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Joe Walsh: Republican Accountability

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Joe Walsh: Republican Accountability

Joe Walsh represented Illinois’ 8th district in the house from 2011 to 2013, and ran against Trump in the 2020 presidential race. He hosts the podcast White Flag with Joe Walsh and has been increasingly critical of the extremism within his former party, as well as the part he played in stoking that extremism.


You can find Joe on Twitter at @WalshFreedom.

Joe Walsh:

Race is part of the mix. Here's what I believe, here's my theory: the base of the Republican Party from which I come is middle-aged and older and white, and they want 1954 America back tomorrow.

Ken Harbaugh:

I'm Ken Harbaugh, this is Burn the Boats, a show about making tough calls in tough times. America today faces a critical test, our democracy is under threat, but good people are rising to the challenge. Now, is the time to go all in, now we burn the boats.

My guest today is Joe Walsh, a former Republican Congressman from Illinois and a 2020 Republican presidential candidate. He hosts the podcast, White Flag with Joe Walsh and has been increasingly critical of the extremism within his former party. We've brought him on today to talk about it.

Joe, welcome to Burn the Boats.

Joe Walsh:

Ken, I mean it, it's good to be with you, man, thanks.

Ken Harbaugh:

You bet, you said recently, and I'm going to quote here, “If you are a Republican or former Republican, the only thing that matters right now is you saying the following, “If Donald Trump is the 2024 Republican nominee for president, I will not support him.”

How worried are you, Joe, about a repeat of the 2016 Republican primary when the party had a divided field and Trump was able to win the nomination?

Joe Walsh:

I'm not a betting man, Ken, but if I were a betting man, Trump's going to be the 2024 nominee. And I don't even know how large the field is going to be, I don't think it'll be as large as 16. But even if there are 4, 5, 6, 7 candidates in it, I don't understand.

Nikki Haley is announcing, what the fuck? What's she going to do? What's Nikki Haley going to say, “I love Donald Trump, I worship Donald Trump, Donald Trump is the greatest vote for me?” This is the bind, Ken, all these Republicans are in. They fucking worshipped and enabled this man. How can they say they're better and they can attack him? It's a real trap they're in.

Ken Harbaugh:

It's cynicism though, isn't it? Did any of them, as far as you know — and you actually knew some of them? Did any of them really worship Trump? Did any of them really buy into the bullshit?

Except for that small fringe that is admittedly growing, but the Marjorie Taylor Greenes and Lauren Boeberts might be on the train, but the ones we're talking about, the DeSantises, the Nikki Haileys, the Pompeos, they know better.

Joe Walsh:

They know better. Publicly worshiped and publicly bowed down to Trump. In this era of Trump, there have always been three types of us: Republicans, former Republicans — those who are true believers and Ken, you’re right the Marjorie Taylors, a guy I served with, Jim Jordan, who used to be my fucking buddy. Jim Jordan's a true believer.

Everybody thinks it's just a fringe thing, there are more true believers. There are 222 Republicans in the house, I'll bet 70, 80, 90 of them are true believers. The vast majority of Republicans are not. They’re cynical cowards who've kept their mouth shut to advance their own career.

And then you have a few outliers like me, Adam Kinzinger, Liz Cheney, who publicly stood against him, and we have no future in the party, none.

Ken Harbaugh:

I want to pick apart those categories just a bit, let's start with the true believers. My question is true believers in what? In the cult of personality maybe?

They're certainly not true believers in fiscal responsibility, they're not true believers in American hegemony, they're not true believers in a lot of the things that used to define the Republican Party.

What is it that those true believers you point to that Jim Jordans and the Marjorie Taylor Greenes, what is this that they want?

Joe Walsh:

Trump/Trumpism/authoritarianism/build a wall around America and keep everybody out, that's what they want. And look at me and Jordan, so 10 years ago, I'm in Congress, part of the Tea Party caucus with Jordan, we’re two of the leading voices. The Tea Party caucus, as you know, Ken, became the Freedom Caucus.

