Matt Taibbi is a journalist and author. He has reported on politics, media, finance, and sports, and has authored several books including: Insane Clown President, Griftopia, and The Business Secrets Of Drug Dealing.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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service with a special offer that includes a four week. Trial plus postage and a digital scale go to stamps dot com click on the microphone at the top of the home page and type in JRE that stamps dot com and enter Jry. All right. My guess today, I'm very excited to talk to this guy because I've been a fan of his writing for a long time, he's one of my favorite journalists and you've? No, doubt heard of 'em. If not go research all this stuff and go Google him he's the please give it up for Matt Taibbi. The countdown gives me anxiety are gonna, stop doing accountancy. Look. I spell my alpha brain damage. What is EL,
The brand is brain juice. It's like a cognitive, enhancing supplement, really yeah you ever with neutral picks. You know neutral Pixar. Now you have an extra one for for sure. The new tropics are essentially the building blocks for human Neuro. Transmitters, the improve your memory not to radically not like you're with mid afternoon warning that stuff. Now now now the daffodils like pro vigil. It's they give the fighter pilot yeah yeah, I'm talking about, helps, keep them awake. I was a doctor, so yeah you have a doctor yeah my what my wife is a doctor, all your wife, DR that's perfect. So she knows about all that jazz. But there was just an article recently about it: improving cognitive performance. You can probably have to bite into that yeah.
Yeah some it's good to meet demand. I've always enjoyed your I'm gonna been a fan for ever. So. Thank you me to look for it. I've enjoyed your writing for sure, and did you get that you got there? I don't know two after blindness yeah there you go man ill get scissors got it. James gets, as is for, if you wanna with us, I got it right out There we go. So let's talk about what just talking about you about, you wrote a book with a guy now drug dealing and he was going to come on where in a mass yeah, he wanted to come on wearing a Barack Obama mask. Actually it's actually really funny the whole SIRI is really fun. I'm writing this book. I spelled it too. It's cool business secrets of drug dealing uh. You can find it at business secrets of drugdealing dot com and I'm serialising it but
basically somebody I knew for ages. In a completely different capacity sort of came out to me last year. And said uhm, you know: I've been a high level drug dealer for a law time. Basically, my whole life tell a story about. You know sort of the whole progression of his life. What kind of drugs only things that grow out of the ground, so he started off. This is a is an african american guy. He started you start off counseling mushrooms, he he sort of grew up, half in the projects and half in an upscale suburb, and he in the upscale suburb he sold mushrooms, which he b we got through mail order at a time
early in this sort of history of the internet. When there were some loopholes about things, you get spores right, yeah. Well, actually you could get the actual railing yeah yeah. Now so he ends up having this whole career. The, and He wanted to sort of explain to me what the rule the game where and do sort of a book version of the ten crack commandments, and so we sat down and we couldn't quite or how to do it at first, but we ended up ascent doing a sort of fictionalized version of of his life and progression is amazing because he he goes from being dealer in all these different parts of the country and if
social spheres. He is in college. He deals to rich white kids. He deals on the street and in touch- and you know a tough urban neighborhoods, and then ends up sort of in the legal business in this state. And as a lawyer, no, no, no, no, no! He legal, marijuana, oh yeah and so he's describing that world, which is not there misconceptions about it there. There are some things about it that are not known Terribly well, like you know what you do when you work a you know at a at a for farm and your crop test dirty, you know, with with a contaminant Well, you know, not everybody just throws it away. You know a lot of that stuff ends up. Cross country, goes to other markets.
And he sort of describes a lot of this like what contaminants would that be like fungal or yeah like like, like a fungus, something like that You know there are labs that basically have to clear. You know from what I understand that have to clear each of the crops and- and there are situations where you know, there's a whole bunch of crop and you got workers to be paid, and what do you do with it? and the legal market isn't big enough uh to accommodate all the stuff. That's grown, and There's sort of still kind of a black market that goes on and he describes this, and but even before that it's just a fascinating book about. You know all the diff things that he learned in the course of his career, about how to get. You know, do the job but not get caught. How to
rig a load to drive cross country. How do you do a dummy car? The story about how? Basically you want four cars? You want the guy in the front seat to be to be to look like a drug deal. I have a terrible record drive badly uh, basically to attract the police and the third car is the load car, the second car sort watching to see. If there's there's cops in either direction and then the fourth car is basically driving up behind the load card is sort of prevent anybody from seeing the license plate and that sort of thing- and so he just talks about all this stuff and it's fascinating and um a new kind of writing for me, because I've never really anything except straight journalism and we sort of had to do it, narrative form and so we're putting it out Seriale online right now, which is really
so. You did one of those chin change the names to protect the innocent to exactly yeah yeah but or the guilty yeah yeah yeah, but my and for the most part based on facts, yeah Yes, yes, the situations were, let's just say realistic. You know right yeah and his. You know the odds things were that that you did brides are all you know, things that he actually learns. The situations are relatively close to things that actually happened so that's interesting. So that's available now yep again it's business secrets of drug dealing, dot com, it's it's the kind of a new thing. I I I I I. I grew up a huge fan of realized detective stories. I was a big fan of like Daschle Hammett and Raymond Chandler, and I love to black mask magazine, which was the big pulp Nawar magazine in the twenties and thirties.
Then you know I grew up reading all those stories and I always it was in back in my mind always that I wanted to try this an write, a book on a deadline. So I'm doing this now it's it's basically co written with this anonymous character. Who canopy with me on shows like this uh anywhere because he has he's still not captured and so is? Are their warrants? for this guy, no he's never been picked up, never been arrested, never been interested, no yeah. It sounds like a smart dude. He is a smart dude. He is Usm it did in some of his employers would be very surprised to know that he's got hobby like this. It's funny, you know, you know. I knew him again. I knew him for years and didn't have the faintest clue that that this was this was going Did he keep a job in order to avoid suspicion? So the book is actually
structured with all these rules. Each chapter has has rules in it. One of his most important rules is always have a job, and it's for number of reasons number one. He talks about how, when he was young, he worked at places like you know, Marriott or Applebee's and he's like if you can serve have the patients to serve people at an Applebee's and not blow up and scream at people, then you won't screw up the package like, in other words, if, if you can- Have this self discipline to actually get through one of these jobs an not blow up and be crazy, then you're going to handler handle yourself well at a car. Stop that's fascinating! So he is it almost like as a discipline exercise, he used it as a discipline exercise. He learned, among other things like uh. Another word for these rules is dressed like an off duty. Is Applebee's waiter right, like
do not dress anything talks about this about how most dealers they learn their there profession. By watching my movies, you know, there's no there's no book out there. I mean it's not like this mission is growing up. Reading the old iceberg, slam or Donald Goines novels or whatever it is they're watching. You know the wire or blow or mark now or whatever it is, but dealers very like dealers, you can you can kind of spot. Am you know, and he says that's exactly the opposite of what you have to do there Sperry shoes wear boring clothes. Look like you know you you're, on your wait up to your freshman, english class or whatever it is, and you know, sound, like a nerdy college. When the cops Are you over and
stuff, is sort of central to his his whole worldview about how to avoid getting caught. Wow great book book. It I mean it is it's it's. It's really fun and the fact that that the now, the co author is actually a person who's pulling this off makes it makes it really interesting and it makes it uh a real challenge to write it too because I had to kind of simulate his voice and kind of communicate to people what what those situations were like and what things look like from his point of view, and obviously I'm white and he's african American, and that's that's too a friend it. But you know it yeah. I think it works it's kind of a cool story, but it must've been a juicy like when you found the subject last night boy. We got something here. Yes, six Super juicy yeah, I know it's so much fun. I haven't had this much fun like fun, fun, writing anything.
For a long time, because You know most most criminal memoirs and again I grew up a junkie inter reading the stuff I love. I love books, that are written after the fact by people who were in crime. You know, like Pappian was one of my favorite books growing up. I mean it's amazing story about not just crying but about prison. What's that like, but they're all is written by people after they got caught right. And so there's never that book by the person who still out there and talking about what outlaw life is like successfully still on the other side of the law and that that it is fascinating. It's just a it's a completely new thing, and- and he has all these insights that I that I would never have thought about like he talks about how um there's a thing he calls
good price like you, when you're dealing with selling to in black neighborhood, even he charges a higher price because there is more, there are more problems that you inevitably run into when you're dealing in neighborhoods because there's more cops, which means more lawyers, which means more security, which means more attention to detail. When you deal to rich white kids, this is paying attention. So you just there's less overhead. You know in the business which is which is fascinating. It's it's and you know he talks all about this and and he yeah he has. He spent the lifetime kind of just keeping all this stuff in his head, always one to put it down, and he just got to be too much, and you just sort of tap me on the shoulder one Dayton. So can we have lunch? I just want to talk to you about something
How long did you know him before this? I would say three years used for years: yeah yeah, something like that. Easy yeah it was well. We had to trust you. Well, I'm glad we decided not have him on because he would get busted yeah exactly. I would be happy to talk to about that. Yeah yeah, like you, can't like, if you on something and you had a mask on people go. That's right, it'll be somebody listening to him. Maybe he doesn't understand that there is milk the people listening totally agree. Hundreds of those people would go. That's whatever it's MIKE, that's John, whatever his name is get it even the even the Unibomber got caught, and you only talk to like two people specially to day with this Jeff sessions, mother and all my God, yeah Laci's, scary yeah, just since it was should the same hour that they're going to actively separate parents from their children if they catch illegals coming over with their families. I mean that
this vindictive and fucking evil. Yeah now and it's funny, I trump, obviously one on the cam, main trail and I watched sort of the progression of his thought on or not, but as as it is on on things like immigration, an it seem to me that he included very quickly that people just want to be mean to in work immigrants. He just it's not so much the policy. He was very non specific about that whenever you could be, he just wanted say things that that that feel vindictive and cruel and nasty and so doing something to children is just just monstrous? You know, but sessions is a real creep. Oh, it's horrible he's a scary guy like one of the things that he said is good people don't smoke marijuana. Just saying that alone. Do you know how
hey Grandma's out there with cancer or smoking marijuana. Of course, you know fuck, you crazy asshole, just the fact that someone could be in such a position of influence and say something like that. Right like this, isn't is your dad saying that good people don't smoke marijuana? He goes out in the yard and fucking smokes a cigarette. This is this is Jeff Hardy, general yeah, exactly are fine, yeah and- and you know, when you take ignorance and then the full weight of the executive branch. You know, especially the anti drug app. You know? That's that's a terrible trouble combination and it's too bad, because I think I think even the law enforcement You know it was kind of coming around on this. You know they then want to be picking up people for One we'd I mean I I talked to for my last book about the Eric Garner case. I talked to lots of and then they just hate having to do that. You know those those buster not fun for them. Well, the Eric Garner,
places to go, got choked in New York right yeah, exactly cigarettes, which is even even more even dumber, yeah yeah and that's cops having to do that. That's not even a misdemeanor ride to York, and you know if you got it, if you get a drag somebody in for selling a fifty cent cigarette, like you know, that's not exactly Serpico. You know what I mean like and cops: don't pay you don't join the force dreaming of doing that. So but yeah I mean the the sessions thing is to herbal yeah having that guy in that kind of position and saying things like good people, don't smoke marijuana or you know when families come across the border illegally. We're going to separate the parents from the children like the fuck is wrong with you, and then you throw in a good joke, dose of the Jesus or Jesus of Random yeah, exactly scary, fucking time, at least. Trump is said that he's going to he's not not going to support sessions on going after marijuana in states where it's legal is going to leave the states to take care of it themselves
that's encouraging the problem with Donald Trump and then something that I didn't clue into until I'd spent a lot of time, watching the guy and following him around. Is that he can sound like he believes something very deeply an you can be absolutely convinced that he even lie logically thinks it thinks of thing, but hell. I have a meeting with somebody and five: minutes later alive completely the opposite opinion. So I have no confidence that Donald Trump will. Anything that he says that that it will stay his opinion on anything. You can be convinced to go to a complete one hundred and eighty on. Basically any issue which is scary, isn't he in some ways the perfect represent of America? Because of that absolutely he has no attention span and- and- and- and I I talked about this when I when I was covering him- because people's at all- what what is this billionaire New Yorker have in common with with
