Here is the full 60 Minutes Interview Transcript with Mike Cernovich
The 60 Minutes segment on fake news said some mean stuff about me and that’s OK. The segment was hard-but-fair. I can self-promote on my own and expect journalists to hit me hard when appropriate. (Watch the 60 Minutes segment here.)
Scott Pelley and I sparred for over 45 minutes. As the 60 Minutes episode was their highest rated since 2008 (when Barack and Michelle Obama appeared), the people have demanded to see the full interview.
Here is the transcript of my interview with Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes on fake news.
Scott Pelley: How would you describe what you do?
Mike Cernovich: I’m a lawyer, author, documenter, filmmaker, and journalist.
Scott Pelley: And how would you describe your website?
Mike Cernovich: Edgy, controversial content that goes against the dominant narrative.
Scott Pelley: What’s the dominant narrative?
Mike Cernovich: The dominant narrative is that there are good guys and there are bad guys. The good guys are liberals. Everybody on the right is a bad guy. Let’s find a way to make everybody look bad. Let’s tie marginal figures who have no actual influence to anybody we cannot overwrite. That’s the narrative.
Scott Pelley: That’s not a narrative I’m familiar with. Who’s narrative is that?
Mike Cernovich: Well, I guess, the question I always ask people is, why’s David Duke relevant? He’s not. But the media drags him out every time there’s a Republican runs for office because David Duke knows if he endorses a candidate, then people will say oh my god, you better disavow this guy. You better disavow. Why? Nobody has anything to do with that guy. He’s trash, right?
Whereas on the left, when you have people like Reverend Jeremiah White, a right rath-Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and other kind of fringe people. I don’t see them being dragged out and saying Bernie, you better disavow, Hillary, you better disavow this guy.
Scott Pelley: But my, my question is who’s narrative is that?
Mike Cernovich: Well, it’s largely cultural. There narrative would definitely be conventional mainstream media. Which is made up of certain people. 90% of journalist who donate to campaigns, gave to Hillary Clinton. There’s a left-leaning bias for sure. Which is not necessarily nefarious, but is the result of our own human limitations to view the world rationally. To filter things, our own confirmation bias, and through cultural norms.
Scott Pelley: And, uh, you describe the mainstream media as what? Who is that?
Mike Cernovich: The industry. 90% of media companies are owned by six corporations. Concentration media ownership. So the New York times would be. The New York Times, the Washington Post, they’re all writing the same kind of stories.
Scott Pelley: Describe to me your biggest story so far.
Mike Cernovich: Probably my hoax busting. I’ve always been very good at finding hoaxes that, again, are narratives. People say this happened. For example, the University of Virginia rape case. Complete and total hoax. Rolling Stone said fra-five people in a fraternity had raped this girl, thrown her on the table. She had glass all over her body. I busted that hoax.
I did a lot of reporting on, probably actually my most valuable work for me, and gratifying, is that I was at the Democratic National Convention. And I watched all these massive protests. Five, ten thousand people. Largely Bernie supporters. And I noticed there weren’t any mainstream outlets out there covering that.
And we talked earlier about narratives. Well, there are narratives. And I will give you a great example. I went to the RNC, I went to the DNC, to do a documentary phone link. The narrative at the RNC in the media was divisiveness. It’s divided. There’s three people who supported Ted Cruz that like Trump. Divided, divided, divided. That becomes the dominant narrative. Whether that is group-think or whatever, we don’t know.
Okay. The narrative at the DNC was they’re uniting around Hillary. They’re uniting around Hillary. Meanwhile, I march with the protesters from city hall and Philadelphia all the way to Franklin Della Roosevelt Park five, ten thousand people everywhere you looked, and I way well, wait a minute. I don’t se much unity here. I see a lot of people who are very upset with Hillary Clinton. They think the primary’s are rigged. They’re pro Bernie, they’re pro Jill Stein. And these people are not going to vote for Hillary. So I found that gratifying because even though I’m though of as a right-wing person, I was actually giving coverage and a voice to more liberal people.
Scott Pelley: Well, f-for the record, we covered the Bernie protests around the Democratic National Convention. A-are you a right-wing person?
Mike Cernovich: I consider myself center-right. But these labels don’t really make much sense. I believe in some form of universal basic income. Well that isn’t a, quote unquote, conservative position because we have automation coming. What are you going to do?
I’m pro single payer healthcare. Is that right-wing or is that left-wing anymore? Well, if you have a lot of people, a large swatch of the company, or country, are suffering, then I think that we owe it to all Americans to do right by them, and to help them out. So is that right-wing or is that let-wing? I don’t know.
