I first caught wind of a YouTube news guy who was a literal journalist, a person who staked his core appeal on just honestly reporting the news.
“I am a professional journalist and uh I produce journalism I do technology innovation in journalism and I produce social commentary I believe uh in trying to be as honest as possible because we’re never going to solve the world’s problems by trying to trick other people right, it’s just never going to happen I just try to be honest you’ll watch my videos you’ll see I frequently talk about very similar things but I try to source everything to the best of my ability and I try to generally, be honest”
Tim Pool is a ‘center-left liberal’ reporter who got his break live streaming the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011. Then worked for vice leading up to 2014 and eventually found his home on YouTube doing political commentary from 2015 onwards. In terms of work rate, he is a machine uploading upwards of three videos to three different channels every day. One of which takes the form of a long form podcast where he’s shooting the sh*t for two to four hours. If I were to pinpoint just one unique selling point of Tim’s content it would probably be his razor-sharp commentary which pushes back on the sensationalism spin and partisanship of the mainstream media.
“I counter the narrative from mainstream media why because I’m a liberal who doesn’t trust the mainstream media to always be honest what ends up happening is I do digging on my own and I produce content that I see as being more balanced and fair whether or not this what I do can become something as big as like a mainstream outlet I have no idea but I would say right now we’re we’re uh we’re on a path towards something better”
Tim is ostensibly pretty upfront, he doesn’t claim to be an unbiased objective source but rather prides himself on being a ‘liberal’ with integrity who will call things as he sees them and be honest with his viewers. The goal Tim ultimately strives for is giving his viewers a more nuanced and honest perspective of world events. Which, I think we can all agree is sorely needed in a time where polarizing narratives are tearing everyone apart, but regarding the extent to which Tim’s commentary actually achieves that goal that’s something I’ve been meaning to look into for a while now. For the last few years, I’ve been noticing that although Tim is a “center-left liberal journalist” his audience is full of people who are politically pretty far right. Some of them appear to be of the Facebook boomer variety typing emotional posts in capital letters about how much they love Donald Trump others are grandstanding defenders of America against communism in China.
A bunch of them appear to be into the Qanon conspiracy theory, typing out the acronym for the movement slogan, where we go one, we go all. A lot of these people have quite extreme political views. In the wake of Trump’s electoral defeat at the end of 2020, Tim Pool’s comment sections were awash with viewers calling for violent revolution, bloodshed, and bullets. All because some right-wing politician didn’t get elected. So, it seems fair to say that whilst Tim has attempted fair and balanced journalism, he’s produced some pretty unbalanced results in the kinds of people he’s appealing to. In this article, I’d like to examine why that might be. We’re going to have a look at Tim Pool’s methods of analysis, his presentation of data, and ultimately, we’ll end up with an answer to the question; how has Tim Pool’s journalism resulted in the consolidation of an audience who are rife with political extremism?
First up I want to take a look at the typical anatomy of a simple video the way he structures his analyses and forms his conclusions. One of the most distinctive features of Tim’s commentary is that typically he doesn’t just give his opinion on a news story and move on.
He’s usually building a more complex overview of a given event or scenario by tying multiple news stories together, which sort of layer one on top of the other as the video progresses eventually culminating in a wider conclusion about politics and society. A good example of Tim’s layered news analysis is this video he made in 2018 which was Tim’s most highly viewed video around that time. It revolves around a story where a woman was attacked on the subway by a random stranger and subsequently became upset because two men in the same carriage refused to step in and help her. Tim wanted to dig deeper into this story and find out what sociological motivations might be driving the encounter.
“I keep hearing stories about men who refuse to intervene to protect women and children and so I started wondering is this actually, a recurring trend is this actually, getting worse where men are no longer going to step in to protect people and if it is what’s actually causing it?”
Tim asks a question; what is actually causing men to refuse to help people in distress? To explore this Tim brings up a series of news stories with similar surface level characteristics to the one we heard at the start of the video. One is about a guy who defended a woman from a violent drug dealer and was then prosecuted. Another is about a guy who rescued a woman from an overturned vehicle and got arrested for obstruction. A third story is about a man who was accused of being a kidnapper when he was just trying to help a lost child, and a final story is about a pensioner who was arrested for knife in a burglar. So, we have a litany of stories here about men just trying to do something nice for their fellow citizens but then end up facing horrible consequences as a result of their civic mindedness. At the end of his video, for nuance, Tim brings up a counter example about a story of one Good Samaritan who was actually rewarded for his actions and then Tim reaches his closing statement.
“So, there are stories of positive results when someone intervenes to help someone else but I don’t find it unreasonable that people are refusing to step up to defend others there are just too many stories about people being punished for trying to do something good in this instance the two men walking away probably did the safest thing for them by not defending this woman they probably saved themselves a huge hassle and potential criminal charges”
Tim has exposed that there’s a logical reason why men aren’t helping women and children. It’s because there are too many negative news stories about nice guys being shamed and prosecuted. Seems logical, Tim has shown us a prevalent trend which we might otherwise have missed.
“So I started looking into other stories and it turns out there might be a trend or at least the perception of a trend of those who seek to help others being punished for doing so”
Let’s take a closer look at this trend. The first thing you might notice when you look into the background of the articles Tim’s presenting is that they’re extremely far dispersed both in geography and chronology. One of the stories Tim presented is from Coventry, UK and happened in March 2014.
Another came from Australia and happened in October of the same year, another happened three whole years later in Florida USA. A final few occurred in 2018 in Georgia and London.
If these news stories were a trend, we’d expect to see them coming thick and fast around a similar time, but they’re actually incredibly sporadic. Tim’s argument also hinges on these stories adding to a global narrative but some of them like the Georgia one weren’t even reported in the mainstream press.
Compare this to the many stories you can find in 2018 alone, that’s the year Tim recorded his video, where men were saving people’s lives and was celebrated as heroes. There’s loads of them, all occurring in the time frame when Tim was making his video.
The problem with Tim’s argument is that it revolves around the notion that this incredibly dispersed sporadic handful of data points from America and Australia is having a significant impact on the behavior of two London guys in the subway in 2018.
It’s illogical. Have you heard of Occam’s razor? The most likely explanation is usually the one which is most simple.
Here’s something which we know to be objectively, uncontroversially true.
Violent confrontations are scary for the vast majority of people. Most people prefer to keep their heads down and stay out of altercations. It’s easier to walk away, apathy and fear serve as sufficient enough explanations for these behavioral patterns.
You don’t need a complex theory about media trends and the effect they’re having on the male ego because you’re observing behavior which is completely ordinary. Whilst at a glance Tim’s video might seem like a robust journalistic analysis of a situation. When you dig deeper it’s actually a case of extremely misguided wishful thinking based on a handful of data points that seem more prevalent than they actually are only by virtue of the fact that Tim spent so long talking about them.
Tim’s commentary in this video actually has the effect of pushing the viewer away from the commonsense explanation they could come to in their own minds. Humans are generally scared of conflict. Towards an irrational explanation that human behavior is being entirely predetermined by obscure media stories that they most likely haven’t read from world territories that they most likely don’t live in.
