People don't listen, even interviewers

I deleted Twitter a while ago, but I’ll still check out a few people’s pages every now and then. Matt Taibbi’s account is usually a good place to go. An angry reader told Taibbi (who works at Rolling Stone) that he wasn’t fit to write record reviews. Taibbi responded by saying that’s why he doesn’t write record reviews.

Taibbi also pointed to Skullduggery, a Yahoo News podcast with hosts Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman and guests Virgil Texas and Matt Christman, the hosts of Chapo Trap House.

I incorrectly thought Yahoo News had folded. Back in the day (think early 2000s) I used My Yahoo as my opening page onto the grand promise of the internet. It was actually decent back then – a fairly streamlined central site for bringing in quality stories. Their pages are a mess nowadays, but so are all of the news sites.

The interview with Texas and Christman is really interesting. Skip past the first couple of minutes – Isikoff and Klaidman are oddly obsessed with how they chose the name Chapo Trap House. The rest of the discussion is good, but the part about Iran really stayed with me and reminded me that people don’t listen very well. Isikoff and Klaidman are professional interviewers, and even they hear what they want to hear.

They asked Texas and Christman about events in the Middle East and about Iranian nukes. I’m not sure which one is Texas and which is Christman, but they make the point that it’s in Iran’s interests to get a nuke. Isikoff and Klaidman seemed very surprised. I want to listen to it again, but they heard that Texas and Christman wanted Iran to have nukes. Maybe they do. But it’s not what they said. They were talking about the rationality of it.

(This is a mix of some of the things they said and my thoughts of how Iran probably sees some things.) Trump tore up the Iran deal when he got into office. Trump threatened to bomb 52 sites in Iran, including cultural sites. For as long as I can remember Dick Cheney, Bill Kristol, John Bolton, and other neocons have been arguing for regime change in Iran. The United States, the world’s superpower and a frequent advocate for regime change in Iran, has had a massive military presence in countries bordering Iran for nearly 20 years. Israel has nuclear weapons.

Iran would be crazy to not want nuclear weapons. But that’s not really my point.

I wonder why Isikoff and Klaidman both concluded that Texas and Christman wanted Iran to have nukes. Maybe they’ve used wording to that effect elsewhere that influenced what they thought they were hearing. Maybe we’re all guilty of it, even when speaking. I’ve heard very good interviewers refer back to something someone said moments ago, just to have that person deny having said it.

Extra. There was another interesting part in which Isikoff was talking about people’s opposition to socialism because they’ve seen too much evidence of the failures. Christman and Texas interjected and mentioned that they loved how people always conveniently leave out the Scandinavian countries when they discuss socialism. Isikoff got caught up. He said that the Scandinavian countries started backing away from their socialism in the 1950s. Texas and Christman jumped, explaining that logic didn’t make sense. The countries are prosperous, they moved away from socialism, they’re still far more socialist than any U.S. candidates, and yet U.S. voters want a Biden because they’ll never support radical socialism.

I don’t care if people think Sanders’ or Warren’s policies won’t work. But explain why. Don’t be lazy and just start screaming but look at Venezuela!!