Dan Pfeiffer on the Republican Counsel’s “Partisan Hit Job”

How the Democrats should talk about Biden’s age

Dan Pfeiffer, former senior Obama advisor and host of Pod Save America, joins as a special guest to talk through some of the vibes this week!  We ask Dan about special counsel Robert Hur’s report that he referred to as a “partisan hit job,” media coverage of Biden’s age, and how to survive the dizzying pollercoaster.

Then, we give a brief update on Donald Trump’s election cases, and discuss his comments on Russia and Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin.

Finally, we take a trip to Missouri for a round of “it’s giving,” invite you into our group chat, and leave you with a good vibe!

Subscribe to Vibes Only wherever you get your podcasts!


[00:00:00] Brian Derrick: The polls are broken, kind of. The stakes are unprecedented, definitely. I’m Brian Derrick.

Glennis Meagher: I’m Glenna Smihar, and this week we’re excited to be joined by Dan Pfeiffer, who was a senior advisor to President Barack Obama and is now a host of Pods of America and author of

The Message Box.

Brian Derrick: We’ll hop on the Polar Coaster with Dan for a brief ride to talk about recent polling and get his takes on the Her Report and the Biden Age Saga.

Glennis Meagher: Then, stick around for a brief update on Trump’s election cases, our takes on Trump’s saying,

Donald Trump: if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?

No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want.

Glennis Meagher: as well as Tucker Carlson passing Putin

the mic.

Brian Derrick: We’ll take a trip to Missouri in our It’s Giving segment before inviting you into our group chat and leaving you with a good vibe. Let’s get into it.

Glennis Meagher: Brian, are you ready to talk a little


Brian Derrick: ready, baby. I have my coffee, and it’s a doozy. how are you feeling about the polls these days? I hear they’re [00:01:00] broken.

Glennis Meagher: The polls are broken. The vibes are, uh, polls. I’m not a polls girly. we’re going to have Dan Pfeiffer join us in a few minutes. He is a polls guy. He can speak really well to the polls and what they all mean. I’m someone who, Has like 30, 000 unread messages in my inbox, like that’s how I feel about polls.

I don’t want to see them. I want to kind of get a gauge of what’s going on, but I don’t look too deeply into them because I think as we’ll learn from Dan,

they’re a little wonky.

Brian Derrick: Yeah, I think that most people only hear about polls when they’re really bad, to be honest. Like, we love to share horrifying polls and just scare the crap out of each other. that’s when I get the most questions online about, about polling. And I think some of my questions for Dan revolve around how it actually works, because it’s not just people dialing landlines and asking you five questions anymore, like polling has changed and evolved and it’s had to.

and so I want to understand that better. And then I also get a lot of questions [00:02:00] from people and have always been curious about why there’s such variation in polls at any given time, right? Because we. Imminently see polls that like are Biden plus five and then Trump plus five at the same time. It’s like, how

Glennis Meagher: in the



Brian Derrick: So how, how, why, how, who?

Glennis Meagher: Yeah, who are you talking to? I’m particularly interested in the youth. We’ve talked about this before on the pod. The youth being, you know, 18 to 29 to 36. Who’s answering the phone? We know I don’t answer the phone. Everyone’s exhausted with the the Dem fundraising texts. So if you’re getting a poll, and if this is the main way by which people are polled, is your cell phone, what are we working with


Brian Derrick: yeah, I’m excited for the conversation. He has put out some really interesting, articles via his newsletter, the message box recently, and. It was a lot of new information to me, but I think in a pretty digestible way, and so we’re very excited for him to be our first [00:03:00] guest on the pod!

Glennis Meagher: guest. We are also going to ask him about Biden’s

age, which is a

Brian Derrick: We have


Glennis Meagher: to get, we’re going to get a hot topic moment with Dan on Biden’s age, but we’re super soaked. Our first guest on Vibes Only, Dan Pfeiffer.

Brian Derrick: Dan, it’s great to have you on. Thank you so much for joining us. We talk a lot, on vibes only about how the polls are broken, and our listeners find them really frustrating.

can you just like orient us a little bit around why are the polls all over the place, this year, more than ever?

Dan Pfeiffer: Sure. I think, well, there’s a couple things. One, the reason the polls seem all over the map is this is an unprecedented election. You have two candidates with 100 percent name ID. You have a president running against a former president. You have the two oldest people to seek office. in history, you have one of those candidates with 91 felony indictments in the middle of an ongoing primary.

but what I would say is Biden up six and Biden down five[00:04:00] mean the same thing, right? At this point, polling is not designed to tell us exactly what’s going to happen.

nine months from now. It’s designed to tell us what is happening right now. And polls have a margin of error. And so what all of the polling says is this is a very, very close race. Maybe you average all the polls out. Trump has a slight, the slightest of advantages right now, but that doesn’t tell us very much about what will happen nine months from now.

