Donald Trump

The Roger Stone Home Stretch of Election 2016

The Fifth Column talks conspiracies, late hits, Reason commenters, and other strange phenomena in advance of tonight's final presidential debate


Though he is too "busy" to find it online for me, former Reasoner Michael C. Moynihan had a segment on Vice News last night in which he attended a JFK conspiracy conference and interviewed an attending Roger Stone, author of (among many other curiosities) The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ. Of course, Stone is no marginalized questions-asker in Election 2016: He has been among the closest advisers to Donald Trump throughout. (Read Anthony Fisher's mini-interview with sharp-dressed man at the Republican National Convention.) Which makes his frequently suggestive observations that much more newsworthy:

With Donald Trump's post-Billy Bush pivot to Full Metal Deplorable, it is, I contend, a Roger Stone finish to an already pretty Stonetastic Trump campaign. The second presidential debate was ripped right out of the pages of his most recent book, The Clintons' War on Women, and God only knows what fresh hell awaits us tonight.

That, more or less, is the topic of this week's rambling, conspiratorial edition of The Fifth Column, your very favorite weekly libertarian podcast. Mentioned along the way: Jesse Walker on voter fraud, James O'Keefe's latest revelations, Hit & Run commenters, Moynihan's terrible accent, the re-re-re-retaking of Mosul, my secret Al Gore 2000 conspiracy, PEN America's attempt to find a Third Way on campus free speech, Kmele Foster's ongoing 2020 presidential campaign, and so very much more. Take a listen:

Here are the locations at which you can download, interact with, recommend to your friends about, and write reviews of, The Fifth Column: iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play,, @wethefifth, and Facebook.

NEXT: California Christians Should Go to Jail Rather Than Post State-Mandated Abortion Signs, Says Focus on the Family Founder James Dobson

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  1. You leave the commentariat alone!

    1. I’m sure it’s all complimentary.

      Cavanaugh used to say nice things about us anyway. And Welch hasn’t been entirely unkind to us in the past either. When he left us for the LA Times, the good bye thread was full of tears and hugs “gabba, gabba, one of us”!

      Let’s face it, there are third rate trailer parks that wouldn’t let us in.

    2. I thought we liked being mentioned. Preet and AAW inclusive.

    1. stop and collaborate.

    2. HOW DARE YOU!?!? If you want to criticize or make snide remarks about any of Reason’s staff, let me remind you that other publications exist! If you don’t like it, you can geeeeet out!

      /Reason’s White Knight Brigade

      1. Oops. Looks like someone got triggered.

        1. They sure do sound like the SJW they supposedly despise don’t they?

          1. That didn’t take long. I doff my cap to you, Sir.

          2. Not enough uses of “fuck” in the complaints.

      2. I’d just boycott the comments section until they give in to all of my demands, or my next post, whichever comes first.

  2. “Where is Lakewood?”

    And with that, Foster has his Aleppo Moment. I just thank God that Moynihan wasn’t there to jump all over how dumb the 2020 LP presidential candidate is.

    1. There are a dozen Lakewoods scattered about these United States.



        1. “C’mon, name any Lakewood, anywhere. California, New York, Missouri….Nothing?”

  3. , Moynihan’s terrible accent

    Nein! es ist super fantastische!

    we wish he would grow a small mustache, however

    1. Why does Moynihan sound like a younger version of Michael Hihn? He sounds like he is transitioning. To vampirehood.

      1. Why does Moynihan sound like a younger version of Michael Hihn?

        I don’t know where you’d ever “hear” the voice of the Hihn.

        Which, in my imagination, is … ok, nasally, but not in the same way….. but wheezy, screeching, shrill, bitter, etc. More like an older version of the guy who played Vizzini in princess bride *(wallace shawn! who apparently “Calls himself a Socialist“. I still like his work as an actor)

        1. From the video’s description:

          We live in a world of Republican framing. Every single day on this site we combat and argue against that framing.

          But one thing I never thought would be necessary to do would be to teach Americans the concept of socialism. The great right-wing noise machine has made “socialism” some great to-be-feared “ism” like the Communism of the Soviet Union, conjuring up day-long bread lines and lazy welfare queens living off your hard labor.

          You hear that? We live in a world of Republican framing, where they control the narrative that get passed off as conventional wisdom without a second thought.

          What a fucking joke.

          1. continued:

            Schoolteachers can see every day that, given the chance, the sullen pupil in the back row can sing, dance, juggle, do mathematics, paint, and think. If the play we’re watching is an illusion, if the baby who now wears the costume of the hustler in fact had the capacity to become a biologist or a doctor, a circus performer or a poet or a scholar of ancient Greek, then the division of labor, as now practiced, is inherently immoral, and we must somehow learn a different way to share out all the work that needs to be done.

            So everyone is equal, one lump of identical clay that can be molded into anything in the right environment. Not only that but as you read in the first part, socialism is apparently nothing like the Soviet Union, that’s why we need a new way of dividing up the division of labor, so instead of meritocracy and personal choice, there should be some other means. What other regimes in history decided that it needed to control and assign jobs to it’s population?

