A Call Up To The Bigs

I had the honor of guest hosting FTN this week. McFeels was off attending to some personal issues, so I joined Ethnarch to discuss the news of the day. It is hard to know for sure, but FTN could be the most popular show in dissident media. Stefan Molyneux has a huge YouTube audience, but it is hard to compare video to audio. The two mediums attract different audiences. Just in terms of overall audience though, FTN is in the conversation for the most popular dissident show.

I don’t do many guest appearances and I’ve never been the co-host in this sort of format, so I was unsure how I would do. There is a skill to being a guest, a skill I do not have in abundance. Working with a partner not only requires guest skill, but it requires good chemistry with the partner. Ethnarch and I worked together quite well, at least from my perspective, so I think the show came out OK. Usually I’m tired after doing a guest spot, as I have to be on edge the whole time. This was rather relaxing.

One of the things Ethnarch and I discussed after recording is just how much time is involved in producing these shows. I was curious as to what was involved in putting together a three hour show about current events. A general rule is it takes 10 hours to produce one hour and that’s the case with FTN. Prep time has about ten hours of time to pull together the news items and the show outline. Recording is between four and five hours and then there is post-production to get the show up.

The prep time is what goes unnoticed by the consumer. For this week’s show, Ethnarch collected fifty or sixty stories. He collated them into categories and then organized them for easy transition from theme to theme. He told me he usually has over 100 stories in the stack of stuff for the show, but this was a light week. The listener just hears two guy talking about the news, but to reach that point means reading hundreds of stories and filtering them into a show outline. That’s a lot of work each week.

Of course, this means FTN is close to a full time commitment for McFeels and Ethnarch, as they do at least two shows a week. It’s why terrestrial radio shows can have half a dozen people in the production side. Three hours a day of airtime is 150 man hours a week in prep and production. Throw in the logistics of operating a studio and the business side of things and your drive time radio guy is a small business. A regular TV show qualifies as a mid-sized business, in terms of people and expense.

That said, for a show to have any import, it has to be a professional production. If it slapped together, the audience will just assume the makers are not serious. It’s like a house with a poorly kept lawn. People drive past and assume things about the owner based on the exterior of the home. Inside could be an immaculate palace and the shabby lawn is an exception, but people don’t think that way. The same is true of a podcast of video show. Poor production implies poor quality.

This is why livestream is never going to be serious. Two or three dudes standing in their respective bedrooms, staring into a cheap camera looks bad. The solo live streams often look like hostage videos. In contrast, guys like RamZPaul and James Allsup produce high quality video, because they know what they are doing. They understand how the viewer consumes video and how they appear in their videos. That requires a skill few live streamers possess. It’s a medium for amateurs right now.

There is a generational issues here, so I could be exhibiting a bias. A Gen-X person grew up with limited video. Cable came on strong in our teen years, but we did not grow up with our face pressed to a screen like today’s youth. Young people love using face time. Someone my age thinks it is weird. Why do I need to see the person I’m talking to on my phone? For young people, the live stream may simply be a natural way of consuming content, so I could be all wrong on the future of live streaming.

I think there is a debate to be had about what is the real impact of various media platforms, with regards to dissident politics. Social media is a closed space. The influence of Twitter and Facebook is entirely dependent on mass media picking up social media trends. That makes them worthless for dissidents. On the other hand, how much impact do YouTube creators or podcasters have? What is the impact of 50,000 views on YouTube versus the same number of readers?

If you look at some of the big YouTube guys, someone like Stefan Molyneux, for example, the ratio of views to subs is interesting. He has close to a million subs, but his videos rarely get 50,000 views. How reliable are those numbers? Who is actually viewing those videos? If his fan base is mostly libertarians, then his impact is negligible, as no one cares about libertarians. I don’t have any answers on this, but it is a topic worth exploring, so I’ll probably explore it at some point.

All that aside, the way forward in dissident media is to keep increasing the quality and the quantity of dissident media. That means not only bringing in new people, but also upgrading the skill base. Every time someone in dissident media gets in trouble, it’s because they relied on non-dissident talent. Laura Southern dropped out of the scene because she was compromised by two video guys she hired. Spencer’s media efforts have always blown up due, in part, to his relying on crazy people.

As far as the show this week, I think it came out pretty well, but I’m not the best judge of these things. The main reason is I do a solo show every week, so I don’t know how to measure myself as part of a duo. We spent most of the first hour covering immigration related items. The second hour we got into trade with China and how that relates to the culture war. We also talked about Bloody Eye Biden and the democratic primary. The link to the show is here or you can listen to it in the player below.

