’t feel like this is a good message. I understand politics will work it’s way into episodes, but I do enjoy them more when it is all about the tech.

You’re new here, and I don’t want to be unfriendly, but… This sentence doesn’t mean today what it once did. You probably need to elaborate more clearly what kind of conservative beliefs you have. If not clarified, here’s what I hear when someone says that: You are a Frump supporter–that makes you a a fascist, a racist and white supremacist and willing to believe all the lies that support your position.

Rather than having others make negative assumptions, care to clarify what kind of conservatism you support?

I just LOL’d at this :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes::grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes::grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Wow, that is harsh!!

Doug Ford - welcome to the community. When I hear Conservative I think of: a person favoring free enterprise, private ownership, and socially traditional ideas.

Welcome to the party, @ExperiencedNovice ! :slight_smile:

I am a social democrat. And I really enjoyed your comment. I could understand it and found it hard to argue against, for many reasons.

(The following reads slightly oversimplified, but this is me trying to make sense of it all on a Sunday morning, not a specific tone.)

Which makes me wonder if us being of different political stripes would ever be an issue since we both seem to not also be another thing: angry.

Given that notion, I wonder if environments cannot simply be pleasant not based on political orientation, but based on whether they are predominantly angry or not. Sadly, many shows appear to sell better if at least one person on the panel is angry.

There’s plenty of angry on the right, there’s plenty of angry on the left. As per the media, we may agree that an angry viewership is an engaged viewership - as long as the medium managed to frame someone else to be angry towards than themselves.

I think the core to which this part of the episode boiled down to is that Murdoch and Co. are very successful in making people angry about something or someone else. Sadly, that makes even those angry who are not watching, about Murdoch. And, of course, everybody competing with Murdoch gets double angry - to counter and since they find that it generates ratings. An Angerfest that sucks - but since we’re all so angry, which is very well lubricated by self-righteousness, we kinda forgot to turn off.

Ah well. It’s a lovely change of pace to put this to the side and discuss it perfectly calmly.

I suspect that 90% of the time we’re angry, we don’t get much sensible stuff done anyways. Which really starts being a problem since we’re all barking up so many trees all the time.

Political orientation and diversity is interesting, useful, and a great way to grow. Anger is the problem.

Do we all need to get on Valium? No. Do we all need to get a better grip on ourselves and calm our heads? I suppose so. As a society, we should try to find ways to dampen those voices that make us angrier and angrier. I know this clashes with the 1st amendment in the US, but… it seems like we should find ways to better mental hygiene as a society.

(The amendments have been written 200+ years ago and in my mind it’s implausible that they’d not be in dire need of revision after that much time.)

And this should not read as some goody two shoes romanticism: imagine how powerful and influential the US (or any country) would be if it were not for the constant self-mauling. Strong today, but sustainably hard to attack in that alternative. Union is something that cannot be bought by even the biggest defense budget.

Getting out societal heads straight is the key challenge of our times. We will not be able to do anything meaningful on the other fronts before that.

In any case: welcome to the forum and looking forward to many interesting back-and-forths! :slight_smile:

PS: Sorry this turned into a full doctrine. We bought a new coffee machine and it’s inspiring. :slight_smile:


I will answer. I am a Trump supporter. I believe in small government, lower taxes, and the second amendment. Beyond that, I don’t feel I need to respond with anything else because my point was, to take from a very famous saying, " those in glass houses should not throw stones."

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I definitely agree that both sides play on people’s emotions. The way to keep people watching is by making them angry. If things were more amicable in general, the news would be boring. That’s why even on local news programs you see more bad than good.

My biggest issue was that a lot of verbal hate was being thrown at Fox News, it’s owner, and some of it’s anchors. I am a reasonable person and do not agree with everything that is said on Fox News. But to demonize it and then hold up CNN as a beacon of good when they had to settle a lawsuit from the Covington student, shows that they are being bias and not judging both independently. I know people won’t agree with Fox News, I don’t agree with them at times. But when you are a journalist, you are suppose to be able to assess things through an unbiased lens, and that was not being done.

I’m glad though that there is still a place where a civil discussion can be had between people with different views on the world.