            But yeah, totally nothing like the Soviet Union.

  4. *i listened to the Nick, KMW & Eli Lake podcast from… a few days ago? and it was painful.

    Matt/Mike/Kmele are an entertaining balm, even when they never really get to any point and just ramble and drink.

    1. This was our ramblingest yet. We do usually have some feint toward structure.

      1. Don’t listen to Gilmore. Excellent podcast, and since Gilmore thinks you have a fashion-taste-for-radio, it’s a win-win.

      2. PROJECT VERITAS!!!!!!!! Why must you continue to be a secret shill for Hillary?

      3. Wait, how is this your most ramblingest yet? You guys are doing a decent job of hitting news-ey points.

  5. Matt is soooo jelly of Kmele.

    1. That is because Kmele is incredibly wealthy.

      1. Well now we know why he’s a libertarian, damn one percenter billionaires are all you libertarians care about!


  6. At meeting of JFK conspiracy buffs today, Roger Stone says “internal workings” of Media Matters will be “exposed to the public” next week

    What does Oliver Stone say?

  7. How can 911 trutherism even be considered a conspiracy at this point? Its pretty clear Hillary and Bush were behind it and the cover-up involved murdering Harambe. Steel doesn’t even melt at that temperature. Haliburton. Jews. Stanley Kubrick.

    1. You could have improved that slightly by linking to some slo-motion footage of something collapsing while arrows point to things and assert that these grainy images prove some ridiculously complex claim.

        1. I don’t even have to click on that. Glenn Beck?

  8. I’m with Kmele = i think the more absurd the clown-shows of politics becomes, the lower the esteem any of these people have in the public eye.

    Its a Good Thing. Politics should be seen as a charade, and politicians as nothing but hired-hacks to sell lies. And more skepticism about politics leads people to find other sources for solutions to problems.

    The media is also destroying itself with 24/7 pants-shitting, trying to convince everyone that the stakes are so high that anything except Hillary will result in imminent apocalypse.

    If this helps people realize that the WaPo & NYT & CNN etc. are just as unreliable and lacking in credibility/authority on other topics… then more the better.

    1. I’m with Kmele

      so say we all.

    2. On the one hand, yeah, it would be nice if more people realized politics is a joke in the country … but at the same time I’m not really sure how much that would change. I don’t know how much that would actually impede the politicians at all. In a lot of foreign countries, the population is well-aware that their government is corrupt as shit, and the politicians still continue doing what they do unabated.

      1. Stop giving them money.

        Which is pretty much what the Tea Party was about. Kick out congresspeople and insert people in there to stop the endless spending-insanity.

    3. The media is also destroying itself with 24/7 pants-shitting, trying to convince everyone that the stakes are so high that anything except Hillary will result in imminent apocalypse.

      On the other hand, there might be some credible reasons to think Hilary will push government policy towards a catastrophic war unparalleled by anything except WWII. She wants to start shooting at the Russians and Biden even suggested shooting a few Russians is a reasonable response to the Russians hacking emails.

  9. “Fury Road is OK, but I liked the first two movies better.”

    “Oh, what did you like about the first movie?”

    ‘Well, the Humungous . . . ”


  10. Mike walks in and within 5 seconds.,.. “Where’s the booze”

    1. that’s ’cause Mike knows what makes podcasts great again.

  11. Kmele says = “Cyberhack

    (in my mind, i see a robot version of Ezra Klein)

  12. Elsewhere in The White House Facepalm News , wikileaks has just dropped this anvil on John Podesta’s toes:


    1. What that should make clear to anyone with a brain is that “Climate Change” has nothing to do with “Science” and is entirely about using a contrived narrative to justify “dramatic political action”….

      ….which is just another way of saying, “Huge Amounts of Other People’s Money”.

        1. I have no idea what that’s supposed to be.

          I was referring to the way that Chris Lehane and John Podesta talk about “Climate Change”.

          These guys aren’t talking about ‘science’. They’re talking about how they use the concept of “Climate Change” as a political weapon.

          They talk about how “this thing” has bad guys. And they are the Good Guys.

          At the end of the day… one needs to have an organizing platform that defines … the opposition as morally responsible for an issue that threatens the health and welfare of the American people. TR had the plutocrats. FDR fought Fascism. LBJ took on poverty. And Reagan had the Soviets…

          Climate Change is their Cold War. And dammit if they’re not going to spend bazillions fighting an invisible enemy.

          1. So your contention is that plutocrats, fascism, poverty, and the Soviet Union didn’t exist? Because, in the real world, a person manifesting the desire to exploit something for political reasons doesn’t actually prove or disprove that thing’s existence or even the degree of danger it actually poses, it merely justifies skepticism about what that person says with regard to that subject.

            1. So your contention is that plutocrats, fascism, poverty, and the Soviet Union didn’t exist?

              No. Try again.

