340 "Merry Kovid Kwanzaa, Madden the Death Merchant, the Flatbush Remonstrance"

The Fifth Column - Analysis, Commentary, Sedition
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  • 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?

Guest: Katie Herzog, HOST @ "Blocked & Reported"

  • Keeping Secrets
  • Coming 2 America
  • Transphobia is Bad
  • A Most Prescient Cancelation
  • Say THE WORD, Katie
  • They'll Never Give You A Reson
  • The Tax Code is Racist
  • Plato's Utopia
  • Rescue Package in Name Only
  • Tucker Carlson, Mean Person
  • Tinker Taylor, Toy Soldier
  • Virtual Ball Busting
  • Pretending Things Ain't Complicated
  • The Shape of A Joke
  • The Many Trials of George Floyd
  • RIP DC

Recorded March 10th, 2021

Published March 12th, 2021


Guest: Ben Smith, Media Columnist @ The New York Times

  • From BuzzFeed to The NYT
  • When Your Bosses are Kinda THE Story
  • Why We Can't Stop Talking About The Times
  • Newsroom Cultural
  • White Privilege and Employee Orientation
  • Resignations*
  • Caliphate vs. 1619
  • "My Notebook Remains Open"
  • Losing the Newsroom
  • You Will Sign This Letter
  • Vanilla Mandella
  • Biggie Smalls
  • When Van Met Ibram X
  • Simple, Elegant, Almost Certainly Wrong
  • Things Get Worse for Cuomo

Recorded March 2nd, 2021

Published March 4th, 2021


Guest: Matt Taibbi @ Contributing Editor @ Rolling Stone. Author, "Hate Inc"

  • Niggarati
  • Privilege Childhood
  • The Art of the Substack Deal
  • The Shift
  • An Active Conspiracy or An Active Conspiracy
  • The Escape, And Uncertain Horizon
  • It's Just a Camp, For Kids, So It's Fine
  • Trump at CPAC
  • A Good Shoot
  • Bidenomics
  • Listen to Black People
  • Didn't Even Say The Word

Recorded Feb 24th, 2021

Published Feb 25th, 2021


Guest: Martin Gurri @ Author, "The Revolt of the Public"

  • Prophecy, Historical Cycles, and Modest Frameworks
  • From Information Monopoly to Information Tsunami
  • Public Dissatisfaction
  • Elites in Crisis
  • Public Nihilism
  • Historical Amnesia
  • The Yellow Vests, Jan 6th, 2021
  • Political Sectarianism
  • Truth + Objectivity + Resentment
  • Drama at the New York Times
  • The Future of Media and Truth
  • Plato's Perfect Form of Justice
  • Fact Check

Recorded Feb 17th, 2021

Published Feb 18th, 2021

  • Pump and Dump
  • Matt Bought Crack
  • Real Compton City Gs
  • Really Only One Bad Word
  • The Public Interest
  • Irrelevant Context
  • MTG vs. AOC: Most Insane? Best Actress?
  • "I Can Only Be a Non-White Person"
  • Why The Culture War Matters
  • Merit: The Racism of Fairness Racist
  • Covid Cumo, And the Incurious Media

Recorded Feb 3rd, 2021

Published Feb 5th, 2021


Guest: Van Lathan @ "Higher Learning" (Co-Host), Previously @ TMZ

Kmele and Van connect for a wide-ranging conversation about racism, reconciliation, and finding common ground. It's yet another exercise in constructive disagreement. In fact, it's the back half of a three-hour discussion that managed to feature vanishingly few points of agreement -- and zero personal insults.

  • Oculus Quest
  • THOUGHT Warriors
  • Uncle Tom: A Most Dangerous Man
  • If Everyone Listened to Kmele...
  • Listing + Reconciliation
  • Representation
  • Racecraft
  • Strangefruit
  • MLK and the FBI
  • Juneteenth
  • Candace Owens Brother

Recorded Jan 27th, 2021

Published Feb 3rd, 2021

  • Make a Mint w/ Moynihan
  • Who's Behind the Squeeze
  • On the War Path
  • Strange Bedfellows
  • Popularity Contests
  • Even Libertarians
  • Equity and Private Prisons
  • Coming Attractions

Recorded Jan 28th, 2020

Published Jan 29th, 2020


It is upon us: that very rare occasion when we unlock a Patreon episode for the masses. 🎁🎁🎁

If you are clever and don't want to miss future locked episodes, subscribe here.


