Two Cents podcast episode 6: The presidential debate and social media

By Sevak Harutyunyan and Lou Pendergrass

Sevak Harutyunyan and Lou Pendergrass sit down to discuss the presidential debate and social media influence on politics.

Find us:@vnhsmirror, @sevaktho, @novafaeries. Any advertising questions may be directed to Isabela Diaz through the email [email protected]

TRANSCRIPT
Sevak, Lou Pendergrass

Sevak
Hello, everybody, and welcome back to the two cents podcast as always, I’m your host Sevak Harutyunyan.

Lou Pendergrass
And I’m Lou Pendergrass.

Sevak
This is Episode Six. And we have quite a lot to talk about this week as a lot has happened. For instance, Donald Trump has Coronavirus. Yeah. What a shocker.

Lou Pendergrass
I mean, all those open-air rallies, events, meeting with people who had it not wearing masks, I would say that’s probably a major contributing factor to why he got it.

Sevak
It’s almost like not believing it exists, is bad.

Lou Pendergrass
And it’s almost like not taking it seriously. And do you legitimizing the threat that the American public is also bad?

Sevak
Who would have guessed not me? Not in a million years? Oh, this isn’t? This isn’t good. I mean, I know there’s a lot of people were happy that it happened, because obviously, they want to see him die, which I don’t condone. I don’t believe anybody should wish for someone else to be killed. But either way, this is just going to make the people who already don’t believe even more open to not believe it’s an actual threat because he’s the president. There’s no way he’s going to succumb to the Coronavirus. They have him on the best medical plan ever. People are gonna assume Oh, he survived. Which means I’ll survive. Even though no, you won’t, because you don’t have nearly the Medicare or health care required to afford everything he did and to get the cocktail of mixed drugs that he got.

Lou Pendergrass
Yeah. And another thing I would like to mention is that Trump and the GOP do not support or do not support universal health care. But Trump was treated at the Walter Reed Hospital, completely free of charge. Of course, he was. Yeah. And I don’t know if you saw pictures from that. But it’s a hospital suite.

Sevak
Did you see the pictures he took to make it look like he was still working? Right? In reality? Yeah, they took pictures of him to make it look like he was working, even though he had COVID. In reality, they just put props in his hands, fake sites, fake listings, fake signatures. And if you look at the metadata of the pictures, they were taken four to five minutes apart. So it was clearly staged. But it’s like, do you not plan ahead, you’re the government, you’re the president, you don’t think that maybe I should delete the metadata. So people don’t realize that these are all faked. And maybe I should put a little more effort into the pictures to make it look a little more real, rather than, hey, look, a paper in my hand that I’m signing?

Lou Pendergrass
Well, not just that, too. I mean, that’s a fair point. I didn’t even know that. But upon zooming into the photographs, he is clearly not doing anything. He just has a sharpie in his hand and a bunch of blank sheets of paper and he’s writing his name.

Sevak
The most interesting part of that picture is that he’s white. He’s not orange in that picture. He looks pale. That’s the first time in a long time I’ve seen his actual skin color.

Lou Pendergrass
What COVID does, takes away or wipes away. Yeah, and I mean, we’ve seen obviously, he’s back in the white house now. But there’s a video of him really struggling to breathe. And he also had the day before he left like a caravan for his supporters, where he was in an enclosed car with six Secret Service agents. And no one was wearing a mask and he presented masks and he potentially bred that to them so he could get some good photo ops was virtually I’m positive if you spread that to them. Yeah. And then when he left, he’s, I mean, two days, okay. The man is 74 years old. overweight. drinks, a lot of coke and other sodas.Yeah. consumes mostly Big Macs every day for dinner. And the most exercise he does is golfing. There’s no way in hell. my great aunt, who’s about his age healthier than him takes care of her body. You know, exercise regularly eats good food. has been in the hospital for a week now, but he got out in two days I’m there is no way he’s recovered from that. And then also he was like He said that he was given the vaccine and that because of the vaccine, he felt better than he had in years. I was seeing some of his supporters claim that that’s the vaccine does, but I feel like they’re missing a key thing with vaccines. The purpose of a vaccine is preventative medicine, it’s to give you usually it’s a weakened strain of the virus so that your white blood cells come into contact with it and know how to fight it are familiar with it. So that’s why usually the first two days after you get a vaccine, not usually, but for some people, you can feel a little sick. And, you know, when you get the shot, it makes your muscles sore. And it may take a little bit for that to feel better. Or if you get a bruise or something sort of slows down your immune system for a little bit. It’s, it’s supposed to familiarize your antibodies with the virus. It does not. It’s not a virus magic away shot.

Sevak
Yeah not only that, but he was also on what I can only describe as a metric shit ton of steroids.

Lou Pendergrass
Yeah, a bunch of lung steroids.