ordinary Americans. He has a lot in common with him. He has exactly the same media habits that they have. He reads the same dumb shit on the internet, has the same total inability to separate fact and fiction he's completely credulous. When he reads, A news item about something that he personally agrees with and he'll he'll tweet. It out seconds later before, he checks it out, which is like what every other american does. You know they get something on Facebook and Emily share it with. You know all their friends and This is this is an american thing now, just the total inability to logically look at things. Yeah in the short attention span Too short attention span drifting in and out of conversations not being able to pay. Tension to memos less and his name is in there one hundred times, yeah exactly like people. I know
sounds like American right right, and you know it's it's funny, because if you, if you watch Trump speech, actually better better. Yet if you read Trump speeches, it's they would pass out the text of what Trump was supposed to say before his, sense and so I'd be sitting there I'd be looking at the the remarks and they would be cogent from one end to the other, then we get up there and the first line would be like? Oh, it's so great to be back in Manchester NH, I always loved being here and that would be right and then he you're off and he would he would start saying one thing and then the other thing and his thoughts would drift in all these. Do directions and then, when you look at the actual transcript of what Donald Trump had said, he not only wasn't completing thoughts, he wasn't completing sentence. Is he talks in these sort of strange fragments and hill drift from one idea,
to another and they won't have any logical connection to each other, and people still responded to it, which tells you something both about him and about his audience right, because they're on the same weird mental Wavelength, where we're just sort of disconnected bits of of emotion and thought, is enough right isn't that weird I mean that is where it's really strange. Well, people don't know that someone's not smart if there dumber than the person right right yeah. I think what is revealing is what a small amount of time. Most p people spend actually thinking. Thinking of but ideas thinking about themselves. Thinking about behavior or thinking about the impact that who's in the position of president can have very few. People are out there. Actually thinking not mean relative
pretty large number overall but very few in terms of percentages in terms of the people that you can reach in the people that will show up at his press rallies. That's a big thing too right who the fuck is going to go to a campaign speech for anybody unless you're a journalist. Well, that's something because I've I've been to a million campaign rally this right, and my opinion on them is I would rather basically stick a railroad spike in my ear. Then then voluntarily go to one of these things right and not, you know not be paid to do it, because normally a campaign speeches like this supernaturally boring expiry. That's where a guy or a woman and up there an reads out a pre selected market tested list of political cliches that have no meaning whatsoever and that don't represent what they're actually going to do
is there an office anyway, so and if you have to listen to that forty or fifty times in a row, which is what happens when your car in campaigns like you want to kill yourself. So why anyone would go voluntarily to this in to to see that is. Entertainment is disorder beyond me, but that happened in in two thousand fifteen two thousand sixteen Trump's a very once were a little different. They were a little bit and I think he got a little bit this from his WWE experience like he turned them into these kind of menacing. Weird audience. Participation uh things where he would have the audience, turn on the press and shouted us and throw things, and you know, because we're always standing up on those risers and we have ropes around us. We look like
you, know, zoo animals or something and- and we were the representatives they hated to delete an heater area and he turned it into this sort of like physical, menacing intimate thing, and people will come from all over that come from down in the hills. You know and drive fifty miles to see this spectacle it was. It was fascinating to watch but kind of terrifying too. Well, the people have the people that are going to those things like boy. That is an odd group of humans that have decided. This is how you're going to spend your day you're going to go. Watch this guy rabble about fake news right he's going to ramble about this you're fake news and point the CNN guy. You are fake news. Oh yeah, yeah, fake news, an and terrible terrible ratings, and people like yes, yes, wave the flag, keep say things that make. You feel good, say things that write me absolutely absolutely and yeah. Look at these
soccer is that was a line that he that he used to pull out a lot. Look at these blood suckers. These people reporting information yeah, we again we'd be sitting there and a whole bunch. Reporters and were bunch of geeks and Bro shirts. You know we got that we got pads and we're kind of verse surrounded by you know. In some cases, fifteen thousand people who kind of turning in our direction, and you know in a couple of cases, you know there. It was definitely up in the air whether this was going to turn ugly or and in a few places it did turn ugly and and but he he was very clued in one thing I will say about trump- is that he has a uh, a Keenan think for audience. He knows where they are. He knows what their mood is. He knows what he has to do to get them to wake them up
this, the stir them up. He can tell when he's losing them. I mean that that is. That is one time that he does have, but it's it's an and negative talent for sure. Well, he uses it, certainly in a negative way, yeah absolutely how much attention you pay made it all to his use of diet. Pills have been following that at all. No that's fascinating. What is he using a lot of battles so glad I could talk to Matt? This is great. What was the reporter was at Washington Post? That first talked about it. They found that Duane Reade Pharmacy, where he was first prescribed diet pills by this doctor, who described for a nonexistent condition like metabolic deficiency or some shit like a metabolic disorder. I think he called it and it allowed him to prescribe in it was like a known prescriber of these things, like a doctor, feel good time guys go to him. He's got it he's got you covered, yeah met about
like this order. If you go back you're going to feel peppy all day and you supposed to be on the for a very short amount of time, he's on them for a long period of time, and this guy is reporter to print it out, tweet it out the actual Duane Reade Pharmacy, where Trump was filling this prescription and then now they they're saying that he's on some other diet pill, which is one the ingredients that was in Fen Fen. Do you member fan, fan yeah, absolutely, unfortunately, I know yeah yeah fence, Ben was something for people, don't know the young folks out there. There was a pill that people taking in the 1990s, and I knew a gal who was a very pretty girl, but she was large, and she got on the Fen Fen and I hadn't seen her in, like I don't know like six months or something, and I saw her and all sudden she was like one hundred and twenty pounds. So it's like what you amazing, like what are you doing like you,
exercising or something you go crazy and join a gym, and it's like no, I start taking this stuff called Fen Fen and she set alarm, couldn't stop talking and writing to see the little button on speed and she started having weird feelings with their hearts. So she stopped it and got off turns out. People are just dropping dead, it left and right off of this stuff and give you fucking heart attacks and all kinds of shit is hard core stuff, but they recognize that the combination of these two things was the issue, but one of these things by themselves is ok, so this one thing by itself is what they think he's on now, which makes sense the guy who is in his 70s, has so much energy. I mean they say he's up at five hundred o'clock in the morning watching Fox NEWS, and then he starts tweeting for five hundred and thirty in the morning, he's tweeting gets very little sleep. He drinks, like twelve diet, cokes a day mean the guys. Just he's got bow this energy when he was campaigning. That was the thing that was so stunning to Maine. I was like, I know what it is like to go on the road and just to stand up just to stand up when you,
Have you racked you fuck around? It's fun, you have a good time is fucking, whereas you out after a couple of days, oh yeah, one town, the next town by the time that third day rolls around your fucking beat down. This guy was do one day after day after day after day, ALA goods all great to see all you, wonderful people are going to make America great again. The wall got ten feet higher and everything is with Energi. This is the speculation, the speculation is he like, I mean I'm sure, you're aware many many journalists are on adderall, he's on something sure course. This is in my like the way I look at it. It's like this. Isn't but if of where America stands today, it's not just that he is it good representative Amera, because he is the same media consumption habits and the same inability to read books and all these different variables, but also because he's pilled up right is everybody in America, everybody in America right yeah. I understand people, I mean that's
there's a little bit of a president there, because you know Kennedy had so many physical problems. That not sure if you remember there was a book. The dark side of Camelot that can came out by side Hirsch, where it talked about how Kennedy in the morning used to have and as a secret service agent, give him a shot, basically amphetamines. Every morning and he would sort of pace around the oval office talking about who we want to whack today. You know and that this this was like the background for bay of pigs and- and you know all these other things, so it's very dangerous when a president is is being a pharmacy really altered when a person who is you know, if he's he's speed and he's tweeting it's to a nuclear power like I mean that would be a very ironic and uh
terrible way for all all of it all of us. The end did you find the tweet been looking for? It was hard to find the first time. I know who wrote it, but you know You got to that and put in your favourites, 'cause. We talk about it so many times you gotta figure. Way to save that and put it in a in, because bookmark was in like he had the Duane Reade Pharmacy and then there's the speculation about what the most recent stuff is, that he's on, which is again one ingredient in Fen Fen, but one of the things that they were thing. Is that when you look at the side effects of this stuff of the side effects is delusional perception of reality, delusions of grandeur? Of course, regression impulsiveness like all these, is that we associate with Donald Trump like we We don't even know who he is. We know who he is pilled up if this guys right right, which is fucking fascinate
right there. We might be dealing with essentially a pharmaceutical intervention. Into not just american lives in terms of individuals, but in terms of the way policy is driven right in the way the country moves for it might literally the pharmaceutical in that's very Philip K, Dick, but it could easily be true right easily be true. It all seems true right. It seems like, like I'm, not saying anything, that's Outlander's. First of all, not we'll talk about some. This real pills are, these bills are real we're talking about something is widely consumed. Everybody knows this, and we're talking about a guy was an extraordinary extraordinary amount of energy, for somebody doesn't work right. Dirt work out rather doesn't eat healthy right. And like what were you getting on this energy yeah? I know I mean I remember talking about this with some of the other reporters, because the campaign trail is incredibly grueling. There's a reason why some candidates can't do it or or
they ought to do lots of legacy. Media appearances or add, buys they travel lesson appear more. The people who and succeed, are the ones you can do three or four appearances a day flight A3 different cities a day, and they most of those people are either health freaks who, who are you know in good physical? Can Obama was definitely one of those people who had to have a run at some point, or else he couldn't do that schedule, but Donald Trump. You know you look at 'em in it's kind of a mystery here. It is there. It is fun fact in nineteen two trump started taking amphetamine derivatives abuse them only supposed to take two for twenty five days stay down for eight years really- and this is Kurt Eichenwald Right, White House Sub admitted it to me that only a short time for diet in quotes when he was not overweight. I countered with medical records they cut me off. People misread
being drug was diethylpropion. Seventy five milligrams, a prescription filled at Duane Reade on 57Th ST in Manhattan, though I don't know and know things doctor who wrote Prescription Doctor Joseph Green Berg diagnosed him with metabolic imbalance, which we have ever heard about again. Greenberg was later publicly slammed as someone who provided uppers to rich people in Manhattan, a metabolic imbalance in quotes, if true, could be electrolyte efficiencies, anaerobic imbalances, acid balances and assortment of related disorders that can have serious consequences. Yet his other doctor, Doctor Harrell Bornstein, said he had been Trump's doctor since one thousand nine hundred and eighty and had never mentioned the metabolic imbalance found by Greenberg
save that and bookmark. It now find out what the other stuff 'cause he was in just to just Google. Trump is on one of the ingredients in Fen Fen. So I googled that that came up and like a Gawker article, Soccer are called Walker, two thousand and sixteen that said he was on venture without the actual name of the venture mean yeah so This is what they think is on now venture mean. Yes, which is also a stimulant, which is makes sense. If that guy is telling the truth, Kurt Eichenwald is telling the truth. That means that he was on pills, amphetamines for eight years, which me, tl- is having good results. So if he was rumored doctor prescribes Donald Trump, keep speed- and this is a Ashley. What is their name Ashley Feinberg Ashley Feinberg? Who is a really good reporter? Well, I'm sure she's right yeah it makes like fucking makes
sands, absolutely it makes sense. Absolutely I mean everybody have a very best held up, and- and you know I I I don't you know how a person who is dietes, cheeseburgers and diet coke could run for president without fried chicken with a fork and knife with a weirdo. You see that no, I have never gone on the Trump jet eating fried chicken with a fork and knife. That alone are you he only in a trump suit. So I wouldn't know that because they don't keep the press in a separate plane. Yeah there you go. That is so my god. Look at the bucket yeah eating, fried chicken with a fork and knife, see that's bad. I mean I think it I. I would think ordinary America would dig him for that, because Just use your fingers you're supposed to use your fingers just put your face in it. If you have to you know you doing man fork and knife fried chicken, you got damn elitist.
