Great conversation. Being 68, I was a liberal, free speech absolutist back in the 60's/70's. I have the same free speech beliefs and that now makes me a pariah. You often give this historical perspective which I think many don't know.

Expand full comment

Not a journalist, but Bernie Sanders went on Fox News. It went rather well for him, he got the audience to cheer for single payer healthcare. The others were too chickenshit and virtue-signalled their way out of it.

And Sanders apparently grasps the fundamentals of civil liberties that eludes even the ACLU these days


"“You have a former president in Trump, who is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, a pathological liar, an authoritarian, somebody who doesn’t believe in the rule of law. This is a bad news guy,” Sanders said when asked if liberals have become " too censorious," according to a transcript of the interview. “But if you’re asking me, do I feel particularly comfortable that the president, the then-president of the United States could not express his views on Twitter? I don’t feel comfortable about it.”"

There is freedom in being a registered Independent. Parties and partythink is just so toxic.

Expand full comment

I totally agree with you, Matt. I've been talking to right populists for a long time now. I was always a liberal from the minute I registered to vote back in the 70s but today's liberals have lost their minds. They support the surveillance state, censorship, war, regime change and human rights abuses (as long as it's to their enemies). They don't support civil liberties or the little guys. They are more like the fundamentalists I used to do battle with in the 80s. Quite frankly they have morphed into authoritarians.

I even joined VivaBarneslocals site (right populists) because they were talking about those core issues that I've always defended. There are a lot of issues where we disagree (Israel comes to mind) but I will align with them when I agree with them. They don't seem to mind having me around. Everyone has been very nice to me unlike liberals who called me racist & sexist during the 2016 election (as if). I have no problem working with populists on the right and I don't care what establishment Democrats think about it.

BTW when the liberals called Bernie supporters racist & sexist in 2016 a lot of us realized that if they were doing that to us and we knew we weren't racist & sexist that there was a good chance neither were the majority of Trump supporters who they also accused.

Expand full comment

Apologies - the comments were initially locked, they're now open.

Expand full comment

I talked to boatload of ppl in KY when I was organizing for Jill Stein to be on the ballot there in 2016. (she was). I did another tour of KY after it was all done and middle aged white guys, miners or former etc., masses of them, told me they loved Bernie but when he got f’d by the DNC they voted Trump. SO MANY Trump voters everywhere told me they were for Bernie!

I have talked to Trump voters all along, and I know we have so much more in common than differences. Really it’s not right and left, It’s the power oligarchs verses the rest of us! So sorry Matt you only barely alluded to this in the interview.

Chris Hedges is so right about this! WE HAVE GOT TO FIND A WAY TO UNITE. To reinfranchise ourselves and others so screwed by the system!! THERE REALLY IS A SHADOW GOVERNMENT!

Never forget 70 million + people voted for TRUMP the second time! What’s up with that?

There are more of us than them and they are quaking in their shoes that we all finally realize WE HAVE MORE POWER THAN THEY DO. Stranger things have happened. But there is not solution that does not include the oligarchs demise and a huge power shift in this country.

Expand full comment

Having followed Matt, Greenwald, the “Intellectual Dark Web” folks, I can’t help but notice that it’s almost as if there is an invisible electrical fence existing in people’s minds where even among the more serious high-integrity intellectual ranks, there is hesitation, a feeling or unwillingness towards the thought of directly broaching certain topics, like the role and scale of the ideological subversion campaigns run by Western intel agencies against their domestic populations. There is plenty of reporting about how that’s been done against foreign nations, but arguably, the operations on their own domestic populations run even much deeper, are much more established, and larger in scale than what most would be comfortable or confident enough to discuss.

Even for some of the boldest intellectuals and speakers, the level of cognitive dissonance is perhaps just so high that even for them it seems like too much, or they just aren’t sure about how to take up the topic, and there’s major cognitive dissonances surrounding the the consequences.

It’s really as if there is some kind of fence, a gag reflex, a very well-entrenched cognitive dissonance such that even the braver ones don’t feel comfortable or confident enough to “go there.” I get that vibe from Peterson and several others.

In this respect, the lectures by Yuri Besmenov seem profound and relevant:


He speaks with confidence and experience. He outlines exactly what the playbook for ideological subversion looks like.

It’s a thing and it’s just as much of a field as any other subject, whether psychology, corruption, Wokism etc... And yet, a belief persists that actual real ideological subversion, brain washing programs, psy-ops, and mass behavior modification policies are less objective subjects, as if we can’t talk about these things as objectively or confidently.

We have plenty of historical examples, but the operations that were uncovered including the CIA’s running of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, Project Mockingbird, Cointelpro, MK-Ultra etc... all ultimately suggest that it’s only scratching the surface. The broader systematic discussion of these kinds of operations at large and the regular consistent targeting of populations at large is absent.

If we consider the case of the Congress for Cultural Freedom (Ben Norton recently did a good expose on the Francis Saunders Book. The podcast was entitled ''How the CIA cultivates a fake left''), the scope and modus operandi of these intel operations on the culture and population generally, I don’t see how someone can really believe that something like CRT and Wokism have just managed to naturally penetrate the boardrooms of the most powerful corporations, the faculties of the most established educational institutions and the corridors of the greatest government powers in the way they have. It just doesn’t hold water, not when we know what the actual kinds of scale and scope are for larger-scale intel operations. Everything about the way these ideas have spread suggests a very well-coordinated intelligence operation. Yuri Besmenov spelled it out very well.