Sevak
And it’s like, he’s tweeted he, when he was on those steroids, he tweeted at least 100 tweets of just random nonsense. And his supporters were like, yeah, whoo, you’re gonna beat it. It’s like, are you not seeing like, are you not realizing that this man is losing his mind? He’s like, because of how many steroids he’s on?

Lou Pendergrass
Yeah. And he was they all ended in like, Make America Great Again or something he was. There is no way he is healthy. I’m not a conspiracy theorist. But there is no way that man has fully recovered on oxygen for two days, like,

Sevak
and it’s so much like both to cover it up. It’s like his doctor was like, Yeah, he’s got a perfect oxygen level. It’s like, oh, because he was on oxygen. Like,

Lou Pendergrass
no, you gave him supplemental oxygen. I wonder why his oxygen levels would be perfect. After several hours of giving him oxygen! hmm, I’m no doctor but

Sevak
This is a little This is a little off-topic. But you would think of a man who’s a billionaire with spent a little more money on his diet than just eating Big Macs. You know, if I was a billionaire, I’d be eating lobster every day personally, not hamburger I can get for two bucks.

Lou Pendergrass
Well, the thing is, as revealed for his taxes a couple of weeks ago, he is probably not a billionaire, considering he apparently owes the IRS hundreds of millions of dollars. So you know, that’s probably why Yeah.

Sevak
It’s kind of insane how much you can get away with? I don’t understand why you would think the IRS wouldn’t be going for these small people who owe why grand, two grand, 10 grand, and putting them in jail, rather than you know, the president who owes you hundreds of millions of dollars? It’s a little ridiculous, isn’t it?

Lou Pendergrass
Yeah, I would think the same. But I also would like to point out that, I mean, largely the way our government functions and the way it was created was to protect the interests of private property owners, which was rich people. So of course, the IRS is gonna, you know, bother all the poor people the most about a blind guy. Yeah, about going to that person who owes

Sevak
but then newer you.

Lou Pendergrass
Yeah, the president owes hundreds of millions and it’s like, Okay. Oh, just, we’ll come collect in a few years.

Sevak
Do you think secretly his family realizes and they’re just they have to go with it because it would be a professional to show this name for your father?

Lou Pendergrass
his close family-like Melania and Baron have to know because they’re like living with them. And maybe his uh, his kids, his other kids do too. But his other kids also have their own business ventures, so they don’t really need his money. If that is the case. Like Ivanka is married to a really wealthy dude. And all of his other children have done fairly well for themselves, of course, because they receive money from their father.

Sevak
Just like he received money from his father.

Lou Pendergrass
Yes. small loans of hundreds of thousands, millions, millions of dollars. Yeah, um, so I mean, it wouldn’t surprise me They knew and they probably know a bunch of stuff. The public is not about his health and about the state of his finances. But there’s no way they’re gonna tell him

Sevak
Has there been any report on how his wife is handling COVID I’ve only heard about him.

Lou Pendergrass
Yeah, I haven’t seen anything either.

Sevak
For all we know, she’s dead.

Lou Pendergrass
You know, she’s not dead. She, I mean, I did see that. When they got back to the White House. She wasn’t in the caravan. But, um, the pictures that were taken of them arriving back at the White House and him,

Sevak
like, shows a hearse behind them.

Lou Pendergrass
She was with him. So you know, she’s still alive. But all the cupboard really has been focused on him. I Well, that makes sense, because he’s the president. Um,

Sevak
but yeah, I mean, she’s a supermodel. Right? If I’m not mistaken. She was like a professional model for something. Yeah.

Lou Pendergrass
Yeah. I think that’s actually how she met him through modeling ventures.

Sevak
So have you seen the video where the reporter asks her to crack a smile? And as a professional model, if she could, she can’t even do that, because of everything that’s going on. It’s kind of depressing.

Lou Pendergrass
Like everything that’s going on, or the fact that she has an excess of filler in her face? Well, I

Sevak
mean, even with the filler, I’ve seen her smile. So that’s probably the first one.

Lou Pendergrass
She is, um, interesting. She, for a while, I sort of was just like, neutral on her. But then, recently, those tapes came out of her where she was like saying, screw the kids at the border and stuff like that, like the kids that are separated from their parents and in cages. And just her complicity and violence, like I remember when she first like the first campaign she announced was her anti-bullying campaign and I have never been like, so your help you’re holding an anti-cyberbullying campaign while your husband that’s

Sevak
cyberbullying all of his opponents?

Lou Pendergrass
Yeah, for he doesn’t do that on Twitter, in the lead up to the election, and still does it all the time. So maybe

Sevak
is there a law that Twitter has to give him a Twitter account? Are they not allowed to ban him? I’m there’s

Lou Pendergrass
not really much legislation or surrounding tech companies and stuff like that, because the thing is, and this is why a lot of like alt right people, or just people on the right in general and some people on the left, but it’s mostly Ivan’s people on the right, will get their accounts banned or get tweets and stuff, or post taken down because Twitter is not the government there’s no guarantee of free speech in any social media site. It’s a private business so they can decide to regulate it however they want. Facebook has a lot less regulation, which is why like, I don’t know if you’ve looked into this at all. But the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar, a lot of that spread, and anti-Rohingya attitudes spread because of Facebook and Qanon conspiracies.