What did we believe in back then? Freedom, free trade, free markets, limited government, stuff that anybody can disagree with us on, but it was all issues based. Post-Trump, they don't believe in any of that anymore, and maybe many of them never did.

But you're right, they believe in, they've become radicalized in that they believe in an authoritarian — look at DeSantis. If not Trump, they want DeSantis who uses government to go after and punish people, that's what they believe in now.

Ken Harbaugh:

You have really defined your activism since coming out against Trump as opposition to Trump. And while I as a Democrat and a progressive, and welcoming to any ally that this movement can attract, my concern is around the Trumpism versus Trump dilemma.

You just used the word Trumpism, I'm glad you did because my fear is that if Trump goes, he might be replaced by someone who is equally invested in Trumpism, but smarter about implementing it.

Joe Walsh:

So, here's what happened, and I went after Mitt Romney last week, because Mitt Romney pisses me off a lot. What created Trump? A Republican party establishment that over the years, ignored the base.

What also created Trump? Tea Party people like me that inflamed that base. Both of us created Trump. So, when Trump came along and he said, “I'm going to build a fucking wall and keep black and brown people out,” the base clung to him.

People like me helped feed that, but people in the establishment, they ignored these voters’ concerns for years. The problem, Ken, is now, this base is fully radicalized. Like I say often, maybe you feel the same way, because I still hear from the … here's what's weird, I come from the base, I'm a reformed gang banger.

I hear from these people every day, they no longer believe in democracy. I've been screaming that now for two years, they no longer believe in democracy. I don't think a lot of Democrats and progressives really sufficiently understand that.

Ken Harbaugh:

You just called yourself a reformed gang banger, and that threw me for a loop. How important is accountability to you, Joe?

Joe Walsh:

Ken, there's nothing more important than this. I have stood on the public stage for five to six years now, I've been naked ,and I've had to almost every day on CNN or MSNBC or some platform, publicly apologized for what I did to help bring us Trump.

Why do I do that? Because I believe it. I believe I really did muck up and help create the conditions that led to Trump. I wish I hadn't inflamed the base so much back in the day.

It's really important to acknowledge that, because if I couldn't acknowledge that, Ken, then I couldn't do what I've done the last three to four to five years, which is try to do something about it, and defeat my former party.

Ken Harbaugh:

So, I'm not going to ask you to apologize again, you've been doing that for a year.

Joe Walsh:

No, do.

Ken Harbaugh:

No, this isn't the place for it. What I'd rather do is understand the psychology, because if I can get inside your head and understand what led you to say racist things about the President, then maybe we can better understand the people we're trying to, on one hand, beat today or if they're persuadable, persuade.

What is it about the conservative mindset circa 2022, and let's start with the election of Obama in 2008, that excuses that kind of behavior from a former member of Congress? What led you to do that?

Joe Walsh:

I'd love your take on this, Ken, because I find this really interesting. I was a proud, and I still consider myself a proud Tea Party conservative based on what the Tea Party means to me. Now, looking back, there's no doubt that race was part of what the Tea Party was.

Ken, I still don't believe it was the biggest part. I was a Tea Party guy because I was all pissed off about all the debt in the country, how both parties were bankrupting future generations, that's what drove me into the Tea Party. But I was a culture warrior too.

And I saw Obama, Ken, as my enemy. I saw John Boehner as my enemy, and I went after Boehner a lot too. But I went after Obama a lot, and there were plenty of times, Ken, when the old Joe Walsh would go after Obama where I'd get over my skis and I would engage in ugly personal politics.

It was just me generally, and what you'd have to do, Ken, is you'd have to put some of the shit I said in front of me, and I'd respond to each one. But generally, most of the time it was because I was so fired up about my cause that I'd lash out, and I did too much of that.

Ken Harbaugh:

Well, I'll put one thing in front of you for the listeners who are confused by the lack of context. “Obama is a Muslim, Happy New Year,” that's Joe Walsh's Twitter feed. “Obama never let a voter fill his birth certificate,” again, I'm not giving you room to apologize here. I just want to understand the motivations behind that.

Well, let me get the question out first because you said race wasn't the biggest part of the conservative agenda back then, but if it was the second biggest part, how the hell did it have so many adherence?