Let’s look at Tim building an argument in a different context this time in the realm of American politics in this video Tim did in 2018 he investigates whether the democratic party are purposefully destroying the economy in order to spite Donald Trump.
Here’s what Tim offers up to his viewers for consideration.
1.) Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro said that Democrats would damage the economy and blame it on Donald Trump
“It was Ben Shapiro on Fox News he said that if Democrats take control of the house, they will try their best to damage the economy so they can blame it on Trump.”
2.) Popular talk show host Bill Maher said the phrase “bring on the recession” during his TV show
“Bill Maher even said bring on the recession and this gets me worried that the democrats actually do want to cause economic damage they can blame Trump and then try and win in 2020.”
3.) Democratic house minority leader Nancy Pelosi said democrats are going to implement whatever economic policies they want, and American voters will have to deal with the collateral damage
“House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said American voters will simply have to deal with the collateral damage that comes their way if democrats craft economic policies in the years ahead”
Then we get to our conclusion.
“Whether or not either side is telling the truth or not one is one side is doom sang and one side is cheering I can only imagine this is bad for democrats whether it’s true or not”
So, maybe it’s true that Democrats are willfully tanking the economy, maybe it’s not but whatever the truth is says Tim Democrats are making themselves look bad.
Let’s go back over the evidence we’ve got. Ben Shapiro speaking on Fox News, and Bill Maher making comments during a late-night talk show. What utility do these events serve for drawing robust conclusions about economic policy? Well, very little, because these people are what economists would refer to as TV entertainers. They don’t write policy. They’re not part of the government and they are actually inclined towards saying exaggerated hyperbolic stuff as part of their jobs. I mean Bill Maher’s comment was literally greeted by laughter from a live studio audience.
“One way you get rid of Trump is a crashing economy so please bring on the recession sorry if that hurts people but” -Bill Maher.
This quote by Bill Maher is brought up not just once but multiple times as Tim develops his monologue.
“Bill Maher even said bring on the recession”
“When we look at statements from say Bill Maher where he wishes for a recession”
“Look I actually, like Bill Maher I do but he said bring on the recession”
“Bill Maher on his show wished for a recession for no reason other than to depose Donald Trump”
“Look bill Maher said bring on the recession he’s now saying yeah but look Trump is a bad person we can survive a recession he’s still calling for a recession”
“And you have the left going bring on the recession”
We hear this same polemic being repeated by Tim over and over again. Bill Maher said bring on the recession. He hates Trump he’s calling for a recession because he doesn’t like Trump. He said bring on the recession, did you hear him say that everyone? The statement loses all informational value after the first time we hear it but through repetition it gains a kind of rhetorical value. Interestingly enough this is a rhetorical tool which we would most frequently associate with politicians trying to land talking points in people’s minds when they’re giving speeches. It’s interesting to see Tim employing the same devices in his reporting, because they are in many ways at odds with his aim of straight-talking fact-based journalism. The final piece of information Tim reports to his audience is a quote from Nancy Pelosi who says that the democrats are not afraid to push economic policies based on climate change which will cause collateral damage to American voters and the economy.
“For me I’m like yeah, I get it right if Nancy Pelosi wants to enact environmental regulations and it’s going to cause damage to the economy, I understand why that is bad I understand why people are not going to vote for democrats because of that”
Tim is getting his information from an article that appeared in the Washington Times, a religious conservative newspaper. The publication frames Pelosi’s quote as if she’s directly advocating for climate change policies which go against the interests of American voters, but if you look at Pelosi’s quote in full context that reading seems incomplete.
“Remember that what we said was we wanted to pass an overwhelming number of jobs in order to protect all of our our society I mean this is this is about prosperity so anyway, I’m I I think that we owe the American people to be there for them for the for their financial security respecting the dignity and worth of every person in our country and if there’s some um collateral damage for some others who do not share our view well so be it but it shouldn’t be our original purpose.” -Nancy Pelosi
In this quote, Pelosi is specifically talking about creating jobs and boosting the American economy.
So, the assertion that she’s expressing a desire to sacrifice those things at the altar of climate change seems odd. We can zoom out further to the bit that comes before this where Pelosi sets up a dichotomy between special interest groups and ordinary American people, and it quickly becomes apparent that the collateral damage Pelosi is referring to is the special interest groups.
“-and so we think with public opinion of that the idea that people’s voices are just as strong as anyone else’s and that special interests do not override the public interest… We owe the American people to be there for them and if there’s some collateral damage for some others who do not share our view well so be it.” -Pelosi
Much of this quote’s meaning is lost in Tim Pool’s video because Tim uniquely processes it through the selective framing he’s been given by the Washington Times
“Why should I vote for a democrat when they’re actually telling me things are about to get worse they’re doom sang I mean I guess it’s all they have”
Tim’s analysis gets more and more strange as the video progresses. At a certain point he admits to not knowing the full context of Nancy Pelosi’s quote but then brushes it off as if it’s an insignificant thing for a journalist like himself to be concerned with, and goes into this vivid analysis of all the bad things democrats might hypothetically do. IF the quote is as bad as he’s imagining it to be.
“look I don’t know exactly what the context was but if the idea is that look we got to help the econ we have to help the environment oh it’s going to hurt the economy yeah, then they’ll go and blame the republicans for the bad economy they’ll blame and not not just in uh in multiple ways not only will they say oh it’s republican policies hurting the economy they’re probably going to say oh, it’s the destruction of the environment that’s also hurting the economy”
Tim piles up a series of assertions. Each one laying out something devious the democrats might hypothetically be planning to do in the future based on by his own admission, nothing. Because he doesn’t know anything about the context of Nancy Pelosi’s quote. He doesn’t want to go and listen to it in full. He just wants to think his way around these various imaginings he has in his head thinking about this. I’d say there’s an obvious reason why Tim would do this. Throughout the entirety of this monologue, he never actually manages to land on any substantive evidence for the video’s central claim, the democrats are purposefully taking the economy to spite Donald Trump. If Tim were to look up the full context of Pelosi’s quote but then find it counterproductive to his argument, all he would be left with is showbiz gossip about Bill Maher and Ben Shapiro. Therefore, in order to keep up the intrigue of his content Tim has to substantiate his argument performatively. Conjuring up vivid images of hypothetical evils seemingly because he doesn’t have anything solid to point to in the present.
“I can only imagine this is bad for democrats whether it’s true or not”
Question, what was the point of this video this 10-minute monologue, if by the end we’ve still not worked out what is true? That is typically the work of a journalist, right? Instead, the audience is steered towards a value judgment, that things look bad for the democrats. Whilst never actually being presented with the actual facts of the situation, the context behind any of the quotes, or any actual government economic policy. What can we say about Tim’s methods of argumentation, which are essentially the driving force behind his reporting? Well, his lead analysis is often persuasive. He weaves an argumentative thread through various pieces of reporting and arrives at explanations which are ostensibly revelatory, insightful, and pragmatic. But, when you break down the evidence, he’s actually using to substantiate his conclusions what emerges is the picture of a reporter so infatuated with the notion of uncovering something groundbreaking, he abandons all sense of rationality in his analysis of the facts at hand. We see an over-reliance on disconnected anecdotes, the presentation of showbiz news as a barometer for governmental policy, the calculated repetition of talking points to make up for a lack of substantive information to share, and the performative aggrandizement of circumstantial quotes that Tim hasn’t even bothered to do background research on. Tim’s argumentative style is compelling for sure but, incredibly flawed if the desired goal is accurate reporting. However, there’s far more to Tim’s approach than just a method of argumentation and we’re going to carry on unpacking this as we move into the next section.
