0028 - Infographics and Media Consolidation

There are tons of pretty pictures with claims of wisdom and data. Some are pure shit and some are decent. One came to our attention about media consolidation and we want to hold it up as an example to discuss the good and bad of infographics. We discuss media consolidation and how to vet sources even as an ever smaller number of companies are producing the majority of our news interferes with that.

*Guitar riff*

MAKO: Warning. This show contains adult themes and language including bigfoot's dick.

SQEAKY: Dysevidentia is an inability to reliably process evidence and this is a podcast all about it.

MAKO: This episode was released on February 14th, 2022.

SQEAKY: And we are discussing dysevidentia because it is clear millions of people with the illusion of choice are suffering from it.

MAKO: I am Mako.

SQEAKY: And I am Sqeaky.

MAKO: We discuss logic and evidence because someone has to break down your favorite infographic.

SQEAKY: You can support us by becoming a patron at patreon.com/dysevidentia.

MAKO: If you spent all your money buying all the newspaper and radio stations in Minot, North Dakota you can still like, subscribe, and leave a review to help us out.

SQEAKY: If you have a paper you have written or a small business to plug let us know.

MAKO: Today we are going to discuss dysevidentia in the wild, media consolidation, and furries shitting in the hallways.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: You're having a hard time priming yourself to say "bigfoot's dick" aren't you?

MAKO: No I'm just noticing that... nothing, nevermind, it's fine.

SQEAKY: And it's easy to notice if it pokes you in the eye.

*Guitar riff*

META [01:23]

SQEAKY: Good news. Since your last half episode came out, we haven't heard of any corrections from the community.

MAKO: Yay we're doing something good enough.

SQEAKY: Well it's only been one week this time so maybe it's terrible and the normal people who listen just haven't seen it yet.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: I have seen dysevidentia in the wild a little bit more than we had in the past.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: We're left-leaning for Americans, right?

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: Okay. Well I was in some subreddit that was talking about left-leaning policies and there was a link to join the left Discord and in order to join there were some red flags. There were hammers and sickles everywhere.

MAKO: Oh.

SQEAKY: Maybe a group like that just wants to scare away people who are extremely conservative, maybe. I don't know.

MAKO: Maybe.

SQEAKY: It still is concerning, right?

MAKO: It's eyebrow-raising, at a minimum.

SQEAKY: Okay but in order to join you have to message one of their administrators and you have to answer this big list of questions including like where you sit on the political spectrum, how you feel about different things, and how you feel about Cuba, North Korea, and China.

MAKO: If the cost of entry is stating where you are on the political spectrum, it already sounds like they're deliberately constructing an echo chamber.

SQEAKY: Yeah I'm pretty sure they are but I went ahead and answered it.

MAKO: Uhuh.

SQEAKY: I wanted to see inside of an echo chamber, I wasn't going to lie to get in. And when I started saying very easily fact-based things about Cuba and North Korea, they mostly backed off. One of them- multiple admins started talking-- one of them claimed to be from Cuba and said that what I said wasn't true so I'm like okay you know what I'll back off, maybe my news source is not entirely accurate or maybe I subtly conveyed something slightly wrong, like the difference between left and progressive.

MAKO: Yeah there are some subtleties there.

SQEAKY: Yeah. Okay so maybe there was some subtlety like that but on the topic of Cuba.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: But I mentioned lots of different ways where the Chinese government was demonstrably oppressive and one of them was the Uyghur genocide which is a thing which I'm pretty sure is real. I mean I haven't gone there, I haven't seen them, but I would suspect they would just push me to the camp too if I had.

MAKO: Yeah, maybe.

SQEAKY: And they were like 'Well how do you know you're not just believing right-wing propaganda? And I'm like well I can check sources we need to check against reality. Their response was well what do you think of this Reddit post and they linked to a Maoism subreddit.

BULLSHIT SOURCE [3:35] A post riddled with lies, logical fallacies, and generally trying to build a pro-china echo chamber - https://www.reddit.com/r/GenZedong/comments/mlp884/why_the_uyghur_genocide_is_probably_bullshit_a/

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: The banner was a bright red Chinese flag and I don't even know to articulate this. You know when flat earthers make all the bad arguments and when they're rebutting a big list of points that NASA made to say that the world is round and they might say just like a logical fallacy like 'Yeah sure they shared pictures but how do you know those pictures weren't made with fisheye lenses?'.

MAKO: Sure, just that whole flavor of dismissiveness.

SQEAKY: Yeah and this thing wasn't short, it looked like it reached the Reddit max post length so like 10,000 characters or whatever, not a short thing and he cited- it looked like it cited a ton of sources but when it did it was like 'We're gonna dismiss all of the first-hand accounts of Uyghurs because one time one American put up one fake witness' it also happened to be George W. Bush putting up a fake witness for something and actually there was reason to believe he thought it was true at the time so that's not related to this. Yeah we all acknowledge- or I acknowledge fake witnesses can be a thing but they presented no evidence that these witnesses, the many witnesses of the Uyghur genocide that we have in the states here and in other western countries are uh- were fake. They're just asserting it. And then when there's really good arguments about statistics, right. There are statistics about birth rates in the Uyghur-controlled areas in China, the birth rates are just dropping through the floor and the default defense people go to is 'Yeah but the birth control policies affect everyone in China' and I'm like well why are the Uyghur birthrates not in line with the rest of China, why are they much lower?

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: And why are adults dying? Why's the Uyghur population gone from like nine percent to like some lower percent? I don't know the exact numbers. But it was a real percentage shift.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: So doing a little bit of reading, going to Wikipedia for the Uyghur genocide and then just going down to the sources section, there were over 400 sources and I just picked several at random and started reading and everything was like really compelling evidence so I came back to this guy and I'm like look man, maybe it is right-wing propaganda but you gave me a really bad source to say that, it might be propaganda, and I took a screenshot of the Wikipedia sources, pasted it in, and then I was banned. They didn't want to hear anything else from me anymore.

SOURCE [5:20] Uyghur Genocide on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uyghur_genocide

MAKO: Not even a retort or anything? Just immediate ban, no appeal.

SQEAKY: Yeah immediate ban, no appeal. Uh and the reason, the reason for the ban was --and I'm quoting-- the entire reason was: "Liberal".

MAKO: Wow.

SQEAKY: I'm a-

MAKO: So echo chamber confirmed.

SQEAKY: Yeah. So that's just one way that- yeah. One other way dysevidentia can exist and I'm trying to uh, I don't know, buy us more credibility with people who are more conservative-leaning, I mean going out to that extreme way out on the left where you're sucking at China's dick, that's pretty far the fuck out there, but there are real people who believe this. I mean there is a political alignment if you're near- nearer to the left than Fox News you might be aware of a group of people called "Tankies". People who thought the Soviet Union should have rolled the tanks on into Europe and gave communism to everybody. Ugh.

SOURCE [6:28] Urban Dictionary Defines Tankie - https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tankie

SOURCE [6:28] Wikipedia Define Tankies - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tankie

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: Yeah I don't think instilling an ideology with violence is generally a good idea. I mean I could see some exceptions but post- World War II? I don't think so. Seems like a good idea was to stop fighting then. Whatever, we're way off topic here.

MAKO: Yeah that's unfortunate, finding that shit on Reddit which I'm sure there's plenty of things like that but I mean they tend to keep to themselves because if they're open then they're more prone to harassment and that's why they make these private communities that you need to request the mod to give you access to.

SQEAKY: Yeah.

MAKO: It's not the type of thing that you really encounter much out in the wild.

SQEAKY: Yeah I agree. And if somebody is demanding that you explain your beliefs on the topic before you come into the thing you can be pretty sure that on the inside it's not a group interested in going after-

MAKO: Yeah they're shielding the community from what you might say to that thing.

SQEAKY: Yeah if you're shielding a community from ideas rather than behaviors you're not interested in the truth. It's the things I take into account when we're doing moderation for our stuff. We let people say whatever kind of content they want, but if they're being an asshole or a dick or intolerant about it, no, get the fuck outta here.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: We even had a group of trolls try to come in and do a bunch of shit recently and... God the one guy made a Google website as his own source. Did you- Were you there for that?

MAKO: No I don't think I was, not that one.

SQEAKY: Okay, okay. Check out the Discord.

MAKO: What channel?

SQEAKY: Uh I think if you check the [#]🤣-memes you can see the picture of it but if you weren't there as part of the discussion... Oh my god did it did it actually scroll up? Yeah if you look up uh to February 1st. "The Center for Moral Corruptness and Preservation of Morality in our Nation. Our latests stats show that this is the current trend." There you go it's right under your mouse. You just passed it. That thing. This is the website that the asshole made but most the argument happened in #💬-general, some of it happened in uh #💉-covid-19 where he just tried to claim it was fake and we're like no, bullshit, and some of it happened over in [#]✞-biblical-nonsense. One of the trolls I accidentally deleted all of their content- their comments but you can see TheCubicGamer. He's one of 'em. But anyway, we let people come in and say whatever but you start being a jackass or obviously not responding to ideas that's when we get rid of you. Did you unmute the server?

MAKO: No.

SQEAKY: We have some other ways to get a hold of us other than our Discord.

MAKO: Uh... Don't we wanna do the Spotify thing first?