So I think we are, one of the things I try to tell people is just. Stop freaking out about every individual poll, don’t tune out the bad polls and only focus on the good polls. Don’t try to unskew the polls and try to become an amateur statistician and like dig into the sample sizes and all of that.

Brian Derrick: Glennis, do you hear that? You have to stop looking at the cross tabs.

Glennis Meagher: Right? Well, so someone for me, I am not reading the polling. How does one stay motivated or grounded in the polling if it is so wonky and it’s up and down? And how often do the polls come out so that should we be checking them every month, every two months and what to do, if anything, when we see the numbers?

Dan Pfeiffer: Well, I thinkthe polls are going to come [00:05:00] out with increasing frequency as we get closer to the election.

You don’t, you don’t have to check the polls at all. That’s also an option. You can feel totally free to, not look at them, right? Just accept that, it’s going to be a close election. You’re gonna have to do a lot of things. You have to work. We’re going to have to work hard to win the election campaign polls are useful, right?

They tell Democrats, the Biden campaign what voters to target, what messages to use, what States to spend money in, what States not to spend money For those of us who are not working on the campaign. All the polls are is emotional management.

Brian Derrick: Mm.

Dan Pfeiffer: even worse about the fact that she didn’t win, but is that really why? And then the Biden thing, we all thought Biden would win easily. And then it, it was an incredibly close election because the polls told us that, but maybe we would have felt different about that election if we had just thought if the polls had just said it was going to be tied and then Biden won by 50, 000 votes.

But because we thought we wouldn’t have to sweat the election night, we won this emotional rollercoaster. So if you don’t want to look at the polls, don’t look at them. it’s not a requirement for participating in our democracies to look at the polls. But for

Glennis Meagher: not required reading.

Dan Pfeiffer: right, [00:06:00] for a lot of people that they can’t avoid it, right?

They have, they want to know what’s happening. They’re very anxious about this election. They, you know, they want to be told that it’s going to be okay. They want to know how to prepare themselves for what may or may not happen. And for the, for people like that, and I’m one of those people, my advice would be, like I said, don’t forget about every individual poll.

Look at all of the polling, right? And I 538 has a very good polling model that sucks in all the polling, weights it based on historical accuracy and a bunch of other factors that are too complicated for me and just spits out an average. And that’s kind of gives you. The best sense of what’s going to happen.

But just as a reminder, if it says Trump is up to on Biden, that is consistent with a race that Biden wins because they’re with a race. Trump wins by two, it’s consistent with the 2020 election. It’s just, they’re not people really think have become to think of polls as predictive measures, not snapshots in time about what is happening at that moment.

Glennis Meagher: And you also mentioned in your piece that there are two groups that are particularly difficult to reach [00:07:00] independence and young voters. And given that the young vote count, I believe it’s like 18 to 29 year olds, this coming election is about 54 million Americans. And the polling we do get from that group is often inaccurate

Do you think we should be reconsidering how we poll altogether to reach the youth vote or kind of just take that for what it is and, you know, wait it in a certain way?

Dan Pfeiffer: Well, it’s I mean, this has been the question that people have been wrestling with, for decades now, as when everyone had a home phone and they were home all the time, there was a way to do this. That made sense. And then, as people started transitioning more and more to cell phone only and cell phone only was largely younger people, younger people were not getting captured.

Now you have the combination of. Most people are cell phone only. Most people, have caller ID and, you know, whether it’s Apple or Samsung are screening their calls for them.

Brian Derrick: You’re talking to the queen. Glennis is the queen of Do Not Disturb. Hasn’t, hasn’t answered a call in years.

Dan Pfeiffer: Yeah, I mean, I wouldn’t answer a call from [00:08:00] a unknown number ever, right? And so they’ve mixed in all kinds of other ways to do this. There have been some that are done by text. There’s various internet web panels. You do people are finding a mix of, Cell phones, landlines, internet panels, some pollsters use what is called random digit dialing, which is they just start dialing phone numbers

And then you get them and you ask them a series of questions like, are you a voter? Are you, you know, where do you live? And they go from there.

The young vote has, while it’s harder to reach those voters, has been pretty accurate in the past. This cycle, it is all over the map. You see some polls that has Trump winning 18 to 29, you have some where Biden is barely winning.