Something you’ll be exposed to fairly often if you watch temple’s channel is studies. Sometimes academic, sometimes survey focused, sometimes theoretical pieces.
Tim will often dedicate entire videos to going over research pulling out key stats and informing his viewers what the wider implications are. As a viewer you’re given the impression that Tim is proof checking his own ideas about the world against scientific data, which lends him a ton more credibility. In 2019 Tim made a video about an academic paper which claimed to show that Democrats were pretending to be upset about Trump as an act of virtue signaling.
Let’s take a look at how Tim reported the research.
“Many democrats claiming mental distress after Trump election were faking it according to this study because they’re virtue signaling, they call it reverse cheerleading”
How did the study’s authors come to this conclusion? Well they took post-election survey data from Gallup which asked the democrats the question, “did you experience worry during a lot of the day yesterday?” A lot of the democrats said yes, they did. The researchers interpreted this as Democrats reporting mental decline. They then collected data on how many Democrats were searching the following terms on Bing; anxiety, depression, drugs, stress, suicide, therapy. They found that there was no significant increase in democrats searching these terms after the election and thus concluded that democrats were not actually experiencing poor mental health and we’re just saying they were worried as a form of reverse cheerleading to reflect badly on the president of the opposing party. Obviously there’s quite a big logical leap being made here by the study’s authors. Which is probably why their article ended up in an open access journal, which typically has lower barriers for entry than traditional academic publications. Regardless my main interest here is how Tim reports on this study.
The first thing to note is that Tim never actually reads the study. He instead chooses to rely on a news article about the study from PJ Media. Essentially putting a middleman in between himself and the actual data. This becomes a problem if the middleman is not a reliable messenger. First of all from reading the PJ Media article Tim becomes convinced that democrats are pretending to be seeking therapy.
“Why would people pretend to be getting anxiety stress and be seeking therapy after trump won the election? According to this study because they’re virtue signaling. They call it reverse cheerleading”
As we know there’s nothing in this study about democrats pretending to be seeking therapy all that happened is they were asked a question, “are you worried,” and they said yes. Tim is allowing PJ Media to shape his understanding of the research and as a result he’s woefully ill-equipped to summarize what was actually being measured.
“In other words a person who might describe suffering psychological distress on social media or to their friends but doesn’t search for any type of help or relief is more likely showing a form of reverse cheerleading.”
The PJ Media article connects the study’s findings to social media. Claiming that the same principles observed in post-election surveys can equally be observed on social media platforms. Now although in the introduction and in the conclusion PJ Media is directly quoting the study. The passage in the body, concerning social media placed right in the middle is actually the PJ Media journalist’s own creative edition. An assertion which is not substantiated by the study’s findings. The study’s authors never claim that their findings about what people search on Bing can be extended to draw conclusions about what people post on social media. This is what we call an over-generalization an assertion which exceeds what can be logically concluded from the available information. Unfortunately, as Tim Pool’s understanding of the study is entirely shaped by a second-hand media article, he incorrectly informs his viewers that the study reveals a lot about celebrity behavior on social media.
“I mean they’re celebrities think about how they got to where they are like Chelsea Handler for instance they just want to join in and make sure they get followers and have fans and make money when in fact it looks like we have some data to back up the claim they’re pretending to be upset about Trump.”
Tim doesn’t have any data to back up that claim. This study has nothing to do with the twitter post of Chelsea Handler or the behavior of people on social media or anything like that at all. It’s about whether or not there’s a correlation between political conviction and mental health decline as measured through the prevalence of search terms on Bing. Here lies a wider problem that you can observe in many Tim Pool videos. Tim very naively places his trust in journalists to break down the results of studies for him rather than reading the studies himself. Leaving himself vulnerable to making assertions which have nothing to do with the research.
In the video Body Positivity is Making People Fatter Tim talks about the link between the body positivity movement and the obesity epidemic
“study finds the body positive movement is probably contributing to the obesity crisis you have models who are morbidly obese and they’re saying this is normal and it’s beautiful and so as the body positivity thing kind of expands yeah more people are going to underestimate their weight so is it any surprise to anybody that the body positivity movement may be actually contributing to the obesity crisis”
Looking at the study Tim is referring to it doesn’t in any way investigate a link between the body positivity movement and obesity. The study instead finds that socioeconomic determinants, such as, how much money an individual makes and how well-educated they are greatly increased their likelihood of being obese and underestimating their weight size. What’s happened here is that yahoo lifestyle, a tabloid site for style beauty and wellness, has deliberately positioned body positivity as the driving force of their write up so they stand a better chance of getting clicks from a lowbrow casual readership. Notice the use of the hedging term probably in the headline. Essentially an admission of there being no scientific foundation behind the claim being made. The confusing thing is how a professional journalist would be duped by this.
“So is it any surprise to anybody that the body positivity movement may be actually contributing to the obesity crisis its science”
There’s another video where Tim critiques a study analyzing twitter posts following the release of Star Wars the Last Jedi.
“Star Wars the Last Jedi backlash academic study reveals 50% of online hate caused by Russian trolls or non-humans holy sh*t oh my god you oh apparently we’re not allowed to be mad at movies for being bad anymore”
Contrary to the headline Tim is reading the study states it found only 33 accounts which were sock puppets of which only 16 were Russian so add that to the figure of the 11 bot accounts that were found and that’s 13% of the negative tweets analyzed in total that were Russian trolls or non-humans. Not the 50% alleged in the Indiewire headline. The articles arrived at that 50% stat by combining the data for Russian troll and bot tweet with the far larger number of tweets that were deemed by the study to be politically motivated. So the article has done a slight of hand here which essentially amounts to misinformation. However as Tim hasn’t read that study he has no way of rationally decoding this and instead he decries the whole thing by implying it’s all a Hollywood conspiracy to deflect criticism.
“I’m I’m not wrong it’s the fans who are wrong actually it’s not the fans who are wrong they’re all Russian trolls anyway because Star Wars is so important to the American economy that the only way the movie could have been bad is that actually it wasn’t bad it was the Russians that’s right not only did the Russians want to get Donald Trump elected apparently the Russians want us all to believe that Star Wars is a bad movie”
Again we’re seeing Tim diving into meandering conjecture when you know rationality logically breaking down the study’s findings and why the media got it wrong that would serve his reporting and analysis far better. But he doesn’t appear capable of this level of analysis that involves looking at stats and figures. So instead we see Tim using theatricality, being performatively frustrated by the notion of the study itself. Which just comes across as a way to challenge the study’s outcomes whilst compensating for his own lack of intellectual ability.
So Tim’s audience are unfortunately finding themselves at the tail end of a human centipede. Where, by the time they consume information, it’s been bastardized once by lowbrow media, and then bastardized again by Tim Pool. The result is they’re given a load of quote unquote research findings which are in fact pulled straight out of Tim’s own brain with no basis in the research he’s actually presenting. But even in the instances where the media reports the study’s findings accurately, Tim often finds a way to bash the square shaped findings into the small round hole of his own theories. Which means that science has to take a back seat to whatever happens to be going on in Tim’s head on that day.
