Tucker Carlson and Our Blue Check Society (with Scott Galloway)
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Tucker Carlson’s ousting from Fox News shocked the masses on Monday. Andy processes the news with writer and business entrepreneur Scott Galloway, who offers his thoughts on the breakup and predicts whether we’ll see Carlson make a run for president. They also commiserate over their shared addiction to Twitter, reflect on why we should embrace AI, and discuss how to foster more empathetic men.
Keep up with Andy on Post and Twitter @ASlavitt.
Follow Scott Galloway on Twitter @profgalloway.
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Check out these resources from today’s episode:
- Listen to Scott’s podcast: https://profgmedia.com/the-pod/
- Check out Scott’s book, “Adrift: America in 100 Charts”: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/713560/adrift-by-scott-galloway/
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For additional resources, information, and a transcript of the episode, visit lemonadamedia.com/show/inthebubble.
Andy Slavitt, Scott Galloway
Andy Slavitt 00:18
This is IN THE BUBBLE with Andy Slavitt. Please send me your email, firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you, Scott Galloway is on the show today, this is going to be a real treat. You’re gonna enjoy Scott, I’ll get to that in a minute, in the bubble, with your support, has gone through a number of evolutions, and I want to tell you about another one. And first, I want to thank you, those of you who stuck with me, as we have tried to evolve the show to be the most helpful that we can as the world evolves around us, you know, the hit a little bit of history, we started as a two person show, that was me and my son, who had to go off to college. Some of you were listening way back then Those were fun shows, then we added toolkit episodes, as COVID got confusing, and we wanted to be handy. Those were popular, some of them were fun. And we brought some lightheartedness and hopefully some happiness and joy and less fear to people’s lives when they were dealing with COVID. Then I got asked to serve in the White House, probably because this was such a good show. And we had a guest host. And you stuck with us through that. Then I came back. And then we started on other topics of interest to you. Besides COVID, we did surveys, we got feedback of what people wanted to hear. And we did the same thing, as we did with the rest of the shows, found the best guests, brought you in the bubble with them to hear from actual experts, who are giving us actual facts. And it worked. You stuck with us, for which I’m grateful, thank you, then we experimented with moving to three days per week, which turned out to be great. And your survey responses and general feedback was extremely positive, maybe two times. So thank you for that. But many of you said that you didn’t have time to listen to three shows a week. And you started to backlog the show to listen to it later, which I know can be annoying. So we decided to move the show now to a single day of the week, Wednesday. And here’s what I want out of it. I want this to be your best. Listen every week, one of your favorite hours of the week. I want the show to make you feel smarter, to make you smile, and occasionally laugh. Even if you’re laughing at me in that with me. I want the best guests in the world to continue to want to come on the show. And they have incredibly high standards for who we let talk to you. I want the intimate feeling of being in the bubble to feel and be special. That you feel like you’re getting an insider’s look. I want them to have a show. They can have a point of view. But without all the rage. And with respect and openness, even for people we disagree with. This formula of 50% Winston Churchill 50%, Fred Rogers and 10% dad jokes, which was the premise we started with, to make this scary, a little safer. And to turn the cross talk into reason dialog to make you smarter and more well informed, calmer, and more refreshed, energized. I think I can do this better, with one show a week with the occasional bonus show when the news hits or it feels warranted. So I hope you think that makes sense. And look, if it makes you feel better. If you miss hearing me on Mondays and Fridays, you can just play the Wednesday show three times. I think that’ll work for everybody. So that’s the change. I think it’s a good one. I want to talk to Scott Galloway in a bit to remind you who Scott is, he does a podcast called Prof. G. He also does a podcast with our mutual friend Kara Swisher called pivot. He’s a very interesting guy. I mean, he’s not without ego. So I’m gonna tell you that upfront. He’s out of point of view. And he’s very articulate and clear about what he believes. Some of it’s a little edgy. But he’s also a guy, I think, with a fair amount of humility. He’s a guy who I think does his best to know himself. And I think he knows he sometimes come across as abrasive. But I’ll tell you, I think he’s also a real human being. So I like drawing him out. Even in those moments, where you kind of go okay, well that’s bold, or that’s being said for a fact, or what have you, the kinds of stuff he’s smart about marketing, business tech, social policy, CEOs, etc. I think it’s perfect for this episode because we got a to cover with him from Twitter blue check to Tucker Carlson I almost forgot his name. So gone out of my mind so quickly to wokeism, Ron DeSantis, Corporate Responsibility, tech Bros. And his favorite topic, young dudes loves talking about young dudes. But I think stick with me, I think you will find that to be of interest as well. So let me get to Scott. Here he is.
Andy Slavitt 05:39
All right, as I mentioned in my opening, not gonna lie Scott is one of my favorite people and personalities
Scott Galloway 05:45
Go on. Can I just say I’m enjoying this podcast a lot. So far. It’s already I’m enjoying it.
Andy Slavitt 05:50
Let’s you know, I started out by like, suckering people into this sense that I really liked them that they open up like a sieve. It’s a technique. Actually, I’ve been saying for a while I’ve been looking forward to connecting with you again. Welcome back to the bubble.
Scott Galloway 06:02
It’s great to be back.
Andy Slavitt 06:04
So look, I know we’re talking on a on a rather somber day, where we just learned that Tucker Carlson and Fox have parted company. Can you have your reflections?