I’m pro free speech. Well, I remember when my great heroes who I read in college, like Allen Dershowitz, were with the ACLU marching with the Nazis. Now I read that well, that guy’s a Nazi. Is it okay to punch him? Is it okay to hit him? So I’m pro free speech, that used to be a left-wing value. That was core left-wing value. And now we’re, we’re hearing from the left hate speech, and you should be able to punch people who disagree with political violence, and becoming more normalized.
That’s why I don’t like labels like left-wing or right-wing anymore. And don’t think they apply.
Scott Pelley: Who’s your audience?
Mike Cernovich: The people. Regular people who feel like their voices aren’t being heard in traditional media outlets. People of all walks of life, all genders, all ages. It’s a really fun, eclectic group actually.
Scott Pelley: You wrote in August a story about Hillary Clinton’s medical condition the headlines said, “Hillary Clinton has Parkinson’s disease. Position confirms.” That’s quite a headline.
Mike Cernovich: Yeah, Dr. Ted Noel had se-sent a story to me anonymously, that I checked out, analyzing her medical condition. And -
Scott Pelley: It isn’t true.
Mike Cernovich: How do you know?
Scott Pelley: Well, she doesn’t seem to have any signs of Parkinson’s disease.
Mike Cernovich: She had a seizure and froze up walking into her motorcade that day caught by a citizen journalist.
Scott Pelley: Did you, well, she had pneumonia. I mean -
Mike Cernovich: How do you know?
Scott Pelley: Well, because that’s what was reported.
Mike Cernovich: By whom? Who told you that?
Scott Pelley: Well, the campaign told us that.
Mike Cernovich: Why would you trust a campaign? Why would you trust the Hillary Clinton flats?
Scott Pelley: Why would you trust this doctor nobody every heard of?
Mike Cernovich: Why would you trust the doctors that go on CNN? Right because nobody’s every heard of him. And that’s the issue, one of legitimacy and social constructs and social statuses. Dr Ted Noel, board certified physician, he reached an analysis based on logic and reason that could be attacked using logic and reason.
Scott Pelley: Based on logic and reason, but not based on seeing Hilary Clinton ever in his life?
Mike Cernovich: She doesn’t want to do an independent medical examination, which he should’ve done. Now I remember when John McCain, speaking of narratives, I’m old enough to remember when John McCain ran for president and people said oh my god, he’s old. We’d better check his health records. John McCain is he, is he healthy? Is he not? Washington Post had it as a big story.
Scott Pelley: He’s been -
Mike Cernovich: John McCain.
Scott Pelley: He had a big -
Mike Cernovich: A big story.
Scott Pelley: Scare with cancer. He had.
Mike Cernovich: Yeah.
Scott Pelley: And recovered completely.
Mike Cernovich: And it was public. Well, okay. He had recovered completely. People wanted his medical records. But then when Hillary Clinton is having you, coughing fits, well it’s allergies. Hillary Clinton seizes up, oh, it’s pneumonia. Right? So that’s what I mean. We’re willing, the confirmation bias says that you’re willing to take the Hillary Clinton campaign on their word. But that kind of benefit of the doubt would not be given to say, Donald Trump. If Donald Trump had some kind of seizure, and he said oh, it’s pneumonia, people would say oh, that’s alternative fact. And people wouldn’t accept that as true.
Scott Pelley: But the point is sh- The point is you didn’t check this story out. You didn’t have -
Mike Cernovich: Sure I did.
Scott Pelley: Multiple sources. You just, you have some guy who says he’s a doctor say that Hillary Clinton has Parkinson’s disease, and you put it out there as if it was true.
Mike Cernovich: Oh, he’s really a doctor though. Dr. Ted Noel, you can confirm that for yourself.
Scott Pelley: The point is, you didn’t talk to anybody who ever examined Hillary Clinton.
Mike Cernovich: Have you?
Scott Pelley: No. No.
Mike Cernovich: Have you?
Scott Pelley: I- this story’s not about me.
Mike Cernovich: Well, you haven’t though. So let’s be, let’s be honest with one another, which is that you are reporting that the Hillary Clinton campaign-
Scott Pelley: I didn’t report that she had Parkinson’s disease.
Mike Cernovich: You just told me she’s healthy though. Based on what was told to you by the campaign. See? That’s what I’m saying about the double standards which is I don’t take anything Hillary Clinton’s going to say at all as true. I’m not going to take her on her word. The media says we’re not going to take Donald Trump on his word. And that’ why we are on these different universes.
Scott Pelley: Why should anyone take you on your word?
Mike Cernovich: Oh, you should always double-check. You should always fact check. And if people don’t agree with me, people express that disagreement, and I’m completely, completely open to criticism.
Scott Pelley: How did you check the story on Parkinson’s disease?
Mike Cernovich: Dr. Ted Noel. He’s a great analyst.
Scott Pelley: So he, he gave you that analysis. And then that would be the starting point for a journalist to begin checking on other sources and trying to find verification.
