Thoughts on, Dave Rubin, the alternative media and so forth
Dave Rubin hosts the Rubin Report, which is a show that has long-form interviews discussing politics, religion and culture. When Dave’s show first started I was a big fan because I liked how different it was and I thought he was a fair balanced guy. However that has changed and Dave often comes across as either ill-informed or being partisan these days.
One of my main criticisms about Dave isn’t about his political leanings, I don’t care about his politics. My criticisms largely centre around the fact that I don’t think he does enough research or background into the topics he talks about, and the way he handles criticism.
The issues that he talks about such as the media, the regressive left and free speech are topics that I’m interested in. However whenever Dave is asked about these issues such as the media, his answers are always some vague thing about “how crazy everything is” and how he doesn’t know who to trust in the media. Fair enough, but after being asked about it numerous times you’d think he would do some more research & give a more informed answer. I think it’s reasonable to say dismiss buzzfeed and infowars. Other youtubers in a similar genre been asked this question and I have learnt from that it’s important to take information from all sides of the political spectrum and make an informed decision. Zarathustra’s serpent (a youtuber, I’d highly recommend people subscribe to) made excellent points about the media in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzPH50VC4D4. He has explained it way better than I ever could lol.
Most people will tell me “oh but Dave is just an interviewer”and I understand that but as an interviewer he guides the show. And he is telling his audience that the media is untrustworthy, and not being specific about it so they could end up not reading multiple new sources and thus create an echo chamber for themselves. This means they end up being somewhat closed minded and not open to ideas that don’t confirm their biases.
To be fair to Dave he has had a few liberal progressive voice such as; Areva Martin and Trae Crowder, but his audience reacted very negatively to these two interviews. So this could possibly be a reason why Dave doesn’t explore more liberal and progressives voices because his audience does not react well to it. That’s not entirely his fault but he could’ve pushed back against them and said “hey guys this show is supposed to be about exploring ideas, and it’s important to be open to them” instead of insinuating that Areva was a ‘regressive’. Even if people didn’t agree with Areva Martin, she brought up some valid points about being pragmatic, in the sense that Bernie would not be able to get what he wanted done and that is a very fair point. And I think Dave could’ve focused on the good aspects of her arguments and that he disagreed with some of the things she said about race issues. This is the interview I’m referring to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nY5n4Zgsl7o
I think having progressive/liberals like Areva Martin is good, because if I or others don’t agree with all her positions, she can at least articulate them and she is not going to talk down to people the way Kat Blaque and Franchesa Ramsey do. I believe that more progressive voices would be invited, if Dave’s audience were more open to it and if Dave stood up more for speaking to people on the left we could see more of that diversity of thought Dave talks about.
Many will say but it’s ‘his show and he can do what he likes’ be that as it may, I’m holding him to this standard. Because he claims that his show is about ‘battle of big ideas’ and I have not been seeing that for a while and I think others are getting a bit fed up too.
I would like to see more ideas being explored, than just free speech and the regressive left. I also feel that he’s focusing arguments and discussion on labels and group identities, rather than the issues themselves which imo doesn’t help the conversation and it turns well-meaning ideas like ‘classical liberalism’ into memes.
Another label Dave loves is the ‘new center’ he uses this label whenever he is able to talk to someone on the left or right. He has used this term with people like Glenn Beck and Mike Cernovich but these people are not the new centre they are just people who are willing to talk you,Dave. The whole point is to accept that people have different political beliefs, not that just because a person doesn’t like the regressive left that equals centrist. I don’t like labels being misued, the definition of political centrism. “ In politics, centrism or the centre is a political outlook or specific position that involves acceptance or support of a balance of a degree of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy; while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society either strongly to the left or the right.” Either way I find the way he uses the term to be misleading for that reason.
Dave has a lot of critics, and yes some of them are trolls that comes with having a big following on youtube. But even when valid criticism is levelled towards him he seems to take it badly and is not open minded to it ever. Yes, he did post a video in which he addresses some criticisms about being called a conservative but he is still dismisses constructive criticism made towards him. For example Philip De Franco made a point that Dave had put about misinformation on the Mosque attack in Quebec. Phil asked how Dave felt about leaving out a tweet with misinformation out. The original tweet had pointed out that the attack was committed by muslims and not the fact that it was actually a far-right extremist — this was #fakenews (something that Dave rails against) and Dave did not see the need to delete the tweet. Everybody makes mistakes, I don’t except people to always get it right, but when you’re in the alternative media and you make a mistake like that it is important to put out a retraction. A twitter user known as wokieleaks salt, criticised Dave for focusing all his time on college campus kids when at the time a reporter was assaulted, and wokieleaks was blocked for it. I can understand why people block trolls, but Wokie was not saying anything derogatory, it was more that he trying to hold Dave to account. He also had a AMA section recently, and a number of people politely asked him some critical questions and he was somewhat dismissive to their concerns. Here is the link. If Dave doesn’t think Trump is that bad he could perhaps explain why, instead of just saying it’s the media being hysterical. https://www.reddit.com/r/Classical_Liberals/comments/6ipull/hey_this_is_dave_rubin_lets_talk_about_classical/
Recently Mother Jones wrote an article about Dave, labelling him as far-right and although I disagreed with it; I am worried that this will be further excused for Dave not to address legitimate criticisms.
I don’t believe Dave is a bad guy, but I think he could do with some improvements. He should start reading more, whenever people ask him his opinions on Syria he always says oh well I don’t know ‘both sides are going crazy right now’ instead of informing himself. Most people don’t mind if you take a side, if you can back it up with evidence. If he did this once, I would be okay with it, because it’s honest but not all the time. He also was somewhat ignorant about Richard Spencer being a white-identitarian, this isn’t a big deal per se but being someone in the alternative media he should know this. When Sargon of Akkad brought up the fact that Lauren Southern was engaging in activism and not journalism, Dave brought up a point about how the left does it too, which is something he frequently does when there is a criticism levelled towards the right. When progressives such as Sam Seder have engaged with him he has flat out refused to have them on his show. Sam Sholi a left-leaning youtuber has contacted Dave in order to have a discussion with him. I really hope Dave does this because Sam would provide constructive criticism and it would good to see Dave chat with someone he disagrees with. I hope that Dave accepts, if he doesn’t it will be very disappointing because it will be a missed opportunity for him to engage with someone who doesn’t agree with him and maybe they could learn something from each other
I know that Dave is just an interviewer and the show is about his guests but he as an interviewer guides the show and should delve deeper into ideas, challenge people more if they say something absurd. Challenging someone doesn’t mean berating them, in fact it can make the conversation more interesting. I am criticising Dave because I believe he has a lot of influence and connections with the platform he provides, but I think if he takes on board some of these criticisms his show will improve as a result. He doesn’t have to agree, I just wanted to give my take on Dave because I was once a big fan of his and I think he can do better. Despite my criticisms, I think he has a lot of influence and I think a few improvements could go a long way.