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48 thoughts on “A Call Up To The Bigs

  1. I disagree. This is not a ‘call up to the bigs’ but rather slumming with inferiors. The host was mostly tongue-tied and windy (of the amount of the podcast I could tolerate). Z, you are a light-year more advanced than the host.

    • Owen Benjamin is a clown. Check out the his content and audience… He is an ambitious, under-talented hack that would have been more than happy to wipe his chin if kneeing before the celebrity kingmakers would have allow him to have made it off the extras list. Now that that is not going to happen, he is tacking in the direction of edgy internet personality. He is the typical detritus of the media induced, mass psychosis called “American Culture”.

  2. Just finished listening. Good pacing, amusing “bants” and chemistry between the co-hosts. Re: Jasiel Correia II: Unlike Curley, Bulger, Menino, etc.,–whose machines were designed to benefited both the pols and their direct constituencies–What does JCII have to offer? He’s pretty much the South Coast version of Willie Lantigua or the “Gang of Four.” All of whom make life worse for their constituents as well as everyone else. Why do you think this doesn’t get more attention from our side?

  3. Superb show, Z-Man. You and Ethnarchs are my fave commentators on the passing scene. I would have love to thank you in the rightstuff.biz comments sections, but I think the boys have banned me (even tho I’ma a “paycuck.”).

    Congrats on a superb show. I hope you and Ethnarch return for an encore.

  4. Kevin Michael Grace has a podcast now with Luke Ford on “Luke Ford livestreams”. It was the other Kevin who had problems with his health.

  5. “I was unsure how I would do. There is a skill to being a guest, a skill I do not have in abundance. Working with a partner not only requires guest skill, but it requires good chemistry with the partner. Ethnarch and I worked together quite well, at least from my perspective, so I think the show came out OK.”

    You’re a natural. The ease with which the two of you went back and forth made it seem as if you two had done this together for years. Both of you being a bit older and a lot more experienced in the world also gave the show a different kind of resonance.

    TRS should take this approach of rotating pairings with guest hosts who are compatible on more of their shows. This would give everyone involved more time to prepare and avoid burnout.

  6. Zman, midway through the show, when you explained how you started your podcasts, you mentioned Kevin Michael Grace and wondered where he is today. He’s very much alive and doing YouTube shows with Luke Ford Monday through Friday, discussing the events of the day and also doing movie and book reviews. You can find the show at Luke Ford Livestreams. I like the show, and especially like hearing Grace’s take on things.

  7. I listened to the entire show. You did very well. FTN was new to me but I enjoyed the show format & the interactions you two had. Minor quibble? The reading. I’m 60, late BoomBoom. Ethnarc has a first rate mind but his reading was mediocre. It’s a tough thing to do out loud. I understand why he reads, so we all can be on the same page.

    I enjoyed the relaxed, intelligent give & take. The segment on the current credit economy, history, results was ‘new’ to me. Very thought provoking. And in some ways reassuring. What with all the RecessionDoomPr0n running around. We need to take the circus around us as it truly is. Not get exhausted by the hype avalanche. I second the idea of links to articles being discussed. I’d rather follow along. Would feel more active/engaged. Keep up the Good Works!

  8. Z – I’ve deduced from posts & podcasts that we’re roughly the same age. And I hear you on the issue of people being glued to their screens. Wondering what your thoughts may be on Neil Postman’s premise that “the medium is the message.” I’ve reread “Amusing Ourselves to Death” within the last year … the guy was certainly a prophet. With the understanding that video is a powerful tool that cannot be ignored and must be effectively/professionally wielded, can we really build effective, long-term dissident momentum around video content? Is “the medium is the message” an archaic meme or still relevant? As a Gen-Xer (reared by older, Depression era parents) I tend to think the movement needs old-school books and exceptionally well-crafted blogs like yours, because that’s how man truly learns. Big difference (to my mind) between CONSUMING information (or infotainment) vice IMPRINTING knowledge via the written word.

    All that to say … keep doing what you’re doing brother – WRITING and podcasting. Maybe my old-school opinion is driven by my internet constraints … slow-speed means no streaming video in the rolling hills of rural TN.

    • No we can’t build a mass movement around internet videos since the elite control that medium and can deplatform us at will if it becomes a threat to them.

      What we are solely lacking is our own Thomas Paine and a 21st century Common Sense for our side. Everything from booklets, pamphlets to books aimed at the common man. Anyone with a duplex laser printer that can be had for $70.00 can print these out. We become our own printers and newspaper houses so to speak. The tyrants in Silicon Valley can’t shut that down. It will be our version of Samizdat.

