What’s Going On: Where Do You Get Your Information?

Nov 5, 2018

TAA 0044 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood discuss information. To live responsibly in a democracy requires access to knowledge about the world we inhabit. But acquiring that knowledge can be difficult. Where does it come from, and who can be trusted to dispense it? How does ideology interfere with or enhance our ability to make sense of the world? The hosts discuss their media diets, and how they can be improved.

C.T. WEBB 00:19 [music] Good afternoon, good morning, or good evening and welcome to the American Age podcast. This is C. Travis Webb, editor of the American Age, and I’m talking to Seph Rodney and Steven Fullwood. Gentleman?
S. RODNEY 00:29 Hey, hey. How you doing? I’m Seph Rodney. I’m an editor at Hyperallergic Blogazine and I have a PhD in museum studies and I’m speaking to you from the Boogie Down Bronx.
S. FULLWOOD 00:46 Hi, this is Steven G. Fullwood. Welcome. I am the co-founder of the Nomadic Archivists Project, a project to help individuals, organizations and institutions identify and preserve their archives, and I will be at the 27th annual Association of Black Culture Centers, which is meeting at Rutgers University this weekend and I’ll be hosting the film Lorraine Hansberry Sighted Eyes and Feeling Heart. If you’re there Saturday Morning, please come and see me.
S. RODNEY 01:13 Nice. That’s exciting. I’m glad to hear that.
C.T. WEBB 01:15 Yeah, that’s very exciting.
S. FULLWOOD 01:16 Yeah, thank you.
C.T. WEBB 01:17 And I’m speaking to you from the OC in Southern California, and just as a reminder to our listeners, we try to practice a form of intellectual intimacy, which is creating this space for us to air out some ideas and agree and disagree and hear one another, and actually, most importantly, learn something from one another and about ourselves.
S. FULLWOOD 01:40 Boom.
C.T. WEBB 01:42 Today’s topic is media sources. So in media in the broadest sense of the term, meaning, “Where do you go for the information that you get? How do you process it? How often? What sort of skepticism and points of view do you bring to bear on media consumption? How often do you read across the aisles?” And obviously, the topic is– of the moment, we’re specifically not talking about the election, which I think is probably a pretty good call because you’re going to be saturated with election coverage.
S. RODNEY 02:25 Jesus.
C.T. WEBB 02:26 But I think it’s important to talk about how we figure out what’s going on in the world. How do we become educated about what’s going on in the world? So I don’t know, Seph, Steven, one of you guys want to take us in?
S. RODNEY 02:39 Yeah. Steven, do you want to go?
S. FULLWOOD 02:42 Sure, why not. The reason– so initially, I was thinking about how you get your information. So it was a little broader than media studies– I mean, from the media.
C.T. WEBB 02:50 Right.
S. FULLWOOD 02:50 But I think it’s still very useful because the– yeah, because I was on the–
C.T. WEBB 02:54 Broadly. I actually mean it broadly. Yeah, I mean as broad as you want to go with it, yeah.
S. FULLWOOD 02:56 Yeah. And so I was thinking– I was on the subway recently, and I think you’ve experienced– you both experienced and some of our listeners have as well– going from analog to digital, in terms of seeing what people actually read, whether they’re reading the newspaper, reading books and so forth. And so I’m on the train the other day and I’m reading an actual physical book, and I’m looking around and it was like, “Okay, well, what are people reading?” I see people on their phones, but they could be listening to something, they could be listening to something and reading. They could be listening to the Times or the Dailies and so forth. So I was kind of intrigued, I was wondering how you guys– where you get your information, how do you become informed about today’s topics? And then the sort of supplemental reading because, Seph, you’re teaching, Travis, you have a lot of things going on. I’m constantly reading something and I don’t read what I should read, I read what I want to read. And what I mean by that is that sometimes the things that I’m supposed to be focusing on, I’m like, “Oh, no, I’d just rather read this biography or this book of poetry,” because I need to be edified. So I wanted to know– and just in short, how I get my news in terms of media, I look at The New York Times, The New Yorker, some of the broadcasts I’ve seen in CNBC, Fox News. And then sometimes I can get into a hole because I need to find out about a particular [laughter] person or event and I’m trying to verify sources. And then there are times where I’m just listening to criticism online. So Democracy Now! and I’m listening to the ways in which they render the news versus other sources, and sometimes I do conspiracy theories because I’m curious about the fringes and how people become radicalized by misinformation; lots and lots and lots and lots of misinformation [laughter].