Rather than our typical bullet-pointed show notes, we'll keep this one short and sweet. Because try as they might to pull the conversation away from Kmele's bravura performance on Real Time with Bill Maher, the lads just couldn't manage it. Although they do respond to a listener email about the Pet Shop Boys...and Kmele does says the word kerfluffle.

That is all. 


  • Is Melania the greatest first lady since Florence Harding?
  • Does MC Hammer hate Kmele?
  • Let the sycophancy begin!
  • Qanonsense
  • Understanding the Trump voter
  • We're all weird and wrong
  • The new Republican Party is awful. So is the new Democratic Party.
  • The dumb 1776 project: "It's like Stephen Miller pooped on a legal pad"
  • Hating big tech
  • How not to combat bad speed

Guest: Anna Khachiyan @ "Red Scare" (Co-Host)

  • Kinda Canceled
  • Holding the Mic
  • Outrage Boner
  • Dirtbags
  • Tight Sweaters, Tighter Shirts
  • Mo' Impeachments
  • The MAGA Riots
  • Culpability
  • Cultural Amnesia, Sweetest Taboos
  • Canceling Trump
  • Canceling the Rest of Yall?

Recorded Jan 13t, 2020

Published Jan 14th, 2020


Welcome to 2021

  • A Coup d'état? An Insurrection?
  • A dark beginning? A despicable bookend? A world of shit?
  • We'll get to that -- but we're gonna need a lot more booze.

Recorded Jan 6th, 2021

Published Jan 7th, 2021


- Kmele 2020

- AllyShip

- Secret Shows

- The Internet Never Forgets

- Trap Lord

- Burning the Witch (and maybe that annoying lady from down the street too)

- Puritanism Without The Fun

- Schadenfreude

- Inconveniencing the Steal

- Eviscerating Democracy (w/ Hyperbole)

- Stop Laughing -- It's Not Funny

- Thank You

Recorded Dec 30th, 2020

Published Dec 31st, 2020


Guest: Greg Lukianoff @ Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (President). Co-Author, "The Coddling of the American Mind"

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Recorded Dec 23rd, 2020

Published Dec 25th, 2020

  • New Views
  • Demographic Considerations
  • What Seems to Be The Problem Officer?
  • The Honorable Minister
  • Vaccine Rollout
  • Careful Reporting
  • Post Trump News Cycle
  • The Flagrancy
  • Predicting Apocalypse

Recorded Dec 17th, 2020

Published Dec 19th, 2020


Look, you asked for it. Fifth fan favorite (ed - we really don't understand you people) and Mother Jones editorial director Ben Dreyfuss (né Gould) is back. And the results are wonderfully shambolic. But seriously: make sure the kids are in bed before press play....

  • Ben is "on leave" from Mother Jones
  • Why Ben's editor blocked him on Twitter (and you should too)
  • No ice in Hawaii, no avocados in Wisconsin
  • The worst movie Ben's dad ever made (Or was it the best?)
  • Why everyone in DC hates Facebook
  • Why people read dumb articles on Facebook
  • Ben starts a Substack. Obviously.
  • What Ben learned about Donald Trump in the suicide ward
  • Manipulating people on the internet
  • And so much more...

"The Toad style is immensely strong, and immune to nearly any weapon. When it's properly used, it's almost invincible." - Five Deadly Venoms

  • Way Out Of Line
  • The Incredible Asshole Machine
  • Related Controversy
  • A Stolen*** Election
  • Obama 💘 Cops
  • Welcome to Murderapolis
  • A Civil War, A Tent Revival
  • Han Obviously Shot First (Probably Doesn't Matter)
  • Bothsidesing: Maybe Not a Bad Idea
  • Revivalist vs Redistributionist
  • American Pie

Recorded Dec 3nd, 2020

Published Dec 4th, 2020


An issue with the mics. An inspired fix. A nearly aborted dispatch manages to slide into your feed just in time for the stranges Thanksgiving in decades.

