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CNN Slammed Into A Brick Wall Named Joe Rogan

CNN Slammed Into A Brick Wall Named Joe Rogan

Submitted by QTR’s Fringe Finance

I started out 2022 by predicting that the mainstream media…

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CNN Slammed Into A Brick Wall Named Joe Rogan

Submitted by QTR's Fringe Finance

I started out 2022 by predicting that the mainstream media was in the midst of losing the fight of its life at the hands of popular podcaster and comedian Joe Rogan.

No media outlet has proven me right this year quite like CNN has.

Through honest and open dialogue, often in good faith and jest, Rogan has earned himself innumerably more viewers than almost all outlets in mainstream media on both sides of the aisle. He officially started putting the screws to the mainstream media, in my opinion, when he refused to settle for the “company line” on Covid, dutifully peddled by Dr. Anthony Fauci and various government regulators, and welcomed alternative points of view on treatments, lockdowns and how the world was handling the pandemic.

I wrote back in January that I thought it was the invitations Rogan extended to iconoclastic guests, like Dr. Robert Malone, M.D., that officially marked the beginning of the end the “official” Covid narratives going unquestioned. I predicted that Rogan’s willingness to have an alternative dialogue would force the mainstream media to eventually fall in line, and would throw a wet blanket over the “journalism” of parroting whatever “the science” dictated was objective truth that week.

Chicago won't cancel Halloween as Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveils rules for  the holiday

(Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot adhering to “the science” last Halloween.)

“For 2022, I’m gonna make a bold prediction. The media, and maybe even politicians, are going to start to realize that the narratives that they have been pushing with regard to Covid, lockdowns, vaccinations and our economy are no longer being accepted at face value by their viewers,” I wrote in January.

I predicted:

The same capitalistic engine keeping Joe Rogan on the air is going to force the change in legacy media. While they may not correct themselves totally or do a full 180°turn, they will fall in line behind those breaking new ground in the space - content creators like Rogan - and they will start to commit more to reason and less to political narratives.”

Nine months later, CNN stands as a shell of its former self, with several personnel including Jeff Zucker, John Harwood and Brian Stelter either resigning or being cancelled, other anchors like Don Lemon being demoted, the company’s CNN+ streaming platform discarded as an abject $300 million failure, and the network desperately trying to adopt a business model that can cauterize the open wound of defecting viewers.

Or, as Sean Hannity put it:

Lo and behold, The New York Post summed up the pivot (or as I called it, the ‘falling in line’), as follows:

“[Chris] Licht, who has been at the helm of CNN for a few months, has been given a mandate by his corporate bosses at Warner Bros. Discovery to steer the cable network away from opinion-based programming and more toward hard news.”


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You certainly can’t say the whole thing wasn’t a mess of CNN’s own making. Not only did the network carry the “official” narrative for the Democratic Party over the last couple of years, they also made the mistake of targeting Joe Rogan directly, when the announced that he had used the drug ivermectin to treat Covid late last year.

CNN went on what I can only describe as a blatantly false misinformation campaign, inaccurately accusing Rogan of taking the veterinary form of ivermectin, used to de-worm horses, while plastering their network with both banners and lobotomized talking heads who were happy to prattle on about the network’s take on the situation.

The campaign was especially egregious because CNN was essentially alleging that Rogan was so stupid and such a conspiracy theorist that he would purposely take horse de-wormer instead of just falling in line, adhering to “the science” and sticking to Pfizer-endorsed Covid treatments only.

This hairbrained campaign by CNN was met by a casual threat when Rogan joked about potentially suing the network because of their claims.

Rogan then promptly put the screws to CNN’s on-network doctor, Sanjay Gupta.

“It’s a lie. It’s a lie on a news network. And it’s a lie that’s a willing…that they’re conscious of. It’s not a mistake. They’re unfavorably framing it as veterinary medicine,” Rogan said to Gupta.

“Why would you say that when you’re talking about a drug that’s been given out to billions and billions of people? Why would they lie and say that’s horse de-wormer?”

“They shouldn’t have said that,” Gupta was forced to uncomfortably admit.

“They shouldn’t have done that,” Gupta says again.

“It’s defamatory!” Rogan replies. “Six days after infection I was back at the gym.”