SQEAKY: Okay, we can do the delete Spotify thing first. So shifting away from echo chambers.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Joe Rogan has kind of produced the exact opposite of an echo chamber and is just shouting his bad ideas out there terribly. This is kind of in line with that. Let whatever ideas in but push out the bad behaviors. Joe Rogan has bad ideas and he's unwilling to change them in response to evidence, in response to good ideas, in response to experts and he keeps pushing Ivermectin as a cure for COVID.

MAKO: Yeah he issues like shitty apologies and then he just keeps on saying his shitty ideas so it's like-

SQEAKY: Yeah he's getting people hurt.

MAKO: -okay.

SQEAKY: People are hurting themselves based on emulating him or taking his advice. His- his apologies are both half-assed and don't sound like apologies when you listen to them so he's in some hot water because musical artists wanted to pull their music off Spotify. Uh the biggest one that I've heard of is Neil Young, I know a couple others have done it and the ultimatum from these musicians was you don't get to stream our music if you keep this level of harmful misinformation so they pulled their- their music. And this is kind of a big deal because thirty-one percent of all digital music that's sold, delivered, streamed, whatever goes through Spotify.

SOURCE [9:54] Not likely to impact long term business - https://www.marketwatch.com/story/will-spotifys-decision-to-keep-joe-rogans-podcast-hurt-its-profits-11643406304?mod=MW_article_top_stories 31% of digital music goes through spotify

MAKO: That's quite a bit.

SQEAKY: And if you just looked at streamed it's even bigger. Behind them the next biggest deliverer of music is Apple's iTunes music store.

MAKO: That's what I figured would be number one honestly.

SQEAKY: Yeah Apple wants to claim that they're bigger because they want to claim that people play the songs many times. Even Apple doesn't really know.

MAKO: I see.

SQEAKY: Something else that happened during this was people were trying to delete their Spotify accounts so when we shared the hashtag "DeleteSpotify" people were having issues doing that, well even one of the people in our Discord was discussing how difficult it was and he shared screenshots how when he went to the cancellation page it just stopped loading, it timed out, and it looked like it was one of those deals where you call customer service and customer service tells you go do it on the webpage and you go to the webpage, it doesn't work, it times out or it tells you to call customer service. Marketwatch saw this and they reached out to Spotify and asked for a comment on why this was happening and Spotify refused to respond so I'm pretty sure it's intentional but it's also one of those things that we couldn't ever prove.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah. And uh finally the uh... Yeah the CEO Daniel Ek is citing ethics for not pulling Joe Rogan. Something about not wanting to perform censorship or something.

SOURCE [11:06] Spotify does nothing about misinformation, cites censorship - https://www.marketwatch.com/story/spotify-responds-to-uproar-will-add-content-warnings-improve-transparency-11643578484?siteid=yhoof2

MAKO: Oh the same old tired censorship complaint.

SQEAKY: Yeah they've pulled tons of other people for doing way less about COVID, they just weren't making them Joe Rogan levels of money.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah so it's censorship when they want to ban Joe Rogan but it's not censorship when they wanna ban some conspiracy loon who only makes 'em a dollar, right. It's just not- Daniel Ek's clearly lying and full of shit on that one and we'll put links to both of these, they're both from Marketwatch, they're both for the day this really started picking up. Any other thoughts on DeleteSpotify or this echo chamber bs and the subtle distinction there? 'Cause it is subtle and people will call us hypocrites for saying both these things?

*Mako sighs*

MAKO: Not really. We can address those as they come.

SQEAKY: Yeah. Well maybe. They're gonna call it to us not in our space they're gonna say it out in the wild. The best we can do is say that it's not hypocrisy and play the whole fucking segment asshole. Speaking of uh, bits of the media that we do control, there's several ways you can get in touch with us and share your ideas if you think our ideas are bad you can correct us.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: If you correct us we'll give you a flash drive. There's some limitations on this, we don't do it forever. If it's any of the past, what, three episodes we've been saying and as long as we haven't given out more than three flash drives for that episode you get one.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Okay. If you want to support us financially, there's Patreon. You can just go to patreon.com/dysevidentia.

SUPPORT US [12:26] Dysevidentia on Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/dysevidentia

MAKO: If you want to talk to us on Reddit we have a subreddit, r/dysevidentia.

CONTACT [12:32] Dysevidentia on Reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/Dysevidentia/

SQEAKY: If you want to tweet at us and tell us how bad our ideas are in a hundred-and-forty or fewer characters it's @dysevidentia on Twitter.

CONTACT [12:38] Dysevidentia on Twitter - https://twitter.com/dysevidentia

MAKO: We have a Discord that you can chat with us in, the link to the Discord is in the show notes.

CONTACT [12:43] Dysevidentia on Discord - https://discord.gg/EZtcgdsCDA

SQEAKY: We have uh... a YouTube channel as well, that link is equally unsightly so that'll be in the show notes also.

CONTACT [12:49] Dysevidentia on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBbU3rnK52CXUkK0cJ-o29g

MAKO: You can email us at contact@dysevidentia.com

CONTACT [12:52] Dysevidentia by email - Contact@dysevidentia.com

SQEAKY: And you can read the show notes, transcript, and see all of our sources at dysevidentia.com.

CONTACT [12:59] Dysevidentia.com - https://dysevidentia.com

MAKO: But we don't have a Facebook 'cause fuck Mark Zuckerberg.

*Guitar riff*

SPONSOR [13:04]

*Mako typing*

MAKO: Why the hell is everything redirecting to Fox News?

SQEAKY: I wanted to simulate a world where Rupert Murdoch bought the whole internet.

MAKO: So I need to reset the router?

SQEAKY: Uhm... It might be harder th-than that.

MAKO: Uninstall software on my computer? Did you install malware on my PC?

SQEAKY: It's worse than that...

MAKO: How the hell is it- Wait, what is that behind your back?

SQEAKY: Definitely not a soldering iron.

MAKO: Give me that!

*Struggle insues*

SQEAKY: No! It's still hot!

MAKO: What did you do?

*Sqeaky slides Mako's PC over*

SQEAKY: Look inside your computer.

MAKO: What even is this? It's like you picasso'd all the electronics.

SQEAKY: I reworked it so it thinks that the only phrase is Fox News. It can't type or accept anything else.

MAKO: With just a soldering iron?

SQEAKY: Even if it adds two and two, the answer is...

MAKO: Fox News.

SQEAKY: Hey you can get a new one at ABK Kustomz.

MAKO: I shouldn't even need to get a new one!

SQEAKY: But you can have a custom one built and save ten percent if you give them code "evidence". That's abkkustomz.com! We know it's good because Mako buys a new one every episode.

SPONSOR [14:08] Use code “evidence” to get 10% off a new gaming computer - https://www.abkkustomz.com/

*Guitar riff*

COVID MINUTES [14:17]

MAKO: So new news in the world of the ongoing COVID pandemic that we all wish would finally be over and plenty of people have convinced themselves is over.

SQEAKY: It's actually the title of today's FiveThirtyEight podcast episode. I haven't listened but the title is "Americans are done with COVID. What does that mean?"

SOURCE [14:31] Just reference title of 538 podcast - https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/politics-podcast-americans-say-theyre-over-covid-19-what-does-that-mean/

MAKO: Yeah. Lot of people are getting sick of COVID but sorry to say it's still out there and it's not exactly getting worse but okay, anyway, whatever. News news. There is a new Omicron variant that has been spotted is currently being studied. There is a lot that we don't know about it, in fact most of the things about it we still don't know about it other than it exists but one thing we do know is that it is more infectious than the original Omicron variant.

SOURCE [14:52] WHO says new omicron BA.2 subvariant will rise globally, but scientists don’t know if it can reinfect people - https://www.cnbc.com/2022/02/08/who-says-omicron-bapoint2-subvariant-will-rise-globally.html

SQEAKY: What the fuck does that even mean!? Omicron's like the most infectious thing ever.

MAKO: And this one's more infectious than that so it's titled has been taken away from it.

SQEAKY: But the fuck does it like come with little jet planes when you sneeze and just flies and hit everybody in town? Does it spread through eye contact?

MAKO: Usually when it comes to infectiousness it has to do with the viral load that the virus produces so yeah it just makes more of itself and for any given cough, sneeze, or breath, or anything else like that it's gonna be spreading more of the virus than other variants, that's generally what infectiousness means.

SQEAKY: That's a damned simple explanation, I didn't ha- I really didn't expect you to have one of those.

*Sqeaky and Mako laugh*

MAKO: Now you know!

SQEAKY: But now I know! Thank you. Yeah this was- I don't know anything except how to learn things and then I forget them. I don't know anything about what I did last episode, I just relearn things every episode so this... this is great.

MAKO: Okay. Good. I'm... glad I can help... I think.

SQEAKY: So I had been considering dropping the COVID Minute or suggesting that we drop the COVID minute but then yeah we get a new variant 'cause if it's just COVID, if it's just a pandemic and we're all dealing with it if it's a problem we don't need to talk about it, we're discussing misinformation and people getting hurt because of wrong beliefs and just stupid shit, that's what we discuss. But there was a doctor in uh an Arkansas prison who gave more than a dozen inmates Ivermectin to treat their COVID and he did it both without their knowledge and without their consent.

SOURCE [16:32] Dr gave inmates ivermectin for covid and is being sued because it doesn’t treat covid - https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ivermectin-arkansas-doctor-robert-karas-lawsuit/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=151265104&s=09

MAKO: Okay. I... I want to say that at least he's trying something but there's this whole legal world of medical autonomy that has some words to say about that.