And one of the polls that came out that showed Biden up recently, he was up 23, which would be very good because he won 18 to 29 year olds by 24 points in 2020 solving mapping the same thing with, independence. And so whenever I see big spreads and polls and last week, which is what caused me to write this piece, it was so disorienting [00:09:00] was.

one moment, great poll for Biden. Oh, maybe he’s turned the corner. Consumer confidence up. Things look good. Oh no, another poll down. And they’re all from high quality pollsters,

I look at the independent numbers and the young voter numbers and the independent spread is. There’s like a 26 point spread between Biden being up 15 in the Quinnipiac poll where he’s winning and being down, like nine or 11, I think, and somebody’s other polls like the Bloomberg swing state poll.

And so why now? Why is that happening? Harder to reach people. People are much more, more and more people are identifying as independent, to pollsters because they’re bad, even if they are not registered independence, Right. The pollsters just asking you, are you Republican, Democrat, independent? Given the historic dissatisfaction with both candidates, you’re getting a larger group of people.

So if you’re getting a group of independents, but you don’t know that in reality, that group of independents may act. The ones you just happened to find may actually be just some Democrats who. Are identified as independent or some Republicans [00:10:00] dissatisfied who with the party and the establishment, but vote Trump and you just don’t know who that group is, is you’re getting these huge swings across, but that’s why you take all the polls.

There’s a margin of error is it accounts for that in the average, which is what gets you to a very narrowly, very close race.

Brian Derrick: Super

Glennis Meagher: if you’re, yeah, a Gen Z or millennial listening, answer the phone, it’s going

to help.

Dan Pfeiffer: yeah. Answer the phone, respond to the email about the web panel or whatever it is. Yes.

Brian Derrick: we do have another major topic that we wanted to, bring you in on. And that is last week’s report. The infamous now her report, the special prosecutor who was appointed to look at, Joe Biden’s, document storage situation.

and he puts out this report that says that Biden didn’t do anything wrong, but he’s. Shocker old. Um, and it’s caused quite a shit storm in the media. and so just like at a high level, how are you thinking right now about the challenge of President Biden’s age as it pertains to his [00:11:00] reelect?

Dan Pfeiffer: the, the report has kicked up a media feeding frenzy and it definitely has, and I’ve just anecdotally in my own life, a lot of my friends and family who don’t follow politics super closely have reached out to me about this. Like, it, it is something that,

I think it really took this preexisting concern that’s been around for years now and, and brought it more to the forefront of the conversation and certainly kicked up a media feeding frenzy about it.

But it’s not a surprise. Everyone’s known Joe Biden is old. He was old when he ran in 2020, he’s old now, everyone knows that. And so Robert, Robert didn’t give us any new information. Other than he’s offered these testimonials about Biden’s memory, which to be fair, are being contradicted by people who work with Joe Biden all the time.

And it’s not just his staff or Democrats. Kevin McCarthy reportedly told Republicans that Joe Biden is incredibly sharp in their conversations. And, and it’s something I wrote in another piece I wrote for my newsletter message box was. I worked in Washington for a long time. rumors are the, are the mother’s milk of Washington.

It is what, how it is the currency of the town. It’s how it’s [00:12:00] traded. Everyone who goes into a meeting with the president of the United States.

Glennis Meagher: much. very

Dan Pfeiffer: not just Democrats, not just his staff, he meets with Republicans, CEOs, members of the military, people who probably are planning on voting for Trump all the time, if he was in those meetings and having the sort of memory lapses that Robert Herr said he’s having, we would all know.

There’s just no, Washington isn’t capable of keeping that secret. And so I take everything her said about Biden’s memory with a huge grain of salt. I do not believe that that is an accurate portrait of the president. It seems like he certainly had an ax to grind there, but that doesn’t change the fact that voters

Have expressed real concern about Biden, two thirds of voters to tell Gallup. They wouldn’t vote for a candidate over 80 now, just that’s about the same number said they wouldn’t vote for a, for a candidate who was convicted of a crime. So I don’t know what turnout is going to be, in the NBC poll, 76 percent of voters express concern about Biden’s age.

You know, it is, it is [00:13:00] a very real issue and ultimately it’s not the only issue in this election, but I think it’s a threshold issue where if Biden can’t. Assuage those concerns, particularly among his voters from 2020, then I don’t think he can win the election. So it is it in some ways. It’s the crux for his campaign.

It’s like the first strategic priorities to address that.

Brian Derrick: totally. I feel like you hit on two really important things there that I kind of want to dig into a little bit more. One is the source of this latest, um, drama. Her, I am under the impression, this is a Trump appointed prosecutor. Um, he also, I believe, clerked for Rehnquist on the court, a conservative, um, former justice.

And it feels to me like some of the jobs in DC and I guess nationally that we expect to be a political like judges and prosecutors have seemingly become more partisan. Like is that how people should be interpreting this report that like this is [00:14:00] essentially a partisan maneuver or attack on the president’s reelect more so than someone performing their official duties as a special prosecutor.

