Episode 39

Kushner & MB$, Brooklyn Shooter, Musk & Twitter, Gun Trade, NYT & Lorenz

Ravi, Cory, and Rikki discuss Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter and the potential changes to the platform if his offer goes through. They then move on to the brazen corruption on display in Kushner’s $2 billion investment from Saudi Arabia, touching on the comparisons to the Hunter Biden allegations, before turning to the terrifying Brooklyn subway shooting, Mexico’s lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers, the New York Times’ new social media policy and the extremely online journalism of Taylor Lorenz. The hosts then wrap up with a reaction to Bill Maher’s recent visit to the Joe Rogan podcast.


Ravi explains Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter for a cool $43 billion, arguing Musk holds a lot of the cards in this negotiation. Rikki hopes Musk will follow through on his commitment to make Twitter a bastion of free speech if he can get control of the company. Cory pushes back, arguing there was perfectly good reason for removing some speech – and speakers – from the platform. [01:54]

Cory lays out the $2 billion investment Jared Kushner took Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund just six months out of the White House. Ravi reviews the history of Kushner’s dealings with the Saudi Crown Prince and the brazen corruption of this deal. The hosts then proceed to debate the seeming double standards we’ve seen in the media coverage of Jared Kushner versus Hunter Biden’s laptop. [10:38]

Cory brings us up to speed on the Brooklyn subway shooting investigation before the hosts dive into all the bad takes that followed that terrifying shooting, most of them having to do with the NYPD and its perceived failings. [19:30]

Ravi gives an overview of Mexico’s audacious lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers, accusing them of “lethal negligence on a mass scale.” Rikki argues Mexico’s lawsuit is more of a symbolic shot across the bow than a prosecutable legal case. Ravi puts the policy questions aside to address the inherent hypocrisy of the U.S. blaming Mexico for drugs moving north while failing to stem the flow of firearms south. [29:24]

Spurred on by the New York Times’ new social media guidance, the hosts take a look at social media’s outsize role in journalism through the lens of Taylor Lorenz, her history with the Times and other journalists as well as the culture of online harassment. [39:23]

The hosts wrap up by reacting to a clip from Bill Maher’s appearance on Joe Rogan. They discuss how their conversation mirrors some of Lost Debate’s values, signaling what the political discourse could be in lieu of present-day polarization. [49:15]

