041 "Unsubstantiated, Unverifiable, and Indisputably Entertaining" - The Fifth Column

The Fifth Column - Analysis, Commentary, Sedition
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After a day of confirmation hearings and protesters in pink t-shirts, amid growing uncertainty about the future of Obama Care, and just ahead of President Obama's Farewell Address in Chicago; a dossier filled with potentially explosive and definitively explicit allegations about the incoming President-Elect explodes onto the scene. Is it accurate? Where did it come from? Has Trump been compromised?  Wait -- did someone say "golden shower"? WOULD YOU PLEASE SHUT UP -- WE'RE STILL TRYING TO READ THE DAMN THING!


Almost a year after being run out of Slate for possession of an unpopular opinion, journalist and podcaster Mike Pesca joins the Fifth for his first post-controversy conversation about why how it all went down, when banal opinions became "harassment," and what we can expect from the The Gist 2.0.

  • Is Kmele being prioritized for Covid treatment? Because, ya know...
  • Mike Pesca gets pushed out of Slate (for referencing, but not saying, a magic word)
  • Bull Connor's boss, Steve
  • A "harassment-worthy" opinion
  • Was anyone brave and did they call bullshit? Ummm...
  • N-words and Mohammad cartoons
  • Insert $5 for more podcast
  • Kmele's Kovid fog
  • The roughest period of Mike's life, ever
  • The new, new journalism
  • Hating Joe Rogan
  • You don't have the truth, journalists. But you can get there
  • The Gist's approchal
  • Moynihan likes The Gist. Except that one episode...
  • The media is atomized. Or maybe balkanized
  • Coleman is a good rapper
  • Don't catastrophize the normal


342 "DRAFT"


He's brilliant. He has a Pulitzer Prize, And he's totally jacked. New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg, who was at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 and could definitely kick your ass, joins the Fifth to reflect on the riot, coup, insurrection, revolution, putsch, mass hate crime...whatever you want to call it. But hang around after the Rosenberg Coup Hour for a freewheeling postgame meditation on legal crime in New York City, upbraiding Moynihan for his bad parenting skills, and the secret ghostwriters behind Kmele's Twitter account...

*Note: It's someone else's fault, obviously, but allow us to extend a half-hearted apology for the slightly subpar (occasional but not terrible) audio quality on one of our mics. If this was a Patreon episode and you forked over cash--which you really, really should do--our regrets would be far more groveling and effusive. But you skinflints and freeloaders can just deal with it....

  • A Covid Christmas
  • A Merry Kwanzaa
  • Before you eulogize the dead, I have stupid tweet you should consider
  • Matt sort of emptywheels Harry Reid
  • Planes, Trains, and superspreader events
  • Yes, there are no tests
  • The usual Covid frustrations
  • The Webb Hubbell telescope
  • The Memorial shutdown
  • The non-historians lecture us on history
  • Destroy the idols of Americanism
  • What on Earth is the Flatbush Remonstrance?

Back for his third (we think?) visit, the scourge of crackpots and charlatans, America's greatest ginger, and our favorite congressman...Rep. Peter Meijer!

  • Look, it's not a great time for the Republican Party
  • Unity! Now get the fuck out
  • What Rep, Meijer wrong about January 6th
  • Dear Congress: gimme some truth about January 6th
  • Why Nancy Pelosi wanted impeachment to fail
  • To get out of an anti-democratic moment, we must have even less democracy
  • "You voted to impeach and your career has been weird ever since" - Matt Welch
  • Was that terrorism? Or just a bunch of delusional losers
  • Is the insurrection investigation the job of congress or...historians?
  • He's "fucking furious"
  • Exit question to Rep. Meijer: What say you about Julian Assange?
  • "Just find out about the UFOs" - Kmele Foster
  • An hour of post-Meijer postgame
  • A mask for Dmitrios: remembering Kmele's trip to Greece
  • Pack the court! / Kmele's insane Elizabeth Warren impression
  • Unlike most rich people, Elon acts like a rich person
  • Merry Christmas, wokeness is over (if DeSantis wants it)

Jussie Smollett's years-long legal drama careening toward its conclusion. New York City enacts the countries most expansive (and ill-conceived) COVID restrictions. While the Biden Administration sends diplomatic shots at Xi in China and navigates an increasingly tumultuous situation with Putin in Russia.

