Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Enough About Joe Rogan

Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo:

This may sound like I’m “bothsidesing” this, putting the quackish cranks on an equal footing with those trying to rebut them. I’m not. Or at least I hope I’m not. But this is all part of some larger collapse of public trust and cultural disintegration which transcends the offenders and those trying to police them. It’s not disinformation. It’s more mundane. Rogan is just a meathead who has a knack for entertaining and interesting conversations — clearly on the basis of his massive listenership — who should do better but won’t. And that refusal to do better, to sweat some details, and the trouble it gets him into is a significant part of his attraction to many listeners.

[…]

There are limits to what we can do to prevent people from lying to people who want to be lied to.

This is all true, and I agree with the overall thrust of Marshall’s argument. I just wonder how we are able to begin climbing out of this trust hole? Societal problems with confidence in institutions and experts are decades old and worse in some places than others, and progress on countering it will be slow when there is still a voracious and lucrative market for those who take advantage of it.