Amazing Fen Phen was actually the the was the name of the very cheap speed that used to be imported. When I lived in Russia, it was. There was a type of speed that used to come from the Baltics. That alleged really you know. The urban legend was was that the sees had all their soldiers on a cheap speed for the long March is going into into Russia, and they set up these pharmaceutical plants and and again the street legend was that that was what this drug was, but they call it fan. So I wasn't that the origin, the origins of methamphetamines wasn't methamphetamines created by the Nazis. I believe it was, and I think this is one of the speculations as to why they could get sue side bombs, the kamikazes to
slam: their jets and two aircraft carriers loaded more medals, rice messed up right now we have. Let's go pills right now, yeah! That's that's what they're called well. That's also yeah that would we do there's. Definitely some speed that gets prescribed and steroids wrestled soldiers, eight, maybe talk to people that have been in you know. They'll they'll tell you about what different things that they allow them to take and gave them to take that stuff is that's really common. And then I I know a lot of fighter pilot pilots will take that keeps you from getting sleepy keeps you alert awake, and there was also something Hillary Clinton supposed beyond really yeah she's supposed to be home, and after all, that was one of the things that she admitted to and it's legal it's a weird have tried that now it's a weird one doesn't speed you up
in terms of like heart rate is not like, like drinking five cups of coffee, but it does give you this weird sense of alertness, fucking, really awake, that's it's kind of good, it's got a good yeah. I have a buddy of mine, is a writer who he's got some health issues and he he's on it all the time he said. If I don't take a message really yeah yeah. Well, I mean slim, it sounds sounds perfect for writers, so look at that photo can add and slim by by taking him better mean, look at her. She looks happy. It looks really happy super happy now. They should have the next day picture how she's dead been dead for decades. He died today after they took that picture. What is this one tons of 'em bordine she can now. She can cook
office again when you prescribe New Morton Dean Morton morning Dean more to dean. What is more, the David, so you take it in the morning you wake shop while she can make breakfast again thanks, honey browse around world yeah she's, going to put a line on that on that spatula, after after she's done, and just right, yeah there was, I think there was a time where people didn't understand how bad that stuff was for you, and this is probably a lot of people. Right? Well, I think we're probably going through a similar period. Now where, with all kinds of stuff is being prescribed that we're gonna find out fifty years from now, like really look alike, we prescribed adderall to fifty million children or whatever it was, I'm sure like the it's. It's gonna see monsters, I think sure some Sunday Prozac Adderall yeah
and the numbers of SSR eyes that are prescribed needlessly like who knows how many people actually need those things versus how many people just having a bad day and went to the doctor, and they give you something numbs you up. Right right and how many how many schools are are mandated to you know to put in a bunch of kids on on these drugs. I think, probably in hindsight, some of that is going to look really bad. When I was looking for sure means we're experimenting experimenting on people's brains, an absolutely These pharmaceutical companies have billions hours in massive influence and they're making it so this stuff is Ok, maybe just had a look at the number of people that are dying just dying from opiate pills, if those were illegal, drugs would be saying, there's a there's, a method to guide them epidemic, absolutely yeah yeah, but the there's, no, question that it's a conscious strategy to get people hooked and get them taking.
Those pills for it in every conceivable scenario, so that they will see come out in other areas in the end and not legally yeah. I I think the but some Some prosecutor is going to have to figure out some way to get to hold some of those companies accountable, because they're definitely doing that on purpose but even if they do it seems like they just it's like the tobacco thing they get paid right. They pay off a few billion dollars, it's barely scratches a debt and- and they write it all off Jack up the price of everything a little bit over the course of ten years of balances. Fell to zero right right right. A couple of movies will be made, but the same thing will happen: yeah yeah forward, yeah yeah, exactly like that Russell Crowe Movie, the insider yeah. That was great yeah. It was a good movie. It was a good movie. It was actually kind of more movie about about the death of the press is a turn. But then it was a movie about the death of the tobacco industry, but yeah it was. It was really interesting what
Do you like being a reporter and being a jerk? almost rather today, with all this fake news talk, like this. This is a new thing. This whole calling something fake news. There's Certainly is manufactured stories things that just aren't true websites that just designed to get people to click on them and they have crazy stories that didn't really happen, but they're pretty obvious right. Yeah and I think a lot of what people call fake news is just news that is very heavily slanted in one direction, and you know people people talk what about? How Fox is fixed, fake news well most of the time when you watch fox what they're just doing, is they're selectively picking out stories that they know are going to rile up their elderly freaked out terrified. Audience you know, and so they they pick out the four or five things that are actually happy
around the world? They they can do that without lying yeah. I know they. Don't they don't have to make this stuff up. They can find them. The line up of facts that they want, but you have to working as a journalist now is, is very, very different. The business is undergoing extremely rapid change and it's not some thing that we really have reckoned with, we haven't, sat down and had a discussion about where this is all going in how we can fit Is it because the This is changing in a way that is extremely negative and no ones talking about how to reverse that. Like long form, investigative reporting is started to disappear. Here in the 80s, but it's accelerated to the point where there's almost none of that now, almost everybody who works in the business is doing quick hits and
It's almost no time left to do. You know kind of real real hardcore investigative work. An we've trained. Our audience is also to be unable to consume that kind of stuff. So you know we're out we're all basically doing click bait now and- and I think it's real- it's a really big dark time in our business. Well, it's it's also, this weird time, transitioning between paper and Digital and trying to get people to pay for digital. I mean I subscribe to a few of them online Washington, Post New York Times where you pay, but I don't think very many people. Doing that. I think it's probably a small amount of people that are paying right. You know, I think the New York time It gives you like ten articles a month or something like that for free right and then like come on man you're here every day time to pay up. They give you like a little countdown. Then you like. Oh, this is a good article.
Alright, I'm going to pay yeah, and this is a fascinating sort of subplot to what happened to the media business, because a lot of that is because This is something that Google did along time ago. They had this thing called the first click rule, which is sort of mandated that all all news sites, have at least some free content, or else the algorithm would push the the new story far down on the search results right. So if you, if you didn't, have free content on your site, if you didn't meet, Google First click rule when you search for a new story, you just wouldn't find it. So all of these, in the early days of sort of Digital Ellison, all the news companies offered their content basically for free and that trained audiences to not pay for journalism, basically
and it's it's pretty hard to put the Genie back in the bottle and tell everybody to go back and and pay for everything it just doesn't work that way so we're in this place, where everybody sort of consuming free media, and not only that there is this. The additional problem of the internet platforms like Facebook and Google pushing news that they already know. People are going to agree with two users, so there's there's, there's sort of less news that challenges people they're just not going to see it. You know, because that's not the way the algorithms work, the algorithms are really confusing. So the algorithms like will actively pick out things they think you'll be interested in yeah. So if you're, someone who is got a particular set of interested, it becomes sort of an echo chamber, your Google search becomes an echo chamber.
I have that Google NEWS app on my phone will check it every morning see what's going on, but it's all shit that I'm interested in right right. It's prob a little bit worse on Facebook. Then it is on Google, but as it's, Google, you at least have some some control over what you search for right, but even Google will will prompt you with things right like so, but with with both of them. There are accumulating lots and lots of information about your, not only about what you read, but about the things that you buy, the movies that you watch what your predilections probably are. What your opinions, your political stances, and so they pick out news stories that they think are your likely to endorse or spend a lot of time reading, which, like It means that you're never going to see a news story that says you personally are responsible for something bad right. That's like thing why
and you will see a lot of news stories. Let's say your neighbor is responsible for something bad. That's one of the reasons why I like divisiveness is a conscious commercial strategy. It's just it's a natural result of a lot of a lot of these haters. What is the mean age of people that are watching Fox news you're talking about? Well, it's like people free sixty eight is really had said something ridiculously old and and that's true, all the all the cable networks they're on MSNBC yeah, even MSNBC, the you know, it's it's worse with fox and and uh and cnn- and I don't want to- I don't want to misquote it, but I know there all like above sixty five, so tv, sixty eight you're right. Look at that median age, prime time, Fox NEWS
Do we do? We have a MSNBC sixty five, the Youngins CNN, sixty all their little kids, wow, yeah and so A lot of that has to do with the fact that young people just don't watch television right leg right like done yeah done so that they're getting their news some other way, they're, not getting it yeah. I they're not getting in that yeah like send you two videos reading almost no news right exactly I mean it's it's supposed to like. When I was a kid. The ice deliver newspapers read newspapers quite a bit: do you have to do the globe yeah? me too, I was glad paper. Where is your route? Let's see I had one in Hingham I had one in Norwell yeah. I did mostly Newton Newton. I did the globe, I did the Herald Boston Herald an id. Delivered the New York Times for awhile, but just so I didn't
the New York Times is interesting because it wasn't didn't pay as well, and there were a larger routes like you had to go much further, because there was very few houses that would get the times, but you felt, like you, were doing something special ever in the New York Times? The prestige Adam how to- and they had clear, blue plastic bags- oh wow times at a blue bag like the Boston Globe, clear bags. Yeah delivered is in clear bags, but the times in a barrel should have been in a brown paper bag like a like a or something like that right, the date. How do they deliver like the Daily NEWS and the post in New York? Does that could deliver yeah I mean they must uh yeah they have they have subscriptions and, and the times is is the the daily news. Definitely does have a delivery for sure yeah. I would think so now, but but that yeah I and I I just spent a lot of time-
writing about this- that that model, where newspapers had this day direct relationship with their readers right, like they not only owned, do the content and created the content, but they also to completely control the distribution right. They they had the trucks they had. The the paper. Kids like us right that was all part of what gave the press its power is that we were. We had the unique ability to reach all these people. Well, you know once the internet came along, they cut that in half right so now. The distribution is all Google and Facebook and the content is all made by somebody else, so it's it makes it very difficult to make money
hey and then be you just don't have that that personal relationship with the with the you, the consumer anymore, which is which is a completely different paradigm? I do you think, there's a connection notebook to ponder this myself. It seems like, in the early days of the internet, 1a big factor with the music industry for show or was Napster now it came along, and then people got this initial taste of getting a bunch of stuff that you normally paid for for free get just get tons of it and then so the, internet sort of got associated with being a free thing. And then there was bit torrent and through bit you can get films and all kinds of different stuff. You could download movies and, and people just started filling up hard drives with this stuff that they would get off a bit torn and in my mind at least it became this connection with the internet stuffs free, so much stuff free like. Why do I pay for this right? And it's free and I've tried to say this to friends who get involved with podcasting, who have
over from radio like just friends that have been fired from radio jobs like you know what I'm going to start a podcast and charge people five bucks a month did you do that people like why the fuck would I pay or I get Adam Corolla, for free right, Joey, Diaz for free. Why would I pay five dollars for you right, No, absolutely no, the the the the audience expectations now or that they're gonna get free content, everything's for it, yeah, everything's, free and obviously that has huge consequences, because that forces people who create the kind to get the money from somewhere else. They are. They have to be sponsored by an advertiser who might have certain expectations. But it, No, it's certainly not good for the people who make content that that that it's like that, yeah and and