  • Kmele's New York State of Mind
  • Creep Show
  • Playin' Journalist
  • Diplomatic Games + Human Rights
  • Blaming Everything on NATO (and Biden)
  • Russia Hawks
  • No Justice for Jussie
  • Elite Lives Matter
  • Yoko/Lennon
  • McLaughlin Psychic Friends Network

Joining us for his third appearance on the Fifth, one of the sexiest men on planet Earth, the man with his own cam, the smartest and least partisan person on cable news...Massachusetts's own Steve Kornacki!

  • Thank you North Dakota roughnecks
  • The dust clears in VA and NJ...and Kornacki tells us what it all means
  • Will the Republican Party divorce Trump?
  • Voters, crime, and culture wars
  • Remember when Alan Keyes was MAKING SENSE???
  • How much power does the progressive caucus *really* have?
  • Massachusetts Steve is obsessed with Mike Dukakis
  • Biden, polling, and the Afghanistan debacle
  • Partisanship and the history of cable news
  • We know little, but Waukesha already proves so much
  • Quiet Steve Kornacki....is one of the good ones
  • And so, so, so much more!

w/ Jonathan Adler, Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law @ Case Western Reserve University

- Three Stacks

- Kanye ♥️ Drake

- Steve Bannon's Day in Court

- Google That

- Hurry Up, Charge Him!

- Black Panthers, Communist and MAGA Corps (Oh, My)

- Seeing What We Want

- Rittenhouse Rorschach

- (Still More) Media Malpractice

Recorded: November 17th, 2021

Published: November 19th, 2021

  • Way Too Sexy
  • Crypto Art
  • Miss Universe (Can Get It)
  • Fifth Coin
  • "A Bad Gal Dat"
  • Palliative Journalism
  • Virginia is for Hustlers
  • The Trouble w/ Complicated
  • Was Rufo Right? (No)
  • We're Very Sorry (But We Keepin Your Stuff)
  • Map Makers + Freak Shows

Recorded: 11/5/21

Published: 11/7/21


w/ Zaid Jilani, former reporter at The Intercept and current substacker (inquiremore.com)

  • Kmele, missing in a mudslide?
  • Zaid, the most left-wing staffer at the Center for American Progress
  • Cable news is horrible / Jeff Toobin slays white supremacy
  • School board chaos in Virginia
  • Creating wee lil' apparatchiks
  • Why do we care about the stupid VA governor's race?
  • Words don't mean anything anymore, part 322
  • We are all India-Pakistan now
  • The steady hand in DC is trembling
  • Dumb Republicans still have no economic program
  • Dear lord, she's wearing a vest!
  • The collapsing Biden economic agenda
  • Is Kyrsten Sinema a bad politician? Bad dresser? Bad bisexual?
  • Matt discovers his white privilege (and he likes it)

Recorded: 10/28/21

Posted: 10/28/21


w/ Ethan Strauss, (HNIC @ "House of Strauss" / Substack)

  • Enemy of the Syntax
  • Ethiopian Royalty
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall
  • Leaving the Athletic
  • Not Just for Sports Fans
  • Breaking for Black Bodies
  • NBA Vax Mandates
  • Obama Decides to Be Black
  • "Racist" Emails
  • Moynihan's First Job
  • Double 0' Sistas
  • Jokes that Kill (But Not Actually)

Recorded: 10/16/21

Published: 10/14/21


w/ Robby Soave, (Senior Editor @ Reason - Author, "Tech Panic")

