By Matt Taibbi
Useful Idiots, the podcast Katie Halper and I started in the summer of 2019 at Rolling Stone, is moving. After eighty episodes that included interviews with the likes of Tulsi Gabbard (our first guest), Roger Waters, Andrew Yang, Erin Brockovich, Michael K. Williams, Noam Chomsky, Marianne Williamson, Adam McKay, Bernie Sanders, Nadya Tolkonnikova of Pussy Riot, Tim Robbins, Adolph Reed, Chris Hedges, and many others, the show that was created with the idea of being a home for voices shut out or shouted down in traditional media outlets is moving, appropriately, to Substack.
Katie and I have already cut the first installment of the show, which will be coming out in the upcoming days. You can see our trailer above, which is from an episode that features an interview on the current state of speech freedom and nuclear safety with Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.
When it became clear we’d be leaving Rolling Stone, we ran into a dilemma. Neither Katie nor I was anxious to ask anyone to pay for content they were used to getting for free, though the show would cost something to produce. The solution we ended up hitting upon was more content. Roughly speaking, we’ll be generating as much free content per week as we did at Rolling Stone. There will be a few paywalled segments, but the bulk of the show will be free, especially in the early going. Subscribers to TK will also have access to some of the paywalled segments.