SQEAKY: Yeah and it's not like Ivermectin's a gentle drug, it'll fuck you up, it has its own side effects, there's a reason we don't just give it out to people for every parasite they get. Which it is a real medicine, it stops parasites.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: But it has real drawbacks, it makes you nauseous, it can make your liver fail, you need monitoring, it can do shit to you, right?

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: And it doesn't do shit to viruses.

MAKO: Wasn't there a story about somebody who was taking Ivermectin and then they just kind of expelled their intestinal lining and then they were like 'Look that's the COVID being flushed out.'

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: So I don't know if that one specifically has happened but for all these psuedoscience cures, yeah, yeah, lots of people do stupid shit like drink bleach and then shit out their intenstine- the lining of their intestines and like 'Look, the COVID!' and they say it looks like worms or something.

SOURCE [17:24] People drink bleach to "cure" a variety of ailments because they suffer from dysevidentia - https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/08/the-fda-warns-not-to-drink-bleach-in-case-you-needed-that-reminder/

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah.

MAKO: That sounds familiar.

SQEAKY: It's a lot of people or there was uh one where there was kids with autism and the parents were claiming to cure autism-

MAKO: Oh yeah.

SQEAKY: -and they were giving the kids bleach enemas.

SOURCE [17:41] Yes seriously, bleach enemas - https://www.healthline.com/health-news/parents-warned-about-bleach-therapy-for-autism#Bleach-isnt-good-for-the-body

MAKO: I heard about that one, yeah.

SQEAKY: And then the kids would shit out their intestines and the parents were like 'Look my kid's shitting out worms that's the autism coming out.'

MAKO: The autism worms.

SQEAKY: If you're dumb enough to put bleach in child's asshole, you don't know that autism isn't caused by worms.

MAKO: Yup.

SQEAKY: It's- For people who don't know, autism is purely genetic. There's no communicability to it, you have it or you don't. That's that. It's just a mental state that you have your whole life and the medicines that we have largely treat the symptoms of not having the same social or sensory filters the rest of us have and these people aren't dumb or wrong, they're just not tolerated by a lot of people.

SOURCE [17:59] Autism is Genetic - https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fncel.2019.00385/full

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Anyway. So this doctor... This doctor Robert Karas, a naming and shaming, he's a public figure, he's a government employee, he's done a dumb thing, uh this doctor Robert Karas is being sued by the ACLU so fuck that guy. We need to keep the COVID Minute for at least a few more episodes because Joe Rogan won't shut up, fuckin' doctors in the deep south won't stop poisoning inmates, and then basic science. Omicron's gonna kill us all. It's becoming even more infectious.

SOURCE [18:28] Without consent doctpor gave inmates ivermectinm for covid and is being sued - https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ivermectin-arkansas-doctor-robert-karas-lawsuit/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=151265104&s=09

MAKO: It's not gonna kill us all.

SQEAKY: You're right. It's gonna kill one percent of us.

MAKO: The... What was it, the flu epidemic of was it 1918, was that the last one?

SQEAKY: Yeah 1918 1919 yeah.

MAKO: Yeah so.

SQEAKY: It had a lethality of like in the three to five percent range didn't it?

MAKO: It was pretty lethal and in the moment I'm sure a lot of people were like oh my god this it and then the dust kind of settled and how these things historically have settled and we have way more medical science than we've ever had before so maybe the dust will settle a little bit different and maybe the next time this happens it will settle differently but historically how these epidemics settle is everyone who is susceptible to the virus dies and then everyone else just keeps going 'cause they're not susceptible to the virus.

SQEAKY: So when you say susceptible here you mean lethally susceptible 'cause most people talk about susceptibility in terms of catching it, you're talking about succumbing.

MAKO: Not specifically dying to the virus itself but being weakened enough by the virus such that you could potentially die or be removed from the gene pool, something along those lines even through secondary effects.

SQEAKY: So just to continue the general throughline we've had in talking about a few numbers during the COVID minute. Death counts. We're up to 932,000 deaths in the US so we're approaching 1,000,000. They're at 2,000,000 deaths in Europe and Europe is- Yeah your eyebrow just rose didn't it?

SOURCE [19:57] 932,000 deaths in the US - https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

SOURCE [20:00] 2m deaths in europe - https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/regions/europe/

MAKO: It's a lot.

SQEAKY: It is. Well there's a much larger economic range of people in Europe is my understanding. People way out in Eastern Europe and down in the Baltics, there just isn't as much money as there is in the US and we- we invented like three of the vaccines or something. Not all of them, one of them was done in Germany.

MAKO: Yeah. Debatably the most popular one.

SQEAKY: Yeah. The Pfizer one right?

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah. But then also the population. There's like half a million of 600,000,000- or I'm sorry, half a billion or 600,000,000 people in Europe, something like that.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: So it's around double the population of the US, we're at about 300,000,000, 350,000,000 so a little less than double.

MAKO: 35360 is what I- my understanding what it was.

SQEAKY: Yeah so if you doubled our population and doubled our deaths we'd be at 1.8 million. We're not that far off, we're doing just ever so slightly better, but that may also be attributable to us being way more rural than any other country of this economic level.

MAKO: Yeah. We definitely are more spaced out but we are also more interconnected like...

SQEAKY: You're not wrong, we have more air travel, we have a lot of highways.

MAKO: A lot a lot of highways.

SQEAKY: But I think Europe has a lot more trains and public transportation and stuff like that.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: So something I didn't see anywhere in Europe, I saw one county in Nebraska that had zero infections. Now that might be because that county has like five people.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: That caught it and just can't get it anymore.

MAKO: Maybe.

SQEAKY: And it is Nebraska.

MAKO: You say that like being a Nebraska resident somehow imparts some COVID immunity.

SQEAKY: I mean distance is a sort of COVID immunity. Sure we're in the center but we're far from everything.

MAKO: Okay, these people presumably still have to get supplies though, it's not like they're being in contact with nobody.

SQEAKY: They have corn.

*Sqeaky laughs*

MAKO: Most of the corn in our state goes to the cows.

SQEAKY: Yeah. Can cows transmit COVID? It's not like they're cats.

MAKO: Okay. They can't eat the corn therefore they need to get other supplies from humans.

SQEAKY: They eat the cows.

*Mako sighs*

*Sqeaky laughs and sighs*

SQEAKY: Ah this is some bullshit.

MAKO: They have to harvest the corn and they- there's other supplies like fuel for example unless they're getting the fuel from the cow farts.

SQEAKY: No, we can make fuel out- We can make ethanol-based fuel out of corn.

MAKO: Can the farmers?

SQEAKY: I don't know about any one specific farmer but that equipment isn't actually that big. Sorry this is not-

MAKO: This is not constructive! Fuck you!

SQEAKY: No it's not constructive. On the positive side, the vaccination rate keeps going up. 76.5% of Americans are fully vaccinated. So let's keep that number going up. It's only a couple percentage points since last episode but...

SOURCE [22:30] 76.5% of US Vaccinated - https://usafacts.org/visualizations/covid-vaccine-tracker-states/

MAKO: Well hasn't the question of how vaccinated people are shifted from fully vaccinated to fully vaxxed and boosted?

SQEAKY: I don't know how this compares to previous numbers but according to the Washington Post about thirty percent of Americans have been boosted.

SOURCE [22:49] 30% boosted https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/19/booster-numbers-omicron-variant-surge/

MAKO: That's... not as good as I was hoping for.

SQEAKY: It just started in December or November.

SOURCE [22:54] FDA Cleared Booster for all US adults Nov 19 - https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/19/fda-clears-modernas-covid-vaccine-booster-shots-for-all-us-adults.html

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Considering that a third of the country's gotten it in like two or three months, that's pretty good. I think what's gonna happen is these first couple of months are gonna be really fast, we're gonna have a long period of maybe like ten months where we get up to seventy, eighty percent, and then the last of the people are never gonna get it or slowly get it as they're mandated because they're left out of some specific thing. Like remember a few episodes ago when we did the interview with the person whose grandmother was dying?

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah the grandfather in that case got vaccinated so he could go into the hospital.

MAKO: Yeah I've heard of a few people that were in that position which sucks.

SQEAKY: Yeah.

MAKO: I mean the nature of boosters, like we're likely to continue to need boosters for the foreseeable future. By the time we get to- at this rate, seemingly, assuming that the the vaccination- or the booster rate rather inclines in an intuitive manner, before we even get to fifty percent boosted, we're gonna have another booster.

SQEAKY: There is some logic to that and I think a lot of people fear injections every quarter or something and likely it'll just shake out like the flu vaccine, you should get one every year.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: Then maybe I'm just full of shit, that's entirely possible, I don't have a source saying that.

MAKO: I don't know. Maybe, maybe not. I don't know.

SQEAKY: Now believe me when I have sources and they're good.

MAKO: Alright, fine. Fuck you.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: Typing noises. Shuffling noises.

MAKO: More shuffling noises.

SQEAKY: Crack, pop, computer opening noises.

*Guitar riff*

THE INFOGRAPHIC [24:18]

SQEAKY: One of our listeners sent in an infographic.

MAKO: Aha.

SQEAKY: Yeah they were curious what we thought about it.

MAKO: This is... a really large scroll tastic infographic by the looks of it.

SQEAKY: Oh yeah, we'll link to it in the show notes and we'll make sure it's on screen and probably scrolling by slowly for all of our YouTube viewers but for now, Mako, do you have it on your screen?