Mike Cernovich: Yeah. I talked to other doctors about it too. And they said it was a sound analysis. And that she should undergo an independent medical examination. And that people should examine her medical records, which nobody ever did.
Scott Pelley: Hillary Clinton has Parkinson’s disease, position confirms. You don’t think that’s misleading?
Mike Cernovich: No.
Scott Pelley: You believe it’s true today?
Mike Cernovich: Oh, absolutely.
Scott Pelley: How did you find that story?
Mike Cernovich: I got it through, um, the doctor. He at the time had wanted to remain anonymous, and now he has a very big presence on YouTube and other places. And he even said, “I don’t want to take a lot of heat for this.” And I said, “In understand, I understand.” I believe in anonymous speech. But I checked him out. I confirmed that he existed, that he was who he claimed to was. I read his analysis. Other doctors read his analysis. And some agreed with him. Some didn’t agree.
Scott Pelley: You reported in November five days before the election, quote Clinton’s inner circle includes child traffickers pedophiles, and now members of a sex cult.
Mike Cernovich: Lauren Silsby was arrested in Haiti trying to smuggle children out of Haiti. Do you remember that story?
Scott Pelley: For Hillary Clinton?
Mike Cernovich: She was a friend of Hillary. Hillary intervened on her behalf, to get a reduced sentence for Lauren Silsby. And her compatriots. So
Scott Pelley: “Clinton’s inner circle includes child traffickers pedophiles, and now members of a sex cult.” There, there, there’s no evidence of that.
Mike Cernovich: Well, Lauren Silsby, Hillary Clinton, and her are the inner circle together. Lauren Silsby was arrested in Haiti trying to leave the country with 33 children. Lauren Silsby and her crew were. Hillary Clinton intervened personally and that, right? So that is 100% true. I don’t see Donald Trump intervening on behalf of child t-traffickers. Like Lauren Silsby. So that is true.
It does include that inner circle. Dennis Hastert, Jeffrey Epstein. Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein good friends. Jeffrey Epstein is a lifetime registered sex offender. He was convicted of trafficking women who are underage. Great fiend of Bill Clinton. Great friend to Hillary Clinton. So that is part of her inner circle, so that is indeed a true statement.
Scott Pelley: Wait a minute. Friends or parts are inner circles?
Mike Cernovich: Well, y-you want to get, you want to define inner circle, or define something else?
Scott Pelley: Well, inner circle is the term that you used.
Mike Cernovich: Sure. Jeffrey Epstein -
Scott Pelley: What’s this, what’s the definition?
Mike Cernovich: If Bill Clinton is flying with Jeffrey Epstein without a secret service detail, repeatedly, then that would be inner circle.
Scott Pelley: Hillary Clinton’s inner circle?
Mike Cernovich: Well, Bill and Hillary. Who’s Hillary Clinton without Bill? She ran an Bill Clinton’s legacy. She didn’t have any ideas. She didn’t have anything new going on. She ran on Bill Clinton’s legacy. So if you’re going to run on your husband’s legacy and ride his coattails, then you’re going to have to be responsible for what he does.
Scott Pelley: These news stories are fakes.
Mike Cernovich: They’re definitely not fake.
Scott Pelley: They’re lies.
Mike Cernovich: There are not lie at all. 100% true.
Scott Pelley: Do you believe that. Or do you say that because it’s important for marketing your website?
Mike Cernovich: Oh, I believe it. I don’t say anything that I don’t believe. Hillary Clinton had a seizure, faked it. Had to be picked up by her secret service detail. Put into a motorcade. That 100% happened. Pneumonia? Show me where anybody has pneumonia, they lock up. Nobody can.
Scott Pelley: But that doesn’t give you the right to speculate about it.
Mike Cernovich: It’s not a speculation. Its an analysis based on an expert doctor. Now you can disagree with that. You can say that isn’t true. But Hillary Clinton never underwent an independent medical examination. Why not?
Scott Pelley: When you heard about the guy who shot up the pizzeria?
Mike Cernovich: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Scott Pelley: What did you think?
Mike Cernovich: Well, at the time there was no evidence connecting him to her. But that was a very sad thing. Very unfortunate thing.
Scott Pelley: Uh, uh, uh no evidence connecting who to what?
Mike Cernovich: Well, the shooter, I didn’t know anything about the shooter. But when it happened, and I heard about it and I read about it, it was a very sad thing.
Scott Pelley: But the pizzeria was part of this child pedophile -
Mike Cernovich: I never claimed that.
Scott Pelley: You didn’t name this pizzeria?
Mike Cernovich: Correct. I never -
Scott Pelley: That, that is -
Mike Cernovich: Never claimed that .
Scott Pelley: That is absolutely true.