Scott Galloway 06:17
Well, I heard you starting a show. I’m not a racist. But with Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon was fired.
Andy Slavitt 06:30
Although today, maybe national clean house day. So you and I might get fired today? Who knows?
Scott Galloway 06:35
Yeah, the term a couple of things. I’d be curious to get your thought my immediate thoughts and obviously we’ll see what how it comes out. But the fact that he didn’t get to do a victory lap or a goodbye show means that wasn’t his idea. And then HR called him literally when the show ended and said we need to have a conversation. And then Logan Roy in succession says the crowd wants a blood offering. This feels like it was a blood offering. The other thing is I bet by Wednesday, he is polling in double digits for to be the Republican nominee for president.
Andy Slavitt 07:10
Wow. You just said a lot there. You know, he’s apparently said on Friday, I will talk to you on Monday. So that’s probably a tell. Look, it’s interesting, like it to me, that’s the question like, at what point does your personal balance sheet? Well, you’re a cash machine. But your liabilities just start to start to outgrow your assets. And I wonder what the straw that broke the camel’s back was, but this guy was a cash machine for Fox. What do you think it took for them to say you know what? No mas.
Scott Galloway 07:44
You ever think about it? Put yourself you’re 92. Right. You’re a billionaire. You control the company. I just don’t think you scare that easily. I don’t think he’s gonna bat I don’t think Rupert Murdoch needs to or will back down to anybody. And I don’t know what the conversation was. Or maybe who knows, maybe this was just Tucker’s idea. Like, no, they probably may have, they might have come back and said you need to do the following things. And he said, no, I’m out or whatever it is. But it sounds like he was asked to leave the building. And the thing that the thing that people forget is that when […] leaves cheers, cheers endures. And […] does not an unclaimed Stevenson leaves mash when, you know Megan Kelly loves Fox when you know, Chris Cuomo, who I think is very talented. He was the he was the cash machine at CNN. And his new thing is talented as he is hasn’t really taken off these platforms, individuals will always overestimate the ratio of their importance relative to the platform. And it’s across every dimension. I have a half a dozen friends who were big, big deals at KKR, Goldman and Bridgewater, and then they leave. And they find their calls aren’t returned quite as crisply when they’re not carrying that card. I mean, I don’t know if you felt this way. I gotta imagine everyone called you back in zero time flat when you were with the Obama administration. And you were with Obama and Biden. And now you’re just this incredibly likable, handsome podcaster.
Andy Slavitt 09:15
I forget who it was. It was some very senior Republican I talked to once, who said there are no more powerful words said I’m calling from the White House. And, like, I mean, every fortune 500 CEO, every governor 100% many world leaders, they’ll take that call. And if you’re an executive assistant, and you say, you know, it’s some guy I’ve never heard of Andy Slavitt calling from the White House. For Mary. They’ll say hold on, right. And magically Mary has a moment in her schedule that day. It’s very true.
Scott Galloway 09:46
Yeah, so I don’t I’ll be curious to see what he does next, but I’m worried that he’s going to become the new kind of unchained mouthpiece for what I find is increasingly aggressive, hateful. I consider myself a moderate I don’t. But some of this sit around trans and in in the far right finding sport in popularity after just going after the trans community. I worry he’s gonna go to an absolute next level with that and start doing.
Andy Slavitt 10:20
He’ll act like he has shackles had been on him this whole time unchained. He’s unchained. And I imagined that OA enter whoever pays him untold tons of money stands in line to payment untold and, you know, but he won’t be able to escape the fact that he’s been marginalized, as you said, that, you know, Rupert looked around and said, we’re the brand you’re he’s not and that wherever he is, you’ll end up with more of them, you know, I did sound disparaging but more of the kind of extreme, I’ll say nut jobs, but I will understand that […] some people,
Scott Galloway 10:57
but look at him. Look at all of them. Whether it’s Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Megyn, Kelly, I mean, look at all and none of them have gone on to do bigger things, Bill O’Reilly and got a book franchise, none of them have gone on these platforms are powerful. There’s a built in audience and millions of people, name of Fox anchor that’s gone on to bigger, better things.
Andy Slavitt 11:18
Seriously. Good point. And then the state has been in this talk, I forgot about it this talk about him wanting to run for president until you said that I had totally forgotten about that.
Scott Galloway 11:27
I think every narcissist, like TV is a really it’s of all the mediums I’m in podcasting, writing books, writing newsletters, speaking, hands down, the lowest ROI, relative to a tougher is television. It is a definition of empty calories. And I keep doing it because I’m a narcissist. And it’s fun to see me on screen. And my kids are impressed by it. There’s something about TV. So to endure that kind of bullshit. You have to be a pretty big narcissist. And I think that type of narcissist wakes up every morning, and looks in the mirror and says, Hello, Mr. President, I think they’ve all had people say you should run for office over and over and over, and they begin to believe it. And there’s something very appealing about being you know, a senator, there’s a level of gravitas and I’ve one that is unparalleled around being elected to public office. And obviously, the dropping the most powerful person in the world. You know, that’s very seductive.