Joe Walsh:

It's a good question, was it the second? Was it the third? Was it the fourth? It came …

Ken Harbaugh:

If racism was a significant part of the conservative agenda, why are so many people still drawn in? I have a theory, I'm going to let you take a shot at it.

Joe Walsh:

I'll give you my theory and I want to hear yours. Those two tweets, “Obama is a Muslim,” and I said that a few times: what's behind that? Did I believe Obama was a Muslim? No, Ken, and I've apologized for that.

I am really, really still very pro-Israel. I believed in my bones back then that Obama was not sufficiently pro-Israel, and so, I would lash out and say, “Ooh, what the hell, he’s a Muslim,” horrible thing to say. What's interesting …

Ken Harbaugh:

Can we caveat that? Because it's a lie, not because — I had Muslim interpreter in Afghanistan, one of the bravest people I've ever met. So, let's just …

Joe Walsh:

Ken, thank you for saying that, and that's what I meant, a horrible thing to say because Obama's a Christian. So, by saying that, when I said that, I'm accusing Obama of lying. That's what I meant, so that's a horrible thing to say.

In trying to explain it, Ken, it was just me getting over my skis because I was so pissed off on what Obama said about Israel. I was never a birther never, never, never. There might have been a few stupid tweets like that, like we've never seen the birth certificate just to be kind of cute, stupid, and funny to make some of my followers laugh, get that.

Now, to your more important question, race is part of the mix. Here's what I believe, here's my theory. The base of the Republican party from which I come is middle-aged and older and white, and they want 1954 America back and they want it back tomorrow.

Ken, you know it, they want the America back where men married women and women married men and there were two genders and you could say Merry Christmas, and this was mostly a white Christian country, and we defended our borders and that plant was in town. That plant that I worked at was in town. They want that world back.

Part of that Ken is race. They want that primarily white Christian-America back. This is still what I hear from them every day.

Ken Harbaugh:

I think we're going to agree on the fundamentals here, and I would put it this way: the animating principle of the Republican party today is fear. And the avatar for that can be the first black president, it can be Black Lives Matter, it can be hungry and tired and shoeless immigrants at the border.

The Republican party has done an incredible job at stoking fear that America is going to change too fast for my parent’s generation keep up.

Joe Walsh:

Can I stop you and continue? And I agree with you. Absolutely, the basis of everything I just said, I want 1954 America back, is they’re scared to death because their world has been changing in a nanosecond. And Ken, not to defend them, but remember what, 15, 16 years ago, Obama and Hillary opposed same sex marriage.

So, the average voter sitting in the middle of in Missouri, in the small town of Missouri, to them, their world is changing overnight, and they're scared to death, and Republicans and people like Tucker Carlson and Hannity feed those fears every day, and I used to do some of that.

Ken Harbaugh:

And you have, I think cut through the BS on this as a former cog in that right wing media ecosystem. I'm going to read back a tweet that you put out pretty recently.

“This needs to be said again (these are your words), in the right-wing media world from which I come, it pays really, really well to lie to your audience and to scare the hell out of them, it pays really well.”

Joe Walsh:

Oh, my God, Ken, you are incentivized because look, and I knew this, and Hannity knows this and Mark Levin knows this, Limbaugh — fuck Limbaugh, he was the worst. He knew this.

You know what your audience is. I knew your audience is scared, middle-aged and older white men and women. So, you know you're incentivized if you want to expand your audience and get on more markets to scare them.

That crime Ken, going on in the south side of Chicago, “Hey ladies and gentlemen, that's going to be up in your suburb within a week, man. These black and brown people are going to be robbing shit in your neighborhood in a week.” You're incentivized to say that stuff.

I engaged Ken in some of that, I didn't engage in tons of that, but I'm guilty of some of that. But the most successful ones, that's what they do.

[Music Playing]

Ken Harbaugh:

You, I think alluded to guns with the violence in Chicago, you're a self-described gun rights advocate. I think one of the sickest things about this stoking of fear is the massive surge in gun ownership and gun violence.

