Krystal and Saagar talk about Elon Musk buying Twitter and the online reaction, Kevin McCarthy’s comments about Trump, US-Saudi tensions, Kamala’s latest embarrassment, Steven Donziger being free, Taylor Lorenz’s lies, Bernie 2024, and the inside story of the Bernie 2020 campaign! For clarity, the originally scheduled guest Kim Kelly’s segment will be posted later in the week and Ari Robin-Havt will be in today’s show! Check your email for the full video show and the newsletter as well!!!
Jordan Chariton: https://statuscoup.com/ https://www.youtube.com/c/StatusCoup
Ari Robin-Havt: https://wwnorton.com/books/9781631498794
Timestamps: Twitter: 0:00 – 38:41 McCarthy: 38:42 – 48:30 MBS: 48:31 – 57:38 Kamala: 57:39 – 1:07:10 Donziger: 1:07:11 – 1:15:05 Saagar: 1:15:06 – 1:27:17 Krystal: 1:27:18 – 1:36:19 Ari Robin-Havt: 1:36:20 – 1:52:41
On to the contents of the 4/26 full uncut show:
Krystal and Saagar begin the program with a four part exploration of the story that dominated the internet over the past 24 hours: Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. The deal was finalized yesterday according to news reports and was subsequently confirmed by a PR statement released by the company. Musk himself released a statement and made it clear his commitment to free speech on the platform that was the original motivation behind his investment in Twitter. The social media giant will become a private company whose ownership will play an integral part in shaping political discourse ahead of the 2022 and 2024 elections. Current CEO Parag Agrawal showed support for the company and its mission in response to the purchase by Musk and his financial backers. All eyes will remain on Twitter because its earnings report will be released on Thursday and its employees have internally expressed their frustration about the direction of the social media network.
With the completion of Musk’s purchase came an intense reaction from mainstream media gatekeepers aligned with the Democratic Party as Brian Stelter’s coverage on CNN made headway online for the stance Stelter took against Musk’s online speech policy goals. The outrage on his show was part of a chorus of online liberals who expressed profound displeasure at the news. Some even pushed for leaving Twitter altogether; exemplified by an article in tech publication The Verge explaining how to delete your account that generated considerable buzz. Among the American people, Elon Musk has shown to be broadly popular indicating that the polarization around him from elites on Twitter is not an accurate representation of how most users on the site feel about his purchase.
The last part of this extended A block addresses the questions about Donald Trump returning to the platform years after he was banned from the site at the end of his Presidency. Due to the creation of his own platform TRUTH social, reports say that he’s not planning on returning to the platform. But given Trump’s prolific usage of Twitter during his 2016 campaign and Presidential term, it remains to be seen whether he will stick by the decision to reject the opportunity to return to Twitter. His choice to stay absent or come back to Twitter could play a role in the midterm elections particularly if Democrats in the media and on campaigns try to capitalize on inflammatory comments by Trump. This encompasses the broader political implications Musk’s ownership of Twitter will have for the 2022 elections and the long term future of US media in the digital age.
Even Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos weighed in on the purchase by Musk, pointing out that Musk has close ties to the Chinese government and this move could affect Tesla’s future profits depending on how open Twitter chooses to be. The Amazon titan was quickly reminded of his own dealings with China in order to push CCP propaganda for the pursuit of profit. Many have looked at the ownership of media ventures like the Washington Post in a similar vein to Musk buying Twitter but with a slightly different political agenda.
On a similar note, the follow up to the Twitter drama is a story about GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) whose comments about Trump in January of 2021 were recently released in a report by The New York Times. He was caught mentioning to Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) that he planned on pushing Trump to resign in a meeting after the January 6th Capitol riot. Cable news and legacy publications devoted much coverage to the topic from Rachel Maddow’s show to Fox News programming that pointed out his about face on the matter. Both linked clips have been cut for clarity in the show coverage with Maddow timestamps being from 0:17 – 1:29 and Fox being a mashup with the first 34 seconds and 0:55 – 1:12. It’s a further indicator that Trump continues to hold considerable sway over the party base that he has used to make litigating the 2020 election an issue in Republican primaries. Additionally, McCarthy’s shift in rhetoric is notable because he is poised to become Speaker of the House if the projected GOP recapture of the chamber comes to fruition in the November midterm elections.
The Saudi Arabian autocrat Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been in the global spotlight as oil prices have jumped causing all kinds of economic instability in nations reliant on OPEC’s oil exports. The disagreements between America and the Saudis on the issues of oil production, the Ukraine war, and security issues led to a confrontational meeting with top national security brass. The Wall Street Journal reported that MBS and Biden National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan got into a shouting match over the 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident Jamaal Khashoggi. The dispute ended with bin Salman professing his wish to never discuss the matter again and that the US request to boost oil production would not be recognized. Reports from the murder have implicated the crown prince in the scheme to kill, butcher, and dispose of Khashoggi during his visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
Gas prices remain sky high across America in part due to the disruption in global oil supply caused by the western sanctions against Russia after they invaded Ukraine. The west counted on allies in the Middle East increasing oil exports to replace the lost Russian oil that the west had previously imported in large quantities. The spike in oil prices has provided a boon to the Saudi economy that is reliant on the financial and geopolitical rewards that come with possessing large oil reserves and allying with nearby countries with similar levels of oil reserves. The tension between the Saudis and the US is a very new phenomenon that was fueled by backlash to the US backed war in Yemen in addition to the murder of Khashoggi and other national security concerns.