Take for example this video about women struggling to find suitable marriage partners due to men being undereducated and unemployed.
“a new study published in the journal of marriage and family reveals a significant scarcity of such potential male spouses interesting but I have a theory and it has to do with dating apps I believe dating apps are too are the reason why so many young men aren’t working aren’t going to school have no passion are becoming you know incels”
Tim points to dating apps as the reason why there’s a scarcity of economically attractive males. This is at odds with the article he’s reading which explains the problem as an economic one not one tied to developing technologies. Looking at the actual research paper it spells out that men are increasingly lower educated lower paid and women tend not to marry down in terms of those things. there’s the whole problem rationally and clearly explained whether the men are on dating apps or out in the wild they’re still not getting those college degrees or well paid jobs. Nevertheless, Tim pushes on developing his dating apps theory asserting that dating apps are allowing younger women to find older men and that’s the real problem.
“someone who’s 33 who has a career owns owns his own house you are now competing with that on the dating app women will see that and guess what a young woman is going to look to a guy who can be like I can take you out to a fancy dinner and we can go you know we can do whatever we want and the younger guy who doesn’t have any of that the point is in the past that didn’t exist”
Right okay. If you look at census data you will see that the observable trends are literally the opposite of what Tim is suggesting. Women are increasingly marrying men who are closer in age to themselves. The age gap between married men and women has been decreasing for a long long time and dating apps which emerged in 2012 have not done anything to reverse this trend. In fact it’s been shown that people who meet on dating apps are actually closer in age than those who meet offline. So the dating apps breed the exact opposite behaviors to the ones Tim is telling his audience about. Also I might be a bit off base here but I get this strange feeling that Tim’s dating apps theory might be a bit of a Trojan horse to allow Tim to humbly brag about his own “eligibility” as a marriage partner.
“let’s let’s let’s imagine you open up a dating app and a woman sees a picture of two guys she sees me and she goes hey he’s kind of cute whatever I’ll swipe on him so then she hits up me or I actually in all reality and dating apps the guy hits up the lady so I messaged like hey let’s you know let’s go for a drink afterwards we get a drink it’s like what do you want to do well I own my own house I got my own car actually I got a van I got a I got I got a van you want to go off to the wilderness and go hiking for a week look at this way if I can offer up somebody who’s younger than me a weekend trip to stay in the mountains in my converted recreational vehicle which has got internet and movies and we can pop up in the back and stare at the stars while we’re playing Netflix doesn’t that sound really really awesome it does”
It does. And you know I have to mention this there’s times when Tim cites data and seems to have no idea what the data means. Like in this video where he confuses political leaning with personality type. Tim defers to this pew data which shows that millennial men are fairly evenly split between republicans and democrats whereas millennial women are heavily weighted towards democrats. Listen to the conclusion Tim draws from this
“but one of the reasons I think women get the brunt of online harassment is their propensity for pushing um left-leaning politics so according to I believe it’s pew millennial women are 60 63% of millennial women I think it’s 63 or maybe 67 I think 67 I think they’re democrats meaning they hold left-wing political opinions and uh millennial men are kind of down the middle but that means you’re going to get a white you know guys are going to be kind of tepid if they’re split evenly they’re kind of tepid women are more opinionated at least according to stats“
Tim says according to these stats men are tepid and women are more opinionated. Now think about that let’s say there’s a load of dots over here representing democrat millennial women and there’s a load of dots representing the other republican and democrat men and women in the survey. What do we know about each individual dot apart from the party they support? Nothing. We don’t know anything. Each dot could have literally any personality type. The pew survey does not measure the intensity of their opinions or how likely they are to be loud about their politics. The men on both sides of this line could be super opinionated and the women over here could be super quiet. You’re not gonna be able to work out anything like that from this data. So when Tim says that women are more opinionated.
“That women are more opinionated at least according to stats”
There is a massive degree of confusion on display here about how stats work, and Tim’s inferences get more bizarre as the video goes on.
“The point let me just rephrase millennial dude on twitter on average will be kind of middle of the road like me”
See this makes me think that Tim views this graph as an x-ray of one man’s brain. Perhaps his own brain, with half the brain being democrat and the other half being republican. But that’s not what this is it’s an agglomeration of loads of men answering democrat or republican on a survey. There’s no proof that any of these guys are middle of the road. Again they could be really extreme or they could be fine. They could have any personality. They’re just grouped into political parties and we don’t know anything else about them. So what can we conclude about the way Tim Pool approaches studies and data in his videos? Well it’s clear that scientific methodologies are something Tim struggles with a lot. He’s often misled by sensationalist misrepresentations in the tabloid media.
He puts forward his own imaginative theories which diverge from the studies and are completely wrong. And he displays a really high degree of confusion about what data is and what conclusions can be logically derived from the numbers he’s seeing on his computer screen. Most surprising of all these findings is Tim’s massive over-reliance on media pundits to summarize studies for him. Particularly given how much he inherently distrusts these entities on other occasions.
“and there are some stories that give me pause because I think the media lies I think the media wants to manipulate you this happens all the time the media lies they lie that’s why I don’t trust the media”
However when you dig further into Tim’s content what you’ll find is that he can become incredibly trusting of the media when the situation calls for it.
We have to probe further into this
Overall Tim’s content takes a very anti-establishment tone. With the establishment being broadly defined as the mainstream media Wall Street elite’s big tech companies politicians federal agencies academic institutions and Hollywood along with trade unions an assortment of working professionals ups election experts ballot workers and military personnel. Whenever someone with a grand title attached to their name appears in the news making statements about politics Tim will question everything about them from their credibility to their qualifications to their motivations and their potential political corruption. At every step warning his audience not to trust them.
“There are a couple other reasons I think it’s fair to point out Trump may be on track to win because sometimes the experts are wrong… I do not trust Victor Blackwell’s assessment I do not trust his emotional outburst it felt like an act it felt fake …Dr Hart wow really impressed did you make up the university in which you got your PHD because I really don’t believe… it I honestly don’t trust the polls I just don’t buy it… why should I trust them… I do not trust them… I do not trust them at all”
Tim has a deep rooted skepticism of people claiming to be expert authorities on any given issue and this treatment is extended to all kinds of people. Even nurses who are testing people for covid during the pandemic
“Anyone who meets the CDC’s definition of a person under investigation is supposed to be isolated or quarantined for a period of 14 days or until the person tests negative for covid19 why should I trust the people who are doing the tests”
It’s therefore surprising, when suddenly a different kind of expert appears in the news and Tim’s cynicism completely evaporates. In these moments overwhelming enthusiasm overtakes him and Tim starts making appeals to the expert’s authority and deferring all of his own opinions to their judgment.