I think, a lot of bad habits with with with the readers to I mean they, they just you know, rather than rather than look for the best stuff they just look for what's available and what they can read for free also. I think it opens up the door to all this. Wacky advertising were pop up ads and and scroll down ads, like you, try to scroll down a screen in the ad follows with you without God, so annoying right, it's weird yeah, just it's it's there, so invasive and they're everywhere. Even on really good websites like like say, if you go to CNN, you get the real stories and then below you get this to that looks like stories, but there's a very faint print. It says paid content right and then you get it like you're, not going to believe what she looks like now, where she look like that, and then you click and you told me out brain yeah. I can't even find out what she looks like now. 'cause you gotta go through forty other
people, those like now too, and then finally, you get it. Sometimes you don't even get to the original one, so you're confused. I guess I think it's better. If they don't satisfy, you does any just go back to the rest, the site. Well, what does he look like you know? You know you go to all these different that those like one of those pages that you go to, where there's just dozens and dozens of windows and boxes. You can click on different individual, like clicky bait stories, where you go to each one of them in the take you to forty pages of different people that have gained weight or LOS wait or poor now or whatever it is. But that's one of the things that's really bad about. That is that if you spend enough time doing that your brain stops being able to do other things, you know when you're reading books- Books require you to sit there, an construct in your head, all
all the visuals for everything that you're reading you have to imagine what the people look like. You have to. You know do all this mental work to construct the scene right. So your brain is actively engaged in this. Really highly specific and creative way right, but internet now just has it moving from place to place clicking from place to place going from sensation to sensation. You don't have to pawn there anything you don't have to have an opinion about anything. You don't have to look at both sides of anything. You just have to move from one thing to another to the next thing, which is what you're talking. So that's the way his brain works right like and it's it's a. I think it's a bad thing, no, it's not only bad in itself, but it makes it impossible for us to do the other thing you know, which is which is more constructive, yeah. So it's almost like mental range of motion like if you're
but somehow another year joints were restricted, where you could only like move a certain amount after awhile you would lose your full range of motion. Absolutely it gets at perfect, yeah. I have a hard time. Reading books now than I did when I was probably eleven years old and and that's just from and you're a writer right, I'm a writer. I mean you know I, but I still I find that I have a harder time doing. The work yeah, and that's difficult or like when I when I was younger, I read more fiction which, which is harder because it Requi Are you to do more? You know sort of mental construction work. Now it's much. If I'm going to read a book, it's typically non fiction which is linear, which is an argument right. It's it's it's it's less. It requires less work of the right right. It may be just as interesting, but it just requires less work. So, like the hardest thing to re, it is you know Anna Karenina or something like that right,
yeah, see you. You have to not only think, but you have to construct, but with your just read You know the diary of Kim Kardashian or something like that, you're just you're, just kind of listening to somebody. You know like that, so I I I think it's bad having all the stuff is negative, but I don't know, maybe I'm an old fogey about it. Well, I I definitely think it's not the most ideal in terms of constructing a healthy mind right right, but but it's what we got yeah and it's it's weird. It's a weird time absolutely and it's and you know, there's there's lots of positive things. The positive things are like that anybody can have a voice now, and anybody who has something interesting to say can be instantly elevated and have an audience overnight and that's great right, like you know the the in the in the all days, if you you to penetrate this ridiculous oligarchy of enter, came in people who, who really only tightly controlled, who got access to what who got to be at you know, I
have an audience and now you get to bypass that entirely. Instead of directly appeal to people, which is great, I mean that's an amazing thing, but then you get you stars right yeah and I get little Tay right yeah. I went down little Tay rabbit hole the other day you fucking Asshole Jamie, told me about little said he would tell me about little tank, so I went down this crazy rabbit and then I read this Jezebel article about another writer who went down a little Tay rabbit, hole and so went down that rabbit all. Oh, my god, wait, who is little tea will say, is a nine year old girl is famous now on the internet for talking shit and showing all the money she has and all the things she buys. If you don't know bout little to no. This is the death of society. Little Taze, the death of society. Lil little tank, and we can- we see yes for sure, meet Lil Tay, the youngest flexer of flexor of the century, who makes cash me
outside girl. Look like a skull, she's fucking, nine dude. I have a nine year old. This is crazy. Play play this video Jamie, so he can stand with little titties all about that's her Lamborghini gets out. Tell Jake extra money. Ladies and gentleman next for the night stately and he's he's ballot. In the background I mean this is what we're doing
this is what we're doing. This is where society is doing. This makes honey boo boo, look like Marie Curie. You know what I mean. Goddamnit get three hundred and thirty seven thousand Likes Goddamnit Jamie. What have you done we are here stuntin on all y'all broke ass, haters 500K in cash, and this Lambeau cost more than you college tuition, I'm nine an! I ain't got no license. Apparently all our shits rented you embarrassed to admit this, but I would watch this over reading my own articles, so what the I'm gonna lose give up and what to do what to do when we do, we will squares little Tay in forty years. That's what I'm lighthouse. Definitely the White House,
where else after Kanye's children, women, yeah, she's, good she's going to be next, I mean that's an interesting thought. Exercise though, like where do you go down from dollar travel? I mean because the progression has to go down right. We we all, does it because I remember when Bush who is president talking to reporters Bush used to do this thing where he would carry around a biography of Dean Aitchison, for we sixteen weeks and weeks, just to prove to reporters that he could read. We always joke with each other like nobody, nobody stupider than this is ever going to be president, and now you know you look back and and bushes, you know he's he's like onsite compared to to to to trump. I had a job that I did back in my netflix special from two thousand five, when Bush was in office, where it was a bunch of people were trying to figure out how dumb people are and they're like the uh
only way they like their speculation. Let's get a smart guy to act, unlike no. No, you gotta get a real dumb guy was will never know, God have a real dumb guy and then so they get the real dumb guy and they put up do a bunch of things. You know they. They vote him in a second, time, and then someone in the back of the room goes, I think we can go down and this is where we are right. This is a bit from two thousand and five, but you know thirteen years later life imitates art. We went way dumber, that's why right well do a lot, which seems super reasonable and compare listen to some of the shit. That Trump says in terms of like Supreme Court rulings and like there was a Supreme court ruling that went against bushes way, while he was in office and he had a really reasonable response. He was like, of course, were disappointed, but we have to abide by the court and their ruling and like something you would never hear Trump say: I've never hear him say something like that. No
salute I mean I I'd. Look back and Bush seems to me almost like a scandinavian statesman could compared to Donald Trump it will take. She would go to the White House to you know. A lot of people did wanna go to the White House for the inauguration hull table go Shogo, I mean the way it's going to look like the White House in Idiocracy when she, when she's in there right, I mean it's, it's it's it's going to be terrible, but well that was weird time to write like during the inauguration when no celebrities wanted to go, and they really dig out like really weird, like real fucking on the skirts celebrities Hosea, and it is same thing with the are and see I cover I member I cover the Rnc and and and they had to have Scott Bayo.
Do one of the first day speeches yeah they got. There was a huge supporter right, but I mean I know Scott had known, firstly, yeah very nice guy, I'm sure is I'm sure this guy yeah yeah, but that was there that was there a list for the Republican National Convention and outside of you know like Hannity's, and write those type fellas right right, exactly yeah yeah, this fascinating yeah. It is it it's just it's just weird. It's it just seems like everything is off like we skip dimensions. We like jolted over. Is a parallel world where things just don't seem like at least things used to make Celica, be disappointed to this guy one or would be disappointed in the country was doing this or that we were invading Iraq or whatever it was, but it would I have seem like the world right well, this is
it's kind of like what we're talking about. We were talking about before I mean previously like the entertainment industry. Politics was tightly controlled by a small group of cigar, jumping people who sat in the back room and in both parties they they had a they carefully out, kind of sort of narrow range of acceptable political opinions and and in one party you could be all the way up to. You know somebody like RON Paul, but they tended to put somebody like George Bush as the as the candidate, but you know there was no directly appealing to the elector it and asking them who they want it to be the and it I mean Donald Trump, is really the first internet president. He completely bypassed that entire uh Garki, he didn't have to go through. You know the priesthood to get be president which, on the one hand, is eh,
and it's a good thing, because it's actually more democratic than this. The this the system was before, where it was pretty much close to everybody, except for a few people who paid their dues through the system, but Trump direct. We are just by being famous and just by attracting media attention, he was able to bypass all the usual tests and bypass the parties. You know this in making process and he got to be president, but he's like little ok right I mean he just represents the dumber side of us as opposed to the more enlightened side of us, so it it's hard to know what to think about it. I mean I thank you when I was covering it. I thought. On the one hand, this is evidence that you know the electorate is breaking away for being told who to vote, for, on the other hand, the first time they take it that freedom out for a test drive. This is what they pick. I mean well, at least it throws a giant monkey wrench into the gears right. Yeah absolutely
certainly done that yeah, but you know what the result that will be, is yet to be determined to be determined yeah, I mean it could be the end of uh. I said this before that. You know, when I was covering the Trump run. Part of me wanted to write it as a comedy like all the early stories were like highly comic. I was trying to write about the funny aspect of it. And then after he became president, it's like, This thing: that's ever happened in America. It's the end of civilization right. Does that make it funnier, that's the end of civilization. I don't know I mean you're the you're, a comic so you'd. I should. I should ask you, I don't know either it's well, it's it's all depending upon how it plays out right. I mean civilizations of absolutely fallen in the past with this idea that civilization won't fall in my opinion
it can to the people that live on the big island. Thinking that the volcano won't erupt again right right, yeah, exactly it happened, it's going to happen again, yeah like so. What are ideas about maintaining civilization are in attempt to prolong this state or mitigate any possible disastrous effects of collapse right, but it's going to fall apart. It's an old cyst! that was constructed on scrolls by people. Writing with feathers really had no idea what the future had install right. This is just we. We didn't didn't know what the future in store. They had no idea they they they would've, been terrified by toothbrush. Yes, right, yeah! Well, certainly by a airplane, cellular communication and we live in a world that requires uh, completely new set of rules and guidelines, and you know this is
it's been the article against the second amendment like okay did they had muskets when they wrote this, they didn't have a r fifteens the right. He didn't have fifty caliber guns that can kill things, one miss them right playing a video yesterday, a guy shooting a deer and with a fifty caliber rifle, and he misses the deer and it still kills the deer. The bullet going past the deers head, just of sheer force of blows. The deers brains out in full sound said. Is that actually happened? Yeah? Why I want to watch it yeah, absolutely pull it up. Keep that one on the favourites to make a folder for shit. Repetitively talk about yeah. When I was embedded in Iraq. They they took me out
the guys apparently for recreation names date. They cut cars in half with fifty Cal Calabrese yeah. There's that here's the gun now watch this. He misses boom and what's it just fall down dead from the bullet, passing it. This is Jesus by it. The force of the bullet passing by he's psyched right, yeah yeah, but watch the slow mo. This falls down, thank God disguised camel on one million miles away literally sitting on a bench he's on a bench doing something in the distance axis deer up in the deer's brains. It is completely scrambled. No, no, no bullet wound at all. Nothing, no hole
dead. That's a horror movie waiting to happen. This year's going to wake up in the middle of the night and and reanimate, and what brains coming out of the ears, so everything is coming out of the ears just from the sheer force of the bullet, passing it she's This is not All I'm saying is: it would be a good time to reconsider how we run things right and I think one of the good things about having a guy like Trump in office is, maybe we should sit down and say: hey, probably, shouldn't have a popularity contest, see who controls the nukes right. Yeah see is the commander in chief of the greatest army. The planet has ever known by far the most destructive force. The planet has ever known shouldn't. We the least find out if he's on diet pills shouldn't be at least shouldn't be said. Mister president would like a urine sample from you.