Not sure when this is going to air, but we just had another campus shooting yesterday, and there is a direct line between this stoking of fear and the massive surge in gun ownership and the elimination of training requirements and licensing requirements. As a gun rights activist, how do you square that?

Joe Walsh:

Well, I can't deny it, Ken. And look, the context for everybody listening to us, I am a Charlton Heston from my cold dead hands, kind of a gun advocate. You talk about some strong stuff I've said over the years, probably no more have I said strong stuff than in defense of the Second Amendment gun rights.

But I can't deny that that is a part of it, that when people are afraid, gun sales go up. Now, I never consciously fed that, it's just always been a philosophy and a right of mine. But having said that, Ken, I'm a big, big gun guy.

But my God, the notion that in America right now, you can buy a gun without any permit, without any training — I'm with an organization Ken, called 97Percent.org. They put out research on what gun owners support, 97% of gun owners support universal background checks, 84% of gun owners support red flag laws, and I can go on and on.

So, the notion that gun owners generally are with me on a lot of this stuff, gun owners need to get off their ass though, Ken and demand change. And until that happens, we won't have meaningful reform.

Ken Harbaugh:

I'm glad you're doing what you're doing with 97Percent. I think if our policy makers actually listen to the American public, a lot of common-sense gun reforms would make it through legislatures.

Joe Walsh:

Ken, part of the problem is when I was in Congress, we all bowed to the NRA, because the NRA was always there for us, and the NRA would write you a check, and I did that. I could care less about the NRA, but they wrote me my check.

I left the NRA five or six years ago because the NRA has no fucking interest in doing anything to stop gun violence. And by the way, I'm not alone. Tons of gun owners now want nothing to do with the NRA. It's actually a great opportunity to form a rival lobbying group of gun owners to run the NRA out of business.

Ken Harbaugh:

I'm drawn to this tweet of yours reporting that the NRA has lost more than a million members of late. You said, “I say this is a huge gun rights advocate, good.”

So, grateful for what you're doing with 97Percent, but I want to go back to your idea that your Second Amendment advocacy is a philosophy.

It seems to be a philosophy resting on a foundation of fear. I mean, you call yourself Charlton Heston gun rights guy. From my cold dead hands, aren't you giving in to the same kind of fear you helped stoke? Do the facts matter that a gun in the home is 30 times more likely to be used against someone living in that home when you factor in suicide than it is to be used against an intruder?

Why are you letting that fear, which you reject at least, lately, in other aspects of your life — you used to be afraid of Black Lives Matter, now you're woke, but why do you let the gun thing be so dominant?

Joe Walsh:

Well, I was never afraid of Black Lives Matter, I just didn't like them. But we can quibble over that. Ken, my belief in gun rights comes from the founding of this country, comes from my reading and interpretation of the Second Amendment, and then, I'll pull back to where we are now.

But I will defend my right to defend myself with a firearm. I'll go to my death defending that as vigorously as I'll defend my right to say whatever I want to say about George W. Bush or Barack Obama, as much as I'll defend my right to believe in a God or not believe in a God.

To me, it is a basic, natural right freedom that I believe our founders put in there (I believe Ken, and you and I could probably fight about this for days) to help protect us against a government that would take away that defense.

So, I don't arm myself or support gun rights out of any fear. I agree with you that I think there are a lot of people in America who, when they are afraid, when right-wing media winds them up and they get afraid, they go out and buy a gun. I'll acknowledge that there's way too much of that there.

But by the way, Ken, you alluded to Michigan State, and I don't know when this is going to air either, the shooting at Michigan State — you know who pisses me off is Ted Cruz.

Ted Cruz three months ago was asked a really simple question after another mass shooting — Cruz was asked a question by some European reporter: “Excuse me, Senator Cruz, why do you uniquely seem to have this problem of mass shootings in America?”

Ken Harbaugh:

American exceptionalism.

Joe Walsh:

Well, he said Ken, “What a goof?” he said something like that, or he was afraid to even acknowledge that we do have a unique problem, he wouldn't even acknowledge it.