“so this guy uh Ryan Mao verified on Twitter meteorologist PHD I’ll take his word for it I’m not a scientist right I defer to you Ryan and any other scientist who’s a verified PHD whatever…. i’m gonna i’m gonna I’m gonna take the word of the PHD guy if he says this is what I found I’ll be like well you know I trust the expert… she’s wrong an EPA official saying she’s wrong… he’s the president of course he would know he could look he is the president he has access to this information”
When the right mood takes him Tim cites titles and qualifications as a logical reason to take experts and government authorities at their word. It’s like we’re seeing a completely different reporter with a completely different philosophy. One who not only trusts experts but abdicates his judgment entirely to them. So why do we see this split personality between cynical Tim and trusting Tim? How does he draw the line between experts he believes and those he dismisses? Well, whilst, I can’t attest to Tim’s internal thought process, we can find common themes connecting the experts whose opinions he tends to trust.
Let’s start with Ryan Mao
“Apparently house democrats spread lies about climate change and hurricanes according to a scientist this scientist is Ryan Mao”
Ryan Mao is a PHD meteorologist. Someone who analyzes and forecasts the weather. Although meteorology forms part of the atmospheric sciences it’s not the same thing as being an expert on climate. in 2017 Ryan Mao wrote an article claiming that thermometers were a bad way of measuring global surface temperatures and if one were to use jra-55 data one would find that the earth’s surface was far cooler than climate experts were suggesting. A finding which if true would invalidate some of the fears of climate change proponents. Upon seeing Mao’s graph an atmospheric scientist called Victor Venom posted a response. Which exposed that when regressions were properly fitted to the same data Ryan Mao used whichever way you slice it the rate of global warming was near enough exactly the same as the one measured by thermometers which Mao had been trying to debunk.
All that Ryan Mao had revealed was incompetence in trend analysis. Later the same year a prominent climate change skeptic gave an interview on BBC radio 4 where he claimed that global temperatures had actually gone down in the last decade an opinion which went against everything we understand about climate change his organization later apologized saying that they had been misled by a bogus data set.
Who prepared the data set? Ryan Mao.
“So this guy Ryan Mao verified on Twitter meteorologist PHD I’ll take his word for it”
The record of the scientist Tim is choosing to trust Ryan Mao is decidedly bad on climate related issues however he is one of the rare atmospheric scientists that you’ll find constantly criticizing democrats the only major American political party advancing climate change policy as part of its platform and the attacks Mao launches go somewhat outside the bounds of what one would expect from a working professional whose sole concern is scientific accuracy he accuses the democrats of political point scoring of nefariously pushing a far left agenda of metaphorically getting down on their knees and groveling to China and he says that they are sick
“there’s a lot of stuff that Ryan has brought up uh in the past I think it’s really really interesting I think we have a problem with a lot of these uh a lot of these far-left democrats they are willing to push nonsense when you put out easily debunked science and then moderates and independents think you’re lying to me”
The point Tim is making is that pushing debunked science leads to a decline of public trust in expert authority on the issues however the vehicle Tim uses to make this point is the word of a scientist with a history of doing exactly the thing he’s highlighting as a problem
Another expert who Tim cites in a video is EPA official Mandy Gunasekara who says that the democrats are wrong on climate change whereas Donald Trump is pragmatic and correct.
“Take a look at this story from fox news former EPA official 2020 dem candidates off base on climate change taking cues from Ocasio-Cortez an EPA official saying she’s wrong… Gunasakara said president Trump is being pragmatic was with his approach to the issue what voters should know is that President Trump is taking action to address this very issue she said so he’s taking a very pragmatic approach that balances economic growth and environmental protection and that’s what I’ve called for if that’s the case and I’m not going to say it is because I don’t have sources pulled up but that’s absolutely the correct response”
There’s quite a lot of interesting stuff to dig into here first of all note that Tim’s reporting in this segment revolves around an appeal to authority in this case the authority of an EPA official
The EPA official says the democrats are wrong on climate change therefore they are
“she’s wrong an EPA official saying she’s wrong now”
The title EPA official is doing a lot of heavy lifting here because it’s a job description loaded with some inherent logical assumptions the first assumption is that the person being cited has knowledge and expertise on issues relating to the environment the acronym EPA literally stands for environmental protection agency so we assume the person Tim is sighting has a solid working knowledge of climate related issues. The second assumption and this is critical is that the person would be driven above all by a desire to protect the environment. that is after all their job description, so we’d imagine that environmental conscientiousness would drive their professional opinions and conduct the problem with these assumptions is that EPA officials are not appointed through a meritocratic system which values scientific knowledge of environment related issues and a personal desire to solve them but rather through the political will of the US President and the senate.
So who is Mandy Gunasakara the EPA official who thinks that Donald Trump’s approach is pragmatic and correct? Well she was appointed to her position in 2017 by Donald Trump. She was one of the chief architects behind the US pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord in June 2017 a global agreement to lower carbon emissions. She left the EPA in 2019 to run a Pro-Trump think tank specifically promoting trump’s energy agenda and she was then reappointed to
The EPA by Trump in 2020 and in that role she oversaw the dismantling of over a hundred environmental regulations the biggest rollback of measures aimed at protecting the environment in recent memory.
“Gunasakhara said President Trump is being pragmatic was with his approach to the issue and that’s what I’ve called for that’s absolutely the correct response”
The observable facts of Mandy Gunasakara’s conduct as an EPA official demonstrate that she is manifestly not an individual who has any concern for the protection of the environment she’s rather an implanted corporate lobbyist placed within the EPA by the Trump administration to dismantle and undermine environmental protections.
Now I happen to know that Tim is an environmentalist how do I know this because he says he is.
“I do think the environment is very important I’m very much an environmentalist”
Which is just one of the mind-boggling contradictions you start noticing in Tim’s reporting which makes you feel like he’s fundamentally insincere in a lot of the statements he makes claiming to have certain beliefs as a performative shield to fend off criticism rather than having any principles of his own that he will stick to, to take him at his word he is a staunch environmentalist who happens to be in pitch perfect agreement with a corporate lobbyist working on behalf of the fossil fuels industry. now this isn’t to say that someone couldn’t sincerely agree with Mandiguna Sakhara. that someone couldn’t genuinely believe that decreasing all regulations and rolling back environmental protections is a good approach to legislation. but, that person with those beliefs clearly would not be an environmentalist.
“what voters should know is that President Trump is taking action to address this very issue she said so he’s taking a very pragmatic approach that balances economic growth and environmental protection and that’s what I’ve called for if that’s the case and I’m not going to say it is because I don’t have sources pulled up but that’s absolutely the correct response”
Additionally we’re seeing the return of a familiar rhetorical strategy from Tim where after coming down very heavily on one side of an issue supporting Trump’s environmental agenda with a fair amount of personal conviction on display he slips in a momentary concession that immediately upturns everything else he’s said up until this point he is not gonna say that anything he’s telling his audience is the case because he hasn’t looked into it but based on the small piece of information he’s just read, from Trump’s own PR person, he concludes that he agrees with trump and Trump is doing exactly what he’s always called for. This is why I don’t understand the Tim Pool viewer perspective of Tim being some sort of media watchdog figure hawkishly seeing through the propaganda of the MSM.
He reads a PR statement from a government official and is immediately duped into agreeing with their agenda an agenda that if we take him at his word goes completely against his own stated interests and does all this despite having done no research and thus having no idea what he’s actually agreeing with this is not someone seeing through propaganda this is someone obediently swallowing propaganda.
