Dave Rubin

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Rubin in 2015
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I'm a classical liberal, a free thinker. And as much as I don't like to admit it, defending my liberal values has suddenly become a conservative position.
—Dave Rubin, in a video collaboration with Prager U[1]

David Joshua "Dave" Rubin (born 1976) is a progressive-turned-"classical liberal" and host of The Rubin Report on YouTube. Once a member of The Young Turks network, his content since leaving TYT has mostly been steered towards criticism of what he considers the 'regressive left'. On his show, he frequently/interminably discusses freedom of speech, feminism, political correctness and the Mainstream media. Many of the guests Rubin has invited to his show have ties to the alt-right, neoreactionaries, Gamergate, and the men's rights movement – the very groups of people who despise and want to do away with free speech. (Classical liberalism, amirite?).

Contents

[edit] Career

Following work in stand-up comedy, Rubin began hosting the Six Pack Podcast on SiriusXM and joined TYT in 2013. He first gained notoriety for tacitly defending Israel's conduct during their war in Gaza in 2014, coming in conflict with the entire TYT panel on a 40-minute-long debate[2]. He later repeated this same defense of Israeli war crimes and regurgitating of anti-Palestinian propaganda to Secular Talk[3]. In hindsight, this was our first real look into just how reactionary he always was. In spite of supposedly being against 'safe spaces' and a proponent of debate, he decided to leave TYT in 2015 following political disagreements with Cenk Uygur.[4] His show bounced between a series of formats and production companies before becoming an independent project in 2016. He now hosts his show from a "home studio" that looks like one of the fake living rooms in IKEA.

[edit] Views (and Hypocrisy)

[edit] Identity Politics and Free Speech

Rubin, who spends much of his time lamenting identity politics, claims to have worked as a stand-up comedian in New York from the late 90s. Little video evidence of this work is available online, besides one video from 'Hot Gay Comics' in which Rubin makes a series of bad jokes about gays and being gay.[5] Rubin went on to host the Six Pack Podcast on SiriusXM, a gay-themed podcast with topics such as National Coming Out Day[6] and gay guests like Dustin Lance Black and Lance Bass. But, remember - Rubin is completely against identity politics. Hrm.

Rubin claims that he was "barely out [of the closet as gay] at 27"[7] and was hiding his appreciation of Queer as Folk from his college roommates.[8] Ironically for a talk show host who advocates for free speech and claims that self-censorship is also troublesome,[9] he seems to have spent a lot of time self-censoring an aspect of his identity that was the cornerstone of his early career. Free speech advocate Rubin, who has commented on a culture of "Oppression Olympics"[10] from minority groups and has dismissed numerous controversies as "outrage culture"[11], also posted a video criticising the "gay jokes" in Comedy Central's James Franco roast.[12] This hypocrisy was best surmised when Rubin criticised Hillary Clinton for addressing a tweet to "White America",[13] in spite of the fact that he has previously posted numerous tweets ridiculing people based on their whiteness.[14][15][16][17] Without a trace of self-awareness regarding his own light-hearted jests on the matter, he later lambasted the 'regressive left' and their alleged proclivity to "demonize white people collectively and endlessly".[18]

In spite of being critical of members of the 'regressive left' that smear and name-call instead of debating ideas,[19] Rubin enjoys insulting his own opponents via Twitter (his favourite slurs include "loser" and "clown").[20][21]

[edit] Fake News, Outrage Culture and Boycotts

Rubin has referred to organisations like the New York Times, CNN, the BBC and USA Today as "fake news",[22][23][24] even claiming that he "won't watch" CNN as long as it employs Reza Aslan.[25] However, Rubin has claimed that Rebel Media is "doing a pretty good job from everything I've seen"[26], appeared on The Alex Jones Show to talk about the "cult of the Left"[27] and has featured with Tucker Carlson and Bill O'Reilly on Fox News.[28][29] Following O'Reilly's firing from the network amidst a series of sexual harassment allegations, Rubin claimed that "the rejoicing of the destruction of public people is becoming increasingly dangerous".[30] In an uncharacteristic display of double standards, he had previously joked about progressives Keith Olbermann and Alec Baldwin being fired or suspended from TV networks,[31][32] even going as far as to record himself calling the Capital One customer service line regarding Baldwin's "homophobic" comments[33] and claiming that he had "a discussion with five gay people who all agree to never use [the company's] services again" because of its association with the actor.[34] Free speech, y'know? Quelle suprise - Rubin has been critical of boycotts elsewhere.[35]

[edit] Political Identity and Fiscal Policy

"My positions basically haven't changed but I've watched as my team has gone off the deep end", says Rubin on his political ideas.[36] If this is indeed the case, it appears that Rubin has been a conservative the whole time.

This is particularly true regarding 'Rubinomics'. In news that will shock nobody, Rubin has frequently espoused conservative positions in regards to taxation and claims that limited government is an issue about which he cares most.[37] He has argued against raises to the minimum wage, claiming that it will force McDonalds to replace workers with iPads, and has been a critic of the estate tax.[38] He has advocated for flat income taxes due to his belief in "real equality", with "some level" of progressive tax.[39] None of these are progressive positions that the Left has suddenly abandoned.

In chastising the 'regressive left', Rubin claims that "if you don't evolve the day they evolve, you're a bigot".[40] However, when confronted with evidence of his previous progressive views on Twitter and accused of hypocrisy, Rubin defended himself by stating that "my feelings have changed as time has gone on", asserting that "[p]eople evolve, it's called being human. But some would rather attack" without a hint of irony.[41][42] So it seems that the real rule is "if you don't evolve the day Dave Rubin evolves, you're a regressive".

[edit] Guests

In recent years, Rubin's show has become a platform for relatively obscure individuals from far-flung corners of the internet to espouse bizarre or downright extreme opinions with little to no recourse or push-back from the host. For instance, claims from guests that the Canadian Nazi Party was "backed up and egged on" by Jewish groups to increase hate crimes and suggestions that Barack Obama is a communist have gone unchallenged by Rubin.[43][44] Whilst decrying the 'regressive left' at every turn, Rubin has described guest Tommy Robinson, the former head of the far-right English Defence League with a string of violent and non-violent criminal convictions to his name, as "extremely moderate".[45] Rubin has taken to Twitter to complain that his YouTube videos have been demonetized and his Amazon affiliation deactivated[46][47]; it's almost as if advertisers and corporations want nothing to do with a show that allows ideologues to spout egregious views and get away with it scot-free.

Rubin is notorious for asking a series of big names onto his show through direct tweets. Many individuals ranging from the political sphere - Donald Trump,[48] Hillary Clinton,[49] Ivanka Trump,[50] Kellyanne Conway,[51] Bernie Sanders,[52] - to the celebrity world - Cher,[53] Carrie Fisher (RIP),[54] Betty White,[55] Howard Stern,[56] Azealia Banks,[57] Ben Affleck[58] - have been invited in this manner. Shockingly, none of these high profile people have taken up the invitation to appear on a low-rent YouTube show recorded at someone's house and, despite Rubin's best efforts, the vast majority of his guests are fringe characters from niche corners of the internet (or even - in possibly his most narcissistic move yet - the show's own fans).[59]

[edit] External links

[edit] References

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