Now, when I'm asked that question, I'll acknowledge, “You know what, compared to the rest of the world, this is a uniquely American problem, it is.”

So, what are you going to do about it? We have 400 million plus guns and that number will go up tomorrow, and that's not going to change. We have a gun culture in this country (that ain’t changing), we have a Second Amendment in this country uniquely, and that's not changing.

So, I'll acknowledge that all of that can be a problem that leads to gun violence and makes us unique. But Ken, like none of those three things are going to change, so I think we need to change how we try to fix the problem, if that makes sense.

Ken Harbaugh:

Yes and no, I think we'll have to pick this one up later because it could take us hours. But I'm not going to let you go entirely. It's your devotion to the Second Amendment and I'm a Yale Law school guy, this one always gets me. Like the first four words, can you read them back by heart?

I don't mean to put you on the spot, but the first four words of the Second Amendment are, “A well-regulated militia.” like for crying out loud, I don't know why at every campaign stop I did at a VFW Hall or American Legion post, they skipped over that part.

It's just infuriating when you talk about the writings of the 1780s applied to an environment today where you have AR-15s and now, eliminating all licensing requirements, that's not a well-regulated militia as envisioned by the founders, and you can't convince me otherwise.

Joe Walsh:

Again, you and I could spend a lot of time trying to divine what they meant by “a well-regulated militia,” we won't do that right now. But Ken, I think I agree with your general thrust in that the 1A, the 2A, none of these rights are absolute, I agree with you.

And so, I guess what I'm saying is — and Ted Cruz and the NRA and these people won't even acknowledge that. I guess my only beef is don't focus on banning a certain kind of gun because that ain’t happening.

Focus on what we can do upfront before a gun is bought to make sure that somebody who shouldn't have a gun doesn't get a gun. A lot of gun owners actually support a lot of that stuff.

Ken Harbaugh:

Well, we're going to agree on that, keeping guns out of the hands of people who have no business owning them, red flag laws, background checks.

Joe Walsh:

But your biggest point, Ken, in this whole discussion is spot on. That base of the Republican Party, we're talking about scared white people and I say that as someone who comes from that base and that's where my friends, supporters, and followers who have all disowned me, that's who they are, I agree.

Ken Harbaugh:

I said we were going to hit all three categories that you outlined up top. I think we're segueing into that second one, the broad group of Republicans who went along to go along. How are they feeling about the Republican primary right now? Or is it too early or they just checked out? Are we sleepwalking as a country into another Trump nomination?

I'm not talking about the elites, the smoke-filled back rooms that are funding these candidates. I'm talking about the people you just referred to: your friends or maybe the ones who have disowned you who are motivated by fear.

Joe Walsh:

So, you're not talking about Republican leaders and elected officials, generally, Ken?

Ken Harbaugh:

We're going to get to those.

Joe Walsh:

Here's what's interesting, here's where the base is, and this is fascinating. In every poll right now of potential Republican nominees, there are only two people that even register: Trump and DeSantis, nobody else.

This is really unusual, nobody else even registers in the polls, why is that? Because it's Trump's party. Every Republican voter right now that says they want DeSantis, they are a Trump lover. They tell me this: “Joe, I love Trump, but he can't win. DeSantis is just like Trump, Joe, but he can win.”

So, that the upshot here, Ken, is these are all Trump people. So, something like 90, 95% of Republican voters right now want Trump/Trumpism, and they only view Trump or DeSantis as the vehicles for that, period.

Ken Harbaugh:

So, this gets to your and my Trumpism concern. If you defined your activism immediately after 2016 as opposition to Trump, you've had to pivot a little, because the threat doesn't go away if Trump is cut off at the knees.

Joe Walsh:

I left the Republican party almost three years ago, exactly to the day, wow. I left right after my idiotic primary challenge against Trump. And when I left the Republican Party, I went on CNN and I said, “I'm leaving the Republican party because it's an authoritarian embracing cult, it's much bigger than Trump.”

Ken, you’re spot on. Trumpism is not fringe, Trumpism is now the animating force in the party, which is why Ken, I believe, and I think Liz Cheney and my buddy Adam Kinzinger will eventually realize this, they do now, the party's not going to change.

