Krystal Kyle & Friends | Zac & Gavin of The Vanguard

What makes leftist political commentary both appealing and effective? How can the standard-bearers of independent media cover the most important stories while making sure that their message is heard? And the question we can’t resist: what are the best and absolute worst options for 2024? We’re taking on these (huge) questions and more in Episode 82 of Krystal Kyle & Friends, with the help of our terrific guests, Zac and Gavin of The Vanguard podcast.

Suffice it to say that the landscape of leftist media has gone through some seismic shifts in the past three years. From Bernie 2020 to its aftermath, from the introduction of new programs and media channels to increasing infighting between those programs and platforms after the end of the Sanders campaign and during the uncharted territory of COVID-19, the work of building and maintaining a serious independent platform has changed significantly, and we think it’s essential to understand how.

Zac and Gavin are relative newcomers to this media world, and the opportunity to speak to them about their observations and lessons learned casts new light on the last few years’ upheavals within leftist channels. They share the influences that have shaped the style of their commentary — everything from hip-hop to TYT to our very own Kyle and Secular Talk — and give their own candid takeaways about what it takes to craft and share your message in a durable, accessible way. After all, giving powerful, insightful coverage of contemporary issues is one task — making sure it reaches the right people is quite another.

For example, if you visit The Vanguard’s page on YouTube, you’ll see videos that take on extremely contentious debates among left commentators. Zac and Gavin see these interventions into left-media disputes as interventions into deeper, more perennial conversations about the role and responsibility of the political commentator. They mention recent coverage of a certain commentator’s threats to sue over a disagreement — and how that conversation evolved into a bigger discussion of defamation, freedom of speech, and other issues that shape what messages are censored and who is allowed to participate in these debates.

Of course, we can’t resist doing a little theorizing and speculating about the 2024 presidential field. Is another Sanders candidacy in the cards? Or will Twitter’s favorite Chicago billionaire bring socialism to the United States? You’ll have to tune in to the episode to find out. You can also listen to it tomorrow on Spotify, Pandora, Apple Podcasts, and more.

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