Dan Pfeiffer: Yeah, I mean, he’s clearly a partisan, right? I mean, and special councils have a long history of being incredibly partisan. Uh, Ken star, uh, who was an independent council, but basically, uh, same, same here. Uh, obviously incredibly partisan. Um, so it’s not. Yeah. So, it is fair to say that this was a partisan report from a Trump appointee who went well above and beyond the scope of his duties in trying to paint this picture of Joe Biden, right?

He was making a political argument, not a legal argument. So, that is a fair point. Now, is that going to be particularly persuasive to voters? Maybe it’s hard because Merrick Garland appointed him, which is a pretty good pushback to it. Um, and it does it’s whether he, whether the her report came out or not, Biden would, you know, those poll numbers, I suggest it all came out before the her report.

So it’s not like [00:15:00] there was no concern or a modicum of concern that their, her report created the concern. It’s just, it’s a reminder to everyone that that Biden has this challenge. Trump has other challenges that may even be bigger than Biden’s, but Biden has this challenge. And if people think the president’s too old to do the job and to manage the crises and protect them and all of those things, they’re not going to vote for them.

And then we will end up with Trump. And so I think Biden can address it, but he’s going to, he has to do it and he has to do it. Convincingly enough that people will, will come around and like, it’s, I think essentially is that, and you see this in some of the polling where just Trump has these massive advantages on all these issue areas.

And part of it is because I think there’s a segment of voters who have decided as of right now, I think they get their minds can be changed. We have decided that Joe Biden is too old for the job and can’t do it. So they’re not gonna listen to anything else. He says. And so that’s why it’s a threshold issue, which is you have to open the door by demonstrating you have the capacity.

And the capability and the vigor to do the job for another four years. And then once you do that, you’re going to be making your argument on [00:16:00] the economy or why Trump is unfit because he wants Russia to invade NATO or all these other things from a firmer footing than he currently is.

Glennis Meagher: Dan, one more question for you, in your, you wrote a piece about this and you gave people tips on how to communicate with people like you. You had friends reaching out who are not typically politically involved. And this is an issue that prompted them to pick up their phone and text you about it.

What are some tips that we can give the Vibes Only audience on how to have this conversation and relational organize around this topic, which clearly is moving so many people? Right.

Dan Pfeiffer: these are very legitimate concerns. and not dismiss them and say that it’s because you watch too much Fox news, or you’ve seen all these out of context or altered TikToks of Biden seeming old, Joe Biden is 81 years old. he’s the oldest president in history right now, he’s asking to be president until he’s 86, you’re asking people to do something that has never been done before.

And if you are someone who has older parents, like my dad is 75, he is sharp as attack, he is in great health. I don’t think he should run for president if you were to come to me and say that, right? And so [00:17:00] it, like, this is something that’s very,

Brian Derrick: to make?

Dan Pfeiffer: that’s right. He would be like the third youngest person running for president if he were to do that.

But, um, especially people with grandparents and parents, this is a, they, it feels Somewhat. It feels very challenging to to understand how someone of that age could do the job. So you have to accept it as legit as a legitimate concern and not dismiss it. I think a lot of Democrats are right now dismissing it, blaming the New York Times for how they’re writing about it, or Robert heard all that you can if you want to push back against the individual allegations that Robert her has made about Biden’s memory, right?

The stuff we talked about him on being a partisan. I’m all for that, but then the question is, how do you address it once you’ve once you’ve accepted legitimacy of the concern? And I have seen a bunch of polling on this. There is no great answer. I’ll be honest with you. There is not for all the obvious reasons I said, but the best one that I’ve seen and the best one I recommend people is to say, yes, Joe Biden is older.

He is four years older than Donald Trump. Unlike [00:18:00] Trump bite with age, Biden has developed wisdom and experience. And it’s that wisdom experience that has allowed him to make historic progress on. Issues like lowering the cost of prescription drugs, passing the first ever, massive bipartisan immigration bill, passing the first gun safety law in decades, helping veterans.

You can just go on and on down the line just using the opportunity to pivot to Biden’s accomplishments. Because one of the reasons people have, doubts about Biden’s ability to do the job, because they don’t know how well he’s done the job for the last four years.

And so if you can inform them of that, that will help. And then the next thing is ultimately,what all of us can do is on the margins. Biden’s going to have to perform in the big moments to show people that he can do the job. but when he does do that, when he has good moments.

We should share those moments with the people in our network, right? We can do that by posting on social media. We can do it by it’s sending the videos in our, in our family text chats, because I watched the president very closely the moments where he is very strong and good and, and seems younger than his [00:19:00] 81 years, who vastly outnumber the bad moments, but it’s the bad moments that go viral.