  • Oral Surgery
  • Buying Robby's Book
  • How Facebook (Isn't) Destroying The World
  • Incompetent + ill-informed
  • Please, Think of The Teenagers
  • A Vintage Moral Panic
  • Mark Zuckerberg's Body Count
  • Victims + Victors
  • Messy Speech
  • When Google Becomes Microsoft
  • 26 Words (That Created the Internet)
  • About That FBI Memo
  • The Darkest Day in American History
  • The Great Culture War Vortex
  • Americas' Dumbest Holiday

Recorded: 10/6/21

Published: 10/10/21


w/ Katie Herzog, Host @ "Blocked and Reported"

  • Stay in Your Hood
  • So Many Sources
  • Dog Run Confidential
  • What Emma Knew
  • Katie's Nightmare
  • How Did You Get This Number
  • Cool Off
  • Denzel Was Drinking
  • More Shaft
  • Very Heavily Redacted
  • Even More Heavily Redacted
  • Two Spirits
  • Wizard of Ozy

Recorded: 9/30/21

Published: 10/2/21


W/ Antonio Garcia Martínez, Propritor @ "The Pull Request"

  • False Start
  • Driven to Drink
  • Cultural Valley ("Crazy Ones Need Not Apply")
  • Mission Protocols
  • The Full NYT Software Download
  • Section 230
  • The Devil in the Details
  • A Conservative War on Big Tech
  • Stormfront / SJW
  • An Uncertain Future
  • GOP 🥰 FDR
  • A Crypto First Economy
  • We Probably Can't Get Along?
  • Amazon vs. Google vs. Apple vs. Facebook
  • Nancy Pelosi: Project Manager?
  • Pull Request
  • Le Tech Blog
  • Rendered Absurd By Time
  • From Nokia to MSNBC to Google Wave...
  • "Will it Pass?" - Infrastructure Edition
  • "Will it Pass?" - George Floyd Edition
  • False Stop

Recorded: 9/22/21

Published: 9/24/21


- Bacon Egg and Cheese (Late Capitalism Edition)

- The Met Gala -- America's Most Glamours Tax Shelter

- Hetro Negative

- No Sex Cults for Kmele

- Democrat Wins Most Democratic State

- Larry Elder: White Nationalist?

- The Republican Trump Conundrum

- How Long Can Democrats Run Against Donald Trump

- "She was in coach!"

- Covid Hospitlziations, Vaccine Booster Controversy

- Protecting the Vaccinated

- Bob Woodward's New Trump Book

- Gen Mark Milley Called the CCP

- Trump: 'Withdrawl all the troops. Nuke China. Stop the steal!"

- Stop the Steal Part Deux

- As Afghanistan Dispeares from the Headlines

- Me Love You Long Time

Recorded: 9/15/21

Published: 9/16/21


-- Aussie Impressions of a Missing Moynihan

-- A Gay Dad’s Homophobia

-- Australian Federalism; Who Knew?

-- Libertarianism, Shmibertarianism!

-- Islands Are Weird, Man

-- QR Covid Tracking Is Totally Fine

-- Concentration Camp or Exercise Yard?

-- Anti-Science Quarantines

-- What Tucker Carlson Got Wrong

-- What Tyler Cowen Got Right

-- The CRT/Abortion Parallels

-- He’ll Come Visit Just as Soon as He Can Escape!


- Lead Astray

- Wrong Line

- Blues Traveler

- Sugar in his Tank

- When in Kabul

- Repeal/Replace/Keep the AUMF for another 20 years?

- Matt's Basement is Flooding (No, Really)

- 1/2 Trimester

- The Reverend Dr. James P Eagle Sr

- The Rule of Law

- Playin Coach

- Reading Playboy for the... Ads?

