Episode

3/13 Return Of Bank Bailouts? ; Whither QAnon? w/ Will Sommer

March 13, 2023

Sam and Emma host Will Sommer, politics reporter for The Daily Beast, to discuss his recent book Trust The Plan: The Rise of QAnon and the Conspiracy That Unhinged America. First, Emma and Sam run through updates on the Fed and treasury rushing to bail out SVB depositors, Biden approving the massive environmentally-destructive Willow project, Norfolk Southern’s refusal to compensate affected homeowners, a Texas judge hiding proceedings around the abortion pill from the public, Saudi-Iran talks, and the Atlanta PD’s murder of Cop-City protestor Tortaguita, before diving into the right’s attempt to pin SVB’s collapse on going woke, rather than Trump’s rollback of post-2008 regulations. Will Sommer then dives right into the first seeds of Q-anon, stemming, most likely, from a South African programmer taking inspiration from a gonzo Hunter S. Thompson work that invented a bonkers drug derived from pedophiles, and going all in on both the evangelical fetishization of the purity of children and 4Chan’s obsession with fake leakers. Walking through the next stage of Q’s evolution, Sommer explores the hijacking of Q’s posts by the Watkins brothers on 8Chan, before Will, Sam, and Emma step back and tackle how the theocratic “ends justify the means” ideology grounds itself in anti-social and bigoted behaviors. Next, they walk through Q’s influence from the coded language of Rush Limbaugh, and parse through the genuine presence of Q’s followers at the pinnacles of American power, from Marjorie Taylor Greene to the Thomas family. After assessing the standing of Q in politics moving forwards, Sommer, Emma, and Sam wrap up the interview with an analysis of the various conspiratorial and exploitative networks that Q is a part of.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma compare and contrast politicians’ takes on the SVB collapse, from Katie Porter on the Crapo Bill to Joe Lonsdale on protecting the “innovation” world from their own mistakes, Nancy Mace exemplifies the right’s attack on Social Security, and Lulu from Philly expands on the SVB collapse. Amir from VA responds to today’s interview on Q-Anon, and Charlie Kirk gets caught in his own election denialism. Linda from Texas recommends the work of Jessica Valenti, the Wall Street Journal blames the SVB collapse on the existence of Black and queer folks at the bank, Trent from Omaha discusses focusing on electoral issues, and Luke from Ithaca takes on the future of independent media, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Will’s book here: https://www.harpercollins.com/products/trust-the-plan-will-sommer?variant=40493482541090

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