S. RODNEY 04:43 You mean like the serial bomber?
S. FULLWOOD 04:45 Yeah, yeah. The serial bomber, Mueller, the conspiracy to have–
S. RODNEY 04:51 To hire these women. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
S. FULLWOOD 04:53 Yeah, so and how that was really immediately imploded, but how powerful it is; information, how powerful it is when we ingest and think about it. And also when we don’t check it and don’t really think about what our assumptions are about things. So you guys are both thinkers and so I wanted to know how you manage this barrage of information coming at you daily.
S. RODNEY 05:18 Can I answer that, first?
C.T. WEBB 05:19 Please. Please, do. [inaudible].
S. RODNEY 05:20 Okay, great. So I had– since last week, had this in the back of my mind and I thought the best way to begin to answer the question is to actually go to Chrome, which is the browser where I keep my stuff essentially for the work I do for Hyperallergic. I keep one browser for personal stuff, one browser “work.” I say “quote/unquote” because it’s not just Hyper stuff, it’s also news stuff because I have this habit; every morning, I wake up, I have breakfast and as I am eating breakfast, I have in my kitchen/dining room a little stand with my laptop on it and I open up my laptop and go to Chrome and I have news sources that I’ve essentially– well, I don’t want to be– well, okay, I’ll be pretentious– I’ve [queue-lated?] certain series of news sources for this browser. So here they are, in order from top to bottom– and there are a lot of them so hold on– Google News– and this is sort of order of importance, but I’ll explain that a little bit better in a moment– Google News, The Guardian, Washington Post, New York Times, Jezebel, The Atlantic, The Art Newspaper, Art News, Daily Print, Slate, Salon, The Intercept, Poynter with a Y-N, Clyde Fitch Report, CityLab, therumpus.net, [inaudible], The Magazine of Global [Latin?] Politics, The American Age, Colorlines, The Gothamist, Public Domain Review, Wear Your Voice homepage, and then NPR, Huff Post, la, la, la. That’s pretty much it. I want to say, they’re in this particular order because, aside from Google News, this is the sort of order of news sources that I most respect. I most respect The Guardian. I most respect The Washington Post. I think The New York Times, in their last couple of years have become ridiculous, especially the op-ed page. I’m just regularly disgusted.
C.T. WEBB 07:35 This’ll be a good one for us to disagree about, but let’s finish.
S. RODNEY 07:38 Okay. Right, right, right. And then I want to say a couple more things. One, Google News is at the top because ever since Tweety Amin was elected, I’ve had a really hard time reading the news. I’ve had to ease my way into the day, and the only way I can do that is with the relatively anodyne Google News because Google News just gives you sort of everything and they do it from these sort of blah sources like Politico–
C.T. WEBB 08:06 Yeah, yeah.
S. RODNEY 08:07 — or Huff Post or CNN. So it’s the easiest way that I can begin the drudgery of slogging through what this petty-ass, evil administration has done lately. That– and I want to say one more thing about sources– Steven, like you, I used to be conscientious about going to right-wing sources and just checking out what they were saying about certain topics. I remember during the Obama administration when something would come up, I’d say, “Okay, let me go to Laura Ingraham’s page, let me go to Sean Hannity, let me go to Rush Limbaugh, let me go to Tucker Carlson– whoever. I shouldn’t say that, that’s silly– it’s not whoever– it’s the sort of right-wing pundits’ names that’s on everybody’s lips to see how they were thinking about a particular issue. To see how ridiculous a lens they would go through in order to make themselves seem rational in the moment when they’re taking an obviously radical position. And now, I can’t do it because I don’t have the emotional bandwidth anymore.