Recorded: 9/1/21

Published: 9/2/21


W/ Eli Lake, Opinion Columnist @ Bloomberg

- New Dad

- Moynihan's Big Night Out

- Things to Remember (or Naw)

- Meet Gutter (He Kidnaps Kids)

- Whose on Top

- The Most Inevitable Thing in the World

- Hard Limits

- Public Sentiments

- Vietnam Syndrome

- Hip Hop Conservatives

- Afghan Clean Up

- The Afghanistan Variant

Recorded: 8/23/21

Published: 8/25/21


W/ David French

- Various Notes on the Amy Cooper Interview

- The Enablers

- Earnest Disagreement

- The Two Illiberal Wings of Twitter

- False Dichotomies, All The Way Down

- Negative Partisanship and the Politics of Animosity

- When ‘Your’ Base Turns on You

- The Home Teams Defect

- Structural, Systemic, Real, Imagined

- Revising the CRT Bans

- The Empty Promise of CRT

Published: 8/10/21

  • Coco Shoots Her Shot
  • Gangs All Here
  • New York is Back**
  • Real Winners Don't Bother Trying 
  • Carrying MJ Off The Floor
  • Just Quit
  • Masks + Superstition
  • Save the Babies
  • Surprise 🎁
  • The Stories We Refuse to Tell Ourselves
  • If It Happened

Recorded: 7.27.2021

Published: 7.29.2021


w/ Jonathan Rauch @ Author of "The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth." Senior fellow @BrookingsInst. Contributing writer @TheAtlantic.

- I Heart Lizzo

- Where Things When Wrong

- Flooding the Zone

- Breaking Journalism

- The Humanitarian Threat and Moral Clarity

- Cancel Culture, Information Warfare, Social Coercion

- Truth + Checking

- Greatest Leap Forward

- Ibram Orwell

- Bans, Martyrs, Inevitable Failure

- Separate, Equal. Same Great Taste.

Recorded: 7.6.2021

Published: 7.9.2021


"Well, it's my show. So, it's how I wanna do it." - Joy-Ann Reid

"I can do what I wanna do." - Bobby Brown

"Whateva! Whateva! I do what I want!" - Eric Cartman

w/ Chris Rufo @ Senior Fellow, The Manhattan Institute -- Contributing Editor, City Journal

- When Rufo Met Reid

- The Art of Culture War

- Activist Journalist

- Critical Race Theory: Boardroom, College Campus, Neighborhood Preschool

- Bans, Censorship, Pedagogy, Choice

- Machiavellian Realisim, Pyrrhic Victories

- Classical Liberal Caution, Libaratiran Naïveté

- The "Last" Word

- Creed Wars and Culture Wars

- Welch Reviews Robin DiAngelo's "Nice Racism"

- "Doing The Work"

- Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable

- Pro Criminal Justice Reforms + Pro Putting People Under the Jail

- Broken Promises

Recorded: 6.30.2021

Published: 7.2.2021


  • Kmele reveals his big secret!
  • What on Earth is a "coupon Karen"?
  • When Shaun Was King
  • When Kmele was king of Juneteenth
  • Measuring the outrage economy
  • Measuring the wages of junk history
  • Racist car crashes
  • "When the people fail, the concept fails"
  • The end of Afghanistan (the war / the country)
  • There's a perpetual riot goin' on
  • Another CRT digression
  • RIP to an entertaining, insane, narcissistic, possible murderer

New York Daily News columnist Harry Siegel joins TFC for the first hour to talk all things New York (with a focus on halfwit mayoral candidates jockeying to replace a halfwit mayor). But if you don't care about kvetching, NYCentric coastal elites, the back half of the show is, as usual, about how coastal elites are dumb, joyless, and boring. Something for everyone.