The Mortal Kombat-style “FINISH HIM” moment came when Rogan asked:

“You’re working for a news organization. If they’re lying about a comedian taking horse medication, what are they telling us about Russia? What are they telling us about Syria?


The aftermath of the situation resulted in tremendous embarrassment for the news network, whose viewership at the time paled in comparison to that of Rogan’s.

It was a true comeuppance for CNN and it was long overdue.

UFC News: Joe Rogan seemingly has millions more listeners than Tucker  Carlson, Fox News and CNN

After years of willingly peddling what turned out to be a false narrative regarding President Trump and Russia, CNN solidified any doubts anybody may have had about their true biases and who they were carrying water for with their coverage of Rogan.


It should come as no surprise that the network self-immolated in the months that followed.

CNN attempted to launch its own streaming service shortly thereafter, and effort that The New York Times characterized as a “near instant collapse” that “amounted to one of the most spectacular media failures in years.”

They called it a “$300 million experiment that ended abruptly with layoffs in the offing and careers in disarray.”

On the legacy network, Brian Stelter was canned because CNN’s boss reportedly was trying to get CNN to “evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists, which would be unique and refreshing.”

Because, obviously, Brian Stelter wasn’t much of a journalist.

And the hits didn’t stop there. Like a drunk being escorted out of a bar at 2AM, fellow Mensa-candidate Don Lemon was ushered out of his primetime spot in favor of a morning time-slot. It was an obvious demotion that Lemon seemed to take well and handle with grace.

Just kidding. Lemon had an embarrassing full-scale on-air toke of the copium in a cringe-worthy segment, smiling maniacally and raving about how he wasn’t actually demoted.

Further proving that he is fully in touch with reality, with absolutely no cognitive distortions whatsoever, Lemon went with the bold strategy of referring to his demotion as a promotion.

"I was not demoted. None of that. This is an opportunity. This is a promotion. This is an opportunity for me to create something around me and I get to work with two great ladies [Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins] who you know."


As I wrote above, there’s no doubt in my mind that the moment it became clear that Rogan was doing the work the mainstream media should have been doing was when he brought on Dr. Peter McCullough and Dr. Robert Malone to offer their opinions about Covid.

Putting aside your thoughts on these two credentialed doctors – and their opinion on Covid – it was simply the willingness to engage them in dialogue that I think finally made it clear to the public, and perhaps the higher ups at CNN, that carrying water for “the science” and the Biden administration was no longer a winning strategy. Instead, it was likely having the opposite effect.

And when all was said and done the entire ordeal was a relatively low-key flex for Rogan. Despite a couple of moments chuckling about it, he didn’t seem to take the whole incident too seriously after it had passed and he allowed the situation to resolve itself. After all, when you’re the king of the media world, that’s likely the winning attitude to adopt; there’s no point in routinely punching downward.

But for me, CNN and the rest of the mainstream media are still upwards of my trajectory – which is why I have no problem sharing my opinion that CNN’s last six months of scorched Earth could very well also play out for other obviously biased news organizations that let their emotions get the best of them and, as a result, cross boundaries in their reporting.

My mother, who leans left, often makes a great point about news networks. She says that no matter what side they are rooting for, they all have their own agenda. She is 100% right, but, in my opinion, CNN took it one step further than just having an agenda. Now, they’re facing the very real consequences. And don’t get me wrong, I think the same exact thing would happen to Fox News if they branched out too far on the right and simply started to lie, openly, about popular public figures.

The mainstream media has definitely hit an immovable object in The Joe Rogan Experience. He’s doing everything they aren’t: asking open-minded questions, not pandering to either political party, thinking for himself and encouraging others to do the same.

The lesson that other media organizations can now learn the easy way is the same one that CNN just learned the hard way: stay in your (heavily biased) lane. The “mainstream” has a new face.

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Tyler Durden Sat, 09/24/2022 - 15:35

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International

High fossil fuel prices mean UK cannot delay transition to low emissions steel

Steelmaking with green hydrogen is now a less expensive prospect relative to alternatives.

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Norenko Andrey/Shutterstock

Steel is essential for making many of the technologies that will end fossil fuel combustion, including electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels. Unfortunately, to produce a lot of steel, manufacturers need to burn a lot of fossil fuel.