S. FULLWOOD 09:30 So I wonder, “Okay–” yeah because, at times, it’s really insulting and just ridiculous and painful that–
S. RODNEY 09:36 It’s painful.
S. FULLWOOD 09:37 — yeah.
S. RODNEY 09:38 It’s just painful.
S. FULLWOOD 09:39 The misinformation. Travis, you were about to say something?
S. RODNEY 09:41 Yeah.
C.T. WEBB 09:42 No, I was just listening, sorry. Before I give my rundown, why is Politico in such low-esteem in your eyes [laughter]?
S. RODNEY 09:56 Because they do mostly– and great question– they do mostly horse race reporting. When it comes to, “Here’s this policy that just came down.” Or, “Here’s what might happen with Nancy Pelosi.” Or, “Here’s what might happen when this–” it’s always up for debate. It’s always, “Well, these people are trying to do this sort of machination. And these folks over here are arguing their blah, blah, blah.” It’s always horse race, like, “Who’s in first?”
C.T. WEBB 10:25 So like a gossip page version– I mean, a more sophisticated sort of gossip page version of the Post?
S. RODNEY 10:29 Yes. Yes, yeah, which I despise.
C.T. WEBB 10:34 Okay. So [laughter] I have a specific response to that, which I think that’s probably a fairly faithful read of what Politico is doing. I mean, there’s a lot of also just reporting about sort of the day’s events in politics, but here’s why I would defend that because that is how a lot of politics get done and the people that are on the periphery of political communities such as we are, often read politics through an ideological lens that is much less faithful for those in the political arena. Meaning, that it’s sort of a, “We want to win. Us versus them. Get on top.” An Illustration of this would be– whatever his– what’s Boris, the British politician? The–
S. RODNEY 11:27 Yeltsin?
C.T. WEBB 11:29 No, not Yeltsin [laughter]. He’s really– he was part of the Brexit campaign. He’s always disheveled.
S. RODNEY 11:38 Oh, oh, oh. Sorry, right, you said British. I heard Russian, for some reason. Yeah. No, he used to be the mayor of London and then he got into the conservative cabinet–
C.T. WEBB 11:44 Yeah, what’s his name?
S. RODNEY 11:46 — on the– Theresa May. His name’s–
S. FULLWOOD 11:50 Becker?
S. RODNEY 11:51 No.
C.T. WEBB 11:52 This is embarrassing, I can’t remember his name.
S. RODNEY 11:53 Yeah, it’s the idiot who went to school with Cameron, David Cameron.
C.T. WEBB 11:56 Yes. So– yeah. So anyway, one of the comments about Brexit and those that were for and remain was that this was, essentially, a competition between competing social circles from Eton–
S. RODNEY 12:15 Right.
C.T. WEBB 12:15 — and that you had people that sort of, “Well, we’re going to one-up each other. We’ll show you,” kind of thing. “We’re going to beat you on the pitch. Now, let’s go have a pint,” kind of thing. And I have to say that I tend to read politics, I tend to read most things through my own experience of being a human being and interacting with other human beings. I don’t think there’s anything that separates us too significantly from one another, regardless of what job we have. And so I buy that. I buy that when Mitch McConnell came out in 2008 and said, “We are going to make sure that this is a one-term president,” that that wasn’t ideological, that was, “We just got beat. I’m going to beat you.” Now, it doesn’t mean that I am not fervently opposed to what that ideology represents. I am. But I think that the verve with which these people combat one another in the political arena is much deeper than ideological, I think it’s emotive. And so to get back to our topic, Politico, I think does a pretty good job of kind of sussing that out, like sort of the personalities and kind of the elbowing, and much the way The Society Page may have done in the ’70s and ’80s, ’60s, kind of to tell you what’s going on with prominent New York families, I think Politico serves a purpose.