- New York is back? Harry is back to tell us it never went away

- Harry would rather be an effete, elitist jerk wearing his mask too long, thank you very much

- The New York City mayoral race tells us nothing about America

- The weirdness of Eric Adams

- Check the crime, y'all

- "Desegregating" NYC schools

Harry Siegel Postgame

- The increasingly annoying CRT debate

- Defining truth in an era of lies

- Pointless: the Joe and Vlad summit

- More cyber war hawkishness from Moynihan (obviously)

- The lessons we never learn from 9/11

- The dangers of political violence--and of opposing (certain) political violence

- You're wrong about Jeff Bezos's taxes


Florida is open for business, so The Fifth Column flung its masks into the garbage and headed to the Sunshine State for back-to-back live shows in Miami (coming soon to Patreon!) and a poolside recording in Key West (hence that hollow sound). Nursing hangovers and gasping in the heat, the lads stumble through the following pressing (and pointless) topics:

- Those Miami shows were pretty fun, eh?

- Wait, why exactly are we in Florida?

- Kmele thinks Creepy Joe wasn't being creepy

- The global minimum tax is dumb

- Ransomware everywhere

- This not wearing masks things is pretty great, innit?

- COVID addicts, COVID miscellany

- Kmele on the Fauci emails: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

- The end of Tiananmen

- State violence works

- And so very much more...


w/ Jane Coaston @ (Host, "The Argument" @ The New York Times)

  • Take Four
  • From Vox to NYT's "Rising Libertarian Star" 
  • Coming Out
  • John Brown
  • The Black Community
  • Appraisal of America's Racial Reckoning
  • The New Culture War
  • Anti-Racist Classrooms and Workplaces
  • Slightly Off Mic
  • Whole Foods Edge Lord
  • Panics, Counter-Panics, Counter-Counter-Panics

Recorded: 5.28.2021

Published: 6.2.2021

  • Radical Honesty
  • A Year of (Racial) Reckoning
  • Losing the Thread
  • George Floyd
  • Amy Cooper, Christian Cooper... and the other dog walkers?
  • Covering Lab Leaks and UFOs
  • The Death of Truth
  • The Myth of Objectivity
  • Journalism for the Real World
  • Boston Basketball (and racial slurs)
  • Trump Grand jury

Recorded May 26, 2021


w/ Congressman Peter Meijer (R-MI)

  • Crypto Bloodbath
  • UFOs -- or are they UAPs
  • The Jan 6th Commission (Part I)
  • Lori Lightfoot Won't Talk To White Journalists
  • Homeless in San Francisco
  • The White Man's Burden
  • A Call from Peter
  • About That Vote
  • The Revolt of the Public
  • The Feels
  • The Truth is Out There

Recorded May 19, 2021


The lads (minus Kmele, recently felled by his second Pfizer shot) welcome Los Angeles Times columnist Gustavo Arellano, host of the new LAT podcast "The Times" and author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. Note that after an hour of Gustavo's trademark Southern California/Mexican smack talk--in which he defends Taco Bell, ruminates on "LatinX," explains "Tio Tacos" and "Chicanosauruses," and describes American ethnic tensions that don't involve white people (!)--Moynihan and Welch return to discuss the on-going disasters in Israel, the economy, and the Republican Party.

Sure, everything is awful. But as always, The Fifth Column is here to point out just how awful and reassure you that it absolutely won't get better in the near future.

Recorded May 12, 2021


- The Fifth Column live in Miami! Is this the post-COVID Gilluming you’ve been waiting for?

- Matt is Drudged: equity v. equality

- Racism becomes more systemic, less specific 

- Basecamp asks employees to leave politics at the door…or head for the door

- Are a bunch of smart libertarian legal scholars wrong or super wrong?

- The Socialist Network: the GOP wants to compel Facebook to be nice to DJT

- The GOP wants to compel Liz Cheney to stop being mean to DJT

- Matt and Kmele yell at each other about Hillary Clinton and DJT

- And so very much more....


w/ Paul Rossi (Math Teacher and Writer)


A verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, is an undeniable milestone for the entire country with wide-ranging implications for American media, politics, and culture. Had things gone differently, America would likely have seen another outbreak of "mostly peaceful protest" -- seasons with healthy smatterings of outright political violence.