And that’s because Republicans want them to go viral. It’s because that’s, that’s just what the algorithms want. But it’s also because that’s what people share. No one shares the good stuff, right? And so we could share the good stuff. And the last point is we have to just remember that this election is not simply a referendum on whether an 81 year old man can do the job of president for another four years.

It’s a choice between two men. One who is 81, who is a decent, good, empathetic person, who has accomplished a lot in his life and in his presidency, who thinks about you every day, or a 77 year old, chaotic, incompetent, lying criminal who only thinks about himself and his rich friends. Like, that’s the choice.

And. And when you frame the choice, if you, you may, it feels different pulling the lever for the 81 year old may feel different than, uh, than it does when it’s just, just about his age.

Brian Derrick: And that’s on vibes. [00:20:00] That is on vibes. That’s what we’re all about. Dan, we could talk to you about this stuff all day long. We’ve stolen too much of your time already. Thank you so much for being with us. we hope that you’ll come back throughout the election this year and talk to us some more,

Dan Pfeiffer: Will do. Thanks for having me.

Brian Derrick: And there you have it.

Glennis Meagher: that was really actually Helpful in a way to know that I’m not wrong in just thinking to myself Buckle up. Let’s go. Let’s do this. Let’s have real conversations with friends and family Let’s be pragmatic about this And I would also argue, let’s use social media way more. We all have our platforms, whether that’s you have 10 followers or 10 million, you have a platform, you have things to say, use it, spread the message

that you want to spread.

Brian Derrick: Absolutely. Let’s, let’s, let’s recap what we just heard from him. Number one, he gave us permission to tune out of the ups and downs of the polls. He reiterated that they are for campaigns as, strategy, directives, not for like broad [00:21:00] consumption to determine how your day or your week should be going.

He also, I think gave some really helpful information around how the polls actually work and why. Even though they are useful without like advanced degrees, we kind of get them wrong a lot of times and misunderstand what they’re actually telling us. and then when it comes to Biden’s age, I think he had some really valid points.

I’m on the more concerned end of the spectrum probably. but I agree with him that it’s not like. The defining thing of this election, if you believe that democracy is also on the line. And so I think his tips were super helpful and I hope that all of our listeners find them helpful for their conversations with family and friends.

Glennis Meagher: Agree. And I couldn’t help but think during that interview, being a pollster is not unlike being a weatherman or person where like you can kind of just guess.

Brian Derrick: I think that he would probably refute that a little bit. I mean, meteorology

Glennis Meagher: Yeah. No, no, no. Yeah. [00:22:00] Yeah.

Brian Derrick: but I, I think that that’s right. That people do think that they can make a lot of meaning out of polling data in a way that I would never claim to make meaning out of meteorological data.

Glennis Meagher: for sure. And I, for the record, I do. I do know some pollsters. I know that they are very data driven and algorithmic in their


Brian Derrick: Part science,

Glennis Meagher: not want to

Brian Derrick: Part science, part art, right? Kind of. The

waiting. You know.

Glennis Meagher: Keep on polling.

Okay, Brian. On the topic of older men

Brian Derrick: boy.

Glennis Meagher: running

for president,

Brian Derrick: A date?

Glennis Meagher: on the topic of,

Brian Derrick: For me?

Glennis Meagher: lol, yeah, okay. I’ll send you his number.

Speaking of old men running for president of the United States, we’re not going to talk about these at length because it’s just too exhausting, but I will use as a reminder to all that Donald Trump is only four years younger, three years younger [00:23:00] than

Joe Biden.

Brian Derrick: on the month.

Glennis Meagher: on the month. Donald Trump, and we’re going to give you a little court court case update here.

So SCOTUS, Supreme Court of the United States of America, last week, they heard oral arguments on Trump’s eligibility to appear on the Colorado ballot and Brian. A little surprising for many people

Brian Derrick: my interpretation of the media since and the coverage has been that the Supreme Court is extremely likely to strike down Colorado’s decision and leave Trump on the ballot.

and I think that we got questions from judges, even left leaning judges, that imply that as well.

I will say that from the very first day that the Colorado Supreme Court issued their decision,this seemed like the most likely outcome all along to me. just based on how other courts had already ruled on this issue, how other states were handling Trump as it pertains to the ballot.

I would have been shocked if if [00:24:00] I will be shocked if the Supreme Court ultimately decides to keep him off of the ballot based on this case.

Glennis Meagher: let’s see if the powers try to balance


Brian Derrick: Totally. And on, so that’s one case, um, that Trump has right now, which is, again, originating from Colorado, focused on his eligibility to be on the ballot. He’s right back in court. he just petitioned the Supreme Court to intervene on the January 6th case, saying that they should strike down the three judge panel on the D.