  9. Good conversation. It would be better if Ethnarc would supply links to the stories he alludes to. Zman is very good about this and Ethnarc should follow his example.

  10. It’s not even a cultural war, it’s a holy war, the other side thinks they have the mandate of heaven, it’s not team blue vs team red, it’s good versus evil, right vs wrong, and it’s not up to debate, or to a vote, who is right.

  11. After listening to Z-man and Ethnark, I thought those two would be an excellent dissident-right morning show. Call it “Alt Things Considered” or “Morning Erudition”. They both have that ease-you-into-your-day voice.

  12. On the FTN conversation, FTN 246, Z-man said, “…we all like cheap food…” wrt chicken processors hiring cheap (foreign) Hispanic labor while laying off higher paid (native American) labor. Your thoughts are well taken here on Libertarian assumptions wrt unbridled capitalism being an unchallenged “good”. It is not—and as you’ve noted previously, it is another example of monetization and selling off of social capital.

    I would add that the problem is not new, just increasingly getting worse. Back a decade or so, one common argument for IA’s where I live was that they were needed to pick field produce so we could have cheap lettuce. One commentator was even so arrogant as to cut off the conversation by stating, “Do you want to pay $5 a head for our lettuce?”

    An acquaintance of mine called in and made the counter point quite well by stating, “We already pay $5 a head for lettuce—$2 at the grocery store, and $3 in extra taxes—at the Federal, State, and Local level to cover the increased welfare costs of the IA pickers.”

    It took awhile (I’m slow), but the argument sank in eventually. Now I’m much more wary whenever I spend my money, the question being, “Are these extra dollars I save worth my neighbor being unemployed?” Unfortunately, given how the country has been sold/hollowed out, the answer too often is…”What’s the alternative?”

  13. You (Z-Man) & Ethnarch are among the top-tier thinkers in this movement so when I heard you’d be co-hosting an FTN episode, I was ecstatic.

    I’ve just finished the podcast and must say; it was as informative, thought-provoking and all-around enjoyable as I knew it would be. This needs to happen again, soon.

  14. Well done indeed, Mr. Z-Man! You’ve got talent. May this new world of tandem broadcasting podcasts stay open to you. No constructive criticism as you Aced It. Thanks for pushing me into the world of FTN and their podcasts.

    Your star is rising!

  15. Congratulations Z-man.

    I am glad it all went well with you on this new adventure.

    I will admit that I only read your posts as I am a written word kind of a guy. Many of your posts remind me of Samuel Francis. I hope you get a far wider audience and become as popular as he was; you know Sam was a major force on the right for a long time.

    May the wind always be at your back.

  16. I’m saving your FTN show for Monday morning in the shop. I will probably listen twice as I often do to your solo show and the TDS show with Enoch and company. I would have thought Mike, Sven/Jesse and Alex’s show was more popular than FTN but i guess not. FTN is a smart show–the prep Jazz Hands and Ethnark do is very impressive.

    I prefer audio. I find the video podcasts annoying for the most part, except the TDS guys and their one-topic clips. Just watching people talk is not interesting enough, but listening while working with my hands or driving works great for me.

    • I believe it’s been mentioned here before, but I think some of the answer may be in folks trying to maximize YouTube income—at the expense I guess of their audience’s time. I seem to be seeing more and more “suggested” channels assuming I have no problem giving them 30, or even 60 minutes worth of my time for them to make a 10 minute point.

      Those folk may profit for awhile, but I can’t believe their scheme is not short sighted in the long run and self defeating. Indeed, it’s to the point that I simply block a channel when I see a video presentation time of 50 or 60 minutes duration—without even sampling such.

      This is why I had little problem with Z-man’s request for monetary support awhile back. Whatever can be done to help him spread “the word” without compromise to the almighty $$$ is well worth it.

  17. Listening now while knocking out some work… So far so good – I expected Z would be pretty smooth on this. Agree with Z that production value is important to me at least as an X’er if it’s a Gen-thing. I consume a lot of pods and vidya and poorly-produced works can be worse than no product at all. Guys shooting the shit is fine when that’s all I expect. Tackling serious subjects with nothing but rants & bantz is different. I expect “deep divey” stuff to be prepped and controversial views to be well-supported. Too many guys out there come across like call-in spergs rather than hosts and can’t back up their Art Bell-style takes with anything but repetition and volume. FTN is state-of-the-art and all of the guys involved deserve kudos. Hit those paywalls, fam.

  18. It’s good to see those on the dissident right joining forces more after the fractiousness due to C’ville. Thanks for doing your part Zman.