C.T. WEBB 13:57 Now, you may not have a taste for it, which I totally understand, but I do think it serves a valuable function. And a perfect example is on Politico yesterday, basically, the reporters there have sniffed out that there has been a significant amount of movement around the Mueller investigation in the midterms, that a number of court actions have actually taken place and that the president has, in fact, been subpoenaed and that this is all taking place under wraps right now and that the administration has lost the initial play and looks like they’re going to lose on appeal and that it’s going to be, right after the midterms, it’s going to get kicked up very high, very fast. Now, that came out of Politico. And I think because, again, this sort of personal jockeying is a lot about what drives Washington politics and, thereby, the rest of us. So after the 2016 election, this is a relatively new thing for me, I read through a much more rigid ideological lens prior to Trump’s election. I felt very sure about the trajectory of Western civilization. I sort of had an intellectual swagger about Obama and fading Republican ideologies or whatever and then history kicked me in the teeth and said, “No, no, no, no, no, no, no. You don’t know what the trajectory of Western civilization is.” So I started reading more widely then. So I couldn’t read Fox before that. So I’m the flip of Seph. So, Seph, you used to do that. I would be like, “That’s a waste of time. Why would I read that nonsense?” Like picking up The National Enquirer, “Why would I do that [laughter]?” And after the election, now, I read it much more judiciously, both The Wall Street Journal, both Fox News– occasionally, even Breitbart. That’s a tough one for me–
S. FULLWOOD 15:49 Yeah.
C.T. WEBB 15:51 — mostly just because I do feel like it’s just a massive waste of time. And so that’s why I’m much more generous with The New York Times because I feel like they’re to get a handle on the moment, as much as that may irritate us. And I feel like they’re committed to that. So anyway, I had a long soliloquy. So someone else jump in [laughter].
S. FULLWOOD 16:11 I was thinking about The New York Times, briefly, and thinking about how late they are with a lot of cultural things.
C.T. WEBB 16:16 Mm-hmm.
S. FULLWOOD 16:16 So something will be happening for four, five, 10 years and then the Times will do a big piece on it in their Living section. But I actually like the Times, overall, I just won’t pay for it. So [laughter] only a few articles per month and then maybe finding a paper out on the street somewhere. But I also know that reporting, now, is about what’s happened in other publications. So they’re constantly referring to other publications. That seems to be more on the rise. And so when you mentioned earlier on, Politico, definitely, I was hearing about– I was watching the news about sources, “Hey, dah, dah, dah, according to Politico, according to this, that these indictment are coming–” not indictments, but, “these subpoenas are coming down and that there’s so much more movement behind the scenes.” That they’ve interviewed Steven Bannon again and that they’re just lining up the ducks and waiting for–
C.T. WEBB 17:07 50 hours. 50 hours, so far– oh, no, I’m sorry, that’s Paul Manafort has been interviewed for 50 hours at this point.
S. FULLWOOD 17:16 And so that’s really– the racehorse part I understand, Seph– I think you put it really well, Travis, in terms of the folks who are not inside politics. We’re, largely, observers and this does help me kind of try to think more broadly than, “I want to win and that these people need to be [laughter] voted out of office.” I’m trying to think larger because I think I told you guys the other day– I may not have said it online or on the broadcast– that I was exhausted with my feelings that Mueller was going to be the hero and that everything would change. And I couldn’t sleep and I was thinking, “I just need some other way to think about this.” And I know that I had, pretty much, put all my ducks– I mean, all my eggs in that basket, and it was largely because of the news but it’s largely because of the exhaustion and the level of discourse; politically but also in the streets and opening up your email browser and listening to– I mean, open up your browser and listening to the next thing that just recently happened in the administration and Sarah Sanders defending the indefensible [laughter]. These things are exhausting on the soul and I don’t know how people– and I don’t know if you guys know how, I just get really constipated and really tired and exhausted and feel like I need to take news breaks to be present with people because they’re so denigrating and so–
C.T. WEBB 18:51 Just disheartening. Disheartening.