And in K-12 classrooms across the country, another phase of America's 'racial justice' cultural war continues to play out. Paul Rossi joins our distinguished triumvirate to share details of the still-unfolding drama he incited by voicing opposition to one elite Manhattan private school's critical race theory-inspired antiracism programming.


  • Adam Toledo
  • Ma'Khia Bryant
  • "Kindly Inquisitors"
  • Why one Miami Venue REFUSED to host @wethefifth live recording (Hint: "It's cause somebody got' that transphobia." SMH)

Recorded: 4.21.2021

Published: 4.23.2021

"Just cuz I'm a freak, don't mean that we could hit the sheets" - Gregory Jacobs


"What you think all the guns is for?" - Christopher Wallace

w/ Alex Nowrasteh (Director of Immigration Studies @ The Cato Institute)

A supersized dispatch, because fully resolving the various problems in America's immigration and criminal justice system -- takes a little time. Especially when you're forced to contend w/ WHITE SUPREMACY [Insert Ghost Emoji]. It's kinda like a podcast-mixtape.


  • The Curious State of US Immigration
  • Reality, Theater, Textbook Political + Bureaucratic Failure 
  • The Welfare State vs Open Borders 
  • The (Great?) Replacement
  • AOC's Plan
  • Kamala's Rope-A-Dope


  • DMX, Shawn Kemp, Bob Marley
  • Humble Beginnings
  • The Defense Rests
  • Where the Hell is Brooklyn Center
  • The Word You're Looking For is "Discharge"
  • Live Tweeting
  • We're Going to South Beach

Recorded: 4.14.2021

Published: 4.17.2021

1 Bitcoin = $61,041.60

  • Hunter "Squirtle" Biden
  • Matt "Making Arrangements" Gaetz
  • Adventures in the Havana Hilton?
  • When Everything is Sex Trafficking? (Not Exactly)
  • A New Era of Bipartisanship
  • Win Ben Stein's Heart
  • The American Metaphor Council
  • Who's D riving the Democratic Party
  • China and Bitcoin
  • Self Correcting Journalism
  • Tweets Bad. Accessory to the murder of a Judge -- we have to be understanding
  • Kmele Loves Guns
  • Universal Basic Income for Mom's of Color
  • Structural Racism Tamagotchi
  • Harrison Bergeron General Hospital

Recorded April 8th, 2021

Published April 9th, 2021


(In No Particular Order)

  • Live From New York
  • CDC Press Conference 
  • Mask Etiquette
  • Derek Chauvin on Trial (Week 1)
  • Eight Fingers Left
  • Tar Babies
  • A Thing Greater Than Yourself
  • Voter Suppression 2.0
  • Corporate Welfare
  • Five Pinocchios
  • Ending Ken Burns
  • The Cowardly Doormen

Recorded April 1st, 2021

Published April 3rd, 2021



  • Kmele Loses an Entire Dispatch
  • Moynihan's Most Racist Voice
  • Important Homework
  • What We Might Have Talked About
  • Mass Shootings
  • Hate Crime Hysterics and Lies
  • Ending the War in Afghanistan
  • Nationa Building
  • Whale Watching + 400 Years of Suffering
  • Leaving Sesame Street

Recorded March 25th, 2021

Published March 26th, 2021


Guest: Jeffery Sachs, Lecturer in Politics @ Acadia University

  • Snyder Cut
  • Sympathy for Dictators
  • Useful Pretense of Justice
  • How Did Sachs Get It So Wrong
  • State of the New Culture War
  • Free Speech Hypocrisy
  • The Left Is Worse, Right?
  • Power Imbalance
  • Coastal Myopia
  • What if We're Wrong (Again*)

Recorded March 18th, 2021

Published March 22th, 2021