SOURCE [24:36] The infographic in question is already widespread - https://infographicjournal.com/media-consolidation-the-illusion-of-choice/

MAKO: I do not.

SQEAKY: Um, there's a link.

MAKO: I do now.

SQEAKY: Okay. So, it's huge. It's seriously like if it were a page wide it'd be like eight pages long or something.

MAKO: Yup.

SQEAKY: But it's titled "Media Consolidation: The Illusion of Choice" and we went through and vetted the sources, checked what it was saying. Many of the claims check out but it's kind of old now and a lot of the sources just- they don't exist anymore or they result in 404s.

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] Media conglomerates and mergers - https://www.globalissues.org/article/159/media-conglomerates-m Ergers-concentration-of-ownership

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] Bizcompare Does not load - https://bizcompare.com/industries/industry-research-reports/TV-Stations_1569/Averaged%20from%20a%20Seattle%20basic%20cable%20package

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] Reddit blog archive only goes back to 2017 - https://blog.reddit.com/2010/07/experts-misundestimate-our-traffic.html

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] No non-sense count of TV ownership and other stats - www.pressreference.com/Sw-Ur/United-States.html

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] Compete.com did not load - http://siteanalytics.compete.com/cnn.com/

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] 404 on news corp page - https://www.newscorp.com/operations/newspapers.php

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] Einfopedia seems like an old and small Encyclopedia who cannot count - https://www.einfopedia.com/world-top-ten-most-circulated-newspapers.php

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] The Daily beast changed URLs when discussing murdoch’s money which is full of shenanigans - https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-rupert-murdochs-money-helps-him-makes-friends

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] Another newscorp 404 - www.newscorp.com/Report2010/letter_to_stockholders.html

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] Rupert Murdoch skipping out on taxes - https://www.huffpost.com/entry/rupert-murdoch-corporate-tax-panama-trade-deal_n_1018600

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] Article.nypost seem gone article not found in quick search - http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-08-30/news/30114105_1_disaster-aid-fema-victims

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] Msb.edu is now georgetown university and the archives didn’t appear to make it - https://faculty.msb.edu/homak/homahelpsite/webhelp/Clear_Channel_-_Single_Voice_in_Minot.htm

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] Future of Music coalition disliked this consolidation way back in 2006 - http://futureofmusic.org/press/press-releases/radio-station-ownership-consolidation-shown-harm-musicians-and-public-says-fmc-

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] Billboard top hits of the 20th century - https://www.bmi.com/news/entry/232893

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] Box office mojo tracks movie revenue - https://www.boxofficemojo.com/year/2010/

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] Epmcom has been replaced by an indonesian gambling and porn site - https://www.epmcom.com/public/2472print.cfm

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] Olympics don’t seem to keep old fact sheets - https://olympic.org/Documents/Games_Vancouver_201/Factsheet_Vancouver_legacy_February_2011_eng.pdf

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] Wikipedia no longer has a page on NFL attendance - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NFL_attendance

INFOGRAPHIC CITES [24:54] Bloomberg changed how they handle archive URLs - http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aJhRlwHzwEDg

MAKO: Yeah we were discussing that in the the prep for this episode and it appears to... Like you said it has a lot of accuracies but it really really hasn't aged well.

SQEAKY: Yeah- Okay so, it was made in 2011 so it's like ten years old now.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: It's talking about six companies own most of the stuff and it goes over notable properties each company has like how News Corp owns Fox, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, but they leave out The Sun 'cause that hadn't happened yet. So this problem is continued.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Yeah. There's like six companies they mentioned, CBS, Time Warner, Viacom, Disney, News Corp, and GE own pretty much all of the big media stuff, right like people might think MTV is big business but it's just one thing Viacom does.

MAKO: It- Ninety percent of media is this specific claim is owned by these six companies.

SQEAKY: Yeah. And I don't know if that's better or worse today, it's still problematic.

MAKO: I did- Skipping ahead slightly.

SQEAKY: Go ahead, go ahead.

MAKO: I did look this up and actually it is worse today than it is what being conveyed in this infographic.

SQEAKY: That makes sense. We haven't done anything to fix the problem and the problem is being pushed by people who want it to get worse.

MAKO: Specifically Viacom and CBS on this list.

SQEAKY: Yeah.

MAKO: They've merged. So it's now five companies owning ninety percent.

SQEAKY: Viacom and CBS merged?

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Holy crap. I don't like the slant that this infographic takes. It says "232 MEDIA EXECUTIVES CONTROL THE INFORMATION DIET OF 277 MILLION AMERICANS". So yes, a small group of people controlling the view of a large group of people is bad, but this also gives it to us in a super biased not consistent- in a context free way, right. I don't know how disastrous that actually is. Maybe that's not a problem because it's always been that way and we had good information access in the past or maybe it's so much worse than it used to be and there's less emotional more... I don't know, fact-based ways to communicate that, but then they tried to provide context for these things like these revenue numbers where they say the revenue of these companies is so many billions and that's bigger than the GDP of Finland, enough to buy every NFL team twelve times, five times the government bailout of GM, that dates it doesn't it?

MAKO: Yeah a little bit.

SQEAKY: They still talk about cable and then they talk about how few- Oh my god they mentioned Digg.

MAKO: That dates it too.

SQEAKY: Yeah Digg doesn't exist at all anymore. "178 MILLION UNIQUE USERS READ TIME WARNER NEWS EVERY MONTH, that's twice as big as Digg, Tumblr, and Reddit combined".

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: I think we're starting to look at how problematic infographics can be but why don't we save that for just a moment.

MAKO: Sure.

SQEAKY: Let's skip down to to to the end so we can discuss some of the problems with this infographic specifically. At the bottom it says "Brought to you by FRUGAL DAD".

MAKO: Who or what the fuck is FRUGAL DAD?

SQEAKY: I have no fucking clue when I checked.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: Today there is a blog called FRUGAL DAD. Maybe FRUGAL DAD used to be about finance news in general? But in the past week they had three different recipes that let you make cheap food for your kids.

SOURCE [27:57] Home made hot dog buns, but seems like an unlikely source for media consolidation news - https://www.frugal-dad.com/blog/homemade-hot-dog-buns/

MAKO: Maybe. Another thought I had is maybe there was some specific social media website of some kind, maybe it was fuckin' Digg itself, where this person was a user on that website, compiled all of this, posted it there under the username FRUGAL DAD and expected people to just pick up the context from that.

SQEAKY: That's entirely possible.

MAKO: Maybe. I don't know.

SQEAKY: Uh more to try to dig into where this thing came from, I did a reverse image search and I found 315 different copies of this image or something really close. Like our copy of it has the little iFunny banner down at the bottom so it's been rehosted on iFunny.

SOURCE [28:30] Tineye reverse image search shows 315 places but no apparent origin - https://tineye.com/search/40fe90504d5ce97fa76c95352e79271acc697be7?sort=score&order=desc&page=1

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: So that's why ours looks so... jpeg'd. But there's no original source. A bunch of these things were like random WordPress blogs, the kinds of low quality things we were lambasting right-wing sources for. So... Y'know a bunch of them were Russian sources actually too, there was like a Russian image-sharing website was up there.

MAKO: That's pretty sus.

SQEAKY: I have no reason to believe that this originated in Russia, many of the claims actually do check out, but the sources that were on here- which is good. Right-

MAKO: Oh yeah.

SQEAKY: If you see an infographic and it doesn't mention sources, delete it and move on. Just it's not worth your time if it doesn't have sources at all. If it has sources it was probably made in good faith but like this one, let's say there's an error, right. If somebody made a version two of this infographic, the infographic has no way to tell you that it's the most up to date version not that they even try to version them. But then the sources on this, there are nineteen sources and eleven of them broke. This is great, I teased this one to Mako before the podcast.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: Any guess how like the different ways they broke, any guess how that breaks down?

MAKO: Well I mean you said eleven of the nineteen don't work, I would imagine a lot of it is 404s.

SQEAKY: That's good. Six of them were 404s on a webpage that was still up. So there were five other failures from these things, three more ways they failed.

MAKO: Uh I'd imagine at least one of them probably shows information unrelated to the topic.

SQEAKY: Oh... Oh yeah, totally. We'll save that one for last.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: Three of them didn't load at all. Just the webpage just was gone. Just the top level domain, gone.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: Uh, two of 'em, the URL changed. I guess one of those was kind of a 404 but 'cause when I put the original URL in one of them would redirect me to the right place and one of them 404'd and then I was able to use the resource of the site to go back in and find it, but then the last one, okay. The last one. The source empcom.com, empcom.com...

MAKO: Okay, I see that. /public/blogprint.cfm, yeah.

SQEAKY: Has been replaced with an Indonesian porn and gambling site.

MAKO: Porn and gambling?

SQEAKY: Yup! You can do your gambling and see some titties over at thing that this infographic cited.

MAKO: That... I don't even know man.

SQEAKY: Maybe in some Indonesian language 'cause it's a big- it's a country with a lot of people.

MAKO: Yeah of course.

SQEAKY: So they speak multiple languages, lots of Asian stuff, so maybe phonetically it turns into something in some other language, I don't know.

MAKO: Okay. Well that's uh, neat.

SQEAKY: Okay. This uh, this shows a problem with sources.

MAKO: Did you try any of these in the Wayback Machine?

SQEAKY: No. I probably could and I probably should.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: That is an obvious next step if we want to dig deeper.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: But we just worked around that by just checking some of the claims right like.