Mike Cernovich: Correct.
Scott Pelley: We verified that you never named it.
Mike Cernovich: Right.
Scott Pelley: But wasn’t this an indication of fake news getting out of control? People picking up guns to take justice into their own hands after reading stuff like you put on your website that is based on fantasy?
Mike Cernovich: Well, first of all, we have to draw lines between what I wrote, which is an expert analysis on Hillary Clinton’s health, versus a completely different story, where I never named the pizzeria. And I never thought that the pizzeria was at the center of this. And then people, I would say that it was fake news that people would try to connect me to that pizzeria thing when I never said there was never anything going on in there. And moreover, the lawyer, it would strike me a utterly bizarre if a pizzeria were running any kind of weird operation out of it. 100%. I never, I never wrote that story. So if you guys want to say this is bad, we don’t agree with it, that’s bad and unappreciated. This is fair criticism. But let’s talk about what I wrote and why I wrote it, versus what other people wrote and the conclusions other people reached.
Scott Pelley: You described it as bizarre. Isn’t linking Hillary Clinton to a child pedophile ring the very definition of bizarre?
Mike Cernovich: Linking Hillary Clinton to Lauren Silsby would be 100% true. And you can find the information about that. Lauren Silsby tried to smuggle 33 children or some large number of children out of Haiti. She was arrested for human trafficking along with a number of her co-conspirators. Hillary Clinton intervened in that case.
Scott Pelley: Help me, uh, with, uh a bit of, uh the technology behind all of this. Would your site be as successful as it is, without Facebook and Twitter?
Mike Cernovich: They’re different platforms, definitely. So it would be, Twitter is very useful for different things. But my website would get around. Word would get around one way or another.
Scott Pelley: But, uh, web, uh. Let me ask a question this way. Twitter and Facebook are useful to you how?
Mike Cernovich: Reaching people directly without an intermediary. So what, the-the way I always explain to- you’re mediators. We’re going to talk for a number of minutes about a number of questions. This is going to go through editing, and then you’re going to go to television and say this is Mike Cernovich, this is what he believes. And then you’re going to tell a narrative whether I’m a good guy, a bad guy, a misguided guy, whatever the narrative is. And that’s fine. We’re all telling a story, right?
The issue is that that media is an intermediary. With social media, I can say to the people here’s me live on video for an hour. The full thing, raw and uncut. So it bring the message directly to the people. It bypasses intermediaries in the media.
Scott Pelley: Well, the benefit of intermediaries is having experienced editors check things out and research people. Check the facts before it goes out to the public. You don’t do any of that.
Mike Cernovich: Where are the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?
Scott Pelley: That was a big mess, but that was because the Government -
Mike Cernovich: And how much -
Scott Pelley: Told us they existed.
Mike Cernovich: And how much, then why trust the government?
Scott Pelley: We also, we also reported that they didn’t exist.
Mike Cernovich: Right. Well, how much damage was caused by the fake news story about weapons of mass destruction? How much damage was caused by that Rolling Stone rape hoax, where the fraternity was shut down? Bang, bang, bang. People attacking them. Assault.
So the critique is, and the Washington Post recently of course had said that the Burlington power grid had been hacked by the Russians. And then it turned out well, actually some guy, maybe he had been watching some stuff he wouldn’t have been watching on the internet. And maybe his computer was compromised. But even then, nobody knows. That’s the Washington Post, right?
New York Times, weapons of mass destruction. None ever found. Washington Post, Russia attacking the power grid. Can you believe it? Unbelievable. What a disaster.
Obama prosecuting whistle-blowers all the time, everywhere. Obama spending money to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests. All the time. I don’t see any complaints about that. But then people want to come after me guns blazing. Come after me hard. I’m not starting wars in Iraq, which was a disgrace. I’m not starting wars in Afghanistan. I’m not getting people into deep deficits. And ruining lives, right?
So they way I look at all this stuff is people want to criticize me, I welcome it. But I would like to see a little bit more criticism of the media, and say why we got it wrong. Did the person who published that wep-weapons of mass destruction case get fired? No. Hands up, don’t shoot.
Scott Pelley: Well, she did actually. But then you -
Mike Cernovich: Okay. Well, thank you for fact checking. That’s good. Hands up, don’t shoot. No, a Rolling Stone woman, Sabrina Erdely, did. That was different. Finally she did -
Scott Pelley: And, and, and Judy Miller at The Times got fired as well.
Mike Cernovich: Oh.
Scott Pelley: Anyway, go ahead.
Mike Cernovich: Hands up, don’t shoot. Didn’t happen that way, right?
Scott Pelley: It didn’t happen that way.
Mike Cernovich: Right.
Scott Pelley: According to the federal and state investigations.