Yeah exactly have to the test. Your p, if you work at, U P S right, you know right yeah, right, yeah, yeah! No, I think they did there's. There should be more than a pee test for watching a nuclear strike, definitely speak a lot lot of changes yeah and the one thing I'm hoping is that this this presidency in this, the the whole idea of like having a popularity contest, will allow people to realize, like first of all, we shouldn't have one alpha champ running things that that's an antiquated idea. That was really great in a tribe of fifty nomads come together, and you have the wisest strong this one with the most battle experience. That guy should be running things he knows more than I do right, get it. Let's vote for orc, work is, what's the guy with the knowledge you know, it makes sense, but one is three hundred and fifty million people and you have the ability to manipulate things, and you have tweets and Facebook posts and right make wacky little teh videos we're not designed for this. Now now
and we have some structures that rely on Popularity contest and some that have public has no over whatsoever, like Federal Reserve like it does. A lot of it makes no sense at all and how net neutrality got passed with five different p Boleware, how it got rescinded right right, yeah, exactly yeah yeah. No, I mean it's. The system doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. The Congress Non current congressional race is now, in the run up to twenty eighteen, Anne You know the process is almost one hundred percent about money. It's just like you know, like I talked to a guy who jumped in the ring to run for a seat in the in the 19th district, and he told me look up the National Party and they basically had two two questions for him like? Can you raise three hundred thousand within the next three months, and can you braise one million dollars by election day? An you know. That was the whole
the conversation and it has to be based on more than something more than how much money can you raise a we have to do that. There has to be another variable for picking leaders beyond. You know how much cash can your hands on the next few months. Do you see the Rosie O'Donnell got in trouble for raising money under various names and donating too much money to like roar it Roy Moore's opponents and wow yeah? What what exactly happened read that she had used a website that she thought should have like stopped her from donating the extra amount, because it was being David amongst many people and that it should have been returned to her, which I speak. I don't know enough about it that candidates are supposed to return extra funds once they've crossed over the amount that individual supposed to give
dozens happened this these cases on that it should have happened and I've given it should not now doesn't she know how much you're supposed to donate, isn't. There's fruit, that's what you're saying she's! two thousand seven hundred dollars right. She used a website and she just gave him other shit load of money. I think Oh I see, but I thought she was different names. I don't know about that part. I didn't hear about that. We should probably set up yeah that would that was one of the sort of stories that wasn't while it up after two thousand and sixteen, but it was, it was one of the things that came out and those hacked Dnc saying. This was that there was a little bit scam going on in terms of you know that the I just added individual donation limit is, the small, it's like two thousand seven hundred dollars for an individual. So a couple, it's five thousand four hundred dollars, so what they would do is they would. Most. These dinners with celebrities, like you know, George Clooney and a bunch of his friends and they would raise all this money and
Theoretically, the money was supposed to go only a tiny portion of it to the presidential campaign, the rest of it supposed to go to the regional parties, but what was actually happening according political anyway uh- was that the money was basically going to. Parties and then going immediately back to the presidential campaign, and they a lot of the people who gave the money didn't even know that that was happening and they were upset about it, and but that was a story that wasn't followed up after after two thousand and sixteen yeah there's just entirely too much yeah, too much money in politics, but how would you ever do it without the money now, once the money's in? How do you? put out. How do you say? No, no, no, more influence, no more special interest groups. Lobbyists are illegal, This should probably have very brief, publicly funded elections, where you know the course
The time is maybe five weeks and widow is this assist the O'Donnell thing? Yes, is O'Donald donated four thousand seven hundred dollars to a bomb Alabama, Senator Doug Jones in his special action against Roy Moore, three thousand six hundred dollars to Pennsylvania Rep. Lamb for the special call General Electric and he won in March two thousand one hundred and fifty two California Rep Adam Schiff, for his primary forty, two hundred dollars to Illinois congressional candidate Lauren Underwood for her primary run in three thousand four hundred four, fifty two, oh more Vad a congressional candidate in Staten, Island and Brooklyn, nothing nefarious, she's, Rosie O'Donnell, says I was not choosing to over donate Two thousand seven hundred dollars cut off. Candidates should refer on the money she wrote. I don't look to see who I can donate. Most too I just donate, assuming they do not accept what is over the limit yeah. I don't know how convince them by that explanation, but it
doesn't really matter because the reality is there are million ways that you can legally give money to campaigns now that don't involve just the individual donation. Like you, can you know you can give money to a foundation or a you know a five. Oh one see three or whatever. It is that, by rise and an ad That will help the candidate just as much as they let you know as it would. If you don't do, I need to directly so being in the Post Citizens United Universe. This is this is a story, but you know the bigger story is that you can basically very rich people and companies can basically spend unlimited amounts of money on on campaigns. This is this whole stories over like what was that all told four five thousand dollars most yeah. Not a lot that doesn't I mean you know I have
feelings, one way or another, but Rosie O'Donnell, but not at the doesn't make me outraged terribly well. Try pacer rise, what's fascinating about it all yeah! Well, you he! He he! You got a big bum from talking about her in the debate and you know, but that was another thing that he did very early on as he he clued into the fact that people hate people, hate journalist and they Hollywood actors, so. He made he made sure as much as possible to talk about all the groups. The major food groups love hate in America right like immigrants, Hill Clinton, Hollywood actors and reporters, and that goes for the staples of his routine and and it works. I mean it was. It was smart on his part, I think clearly, the targeting of journalists was brilliant because he was a to portray us as the wealthy elite and
billionaire buddies, pointing the finger at us as I'll. Look there. You know there are the guardians of Rich America, which worked and was a brilliant thing. Let's just it's unprecedented yeah. When was last time any presidential amount, maybe Nixon complained about them at the time, but I believe it was privately yeah. Well, he he hated the press, pretty openly I mean he had that one thousand nine hundred and sixty two press conference worries like you: won't have Nixon to kick around anymore and for Moloch and see was it incredibly profane main nasty person in private, and he only talked to a few reporters. I mean, I think all politicians hate reporters. If they, if they don't they probably something wrong with them, because you know the press core in most cases really is out to get them or at least is is dangerous. You know, but with Trump
thanks and it was. It went to a whole new level and it and went to a paranoid place, and you know But on the other hand, I don't want to bore you with this, but but the the whining about being kicked out of the White House and not being able to fly with Trump and the sort of separation between the president and the press core and the fact he doesn't show up at the white. This correspondence dinner, like as a reporter, my response to that. So what we should be on the outside. You know I don't I don't shed a tear about that. I It's very strange that response in our business that so you know we're not. We don't get to hang around with the president and and you know pal around, behind the rope line with them anymore, like we should be adverse aerial. I think yeah well, if long as you're, honest and accurate yeah yeah, I mean it. Do you, I mean it's not even adversarial, but not connected right right, yeah, it's it's it's kind of a separation of church and state thing for me, like
I, I had an experience when it come when I covered the Obama campaign and I like Barack Obama as a candidate in two thousand eight, I I was really in best buy him, but I remember going into the plane the first time going back into the section- and I see that there's photos all over the walls of the of the campaign plane and currently. There is a tradition where each of reporters had like a little a high school yearbook photo taken with uh. And it where you know they got their arm around Obama and their po sing and it was a tradition that kind of put the the photo up on the wall and I'm like you know. This is not a good look for for the press corps, even if you like, the guy, you got a you know at least pretend to have a little that the mod is supposed to be there. You know what I mean: what's a site is certainly influential yes, certainly going to have have some sort of an influence on you, yeah yeah. It's just a bad look like what happen.
If you do a story about the guy, that's complementary and it comes out that you know know you're you've put a sure of yourself with your armor on the guy, you know what I mean it's just that's reporters are kind supposed to be. It is in pleasant. You know kind of grumpy people who instantly to face the posters of you know powerful people. You know when, whenever they get a chance and throw darts at pictures of them and stuff like that, but that's that's who they kind of used to be in you see, there's people that are jockey in the position to potentially run in. You know the next election, obviously the two thousand eighteen elections, but in two thousand twenty for president, you see people that are moving in a position to seize congressional candidates, they're showing promise like what. What is that, when you're, covering this like? What's the what's the feeling of like the future from these races
so like what is it from the standpoint of reporters like like yeah well, first First of all, like the holy GRAIL of reporting is to latch onto a politician before they become famous and before they become Pres, and and follow them all the way? And that way you get to be the insider who gets invited into the law office. So it's it's like a it's a big thing that a lot of reporters kind of dream of is to to latch on early to somebody like Bill Clinton and become the sort of faith reporter on that beat that's why, at the outset of President elections. You'll often see a lot of jockeying within newsrooms to see who gets to cover which campaign, because people always You want to pick the winner because they think they're going to get a book deal out of it at the end and Ryan, going to end up having their own show on MSNBC or whatever, but the
but yeah I mean the what's the feeling right now like where people coalesce sing around um is that we were asking that too yeah. Well, I think, there's the expectation is that some of the same people going to be involved as individual there's a lot of belief that Bernie is going to run again, but then there's also Kamala Harris there's Cory Booker, for you know, people believe that the the those folks are going to run, but, oddly enough, the press corps is less focused on that, then they would be normally. I think, they're there the only story that matters to political reporters right now is the Russiagate Trump thing, and they're following that and kind of hoping. That will be something that happens instead of the twenty twenty election, you know, they're the big That sort of trial of Donald Trump is what everybody is kind of waiting for with uh
recent take on. That is that there is some sort of a connection between russian oligarchs and Michael Cohen right there. The vector Vekselberg payment. I just heard about that this morning, so I can't say that I know a whole lot about that. What would that paint? before when was it. You know it was allegedly after the election, so that would story. I mean I've gotten a lot criticism, because I've been a little bit of a skeptic on the russiagate front, not so much that I don't believe it, but I just kind of think the press should be a little careful about it. But if that's true, yes, that's a big story. If colon really was in Prague, that's also a really big story. You know, but we'll have to see what those, what what? What really comes out of that, such an unusual moment in history. Yeah, it's crazy! It's crazy! I mean it's. It's as unstable as american history's been in our lifetime, certain
right sure I would think, maybe ever yeah or close to it. Civil war on yeah yeah, I mean do you add in the fact that we've had serns about nuclear conflict with two different nations right since, since Trump has been elected, I mean there's, there's the N Korea thing and then there's the fact that we've had military exchanges, where a russian mercenaries reportedly have died, that's. Certainly unnerving. You know the nuclear clock which was established. The doomsday clock which is established way back in the 50s has us at the most dangerous point, since one thousand nine hundred and fifty three,
he yeah yeah yeah a bit and at at a time. Okay. In their estimation, the the sort of I forget what the the the organization is actually called, but I think it's physicians for social responsibility, but the you know the work. This right now is more dangerous than you know that the k, a seven shooting the cuban missile crisis like or we're at a a moment, that's incredibly tense between these two countries and, more so than the cuban missile crisis. In their estimation, yeah who's. Just omitting this. This was the third it's called the doomsday clock you can feel confined delivery using as a metric You know, I guess they're just reading the news, like everybody else, but you know they don't know it's off- derided by by people in Washington, Washington, Washington, is being too hysterical, but
It is an indicator and the people who who do it, I think, are the same people who wanna win Nobel Prize last year for the sort of anti nuclear. The Un Ban on nuclear weapons, so After nine hundred and eleven, we used to have terrorist threat colours, yeah, yeah, Robert who was on the board that everyday. Used to have a meeting of group of people in the various intelligence agencies to decide what the color would be. And lazy, yellow, yeah exactly and what what's fascinating about this- and I I I only heard about this- because I wrote about this a few months ago and I I made a mistake by saying that the the the used to talk-
little between red, which was the highest in green, which was the lowest but apparently not one. It's in its entire history was at evergreen, like the they never had threat level low, even once in its history. We were. We were always some level of anxiety, but those those are weird times to remember that we have to kind of tell us how scared we were supposed to be about about stuff and with the will of real, simple distinction like colors right yeah. Today's orange holy shit, it's orange dude, be careful you're going to fly today this morning. Are you going to go to an airport? Today, it's orange, I'm not going to the super bowl. Today's orange crate ever get to read oh yeah. I think so, and it had to have and then they just stopped right. Well, so the the the program it took a huge hit when uhm one, the guys who was involved, who was the former head of homeland security, if I'm not mistaken
I came out with a story that he had been told by some of the Bush people to jack up the the dollar, in advance of an election and it was shortly after that story came out that they discontinued the program it came out in a book by by the former head of the home. Security right before an election theories old time to yeah exactly yeah yeah, because they wanted the roundabout right. I mean it was this, gairden they'll vote vote a certain way and yeah. So amazing times, though,. As a journalist. Do you look at these times and say this is great. This is great for business or do you do you More so look at it as a human being and go. This is just a fucking mess and I wish we weren't so ridiculous