MAKO: Yeah, yeah.

SQEAKY: If you had an infographic and it gave you some sources you could check them in the Wayback Machine and we should do a... a link to that. But the Wayback Machine is just a webpage that will let you view what older versions of webpages looked like. It tries to archive a whole copy of the internet as often as possible and hit web pages that change more often so it can just keep a living record of what's been viewed and what's going on.

MAKO: Yeah.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY, but from the future: Sqeaky from the future here. I went ahead and punched a bunch of those web pages that failed to load into the Wayback Machine. Was able to get compete.com to load but not the specific page that let us compare the things it was looking to compare. It did look like it was just one of those sites that dynamically generated comparisons, probably useful at the time for getting a real specific number but again context-free. The Wayback Machine didn't have the New York Daily news article. There was an article from MSB.edu that was a very emotional appeal about the consolidation of news under a single banner in Minot, North Dakota. Wasn't able to get the Olympics fact sheet and uh Bloomberg news was a bust. EpmCom.com wasn't always porn. The Wayback Machine has the actual article and it seems to be a bunch of legitimate numbers. I didn't know Hello Kitty was worth nearly as much as Disney Princesses but I'll drop a whole bunch of extra sources in the show notes so you can take a look for yourself if you're so inclined.

SOURCE [31:45] Compete.com was defunct as far back as 2015 - http://web.archive.org/web/20150703011847/http://siteanalytics.compete.com/cnn.com/#.VZXi_vfLe0o

SOURCE [31:45] That specific bizcompare page didn’t load, but some of it was archived - https://web.archive.org/web/2014*/https://bizcompare.com/industries/

SOURCE [31:56] Compete loaded in 2010 and had numbers that seem in line, but haven’t been robustly checked - http://web.archive.org/web/20100305000010/http://siteanalytics.compete.com/cnn.com/

SOURCE [31:59] The wayback machine didn’t have the NY Daily news article - http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-08-30/news/30114105_1_disaster-aid-fema-victims

SOURCE [32:03] Wayback got the MSB.edu article, it dates from 2003 and seems largely an emotional appeal - https://web.archive.org/web/20110528154026/http://faculty.msb.edu/homak/HomaHelpSite/WebHelp/Clear_Channel_-_Single_Voice_in_Minot.htm

SOURCE [32:10] Wayback did get the Olympics fact sheet - https://web.archive.org/web/*/https://olympic.org/Documents/Games_Vancouver_201/Factsheet_Vancouver_legacy_February_2011_eng.pdf*

SOURCE [32:12] Wayback has the bloomberg news archives, but not the specific article and might be missing lots of dynamic content - https://web.archive.org/web/20140208042631/http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive

SOURCE [32:18] EpmCom.com wasn’t always porn, Wayback has the actual article and seems a legitimate reporting of numbers - https://web.archive.org/web/20120304200857/http://www.epmcom.com:80/public/2472print.cfm

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: Now uh a problem with sourcing. In addition to your citations changing, 'cause y'know if we link to Wikipedia, Wikipedia can get rid of the page. But you can minimize how much that impacts the veracity of a thing that you're making if you connect your sources to specific claims. And Wikipedia and our podcast are both really good about this. When we use a source, we timestamp it. We bring it down to the second and that's the second we use the source at.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: If a source that you're trusting connects specific claims to specific sources then when those sources disappear you don't have to distrust the whole thing, you can see if modern sources still back that up. Like every Wikipedia page does this. At the end of each sentence-

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: -that makes a claim, they put a little link to a source.

MAKO: Yeah a numbered citation that takes you to the bottom of a page that gives you more concrete information about the source itself.

SQEAKY: Yeah so when we do our links to our specific timestamps, you can see how much sourcing we put into any one part. This infographic fails to do that entirely and it wouldn't be that hard. They could put numbers in there, they could put daggers or asterichs or put the sources right in line.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: So, going over their sources I did learn a few interesting things. I learned that one of the bigger problems here is Rupert Murdoch being ridiculously political and hiding all of his money away in tax havens and then using that money to pay politicians to get laws loosened in not just the US but all over the place. But none of the things in this were new news to me, right, because this infographic is from ten years ago and its sources are from older times.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Some of its sources weren't even relevant. Like it made claims about the top forty songs that were on the radio station and then it links to the Billboard music and I'm like y'know what that might verify what songs are playing but it really doesn't help with the overall...

MAKO: I think they were thinking that there's a homogenization within the media but then like but this is where all the money is. So I mean yeah there is homogenization but you don't need this like creative oppression in order to explain it, it's just money.

SQEAKY: Y'know there's actually uh... a future of music link that did work and will be in our notes with an INFOGRAPHIC CITES that actually discusses that but has industry theater talking about it instead of me. I don't have a well-formed opinion or enough knowledge there. I will say there is plenty of great free music out there.

MAKO: Oh yeah.

SQEAKY: Tons of open source music and some of it is awesome like actually the guitar riff that we use in the opening of our podcast is creative commons licensed so some guys just played it and said hey do what you want with it. I'm likr "cool, now I have to make a podcast".

MAKO: I don't think that's quite how the order of things there but okay.

SQEAKY: I don't know man that happened a year ago. A whole year.

MAKO: That definitely means you don't remember it anymore.

SQEAKY: Yeah... When did I say I forgot things?

MAKO: Yeah don't worry about it.

SQEAKY: Okay.

MAKO: It's okay.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: CEO Founder- Fuck now I forgot his name. Let me get this dipshit's name.

*Guitar riff*

MEDIA CONSOLIDATION [35:25]

SQEAKY: It's my understanding you've done some research on media consolidation.

MAKO: Oh just kinda looking up where things are right now. I pulled up the Wikipedia page, it's one of the places I go for a lot of our stories but in the case of this one it... the Wikipedia page is just very densely packed with all sorts of information that- I mean if I were to try and cover that in the podcast it would immediately make the podcast a- this topic a two episode thing and just no.

SOURCE [35:34] Recent media mergers in the United States - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentration_of_media_ownership#Recent_media_mergers_in_the_United_States

SQEAKY: So if Wikipedia was sexier and more approachable...

MAKO: Like an infographic.

SQEAKY: ...then more people would listen. The problem is infographics don't stay accurate and so many are bad.

*Sqeaky sighs*

MAKO: We'll circle back to pros and cons of infographics.

SQEAKY: Y'know we- I skipped over that, yeah we- okay yeah. Let's circle back to it after.

MAKO: But I just wanted to cover where things are right now because like I said the infographic you found is old and I did mention that we are- went from six companies down from five owning ninety percent of all US media. Those five companies are a little bit different than the other list that's in the infographic. Uh it starts with AT&T, then Comcast, Walt Disney Company, ViacomCBS, and Fox Corporation.

SQEAKY: Doesn't News Corp own Fox?

MAKO: Uh... Maybe.

SQEAKY: Yeah... I'm pretty sure News Corp owns Fox.

MAKO: News Corporation was split into two separate companies on June 28th, 2013, with publishing assets and Australian media assets going to a spinoff known as News Corp and broadcasting and media assets going to 21st Century Fox. Both companies remain under the control of Rupert Murdoch although Murdoch has reduced involvement within the News Corp. Most of 21st Century Fox's properties are now owned by Walt Disney Company through their acquisition of the company while others have gone into the newly founded Fox Corporation or sold to other companies.

SQEAKY: Okay. So Disney got Fox Entertainment, Fox became a giant news broadcasting thing under Rupert Murdoch, and News Corp became all of the TV and radio stuff that used- Sorry, radio is still under Fox but all of the written word stuff is now under News Corp so things like the Wall Street Journal, The Sun, uh the New York Post, those are all News Corp.

MAKO: Um... Uh, the second incarnation of News Corporation stylized is News Corp is an American media and publishing company operating across digital real estate information, news, media, book publishing, cable television. Incorporated in Delaware, headquartered in- Of course it's incorporated in Delaware.

SQEAKY: The tax benefits man. Get out of those taxes for free.

MAKO: Uh and headquartered in New York City, it was formed in 2013 as a spinoff of the original News Corporation founded by Rupert Murdoch in 1980. Includes Dow Jones and Company, News UK, publisher of The Sun and The Times, News Corp Australia, REA Group, Realtor.com, Book Publisher Harper Collins, yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah.

MAKO: And all of that is owned by Fox Corporation.

SQEAKY: Wait so Fox owns News Corp is what you're saying?

MAKO: That's what the other page said.

SQEAKY: Okay okay. I thought it was News Corp and Fox were both owned by Rupert Murdoch.

MAKO: No okay you might be right.

SQEAKY: But that's how complex this topic is 'cause we rarely have to touch it. We read up on this just for this episode and it can be hard to keep track of so if you're trying to do things like search for multiple sources for information and you're like 'Oh the New York Post and The Sun both agree on it, that means that I can use that to crosscheck Fox News' well that... that's not an accurate way to get information.

MAKO: I'm sorry. Rereading it, News Corporation was split into two companies and one of the companies went under Fox Corporation, the other one is distinct.

SQEAKY: Okay, so there's two News Corps, News Corp under Fox, News Corp on its own, Fox does mostly broadcasting, the seperate News Corp under Rupert Murdoch does mostly paper and web-written word but there's a little bit of overlap here and there.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Okay.

MAKO: Yeah and Rupert Murdoch controls all of it regardless.