However I think there’s something more going on here this is a replication of a rhetorical strategy we saw previously where Tim lamp shaded his litany of accusations about the democrats by caveating that he didn’t know anything about the context of the thing he was quoting.
“look I don’t know exactly what the context was but if the idea is that look we gotta help the ecco we have to help the environment oh it’s gonna hurt the economy yeah then they’ll go and blame the republicans for the bad economy”
What we are observing here is a reporter who is torn between his desire to make dogmatic agenda-driven statements and his underlying awareness that everything he’s saying is based on shoddy information or lies. In an attempt to have it both ways Tim makes these small pleas for plausible deniability so he can post-hoc scrub the arguments he makes of any real ownership. Tim thus presents his ideas not as a manifestation of his own principles and opinions, but as momentary reactive responses to pieces of information given to him by other people. To put it bluntly, it’s the height of intellectual cowardice putting distance between yourself and your own arguments in advance so that you can say them without ever having to mount a deeper defense of them.
“and that’s what I’ve called for if that’s the case and I’m not gonna say it is because I don’t have sources pulled up but that’s absolutely the correct response”
When reporting news stories Tim Pool also often extends his trust to random individuals with anecdotal stories to tell take for example a mother of five who is concerned about what her kids are being taught at school
“for the love of all that is holy please get your kids out of these schools because they’re going to be indoctrinated with psychotic fringe cult-like beliefs and literal racist ideology but now we’re hearing Tennessee mom says parents ask to sign ridiculous waiver that they will not eavesdrop on kids online lessons why won’t they let us sit in a mom tells Fox and friends weekend we know what they’re doing they’re indoctrinating your kids and if you find out oh no you’ll pull your kids out well this needs to be spread around please you guys you need to tell people about this”
Who is this Tennessee mother of five who’s raising the alarm about public school indoctrination? She’s Laurie Cardoza Moore the president of a million dollar funded Christian evangelical organization called proclaiming justice to the nations whose stated mission is to win the ideological social moral and spiritual battle for the mind of this generation. on their website you can find transparent documents which explain their plan to infiltrate public education and undermine trust in public schools by abusing the complaint system and then they state that they’re going to ban all books which contain anti-Israel material, false historical facts about American history, and any books which inculcate in our children a false narrative about the world or about America either by inclusion or by an omission. This Fox News write-up is a thinly veiled PR piece for a book banning crusade, and upon reading the fox news article Tim enthusiastically promotes the proclaiming justice to the nation’s agenda
“they are teaching our children propaganda that they should not be teaching they are trying to socialize our children okay hold on they are literally trying to socialize your children I don’t think it means what you think it means they’re trying to manipulate your kids social engineer maybe… they’re brainwashing your kids and then you see the sad stories kids turning against their parents calling their parents racist and shutting them out”
Again, here we arrive at another impasse where Tim’s stated beliefs contradict the agenda he espouses in his reporting if you were to ask Tim he’d tell you that we shouldn’t be banning books that people should be allowed to read and be challenged on things they believe
“We shouldn’t be banning books we should allow people to read and be challenged and to challenge back”
So again to take time at his word he’s a free speech absolutist who just so happens to be promoting a censorious evangelical leader who wants to ban books she doesn’t like so let’s review the experts and figures of interest we’ve looked into who Tim trusts.
A PHD atmospheric scientist who’s been caught several times fabricating data sets an
EPA official who was appointed by the Trump administration to undermine environmental legislation
An evangelist think tank leader misrepresenting herself as a concerned mother so that she can ban books
Tim asks no questions about these people’s backgrounds he doesn’t raise the possibility of them misrepresenting themselves being flat out wrong or having political motives his videos are full endorsements of their perspectives compare these people to other experts who Tim Pool doesn’t trust Tim doesn’t trust long-serving military leaders who criticized Trump
“He’s this dude who’s been there and thinks he’s the expert and people need to listen to him when he’s just a lowly subordinate and Donald Trump is the President”
He doesn’t trust pollsters who predicted that Donald Trump would lose the 2020 election
“I honestly don’t trust the polls I just don’t buy it the majority of Americans approve of what trump is doing”
He doesn’t trust election experts who said that Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud were bogus
“this this article says claims contradicted by election experts that means literally nothing to me and doesn’t need to be in that paragraph what experts why who and what’s the point okay I can find you an expert who can tell me that the sky is really green just don’t trust your eyes a lot of experts say a lot of crazy things”
When you boil down Tim’s skepticism of experts isolating all the variables which might have an impact on his willingness to trust them from academic credibility to political motives to personal principles the only explanation that remains viable is that Tim is making his decisions purely along political lines. Whether or not he chooses to trust an expert doesn’t appear to have any relation to their credibility in specialist topic areas or their neutrality but rather whether or not their opinions placate broader republican ideological narratives.
That is the only consistency the only rationale to Tim’s otherwise completely arbitrary process which makes him switch from hardcore skepticism to gullible naivety at the drop of a hat and now we’ve opened this can of worms it’s time to have a more frank and honest discussion about what Tim Pool’s reporting actually is
If you scrutinize the errors overgeneralizations and logical inconsistencies which turn up in Tim Pool’s reporting. You’ll find that they are varied but not random. one can imagine a hypothetical person taking Tim Pool’s approach to news analysis and crafting funny theories about all sorts of things religion, culture, the stock market, healthy living. With each of their videos finding favor with different groups of American odd balls however all of Tim Pool’s theories flow in one very specific political direction. I’ve thus far been careful to decouple my criticisms of Tim’s reporting from any accusations of him having some ulterior political motive because it’s really hard to pinpoint when someone crosses the line from general incompetence to intentional dishonesty. And really we should be able to criticize Tim’s inaccurate reporting without having to tie in broader theories about any underlying motivations that might be driving it. However when it comes to Tim Pool I feel like this analysis will be incomplete if we did not acknowledge the clear ideological slant that permeates every monologue he makes on camera. Let’s walk back through some of Tim’s missteps we’ve already seen in this article, this time with a view to understanding how they were processed by his viewers.
First of all Tim’s video about men not helping women and children. Where he erroneously interpreted five news articles as evidence of a global trend of men being punished for doing nice things. This was curt dry confirmation bias. him having a theory, leaning into the articles that confirmed his theory, and being completely oblivious to contradictory evidence flowing in the opposite direction. However originating from Tim’s analysis came the advancement of a broader ideological narrative. That men are victims of oppression in modern society. Looking back through the comments you can tell how much this narrative though incredibly poorly evidenced in Tim’s reporting really resonated with his audience. Commenters used Tim’s video as a springboard to vent their own grievances of being badly treated or emasculated by women. They’re frustrated about being accused of toxic masculinity and they connect their negative personal experiences to the left-wing political causes of feminism and progressivism. Although Tim’s reporting was based around a false correlation, that false correlation provided real validation for his viewers who enjoyed seeing their sincerely held personal beliefs being legitimized in a news commentary format by a professional journalist. However shaky the ground on which that legitimization rested.