S. FULLWOOD 18:53 It’s very disheartening. Very painful. Yeah, definitely painful.
S. RODNEY 18:56 So I want to ask a question, though, because you both seem to on the same page vis-a-vis the worth of Politico’s kind of reporting and I’m certainly not [laughter]. The question is, “What does that do for us?” Like, “Okay, so you’re giving me–” okay, they’ve got access to the backroom, right? So they’re showing me how the players are playing against each other, and they’re bringing out the information before they would come from other sources, “What does that do for me except for get me the information a little bit earlier?”
C.T. WEBB 19:31 Fair enough. I mean, as far as the timing goes– Boris Johnson was his name.
S. RODNEY 19:35 Thank you.
S. FULLWOOD 19:36 Right, right, right.
S. RODNEY 19:36 Yep, Boris Johnson.
C.T. WEBB 19:37 I would say it helps– for me, it accomplishes, actually, two things. It tamps down my ideological indignation and clarifies what our enemy is. And I believe that the enemy is an unrefined human nature.
S. RODNEY 20:01 Oh, okay.
C.T. WEBB 20:02 And so I think that to live amongst so many strangers, to live amongst people of such diverse backgrounds and diverse origins, that it takes a tremendous feat of the imagination that does not come altogether naturally to us. Now, it comes to some of us more easily than others based on education, based on temperament. But the “Us versus them” mentality is a natural one, right? It’s the backroom gossip. It’s the backbiting. It’s like, “Oh, can you believe he did that? Can you believe she wore that?” It’s the way we bond with one another, very reflexively. I mean, we do. We all do. We’re friends, we do that. We feel like, “I’m with you.” Seph, earlier in the conversation, you made a throat-cutting motion, and I was with you [laughter] when you did that. I was like, “Yes, I feel that [laughter].” And you and I, we have an emotional connection because of that. And that emotional connection and its source and potency if less unchecked will tear these large-scale communities apart. It will tear the country apart. And so the enemy, just like in Buddhism, the enemy is our own limitations, our own inadequacies. And so I see someone like Mitch McConnell, honestly, as like an adolescent that needs to be educated. And I know that sounds incredibly– I mean, that was Obama’s thought, too.
S. RODNEY 21:51 Super serious.
C.T. WEBB 21:53 Yeah, yeah. I mean, and that was what Obama was– that’s what Obama was often criticized for. Here’s the thing, so I think that I am with former President Obama in that viewpoint, I just think that sometimes in order to teach the teenager, you need to take them out back and whip them. So [laughter]– I don’t mean literally, right [laughter]? I don’t mean like– I’ve never whipped my son, but I’m saying that, at that level, you have to combat them at that level. I’m sorry. Go ahead, Seph.
S. RODNEY 22:27 Well, I just want to say to your point about taking the person out back and, essentially, demonstrating that their power is not equal to yours, which is what I think you’re doing, is actually not a wrong strategy. And here’s the anecdote; just last night, I was watching The Americans, and long story, very short– the series is about a couple of spies– Russian spies who infiltrate the US and are very close to an FBI agent. They do a lot of things that are very strategic for Russia in the late– I think it’s late ’70s– early ’70s? Somewhere in the ’70s. Anyway, their daughter’s becoming a spy and there’s a point at which the daughter, because she’s being trained by her mother, has these set of skills and she goes to a bar and some guys start to basically fuck with her and she physically puts them in their place. She basically, chops one guy out, knees him in the groin, other guy comes after her and she just snaps his nose in two with a quick jab. And the parents basically find about this because– well, she confesses to them, and they’re like, “You can’t do that. You cannot become recognizable to these people as someone different.” And then the father, without saying anything to the mother, goes to the daughter’s apartment later and he says, “Come at me. Come at me.” And she tries to hit him and, of course, he overpowers her easily; puts her against the wall and almost chokes her out and he says nothing– puts on his jacket and leaves. And what he’s doing is essentially saying, “This is what you are to other people.” Like, “What I am to you, how easily I overpowered you and could have killed you, that’s what you are to other people. So be careful how you use that power.” I honestly do think it’s important for adolescents, at some point, to get that lesson. And here’s– to bring it back to what we’re talking about– here’s the problem with the news; the news doesn’t– most of our mainstream news, and I think people rarely say this, don’t talk about the ways in which people use their power and demonstrate–
C.T. WEBB 24:55 Okay, okay.