C. court. We talked about this decision last week, and he’s now asking the Supreme Court to jump in and say, that he had presidential immunity to do whatever crimes he wanted to do, essentially is the argument and we’re now waiting on what the Supreme Court is going to do about that case. So, all around Supreme Court is going to be very involved in the presidential this year.

Glennis Meagher: that’s right. You are going to be thinking about the Supreme Court more in the next six [00:25:00] weeks to year leading up to November 5th in your life than you probably have ever.

Brian Derrick: And that’s a promise that we don’t want to keep.

What else has happened this week? Um, well,


have you ever heard of a little thing called World War III?

Glennis Meagher: yeah. NATO. Have you heard of her?

Brian Derrick: Um,

Glennis Meagher: So Donald Trump is running his mouth again in a way that is wildly, could be wildly destabilizing to any sort of geopolitical normality. We’ve

Brian Derrick: very on brand for

Glennis Meagher: to here. Yes. recently, he was at a rally, and he said

Donald Trump: One of the presidents of a big country stood up and said, Well sir, uh, if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us? I said, You didn’t pay? You’re delinquent? He said, Yes. Let’s say that happened. No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want.

You gotta pay. You gotta pay your bills.

Glennis Meagher: Now [00:26:00] this to me, I highlighted this because it is so rich coming from a man who. Bankrupted blue collar workers in Atlantic City, building his Taj Mahal, his beloved Taj Mahal that he would not shut up about.

And he never paid his bills. There is a special place in hell for people who do not pay their vendors, their contractors, et cetera.

Brian Derrick: Totally.

Glennis Meagher: Donald Trump, pot, kettle,

Brian Derrick: Yeah, the whole thing reminds me of like a racket when a gang is going around and charging like little mom and pop shops for security. when really what they need is like protection from the gang itself. Because here you have Trump enabling Russia, leading the party to, abandon Ukraine, right?

Making Russia a greater and greater threat to world security. And then at the same time, really pulling the rug out from under NATO allies,

Glennis Meagher: our allies. [00:27:00]

Brian Derrick: who, who would actually be physically threatened by Russia, if they were to overrun Ukraine. And so it very much feels like. The aggressor in the situation gaslighting the people who are, potentially being attacked, into thinking that like,

Glennis Meagher: It’s their fault because they didn’t pay

a bill

Brian Derrick: right, right.

And so listen,I’ll have to brush up on what NATO dues structure is, but I think that the important part for us to remember is that Russia invading a NATO ally. Would actually start world war three. And so your point about around like destabilization is really important. And for Trump this far out from the election to feel free to completely try to upend the world security and like the post world war two order that has, prevented a third world war is truly.

concerning, if not horrifying.

Glennis Meagher: It’s truly concerning and we talked [00:28:00] about this about, you know, Dan mentioned that. We’re in unprecedented times and as millennials, we’ve never not lived in unprecedented times. I would really appreciate a precedented time, but by the looks of what Donald Trump and the Republicans are doing, we’re not going to, we’re not going to get that.

And not even elected officials, Tucker Carlson, little baby Tucker Carlson flew over to Russia to do what? Interview. Vladimir


Brian Derrick: Putin on the Ritz, you know what I mean?

Glennis Meagher: Putin

on the Ritz,

Brian Derrick: crazy, yeah, for him to, offer a platform in that way, and like, legitimize Putin, who we know is like a war criminal, and a thug, and a murderer, and all these things.

Glennis Meagher: a horrible human

being and hates

Brian Derrick: Jails journalists, prosecutes minorities,

Glennis Meagher: jails his opponents,

kills his

Brian Derrick: has sent hundreds of thousands of his own people to die.

I mean, it’s

Glennis Meagher: The list goes on

did you watch any of the interview?[00:29:00]

Brian Derrick: Why would I do that?

Glennis Meagher: I did. You want to know why? Because I wanted to see Tucker Carlson being read to filth. I’m not, like, clapping for Putin or being like, Yay, good job. Tucker should be mortified. Mortified. One, Putin had a ton of intelligence on Tucker and was like, You tried to get in the CIA, didn’t you?

They didn’t launch you. Huh? The whole thing. And Tucker’s sitting there because of course, Tucker doesn’t speak any Russian. And it’s just like waiting for the translator and has this like dumb ass look on his face. Moral of the story, we should not be giving Vladimir Putin any sort of platform or celebrating him in any way.


Brian Derrick: Yeah, and I think it’s probably a longer conversation that we can continue in the future since the proliferation of Platforms driven by user generated content and the idea that a millennial or Gen Z person can rack up millions of followers overnight. I think that we’ve had [00:30:00] a change in our framing of what it means and what the responsibility of having a platform is.