  • A Rolling Start
  • When Moynihan Met Oprah
  • Coup d'é HAHAHAHAHA
  • "I Told You"
  • Salvaging the Culture
  • Crisis of Authority
  • Covid Masks
  • Murder Rates
  • Generational Divides
  • Calling it Quits
  • It's A Job, Ain't It?

Recorded Nov 24th, 2020

Published Nov 26th, 2020


Guest: Glenn Greenwald @ Co-Founder, The Intercept

  • The Move to Substack (https://greenwald.substack.com/)
  • The Marvelousness of the Fifth Column
  • The Job Market
  • The Reply to Critics
  • The Blow by Blow
  • The Culture
  • The Hunter Biden Laptop Situation

Recorded Oct 30th, 2020

Published Nov 19th, 2020


Guest: Jason Stanley @ Author, "How Fascism Works", Professor of Philosophy @ Yale.

  • The Answer
  • Extremely Online, Prospective Hypocrisy
  • Cancel Culture
  • No Tellin
  • Trump's Blacketst Swan
  • But He's a Fascist
  • Critical Race Back and Forth
  • Pretty Good (for a Black Guy)
  • Covid

Recorded Nov 12th, 2020

Published Nov 14th, 2020

  • What Election?
  • The Perils of Watching Cable News
  • What You Talkin Bout Welch
  • The Got'Damn Polls
  • Anticipated Unrest
  • Black Woman Stabbed, By Black Lives Matters Supporters?
  • What Happens to the Media
  • What Happens to Republicans
  • What Happens to Democrats
  • Stereotypes are Fine Now
  • You People Aren't Supposed to Vote That Way
  • Woke-spiracy
  • Fighting Them on The Beach

Recorded Nov 4th, 2020

Published Nov 5th, 2020

  • Bannon's back. The New York Post isn't.  
  • Don’t talk about Hunter!
  • Are we living in a Techno Fascist Reich?
  • Regulate, regulate, regulate
  • The unforeseen consequences of deplatforming?
  • Qanon inflation 
  • To the gulag, go!
  • Russia, Russia, Russia
  • Which New York Times editor does Matt call "a loathsome toad"?
  • FYI: Political journalists cannot cover “politically driven events”
  • Debate, debate, debate
  • Coherent on Corona! 
  • But also full of shit!
  • And Corona reporting is still awful 
  • Mad Matt on a Mendacious Media 
  • Are people still wiping down their groceries?
  • Jeff Toobin, American Hero / OJ, not guilty
  • Maybe an election-night Zoom thing?
  • Moynihan's Old, New House
  • COVID... is Fake?
  • Siri, Do Black Lives Matter?
  • Dueling Town Halls
  • Everyone is Awful, Even You, (But Not Really)
  • The Brief And Highly Overrated Return of Respectability Politics
  • Politics of Bullshit
  • Foreign Bodies
  • The Revolt of the Public
  • Darkest Totalitarian Hellscape

Recorded Oct 18, 2020

Published Oct 20, 2020

  • Moynihan's Old, New House
  • COVID... is Fake?
  • Siri, Do Black Lives Matter?
  • Dueling Town Halls
  • Everyone is Awful, Even You, (But Not Really)
  • The Brief And Highly Overrated Return of Respectability Politics
  • Politics of Bullshit
  • Foreign Bodies
  • The Revolt of the Public
  • Darkest Totalitarian Hellscape

Recorded Oct 18, 2020

Published Oct 20, 2020


Guest: Damon Root @ Reason Magazine, Author, "A Glorious Liberty: Frederick Douglass and the Fight for an Antislavery Constitution"

  • Trump Makes His Pick
  • How Republicans Will Be Disappointed
  • Court Packing And Other Shenanigans
  • Historical Context, Oppressing People of Color
  • COVID Rumors
  • Debate Night Dog Whistles
  • What Trump Really Means
  • Vote by Mail (But Throw Out the Ballots)
  • The First and Only Lady

Recorded Oct 1, 2020

Published Oct 3, 2020


NOTE: This dispatch was beleaguered by technical and logistical challenges. The audio actually turned out pretty good (all things considered), but the entire thing was very nearly scrapped. Those challenges contributed to a delayed-release — and because the world has gone quite mad —the news cycle is evolving rapidly. 