Steel production accounted for 2% of the UK’s emissions in 2019 and ranks second for energy consumption among the country’s heavy industries. Roughly two-thirds of this energy comes from coal.

The blast furnaces of steelworks burn a special type called coking coal (which is converted to a hard and porous fuel known as coke) at temperatures of up to 2,000°C, producing large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO₂) – around 1.8 tonnes for each tonne of steel. This method accounted for 82% of steel production in the UK in 2021, and 71% of all steel made worldwide that year.

While coal-based steelmaking can be decarbonised to an extent by capturing the CO₂, there has to be a suitable storage site nearby or sufficient demand for using that CO₂ in other industries. This is not the case for the blast furnaces in Port Talbot, Wales, which account for half of UK steel production.

Coking coal prices have more than doubled since the beginning of the pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine has disrupted supplies. In 2021, the UK imported 39% of its coking coal from Russia, with almost all of the rest coming from the US and Australia.

Another option is to use natural gas, another fossil fuel. But since 2020, gas prices have also risen considerably. These recent fuel cost hikes demand a reassessment of how steel is made.

A metallurgical plant at night with chimneys belching smoke.
High coal prices make coal-based steelmaking less attractive for producers. ArtEvent ET/Shutterstock

Steelmaking with green hydrogen (hydrogen that has been split from water using electricity generated by renewables or nuclear power) removes fossil fuels from the process altogether. As a result, it could be insulated from increases in fossil fuel prices and carbon taxes, all of which have made steelmaking with fossil fuels more expensive in recent years.

The UK steel industry is currently given a free allocation of emissions allowances, which significantly lowers the effective carbon price paid by steel producers. Our recent research shows that, if this exemption were phased out gradually, steelmaking with green hydrogen produced using wind and solar electricity would in fact be cheaper than all other options.

Green steel

Hydrogen can convert iron ore to a pure form known as sponge iron through a process known as direct reduction. This involves heating hydrogen to between 800 and 1,000°C which reacts with the oxygen in iron ore to leave pure iron and water vapour, with no carbon emissions. The sponge iron is then processed in an electric arc furnace to produce steel.

Electric arc furnaces can also recycle scrap metal, and while the UK has no direct reduction furnaces, it already has five electric arc furnaces that recycle scrap to provide 18% of the nation’s steel. If renewable electricity powered these furnaces and was used to generate the hydrogen that fuels the production of sponge iron, then total emissions from the steel industry could be zero.

A suspended cylinder spewing molten metal.
Electric arc furnaces cut out fossil fuels, but are still expensive to run. D.Alimkin/Shutterstock

The EU and UK have both committed to ending imports of Russian coal in 2022, and large producers such as Tata Steel and ArcelorMittal have already stopped using Russian commodities in their supply chains.

While high gas and electricity prices are making some industries revert to burning coal, our findings show that green hydrogen offers a cheaper alternative to steelmakers. At recent fossil fuel prices, we estimate that direct reduction steelmaking with green hydrogen could be roughly 15% cheaper than the cheapest coal-based option (including carbon capture and storage) over a typical 25-year project lifetime.

Steelmaking with green hydrogen and electric arc furnaces uses lots of electricity. So, in a recent paper, we looked at reducing industrial electricity bills by removing green levies (which raise funds to spur the deployment of renewable technology and support vulnerable customers) and energy network maintenance costs and moving them to general taxation instead.

This would put the UK’s steel industry on an equal footing with France’s and Germany’s. We found that price parity could be achieved by increasing the average income tax bill by around 68p, rising to around £5.50 if UK steel production switched entirely to direct reduction with green hydrogen.

The UK government is considering exempting industries that consume a lot of energy from paying green levies. But soaring fossil fuel prices have hiked wholesale electricity costs so much that removing them and network maintenance fees will not significantly affect bills.

Instead, steelmakers and other heavy industries could access cheap renewable electricity directly in a green power pool.

The UK cannot afford to keep coal-based steelmaking in its decarbonisation strategy and must ensure the steel industry is ready to transition to using green hydrogen fuel instead.


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Clare Richardson-Barlow is a non-resident fellow at the National Bureau of Asian Research.

