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In Hyperreality, Podcasting Is The New Punk Rock

Joe Rogan
Image CreditPowerfulJRE/YouTube

The reality you inhabit is different from the reality the corporate media manufacture.

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Did you notice how quickly the narrative changed after the Nashville shooting on March 27? Almost immediately after a woman who thought she was a man slaughtered innocent employees and students at a Christian day school, powerful institutions worked to shift the nation’s focus away from the actions of a spiritually and mentally broken individual and began issuing statements of solidarity with the “trans community.”

The children and staff, likely targeted for their religious affiliation, were no longer victims. We weren’t supposed to mourn them. The identity group of the murderer, who sought to kill innocent people, was the truly aggrieved group, said the corporate media

Individuals throughout the highest levels of government, media, and business used their institutional influence in an attempt to warp the public’s perception of reality. This Orwellian process has become our civilizational norm and is analogous to the late French thinker Jean Baudrillard’s concept of “hyperreality.”

When reality manifests in ways opposing the ruling class’s preferred narratives, it’s either suppressed or ignored until it goes away. It’s also astroturfed by institutions with generational influence to establish artificial cultural supremacy of preferred narratives regardless of validity.

The corporate media’s feigned ignorance over the origin of Covid-19, the maliciously drawn-out Russia collusion hoax, and the excusal of the destructive and lethal BLM riots of 2020 as “social justice” are perfect examples of this; they are simulacra of an ideologically warped reality superimposed on real-life events, thus obscuring their true nature and denying actuality. 

The point is to distort the public’s perception of what is true, so the default frame of reference for what constitutes neutrality is the corporate media’s ideological framing.

In his 1981 release titled “Simulacra and Simulation,” Baudrillard explains the concept of hyperreality as the condition reached when information technologies and media sources become so numerous and pervasive we will live in a simulacrum of reality shaped by these media apparatuses’ internal logic. Baudrillard posited humanity would not be able to distinguish between actuality and the reality simulated by the Fourth Estate.

And being subjected to this condition may partly be why the average American doesn’t give a hoot about institutional media. After all, most Americans are under the impression that the news media, across the board, prioritize business needs over informing the public, and half think the media go out of their way to mislead people. Remember Nicholas Sandmann, the conservative, Christian high school student who was defamed as a bigot by the corporate media for awkwardly smiling while a middle-aged man harassed him? The media and prominent personalities worked to warp the public’s perception of events in order to rapidly form a consensus in alignment with the prevailing left-wing ideology.  

The reality you inhabit is different from the reality the corporate media manufacture.

This biased process of story selection and the blatant psyop-ing of the public are some of the major reasons why people continue turning to things like podcasts for their news, information, and entertainment instead of corporate media sources.

“The Joe Rogan Experience” averages 11 million viewers per podcast. “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the most popular network news show, averages 3.24 million per episode, “The Rachel Maddow Show” earns 2.2 million, and CNN’s prime-time average doesn’t even break 1 million viewers. But the corporate media continue to dominate the national conversation.

For the most part, podcasting is a decentralized medium with regulatory and editorial standards set by each show’s own creators and distributors. Similar to the written word, podcasting has enabled people to use the internet to further disseminate and democratize information. But having this medium circulate unsanitized, counter-narrative information is problematic for the powers that be, so they mobilize against the people who are taking away their audience. 

Since he is the standard bearer for the medium, recall the coordinated cancellation attempt of Joe Rogan by the corporate media and their activist allies in late 2021 and early 2022 over the comedian’s opposition to the experimental Covid-19 vaccine and his past use of racial slurs. Naturally, this attempt stripped all veracity and context from both situations and focused solely on discrediting the comedian through a barrage of editorials and negative press converge. After all, Rogan platformed dissenting opinions that the media worked overtime to suppress, so an example had to be made of him.

According to the official narrative, Rogan took and encouraged others to take horse dewormer, and it didn’t matter that he is a comedian who naturally traffics in “blue” or offensive stylings; he used language in a way that opened him up to attacks.

The media rely on people being immersed in and overwhelmed by a state of hyperreality so they don’t challenge the narratives presented to them. It is the end result of an ethos cherished by nanny-state thought police who wish for nothing less than total control over every aspect of creation so they can recreate the world in their image.

Despite having a larger audience than the corporate media, “alt-media,” if you will, is the counter-culture. It allows everyone to participate in discourse regardless of net worth, credentials, or social connections. It allows people like Rogan to ask questions and bring the things that are suppressed or ignored back into the fray.

And to be sure, it’s not as though this medium is solely used for highlighting social woes or “owning the libs.” Like every other popular counter-cultural movement, podcasting is fertile ground for commercialization, so it is becoming an increasingly corporate format. But unlike how punk rock was purely an artistic format with the goal of selling records, the monetization of podcasting is reliant upon the circulation of individuals’ speech. Without dissident or unique voices, the medium is useless and would experience the same lack of enthusiasm causing corporate media to hemorrhage viewers.

In a world where representations of reality become more significant than reality itself, people become disconnected. Corporate media rely on this disconnect to further ideologically detain the masses while stifling dissent.

The ability of independent voices to combat the corporate media’s hegemony in narrative establishment is crucial to preserving (or, perhaps, reclaiming) a truth-based societal consensus.


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