All the same, still lots of very relevant (even prophetic) stuff in this dispatch, but it was recorded before the Breonna Taylor Grand Jury announcement that inspired a night of protests, riots, and violence. 

  • Home Improvement
  • Latinx, Things You Must Know About The Cuban
  • Trust the Process
  • Debate Preview
  • RBG
  • Hypocrisy and Norm Evisceration
  • Who to Blame
  • A Loss of Faith, A Looming Election Hellscape
  • About that TikTok Deal
  • We Choose Violence
  • 1619 Lies, Bullshit, Stealth Edits, Motivated Reasoning
  • If The Schools Already Suck, Can 1619 Make Them Worse (or better)
  • National Patriotism Curriculum
  • All My Critics Are Racist, Which Is Terribly Convenient for Me

Recorded Sept 20, 2020

Published Sept 24, 2020


Guest: Steve Kornacki, National Political Corespondent @NBC News / MSNBC

  • Making TV News During a Pandemic
  • Doing Your Own Makeup
  • Last Man in Midtown
  • We're All You Tubers Now
  • It'll Be a Blow-Out, Or It'll Be Close
  • Polls You Can Trust
  • Black Voters, Impeachment, Collusion
  • State of the Parties
  • State of the Union
  • State of the Media
  • Paper or Plastic

Recorded Sept 11, 2020

Published Sept 13, 2020


Guest: Nancy Romemelmann, journalist and author of To the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder

Moynihan is back from Kenosha, and Nancy Rommelmann returns for an update on the goings-ons in Portland.

  • On the ground in Kenosha
  • On the ground in Portland
  • Media Malpractice, Self Deception
  • DC, Rochester, What's Next
  • Biden v Trump
  • *Worse Than Useless Facts*
  • Details That Matter
  • Going Full MAGA

Recorded Sept 5, 2020

Published Sept 6, 2020


w / Tina Nguyen (White House Reporter @ Politico)

  • Watching the RNC
  • Trump's on Twitch
  • Nasty Emojis
  • The Fire Next Time (Kenosha Edition)
  • "What's the big deal? Your insurance will pay for it?"
  • Total Failure of Political Leadership
  • Matt Welch: Snowflake?
  • Marines in Portland? 
  • Libertarian Enough?
  • Leaping to Conclusions, Outright Lying
  • Independent Investigations
  • Jacob Blake: Things We Don't Know
  • Kyle Rittenhouse: Things We Don't Know

Recorded Aug 31, 2020

Published Sept 1, 2020


w / Coleman Hughes


Recorded Aug 21, 2020

Published Aug 23, 2020


We can't believe it. Neither can you. It's our 200th episode!! (Well, not including the thirty-plus, subscriber-only Patreon episodes, which are looser, bawdier, and even more problematic...so stop freeloading and subscribe!). In celebration of this momentous anniversary, we called up our old friend Andrew Sullivan, fresh from his separation with New York magazine and joining from his Provincetown whirlpool, to discuss:

- Daddys, bears, and pervs...oh my!

- Andrew has a conversation with some younger gays

- A generation without tragedy

- BTW: No one actually says LGBTQ+

- And you're not suppose to like being oppressed

- Why did Andrew leave New York magazine and what is the "mysterious miasma"? 

- Sully starts his own thing, quickly realizes he was underpaid

- The drunk brilliance of old-school British journalism

- FWIW, Andrew didn't write The Bell Curve

- The anti-Sullivan fatwa issued by a former employer

- Michael Kinsley's two rules of writing 

- The future of magazines, the future of media 

- Why you should read, listen to, and befriend people with bad ideas

- Kmele, Kamala, and the prostitutes

- Andrew convinces us to...change

Recorded Aug 13, 2020

Published Aug 14, 2020

  • Drugs You Should Try
  • Heroine, A Black Drug?
  • Black People Are All The Same
  • Voter Fraud, by Mail
  • Selecting A VP
  • Cognitive Tests (Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV)
  • Scare Tactics
  • Suburban Lifestyle Dreams
  • The State of New York
  • FBG Duck
  • New George Floyd Video
  • The Trouble With China
  • Facebook vs TikTok
  • Blazing Saddles

Recorded Aug 6, 2020

Published Aug 9, 2020


Guest: Nancy Rommelmann, journalist and author of To the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder

Nancy Rommelmann, friend of the Fifth and former resident of Portland, Amerikkka, returns from the ramparts of the revolution with news, anecdotes, and a glimpse at our glorious future. Alis volat propriis. So we asked our very own Lady John Reed just what the hell is happening in the insurrectionist precincts of the Pacific Northwest...