Andy Slavitt 12:30
I wonder is a guy like this, who I think is probably pretty thin skinned. If you watched his show, I think the way he took people on was in a very asymmetrical way. And it strikes me that the guy can’t take wouldn’t be able to take nearly, but would come at him and he hides out in this little farmhouse in New Hampshire. I actually think it’s Maine. He has a studio in Maine, where he records his show, from a barn where he, you know, with apparently this affable guy who walked around town in the corner store, and there’s some really interesting stories about people like coming up to him to tell him, you’re literally ruining our country. And he just like has this like, you know, shooting grin.
Scott Galloway 13:11
A guy like that can’t be in a city, though, right? How could he walk around DC and there’s no way he could walk around DC.
Andy Slavitt 13:18
It makes me wonder, like how he could run for office. That’s where I’ve tried to go with that is like, how does it go like that?
Scott Galloway 13:23
It is? I mean, this is the problem or one of the rooms we have minority rule. And that is there’s been so much gerrymandering, if you’re talking about the house, that it’s essentially its minority rule in the sense that really who gets elected as who can be crazier on the left or the right.
Andy Slavitt 13:38
right. Although I would say more on the right, more on the right than the left, the left seems to be willing to quote unquote, compromise that a left center left people the right doesn’t.
Scott Galloway 13:47
look at someone on the left. I wholeheartedly agree with you whether it’s the New York Supreme Court agreeing that we’re gerrymandering and we lose seats in Florida, the Florida Supreme Court says, Well, no, it’s good for Republicans. So we’ve decided gerrymandering is fine. Right. And or whether it’s taking the national debt hostage. I mean, it would just be just as easy for Democrats to theoretically say, we’re not going to raise the debt limit unless you fund these programs and take good boy and take the national economy hostage. But for some reason, we’ve become normalized to the Republicans taking it hostage and thinking that it’s a negotiation. It’s a hostage taking. It has nothing to do with governance. But look, I believe a big problem. I’m a big fan. And I’m curious what you think I’m a big fan of rank choice voting, because the problem is the two you strike me as fairly reasonable at a moderate and I like to say I’m a rabid moderate, and there’s no space for us anymore. There’s no space.
Andy Slavitt 14:39
Look, I believe in some of the moderating principles that guide us. But I bet you could find issues where I’m very radical, like you look, everybody. I mean, I think we’re not all one thing, but I do believe this. And I think this is where I think when you talk about being moderate, I do believe that we ought to be able to talk to people we disagree with, in a reasonable way and compromise them where things out. I mean, I was always willing to get in the room with any Republican or when it was both in the administration and then out that was willing to that had basically a common goal or a common set of principles, even if I completely disagreed with them. What I can’t stand is a country where it’s just a deceit, exploitative Tucker Carlson, kind of garbage. And then he just sort of destroys the ability to talk. And of course, you make the point, this anti-democratic minority rules, thing doesn’t help.
Scott Galloway 15:29
Well, you’ve had more experience with this than I have. But generally speaking, when you have social media algorithms and fundraising techniques that work when you go really hard, far left or far right, with your messaging, it’s seen as leadership, saying incendiary things that don’t necessarily advocate for a position, but make the other side look stupid, and show how angry and outraged you are, that we live in an attention based economy where the more outrageous you can be, the more elevation you get in these algorithms, the more airtime you get the more fundraising and when I meet with people on the far left of the far right in DC, and there are no cameras in the room. I’m blown away by how reasonable they are. It’s when the cameras it’s when the red light goes on that they turn into, like Extremis.
Andy Slavitt 16:15
Hold that thought. Let’s take a quick break, Scott. And I want to talk about that anti what was gives him in a minute and how it manifests itself in the corporate bashing, going on between DeSantis and Disney, be right back. And then, of course, there’s Ron DeSantis. And I want to go to that next because, like, first of all, he’s not likable. But secondly, like you’ve kind of raised the topic of what I would just sort of describe it as sort of anti-woke ism fever, which is DeSantis is a sort of feels like he’s the principal ruler of and Tucker, of course, has been the megaphone, that sort of victimizing trans people, not just trans kids, trans adults, and this whole sort of attack against corporations. And I wanted to raise it with you, because I’m really curious, because I think if he was one of the smartest people I know about businesses, the role of business in society. And so this whole kind of Disney dispute, which is sort of at the center of this battle, where DeSantis is saying corporations should be not be focused on, you know, diversity or inclusion of these things. Where are we in that battle?
Scott Galloway 17:55
So I’m a Florida resident, even though I’m living in London, or technically a Florida resident.
Andy Slavitt 18:02
You said that for the IRS’ purpose, right?