Andrew Pimm and Pepa Ambrosio-Albala do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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‘Where would the world be without nurses?’ J&J refreshes campaign honoring health workers

More than two and a half years into the pandemic, Johnson & Johnson wants to remind people that nurses are much more than just caregivers.
In the latest…

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More than two and a half years into the pandemic, Johnson & Johnson wants to remind people that nurses are much more than just caregivers.

In the latest iteration of its campaign, J&J honors nurses as “innovators, lifesavers, and fierce patient advocates.” The program got a refresh from last year, including a new tagline, “Where Would the World Be Without Nurses,” and videos that debuted on social media on Thursday.

“Who would be there when no one else is?” a narrator asks in J&J’s 30-second ad video that depicts nurses scrubbing up, performing CPR and comforting patients.

J&J claims it has been a “proud champion of nurses since 1897,” and launched a campaign in 2001 to drive more people into the profession with the help of TV ad spots, grants, scholarships and more. There have been several iterations since, including last year’s “Nurses Rise to the Challenge Every Day” campaign.

Lynda Benton

“Last year, we were just really focused on trying to engage and support and remind nurses that we saw their value,” said Lynda Benton, senior director of global community impact strategic initiatives for J&J Nursing. “Now we want to open the lens and get a broader healthcare community to understand what nurses bring to healthcare.”

The ads are meant to address “alarming levels of burnout” in the nursing field, J&J said. A report published last year by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses found that 66% of surveyed acute and critical care nurses had considered leaving their jobs because of the pandemic. The American Nurses Association also urged the HHS secretary in a letter last year to declare the nurse staffing shortage a national crisis.

In 2022, healthcare employment has increased at a significantly higher monthly rate than last year’s, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But there’s more to be done, J&J emphasized.

“When you think about early 2020, the world was basically cheering on the nursing workforce and thanking them for all they were doing to care for patients,” Benton said. “As the pandemic wore on, and the vaccines started coming out … in some cases life went back to normal and [people] kind of forgot about the nurses who were still working inside the walls of the hospital and saving lives on a day-to-day basis.”

The latest campaign is complemented by videos spotlighting the next generation of nurses, and a ‘Today” show segment called “Heroes Among Us.”

“If we don’t address this, this is a healthcare crisis for everybody,” Benton said. “It’s just so important that people will really wake up and understand what’s happening today within the nursing profession.”

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International

What Is Helicopter Money? Definition, Examples & Applications

What Is Helicopter Money?What’s a surefire way to encourage spending, and thus, spur growth? How about dropping money from the sky? As far-stretched…

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Former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke describes helicopter money as a “money-financed tax cut.”

Public DomainPictures from Pexels; Canva

What Is Helicopter Money?

What’s a surefire way to encourage spending, and thus, spur growth? How about dropping money from the sky?

As far-stretched as this idea seems, it actually has credence in schools of economic thought, particularly during times of recession or supply shocks. Helicopter money policies inject large sums into the monetary supply either through increased spending, direct cash stimulus, or a tax cut.

This policy has two goals in mind:

1. Expand the supply of money, which improves liquidity

2. Spur economic growth

Economists consider helicopter money to be an option oflast resort, after other measures, such as lowering interest rates or quantitative easing, have either failed to lift an economy out of recession or because interest rates are already as low as they can get. This conundrum is known as a liquidity trap, when the economy is at a standstill because people are hoarding their savings instead of spending.

Since the practice of helicopter money also tends to foster inflation, it typically works best during periods of deflation, when prices, along with overall monetary supply, contract without a corresponding decrease in economic output. One relevant example is the Great Depression. Bank runs resulted in a reduction in both the monetary supply as well as in the overall prices of goods and services.

It takes a whole lot to lift an economy from such dire straits, and in such cases, helicopter money can be a viable option.

Example of Helicopter Money: The COVID-19 Recession

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the stock market crashed, and GDP nosedived, thrusting the economy into recession. While the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates and instituted a new round of quantitative easing measures, the U.S. government responded with helicopter money.

  • Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), the Trump administration authorized two rounds of direct-to-taxpayer stimulus payments, of $1200 and $600 per person, in 2020.
  • In addition, as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), payroll loans were offered to thousands of small businesses—and many were quickly forgiven. The Federal Reserve also provided increased liquidity to banks so that they could offer loans to businesses to help them stay afloat.