  19. Molyneux in the last year or two has changed quite a bit and seems to be reinventing himself into some sort of investigative reporter. The other side of the coin seems to be a change from focused commentary/analysis to less focused rambling. This rambling often being filmed for long durations—excess of an hour of more. This is simply way too much. As much as I like Molyneux, he is not worth an hour or more of my time wrt unfocused ramblings or discussions with call in’s over whatever ridiculous situations they find themselves. So yes, it is easy to believe that he has a mountain of subscriptions to his channel, but few viewers willing to spend their (limited) time watching his rambling commentary/thoughts. Few people on YouTube are of such ability to pull this off.

    Again, I repeat—Z-man, don’t change your commentary style/format. Keep it short and focused. When doing an unavoidably long topic, break it up for multiple days/subtexts. That is the essence of the Internet generation, short attention span and limited time to spend. I prefer multiple dives into a topic, than one longish exposé—and I’m a damn Boomer.

    • Agreed. I keep the podcast to an hour for that reason. I break it up into bite sized pieces. That way, you can listen for twenty minutes, stop, then come back and easily pick up where you left off.

      • Zman,

        I’ve liked your, delve-into a subject hour long, shows but I’m the kind that will be enraptured by Dan Carlin’s three hour blocks on the Roman Empire. Compsci is right I think for greater generational appeal.

        Perhaps you can add a segment where it’s “Thoughts on…” where you can tackle some more in-depth topics spread over a few of your regular episodes for 10 minutes until you’ve got your point across. You can always migrate at that point to the next big idea thing once you’ve exhausted whatever it is you want to cover.

        Not sure if that is an overly cumbersome way of doing things. I understand this is your side-gig. Just a suggestion. Carry on with your great work and can’t wait to hear this FTN segment.

    • Moly was a big influence on my initial Redpilling, circa 2015. It was his video on HBD and r/K selection that first put the idea that race was biologically real into my head.

      Around 2016 he started associating with Mike Cernovitch and pursuing those cuckbucks. The quality of his work dipped precipitously thereafter.

      I can’t speak for anything from 2018-forward, because I haven’t seen it. I’d kind of forgotten Moly exists, honestly.

      • I suspected the citizen-journo act was something he picked up from Chinchilla Mindset. One of the reasons I’m skeptical towards Beale despite his utility is his loyalty to Cerno. Laudable if it’s wholly personal on some level but Cerno triggers every shyster detector I’ve developed in three decades of dealing with CA lawyers & associated shills.

    • The time parameter for me is purely physical: the 80 mins I can put on a CD. I can read 3 or 4 times faster than I can listen, so mostly I read, It has been brought to my attention that reading is frowned upon while driving, so that’s when I listen. A close relative is in the electronic spying business and I try to keep my devices as separate as possible, I don’t want my phone talking to my car- the car will suck all the data off your phone if you plug it into the car’s USB socket and a passing cop can get the data if bluetooth is enabled so burning cd’s is the way to go. I may buy a stand-alone mp3 player (remember those?) to overcome the time limit.
      This FTN show will have to be split in 3,

  20. Looking forward to consuming this product. I’ve been checking my phone all day. Haven’t heard ZMan in a conversation since he called James Edwards a bald angry guy.

  21. Congratulations Z. I haven’t listened yet, but if the Zoomer-Millennial-GenX audience of the Right Stuff and the GenX-Boomer-Silent audience of this blog can find common cause, then we will “optimize our synergies,” as the business analysts would say.

    Anyone know why all the comments are gone on the Right Stuff biz?

    • I checked the TRS website and I see the comments.

      Definitely will be looking forward to listening. Ethnarc is a real asset to our movement.

    • Comments were down, but it looks like they’re back. Wang Lin has an idea why they shut them off. Check out the Daily Sperger for the drama.

      • I’m not a regular Sperger visitor, but I’ve caught enough of AA’s “less Feddier than thou” act to consider him a concern troll. Plus there’s some personal beef between him and Enoch and/or others at TRS that I don’t care enough to dig for. I know ME gets down on 1.0-style “costume Nazis” so some of the butt-hurt may be based on AA’s past optics or those he was tight with. Anglin is not a reliable source in his own right.

        JO’s not DM’ing me to drive vans over any borders for him or sign shipping receipts for large quantities of fertilizer. I don’t hang out with them personally, so it’s their business to sort out. They produce legit content, raise the right issues and attack the right opponents. The ideas speak for themselves.

      • Somebody please clue me in. DuckDuckGo says no Daily Sperger….directs to Daily Aspergers. TRS directs me to Teachers Retirement System. Wah! Are you folks on the other planet or me? Tether me back to my home planet please.

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