S. RODNEY 24:56 — how people in power use that to make other people– or to exploit other people’s powerlessness. Politico doesn’t do that. What Politico makes you aware of is how the power gets used. Like, “Here’s how Mitch McConnell is doing this thing. Here’s the backroom story of how this person did this thing that’s manipulative.” But they don’t talk about how that kind of application of power actually harms certain people. That’s the story I want to read. Now, the problem with Democracy Now! is all Democracy Now! does is talk about that.
C.T. WEBB 25:33 It’s all the harm [laughter].
S. RODNEY 25:35 It’s just all harm. It’s just like, “Today, in the news, these other people were harmed and their life chances are dramatically reduced and we’re going to talk about how that happened.” I can’t do that every day. I cannot. I can’t even do it once a week, really [laughter]. But I want that to happen more often, you know what I’m saying [laughter]? It should not just be in one channel.
S. FULLWOOD 25:58 I don’t think that people would watch the news if that were it [laughter]. I honestly feel like you need to keep people on some sort of powerless tip, in terms of just– you got to keep them interested in a, “Someone’s going to be a savior and change this thing that’s impacting your life.
S. RODNEY 26:15 Right.
S. FULLWOOD 26:16 What you said, Travis, earlier about this “unrefined human nature” [laughter] and later, you said, “this tremendous feat of the imagination,” I think that we really don’t know how to be imaginative when it comes to being with each other.
S. RODNEY 26:31 Amen.
S. FULLWOOD 26:32 So force against force, it’s just going to get you more force.
S. RODNEY 26:35 Right.
C.T. WEBB 26:36 Mm-hmm.
S. FULLWOOD 26:36 I think. I think that’s the equation [laughter]. And so the lack of imagination around what’s possible in terms of us living together has yet to be realized or rediscovered in past societies because we think war is natural. War is not natural [laughter]. But it has come to be naturalized through the romance of battle or through the romance of this. I mean, there’s still people, obviously, in the South that reenact the Civil War– Civil War reenactments. Why? What is the fucking point? You lost [laughter]. What is this driving? What is this hunger that needs to be sated for you to do this kind of thing? So I think the news overall–
C.T. WEBB 27:19 So–
S. FULLWOOD 27:20 Oh–
C.T. WEBB 27:21 No, I was just going to answer. So what they’re reenacting is, “It’s a righteous loss,” right?
S. FULLWOOD 27:26 Ah, okay.
C.T. WEBB 27:27 So it plays into kind of a Christian ideology, right?
S. RODNEY 27:32 I was just about to say, it’s like the crucifixion, right?
C.T. WEBB 27:34 Yeah, that’s exactly right. Yeah.
S. FULLWOOD 27:35 Wow, wow, wow, wow. Woo!
C.T. WEBB 27:36 Yeah, the noble cause. The lost but noble cause. And so, I mean, talk about a way to cohere a community. So anyway, I’m sorry. Go ahead, what were you going to say, Steven?
S. FULLWOOD 27:45 No, that’s actually very perfect. It led me to this other response I had earlier around– so in the film Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, the Lorraine Hansberry stuff, there was a woman speaking about Lorraine Hansberry’s sensibility. She said, “She was the kind of woman who yesterday thought of this, but then the next day, she was questioning that.” And so there is this robust sort of thinking things she was doing, and I find that with people that I really respect are constantly questioning their assumptions. And we don’t do that at all as a culture, as a society.