Mike Cernovich: Right. So that’s the issue is we are all human beings. Trying to get it right. I start from the proposition that most of what I read in the media is not deliberately a falsehood but that people are biased and they filter things through their own worldview. And then I say why cannot people give me that same benefit of the doubt? I’m an attorney, I’m an author. A documentary filmmaker. What credential do I lack that other people have?
Scott Pelley: So you were saying that you do filter your stuff through your own bias in your own worldview.
Mike Cernovich: All human beings do.
Scott Pelley: We checked the numbers last month, your tweets were sent to users on social media 83 million times. What are you doing that is connecting with so many people?
Mike Cernovich: That was a slow month too. We, we hit a 150 million sometimes. What I’m doing is, is punchy, it’s fun, it’s counterintuitive, it’s counter-narrative. And it’s information that you’re not going to see anywhere else, right? Like we’re talking right now. It’s going to be edited.
Scott Pelley: You’re, you’re going to see information you’re not going to see anywhere else.
Mike Cernovich: So we’re talking right now. You have this fun banter. That’s what people like on social media. The banter. This full interview would be way more fun for people then the snippets that we’re going to see. Right? The people want the whole story. People want to have fun.
Scott Pelley: Why do you do this? Is is political for you? Is it fame?
Mike Cernovich: Definitely not fame. The fame stuff I don’t like. I had actually almost until recently never posted pictures on the internet. Fame generally comes with way more cons than pros. Fame makes you a target. Fame makes people hate you. Fame brings you stalkers. It definitely isn’t the fame.
Political activism would be a definite motivator.
Scott Pelley: You’re a political activist?
Mike Cernovich: I’m a social activist, absolutely.
Scott Pelley: Well, that would be the bid difference between you and reporters in journalism.
Mike Cernovich: Reporters are the mouthpiece of Democratic National Convention. Most of it is pro Hillary, pro Barack Obama. Donald Trump tweets something mean, the whole world, left-wing media explodes. Barack Obama prosecutes whistle-blowers more than anybody before him. Good old Barry. We love Barry, we love Barry, we love Barry. 90% of campaign contributions that came from journalists went to Hillary Clinton.
So the idea that journalists are these unbiased bastions of truth, and they’re not human beings, is completely not consistent with reality. Not consistent with the observable data. And moreover not consistent with what we know about people.
Scott Pelley: What do you consider to be out of bounds, in terms of copy and your website?
Mike Cernovich: Out of bounds would deficiently be anything that wrongfully takes a person who isn’t famous and draws unfair scrutiny to that person.
Scott Pelley: But if you’re famous … no holds barred?
Mike Cernovich: Well, if you’re a politician, if you’re Hilary Clinton certainly you, I don’t lie. Everything I say, I believe to be true. But even if I believe something to be true about someone who is a private figure. I wouldn’t do to them what Gawker has done to so many people.
What Gawker had done is they would take people who weren’t famous, they weren’t anybody, they didn’t have their own platforms. And essentially they would ruin their lives. I oppose that sort of journalism.
Scott Pelley: You say you don’t publish anything that you believe to be true. How do you decide whether something is true?
Mike Cernovich: How does anybody decide? That’s an epistemological question. What is the nature of truth? How do human beings who are floating around this rock with eyes and ears and skin and smell, how does anybody ascertain what is true or what is false?
Scott Pelley: Well, you ask questions, you verify the information it’s not that hard.
Mike Cernovich: You reach your own truth, find the truth. It’s not that hard?
Scott Pelley: I do it all the time.
Mike Cernovich: Philosophers have been writing about it for thousand of years. That’s why the scientific method came to be. Because truth and discovering truth is a challenge. And the idea is you’ve been wrong about things before. Everybody has been wrong about things before. But you believe it to be true at the time by reaching conclusions based on your background knowledge of the world, your ability to weigh and measure facts, the ability to determine what is material versus what is immaterial. And then you reach your conclusion. But there’s a lot going on. Thinking is the most important skill a human being can have. Rationality is what separates us from all other animals. And to say that that isn’t a daily challenge, searching for truth is never over.
Scott Pelley: You know every
Speaker 4: Just a moment you guys. Just a moment. Sorry.
Scott Pelley: Okay.
Mike Cernovich: Sure.
Scott Pelley: They want to throw some powder our way.
Mike Cernovich: All good.
Speaker 4: Hey, how you doing, guys?
Mike Cernovich: Great, man. How you doing?
Scott Pelley: Good.
What do you think, Mike?
Mike Cernovich: I like it. It’s good banter.
Scott Pelley: [laughter]. It is good banter. What, what do you think uh …
Mike Cernovich: I -
Scott Pelley: Other Mike?