Elon Musk Wants To Buy Twitter And Take It Private, SEC Filing Reveals (Forbes, 04/14)
Elon Musk Makes $43B Offer to Buy Twitter in Cash (CNET, 04/14)
Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter (CNN Business, 04/14)
Elon Musk Has Triggered a Battle for the Future of Twitter (Wired, 04/14)
Before Giving Billions to Jared Kushner, Saudi Investment Fund Had Big Doubts (The New York Times, 04/10)
Pod Saves America Tweet about Kushner (Twitter, 04/12)
Lawrence O’Donnell MSNBC Clip (Twitter, 04/11)
Before Giving Billions to Jared Kushner, Saudi Investment Fund Had Big Doubts (The New York Times, 04/10)
Jared Kushner’s New Fund Looks to Profit From His Middle East Diplomacy (The Wall Street Journal, 02/24)
Fox News responded to the Jared Kushner bombshell with nonstop Hunter Biden talk (Public Notice, 04/13)
Polling from a society in decline (Public Notice, 04/11)
Gee, Wonder Why Mohammed Bin Salman Personally Intervened to Give Jared Kushner $2 Billion (Rolling Stone, 04/11)
Report: Saudi Arabia concluded Jared Kushner’s Investment firm was a joke, gave him $2 billion anyway (Vanity Fair, 04/11)
Jared Kushner gets $2B Saudi investment, drawing Hunter Biden comparisons (NY Post, 04/11)
Report: Saudi Investment Fund Had Concerns over Giving Jared Kushner Billions (Breitbart, 04/11)
The Wooing of Jared Kushner: How the Saudis Got a Friend in the White House (The New York Times, 12/08/2018)
Saudi Crown Prince Is Held Responsible for Khashoggi Killing in U.S. Report (The New York Time, 07/17/2021)
$110 Billion Weapons Sale to Saudis Has Jared Kushner’s Personal Touch (The New York Times, 05/18/2017)
Jared Kushner’s New Fund Looks to Profit From His Middle East Diplomacy (The Wall Street Journal, 02/24)
Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank James arrested in East Village, one day after opening fire on train car filled with riders (New York Daily News, 04/13)
Manhunt Ends but Questions Linger After Arrest in Subway Attack (The New York Times, 04/13)
Faulty cameras hinder search for NYC subway gunman (New York Daily News, 04/12)
10 shot, 13 more injured as Brooklyn subway shooter in gas mask set off smoke bombs before opening fire; NYPD IDs person of interest (New York Daily News, 04/12)
Revealed: Video Threats and Slurs From Man Sought in New York Subway Attack (Daily Beast, 04/13)
These Policies Were Supposed to Help Black People. They’re Backfiring. (The New York Times, 02/15)
Cooper Lund Tweet (Twitter, 04/12)
Olayemi Olurin Tweet (Twitter, 04/12)
Gravel Institute Instagram Post (Instagram, 04/12)
Underwater Drones Giving More Eyes to Police Harbor Unit as Searches Grow (The New York Times, 12/04/2011)
Samuel Sinyangwe Tweet (Twitter, 04/12)
Scott Heins Tweet (04/12)
NYPD, Gov. Hochul hold press conference on Brooklyn shooting (Fox Business YouTube Channel, 04/12)
Mayor Adams: Appears NYC subway shooter was acting alone (MSNBC, 04/13)
NYPD intelligence strategies employed after 9/11 are now used to fight everyday crime (CNN, 09/11/2021)
Brooklyn subway shooting: Sources say cameras inside 36th Street station failed to transmit to NYPD, MTA (CBS News, 04/13)
Mayor Adams to double number of NYPD officers on subway in wake of shooting (New York Post, 04/12)
Subway Attack Suspect Called CrimeStoppers on Himself (Daily Beast, 04/14)
15 people shot in NYC hours after Brooklyn subway shooting, including an innocent bystander killed in a car (New York Daily News, 04/13)
Fact Sheet: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Comprehensive Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gun Crime and Ensure Public Safety (The White House, 06/23/2021)
Silver and Lead: Inside Mexico’s Historic Lawsuit Targeting U.S. Gun Companies (The Intercept, 12/27/2021)
U.S. gunmakers urge judge to throw out Mexico’s $10 billion lawsuit (Reuters, 04/12)
No U.S. Court Can Make Mexico’s Streets Safe (Council on Foreign Relations, 08/16/2021)
Why Mexico Is Right to Sue U.S. Gun Companies (Foreign Policy, 08/12/2021)
The Link Between America’s Lax Gun Laws and the Violence That Fuels Immigration (The New Yorker, 03/22/2018)
FIREARMS TRAFFICKING U.S. Efforts to Disrupt Gun Smuggling into Mexico Would Benefit from Additional Data and Analysis (GAO, 02/2021)
Cross-Border Spillover: U.S. Gun Laws and Violence in Mexico (IZA, 12/2012)
How the A.T.F., Key to Biden’s Gun Plan, Became an N.R.A. ‘Whipping Boy’ (The New York Times, 05/02/2021)
Stopping toxic flow of guns from U.S. to Mexico (The Harvard Gazette, 02/18/2022)
Mexico – Firearm lawsuit (Latin America Risk Report, 08/05/2021)
Why Mexico Is Right to Sue U.S. Gun Companies (Foreign Policy, 08/12/2021)
Mexico sues U.S. gun makers, eyes $10 billion in damages (Reuters, 08/04/2021)
U.S. States, Cities, and Experts Back Mexico’s Lawsuit Against Gunmakers (The Trace, 02/01)
Mexico’s fight to sue US gun manufacturers for $10bn (BBC, 04/12)
Mexico Sues Gun Companies in U.S., Accusing Them of Fueling Violence (The New York Times, 08/04/2021)
Mexico world’s deadliest country for journalists, new report finds (The Guardian, 12/22/2020)
Taylor Lorenz Breaks Down on MSNBC Sharing Experience Being Targeted Online, Contemplated Suicide (MediaITE, 04/01)
New York Times updates Twitter policy for reporters (The Hill, 04/07)
Tucker responds to the New York Times (Fox News YouTube, 03/10/2021)
Taylor Lorenz slams MSNBC over harassment segment: ‘You f—ed up royally’ (New York Post, 04/04)
Glenn Greenwald Tweet (Twitter, 04/09/2021)
Lorenz Accusation (Substack)
Glenn Greenwald Tweet Pt 2 (Twitter, 03/30)
‘YouTube’s Biggest Philanthropist’ Has a History of Homophobic Comments (The Atlantic, 05/24/2018)
The Instagram Stars Hiding Their Famous, Muslim-Hating Mom, Pamela Geller (Daily Beast, 03/01/2018)
Talent agent exposes New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz (Fox News YouTube Channel, 10/01/2021)
Glenn Greenwald Tweet Pt 3 (Twitter, 04/01)

(Note: Taylor Lorenz has since deleted her reaction to the New York Times’ new social media policy.)