Glennis Meagher: Yes.

Brian Derrick: Journalists, it’s different. When you are a journalist representing one of the main, media outlets in the country, I think that it confers a legitimacy when you Turn that mic around to offer someone the chance to speak to the nation. And I think that what we’ve seen from like all corners of the ecosystem is condemning how Tucker Carlson went about this.

and that he’s optimizing for clicks and Views over journalistic integrity, which is very on brand, but still damaging, to the

Glennis Meagher: And national security, he’s prioritizing his media and his clicks and his algorithm of how many people are going to be engaged with this content over national security and the best interests of the American people. He posted the full two [00:31:00] hour. Interview onto X. and his conclusion was that he realized that Putin was

quote sincere

Tucker Carlson: what you’re about to see seem to us sincere, whether you agree with it or not.

Vladimir Putin believes that Russia has a historic claim to parts of Western Ukraine.

Glennis Meagher: Who was that helping

Brian Derrick: why does it matter if he’s sincere? Like,

I can be sincere in my belief that,

Glennis Meagher: I’m sincere in my belief that Britney Spears should have way more Grammys. She has none.

okay. Brian for this week’s episode of it’s giving

There’s a clip we’re going to watch. There is a woman running for

secretary of State. Missouri. Can we pull this? A very important office.

Hillary Clinton: This is what I will do to the growing books when I become Secretary of State.

These books come from the Missouri Public Library. When I’m in office, they will burn.

Glennis Meagher: Like, sure


Brian Derrick: It’s giving Maybe you should have read one [00:32:00] of those before you decided to run. You know?

Glennis Meagher: Yeah, it’s giving, homemade flamethrower. it’s definitely giving homophobic

Lara Croft.

Brian Derrick: Yes, it is. I think that The far right’s obsession with book burning is like, too on the nose, almost? Like, you guys are a caricature of yourselves.

Glennis Meagher: Of the

Brian Derrick: literally, right, it’s, it’s again giving telling on themselves. people who burn books are not serious about being in roles of public service.

Like, it’s just like, never necessary, and it’s giving theatrics.

Glennis Meagher: Brian, the group chat. I’m going to chat at you for a second, becauseour group chat was not popping off with Super Bowl stuff. I was Beyonce broke the internet. That’s number one. That’s the first thing you need to know. Beyonce in a genius marketing maneuver had an ad with Verizon saying that she was going to break the internet and everyone was like, new music, new music, but nothing happened for like four minutes.

[00:33:00] Then on her Instagram, she posted a visual for a new song. And then like she tweeted or something like, this is not actually. Correct. But then she had another play of saying two songs coming out. Then, five minutes later, they came out on YouTube, all while the Superbowl is happening. And her and Jay Z are like sitting in their suite and she’s drinking her wine and I’m, and she broke the internet because everyone was like off the game trying to find Beyonce’s new


Brian Derrick: Oh wow. I missed that entire thing. I literally just woke up and there was a new Beyonce single out.

Glennis Meagher: No, it was a beautifully done marketing Maneuver.

I was

Brian Derrick: So the song was not in a commercial.

Glennis Meagher: No. So she, she went through kind of some of her eras, like the lemonade era. And then she did like some, and all of us were texting. We’re like, does Beyonce


Brian Derrick: has eras. I think that’s trademarked. Oh, Glennis is mad. If you guys could see Glennis face! ha

Glennis Meagher: in this

Brian Derrick: ha ha ha!

Glennis Meagher: eras, Miley’s eras, JLo’s eras, like the list goes [00:34:00] on. But all of us were texting like we’re all like, Beyonce surely does not need to be doing a Verizon ad.

Like, come on. And then it was, it was a domino effect.

also, you didn’t watch Super Bowl, so I’m gonna run you down,

RFK Jr had an ad, you, right smack in the middle of the Super Bowl.

Kennedy! Kennedy! Do

Brian Derrick: Yikes. I did, I did read about


Glennis Meagher: So then the Kennedy family who opposes this, this run immediately come out and say like, how dare you use. It’s like family memorabilia, like keep our family’s name out your mouth. And then he tweets federal rules prohibit super PACs from consulting with me or my staff. I send you and your family my sincerest apologies.

God bless you. But then proceeds to pin the ad to his, his ex Twitter, whatever, um,


Brian Derrick: I, so basically, Super PACs are, according to the law, [00:35:00] not allowed to coordinate with the campaign. So he’s saying, Oh, that was a Super PAC. It wasn’t me. This is the same bologna that we dealt with when it came to Ron DeSantis and the Never Back Down Super PAC. and it’s just out of control.

