Episode 48

Netflix Says Chill, UFO Hearings, Primary Races, Private Equity

Ravi, Cory, and Rikki start with Netflix’s memo explaining its content standards before moving on to the paused Disinformation Governance Board, a wild idea that Ravi’s been stewing on, and a deep dive into the reach of private equity firms. The hosts then end by turning their gaze to the stars as they discuss the recent congressional hearing on UAPs.


Rikki explains the new company culture memo at Netflix and why it could represent a significant turn in corporate activism. Ravi and Cory discuss why the streaming giant is making the change and whether it’s a justifiable move.

The hosts discuss the results of the five primaries from Tuesday night and whether they vindicate the so-called “Trump Effect.” They discuss the big wins in Pennsylvania and a big loss in North Carolina, forecasting who we should keep an eye on.

Rikki explains why the DHS Disinformation Governance Board is on pause before elaborating on her many problems with the proposed committee and its vague mandate.

Ravi introduces a new segment, pitching an extreme-ish idea involving cash payments in lieu of public school. Cory and Rikki ask some clarifying questions before rendering a verdict.

Ravi takes us under the hood in the somewhat shadowy but incredibly influential world of private equity, explaining its role in gutting companies and raising rents. Rikki pushes back on the notion that these firms are universally bad as Cory gives a few examples of how they operate.

Ravi reaffirms his pro-alien position as Cory outlines the recent panel around UAP, or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. The hosts then wonder how serious a danger these inexplicable events might represent, going over the confounding examples compiled by the Pentagon.

Netflix Says Chill [1:00]

Netflix Culture — Seeking Excellence (05/2022)
Netflix to Employees: If You Don’t Like Our Content, You Can Quit (The Wall Street Journal, 05/13)
Netflix Lays Off About 150 Employees, 2% of U.S. Workforce, Amid Revenue Slowdown (Variety, 05/17)
Netflix is proof Americans have had enough of woke speech policing (New York Post, 05/15)
Elon Musk Netflix Tweet (Twitter, 05/15)
Scott Galloway Netflix Tweet (Twitter, 05/15)
Vivek Ramaswamy Netflix Tweet (Twitter, 05/12)
Netflix’s message to employees and ‘woke’ Hollywood’s retreat (Los Angeles Times, 05/17)
Basecamp CEO apologizes to staff in new post: ‘We have a lot to learn’ (The Verge, 05/04)

The Trump Effect [7:35]

5 takeaways from the Pennsylvania primary election (The Philadelphia Inquirer, 05/18)
Madison Cawthorn loses his re-election bid after a deluge of scandals. (The New York Times, 05/17)
Two Trump-backed candidates win U.S. midterm election primaries (Reuters, 05/18)
Pennsylvania G.O.P. Senate Race Is Deadlocked; Cawthorn Falls to Defeat (The New York Times, 05/17)
Beasley, Budd win as NC voters pare down primary candidates (AP, 05/18)
10 races to watch Tuesday, led by Senate contests in Pennsylvania and North Carolina (NPR, 05/17)
US primary elections: Dr Oz tied with McCormick in test of Trump’s influence on Republicans (The Guardian, 05/18)
John Fetterman Wins on Vibes. The 6-foot-8 goateed Senate candidate prevailed in the Democratic primary less on the strength of detailed policy proposals than on vibes (The Atlantic, 05/17)
Budd will face off against Beasley in North Carolina Senate contest, per AP race calls (NPR, 05/17)
Trump-Endorsed Candidate Ted Budd Wins Senate Primary (Daily Caller, 05/17)
Beasley wins Democratic nod in North Carolina Senate primary (The Hill, 05/17)
Doug Mastriano, Far-Right Election Denier, Wins Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Primary (HuffPost, 05/18)
A far-right election denier wins GOP governor primary in swing state of Pennsylvania (NPR, 05/17)
Trump-backed Mastriano wins GOP Pennsylvania governor nod (AP, 05/18)
Trump-Endorsed Gubernatorial Candidate Gets Trounced by Over 20 Points (Rolling Stone, 05/18)
Cawthorn loses primary in North Carolina (Politico, 05/17)
‘Hot mess’ Madison Cawthorn faces judgment day in North Carolina (NBC News, 05/15)
Trump’s endorsements in the 2022 Republican primaries (The Washington Post, 05/18)
Election Deniers Thrive Even as Trumpism Drifts: 5 Primary Takeaways (The New York Times, 05/18)
What the Primaries Reveal About the Future of Trumpism (The Atlantic, 05/18)
Is John Fetterman the Future of the Democratic Party? (The New York Times, 05/18)

DHS Disinformation Governance Board [14:43]

How the Biden administration let right-wing attacks derail its disinformation efforts (The Washington Post, 05/18)
‘You and Your Family Should Be Sent to Russia to Be Killed’: Nina Jankowicz Says She Received Death Threats Over Role on Disinformation Panel (MediaITE, 05/18)
Lost Debate Ep 43 I Overturning Roe v. Wade, DHS Disinformation Board, WH Correspondents’ Dinner (Spotify, 05/03)

Private Equity [18:35]

How private equity came to resemble the sprawling empires it once broke up (Financial Times, 10/15/2021)
The Smash and Grab Economy (Mother Jones, 05-06/2022)
Real Estate Predators Tried to Cash In on the Pandemic. Then Tenants Fought Back. (Mother Jones, 05-06/2022)
Everything Everywhere All at Once: How Private Equity Rules Your World (Mother Jones, 05/06/2022)
Biden and Trump Both Trashed Private Equity’s Favorite Tax Dodge. Surprise! It’s Still Here. (Mother Jones, 05-06/2022)
These Are Congress’ Biggest Private Equity Investors (Mother Jones, 05/09)
The Fight to Keep Their “Poor People’s Paradise” out of Private Equity’s Hands (Mother Jones, 05-06/2022)
My Newspaper Was Gutted by Journalism’s Biggest Bogeyman (Mother Jones, 05-06/2022)
I Started a Facebook Group for People Cut by PetSmart During Covid. It Didn’t End Well. (Mother Jones, 05-06/2022)
The New Financial Supermarkets (The New York Times, 03/10)
A $60 Billion Housing Grab by Wall Street (The New York Times Magazine, 03/04/2020)
How private equity came to resemble the sprawling empires it once broke up (Financial Times, 10/15/2021)
The Pervasive, Head-Scratching, Risk- Exploding Problem With Venture Capital (Institutional Investor, 09/29/2020)
Tech A Pervasive Theme In 2021 Private Equity Investments, Report Says (Financial Advisor, 02/18)

UFO Hearings [36:27]

Image of UAP (The Wall Street Journal)
Open C3 Subcommittee Hearing on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (House Intelligence YouTube Channel, 05/17)
Congress to Hold Its First Hearing on UFOs in More Than 50 Years (The Wall Street Journal, 05/16)
What Congress learned in its first public hearing on UFOs since 1966 (Axios, 05/17)
Big UFO hearing in Congress today (EarthSky, 05/17)

Do Americans Believe in UFOs? (Gallup, 08/20/2021)
Tweet Criticizing the Committee for not Focusing on Passing Meaningful Legislation (Twitter, 05/17)
UFO Report Says ‘Unidentified Aerial Phenomena’ Defy Worldly Explanation (The Wall Street Journal, 06/25/2021)