Scott Galloway 18:05
There’s no state income tax in UK, as far as I know. Like, this is a rare misstep from what has to date been a very discipline, political messaging from the governor, and that is the governor, whether you believe in, you’re gonna forget more about this, and I’m ever going to know. But as it relates to COVID, people largely think he got it right. And that is he said, Alright, we’re going to sequester our seniors, but we’re going to keep the schools open. And as someone who had kids in school in Florida, I looked back and I was one of these, I was one of the progressive community that was fully masked everywhere, huge pro vaccination, err on the side of caution. And Florida took a different tact. And it was very effective. And people largely view that his position on COVID was a leadership position that benefited the citizens of Florida, whether you agree with it or not, it was a huge political win for him. I think he took advantage of the fact that a lot of people, a lot of moderates, and obviously a lot of people on the right feel like this sort of woke narrative where we were all being forced to bark up the same tree around schools around what was right in terms of our kids or parents not having as much say, he ran a trek through that and passed what I feel are totally ineffectual laws and really rallied the right around him where the bridge too far where he’s really screwed up. Is that one of the likable things and one of the admirable things about the GOP? Is it seen as a community that’s like, look, as long as we have the strongest economy in the world, we’ll be able to find the strongest navy. As long as we have the strongest economy in the world, we’ll be able to generate taxes for all those programs you on the left like that makes sense. Even if you don’t agree with it, being differing on the side of corporations and recognizing the engine of democracy. The engine of capitalism is a healthy private sector. The Republicans have always erred on the side of that. So to go after a company and when you think about Florida as a brand, it has some wonderful All attributes, the weather, the beach, we have the capital of Latin America, it’s called Miami. We are a fairly progressive place, actually, that has a lot of wonderful we have a thriving gay community. And one of the one of the really wonderful things about Florida is Disney. Disney has Disney 80,000 employees, hundreds of billions in economic value. And then the other point about being elected, is that once you’re elected, you’re supposed to think about systemic change, you’re supposed to think about laws. And if you wanted to have a conversation around special tax breaks given to large corporations who aren’t paying their fair share. That’s a conversation we should have in the context of Carnival cruises and Ryder trucks and Disney and all Florida companies. But when you start attacking your political enemies, and it’s just seen as retribution, and that enemy is the mouse. I mean, here, here’s what it comes down to you have one guy trying to celebrate his gay brothers and sisters in his company, and you have another threatening to build a prison next to a private company. So I would summarize it in the following Bob Iger for President. I mean, this is just this is a mistake.
Andy Slavitt 21:06
Does DeSantis win or lose by this battle with Disney?
Scott Galloway 21:10
This is the biggest I think it’s the beginning of the end for Governor DeSantis. Because one thing every president since Nixon has had in common is they’re very likable. Even if you don’t like Trump, if you’ve meet them in person, and I’ve met him in person, he’s very charming. There’s a magnetism to him. He’s a big imposing guy. And from everything I’ve heard, and every time I’ve seen Ron DeSantis, he brightens up a room by leaving it, people do not like him. He does not maintain little things doesn’t maintain eye contact has an awkward laugh. And every president, I mean, you’ve been in the company of a lot of these guys. They have something, and you immediately start thinking, this guy likes me and I liked him, and I’m gonna raise money for him. I don’t think people feel that way when they meet DeSantis.
Andy Slavitt 21:55
I think you’re right. I look, I like to say this, as most of these people are interesting only in the role they play in the narrative for me. I’m interested in the sort of the role of corporations and the public attitude towards corporations. Like, is it a good thing, or a bad thing when corporations get involved in things that are moral values, whether they’re about the environment or whether it’s about diversity?
Scott Galloway 22:24
So I’ve served on seven public company boards, and I’ll tell you what my advice is on the board meeting in a very loosely speaking, no, it’s got more downside than upside. And that is I think corporations are legal entities that bring together a group of very talents and an alchemy of intellectual property assets, human capital, financial capital, and that their mission should be to create something that’s greater than the resources they bring in such that they can create economic security for their employees, and also create prosperity for the local community and be good citizens. I think especially in the tech community, they started believing let’s personify the company. And I think a lot of leaders wanted to pose for the cameras, and get involved in politics looking for brownie points or virtue signal to their employee base. And I think it almost always backfires on them. At the same time, I think there are just certain layups, including your gay brothers and sisters and saying, we celebrate you, especially when you’re creatively driven organization that over indexes with people from the LGBT community, you know, that’s a safe bet, you’re on the right side of history, you just know where this is all headed. At some point. The Ark of justice in America is bent, but it bends towards compassionate bends towards empathy. That’s a layup. But getting involved in more political disputes getting overtly politicizing your company, telling employees to bring them their full selves to work and caring about their political views. No, we’re here to give you economic security and prosperity and be good citizens. And whatever you do on the weekend, and whatever your political values are your private business, I think it’s dangerous for companies to do this.
Andy Slavitt 24:02
I want to ask you about that big good citizens part because that’s where it obviously gets a little bit murky. So there, what four or five, hedge funds and money managers that control a lot of the stock of a lot of the major companies in America. And you know, there is this controversy, or at least this question about what their attitude towards investing in dirty energy ought to be. Several of them have taken different approaches to that question. What’s the right way to think about it?
Scott Galloway 24:32
I think it’s the government’s responsibility to decide when we shouldn’t be drilling or if we should have additional taxes, recognizing that climate change is an existential threat. I think at the end of the day, a private enterprise has the rights, if it’s legal to drill and try and make money. And then investors have the right to not invest in those types of companies.
Andy Slavitt 24:53
Right. So this this is the question there’s investors that are saying, I don’t want to put money or I don’t want to put much money by a company Is that are doing that sort of thing? And there’s a pseudo economic argument, but they’re sort of making moral argument at the same time. And I guess, I wonder if you’re saying that the moral argument isn’t really appropriate for them to be making as investors.