PRODUCER: That … that they’re are a number of stories that you’ve done where you are conceded in some form or another. That they’re not true. And you have made an argument in favor of it, even though it’s not true. And there’s, there seems to be just a little bit of a disconnect for me here. Um. Uh, and I think a way to cut through some of these is, the, uh.
Part 2 of Mike Cernovich’s Interview with Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes
Mike Cernovich: And we’re back.
Scott Pelley: Have you published things that turned out to be wrong, you have regrets?
Mike Cernovich: Great question. I always want to update things, if they were proven to be incorrect, I would definitely always want to update that kind of stuff.
Scott Pelley: Well, you mean, correct, not update?
Mike Cernovich: Well when the Washington Post said that Russia had hacked the power grid, sending people into a form of hysteria, and then it turned out that Russia had not, had not hacked the power grid, and they issued a correction, and an update to the story. Very important.
Scott Pelley: What, What stories have you published that turned out to not be right?
Mike Cernovich: None, that come to mind.
Scott Pelley: None?
Mike Cernovich: That come to mind, no.
Scott Pelley: You know, it seems to me that the quickest way to destroy a democracy, is to poison the information.
Mike Cernovich: That’s exactly why the Iraq war was a mistake, caused by hysterical, fake news coverage. I also remember when people claimed, a Kuwaiti woman had claimed that Iraqi soldiers had went into a hospital, taking babies out of the incubators, throwing the babies away, and this was all reported true, they were untrue. So again, the idea is-
Scott Pelley: I’m talking about your work.
Mike Cernovich: I’m talking about the nature of truth though, because my work has to be contextualized relative to the structures that we resist in the media structure.
Scott Pelley: So some reporters, some where made a mistake and therefore it’s okay for you to write anything you want, whether it’s true or not.
Mike Cernovich: No, I never said that at all. I said that people are human beings, and that mistakes made by the New York Times, and the Washington Post, and Rolling Stone, and other outlets, have caused great damage to our democracy and is definitely a problem.
Scott Pelley: Are you damaging the democracy?
Mike Cernovich: I’m improving it by adding voices to the conversation. The idea of a democracy is that more voices are better than fewer, free speech is better than censorship, and we should all argue and have it out just as we’re having a somewhat of a debate right now, which is fine by me. I fully support this. I think this is great. I think scrutiny that people give me is fantastic, and I approve of it, and I scrutinize others and appreciate the same courtesy.
Scott Pelley: Who’s responsibility is it to judge whether something on your website is true, you, or the viewer?
Mike Cernovich: Oh, many people do. I have to judge it, the legal system judges it, the viewers have to judge it. Remember too, that I am an attorney. Right? You have a legal department of sixty minutes, we all know defamation, we want to avoid it. Not only because it’s not moral to harm people, dishonestly, we shouldn’t harm private people at all, but that’s a different conversation. So you’re going to be filtered through many people, but ultimately all news, all information, the personal responsibility of the person receiving it, to reach their own conclusions.
Scott Pelley: You’re making a living doing this. Your sight is supported by advertising, and the more outrageous the headline- the more people are going to click on it.
Mike Cernovich: Ah hah. That was fake news. I make no money off of advertising. I live off of book royalties from “Gorilla Mindset”, which is a book on mindset and emotional control. I don’t sell advertising, I do crowdfunding occasionally, but I do not keep that money, but rather I fund other ventures. So I have a patreon, I did a Kickstarter, I did a documentary on free speech, which included really important people, like Alan Dershowitz, Scott Adams, Milo Yiannopoulos was even in it, Dave Rubin was in it. Really great thing, talked to a lot of people, that was crowdfunded by people, and I don’t make any profit off of that. So I actually make no money doing journalism, I make money off of my book royalties, I don’t sell advertising.
Scott Pelley: Let me just look at my notes here, and see what we may have uh, may have run out … and guys, if there’s anything that I skipped let me know what it is.
PRODUCER: 12, and 13.
Scott Pelley: Oh, I did skip thirt- skip over 13, sorry about that.
Speaker 3: Yeah, and 12, I think, and uh, and then the uh, and that question about Dr. Noel.
Scott Pelley: Okay.
Mike Cernovich: Yeah, he’s a … You were going to say, Dr. Noel, is an anesthesiologist, therefore how is he qualified, right.
Scott Pelley: I was going to say that.
Mike Cernovich: Ah, no, come on. I’m a lawyer, you guys think I don’t know where this is going.
Speaker 3: That, That’s uh, That’s, That’s not, That not good reporting?
Mike Cernovich: No, that’s the thing, I, I’m, I’m completely okay with it, but.
Scott Pelley: You guys all set?
Speaker 3: Yeah.
Scott Pelley: Here we go. All set everybody?
Speaker 3: Yep.
Scott Pelley: Okay. We’ll just start right there. Dr. Noel is an anesthesiologist, what does he know about Parkinson’s Disease?