Sevak
Facebook is curious because they have like, it’s not like they don’t have a lot of strict free speech laws, or not laws but rules, but it’s more so they say badly implemented. I have seen comics like joke comics get taken down like cyanide and happiness is a comic I frequently read it’s like a funny little, you know, gag comic, frequently, those will get the creators banned on Facebook. But then I see a video of a man committing suicide and it’s up there for a week. So I think it’s less they don’t have a filter more. So they’re just really bad at enforcing that filter.

Lou Pendergrass
Yeah. And I mean, they do have rules and stuff like that. But like what I was saying with the Rohingya genocide they only had So for the most part, Facebook uses bot moderators to filter through content and of course,

Sevak
they’ll flag

Lou Pendergrass
Yeah, they’ll flag some explicit stuff, but they can’t really or they aren’t good, like the YouTube algorithm not good at detecting the difference between sarcasm jokes and actual sincere you yeah, so Facebook is similar, but along with that, for as far as the situation in Myanmar They do have some, like the US and whatever country Facebook is in, they’ll employ some actual human content moderators. For cases that are more severe or the bot can’t tell the difference. in Myanmar, they only had one. And a lot of anti-Rohingya content was just like slipped through or recommended. And that’s also part of the reason why with YouTube and Facebook, I feel like, in the US, it’s so easy for you to go from just being like a political to going down the ALT right, pipeline because you watch ones like anti-feminist video or anti-SJW video or something, and now

Sevak
Facebook is terrible with that, too.

Lou Pendergrass
Yeah, it just goes up in severity from there. Like if you watch more of that recommendations flooded, then they’ll give you more severe and more radical content. And you just fall right down that hole. That’s the same way for Facebook. That’s how a lot of people Trump supporters became, you know, queuing on conspiracy spreaders. It’s, I mean, I don’t think the government I wish they would intervene more. But I also do think that at least the way our Constitution is set up, that would definitely be a government, you know,

Sevak
they definitely have the money to employ more human moderators. That’s not what the issue is. I don’t know, like with YouTube. Recently, they so there’s been this YouTuber who has been recording himself, torturing and murdering animals. And he’s got around 50,000 subscribers or something. It took four or three of the biggest content creators on YouTube to call that out for YouTube to even take action. And even after they didn’t take action until about a month or two later.

Lou Pendergrass
Oh my god. Yeah, I remember something also happening similar with tik tok. There’s this creator, Gemini official who, And he was like, people would post stuff in his comments and stuff like that. And he would just like flaunted or make fun of them. And it took Tick Tock like weeks about people. Yeah, people reporting him. creators making videos like get this guy.

Sevak
One of the biggest creators had to personally call him out his video got 2 Million Likes, and they still took him all week to delete his account. It’s actually funny, because now that his account has gone, one person took his account name and started posting stuff like I’m back and people’s comments, and then BB click on his account and it just like, haha, you know? Yeah.

Lou Pendergrass
I mean, hey, the username is up for grabs. Yeah, a lot of the social media platforms are so bad at regulating stuff like that. Because those sort of spirals, get them more clicks, more views, more ads.

Sevak
And it’s the reason it’s a reason people become desensitized. Like, I’m desensitized to most of the internet, because from a young age, there’s no content filter. I’m not saying there should be a content filter, the content filter should be your parents. Your parents should dictate what you’re watching. And if they don’t, that’s their fault. I don’t I’m not saying condemn anyone or make anything like if the YouTube algorithm suggests it, that sucks, but it’s preventable by yourself and by parents.

Lou Pendergrass
Yeah, and I agree with that to an extent. But I also feel like if we want to live in a society with knowledgeable and informed, you know, internet users, there also needs to be some accountability on the part of these massive companies like Tick tock, Twitter, Facebook, they can’t just completely get away and

Sevak
leave all the blame should be put on them. I believe if you’re the type of person who just reads a specific, like a specific thing, a specific article or specific video and you’re like, Okay, my entire belief is based on that now, then you shouldn’t be on the internet in the first place. The Internet isn’t for you. Because you can’t be doing that. You can’t read one thing and then decide, okay, now my entire belief system is based on this one thing that I saw, with no evidence to back it up.

Lou Pendergrass
That’s true. But I mean, once you get more into that, like most queueing on supporters, and I’ve been talking about it as if people know what it is. So I’m just gonna explain.

Sevak
Yeah, I’m gonna be honest, I don’t know where to run on is.

Lou Pendergrass
Okay, so did you remember hearing about the pizza gate conspiracy theory from your

Sevak
gamer? I know GamerGate I don’t know, pizza gate.