Scott Galloway 25:12
I think it’s entirely up to them, but they have to recognize the returns will be lower. Anytime you limit the universe of potential investments and legal companies, you just have to be honest with your limited. With your limited partners, your investors, your returns probably won’t match companies that don’t have the same guardrails. Now, you could make the statement of the claim that investing in socially minded companies tend to outperform their peers. But generally speaking, that’s based on one article from McKenzie, the cherry pick the data that some of the best performing stocks over the last three years have been energy companies in fossil fuels. It fossil fuels have created more economic growth, and I think, anything over the last century. And the question is, whenever you transition one substance to another, there’s externalities. And the problem is, do you recognize those externalities and take some of that revenue to transition to something with fewer externalities? And I think that that’s a situation where unless the government moves in around putting carbon credits or carbon cap, or saying you are no longer protected by 230, you’re going to continue these massive puffs of carbon into the air. I think that’s the role of government. And I think that as long as we’re waiting for the better angels of CEOs to show up, don’t hold your breath. I know these guys. And they’ll talk a big game. Do you remember what BP’s tagline was for 20 years? 20 years ago? Beyond petroleum. Yeah, they were. And they had a big sunburst, like, yeah, and they talked about, they had this very wonky looking PhD talking about renewables from algae, that was .001% of their investment was in renewables. It was, it was such a weapon of mass distraction. And at the end of the day, we are all hoping that climate change, that we’ll figure out some someone at him and an MIT boardroom is going to come up with some technology that’s going to solve it and make us all rich, at the same time, and it’s not, it’s going to be expensive, it’s going to be hard. It’s going to require immense leadership, global cooperation. And it’s also going to mean punishing some corporations and returning and lowering returns. I don’t think you’re gonna pull that off, calling on the better angels of consumers, consumers talk a big game at the end of the day, they want the best product at the lowest price. I think that’s the role of government.
Andy Slavitt 27:20
Well, no, no, if you’re listening, you know, I like Scott so much. I think there was, I had a key event fake applause, I’d cue them here, because that’s what you said, makes an immense amount of sense. And it is interesting, because you have this very interesting phenomenon where if you look at what Biden just did on or it’s about to do it, putting out regs on carbon emissions from plants. If he had done that 10 years ago, before carbon capture technology was, at any way scale, the practical, it would have been a disaster. And in fact, Obama tried to do that you may recall, and the private sector wasn’t there at up to speed. So there’s a certain amount of interesting timing that I have learned that exists between the public and private sector, and how they have to play off one another.
Scott Galloway 28:07
But what you’ve also said is you need a certain amount of public support. And that’s why I think it’s really important to have thought leadership and have conversations like this, because even I’ll use an example of something I’m passionate about. I’ve been thinking a lot about and observing and was never really to be able to distill my thoughts down to any specific policy recommendations. But I just felt like young men as a cohort were struggling. And I was seeing all this data four times the suicide rate, 12 times incarceration rate, three times the addiction rate, twice as many women are going to graduate from college as men in the next five years seven attend high school valedictorians. But two years ago, the moment you started to have that conversation, people saw it as a zero sum game and said, anytime you’re advocating for young men, you’re labeled a misogynist. But having the conversation and looking at the data has done wonderful things and that’s over the last 24 months, it’s now become a really worthwhile conversation a really productive, people have realized that empathy and compassion are not zero sum games, that civil rights did not hurt white people. Gay marriage didn’t hurt heterosexual marriage and advocating for young men is in no way gonna hurt women who wants more economically and an emotionally viable young men, women. And a lot of our problems right now I think are stemming from the fact that young people don’t have the same opportunities, especially young men. A lot of the features in our society, whether it’s online dating, or the outsourcing a manufacturing, has hit young men really hard. But starting that conversation two years ago has resulted in things I never thought I would see I’m getting calls from elected officials talking about national service talking about massive increase in funding for vocational programming. 50% of Germans have vocational certification in the US it’s 5%. If you go on LinkedIn in the UK or Germany, 11% of job titles or apprentice in America, it’s 3% and I can’t tell you how much the conversation has moved in the last 24 months. If you had proposed some sort of legislation that would significantly advantage young men, it just would have gone nowhere. And two years later, it there’s now a just a much more productive conversation.
Andy Slavitt 30:11
I mean, I’ve heard you talk about it. And I can imagine where it may have been hard to talk about at times. But I will tell you, I’ve spent time in Latin America. And I was connecting to this organization of women that were seeking shelter from abusive husbands. And they all had sons. And the conversation was about, you want to stop this, it’s your sons, you should be spending time with your sons you should be educating it’s your sons, that when they have a hope of prosperity, and a better life, will be better people will be better husbands. So if you’ve trained all of your attention just on protecting women, I don’t know how that necessarily stops the cycle. But you know, it requires nuance, and some of the reasons I get to Twitter if we ever if we have time, but it’s one of reasons why I’m sort of off Twitter. It’s not just because of musk, it’s because I find like, we’ve chased away nuance, and other than maybe linking to something, I’d much rather do stuff that’s long form like your great podcasts like this show, where you can actually have a nuanced conversation, and realize that, hey, there’s a lot of sides to these conversations.
Scott Galloway 31:23
You know how one of the keys to a healthy relationship is you like who you are in that relationship, that person brings out just the better side of you. And one of the reasons I’m slowly but surely getting off Twitter is and I’m addicted to it. And addiction is something you continue to do despite knowing it’s bad for other parts of your life. So I’m addicted to Twitter, I would say if, if I’ve had five really good weekends, in the last few years, two or three of them have been inspired by something that went down on Twitter. And you just think well, okay, at this point, I’m playing the back nine Why on earth would I ever […], and you are where you spend your attention. And I have found over the last decade, I’ve become more terse, snarky. I see opportunities. When someone says something dumb, maybe they didn’t even mean to say something dumb, I weigh in to score points across my cohort and to impress people I’ll never meet. And I really don’t like that about myself.