Mike Cernovich: Who’s had friends with Parkinson’s, has treated people with Parkinson’s Disease, and has encountered them in his practice, and had also run his story … I’m glad you asked that question, because he had also run that story by people who is specialized in Parkinson’s treatment.
Scott Pelley: Question becomes, what, what’s your standard for objective truth? Maybe you’ve talked to an anesthesiologist who’s never met Hilary Clinton, who’s decided she has Parkinson’s Disease, which there’s no sign of, and then-
Mike Cernovich: Are you a doctor?
Scott Pelley: I am not a doctor, but uh, the … Secretary Clinton does not seem to have Parkinson’s Disease. You seem to be the only person reporting that. It would be a pretty big story if it was true, and no one’s been able to verify it. So what’s your standard of proof? It doesn’t seem very high.
Mike Cernovich: I remember when John Edwards had fathered a wo- a child out of wedlock with a woman he was cheating on while his wife had cancer, the media wouldn’t cover it.
Scott Pelley: The question’s not about John Edwards. The question’s not about John Edwards, it’s about you, what’s your standard of proof?
Mike Cernovich: We’re having a philosophical conversation about the nature of truth, and the nature of truth is that John Edwards did not have a lovechild, that is fake news. Well actually it’s true, that happened. Right? So there are many stories that are under reported.
Scott Pelley: I’m talking about your website.
Mike Cernovich: I must believe it to be true. I will not say anything that I do not sincerely believe is true.
Scott Pelley: That doesn’t seem like a very high bar.
Mike Cernovich: It’s a high bar because I’m an attorney, I know how to weigh and measure evidence. I’m a skeptical person, and I know that there’s a lot of people gunning for me. I’m not going to be reckless.
Scott Pelley: Who’s gunning for you?
Mike Cernovich: You are. I’m on 60 Minutes. Right?
Scott Pelley: What do you mean, we’re gunning for you?
Mike Cernovich: Do I really think that you guys are going to tell the story that I would like to have told, no. Your story’s going to be here’s a guy, spreads fake news, uses social media, these social media people better … I know the story you guys are doing before you do it.
Scott Pelley: What’s wrong with that story?
Mike Cernovich: Because it is an agenda. The agenda is … The truth is you’ve talked to a person who sincerely believes true, you must also admit that there have been many stories reported by major outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Rolling Stone, that were false.
Scott Pelley: Agreed.
Mike Cernovich: People get it wrong, so why then come guns blazing at me, and not guns blazing at everybody? Why isn’t this segment going to say, how did the New York Times get conned? How did the Washington Post believe that Russia had hacked the power grid? We all together, collectively need to discover what the truth is, and converse with one another what the truth is, that’s a different story.
Another story is, here is a person that is able to bypass traditional media outlets, reach people directly to tell a story. Maybe he’s a good guy, maybe he’s not. People decide.
This is another story, ’cause I know the story you guys are going to tell. Hilary Clinton’s perfectly healthy. This guy Cernovich that said she’s not, he has no reason to say that. Facebook and Twitter need to crackdown on this kind of stuff.
Scott Pelley: What’s wrong with that story?
Mike Cernovich: I just told you, because that is an agenda. You could tell a more whole picture. You could tell a full story, but that’s one narrow thing. ’Cause I know by the questions you’re asking, the story you’re going to tell.
Scott Pelley: You said quote-
Mike Cernovich: Which is confirmation biased.
Scott Pelley: You said that fake news … let me put the question this way. You’ve said “Fake news, don’t fall for it, always be on guard against the enemy”.
Mike Cernovich: Yes.
Scott Pelley: Who’s the enemy?
Mike Cernovich: The opposition media. The media that is telling people … I lost a very good friend in Iraq, very, very good friend of mine died in Iraq. Great human being, engineering major, the nicest person you would ever meet in your life, he died in a war that we never should have fought, because of fake news. They killed my friend.
Scott Pelley: Where did the fake news come from, it came from the Bush Administration.
Mike Cernovich: Yeah.
Scott Pelley: All those stories were-
Mike Cernovich: I don’t like those guys.
Scott Pelley: … leaked to the New York Times.
Mike Cernovich: Exactly. Exactly.
Scott Pelley: What, What is a reporter supposed to do when, when the Chief of Staff, or the Vice President of the United States, leaks information to you?