I think it's on this road, Ken, I think it's on this path, and I don't think it's coming back. I'm older than you probably, I'm an old man, not in my lifetime. So, I felt like it was my duty to oppose as early as I could oppose what the party had become.

People ask me all the time, they've been asking me for a year now, “Okay, Joe, I get you won't support Trump, but you'll support another Republican in 2024, won't you?” And Ken, I drew my red line, and even among never Trumpers, I think I'm in the minority.

My red line on Trumpism is this, “I will never support any Republican who supported Donald Trump in 2020,” because if you supported him after four years of that unfit bastard in the White House, I can't support you.

Now, that's where I've drawn my line Ken, and again, even most never Trumpers disagree with me, but that means I can't support Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, who I know well, Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis. And I'd remind you by the way, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger voted for Trump in 2020, but I'd feel that's strongly about opposing Trumpism.

Ken Harbaugh:

Well, even some of the leading never Trumpers who did not vote for him in 2020 seem to be cowed today. You have Chris Sununu. I think you're going to riff on this, so go for it: Larry Hogan, Chris Sununu, all yours.

Joe Walsh:

Ken, what the fuck? Oh my God, this is why — I'm sorry, my decibel level: Ken, this is what just fucking drives me off a tree. I don't hate Marjorie Taylor Greene, I don't hate Lauren Boebert, I don't hate, I'm not disgusted with Jim Jordan or Paul Gosar.

I'm disgusted with Paul Ryan, I'm disgusted with Mitt Romney, I'm disgusted with Mike Pompeo, Chris Christie. I'm disgusted with Chris Sununu and Larry Hogan. Because as you said, Ken, they all know who this guy is and they don't have the balls to say, right now, “There's no way I'll support him because he's unfit.” Did you see what Paul, like Paul Ryan — where the hell is Paul Ryan been?

Ken Harbaugh:

On the board of Fox News, we have the end.

Joe Walsh:

Thank you, Ken, think about this: five years ago, Joe Walsh and Paul Ryan both know what Trump is. Crazy Tea Party, Joe Walsh stands up in the public square and says, “I declare war on Trump and Trumpism.” What does Paul Ryan do? He just goes away quietly, joins Fox News, and just keeps his head down for five years hoping that Trump storm goes away.

Then Paul Ryan comes out a few months ago and says, “Don't worry, Trump's not going to be the nominee because he can't win.” Not because he's unfit, because he can't win. But you're right Ken, Paul Ryan, will support Trump if he's the nominee, so will Chris Christie ,and then Sununu, then Larry Hogan, are you serious? I'll support Trump if — I'm done, I'm done. I'm done.

Ken Harbaugh:

Why are you so upset by their reasoning that he can't win? I got my answer.

Joe Walsh:

A, it's dishonest, because these guys (I'm watching my language for you, Ken) know in their head and in their heart, he's a traitor, he's unfit. They know that, they don't have the balls to say that because, Ken, they still want to be in the game.

They still want to get elected, they still want to play, they want to be in the King's Court. When you say what I say, he's an unfit traitor, Ken, when you say that, as I've said publicly now for five years, you're done as a Republican. They don't want to be there, I get that, what's your theory?

Ken Harbaugh:

I think it's that, I think it's cowardice, and I think it is tribalism. And I worry that we underestimate the power of tribalism and the attraction to the tribe that has protected you and made you rich for so long.

And it makes me want to ask you if you think there is a way around that. Can we actually pull enough Republicans from the Republican tribe to the Democratic tribe in November of 2024 to win? Do we need a third way?

We've had some smart people on this show: Miles Taylor and Sebastian Junger and others who say, you know what, “That draw of the tribe is almost unavoidable and it's more that you're never going to join the other tribe than that you're going to vote against your own.” And so, Miles Taylor says the only way out of this is to create a third party. What's your take?

Joe Walsh:

I love Miles and I know Miles well, and I've told them repeatedly, “Not now.” I've been yelling for a third and a fourth party for the last 10 years — not now.