Like the whole situation is out of control with these Super PACs, people dumping tons of dark money, into these races and The candidates then having to basically like answer to an answer for the actions of these. Massive entities run by people whose names we never see. It’s crazy.

Glennis Meagher: Yeah. But not you. Not you defending RFK Jr.

Brian Derrick: no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I’m saying he’s in on this. I’m saying it’s a cop

out. Let’s retake that. Let’s retake that. I am not defending RFK Jr. I’m saying these candidates like to blame things on the super PACs and say, Oh, we weren’t allowed to coordinate. So that’s not my fault. [00:36:00] When.

There’s like staff that moves back and forth. Ron DeSantis literally moved 70 million from his state account into the Super PAC and then resigned from the Super PAC to then run for president. Like it was his money that was funding the whole thing. Like it’s actually insane that they’ve blurred the lines and Citizens United ed this whole thing to death, where there’s just like no transparency anymore.

Glennis Meagher: let’s talk about the thing that actually took over all the group chats this week. Meta.

Brian Derrick: which is that meta is making changes to Instagram and threads and will no longer be promoting content that, or recommending content that has to do with politics, elections, law and policy, social movements, anything like it.

And it’s caused a firestorm online, especially in our community of people who are political content creators.

Glennis Meagher:

Brian Derrick: Taylor Lorenz has, has written some great, pieces already about [00:37:00] these changes and how they will affect people because some people’s point of view is inherently considered political, because of who they are, right?

And so when I create content talking about, like, how do we make sure that trans people can get basic healthcare, meta is now going to deem that political, but like, That is just talking about who you are, a political thing. if you’re part of a marginalized community, like in the eyes of these platforms, oftentimes the answer is yes.

Glennis Meagher: Yeah, and just to loop this back with our earlier conversation with Dan, that’s why if you do have social media and you are not, you know, deemed a political content creator, it is so important to share the content that speaks to you that might be from a political content creator or to save their posts to, you know, a political content creator.

reshare them. All of that really does matter, especially given what Meta is now throwing onto all of these creators. So, if you weren’t doing it before, I highly suggest that you do. it will [00:38:00] help get the message out there more

Brian Derrick: For sure.

Glennis Meagher: So the last thing I want to touch on Brian to like wrap this all up is, you know, also going back to our Dan conversation, hearing people say behind closed doors that Joe Biden is so with it and so on top of it and is, you know, cutthroat and engaging.

We’re not seeing that online, but we might be seeing more of it. He’s

now on TikTok.

Brian Derrick: Yeah, I was asked in December to for a publication to make predictions, political predictions about 2024, which I hate doing. Um, and I’m not. And I told you so guy, but two of them have now

Glennis Meagher: you so.

Brian Derrick: Number one, I said that the Biden campaign would join tick tock, even though they say Frequently that they even though they banned it from federal devices.

And secondly, I predicted that social media platforms would crack down on political content, which also happened last week via meta. So I’m two for [00:39:00] two heading into 2024. And you guys.

Glennis Meagher: I feel I should schedule a

reading with you or

Brian Derrick: My tarot cards are ready to go anytime.

Do you want to send them off with a good vibe?

Glennis Meagher: Yes. Good vibe. Goodbye this week. the Biden administration plans a major, major carbon free electricity buy.

two things from this, Brian, it is a little wonky, but two things I want to highlight is that this is a follow up from a 2021 executive order. President Biden called on the federal government to transition to 100 percent carbon free electricity on a net annual basis by 2030. So again, Progress. And the agencies expect to seek about 2.

7 million megawatt hours of carbon free electricity per year. That means nothing to me. What does make sense to me is, the GSA said it is equivalent to powering about 250, 000 homes a year.

Brian Derrick: more energy than I create on the air bike every morning, so a big win for the administration

Glennis Meagher: for sure.

Brian Derrick: I know that somewhere Patty Gonia [00:40:00] is stomping her way through a forest, um, and dancing in celebration.

Glennis Meagher: We

love her.

Brian Derrick: We stan.

Glennis Meagher: And an exclamation point on our good vibe goodbye. Last night, Tom Swasey won his election in New York’s 3rd Congressional District.

Brian Derrick: Officially flipping George Santos old seat.

Those are all the vibes for the week. Thanks again to Dan Pfeiffer for joining us. We hope you all have a great day and week. Don’t forget it’s Valentine’s Day. So send Glenis a heart emoji at Glenis or drop into our group chat by sending an email or a question to vibes at courier newsroom. com or reach out to us on social at courier newsroom and at Brian Derrick.

We love hearing from you guys. And lastly, if you’re enjoying the show, send your friends a link so we can spread the vibes. Thanks for listening.

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