So when, when I first started covering the Trump campaign, I thought this is the most awesome thing ever because that dynamic I was talking about. Before about about reporters wanting to be on the ground floor with with the future winner. Nobody wanted to be on the Trump campaign, because nobody thought he was going to win. I was stokes to the assigned to cover trump, because I thought this is the most insane thing ever and he you know, may present for your style journals yeah exactly. I thought this is. This is the black comedy that I was that I was sort of born to cover and foreign born, to write and and for the first I don't know five or six things that I wrote about it um about Trump. I thought it was is the most amazing crazy, interesting story of my lifetime, and then it took this incredibly dark term where he actually won and uhm. I think it was a dark term for him too. Yeah there's no question about it. There's no mean
I knew some of the people in this campaign. I can't say this day tentatively, but but I have a very good educated guess that they had absolutely no expectation of it ever even being close, let alone winning and that and that they that they did this publicity stunt in the beginning, probably with the aim of either creating a media network or just bolstering Trump's overall Q rating or whatever it was. I think, NBC might have pushed him towards the presidency, firing him from the apprentice. Yeah 'cause. He was still the host of that fucking show. While he is running for president, they fire him and then Arnold takes over people forgot already. Arnold Schwarzenegger with full of is short time. You're fired, fired, you're fired, he was the guy for
yeah. They had that flame war. Remember yeah! That was really weird yeah fucking strange! yeah, but NBC might have given him the final. You might have taken an extra diet pill that day and went fuck it we're going all in the wall got ten feet. Higher Schwarzenegger says he's done with the apprentice blames poor ratings on Trump involvement that Solarius That's right! Yeah! They have dental back in our world over who is to blame for the ratings. But I don't listen as a host of that show. Donald Trump was great. Don't is the perfect guys the host natural Arna? It's too nice? It's not the right! Guy he's, not a billionaire yeah. No, you you, you need a total jackass and and get it done. One of those guys you need one of those guys get fired and the the the same thing that made trump perfect for that show made him perfect, as the main protagonist in campaign cover,
which is it actually really just a really long super boring reality show, or at least it used to be until Trump came along Trump completely change. The dynamic of it? You know if you're thinking of it in terms of looks to a network. What were the thinking before if they were going to have people like Scott Walker and Lindsey, Graham be the stars of of their lead. Reality show like let's get a real performer in there right and then when they did, when they, when they, when Trump entered the fray and Bk a real candidate and started getting votes. Suddenly, news started making money like like real money for the first time, and there's a minute is an amazing data point right now, which is that the public trusts the press less than ever right. The believe the things that we say less than ever. All the polls show this that there's been a dramatic downturn and how much people will put stock in the things that people like me, say: bye
they're watching television, television news more than they ever have by a lot, so what are those two data points say together put together that people are consuming news, not as news, but it's entertainment there watching it more right. So we've CNN made over a billion dollars last year, they're just eating into the entertainment budget. That's that's all they're doing and it's all trump, which is is fascinating and kind of horrifying, but but really interesting to listen that also what he played upon when he was running like he would say. Uh rage is shit, so they would cover him that essentially gave him free press, zero, absolute yeah, and he there was no doubt in my mind that he was doing unintentionally, I remember watching him in New Hampshire Where he's giving a speech- and you probably remember this woman stood up and said TED where is the pussy right?
yes and and Trump looks over at her, and he says: oh, that's, terrible! That's terrible. She just said a terrible thing about TED Cruz right, and I remember I remember looking over at the at the riser. All the cameras are, and you could see him thinking, he's thinking it's it's story for six hours of she says it. It's a story for three days. Why say it right and he he thinks he goes. He just said that ed. This is the pussy right and next thing. You know it like completely dominated the news and he he understood the dino think of how the news works better than than even the people in the news understood, it will certainly better than TED Cruz. That's for sure, ten cruise, that the recent praise of Trump and then they go back to like what He said during the campaign. Oh my god, it is it's! No one should listen to him ever again about anything. Oh yeah. Now,
so it was it's hilarious, TED Cruz. You know, first of all, my for we're part of that whole campaign was the thing that he couldn't shake about being the Zodiac killer like and report, This would give him shit about it like like. We would talk amongst each other like who's, going to ask him about it. Next, you know and everybody knew that it was bullshit. And that he was born after the killing started and everything all that stuff, but somebody would always make it a point to say. So. What do you think about the you know the rumors about an?
I could see that adjuster. It completely drowned the distraction. He didn't know how to how to make a joke out of it or yeah. Well, I know you're a hunter S, Thompson. Fancy you probably aware of what a hundred did to Ed, Muskie yeah, the Evo game yeah. Absolutely he went crazy. Yeah yeah literally went crazy, a hunter. It was a. What was it on the Dick Cavett show they talked about it. Wilder was a rumor yeah. He is taken up again and I knew about the rumor because I started he. He would draw of that guy. Crazy. To the point where you see, I think it was in New Hampshire. He was giving a political campaign speech and he broke down yeah. He cried yeah! Well, so hundreds of the great thing he he he, what about it? It was kind of a spoof of campaign coverage, because he he he did this whole
a campaign diary and then he just kind of went into this deadpan red citation of what sounded like a breaking news story about him discovering muskies secret relationship with a witch doctor who is providing him with him again gain, and then then then he dug up some file photo of Muskie. That look like this. It was like and he they put in a Mustang. Musky in the grips of Winnabow gain frenzy right was the caption and uh it was completely deadpan never said he was kidding, never never never said it was not like that was fiction, and and musky couldn't handle it. I mean he was, that was probably the first real political trolling ing that went on, but a brilliant went to because
I have again it's not even that kind of a drug. It's a drug that helps people get off drugs right, yeah, it's like yes, oddly enough illegal right, yeah yeah in America in America, it's it's legal in a lot of places, but it's really great for people getting off opiates huh, it's it disturb ferociously introspective drug. That requires the way your brain deals with addictions. It literally requires the connections alleviates addictions on a physical ends. Psychological level. What's the, what does it feel like I don't know I haven't, haven't, haven't done it on that one right? I know quite a few people that have that have had pill problems and have gone to Mexico and taken up my friend Ed Class, you, as it has an actual center down there. Now he started it after. He had gone down there for treatment in a back injury and believe it was and got hooked on pills and was like Jesus gotta figure out a way to get off these fucking things and did I began and then cleared
right up like wow like this is this is crazy this is illegal, so one drug that Hunter chose was actually a drug that get people off drugs, which is even more ironic, it's just a great name: yeah yeah, yeah and doctor the clock, and also those that really was the original political troll yeah yeah and we had a giant effects in the election. Probably did oh yeah Lee and I I don't think it was an accident that hunters coverage was that he chose that year to do these die as I remember my father telling me about how ever reporter would would wait for rolling stone come out that week selected and you know, read the coverage of of the election, but you know Hunter kind of the
took this unknown of the unknown. Senator from the Dakotas George Mcgovern and made him into this because this, like Christ figure. Basically, I don't think, Mcgovern would have won the nomination without without that sort of relentless hyping that he gave him because probably would've won the presidency. If it wasn't for the vice president, having that issue with. He had gone through electroshock Therapy Eagleton right, yeah, yeah yeah, that was that was terrable but fascinating. I got to write the introduction to the last last version of book and that's one of my favorite books of all time. It's great but yeah I mean it's just like it. It's it's such a z, comic epic. You know yeah, but he was a the influence of yours yeah. I definitely, I think, the the
great thing about one hundred Thompson. First of all, he just he was so incredibly funny in a way that was, can clear air. I mean you can't just trained to be that way. Yet you either born with that ability verbally or not, and he just had this completely store change four dimensional way of looking at things and you know he would. He would watch a completely boring campaign speech and he got done writing it up. It was like you know, a psychedelic wrestling match, or something like that. I mean it was it was so much more interesting and bizarre and weird, and he saw all these great details and and and hit he was just the the I I I think it was of a great approach to journalism, but sadly there. Aren't that many people who can pull it off because it just required. You know the surpassing literal
new talent, and that's that's that's incredibly rare. What was in you? The combination of fiction, writing, along with, like an actual understand bing analysis. Yet that was that was his great 'cause. It 'cause you. Right. He would bring you in, and the the reader would would kind of surf along this incredibly charged fast paced narrative that read like you, know the fastest most engrossing fiction, but he would intersperse it with interspersed and stop and pull back and do what we call it a rolling. So we call them wisdoms right where you know used to sort of stop and say you know, here's my take on this and those were amazing. I mean he just he just had this ability to sort of cut through the bullshit and see see
things from an angle that nobody else saw and that was uh a rare technique back then, the idea of the kind of individualized take on things. Nobody was doing that and reporting back down. No, it didn't. It was no, nobody even thought of it as a four as a form that you could really experiment. With I mean there were a few people back then like Terry, Southern and Tom Wolfe, who were who were doing some things like that, but but Thompson was completely unique and, and there hasn't been anybody like him- you know so since since that night- and I think I think it's it's not an accident that nobody's been able to pull that off again now, it's will it. You get compared to him a lot in and one one way. I really saw that comparison was your brilliant coverage of the financial crisis and what
the the mechanisms behind the scene of the financial crisis. In that that I became a really big fan of your work reading that, because the data, as I think you covered that as well, if not better than anybody next yeah, I mean So I knew nothing about any. I couldn't even balance my check book when they assign me to that story, Anne. And I had to start basically from square one and uh, I was calling people and saying things like. Can you tell me something but something that I understand you know it was cold cold, calling investment banks and literally saying that- and I find got a guy to have lunch with Maine, and he said your problem is that you're trying to understand this as an economic story once you look at it as a crime scene, You'll get it, and, and from that point forward I I totally I felt like I started to understand the whole mechanism-
in the subprime mortgage scam? It really was a scam. It's really. It's really list of massive corporate ized version of like oregano is we'd. Basically, they took stuff that these these incredibly worth this highly risky mortgage loans right, you know they would give out loans to everybody with a pulse. You had a job or not whether you are a citizen or not didn't matter port and things get the loan we sell it off chop. It up turn it into securities, and then they use this highly of sort of mathematical trick to turn all that sort of mortgage hamburger into AAA rated securities. So you'd have like a you know what junk rated mortgage like the risk, deist alone in existence, something that was so toxic that country companies like
sure I wouldn't want to hold on to it for more than a week as they were afraid of the stuff would blow up and then they would sell it off to like a pen open fandor, you know an insurance company in the form of a AAA rated security, which you know is as safe as the Us Treasury bond. So is this: it was a scam it again and the the the the the the metaphor of you know: David it it and taking baby powder and selling. It is coke or whatever that that's exactly what it was. They just took worthless and sold it as something that was that was gold, and they got they did it for years and years and years and years, and they they knew that this gigantic huge bubble of risk and and disaster was just accumulating in that someday, it was going to all explode in cascade and ruin the economy, but everybody was trying to time it right and
bet on when that would happen and make their money before that judgment day came and it was. It was fascinating once once I started to learn about it was just such an amazingly disgusting, fast meaning story that it was just hard not to not to get into it. A crime story yeah, I think of it as a crime story, yeah no absolutely I even got one guy gave me a book. It was called famous. Famous con artists in history right. It was like this little Tom smaller than like the smallest paperback, and it was the biography of this guy, right- and he I had this uh scam that he called. I think it was called the the the on Garian Box
uh. I have to go back and look, but basically what he would do is you would get on a boat in New York and he had this sort of beautiful mahogany box with a crank on it that had two holes in it and he would show all the guests that he would put a blank piece of paper in one and turn to cry pink and one hundred dollars bill will come out the other end and he can rinse them all that it was a machine that made money and everybody would offer him and in greasing amount of money for this invention, uh and he wouldn't sell it until the last day, it would sell it, for you know forty or fifty thousand dollars, and then he would disappear and jump off the boat in France and never be seen again. People would yeah there it is. What's it called? Wow
but that's exactly what the more graphic picture, let me see his face. William wow. Let me see that box again is a survey. Yes, sir. He it was obviously fake and and and but that's what the mortgage scam was there. They they were taking. Basically blank paper, these these subprime loans that belong to janitors, who were going to foreclose within ten minutes alright, and they were telling people that we have this new mathematical process that allows that actually makes this stuff really safe. An you can put it in your in your college endowment you can put in your pension fund and so all. These people, who is retirement monies were based on securities, were buying
all this shit that they thought was Mister Blair, rated and that's that's how they woke up. You know and in two thousand eight two thousand nine. They found their four. Oh one, K's were, were you know, wiped out by forty percent or whatever? It was my neighbor related. I happen to him. My neighbor bought this plot of land and had this dream to build his dream house and he would go by the plot of land and he was always cleaning up and getting ready, and I was talking to him and then boom. Two thousand and eight happened. He law, just everything and he would still go by that plot of land and clean it up, and he now would talk about it, and you know you just told me lost everything Yes is never going to happen, yeah! No. I think he I think he died. He eventually got really sick and they they took him out of his house and brought him somewhere, but I think he's dead now, but yeah his his story was awful awful to hear this guy. He was in his 60s who had gotten