People talk about academia as one thing, the media as another, intel and finance as another, but in reality there is a cross over across all these fields. The attempt to separate everything out into nice Aristotelian categories is axiomatically wrong.

At a certain point, it seems like the greatest cognitive dissonance of all is to act like these things aren’t happening, and that we should just treat all of this as a debate over free speech, history, censorship, psychology etc…

Pick your term, oligarchy, imperial slime mold, Wall Street and the City of London and their “Five Eyes”, the “Deep State,” whatever you want to call it, these things run psychological and cultural warfare on their domestic populations. Perhaps a lot of people even agree on that. But perhaps what they don’t agree on is the scale. Perhaps some people think it’s happening on a much smaller scale than it actually is, and perhaps others believe that it’s happening on a much larger scale than it is. For many, the question might arguably just be “how?” Arguably, because how it’s being done isn’t clear, even many of the bolder thought leaders, intellectuals, free-thinkers and such don’t feel comfortable talking about it, or they fear the blowback.

Of course, the thought itself induces a gag reflex in a lot of people, which is arguably a key point. The cognitive dissonance was put there, and in some sense a swallowing of one’s pride has to happen before some even admit that such a thing could be put there, that they could have been themselves subverted by the cognitive dissonance, and that’s actually why they haven’t spoken out.

Regardless, there is no shortage of evidence or experience preventing one from seeing these things unfold in real time today. Intelligence warfare, cultural warfare, ideological warfare, these are real things, they can be studied just as objectively as any other subject. And if one can’t see it now, they’ll probably never see it.

Expand full comment

Both the original essay and your interview were excellent and spot-on. I believe this issue is THE fundamental issue of our time and far to few people in the “Media” are discussing it authentically.

Expand full comment

The censorship is not just about politics.

Whatever your opinions about covid and all the issues around it, in my research I discovered that there are a substantial number of very credible doctors, researchers and scientists who have alternative opinions about almost every aspect of this whole crisis, including vaccinations. Rather than allowing their voices to be heard and giving the public the information we need to make informed decisions and opinions, these people were and are being systematically excluded from having their voices heard in any way.

The media is simply functioning as propaganda and cheerleading to manufacture consent, rather than giving people the true picture of the substantial disagreement with the official course of actions. This is now particularly true regarding vaccinations.

Of course so much of this is about politics and the culture war. The whole issue of covid became so charged with Trump and anti-Trump sentiment that to both sides science became a hostage to the culture war, to the detriment of the public.

In almost every aspect, from counting to testing to treatment to vaccinations, there are very credible criticisms and alternative views to the official positions but no one can just look at the facts because it's all so highly charged politically.

Expand full comment

Nice interview. We need more civil discourse.

Expand full comment

What was the controversy? I stay off social media, so I don't have any context beyond the essay itself. Which was fantastic, by the way, one of your best.

Expand full comment

Nothing new here, but when lies dominate the media the truth has to be repeated and over again. Matt articulates it well.

Expand full comment

Didn’t Matt turn 51 not long ago? There must be a portrait of him aging somewhere in his attic.

Expand full comment

I like Emily Jashinsky. She's following a line of good journalism.

Expand full comment

Matt, I tend to be conservative in most things and in general you tend to read on as lot of issues as progressive, just not many of the issues you write about as much. Why the hell is it you're one of the rare reporters who can actually report objectively? Any other well-known reporters you'd recommend to read besides Glenn? I get that the MSM doesn't reward anyone not toeing the party, but it boggles my mind how any dissent is suppressed or blocked altogether.

Expand full comment

All this talk among the enlightened indi-media celebs like Matt, Glenn, Krystal etc about the *possibility* of a *dialog* is just getting me down. Absent in all of if this perpetual blah, blah is serious discussion of the electoral politics of a broad economic class-based coalition. Thomas Frank sometimes comes close but the rest of it is starting to seem like it's a brand and a business model for indi punditry.

Expand full comment

Umm... I live in the age of...of...the in-ter-net. Or is it influence? Oh wait. It's of right or left, or left or right, or north or south, wherever the penguins are, where, supposedly, but more than likely the truth, uh, the icebergs are melting.

Left = something. Right = something. Left does not equal right, and sometimes, but not too often, right equals left, or left equals right. Perhaps, and this is a big perhaps, unless I want me teeth kicked in, left is greater than or less than equal to right. I know. I know. I put the left first. Don't get upset, and don't unlock your gun safe. Oh no! I mentioned gun in the same paragraph as left and right, and now no one gets a long.

I got called a fake jew boy a few article post replies ago. Not even fake Jew boy, with a capital "J". Fuck me when I can't even get insulted with the grammatically correct capitalization of Jew. My auto-correct wouldn't even let me spell jew. What's this country coming to when my phone knows more that hick, redneck, Jesus fearing, god damn, red blooded American, during God bless America. Sigh for our future.

Expand full comment