I found this conversation between Matt Taibbi and Chris Hedges quite interesting. Chris Hedges is a former New York Times journalist and author of several books. He also hosted a popular interview series on YouTube, On Contact. The discussion begins with them talking about what happened with Chris’s YouTube channel this past weekend, when all of its videos were removed without warning. The discussion then turns to what is happening in the media and ends with a discussion on what is happening in Ukraine and Europe.
A few quotes from Chris:
[The controlling elites] push you to the margins and then, they demonize those spaces on the margins. This has long been the habit of the dominant ruling elites. So for instance, Robert Scheer, whose website I write for, Scheerpost — and of course, we were all fired from Truthdig, this is just a never ending saga — but he ran Ramparts. I think it was Spiro Agnew said, “It’s a magazine with a bomb in every issue.” We could never get advertisers.
So they push you into a space that they then demonize, and then use it as an excuse to shut you down. But they’ve already in essence created the space in which you exist.
After 20 years of committing egregious war crimes all over the Middle East, we’ve suddenly anointed ourselves once again as the saviors of the world, and we love it. And a lot of it has nothing to do with Ukraine, but about our own self-adulation. This is the difference, as Chomsky and Herman write about, between worthy and unworthy victims. So Yemenis are not worthy victims, Palestinians are not worthy victims, Iraqis are not worthy victims. But Ukrainians — and it helps that they’re white — are worthy victims. They’re worthy of our compassion and our support. It’s just another way to mask our own war crimes. What we did in the Middle East — I believe Shock and Awe alone far outstrips anything Putin’s done, though that may change.
The response is to control the information, to seek broader and deeper forms of censorship, as most despotic regimes do, because they don’t understand it’s them that’s the problem. They think it’s the message.
Of course, this comes from Silicon Valley… You have this amazing spectre of Democratic congressmen hauling in CEOs from these platforms to the Hill, and begging them to commit more censorship. But it’s because they can’t deal with the fundamental problems that have befallen the country. Their attempt instead is to banish or silence the critics who speak the truth about what’s happening. That really is, I think, what’s going on.
As things deteriorate, and I believe they will deteriorate, that pressure, which was already pretty heavy, is going to become heavier. You know better than I, the complaints about Substack, well, which I’m sure are serious — they will find them.
Chris Hedges is currently writing on Substack.