SQEAKY: Because Rupert Murdoch can insert his bias where he wants, you can't use The Sun or The Globe or the New York Post to check what's on Fox News.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Blah.

MAKO: Yeah. So this is a huge list and we have a link to a chart that conveys some of these things- Wait woah woah woah, AT&T controls DirecTV.

SQEAKY: You know what, I'm wrong. I'll just erase that part.

MAKO: Sure. They have a- Rather they have a seventy percent stake in DirecTV it looks like.

SQEAKY: Fifty-one percent is functionally owning most of the time.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: But okay.

MAKO: And that's just noticing that what the chart says so yeah AT&T, Comcast, Disney, ViacomCBS, Fox Corporation. And those are listed in the revenues that they produce. AT&T produces... or has- did produce in 2019, mandatory caveats, they produced 181.19 billion, Comcast made a 108.94 billion, Walt Disney produced 69.57 billion, ViacomCBS is at 27.81 billion and Fox Corporation 11.39 billion.

SQEAKY: Those revenue numbers are gigantic.

MAKO: Yes.

PROS AND CONS OF INFOGRAPHICS [40:28]

SQEAKY: So we've said a couple times we were gonna circle back to the pros and cons of infographics.

MAKO: Yep. So infographics, they do have a place. They have problems that we've touched on like they tend to be assembled by people that are... not quite following proper sourcing rules or are just not sourced whatsoever.

SQEAKY: That's a pretty big problem.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: I would also argue that many infographics are intentionally made to deceive. Not all of them, and that is problematic because plenty of them are great. Some of them come from reliable sources like Kurzgesagt. Yeah so some people make manipulative infographics and some people make them earnestly and then often times people who make them earnestly don't source them well, don't provide good citations, this one that we got was actually above average.

SOURCE [41:02] Kurzgesagt Science educators who use graphics - https://kurzgesagt.org/

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: Right even ten years later, almost half the links worked and I was able to then even tease out a couple more 'cause some of the ones that 404'd I searched on the webpage and found the original article, read it, and did a little bit of fact-checking. Yeah.

MAKO: One thing that infographics absolutely do well is they condense and both good and bad they provide a good vehicle for conveying some amount of emotion and emotion for the sake of emotion in any given argument is just gonna be bad, that that is just manipulating people.

SQEAKY: But if you're trying to build a social movement and you're trying to tell people why a thing is bad, you need to convey emotion.

MAKO: It is literally required.

SQEAKY: Yeah.

MAKO: You have to create that engagement and you have to work emotion in in order to create that engagement.

SQEAKY: What I would love to start seeing and what would make infographics more credible to me is if people dated their infographics and we just started ignoring them when they were above a certain age.

MAKO: That could work.

SQEAKY: Now that does require buy-in but that also means that we could start up a rule that says if the infographic isn't dated, ignore it.

MAKO: Yeah that would protect from like some of the pitfalls of genuinely crafted infographics but it doesn't protect from maliciously crafted infographics.

SQEAKY: Well it sorta helps there. If the infographics have a date, 'cause you can't really lie about the date or put the date in the future, the best you can do is if you're the person putting out malicious infographics is keep redating it and keep publishing it but that raises the cost to put an infographic out there so if people get in the habit of just ignoring old infographics or undated infographics then malicious infographics- okay it doesn't fix the problem but it raises their cost.

MAKO: Okay, sure. I would imagine given how easy it is to just make up bullshit or make a meme...

SQEAKY: Yeah.

MAKO: I would imagine the cost is a rather trivial one because-

SQEAKY: But the redistributing. We don't see all the memes that don't catch on.

MAKO: Sure.

SQEAKY: We talk about pondering orbs because in these social circles we've been in the pondering orb meme picked up and even then we only saw dozens? Right we didn't see them all. And if somebody has to redistribute their infographic like every month to keep it up to date and spammy then-

MEMES [43:14] Pondering Orbs - https://imgur.com/a/G4KGk8p

MAKO: I don't think it would be every month. That seems silly to me.

SQEAKY: Nah it's you're probably- It probably wouldn't have to be every month but it would have to be somewhat often and that means just dedicating people to the problem so yeah you could keep let's say Russia wanted to put out infographics to the Ukraine situation, right, they could-

MAKO: Give it time. Give it time.

SQEAKY: Goodness. But they're gonna have to keep putting new ones out there and they won't be able to reuse or recycle them and just there's been a whole bunch of Russia situations where pro-Russia infographics would have been great like during the Syria conflict. And when I say great I mean great for Russia.

MAKO: Of course.

SQEAKY: And... I don't know. I don't have any other ideas about this because images are freely distributable and I'm not going to advocate censoring all infographics 'cause people use them for good things too.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah.

MAKO: I don't know. The... Dating them definitely reduces the problem space of infographics. I one hundred percent agree with that but I think some of the other things that you're saying it helps with, they do technically help but they're just trivially circumvented.

SQEAKY: Okay. Well are there other pros or cons?

MAKO: Brevity, the ability to mix emotion in for greater impact, greater engagement, more digestible so it's just inherently going to reach more people. We're joking about the Wikipedia page. If this whole Wikipedia page was a single infographic instead, a lot more people would be interested.

SQEAKY: Yeah. God... Do we need to start making dysevidentia infographics and date them? We should make an infographic about how to consume infographics.

MAKO: We could do that. I think. Don't forget to date it.

SQEAKY: You can't- I will ask our graphics guy. I will not make an infographic, I will coordinate with the graphics guy.

MAKO: Of course.

SQEAKY: Ah, shit. Okay. So I guess we're in that business now.

MAKO: We'll see. We're gonna talk and workshop maybe something. No promises. That's all. No promises.

SQEAKY: And sign up now at patreon.com to get your new dysevidentia infographic poster.

MAKO: We could do that.

SQEAKY: Oh my god. It doesn't matter how sarcastic I say when I say the Patreon link we could do any- oh-

MAKO: We literally could do that.

SQEAKY: Let's go back to the flamethrower idea. What happened to that!? Why didn't we follow up on that?

MAKO: I don't know, I think we're waiting for a certain amount of revenue before we start escalating to prizes that large.

SQEAKY: Yeah flamethrowers are expensive.

MAKO: Very.

SQEAKY: It's still on the page though. Or it's still on the table though. If we get enough money we totally will give away flamethrowers. The US hasn't changed laws yet. And given the deadlock in congress it never will!

MAKO: Yeah. Yeah, that is a uh... an ever present thing. As soon as we get large enough that's all.

SQEAKY: Oh my god. So you did some specific research into one group that was problematic: Sinclair.

MAKO: Well, problematic kind of. So...

SQEAKY: They want to compete with Fox News in the art of being right-wing.

MAKO: Kind of. Let me elaborate. So the Sinclair Broadcast Group has been picked on in particular, a whole lot of people described it as "The Sinclair Effect" for when a parent media company buys a smaller media company and then enforces some kind of creative direction, creative control on the content or media that they release. The idea, specifically with the Sinclair Broadcast Group, 'cause they go around acquiring local news stations and people were accusing them of forcing them to run conservative or right-leaning news segments, commercials, content, all that. And there has absolutely been a nonzero amount of that. It is trivially provable there has been a nonzero amount of it. On July 3rd, 2017, John Oliver did an episode, Last Week Tonight, where he discusses it and just quick rundown of what he says, there are must-run segments that are created by Sinclair, they're then distributed by each of these news stations and as the name suggests for must-run, they absolutely must run these segments at some point during the times they're airing content. Most of these segments are noticeably conservative and right-leaning, one of these even included a guy that was a former Trump staffer so if that gives you an idea of exactly how far right this goes.

SOURCE [47:01] Sinclair Broadcast Group - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvtNyOzGogc

SQEAKY: Now was that the guy that was calling all college students snowflakes-

MAKO: No.

SQEAKY: -or was that the other guy that was lying about voter fraud.

MAKO: Lying about voter fraud.

SQEAKY: But that's the spectrum we're talking about, right?

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: I presume there's some that are slightly less ridiculously right-leaning than that.

MAKO: Something like that. So that guy's name that was running the- talking about the voter fraud for Obama, his name was Boris Epshteyn.

SQEAKY: That guy actually is Ep-stien.

MAKO: Ep-stien?

SQEAKY: Yeah. According to John Oliver. I'll trust him on pronouncing a guy's name.

MAKO: Sure.

SQEAKY: Whereas the other one, the uh pedophile was Epstein.

MAKO: Yes, yes. Of course. Uh anyway, so they had must-run segments and since the airing of that episode, John Oliver's episode talking about all of this, they have pulled back on that a little bit, they don't do as many must-run segments, specifically Boris Epshteyn's segments have been dropped completely. They want- That happened in December 11th, 2019, and the stated reason for it was to encourage stations to prioritize local investigative coverage of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

SQEAKY: But we don't have any official comment from them about- Wait it was dropped in 2011?

MAKO: No. 2019. December 11th, 2019.

SQEAKY: Oh okay okay.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: But Sinclair still has, for some reason, chosen to be in the conservative or right-leaning part of the political spectrum.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: Are we supposed to believe that they just gave that up and opted for investigate journalism which tends to be left-leaning?