We can observe a similar effect in the comments section of Tim’s video where he talks about the democrats having a secret plan to tank the economy and blame Trump the quality of Tim’s reporting was again exceptionally poor relying on showbiz gossip and quotes which were neither researched by Tim nor examined in context. However despite all this, again, we see Tim’s viewers latching on to the underlying ideological narrative baked into Tim’s conclusion. That left-wing politicians are not to be trusted and don’t have people’s best interests at heart. There is a clear hatred of progressivism and the democrats amongst Tim’s viewers who see them as vindictive fascistic villains poisoning society and they rally everyone around them to take inspiration from what Tim has said and vote for right-wing republican candidates. Again Tim’s reporting was unsubstantiated and paper-thin, but it provided real validation for his viewers, legitimizing their political sensibilities.
We can look at other aspects of Tim’s reporting through a similar lens Tim’s incorrect summation that democrats were pretending to be seeking therapy after the election a claim which was false, based on Tim not reading the thing he was presenting was nonetheless promptly absorbed into his audience’s shared imagination of the left as mentally deranged victims with a persecution complex
Tim’s implausible theory about dating apps being the cause of male loneliness similarly ended up being absorbed into his audience’s grievances with entitled women and their broader political criticisms of women entering the job market and stealing jobs from hard-working men and Tim’s failure to comprehend basic polling data mistaking women’s political affiliation for their propensity to be opinionated was eagerly swallowed by viewers who came forth with their own stories of female journalists having ridiculous psychotic whacked out left-wing opinions. Time and time again what we see is that Tim Pool’s reporting, though poorly sourced and utterly lacking in rigor, serves to hit the same beats as ideological narratives his audience are already heavily invested in.
It is counterintuitively in those moments where Tim’s reporting dives into misinterpretation and implausible theorizing. That his audience finds vindicating factors for their own anxieties their fears and their concerns about the world. Given this, the fact that Tim’s journalism so frequently deviates from fact and rationality might not actually be a downside to the people who watch his stuff. It might actually be an asset. Now in the clips we viewed thus far it can’t be proven that Tim is distorting his content intentionally to appease his audience. However, there are other moments which would be harder for Tim to explain away
One of the long-running narratives you’ll constantly hear on Tim’s channel is the democrats are the party of the rich elites. Whilst the Trump-led GOP represents common everyday working class people.
“The democrats are the progressive wealthy elites from universities from the cities and from Wall Street… Joe Biden the candidate of wall street the big banks the international interests and the wealthy managerial elite… and the democrats have abandoned the working class strangely Donald Trump is there… and Donald Trump the candidate of working class people… Trump has become the party of the working class… regular working class people surprise surprise like like what the republicans are offering”
This of course perfectly mirrors the opinion of Tim’s viewers who believe that the democrats are uncaring elites who are at best indifferent to and at worst actively despise poor Americans. whilst doing a segment on illegal immigration one of the articles Tim uses happens to contain a statistic which contradicts his narrative, only 22 percent of trump votes actually see the rich poor gap as a very big problem versus 77 percent of democratic voters this shoots a pretty big hole in Tim’s branding of the democrats as uncaring wealthy elites. They’re manifestly far more concerned with the plight of poor Americans than their opponents in the opposition party. Tim starts to read this paragraph and then actively cuts himself off as he realizes that it’s not information that’s gonna play well with his audience
“the new national survey by pew Richard center finds the majorities of GOP voters view several issues as either very big or moderately big problems facing the country… for example uh… so okay we get you you get the point right I don’t want to um go too far into a lot of the poll stuff I don’t want to get uh crazy in the nitty-gritty I want to keep it to the main points that I’m trying to make”
Intriguingly Tim stops mid-sentence and hurriedly clicks away from the page avoiding acknowledging information which undermines the shared ideological narratives that he and his audience are heavily invested in.
In another video Tim talks about high male suicide rates and he has a clear angle that this is the fault of the feminist mainstream media.
“when you have a mainstream media that thinks mocking and belittling men is okay like the Gillette ad you wonder why this happens and they make that then they make a commercial about toxic masculinity and they say what you do man you’re bad you’re bad you’re bad “
Again Tim is acting as a spokesperson for the beliefs of his audience who are to a fault
Aligned in pointing towards feminism and American culture war issues as the source of the problem of male suicide the article Tim is reading is not even about America. It’s about the UK. Eventually the article explains the problem of male suicide can be viewed as a failure on the part of the UK conservative government. Who haven’t put any substantial strategy in place to help men who are suffering, and the article concludes with the prognosis that more money is desperately needed to combat this societal issue.
How does Tim grapples with this information?
“she also raised concern that there are no cross-departmental government I don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty of the hospital stuff we’ll read the conclusion here they say uh well you know what let’s move on to the next story because the issue is not just confined to the UK”
The pragmatic policy-based perspective of the article contradicts the sensationless political culture war narrative which Tim’s audience are all absorbed in. so Tim quickly skips over the explanatory information and runs away to other newspaper articles he can more easily twist to match his editorial agenda Tim will also sometimes do on-the-fly editing to obscure inconvenient information from view like in the vod where he says that CNN are purposefully omitting information to hide Donald Trump’s high online viewership figures from their audience
“it is true yes that tv alone democrats won but when you combine both numbers Trump and the RNC win… if you were to turn on CNN or any other mainstream outlet would they tell you the truth no they won’t… in an effort to make trump look silly or stupid and get clicks they omit key information and then claim Trump is going to be upset”
The thing is if you were to read the CNN article you would find that right above the viewership graph they show they clearly state the data leaves out streaming and digital forms of engagement so the picture is incomplete. The information which Tim says they are hiding from their audience is literally right there acknowledged in big print right near the stats.
In the process of talking on camera it appears possible that Tim might see that this is the case as he suddenly quickly scrolls down the page hiding it from view
“Fox News had by far the biggest audience of any channel on Thursday night with upwards of 9 million viewers I’m not going to read into the nitty gritty because we already know that the total total viewership for Trump was better but nowhere in this article does he point out that trump actually won with total viewership”
I think it’s hard to come away from these moments and not feel that Tim is purposefully narrowing the view his audience has of news events in order to validate their ideological narratives and beliefs. There are other examples of clear disingenuousness over at Tim cast you’ll notice that at times in an effort to appear more credible as a journalist Tim boasts about the heuristic methods he uses to mitigate his own biases but then he never actually ends up using them when it comes to right wing news. Take for example, Tim’s use of the independent third party news ratings app Newsguard
“I use Newsguard take a look at this you see this green checkmark up the top I make sure all the sources I use are certified by a third-party rating agency”
When attacking left-wing outlets Tim weaponizes Newsguard to add more weight to his criticism declaring that receiving a negative rating from Newsguard is a clear sign that the outlet is propaganda
“occupy democrats is rated by Newsguard with a red x and considered by many people to be a conspiracy theory propaganda website… occupy democrats is insane they’re not rated credible that scares me they produce content that is propaganda it is politically motivated information if this is where the left is getting their information god help us all”
However you’ll notice that as soon as Tim’s heuristic methods reflect badly on right-wing media outlets he immediately abandons them. Whilst he decries outlets on the left with low credibility ratings he has no problem uncritically sharing articles from right-wing publications with even lower ratings.