Andy Slavitt 32:19
But I did break the Twitter habit, I was probably as addicted as you were. The first thing I did, which is which started 80% of my sanity was just turned off all the notifications. And my life got so much better. And then I realized that I if I had a good idea, or waking thought, you know, I didn’t have to share it with the world. And then I realized, you know, what the number of followers I have and the number of likes I get? I can live without that. And then you know, and then Musk tweeted that thing about Fauci. And that was it for me when once Musk sic the dogs on Fauci because he’s a good friend, and because I know the personal safety challenges he had, and the cause right on top of that, and I thought, whatever game this guy is playing, just not gonna participate.
Scott Galloway 32:19
Yeah, the straw that broke my back was when he mocked a disabled person, when, I mean, there’s just been so many straws, he’s accused his co-workers of sex crimes. It’s like, you’re really this guy, you really are this blessed. And obviously, this app this much can have this much positive impact on the world. And this is how you spend, this how you spend your time. But what I would recommend to anybody is, you said you’re addicted. I think about this a lot. I think everyone has a certain level of addiction in their life, whether it’s online shopping, or codependent relationship, or trans fats, or porn, or whatever it is gambling. I’m addicted to Twitter. But it’s not that I’m addicted to Twitter, I’m addicted to strange people’s affirmation. And I need to be loved. I get up in front of a group of 1000s of people and speak I immediately hit Twitter to find out if total strangers love me or not. And what I’ve decided is, you know, in my time on Twitter was taking too much of my time. And I thought, Okay, I got two boys, I should be more focused on what they think of me. Then on dog boy 311. I mean, it just, it really doesn’t, it really doesn’t matter. And this desperate need for the affirmation of people who aren’t concerned with the condition of my soul are not going to take care of me when I’m older. I need to take at least half that time and reallocate it into people who it’s really important that they just think I’m wonderful. And I’m doing some virtue signaling here. But one of the things I do I coach a lot of young men and I’m like, let’s look at your screen time. And we’re going to find eight hours and we’re going to find it in Robin Hood, which is not investing. It’s gambling. We’re gonna find it in Twitter. We’re going to find it in YouTube. We’re going to find it in Tik Tok. We’re gonna find it in porn. And we’re going to take that eight hours and I know I can’t tell you it’s usually more like 30 hours with some of the kids. And I can’t take all of it but you’re gonna give me half of it. We’re going to do three things. First off, we’re going to get really, really strong, I think and I coach young man, I’m like, every young man should be able to walk in any room and know that got real, he could either kill and eat everybody or out and run them to, you’re gonna start making money, the best way to make a lot of money is to start making a little and figure out how much you like money, figure out how wonderful it is figure out how to get good at something and start making more money. And then you are going to spend some time in a place in an environment, a church group, a riding club, a softball league, I don’t care what it is, where you have the opportunity for random encounters with strangers, so you can make more friends, maybe romantic partnerships, maybe find some mentors. And I’m trying to do the same thing for myself. I’m thinking, okay, I don’t have much time left, do I really need to spend eight or 12 hours a week on Twitter, I need to be more engaged in my kids. I need to be writing more thoughtful notes, I can’t get anything across in 280 words as evidenced by my blathering on here. So just thinking your time is finite capital and where you’re gonna get the greatest return because I’m telling you folks, Twitter is empty calories.
Andy Slavitt 34:06
Okay, Scott, hold that thought. Let’s take one more quick break. And let’s come back with a grand flurry finish with some pretty exciting stuff. We had Mark Cuban on last week. And I, I was asking him about the NBA. And he actually maybe surprised me a little bit by basically, really bear hugging, woke ism. Ed, I don’t know if you describe yourself as well, you could tell me whether you do or you don’t. And it’s become the sort of curse word. What I find interesting about you, Scott is the right tries to portray caring about other people as being wimpy, or seeing people for who they are as being a less than fully masculine trait. And, you know, you just talked about some, you know, sort of macho behaviors, you know, working out, making money, etc. But you’ve been unabashed, at least in my mind, about saying that you’re a guy who’s got a soft touch for human rights and for people and for causes. And, to me, that’s what I described as being woke.
Scott Galloway 37:33
Yeah, it’s a loaded word. And it could go a lot of different ways for me, the way I think about it is I’m thinking a lot about a modern version of masculinity and young men. And I think that embracing your gender is a wonderful thing. And it might be embracing a non-binary version of your gender. And those people, we should welcome them, we should, we should appreciate that it’s a continuum. And everyone deserves the same level of dignity and rights. But at the same time, I think if you’re identify as a man, I think embracing your masculinity in bear hugging, it is a wonderful thing. And I think there’s certain attributes that are more common among men that are wonderful. And I’m trying to figure out what that modern day version of masculinity looks like. And I think the far left did in fact, tell people that to be tried to convince men to act quite frankly, just more feminine. And I don’t think that was the right answer. I think that there are what it comes right down to for me is that I think you need to be physically and mentally strong. And the ultimate expression of masculinity is self-reliance and the ability to garner the strengths and skills such you can protect for and advocate for others. You want to be the guy in the bar that de-escalates the situation. The real man is the guy that sees a fight and de-escalated. The real man is like, maybe I don’t get your lifestyle. Maybe I don’t identify with it. Maybe I don’t understand it, but I’m gonna protect you. We’re all Americans.