MAKO: Well specifically in the case of Boris Epshteyn, his must-run segments have- are gone. Like, and that's not the only one. So there's still other things going on and that still sucks but it is better. Now the specific claim that the Sinclair Broadcast Group is going to eradicate local news journalism in favor of partisan politics, that is what people are talking about when they talk about The Sinclair Effect and a few people have conducted studies to try and figure out how accurate that claim is. So I found one study at colorado.edu, they looked at six Sinclair stations over the course of six years to examine the effects of the Sinclair takeover. They found that after Sinclair took it over, coverage of local stories dropped significantly and in a way that suggested that there were budget cuts in the studio itself. They just couldn't cover as many stories. Syndicated content from other stations increased very substantially. Stations covered partisan politics less after the acquisition according to these people.

SOURCE [49:42] Media consolidation takes toll on local news but doesn’t necessarily bias coverage - https://www.colorado.edu/today/2021/10/20/media-consolidation-takes-toll-local-news-doesnt-necessarily-bias-coverage

SQEAKY: That's interesting.

MAKO: Yes. This is despite the must-runs that we know exist so I think that implies that they were running even more partisan politics before the acquisition?

SQEAKY: Now there is a bunch of ways to read this and a bunch of possible rebuttals but the smallest simplest thing here is there are two sides of partisan politics. If there's a prescription against running all left-leaning partisan politics, you're going to be running less partisan politics but you're gonna be more partisan. And a lot of times academics try to step back and not categorize things as left or right because-

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Fundamentally that requires a judgment which is anathema to good hard science. When you're doing good hard science you want anyone to be able to look at the data and draw correct and accurate conclusions from pure data and that's really hard to do if you're munging the data with your bias beforehand but there's no way to look at is this story left-leaning or right-leaning without injecting your bias. And that's why we just own it, we are biased. We are both somewhat left-leaning, not as left-leaning as that subreddit we talked about in the meta segment.

MAKO: The study itself was regrettably paywalled so I couldn't dive-

SQEAKY: Gross.

MAKO: -into the specific details but from what I was able to read it didn't sound like they were trying to pick favorites with partisanship at all.

SQEAKY: Well then that comes to the next concern that I've had or that I would put forward with complaints like this 'cause I've seen in the past studies saying that oh there's no partisanship going on in insert thing that society feels is obviously partisan, things like uh climate change, there is no partisanship to people denying climate change, look there's people on the left and right and then scientific studies come out that seem to back this up for at least a few years and then several years later we learn that oh all those studies were backed by one political party or another. How do we know we're not in the situation and what does that look like if Sinclair is being honest about encouraging investigative journalism versus if Sinclair is being intentionally partisan. How could we tell the difference?

MAKO: So the next source will touch on that a little bit.

SQEAKY: Okay. Yeah and I don't want to sound like I'm being a raving conspiracy mongerer or like I'm... I've made up my mind firmly, but if you're gonna tell me that Sinclair isn't right-leaning when just a couple years ago they decided to get rid of-

MAKO: So these studies are not about Sinclair itself. They're about the content being aired by the stations before and after Sinclair took over.

SQEAKY: Yeah, yeah, I'm with you there. But there's an implication that if Sinclair is right-leaning, the stuff in the stations they own will eventually be right-leaning if it isn't already.

MAKO: Yeah, if they exert creative control yes.

SQEAKY: And you don't buy this many stations without a desire to assert creative control. It's not like these stations are money-making machines. Local stations- There's a lot easier ways to get really rich than buy a bunch of local stations.

MAKO: So other things they found. Stations took on a more cable news style approach, the abstract didn't really elaborate on that style all that much but that is a something that I heard in multiple places and other places did kind of define what they felt cable news style approaches to be and so cable news style approach usually means that they're covering more national news instead of more local news and they use dramatic elements, commentary, and partisan sources.

SQEAKY: More often?

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: The talking head and argument model, when you say cable news that's what I was thinking. I'm glad somebody defined it.

MAKO: And that wasn't these people, that's how it's defined in some other places, these people might define it differently but they didn't really provide much of a definition so it's kind of useless.

SQEAKY: And this is a nebulous topic. What's more newsy?

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: What's more cable-y, what's more cable newsy? It's-

MAKO: One of the last statements that they made in their paper was that they could find no smoking gun for partisan politics.

SQEAKY: And again and academic source is going to need a smoking gun where it is like they're going to need to see an internal memo where it's like 'Here is our plan for becoming right-wing partisan shills' and that memo existed and if it does it won't ever get out. This is one of those things that is highly resistant to academic rigor. It's like if we asked- And again I really do trust academics and experts on many things, on almost everything, definitely things that are just objective and evidence-based and science-based, like COVID. You can take COVID, you can put it in a lab, you can run experiments on it, you'll get the same results every time. That doesn't work when you're trying to define the behavior of another person because a person can change their behavior in a lab environment so if you want to go figure out what another person is doing you have to account for the fact that they're counter-strategizing. So if the Sinclair Media Group saw that it got so bad that John Oliver, a big HBO big-time commentator talked about 'em and there was a meme on the internet, not just a picture image format but I mean the concept of calling it The Sinclair Effect, they might just back off for a couple years. If their plan is long-term control it's not like they don't still own all these stations, they can just exert control slower now that they have it. Maybe they're backing off because the whole Trump thing fell apart so amazingly but they'll be there for when the next want-to-be autocrat signs up to be a candidate and they'll be waiting for major money from the campaigns or favors or whatever they're looking for. I don't know, I'm not trying to postulate some huge conspiracy but these people have motives, they did this for a reason.

MAKO: The other study-

SQEAKY: Oh my god.

MAKO: There's another one that I was able to find pretty easily.

*Sqeaky sighs*

MAKO: This one is from Newslab.org and they have a link to the specific academic journal where they published. Both of these do, and regrettably both of them are paywalled, I couldn't get details for this one.

SOURCE [55:55] ‘The Sinclair Effect’ study looks at local TV bias - https://newslab.org/sinclair-effect-study-looks-local-tv-bias/

SQEAKY: Newslab.org?

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Do we know them?

MAKO: Mmm.

SQEAKY: Is that a peer-review journal?

MAKO: Newslab itself is not the journal. They linked to the journal in the article.

SQEAKY: Okay, okay.

MAKO: Yeah, anyway. So they looked at fourteen days before and after Sinclair acquisition. Six news stations in three different markets. Two stations per market. This- when I said like they there was a different group that defined cable news that's coming from this group yeah. They also said that they took on more cable news style approach, they defined it, they said that the Sinclair stations were more likely to cover government and political news, Sinclair stations were more likely to use government representatives, agencies, and the Trump Administration as news sources, and the Sinclair stations attributed unknown sources more than the non-Sinclair stations.

SQEAKY: So I was going to start asking about this Newslab group. I get to buy back some credibility I just used up, yay! How do we know this is not some sort of politically motivated think tank? Who is Newslab? This is the first time I've heard of them. So if they are some sort of political think tank and if they came out supporting it how do we know they're not a right-wing think tank and I would sound more like a delusional conspiracy theorist but now that they've come out the other way and they're disagreeing with y'know a college, how do we know that they're not a liberal or left-wing think tank? You have a source don't you? So I can look into this too. There's Newslab, 'The Sinclair Effect' local TV bias, okay. School of Journalism and Media The University of Mississippi? This is a university also! This is a right-wing university! Well, a university in a right-wing state. Okay looking through some of their research I'm more convinced they're not obviously right- or left-wing as a think tank. It's a group of university students that are just touching on all kinds of topics. They have some dumb research like I'd expect university students to come up with.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: The Use of VR in Conflict Resolution: Exploring a Deeper Point of View? That's blah.

MAKO: I mean VR for training purposes is something that's pretty thoroughly explored and will continue to be explored for the foreseeable future.

SQEAKY: But yeah it's a small group of authors, this is just what's coming out of this one university. So it is attached to the University of Mississippi and that's just the fourteen days around though, right?

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Mmm that does hint at what they want their motive to be before 'The Sinclair Effect' was named and coined and they hypothetically had to back off. And again everything I'm saying is hypothetical, I'm not claiming to know things, I'm just trying to ask hard questions 'cause if we can get good answers to hard questions I've specifically learned something.

MAKO: I specifically picked these two out because they both link to publish papers that both agree and disagree in certain critical areas so yeah this is something that is difficult as you were saying in the first one and this is kind of why I didn't comment much and I wanted to get to the second source. It is difficult to define in a rigorous manner.

SQEAKY: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. But it's like when you're playing a game, any kind of game where it's you versus another person and you're vying for any kind of shared resource, right. You don't get to know the full state of their information in nearly any game. It could be a video game or a card game or something, their position on the map is hidden or the cards in their hand are hidden, you still have to act and you have to act based on their odds and every time people make plays they do actions out in the real world you can see what they're doing, Sinclair has demonstrated they want to do right-wing stuff and they keep buying news stations, it's pretty obvious. The only time they've backed off is this whole collapse of the Trump thing. I don't know, it could be a- could be a major change but we've seen political administrations fail unless something bigger collapses I wouldn't expect a major change here. I think the biggest casualty of this administration collapse is OAN.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah OAN got dropped from DirecTV.

SOURCE [59:54] OAN dropped from DirectTV the only network carrying it - https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/directv-drop-one-america-news-network-blow-conservative-channel-n1287564

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: So that's that's gonna cause OAN to collapse almost in entirely probably.

MAKO: Yeah unless some other crazy... I shouldn't say that. Unless some other station comes along and wants to bail them out which we have no reason right now to believe that they will.

SQEAKY: Yeah.

MAKO: They're just kind of done.