Because I believe Ken (and I could be dead wrong) my former political party is a direct threat to our democracy. So, as far as I'm concerned, right now, our battle is to defeat that threat. And that means the only game in town is over here at the Democratic Party.

Now, you want to change and reform our democracy down the road with ranked choice voting and a third and fourth party, have at it, and I'm with you. But no, right now, it's all about saving democracy. Ken, think about it, we've got two parties, one of our two major political parties is fully authoritarian.

I don't have time now to twiddle my thumbs and think about a third or fourth party. Me, crazy Tea Party Joe Walsh, I got to do everything I can as I did in ‘20 to help Joe Biden win. If Biden's the nominee, I'm going to do everything I can to help him get re-elected.

And by the way, help other Democrats win because I believe that party is a direct threat to our democracy. So, my answer, Ken, to Miles is just not now, down the road.

Ken Harbaugh:

Well, this has been intense, Joe. I got one more question for you.

Joe Walsh:

Oh, shun up, what do you have?

Ken Harbaugh:

What is the mainstream media?

Joe Walsh:

That’s a great question, it's a fair question, and I don't know if that term is even applicable anymore and maybe I still use it too much.

Here's what it is, it's the thing (you're not going to like this) — the mainstream media is the thing that gave us Fox News because for so long, ABC and CBS and NBC and PBS and MSNBC and all the rest, all good people, but because they were all left of center, that media in this country has always generally been left of center over the years, Ken …

That just fricking pissed off again, the Republican Party base. And all of a sudden there was a market for Fox News and talk radio and all the rest. So, when I think mainstream media, I think good decent left of center media that helped give us Fox News.

Ken Harbaugh:

Well, you've got to acknowledge that today, if we ever were where you say we were, we're not there today. More Americans get their news from Facebook and crazy unreferenced sources than get their news from even cable tv, much less nightly news.

Joe Walsh:

Ken, it's an antiquated term in an antiquated argument, I can see that you're right. When I go on CNN tonight, I may have seven people watching me, whereas like 10 years ago, it was a big deal. “Oh Joe, you're going to be on CNN,” you're right. Young people don't even go to cable news anymore. Fair.

Ken Harbaugh:

Well, Joe, this has been a lot of fun, I hope we can talk you into coming back on, thanks for giving me …

Joe Walsh:

By the way, can I say something? I've done a gazillion of these, you're fucking good, I mean that. You ask really good, thought-provoking, penetrating, tough, fair questions. Ken, I really enjoyed this.

Ken Harbaugh:

Thanks Joe, me too.

Joe Walsh:

Stay in touch, brother.

Ken Harbaugh:

You bet. Thanks again to Joe for joining me, make sure to check out his, Podcast White Flag, we've put a link to it in the show description. You can also find Joe on Twitter @WalshFreedom.

Thanks for listening to Burn the Boats. If you have any feedback, please email the team at [email protected]. We're always looking to improve the show.

For updates and more, follow us on Twitter @team_harbaugh. And if you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to rate and review.

Burn The Boats is a production of Evergreen Podcasts. Our producer is Declan Rohrs and Sean Rule-Hoffman is our audio engineer.

Special thanks to Evergreen executive producers, Joan Andrews, Michael DeAloia, and David Moss. I'm Ken Harbaugh and this is Burn the Boats, a podcast about big decisions.


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Journalist Tim Alberta discusses his book, The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, and his personal experiences with the evangelical movement....
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Dr. Steven Hassan: MAGA is a Cult

Burn the Boats | S:1 E:159
Dr. Hassan explains how cults indoctrinate members, and how the radical right has copied these strategies....
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Dr. Bandy Lee: A Duty to Warn

Burn the Boats | S:1 E:158
Psychiatrist Dr. Bandy Lee discusses Trump’s mental state, and the danger he poses to the country....
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Tristan Snell: Trump’s Legal Strategy

Burn the Boats | S:1 E:157
Tristan, who prosecuted Trump as the Assistant Attorney General of New York, talks about Trump’s legal strategy, our current judicial system, and ...
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