Andy Slavitt 38:57
There’s something attractive to young men, about guys like musk and people like Trump. All you have to do is look at how people vote and look at kind of who his followers are, and crypto, et cetera, et cetera. I don’t think there’s an alternative vision, which says, Yeah, you can you can like some of the things that make you who you are i.e. masculine, if that’s the way you feel, but you don’t have to accept all this other trash that goes with it. I just feel like people have attached other than you historically, I think people are attaching this political, these political views and the social views to some of those attributes you described.
Scott Galloway 39:41
Some of it is our fault. Some of it is rather than having an honest conversation around the fact that for the first time a 30 year old man or woman isn’t doing as well as his or her parents rather than having honest conversation around. We no longer really respect or appreciate how risk aggressive young men can be, the Carnegie foundation gives out a 80 awards a year to people who risked their lives, their personal safety in moments of instantaneous heroism. 77 of them are men. Men are more risk aggressive, which leads to really unfortunate behavior. But it also leads to some wonderful behavior, I say, in a very crude way, when Russians come pouring over the border, you want some of that big energy. And we spent 20 years saluting correctly, the wonderful attributes that are feminine and of women, and finally giving them their overdue shot at leveling the playing field educationally. But we also have to, in my opinion, celebrate some of the masculine features. When I tell about men, I say to men, you got to be economically valuable. And if you set up a society that has no economic opportunities for men, you’re gonna have less household formation, you’re gonna have fewer kids, and you’re gonna have a population that goes into decline, and you’re gonna have less economic relevance. And you’re gonna have nations and specifically the nation’s or the most democratic and most capitalist, are going into population decline, primarily because as women become more educated, they do the math and realize having kids is a big deal for them. Single women without kids make more than single men with kids, single women with kids make a fraction of what single men with kids make. So women are doing the math and going having kids is a bad deal. Unless we have economic policies, like universal childcare, tax credit for kids economic policies that help level up all young people, including men, such that there’s more good paying jobs for young men, we’re going to have a lack of household formation, we’re going to go into population decline. And at the end of the day, this all reverse engineers to one thing, and that is how do you be happy? How do you live a rewarding life and the key is relationships. And the most important relationship you’re going to have probably is with a romantic partner and potentially with your children. And we aren’t giving young people the choice. And some of it comes down to very basic things we’re uncomfortable talking about. And that is the way people meet is on Tinder. And if you’re in the bottom half of attractiveness as a male on Tinder, you have to swipe right 200 times to get a match, 4 out of 5 times the woman will ghost you. So it’s literally impossible. Men are getting validation online that they have no worth, because they have no third places to go to, to demonstrate vibe and charm and smell and humor. So we’ve taken away economic opportunities, we’ve taken away educational opportunities, we’ve basically created Porsche polygamy online with a top 10 of attractiveness, get 80 or 90% of the mating opportunities. So we end up with a group of lonely men one and seven have no friends, the bottom half have absolutely no opportunities for mating. And a group of women are saying we’re all the good men? And the answer is they’re not educated. They don’t have the same economic opportunities. And who fills that void because we want to dress it. Andrew Tate people who come in with this bullshit, misogynist, aggressive, ridiculous toxic argument. And that creates an appropriate gag reflex. When guys like me start talking about advocating for men, everyone goes and Andrew Tate. I’m like, No, not at all. Not at all we can, we need to level up all young people such that and on the margins, men will level up more because they’ve been the most hurt by this economic war. I believe we’re fair on people under the age of 40, or 24%, less wealthy than they were 40 years ago, whereas people over the age of 60% or 72% wealthier. So if we’re gonna have an honest conversation about men, we have to have an honest conversation around mating dynamics. One quarter of men say economic viability is important and a female mate. Three quarters of women say economic viability is important. So if you don’t give men economic opportunities at a young age, we’re just not going to have kids. Marriage is becoming a luxury item. Three quarters of people in the top quartile among men are getting married the bottom quartile of men economically, only 20% of them are getting married. No one’s interested in them. The one common thing across the most unstable violent societies in the world is the following. They have a disproportionate number of young broke and lonely men. It’s the most dangerous person in the world. And they become more prone to misogynistic content, because they blame women and they have people like Andrew Tate telling they should blame women, they start demonizing immigrants, because someone tells them, they’re not economically viable because immigrants are taking their jobs, which is total bullshit. And some they become really shady citizens. So the best investment in my view we can make and I don’t think you target young men because attempts to political we need new economic policies that restore more opportunity and viability to people under the age of 40.
Andy Slavitt 44:29
Well, thank you for coming full circle on that, there was a lot of that journey. But I think, you know, you landed back to very large numbers of disaffected uneducated people, and you brought us full circle actually to Tucker Carlson. And the people that follow Tucker Carlson and probably what happens to people like this you ever you’ve got to go so I want to see if we have time for one more topic I had on my list if not out in person. Last time again. It’s a there is no transition for the last one. this one because it’s back on a business and social topic, but it’s away from the one we were just talking about. And that’s, that’s chat GPT and generative had it, I think we’re at a point where people are pondering the question, you know, what does this mean? What will it mean for us? Well, it what will it mean, for society? What will it mean for jobs for employment, for getting things done that dimension for some of the big influential companies in the country right now, I spent part of last week with Google, Microsoft and a bunch of smaller AI companies or people who are now everybody’s claiming to be an AI company. You follow stuff 100 times more closely than I do. And look, I just got through saying it’s a hard right turn from this conversation about young men. But of course, in some ways, it’s not because this may change the way people think about employment in the future. So give us your take on that. Feel free to rent and then we will let you go with gratitude for the time you spent and how fun this was.