SQEAKY: Yeah. And it's not like they can pull an Alex Jones. Alex Jones is kind of small and he has a really outsized impact for how little he is. He has very little production overhead, he has a staff of like a dozen people, he doesn't need a ton of money to pay his stuff, so when he got kicked off of YouTube and off of... when he got kicked off the internet he already built up his own video sharing website and he already had his own streaming website where you could watch him specifically and that still brought in money but instead of making him rich it paid his bills just barely. OAN has newscasters that are all like ex-Fox personalities, it has tons of shows, it has multiple studios, it has all the trappings of a real organization and now they have none of the cashflow. I do think they have a web page also but...

MAKO: That's not gonna pay the bills.

SQEAKY: Yeah they can't handle a ninety-five percent reduction in revenue or whatever it's gonna be. Maybe the contract will just get renegotiated and maybe instead of them losing all of their money they might lose half their money and have to sign a promise that if they're gonna call themselves news they have to hold themselves to some standard of journalistic integrity. Hmm. Um so I've interrupted you a ton. Did you have anything else on the Sinclair merger, the Sinclair consolidation?

MAKO: Mmm... Not particularly.

*Guitar riff*

MAKO: There was a... forget what it was called... what the episode was supposed to be about but John Oliver had an episode I wanna say a couple months ago maybe a little more where he was talking about how people... I don't-

SQEAKY: How people pronounce Kurzgesagt?

MAKO: No.

SQEAKY: It's hard. Not everybody can do it.

*Guitar riff*

END ON SOMETHING LIGHT - FURRIES AND THE GOP [1:01:48]

SQEAKY: I'm proposing that we change the structure of the show just a little bit, try to end every episode on a bright spot. At least something comical and silly.

MAKO: I mean we can try.

SQEAKY: Okay okay. So, there's an intersection of Republicans and furries we can totally explore for at least a few minutes.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: For people not familiar with the term, furries are people who like anthropomorphic animals that are shaped like people like Bugs Bunny or Rocket the Racoon from Guardians of the Galaxy. In the most extreme cases, sometimes people dress up in suits to emulate these characters, these are called fursuits, and hyperbolically furries are treated like they always do this. That isn't the case. Most of 'em just post on online communities and you can't even tell who is one or who isn't.

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: Source for this is Texas Monthly. Texas right now is having primaries for congressional districts and in one of the congressional districts the GOP candidate started making completely wild and unfounded that are trivial to disprove. The claims start with that the heights of the cafeteria tables in middle schools and high schools are being lowered to better accommodate furries who want to kneel down and eat out of bowls without hands or utensils.

SOURCE [1:03:09] GOP candidate claims schools to lower lunch tables and install litter boxes for furries - https://www.texasmonthly.com/news-politics/texas-gop-candidate-furries-schools/

MAKO: That's a bold claim. I don't supposed he specified how much they have been lowered or have any evidence of any kind.

SQEAKY: So no, he has no evidence, and when reached out for comment, the school board administrators say that they can't even be adjusted. They're a fixed height for like safety reasons.

MAKO: That makes a lot of sense.

SQEAKY: Tabbles can't collapse. They're solid objects.

*Sqeaky chuckles and sighs*

SQEAKY: This person went on to claim that there would be litterboxes in the hallways...

MAKO: For the furries.

SQEAKY: To shit in. In the hallways. Not even the bathrooms! In the hallways! And piss in I presume.

MAKO: Well I mean yeah that's that's yeah litterboxes are both, yes.

SQEAKY: And the final and the most ridiculous claim: The furries, his phrasing, not mine, and it's clearly intended to mock already persecuted people, "apparently the furries identify as animals and therefore they should be exempt from homework and are getting exemptions from homework because paws and claws are hooves cannot manipulate pens and have difficulty with keyboards."

MAKO: That is obvious and absolute bullshit.

SQEAKY: They reached out to some random furry guy who's head of some community with some credibility and he's like this is all stupid we don't advocate for any of this. But he said it diplomatically.

MAKO: Of course.

SQEAKY: So do you have any response for this or is it just so dumb that you don't have a response?

MAKO: This is profoundly fucking stupid for a lot of fucking reasons. This is obviously some guy that's just throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks.

SQEAKY: Oh yeah. Totally, totally. Now this isn't the first time that the GOP or a major candidate has thrown- I mean this guy is not a major candidate, he might just get primaried out and then the Republicans might lose. But this isn't the first time that wild furry nonsense has shown up during a race.

MAKO: Of course.

SQEAKY: So back in 2018, for a congressional spot in Virginia, Denver Riggleman was running to be a candidate for a congressional district and he tweeted pictures of his bigfoot erotica drawing that was to be the cover of his Bigfoot erotica book.

SOURCE [1:05:07] Back in 2018 Virginia GOP candidate got in trouble for writing bigfoot erotica - https://www.vox.com/2018/7/30/17629580/riggleman-cockburn-bigfoot-erotica

MAKO: Bold.

SQEAKY: It was titled "The Mating Habits of Bigfoot". Mako is looking at my screen, he is not believing this.

MAKO: That's uh... That's a thing.

SQEAKY: I will see if we can get this, this tweet, put in the the YouTube video.

MAKO: Of course.

SQEAKY: The censor bar is gigantic. It is as big as Bigfoot's thigh. Isn't it? Look at that!

MAKO: I can see it, yes.

SQEAKY: So this was the Republican who was running. Okay, one Republican is just going to denounce furries and the other one's clearly a Bigfoot furry? Whatever, fine. But his opponent, Lisa Cockburn-

MAKO: Wow.

SQEAKY: Not making that up! That's her real name.

MAKO: That's so unfortunate.

SQEAKY: She is retweeting this guy's Bigfoot dick pic for political reasons that make sense and helped her. She's retweeting this, these things, and saying look at what my opponent is doing, and this whole time Denver Riggleman has no platform, his webpage has nothing but vague claims of I'm gonna help agriculture, and that's seriously the level of what he's got and she's over here with ideas and plans and no Bigfoot erotica. Not that Bigfoot erotica should be disqualifying, but maybe, maybe, you're a bit distracted.

SOURCE [1:05:47] A US congressional candidate is reposting bigfoot big pics for campaign reasons - https://twitter.com/LeslieCockburn/status/1023701334434959362?ref_src=twsrc^tfw|twcamp^tweetembed|twterm^1023701334434959362|twgr^|twcon^s1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vox.com%2F2018%2F7%2F30%2F17629580%2Friggleman-cockburn-bigfoot-erotica

MAKO: At least have a plan and Bigfoot erotica, not no plan and Bigfoot erotica.

SQEAKY: Yeah there you go. That's all we're asking for, right. If you're gonna have a big black censor bar, have a big plan to go with it.

MAKO: Yeah. Seems straightforward to me.

SQEAKY: So Denver Riggleman denied that he was writing or at all related to Bigfoot erotica.

MAKO: Oh. Fun.

SQEAKY: Claiming it was a joke that his military buddies played on him.

MAKO: Uhuh.

SQEAKY: So that doesn't look any better 'cause that means this his military buddies randomly have access to his political candidate account stuff, he has no concept of operational security.

MAKO: Yeah...

SQEAKY: I don't know which is better. Just admitting that you like Bigfoot's dick or admitting that you have no operational security. But if you're a Democrat you can at least be like "I'm gay vote for me!". And look at this Bigfoot man. This guy's got abs, this guy's jacked.

MAKO: Yeah that's uh those are definitely abs.

SQEAKY: That could just be a hairy guy for all I know. If you didn't tell me it was Bigfoot I'd just be like "Fuckin' hairy".

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Just tell me it's a hairy bodybuilder. I'd believe ya. Anyway so just one last thing. Riggleman self-published a book in 2006.

SOURCE [1:07:15] Riggleman self published a book in 2006 - https://fliphtml5.com/znhu/uuci/basic

MAKO: What was it about?

SQEAKY: Hunting Bigfoot.

*Sqeaky laughs*

SQEAKY: I will link to the self-published book in entirety, the PDF is just available.

MAKO: I suppose his friends published in his name as a prank, too.

*Sqeaky laughs*

*Guitar riff*

MAKO: Some dude was talking about how he was ready to have some sexy times with a woman and he got on his knees and he started pulling down her panties and then suddenly the room went dark 'cause he was poked in the eye.

SQEAKY: Brilliant.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: Thanks to our sponsor ABK Kustomz. If you haven't looked into Wren and paying off your carbon waste, consider checking out our other sponsor Wren and their carbon calculator. Link in the show notes.

SPONSOR [01:08:03] Offset your carbon waste - https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1701593&u=3056050&m=105790&urllink=&afftrack=

SQEAKY: Thanks to Qeldaar for video and graphics work and thanks to AlphaWolf294 for transcription. Thanks to all of our Patreon supporters. Our supporters at the Evidence Investigator level or higher include Jarod, DuktTape, Qeldaar, Steven Larabee, and Kaiju Halena. Thanks for listening and don't forget to like, subscribe, leave a review, or tell a friend. If you aren't sure where to do any of those things you can read the show notes, transcripts, or listen online at dysevidentia.com, support us financially at patreon.com/dysevidentia. You can chat with us on our subreddit, r/dysevidentia. Tweet at us @dysevidentia or chat with us on our Discord server or watch our YouTube videos, link to both in the show notes. Or email us, contact@dysevidentia.com. Copyright 2021, BlackTopp Studios, Inc. Intro music was Slow by Pit X, used with permission.

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