For example, Daily Wire
“The Daily Wire is not bad”
“The Epoch Times which I think is a pretty damn good source for the most part”
“Breitbart does not publish false content”
Red State, PJ Media, Louder with Crowder, The Blaze, Newsmax, Washington Times, Pluralist, The Federalist, and The Post-Millennial.
“I make sure all the sources I use are certified by a third-party rating agency I am very very careful about the content I produce”
He also uses the Gateway Pundit, a site which he personally knows to publish very questionable material.
“Now look I’m not a big fan of the gateway pundit at all I think they they’ve put out really questionable material uh in the past this is from Cassandra Fairbanks”
So obviously Tim hired Cassandra Fairbanks from the gateway pundit to come and be his news editor because?
Well I don’t know. I honestly can’t see why you would hire someone who publishes questionable content to be your news editor. Unless that questionable content is exactly what your audience wants. Counter-intuitively when Tim comes across left-wing news websites which are rated highly by Newsguard, he arbitrarily labels them bad.
“we can go over here and go to the root the root is bad raw story is bad think progress is overt propaganda media matters is literally a progressive non-profit they’re not a media organization the rest of these are literally activist organizations daily wire isn’t they’re just a conservative media company western journal Breitbart I would lean I would say is closer to something like mother jones but there’s still just a partisan media company it’s crazy that you see the left although they consume much less in alternative media it is activist content”
Tim will also readily use data to make points and then discard it to make the opposite point whatever he feels will most implicate the feelings of his viewers in any given situation have a look at Tim’s video on the hidden tribes report a study which shows that conservatives have a bigger partisan base than liberals with 25 percent of their group being politically engaged and active as opposed to just eight percent of the left in his video Tim informs his viewers that this is good news for conservatives
“and another important thing to remember according to the report 25% of Americans are traditional or devoted conservatives and their views are far outside the American mainstream but traditional conservatives and devoted conservatives are the right wing and they are not part of the exhausted majority this is potentially good news for conservatives when you recognize that the study finds traditional and passive liberals are exhausted”
In a subsequent video about sprite pandering to woke leftists Tim ends up wanting to make the exact opposite argument that there are more ideologically driven people on the left than the right
“there will be some people more staunch um ideologically driven people who are going to look at this and be like I will not support Sprite however if you find that to be the camp you’re in just know the left is all like that okay obviously everybody but you are outnumbered there are substantially more ideologically la uh driven leftists than there are people on the right”
However, in this moment the thought occurs to Tim that what he’s just said is factually wrong. The hidden tribe study, something he often references, clearly shows there are more politically charged partisans on the right. A statistic he proudly touted as a good thing for conservatives when he presented the data.
So, now Tim has to try and somehow rationalize his way out of this obvious contradiction
“uh I could be wrong about that but but uh let me actually let me put it this way i’ll put it better there the people on the left I think are it’s actually you know it’s complicated I think there are more conservatives according to like the hidden tribes but I’m but I’m willing to to bet that the average conservative is not going to care about these little things they’re not going to get bent out of shape they’re not going to get triggered some people might get mad some people might point out they think it’s it’s it’s a it’s societal rot or whatever but in the end I think the average person is going to be like let’s move forward with our life”
Realizing there’s no way to make the data conform to his argument, he dismisses it. Based on absolutely nothing, he personally reassures his viewers that conservatives are cool and chill about politics and they never get triggered. when you look at the totality of Tim Pool’s content the picture that forms is a brand of journalism revolving entirely around audience validation Tim disregards facts data and evidence that conflict with his audience’s worldview to build a finely sculpted labyrinth of comforting mistruths and denials of reality where they can comfortably live without encountering any information that offends their political sensibilities.
The irrational theorizing we see from Tim, his neglecting to do background research, and his admission of all information which contradicts the right-wing populist agenda. All represent significant journalistic failings, but they form part of the obligatory modus operand Tim must use in order to chisel daily events into a shape which his viewers feel comfortable watching and supporting. There is a glaring disconnect between what Tim presents himself as, a journalist striving for balance and fairness,
“Because I’m a liberal who doesn’t trust the mainstream media to always be honest… I produce content that I see as being more balanced and fair… I just try to be honest”
And what Tim actually is, a partisan cheerleader whose credibility with his audience is only maintained insofar as he’s willing to uncritically worship their political beliefs and favorite politicians.
“the majority of Americans approve of what Trump is doing… we have a series of victories for trump it’s not just policy-wise…. look man it is winning winning winning… he keeps winning”
I know there are plenty of temple viewers out there that don’t see him as an inherent arbiter of truth who just like hearing his opinion on things but this rationalization rings somewhat hollow given that on any day you can accurately predict what Tim’s opinion will be without having to watch his videos. Like, what did Tim think about AOC getting elected?
“this is bad for democrats this is bad for the left”
And what did Tim think about Chris Pratt wearing that no step on snack t-shirt?
“you know what man I hate to repeatedly say like oh it’s bad for democrats but stories like this that I think are extremely bad for the democrats it’s bad bad news for for the democrats”
And what did Tim think about Donald Trump getting impeached?
“This has been bad bad bad for democrats they are completely incompetent and Pelosi keeps pushing it”
I wonder what Tim made of the early 2020 election voting data
“I don’t know for sure we’re a couple weeks out I’m just saying people are pointing out the data and saying whoa this looks bad for democrats”
And what did Tim think when the actual 2020 election results came in and democrat Joe Biden was projected as the winner
“it’s looking really bad for democrats across the board one democrat broke down crying… republicans are doing really well…. democrats should feel bad”
No matter what’s going on in the real world, Tim’s world remains forever unchanged. He is hampered by an uncompromising imperative to regurgitate a handful of predetermined viewpoints over and over again like he’s in some sort of conservative black mirror episode each and every time he makes a video. No matter what news he’s analyzing the selective framework that drives his reporting only ever allows for one predetermined conclusion
“Every day it seems like there is some reason for me to point to the left in an angry fashion”
At the start of this article we pondered why there were so many politically driven dogmatists in Tim Pool’s audience. The answer is, that these are the only people left when reality has been warped to the point of no return by an utterly uncompromising world view. The truth is for moderates who value rationality and like to think for themselves. There’s only so much Tim Pool you can watch before you decide to go elsewhere for your news.
However, for people entrenched in political dogmatism drawn to the fiction of their own eternal righteousness, Tim Pool’s style of journalism gives plenty of reasons to keep you coming back. Relentless attacks on your political enemies, complex theories about how your political side is winning even when it’s losing, endless studies in which all the data happens to support the opinions you already hold, and the removal of any information that offends your political sensibilities.
The outcome is an audience who effectively inhabits an alternate reality constantly being fed an information stream that affirms the righteousness virtue and popularity of their own political cause whilst also affirming how genuinely evil and scheming their unpopular political adversaries must be to stand in their way. It leads them to genuinely believe that the extremist and often violent views they express are completely justified and perhaps even moderate because of the evil actions they are told their enemies are perpetrating against them. As a YouTube journalist Tim Pool thrives not on being a fair and balanced reporter but rather on being the chief architect of these people’s shared illusion. In doing so he’s galvanized an audience who will be eternally loyal and forever thankful to him. The only journalist who is willing to twist and distort the news until the world conforms to the exact shape of their dogmatic ideology.