Scott Galloway 46:01
I usually think most of these technologies are overhyped. So wearables VR, I think is ridiculous. Internet of Things, 3d printing, all overhyped. The last technology in this voice was I was excited about, I think this is huge. I just do and I think it’s going to, I think it’s going to follow the same mark as every other technological innovation that is in the short run. It will destroy jobs, it’ll present some existential threats in a catastrophizing media that wants us glued to our phone, we’ll come up with all sorts of scary things. And then over time, it’ll start to create more and more jobs. One to three jobs used to be agrarian. Now it’s one in 25. We have fewer people on the floors of automobile manufacturers, but we never envisioned car stereos or heated seats, this will create more jobs than it destroys. AI is not going to take your job, someone who understands AI is going to take your job. So you want to learn about this. You want to embrace it. If you have capital, invest in it, if you are a young person, learn about it or go to a company that has a mastery of it. But I’m actually very excited. I think it’s going to turn an information economy like ours, we’re going to produce a bunch of information economy warriors. The AI pause movement makes no sense to me, North Korea, Russia and Iran aren’t going to pause. Nor should we. And I also think it’s somewhat cynical for a lot of people calling for a pause I Elon Musk, who generally want other people to pause so they can catch up. I think it’s very cynical to call for a pause when you’re starting your own AI companies. What I think we absolutely need to do though is people like yourself, we need immediately I hate to call it a blue ribbon commission. But we need immediately need the government all over this and to establish the regulatory body that was never established with the Internet. The original sin of the internet wasn’t when advertising instead of payment, so it became attention economy and started serving images of nooses and pills and razors to kids with absolutely no oversight. We don’t have an SEC or an FDA of Tech is the biggest industry by market cap. It’s by far the most influential and there’s absolutely no regulation. We can’t make that mistake again. We need our best and brightest joining the most noble organization in the world known as the US government to ensure there’s some guardrails here, as we let the private sector flourish. As we start to understand this, I think it should be done through a national security lens. I’d like to see NATO start the equivalent of Space Force but ai forced to understand the national security threats. I think a pause is ridiculous. But generally speaking, I think it presents tremendous opportunity. But the government can’t be weaponized can’t be overrun by special interests and money and needs to form a regulatory body immediately. That understands how we ensure that there are laws in place and guardrails.
Andy Slavitt 48:42
Scott so much there, and it’s good stuff to follow up on another time. I know you gotta go. I love to have again.
Scott Galloway 48:49
You’re an automatic. Yes. Whenever I see your name on anything, the answer is yes. I’m like a thoughtful guy who served our country. I just want to be involved in anything Andy does. Anything Andy does. I’m a yes.
Andy Slavitt 49:01
Your kind. I will find the ways to take that to an extreme. So you have to say no to that. But really do appreciate it. Great. And enjoy London and we’ll catch up some more. Whatever works for you.
Scott Galloway 49:11
Yeah, I hope so. Andy, always good to be with you.
Andy Slavitt 49:27
All right. Thank you to Scott. I think that was fun. Friday show, Dr. Carmen Rojas, we’re going to talk about all the money that comes out of these bills, like the inflation Reduction Act, for example, and where that money goes and how small businesses and organizations can participate in that funding because this is really think about it, trillions of dollars but to stimulate the economy. And I don’t want to have an episode about where that money goes to make sure that people who are participating in these activities can be part of that. Then next week, our first weekly show, Wednesday is going to be a great one to start with. You know you love them. Eric Topol. We’re going to talk about what you need to know about the new recommendation about COVID boosters, and the new focus on what we’re talking about as the next gen. vaccines. Perfect show to do with our first and then the next one. Buzzfeed News, you may have heard that BuzzFeed just killed the buzz. No more news for Buzzfeed News. Interesting. So I thought we’d have on for that episode, the recent editor in chief of BuzzFeed News, same as Ben Smith, and he’s basically got a scathing point of view that I think we want to hear about what’s happened news in the age of clicks, and he would know because Buzzfeed News was kind of very much a part of that. Okay, we’ll talk to you on Friday. Thanks for tuning in.
Thanks for listening to IN THE BUBBLE. We’re a production of Lemonada Media. Kathryn Barnes, Jackie Harris and Kyle Shiely produced our show, and they’re great. Our mix is by Noah Smith and James Barber, and they’re great, too. Steve Nelson is the vice president of the weekly content, and he’s okay, too. And of course, the ultimate bosses, Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs, they executive produced the show, we love them dearly. Our theme was composed by Dan Molad and Oliver Hill, with additional music by Ivan Kuraev. You can find out more about our show on social media at @LemonadaMedia where you’ll also get the transcript of the show. And you can find me at @ASlavitt on Twitter. If you like what you heard today, why don’t you tell your friends to listen as well, and get them to write a review. Thanks so much, talk to you next time.