A figure who has made herself a magnet for criticism by Breaking Points and many other outlets, Kamala Harris, is back at it again. Her prospects of becoming the Democratic Party’s heir to Joe Biden are dwindling, so she had reportedly sought advice from MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on how to turn her fortunes around. She also courted the corporate friendly Democratic Party elite Rahm Emanuel for input outside of her dwindling inner circle of peers that is now becoming even smaller with the departure of her chief of staff. The exit by longtime Democratic operative Tina Flournoy received blame within the VP’s office for the dysfunction that was publicized early on in the Biden term.
Kamala took another hit when it was disclosed that First Lady Jill Biden opposed the addition of then Sen. Harris to the Biden ticket in the 2020 general election. Ms. Biden at the time had not moved past the attacks Harris pointed towards Biden on the debate stage in the Democratic primary that drew much media coverage towards her campaign before it fizzled out without making it to the Iowa Caucus. As the political future of Kamala Harris continues to become more bleak, the show will provide coverage of all the major setbacks for the Vice President that happen in the future.
A bittersweet moment for the E block of the show took place last night as the lawyer known for successfully going after Chevron Steven Donziger was freed from house arrest after an unprecedented, years long legal struggle against the oil giant’s retaliatory actions. In footage obtained by Jordan Chariton exclusively for this show, he can be seen here in a video talking about his exhilaration as a free man and his future now that Donziger has his life back. His future appears to involve writing on Substack about human rights violations and corporate power without fearing censorship. More footage can be seen on the Status Coup YouTube channel and website.
In his monologue, Saagar talks about the power of doxxing as it relates to Taylor Lorenz and the Libs of TikTok Twitter activist. He begins by outlining how Libs of TikTok became an influential figure who is worth engaging with as a conservatve activist, which Lorenz seemed to have no interest in actually doing. He then picks apart the falsehoods in the Washington Post’s statement defending the conduct of Lorenz towards the anonymous account. The extent Lorenz doxxed the woman was watered down in the statement that ignored sharing her real estate license and pursuing members of the woman’s family.
To air out her grievances, the WaPo gossip columnist went to Brian Stelter’s program to justify going above and beyond to find this person by claiming it could have been a foreign actor. The video was cut down in the show for clarity, but the portions highlight the lies and theories she aired out with Stelter’s approval. Saagar then goes on to shred the foreign actor claim and how the rise of Lorenz to begin with signals the death of journalism as it used to be. It’s been known in media circles how she is loathed by journalists behind the scenes who are too afraid to say anything publicly out of fear of being smeared by Lorenz and her allies in prestige media. The collapse in journalistic quality and trust has major implications for US politics especially because of the fear people live in to come out against the ruling class, even media figures largely sympathetic to its aims. So that’s why Breaking Points is seeking to replace them as the new mainstream.
After the monologue, Krystal and Saagar talk about the double standards used by Taylor Lorenz to justify her reporting and the unseriousness of her claims. They discuss the intentions of the Libs of TikTok account and the case that she is a public figure not free from scrutiny.
In her monologue today, Krystal makes the case for Bernie Sanders running for President in the Democratic primary for a third time. Rumors have been circulating that if Biden does not run for re-election, the Vermont Senator has not ruled out jumping back into the fray for President. Progressives high up in the Bernie world have been advising candidates who have received Sanders endorsement about how to respond to questions about it. But Joe Biden has indicated that he will run again in 2024 making any primary campaign highly unlikely. The Democrats essentially have nobody else viable on a national stage for the general election meaning that Joe will have to run whether he wants to or not.
The lack of a successor is not only an issue for Biden, but Sanders is lacking in a national successor which is a big reason why this flirtation is even a consideration for a man of his age. Potentially viable progressives like Elizabeth Warren who resorted to identity politics in 2020 and went after Bernie appear to be more devoted to Democratic politics than any ideology. The Squad has destroyed any national viability they had through activist rhetoric and playing up identity politics instead of a broadly majoritarian progressive economic agenda. Unlike those politicians, Sanders has continued to be a very popular political figure whose impact is being felt in the labor movement and beyond.
After her monologue, the hosts discuss the lack of a successor to Bernie Sanders showing the generational divide on the left and how the Squad blew their opportunity. They also point out the political void on the right after Trump and the center-left after Biden as an institutional failure to generate new leaders as septuagenarians continue their stronghold on power.
Krystal and Saagar are joined by former Deputy Campaign manager for Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign Ari Robin-Havt whose book brings an inside perspective to the promise and downfall of the Sanders campaign. He delivers a picture of who Bernie is and how he dealt with the powerful, outside forces who tried to influence the campaign and ultimately ignored him. There was a coordinated media campaign to squash on the ground coverage of Bernie’s campaign from higher ups who wanted other candidates to win the Democratic nomination. But these elites do not realize their bias caused by personal political preferences waging outsized influence on media coverage and public opinion.
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