S. RODNEY 28:17 And the news doesn’t encourage us to do that.
S. FULLWOOD 28:20 Not at all. Not at all. No, just there to deliver and to be authorities on something that they only half-know and sometimes barely that.
C.T. WEBB 28:28 But I would suggest The New York Times opinion page is trying to do that. I mean, maybe badly, maybe ineffectively. And I’m not saying that it is bad or ineffective. I actually don’t have a judgment either way on whether it’s bad or good. I just know that, to me, that does seem to be the gambit on their part. There is, “We have badly misread this historical moment and we need to significantly broaden our horizons and points of view in order to try and get a better handle on it.” Now, that may be a bad strategy, right? You can’t really triangulate based on bad positioning. If you don’t know where you’re at, you can’t triangulate where you’re supposed to be.
S. RODNEY 29:17 Which is how you get Ross Douthat and David Brooks [laughter].
S. FULLWOOD 29:21 Thank you, I was about to mention David Brooks and his, “Oh, my God, Trump is horrible.” And the comments section blew up. It was like 2,000 comments. “Where were you before?”
S. RODNEY 29:29 Yeah, he’s ridiculous. But go on, Travis. I’m sorry [laughter]. I apologize [laughter].
C.T. WEBB 29:36 I–
S. RODNEY 29:36 “You can’t triangulate.”
C.T. WEBB 29:38 Yeah, you can’t. I mean, there’s just no– so I’m not saying it’s the right thing to do, but I am saying that they do sense that something is amiss. And, yeah. I mean, that’s all. I don’t have a more robust defense. It’s just that I would read the effort more generously than you would. That’s all.
S. RODNEY 29:58 Okay. That’s fair enough. Guys, I have to go soon. So I want to just sort of bring the conversation to a close around one question and maybe we can answer this quickly. If there is a source or a person that you think is worthwhile listening to, worthwhile paying attention to who gives you some sort of news of the day that you gives you [purchase?] with this culture, who would that be or what would that be?
C.T. WEBB 30:25 Mine would not be a news– so news source; NPR or the BBC are, I think, probably the least politically-tented of any of them. As a person, it would be an academic, Scott Atran, who is a psychological-anthropologist and studies terrorist organizations, studies culture movements, those would be my two that would make my list.
S. RODNEY 30:50 Cool. Cool, Steven?
S. FULLWOOD 30:52 Wow [laughter], I don’t have an answer for either. So there’s not one person or one source, and I was trying to figure out why while Travis was talking [laughter] and no one comes to mind. I’m constantly reading different kinds of people to see how they land and I’m also reading people who may have written books in the earlier 20th century just to get a sense of a better grounding. I need to be more educated to be a lot more thoughtful about what it is and the positions that I take. So I’m constantly sort of looking back, I think.
S. RODNEY 31:25 Okay. So there’s one person for me. There are probably multiple sources, but there’s– and I just actually thought of this as you were speaking, Steven. I just realized it. It’s the one person– he’s actually not on the air anymore and I miss him– because his take was– he’d always come at things from the bleak and funny angle. And smart, just insightful. Jon Stewart, Daily Show.
C.T. WEBB 31:51 Okay.
S. RODNEY 31:52 That kind of cultural critique, and he smashed everyone, right? So there was no one that was not subject to his devious knife. I loved his take on things. I don’t think I’ve seen enough of him or heard enough of him, and I just didn’t have the bandwidth in my life at the time that I became aware of The Daily Show to actually watch it regularly. But man, what I should do is just go back and just watch every single episode because that is insightful criticism, I think.
S. FULLWOOD 32:25 Oh, cool.
C.T. WEBB 32:26 Yeah, great answer. Great answer. All right, okay. So next time, we are talking about veterans in the military. We’re going to kind of examine our own prejudices and our own beliefs around military service; historically, contemporary. Gentleman, thanks very much for the conversation. Always a pleasure.
S. FULLWOOD 32:47 Indeed. Thank you.
S. RODNEY 32:48 Thank you. Thank you very much.


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