Ep. 118 Aaron Maté “The Russians Are Coming!”

January 30, 2019

Playing for Team Human today: journalist and Nation columnist Aaron Maté.

Aaron is gong to break down “Russiagate,” taking a sober look at the media frenzy of “bombshell” stories asserting a Russian conspiracy behind the 2016 election.  Maté explains why he thinks this narrative ultimately aligns with the longstanding interests of U.S. establishment power. He calls it a “privilege protection racket” that thrives on distraction and misdirection, turning the public away from a real critique of the rise of Trumpism that would otherwise implicate the neoliberal policies of democrats and conservatives alike, foreign policy think tanks, and the media. It’s a Team Human conversation that may play along a divide among listeners, but no matter where you fall on the question of collusion, Maté offers a thought provoking perspective on the dangers of this media obsession. Is the Russia fixation a media virus that our cultural immune system hasn’t yet built the appropriate immune response to?

Opening the show, Rushkoff offers another perspective on media viruses, looking at the way the Covington Catholic incident played out on social media and in the news last week. Rushkoff argues, “We are living in a media landscape where whoever can most convincingly say what a picture really is wins. Whoever names the meme, wins the meme.” Check out Rushkoff’s recent piece on the topic at CNN.

Aaron Maté’s work can be found at the Nation and via Twitter @aaronjmate

Team Human the manifesto is out now. Order your copy here or visit your favorite local book store.

Check out Douglas’s regular column on Medium.

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On this episode you heard Fugazi’s “Foreman’s Dog” in the intro thanks to the kindness of the band and Dischord Records. Mid Show you heard R.U. Sirius’s President Mussolini Makes the Planes Run On Time. Our outro features the Mike Watt ’s beak-holding-letter-man.

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