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October 5, 2022 10 mins

Chris Stirewalt, author of "Broken News: Why the Media Rage Machine Divides America and How to Fight Back"  as well as the guy behind The Dispatch's Stirewaltisms" joins Jack & Joe for what was intended to be a conversation about the state of journalism.  

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
To discuss the news of the day in the state
of the nation. Please welcome Chris Styre Walt, writer for
the Dispatch Newsletters. Styre Walt is MS is a columnst terrific.
He's a Senior Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, and
he's the author of a fabulous sounding book, Broken News.
Why the Media Rage Machine divides American How to Fight Back. Chris,
how are you I like that my book is fabulous sounding.

(00:23):
I think that's really I'm happy in the space of
being fabulous sounding. And I also want to say how
great it is to talk to Californians who understand how
shattered and broken California's referendum and recall system is and
how that's different than what we're supposed to do in

(00:45):
this country. So I'm very happy to be with you. Well,
the idiotic bullet train is indictment enough for anybody to
end the system immediately, but there's plenty more evidence to
pile on. Yeah, we're not smart govern ourselves. What do
you want? Lower taxes? Are Left Sunday? Yes, we actually
we're just talking about how California has uh. They ranked
the roads. California has the worst roads in the entire country.

(01:08):
And I've lived in California for twenty five years, and
I don't know how many taxes have been added on
to various things to fix the roads. And I'm a
West Virginia and I don't live in West Virginia, but
I'm a West Virginian. We got your money. We appreciate it,
thanks to the federal thanks to the federalized system. Uh,
we got your money. Thanks, Thanks God for letting us
have your money. It's really the the the um California

(01:33):
is a testament to the fact that good weather is
really important to evil. And I've I'm going to California.
I'd love going to California. Girlfriend is in California. It's
really important to America. The California be California. But if
it wasn't for the good weather, I don't think. I
don't think we'd be having the same conversation. I'm sorry,

(01:53):
so we're happy to have you on. Chris Star won't
tell us what your book is about. Well, I don't
think anybody disagrees with the central premise of my book,
which is that it's called broken news. Right, Nobody nobody
thinks that the way that we get and consume news
is good, right, um, and I think most of us

(02:15):
wanted to be better. How do we do that? How
do we get there? And I think the answer is obligation.
And I know obligation it is not a fun word,
and I know that's not how we're supposed to make stuff.
But as journalists, the three of us owe something special
to the Constitution. We owe something special to the funders

(02:40):
and the million people who died in defense of this
country and our liberty. We have that special obligation. But
we have an obligation to each other right out of
filial love, brotherly or sister lee love. We have a
little obligation to each other, which is it doesn't matter. Well,

(03:03):
can I can? I make a very obvious point, which
is that, um, Del Taco has the best frize. It's true.
The rest of America should know that. It's true that
Del Taco fries are the best fries. It's just what's
sort of monster orders fries to go with a taco though?

(03:24):
Come on, Oh, have you not had Del Taco fries?
I just found out that Del Taco has fries fifteen
seconds ago. So wow, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I came
on your show. Yeah, well that's a really shocking place
for you to be. So Del Taco has the best
friese of any fast food restaurant in America. It's stupendous.

(03:50):
But I don't know it just it's it feels like
ordering refried beans with a hamburger. I just can you
correct him? Or is there somebody that can die? Simmers? Do?
Are you tying this into the founders and journalism or
is this just an aside? It's okay, it's okay, we can't.

(04:12):
We'll just press on. We'll press on. They're the best,
They're the best prize, they are the crinkle cut best prize.
They're the most important French fries. It's really good. Del
Taco is clearly hacked into this phone call. So, Chris,
we are actually insufferably sincere about what you were talking
about and the fact that you ought to put the

(04:32):
constitution in the and the good of your countrymen before
in separably sincere. I'm keeping that. But there's one thing
to be said for jinning uprage, whether you are a
media publication or a talk show host or a politician,
it's profitable as hell. Yes, at my point about the friese,
which you're wrong about and weird. I don't care what

(04:58):
people eat. They should go do it. They should go
enjoy their great lives. They should go be happy with
themselves and God bless them. And it doesn't really affect me.
But if you don't have the right informational diet, if
you do not experience information the right way, it has
consequences for me as your fellow American. And people owe

(05:22):
a debt to their fellow Americans. Um. I know that
when I get on my soapbox and talk about journalism,
that it can be too much, and that my fellow
journalists and I are ridiculous in many ways, like we
got we we get to be ridiculous in many ways.
But that part is true, which is that we owe

(05:43):
each other a thing that out of like Ronald Reagan's
closing addressed or his farewell addressed, he said, if you
love America, you have to love Americans. And if you
love Americans, you have to like do this right. You
This is a part of it that you have to
do right. And you have to hear the You have
to get news in a way that is wholesome. You

(06:07):
have to eat good French fries, like eat better French fries? Bro, Like,
do you have to do you have to do that?
Like it counts for other people and it can't just
all be rbs. Yeah. Well, we talk about this topic
practically every day. It comes up in some form. So
you've got the you know, the clickonomics and everything. You've

(06:27):
got the the reason for the media to want to
feed crappy French fries to Americans because there's a lot
of money in it and the and the people want
it so bad apparently, Um, how do you break out
of that cycle? When night, when the first radio station
in America, Katie K a UM, had its first presidential

(06:52):
election broadcast in they did from the roof of the
Western House built again Finnsburgh. There's no radios within This
is my favorite, my favorite fact in my book, uh
is there were no radios within the zone to hear
that broadcast. No one could have heard it. It was empty.

(07:15):
Well hill hill hill, um houses in America had radios.
And we're not doing great, right, I don't. I don't
tell anybody we're doing great. I don't. I don't pretend
that it's fine. But it takes time to get better

(07:39):
at this. It takes a lot of time to get
better at this, and we are really just starting with
these hand computers that we carry around that we assume
as the only two thousand and eight. It's just the
way that the world is, the way that life is.
We are struggling to get better at it. Well, I'm sorry,

(08:00):
I'm sorry to bring down your morning show, but I
will just say this. I've had way too many opportunities.
To quote Abraham Lincoln's speech to the young men's like
them of Springfield, which is, we will either endure for
all time as a nation of freemen, or we will
die by suicide. And those are the those options remain

(08:21):
exactly the same number of options. And I think we'll
do the right thing. But to quote the quote unquote, um,
as Winston Churchill said, you can always rely on the
American people to do the right thing after exhausting every
other possible outcome. Yeah. I just I fear that the

(08:42):
culture has moved so radically from an US culture to
a ME culture. Um. I just that that feeling of
collective responsibility to each other. I just I fear it
has evaporated. I hope I'm wrong. Well, you well, like
I I hope you're wrong. Too um, and we may fail.

(09:02):
And I think you the as as we would say
in West Virginia, the best way to get good at
something fast is to play for more than you can
afford to lose. And I think January six, Americans have
understood that we could have a different like there's a
different outcome that's possible. Uh. One of the things I

(09:24):
liked least about Barack Obama was the arc of history
narrative that he used. I don't think there's an organ history.
I think we get to pick and sometimes it takes things.
And I think that Americans will choose the correct outcome.
I think Americans will choose a republic, but it's not

(09:47):
a guarantee and we'd better act like it. There you go.
Chris Styrewall, author of Broken News, Why the Media Age
Machine Divides Divides American How to Fight Back at his
fabulous sound and Chris, thanks so much for the time,
good luck with the book. Thank you guys, Armstrong and
Getty
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