this piece of land with a nice view, and it's like this is where I'm going to build my dream house, and he had all this only prepared for it all this money saved away and he was ready to rock and roll and then boom. It all went out it just drained out somebody put a hole in the bottom of the boat and everything everything went to from the ocean yeah, and then he probably got ripped off twice, because this tax dollars went to go bail out the guys who you know who yeah, because some of the some of the banks got stock holdings. In the shed and rather than eat, the losses like your your friend, did. They got the Federal Reserve to buy it from them, yeah I know, and, and you know, or or or the Treasury, how the did they get away with giving the ceos bonuses during that time, yeah giant bonuses during the time where they had to be bailed out by the taxpayer. Yeah. That was another scam like so there were, if you looked at the
open print of all the bailouts bit basically said that you had repay the money bias by x time before you could start paying people exorbitant amounts of money again, but a lot of those. A lot of those conditions were never really followed and do you know the conditions of reap name and we're kind of glossed over and the companies that were supposed to be able to pass these things called stress tests. Which demonstrated that they were back on solid footing again before they paid people, bonuses, but the stress test, are all fudge Dan, I mean there was crime and corruption and illegality, basically in every direction during that whole period, and not just in the government but in in all these companies as well, Jesus yeah but fascinating to two to follow yeah? What was it like covering that mean how? How long did you spend
working on that seven years? Probably she's yeah riced yeah. Well. This is one of the things that I found. That was really interesting what as I I did my first story about this, and I got this incredible reaction because it turns out that the financial press, there is nobody in the financial press who writes for ordinary people like it, basically. What I was doing was a translation job. I was trying to basically take what had happened and explain it in a way that a person who knew nothing about finance would be able to understand, and it turns out that nobody is doing so all the these people who had questions about it, who wanted to know what having to their money. You are a while. Why did my house get foreclosed on or what it is? You know what's with the subprime mortgage or anyting you know there was nobody else doing that work, so I had lots of
to do and it was really interesting and I just kept doing it wow that had to be depressing yeah, yeah, of course, Of course I mean most most. Investigative reporting is depressing, particularly that, because a lot of. It was old people that only God hold people minorities- I mean I did one story about Bank in Maryland. Well, it's a national bank. It's it's a bank that I wouldn't be surprised that a lot of people listening how have their accounts at this bank, they had to pay a settlement of the government because they were intentionally targeting elderly black people to sell subprime
mortgages to, and they called the mud, people and they're. All these, these, like toxic emails, going back and forth about how stupid they were and how they'll buy anything at center, at Cetera the emails they call the money, yeah yeah, and so they had to pay so much to the government. And but do you know, the initial component of of that crash was something that I do really clue into until late. But that was a big part of it too. It was a lot of it involved mortgage lenders going into particularly lower middle class, black neighborhoods and knocking on doors where there be like an elderly person at home and saying hey. Would you like to refi your mortgage and have a little bit of extra spending money this month Right Anne, the person won't know anything about finance and they'll they'll sign. This refinance deal of it allows them to save a little bit of money each month, not know
thing that they had just converted their fixed mortgage into a floating mortgage, and that is seen in the interest rates changed. You know, you'd have people who went from paying nine hundred dollars a month to paying seven thousand dollars a month right and sudden. There out in the street- and you know the company that sold in is long gone by then by then they're, not holding it they as soon as they got her name on the on the dotted line. They sold it off to a bank in New York who in turn again chopped up into hamburger and sold it probably to your pension fund or who or whatever so they is- nobody- should complain too, and you know yeah. That's was really depressing wasn't feeling like of having very little understanding about finance and then immersing yourself in it. And that was finalizing, that this is the underlying structure that our society is run on. That are. Money is established through this is, This is how we sell houses and loans, and this is why,
We're doing this is yeah. I know it was fascinating 'cause before the I I was mostly covering elections right again. If you cover elections, it's and really boring and you never hear anything of substance and it's not terribly complicated, and you know one one Democrat says that no, we want to help the middle class and the Republican says we want to protect my family values and that's pretty much the extent of the sexual challenge in terms of covering that stuff- and I always such to myself of politics in America, must be a lot more complicated than this right. There must be some other hidden thing where it's incredibly complex and diabolical and- and you know the real imaginations, the power must be visible somewhere, and I think that you find that when you, when you start looking at the how Wall Street works, how
honey works. How central banking works? How you know of the concentration of wealth works. I mean basically, the subprime scheme was an effort to hold the remaining savings out of the population right it just wasn't. In the old days, investment bank, made their money by lending money to companies who had built factories and they would make stuff and sell around the the world, everybody would make money and never you know, even even the population would would would benefit from it, but that manufacturing wanna meet. It's all gone, it's so overseas. So you this financialized economy, and they have no norm more beneficial way to me. Money and all there all they can We do is look to see. Where is their money, and how can we get it? And most people had money in their houses right like the accused
say it savings of most people whatever was left after the internet crash in the 90s, was in real estate, and this was scam by which they took the wealth that was left in the pockets of ordinary people and transferred it to now find people in Manhattan. Basically, I mean that's why you have you know we when we talk about wealth inequality, now right being a huge factor that you know the top. I'm sorry, the top one percent of the population owns ninety percent of the wealth in the country or whatever it is that the consequences of scheme like this, where they're? Just we're finding out where people have little bit of money and they're systematically coming up with scams to move it from there to here with no consequence
no consequence, and that was the other part of the story that I ended up having to cover later, which was the last time they tried something like this, like during the SL crisis, which it was also sort of a giant broad scheme, also, that involves real estate lending and you that the government after that, actually You know indicted one thousand, eight hundred people, they put eight hundred people in jail. They put a lot of you know SIRI it's influential people on the dock. After that, nobody, nobody went to jail. For this stuff, and there was people think that, well they didn't do anything that was technically illegal, no bullshit there. There was lots of stuff that was that was brazenly illegal. I mean they. They committed fraud on a broad scale, but some of these companies are into the things that are even worse than that I mean you take HSBC.
She admitted to laundering eight hundred and fifty million dollars for a pair of central and south american drug cartels including the Cena LOA cartel right, which is suspected in thousands of murders like and you they they may. Into this activity. They agreed to a deferred, Pra solution agreement with the government where Nobody did a day in jail, no individual had to pull out a dime out of their own pockets to pay the share, huh Where is pointed up, one dot, nine million dollars, but some of that was tax deductible, which means we paid some of that fine. And, and the only real punishment with any teeth is that some of the executives had to partially defer their bonuses for five years. So that's it.
Laundering, eight hundred and fifty million dollars for narco terrorists gets you a total walk, you know that tells you basically everything you need to know about why Do we prosecute white collar crime in this country? Basically, no, you know I mean that's the answer, ultimately, that you find out and there was paper and they knew it was from the from the. If you, if you look at the the the agreement and you can watch the third there's, there's a video of Uhm Loretta Lynch and Lanny Breuer 'cause. This is before Laura Loretta Lynch as attorney general, but she was. She was basically the head of this deal. They talked about the fact that the HSBC branches 'cause. Most of this was done in Mexico, H Max, which was the subsidiary company
they had special teller Windows built to fit cash boxes, that the drug cartels were bringing in Bank, so basically you've seen that this scene, the scene in scarface for the guys, come in with the whole bags of cash to the bank. Yeah right and you know, like a montage. You know there's that song. I forget what song is in the background same thing, these guys would come into the bank they would slide in these boxes of cash, one after the other and that's submitted activity. The banks signed off on this. They you know it's not like they're contesting it they're, not saying we neither admit nor deny it's it's part of the deal so in in the agreed to the amount everything so yeah. It was a one. Twenty nine billion dollar settlement, but you know in some like it came out of the pockets of the people, who did it and it's not like any of who did it are in jail? It's just
now a thing that happened- and you know that's five weeks of profit for the bank. So what the fuck? I don't care right, did you The the documentary inside job yeah, yeah, recover out of the same territory, definitely yeah. That was a sobering documentary where they're talking to the very people that caused the financial crisis and and realizing that these people were economics, professors that eventually got these jobs really lucrative jobs with banks and how they finagle this system and made it so it looked like these things were appropriate yeah. I know I talked to some of the some of the things that they invented that made this the crash possible sounded like good ideas like they came up with this thing called the credit default swap right, and I won't bore you with what that is exactly, but basically it's a kind of insurance,
where it's basically a bet, it's hard to explain, but a it it's a way of of quasi ensuring a product without having to pony up a lot of money and the it's it's called. The derivative right and these. Instruments are completely unregulated How can I put this? A credit default swap is like you and I betting on whether or not a third person's house is going to burn in a fire right like the old school insurance said that it had to be your house in order for you to get insurance on it. This new form of quasi insurance said, two totally disinterested parties could have an interest in a third thing that happens. So it's basically gambling
and on the one hand, it allowed people to create a whole lot of capital which allowed him to lend more money which theoretically allowed people to buy more houses but in reality it just created the system where all these people had bets that were back and forth on all these properties. So that's one of the reasons why the crash app when, when all those mortgages start to fail, it was is it just the failures of those properties. It was all these people who are betting on whether or not these people could could pay their more images they started, with his money and then there were people who had bets on that. We started to lose money and it's like this cascading whirlpool of shit that happened and yeah. It just started out as an idea to just create more money to lend to lend, and it turned into this nightmare Michael scenario that just losses? You know in this almost apocalyptic fashion
and a lot of them had no idea that that that was gonna be eventuality for wow yeah news. It's it's crazy. It is definitely crazy stuff as a person who didn't really follow finance before how much is that affected your life like the way you look at things, I definitely pay a lot more attention to the fine print when I enter into any financial contracts. I think about where I do my banking, but the reality is you just don't have a whole lot of choice in this country. Anyway, I mean it's like everything else is only a few companies left, so almost every bank, that's out there, where you can have a bank account in the mortgage is, is a bank that I've written about some massive scandal before. So that's that's a pro form, but uh yeah. I worry about it all. The time and I have friends in five,
can you call me, and then they tell me that you know that things are incredibly unsafe and that this that and the other could could could happen and so uh I have an anxiety level about things that I never had before, but apart from that yeah I mean that's a natural consequence of having to spend seven years Looking at all these horror stories does crate. It's crazy. You spent that much time on it. See any other bubbles coming up. That. All the time there's a lot of a lot of negative press subprime, auto loans, for instance, which is not exactly the same, but it's a similar thing. I mean the same basic scam of taking loans. Chopping them up and then repackaging them as some
and that's more valuable than the original loan. You can do that with anything any kind of credit. You can do it with credit cards. You can do it with aircraft loans. You can do it with car loans, you can do with home mortgages And so the mechanism of taking things that are, you can risky and making them look like AAA is still is still part of the economy, and it's everywhere. The plus side of that is that there is more crap still available. You know almost anybody can get it card or even if you've had screwed up credit, you can get a car again. You know I mean there's this put us on the site and the cycle of build up bubble collapse, build up bubble, collapse, yeah, rebounding collapse. Again, absolutely I mean I think, that's that's that's why you have to be nervous about, the you know the skyrocketing stock
exchange. We we because we had a fight yeah, I mean you should be right. Do you are you have only investment and I've got some in there? I just did the when, when the hole in one trouble so the economy's, never been better. Look at the stock market stock markets, killing it all and then it it'll have a bad day ok, what we're doing great like what's going on with this bad day, can you not control these bad days? like what's happening here right, if you're, if you're in control the good days you're also in control the bad days right, yeah, of course, of course it seems it seems super suspicious yeah, an the old days. You'd have a lot of confidence that well the stock market. Was eventually goes up, so yeah there's going to be bad days, but it will go back. But the problem is the underlying economy in America Isn't all that hot? You know like? What do we really make in this country? Where, where is the floor right like we have
We have some industries that sort of perform well. But if you know periodically, we go so these bubbles that are based on nothing more than enthusiasm? You know in the 90s it was the the tech bubble right where people like Alan Greenspan would say things. Like? Well, we have a new paradigm in economics right, so it doesn't matter whether a company hasn't shown any ability to make money or you know, has no reasonable profit and loss statements. It's just if it's a good idea. The lock is sound and everybody should invest in it and the stock market is going to continually go up. Go up, so don't worry about it. Of course. That doesn't happen, everybody it blows. Everybody loses their shirt, but what do they do? The FED lowers interest rates basically allows Wall Street. To recap, capitalize drink itself sober and they plunge into the next.