  • Nancy doesn't recognize parts of Portland
  • What everyone is getting wrong about the protests/riots/federal intervention
  • Wait, where is the Portland PD?
  • Shares in a homemade body armor business are trading higher today...
  • Why you're not hearing that amazing, hilarious, enlightening conversation we had about the secret app
  • (It's because the SD card ran out of space and no one noticed...)
  • We return after our tech screw up--much, much drunker--to talk history vs. journalism
  • No one arguing about colonial history knows anything about colonial history
  • It sort of falls apart around this point...
  • And by the way: stop telling us what we should care about

Glenn Greenwald,

Co-Founder @ The Intercept

Author, "No Place to Hide"

Thomas Chatterton Williams

Contributing Writer @ New York Times Mag

Author, "Self Portrait in Black and White"

After a little internet drama related to the Harper's Open Letter, Kmele got together w/ Thomas and Glenn to discuss.

  • Why we needed "A Letter on Justice and Debate"
  • Why Glenn isn't a Signatory
  • What is Cancel Culture
  • Do we really need to talk about this RIGHT NOW
  • Evangelism or Excommunication
  • Hypocrisy and Healthier Conversations

Recorded July 24, 2020

Published July 27, 2020


We haven't unlocked a Patreon episode since way back in February. But we (Moynihan) were feeling generous, so here's a paywalled bonus episode from July 13, liberated for all of you cheapskates. You're welcome.

If you want a new subscriber-only episode every week (plus slurring live Zoom calls, lost episodes, mail bag episodes, a community of like-minded psychos, etc), subscribe here!


For only the second time since the Bat Flu, the lads are back in the same room...and back at the Stupid Table™ in Williamsburg. The energy! The booze! The crosstalk! Kmele singing! Yay! It's an hour and half bull session covering the most important debates in America. Zum beispiel: 

- Moynihan's new CNBC show "Stock Monstah Dood!"

- Getting psyched about--and possibly auditioning for--a show Kmele loves but has never seen

- Kmele is Mr. 2X. Moynihan is Mr. Angry Irishman Driver

- Understanding the core of the anti-racist project

- Matt's formative moment as an 18-year-old journalist

- The privileged people who hate really privileged people

- Yes, the lads talk about the endless LETTER WARS

- Kmele rants about a Jo Jorgensen tweet

- What does it mean to be anti-racist?

- If they win, we will all will end up living in a joyless world

- Back to Bay Ridge (and coming upon a pro-NYPD protest)


w/ Josh Szeps (né Zepps), ABC Australia and host of the Uncomfortable Conversations podcast.

Josh-o's back and the dingo has his baby! Australia's most listened-to radio host joins the Fifth from his COVID-free compound in Sydney to talk nonsense about:

  • Paul Hogan (obviously)
  • How the Aussies handled the COVID
  • That story about our friend who resigned from the Times
  • "Cancel culture," right and left
  • "Good Morning ya' ****s!"
  • Armageddon the shit out of that rock
  • Are we becoming a totalitarian hell hole? (Probably not)
  • Viacom race theorist Nick Cannon on masked singers, Mariah Carey, and the Rothschilds.
  • Matt knew a Nazi

Recorded July 15, 2020


Two-plus hours with our favorite German, Herr Yascha Mounk, contributing editor at The Atlantic and founder of Persuasion, a publication dedicated to promoting and defending the "values of a free society."

The lads discuss that Harper's letter on cancel culture, signed by Kmele and Yasha (and Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis, JK Rowling, et al); the attempt to cancel people who signed a statement opposing canceling people; how everyone's still a fascist; the painful absurdity of Robin Diangelo; a Matt and Kmele fight about Trump's Mt. Rushmore speech; the dangers of the populist right; El Chino; and so very much more.

Recorded July 8, 2020