Ruthless podcast plays 'Dem or Journo' game using quotes condemning Joe Manchin over filibuster support

Media top headlines June 10

Dr. Fauci equating GOP criticism of him to ‘attacks on science,’ Griff Jenkins speaking to a smuggler in the Rio Grande River, and Bari Weiss slamming her former coworkers at the New York Times round out today’s top media headlines

The conservative podcast “Ruthless” played a new round of “Dem or Journo” based on the backlash Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has received for his staunch support of the filibuster and opposition to the Democrat-backed elections bill.

On Thursday’s “variety progrum,” Comfortably Smug and Josh Holmes faced off in a game involving the two having to decipher which of the following four statements was said by a Democratic operative versus members of the media. 

The first statement: “Joe Manchin’s position will allow Republicans to destroy Democracy.”

The second statement: “The senator has effectively given Republicans veto power.”

The third statement: “Is there any point to the NAACP or other civil rights groups meeting with Senator Joe Manchin at this point? Wouldn’t that be roughly like having MLK sit down with ole’ Strom Thurmond?”

The fourth statement: “I don’t think our founding fathers anticipated the survival of this Democratic experiment to rest in the hands of a man who lives on a houseboat.”

While previous installments of “Dem or Journo” have sparked debate between Smug and Holmes, both knew a Democratic operative uttered the fourth statement. Jenna Valle-Riestra, the press secretary for Senate Majority Whip Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., tweeted out the viral slam, which led her to lock down her account.

“This is a total success because every one of these could be a Dem or journo,” Smug reacted. 

Podcast host Michael Duncan considered not including the now-deleted tweet from Durbin’s press secretary since it could be obvious to Smug and Holmes, but he called it “too good” not to use.  

The first statement came from New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait, the second from New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman, and the third from MSNBC host Joy Reid. 

Smug went on to blast Reid’s tweet. 

“So this is, I think, a very poignant example…  because it’s very telling of what the media considers their job to be,” Smug said. “The media no longer considers their job to be, like, shining light on darkness. The media at this point has become ‘Hey, let’s give ideas to Dem operatives. Let’s give them some, like, tips on messaging to run with. Let’s help these people out with talking points.’ And that’s 100 percent what this is.”

“They’re just trying to introduce an idea out there, throw it out into the universe, hope to manifest it into some talking points that some Dems will run with. It’s just this cycle where … Dem operatives will have access to any member of the media that they feed oppo to, that they can feed talking points to and that journo will write it up, you know, like a good little boy,” he added.

“They can throw up all of these trial balloons to test all these different messages and then the Democrats can run with whichever one sticks,” Duncan said in agreement. 

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