Mike Cernovich: Don’t trust the government. I don’t trust the government. I didn’t trust the Bush Administration. I didn’t trust Obama Administration. I’m not going to serve as a mouthpiece for anybody. I go against Paul Ryan. I’ve said things that I don’t agree with that Trump has done. I go hard on everybody, I speak the truth in that regard, Glenn Greenwald, is somebody I admire, which is another segment you can do on. Who are people that I would view outside of the narrative? Well I would say Glenn Greenwald, and people will say “Well, I would be surprised because he’s a liberal. How could you admire a liberal journalist like …?” Well because he hits everybody hard. He hits power hard. Journalism is speaking truth to power. Journalism isn’t saying this government, whoever’s in office is out of control. They’re lying to people, they’re doing bad things. We need to hit everybody hard. That’s real journalism.
Scott Pelley: Isn’t hard to trust the guy who says he’s never published anything that was wrong?
Mike Cernovich: I said that it doesn’t come to mind. Right? But as a human being I’m willing to accept that there are times where I could reach better conclusions, 100%.
Scott Pelley: But none of those come to mind?
Mike Cernovich: None come to mind.
Scott Pelley: Thank you very much.
Mike Cernovich: Thank you.
Scott Pelley: Um, guys I think we have it.
PRODUCER: Do you think that maybe you can uh, ask him uh, you know, if he thinks that what he’s doing is filling the void left open by the mainstream media.
Scott Pelley: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yes, absolutely. That’s a good one. Everybody ready? Are you filling a void that has been left open by the mainstream media?
Mike Cernovich: Yeah, that is why my profile has risen so much. Everybody kind of writes the same stories. Right now, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia. That’s what I hear everywhere, that’s all I hear anywhere. I don’t hear about Saudi Arabia. I’ve actually gone through thinking of real journalism, and doing research, and using my expertise as a lawyer, I’ve gone through FAR records to see who is actually paying people to be their mouthpieces. Ukraine, big money. They pay a guy, Doug Schoen, who goes on Fox News, $40,000 a month. Victor Pinchuk does. Pays him $40,000 a month, he goes on Fox News and says “Russia’s bad, the Ukraine is good”, he never discloses that he’s getting $40,000 a month. Saudi Arabia, more than any other country, they pay for propaganda. You can go through the FA- the FAR reports. Right? I don’t see any of that on the news.
Let’s talk about how Saudi Arabia owns a percentage of Fox News. Let’s talk about how Saudi Arabia owns a percentage of Twitter. Let’s talk about how they bought bombs from Obama, and they’re murdering the, let’s talk about that. I don’t see any of that. Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia. It’s like in the movie Being John Malkovich, being in Russia and America. So what I’m saying is well hey, why don’t we talk about Saudi Arabia? Why don’t we talk about Ukraine? Why don’t we talk about other stories that the media isn’t telling? Of course you’re going to draw an audience with that.
Scott Pelley: Tell me … Describe to me of your op- operation. Do you write everything that’s on the site, or do you have a number of reporters who work with you? How does that, How does that all work?
Mike Cernovich: Yeah, I have freelancers who do research and writing, and I do a lot of research and writing, so it’s a hybrid.
Scott Pelley: And you personally edit everything that goes into the website?
Mike Cernovich: I don’t personally edit everything that goes into the website, but I personally read everything to make sure that people aren’t lying.
Scott Pelley: You make a judgment about what goes in, and what stays out?
Mike Cernovich: Yes.
Scott Pelley: That’s right. That’s right. Um, you know, I’m curious how you um, how, how you came to start your website. Was it … I mean, to become what you will a publisher-
Mike Cernovich: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Scott Pelley: … uh, as opposed to a blogger or just sending in an piece to that organization, or this, uh, you decided to take on creating this entity-
Mike Cernovich: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Scott Pelley: … and how did, how did that come about?
Mike Cernovich: Well I’d always written letters to the editor. As a kid, right, even as a little kid I wrote letters to the editor. And with the internet, rather than write a letter to the editor, you can write it yourself. You can write it yourself, and be your own editor, and publisher. It’s an amazing time to be alive. I mean, that’s where, that’s where we talked about and there, there’s multiple stories that you could write.
One can be, Cernovich Bad Guy, one could be this, one could be the technology is so interesting that a lot of people, Greta Van Susteren, for example, when she had left Fox News, she was doing Facebook live videos. One of her videos got 1.5 million views. So there are people in the quote unquote mainstream media, who are learning the power of social media too. And this is especially true for up and comers. Right? You have this big brand, you got this big platform, you of course you have a boss, like everybody has a boss, of course, but you’re there, you’ve made it. So what do you tell the 20 year old, the 30 year old, the 40 year old, who’s trying to come up in the ranks?
Scott Pelley: You were never bossed.
Mike Cernovich: People … I have a lot of bosses. I have an audience, and believe me they let you know when they don’t agree with you, and they let me know, in very colorful terms. Plus I have Shauna back there too. She, She’s my conscience.
You can watch my two segments on 60 Minutes below:
Mike Cernovich is a journalist, author, and filmmaker. His books and films are available worldwide and especially on Amazon.