I will never give up advocating for ways to offramp these folks from MAGA, QAnon and related groups. We need to create places where people who actually sour on this movement can safely exit from the cult and back into society.
However, my hopes for the number of people who might be able to free themselves from the pernicious grip of their political cult, those just got dashed against a rockface. Because now the extremists are telling themselves that it’s we, the liberals, who are succumbing to a mass psychosis as evidenced by our enthusiasm for vaccination.
The doctor involved, Robert Malone, offered this speculation on the Joe Rogan Experience, which was briefly uploaded to YouTube on at least one unofficial channel before being taken down. However, if you just go to YouTube and type in the man’s name, you’ll find the video. In fact, you’ll see that there is a huge effort underway to make his pronouncements into a walking meme.
In case you hadn’t noticed, every time we over here in reality point out something that they over there in Totalitaria (as Dr. Joost Meerloo in The Rape of the Mind would call it) are doing, they are compelled to manufacture a parallel in their fantasy land to mirror what we’re discussing. They simply must coopt our keywords and terminology so that their audience doesn’t hear something offhand and get suspicious. (Same reason why Trump has tried [and failed so far?] in coopting “the Big Lie”, demanding his followers to apply the phrase to the election returns instead. It’s rather pathetic to see it from this perspective, but in the right-wing mediasphere, who knows how that plays?)
I just posted a diary yesterday where I dissected a clip of Joe Rogan with Matt Taibbi, wherein Rogan commits about five propagandistic tricks in one sitting in order to downplay the danger of a neo-Nazi group.
So now these people, who really do traffic in a media corridor that funnels vulnerable people into this burgeoning extremist movement, this fever dream of fascism—these people are now saying that we are the ones succumbing to lunacy. I don’t know how we get them out of this, or how they recollect themselves long enough to do some reality-testing on their own. I don’t know how to reach them. (But we still need to try. The ones who do snap out of it will crash hard.)
The fervor that the right wing is displaying? That fervor itself is the signal that fascism is here. Academy of Ideas released a new video this week, and it illustrates exactly what we face:
One last thing: the comment section for this diary’s leading article, over there at the Independent, is not heartening. Ratio is trending the wrong way.
I just watched portions of an extended Joe Rogan interview with Peter McCullough, by way of Hasan Piker’s analysis, in his inimicable style. (I originally thought it was the same doctor, as both have grievances that were not disclosed on air that could compromise their views, but I was mistaken; they are not the same person.) Hasan uses vulgar language sometimes, so please keep that in mind if you choose to view this video. But I highlight this interview because 1) it’s good to have immediate pushback, in the form of Hasan’s hot-take analysis, on something you already know is propagandistic—I personally don’t want the doctor’s words to stand unchallenged; and 2) I want people to see for themselves that the guest claimed that Dr. Sanjay Gupta, by going onto Sesame Street to explain to kids about the vaccine, was “seducing children into taking the vaccine.” He used the phrase ‘seducing children’ more than once. Start at 8:20 to see that part of that clip in particular. So Rogan is fully committed to Covid disinformation at this point. He is an active vector of harm.
(I found a HasanAbi video regarding the controversy in question, but I haven’t watched it in its entirety.)