The next madness which is mortgage is an once again. You have Alan Green, been saying hey, you know. Real estate is a great bet, it You know it's going to continually ascend people should you use their homes, is ATM machines. You know you should consider refinancing your house so that you can get a little bit of extra cash and- and this is it was actually the message they sent to America again. It creates artificial mania where the konomi- is stoked artificially two gigantic dimensions, but it's not based on anything and so when, when it across ashes when you finally get like any ponzi scheme, it know it depends it depends on more new investors coming in an old investors leaving right. So there's always going to be that moment when
don't have as many new ones as old ones and the instant that happens, it all goes kaboom right and that's what happened with with the subprime market. There was a moment in time where they just couldn't keep it going where they couldn't find any more new soccer suckers to get to to some mortgages to and the mania and it all went splat, and then it was amplified by the fact that we have this system now of people. Betting on credit. That is legal, which creates more losses out of thin there so yeah, I'm verified every time. I see this. The stock market go up, what's it based on? Is it based on our car? Let me actually doing well, I don't know, I don't think so. You know I'm sorry. I look like I'm scaring little bit definitely scary thing, but I think that's good. I think I need to be scared. I tend to take these things and just you know I have financial advisors. I will let them handle money
right? When I hear things like this, I just go out Jesus. Well, I get terrified when I hear about really smart people getting scammed like yesterday we were talking about Theranos. Do you know that blood testing company that turned out to be to more shit. No, I didn't hear about this. Oh it's great story, it's the story of one of those things where you find someone who you hope exists and you build them up. There was this woman, she looked like Steve jobs. She wore a black turtleneck in every photo, and She was the richest ever sell. Made woman. She was worth four million dollars. She had built. This company called Theranos right what college she was like nineteen when she started the company was a blood testing company that just required a small prick of your blood to do complicated blood analysis for diseases and things along those lines turns out. It didn't work at all
Dave faked a bunch of shit, widespread fraud, a lot of people got their blood tested, it turned out to be. You know they were at risk for all these diseases and Warren Buffett of Invest. One hundred million dollars. I think one hundred and twenty five Betsy Devos more than one hundred million dollars like all these super wealthy people get scamed wow yeah. When you find out that really wealthy people right that do this for a living. My buffet does that for a living right that he can get scanned out of one hundred and twenty five million hours right right and Warren Buffett, his Monster is supposed to be the absolute long term investment right. So it's not he's not like a Stevie colon type, who just looks at the tape and tries to time it. Just right. So you know you can make an investment for ten
seconds and come out with with you know if he is testing in a company, and even you can be that's that's terrible, but look at Enron, I mean run- was another example of the world's best financial analysts were looking at this company for a decade and the results were completely ridiculous, like it should have been obvious to any lay person that real and it wasn't until one of those guys, I think, was Jim channels who is sort of a famous short seller the source said: hey wait, a minute that there's something up here but people continually invest. And in these companies and there's just not a whole lot of oversight that goes on with Wall Street, and I think that that's a major lesson of the last twenty years is that
Is that there's just not a lot of eyes on crime in in this area? Another example is uh. Sorry, the I scanned all the rich people aren't made up for any man yeah. I was gonna, bring him out yeah the most egregious example rare. He I mean there. There are other. There are other people who did similar things, but this didn't even make investments right. You know what I mean like. He was literally just sort of taking money, and you know when someone cashed out he would. It was like who's that little girl, little Tay, Lil Tay yeah yeah, exactly just like throwing. He had a big pilot cash and you know he would takes on men and throw some out, but if yes, you see it had at anytime. What are you invested in it all would have Do you know that whole house of cards that have fallen and invest in anything? He wasn't, he wasn't making trades, he wasn't doing anything you know, and- and there are a bunch of stuff.
Where is like this there's a great book called the Octopus is about as somebody who did a maid off like scam, another hedge fund, where same thing they weren't, really making trades. They were just sort of creating phony profit loss statements and and and creating records that look like trades. They could. They could tell there masters about, but they weren't actually doing anything. So if anybody at anytime, had just poke their nose into this person's books, they would have seen it in ten seconds. That's that mean the amazing thing about this. You know not not to get back. You know my my drug dealing book, but this is one of the things that he says, which is that You know you can be in a so in a poor black neighborhood and a couple of kids will be on a cell phone and talking about selling ten dollars worth of weed and they'll be picked up by cops. You know within twenty minutes or something
that meanwhile, you know somebody like you know, Bernie made off can commit one hundred million dollar fraud year after year after year, and not even do any take any effort to try to to cover it up all that well and get away with it. Well, Bernie's big crime was that he ripped off rich people yeah, absolutely if he had done the exact same thing to poor people. What he did was just. It was just too easy to call what he did: a crime verses. What you were talking about with these financial institutions, red and yellow ones, yeah, if he, if you lawn. If he had through it a a slightly more legitimate process, he would have gotten out fine, but the one of the things that allowed, these guys or just get into it, thinking that they're actually going to
be real hedge funds and that they they have some stock picking system. That's actually gonna make all their clients money and one of the things they find out is that a they suck they they they're, not outperforming the market and they're, not that smart, but be that their clients can't tell if they just make up the numbers so there in a number of cases of people who start out trying to be legitimate and trying to be really really and advisors, but they just end up. Turning at the Bernie made off types, because it's just easy, there's! No there there there aren't that many people watching for it and that's kind of scary, too. Well, it seems like there's so many people doing it. How could there be enough people watching it think about how many investment firms there are and how many different people that are involved in trading? How could any be watching all of it right, yeah, no there but
even Steven? So, even if you take that into consideration nation than the than the number of eyes that are that are on this world is, is ridiculously low like take. Take a ig all right, a I! She was one of the world's largest, companies that before it before it, crashed they had like a hundred eighty thousand employees it was took. Advantage of this weird loophole that allows financial companies to essentially choose their own regulator so because because Aig had thrift or savings and loan that's basically the same thing he chose to be regulated by the T. S, which is the Office of Thrift Supervision, which is this tiny, tiny little. You know office in Washington that oversees basically savings and loan up
durations and in in the OTS? This is. This is actually true. They had exactly one insurance expert on staff, so essentially, with the world's largest insurance company, was being and regulated by a government office that only had one person who really understood insurance and an even even that person wouldn't have understood the part of the company that blew up, which was essentially an investment bank within the insurance company was creating these sort of highly advanced sort of derivative operations that they just would I have been able to understand that stuff, so the government just does not that place a lot of resources into keeping an eye on even the most basic things. When you compare that to law enforcement and other areas, you know
how many? How many people do we have the reason, this country or drugs, right or you have how many people are are being watched because there're marijuana dealers, not in other states, I mean it it towards the number of people who are watching for economic crimes. Yeah one person yeah, I just loved the name of it Office of Thrift- supervision, yeah, yeah yeah, exactly I'm not even sure it exists anymore. I think it was. It was send to. Some other because they used to be the occ, the officer of the comptroller of the currency, and I think they creep did a new regulator out out of all that after the crash, but but yeah Aig shows its regulator and its regulator, you know, was totally overmatched, didn't couldn't understand shit and that's one of the reasons why company blew up the company also blew up because it run by insurance. People who
you don't understand. All these people were betting. All these investment banks were betting on whether or not mortgages were going to fail or not, and Aig was selling the product that they could use to make those it's essentially ordered or taking on insurance on on packets of mortgages. So if they exploded, you would get a pay out right. It was it's like a it's like buying an insurance policy on your neighbors house. If it goes up in flames, you get paid, you get paid, Aig was selling a product that allowed banks essentially to buy insurance on on houses on mortgages, and if, if people foreclosed if their mortgages failed or pools of mortgages failed. If you, if you bought that kind of insurance, you got these huge pay out, so people are betting against mortgages. Basically, and a ig was taking all this book,
and but the the heads of the company were old, school insurance executives and just didn't understand this sort of newfangled complicated form, Insurance, and so they would look at the numbers that they were being given and even they didn't get it, but they didn't understand how how those they were, and so, when all that started going the wrong way, suddenly they are being asked to pay out Billy the dollars and in there like. Where is this coming from so so even the companies were kind of clueless about the ship that was going on. It turns out Jesus, listen man. If it wasn't for you dummies like me, he would not understand why we should be scared, like he was scared, but reading your your articles about- but maybe understand why, and I think that's the way described. It is great that you translated this stuff. You actually worked as a trans,
and I appreciate you work man. Thank you so much from to been a huge fan forever. I'm looking forward to seeing your special hoping that the Java, the yeah it's going to come out sometime around September. I think that's when they can release it excellent. I thank you and really appreciate it. Thanks Matt thanks for coming on that. Thank you very much, Matt TV. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you, everybody for tuning into the podcast and thank you to our sponsors. Thank you, too stamps dot com go to stamps, dot, com, click on that microphone at the top of the home page and type in J R E. To hook you up with a four week, trial, plus postage and a digital scale that stamps dot com and enter J. A r d thank you again to butcher box, but your box delivering healthy one hundred percent grass FED and finished beef free range, organic chicken and heritage breed heritage, breed pork directly to your door on a monthly basis.
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he's awesome that was, I was looking forward to doing it for a long time. It was that was one that I was like yeah. We made it alright, that's it for today. Thank you appreciate you by
Transcript generated on 2019-10-05.