Who Coined the Term Helicopter Money?

In a 1969 paper entitled “The Optimum Quantity of Money,” economist Milton Friedman coined the term “helicopter drop” as a method to increase monetary policy during times of economic stress. He wrote:

“Let us suppose now that one day a helicopter flies over [the] community and drops an additional $1,000 in bills from the sky, which is, of course, hastily collected by members of the community. Let us suppose further that everyone is convinced that this is a unique event which will never be repeated.”

The point was that the easiest way to lift an economy out of troubled times would be to give its population a direct injection of money. This would both expand the monetary supply and as well as increase the disposable income of the populace, resulting in greater consumer spending and increased economic output.

Who Made the Concept of Helicopter Money Popular?

In the 1990s, Japan was facing a deflationary crisis. Its central bank had implemented crippling rate hikes to calm its housing bubble—to disastrous economic effects.

In a 2002 speech to the National Economists Club, then-Fed Governor Ben Bernanke proposed that Japan’s central bank could have re-started the country’s economy through fiscal programs:

“A broad-based tax cut, for example, accommodated by a program of open-market purchases to alleviate any tendency for interest rates to increase, would almost certainly be an effective stimulant to consumption and hence to prices. Even if households decided not to increase consumption but instead re-balanced their portfolios by using their extra cash to acquire real and financial assets, the resulting increase in asset values would lower the cost of capital and improve the balance sheet positions of potential borrowers. A money-financed tax cut is essentially equivalent to Milton Friedman's famous "helicopter drop" of money”

However, critics interpreted Bernanke’s words as his way of authorizing indiscriminate money printing, and the moniker “Helicopter Ben” took hold.

Bernanke would go on to chair the Federal Reserve from 2006–2014, and many of his theories were put into practice during the Financial Crisis of 2007–2008 and subsequent Great Recession. In fact, President Barack Obama credited Bernanke’s leadership during the crisis with averting a second Great Depression.

Helicopter Money vs. Quantitative Easing

While helicopter money and quantitative easing are both monetary policy tools, and both increase the monetary supply, they actually have different effects on a central bank’s balance sheet.

Through quantitative easing, a central bank buys trillions of dollars’ worth of long-term securities, such as Treasury securities, corporate bonds, mortgage-backed securities, or even stocks. This increases its reserves and expands its balance sheet. These purchases are also reversible, meaning the central bank can swap out its assets if it chooses.

Helicopter money, on the other hand, involves fiscal stimulus: distributing money to the public. It has no impact on a central bank’s balance sheet. The practice of helicopter money is irreversible, which means it is permanent—and cannot be undone.

In effect, helicopter money is less a long-term economic solution than it is a “one-time” or short-term operation.

Pros of Helicopter Money

In a 2016 blog post written for the think-tank Brookings Institution, Bernanke admitted that his helicopter money reference gave him some bad PR. In fact, he said that their media relations officer, Dave Skidmore, had warned Bernanke against using the term, saying “It’s just not the sort of thing a central banker says.”

But Bernanke insisted, and the moniker stuck.

To this day, Bernanke continues to believe in the practice of helicopter money as a tool the Fed could use in response to a slowdown in the economy. His successor at the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, agreed, stating that helicopter money “is something that one might legitimately consider.”

Other central bankers support the concept, particularly in Europe, which suffered from debt crises that mired its economy throughout the 2000s, igniting deflationary pressures like low demand and weak lending, and made recovery exceedingly difficult.

Cons of Helicopter Money

The biggest drawback of helicopter money is the inflation it tends to ignite. And since inflation is notoriously difficult to manage, once the inflationary fires have been stoked, what’s to prevent them from growing out of control—and fostering hyperinflation? That’s what happened in countries like Argentina and Venezuela, when their central banks printed money and gave it to their governments, who in turn gave it to the people. Inflation surged.

Helicopter money also leads to weakened currencies, because as more and more money is printed, its value decreases significantly. It could also deter currency traders from making long-term investments if the practice is prolonged.

Clearly, helicopter money is not a practice a central bank should undertake lightly.

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