          2. I just liked the comments about not wanting to be ‘handcuffed to data’.

            And then this, which confirms everything I believe about the issue so much, I have to wonder if it’s true:

            ? Anti-Basic Science…
            The power of this approach is that it … fits into what we call the Troglodyte Narrative (anti-women; anti-Latino; anti-gun safety; anti-common sense fiscal policy; and anti-science) that is raising basic trust issues for the Republican Party …

            ? … Frame climate as an issue of whether … You either are a member of our society or you are a social misanthrope (i.e., litterer, smoker around a pregnant women, etc.).

    2. Establishment of an extreme weather SWAT team prepared to work together and engage when extreme weather happens

      Well that was inevitable. It’s not a progressive policy if it’s not backed up by a government hit squad.

      1. Once again, you guys are being suckered by a Harvard Professor who likes to make himself look good in his mind by making other people look stupid.

        1. Isn’t that just “a Harvard professor”?

        2. The guy you linked to doesn’t seem to have any connection at all to the Lehane/Podesta email.

        3. Oh I see. Well I looked at this, it certainly looks like a leak of some kind, with a wikileaks URL and everything.

        4. Tarran, are you saying the email was fabricated?

          1. No, I am saying you shouldn’t click on any links put up by Entelechy, aka Dr Russel Sietz of Harvard University.

            It’s like clicking on links to Stormfront… well, that might be unfair to the people at Stormfront: at least they sincerely believe they are selflessly helping save civilization from disaster.

            1. Look at my link Tarran, I pulled it directly from the link you’re talking about. It links to wikileaks and shows an email. I don’t have a reason to think it’s a fake site or something.

            2. Fair enough, but is it ok if I go directly to the Wikileaks page and get the exact same email?

              1. Of course.

                I only ask people ostracize Dr Russel Sietz of Harvard University, since he is a worthless human being who feeds off of other people’s misery and a second rate mind who tears others down to make himself look higher . I’m not passing any judgement on wikileaks itself.

                1. since he is a worthless human being who feeds off of other people’s misery and a second rate mind who tears others down to make himself look higher .

                  Not to cast aspersions on the guy or anything…

                2. Any relation to the Russell Seitz who writes for Reason ?

                3. If you have a problem with the dude, fine. But that has nothing to do with the information in that link.

        5. Tarran needs scant help in that department.

      2. Will this SWAT team finally live up to its name and swat all these mosquitoes for us when the extreme weather happens?

    3. He’s kicking the tires on policy approaches in a country where 42% of the people believe that a magician created the world in 6 days (I’d call those ISIS numbers in terms of the level of fanatical belief) and where only 27% of citizens believe in what basically every ph.D. In the world believes– that human activity is causing global climate change. How would you pitch scientifically-based policy in the face of such headwinds?

      1. — that human activity is causing global climate change.

        In the same way that human activity changes the rotational momentum of the planet. Insignificantly.

        1. Not even long-time denialist Ron Bailey, would agree with you. That’s the difference between people here that post articles for money and people in the commentariat who post as a hobby. With the former they actually have to put their name and reputation behind what they write. With you guys, well, you are free to bullshit and social signal. That’s alright– it’s the role you bring.

      2. Wrap it in bacon and fry it.

        1. Maybe. This is a good place to post your recipes online.

      3. only 27% of citizens believe in what basically every ph.D. In the world believes– that human activity is causing global climate change. How would you pitch scientifically-based policy in the face of such headwinds?

        That’s a simplification of the range of skeptical theories ranging from climate change not being real to climate change not being so bad, not being outside of natural norms and the theory that climate change is a net positive thing. Among many others. But basically whenever someone disagrees with the orthodox positions promoted by politically ambitious groups and individuals, it’s all regarded as just pure denial start to finish.

        1. That’s because the spectrum of beliefs you listed is all in denial of established facts.

          1. One Theory to rule them all, One Theory to find them,
            One Theory to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
            In the Land of Academia where the Green Marxists lie.

            1. I’d feel really insecure in my beliefs if all of academia rejected them.

              1. I’d sure be secure in my beliefs if all the court intellectuals came to the same conclusions about extremely complex problems and state-centric solutions.

                1. Or maybe I’d just buy into conspiracy theory horse pucky.

  13. I give the people who write the articles here a B. I may disagree with parts, but at least they seem to realize that Trump ain’t one of us. The commentariat? Eh, I might give them a pity D just to avoid seeing them next year.

    1. Gooble gobble, gooble gobble… one of us, one of us….. Gooble gobble, gooble gobble…..

    2. We all give you a D+ . . . as a troll.

      It used to be a C-, but your trolling has gotten repetitive and boring.

      I’d say it was an F, but that might suggest it was interesting in some horrible way.

    3. Eh, I might give them a pity D just to avoid seeing them next year.

      No one wants your D. Probably not even Jesse.

  14. “I mean BUH-naaanaas”

    – Michael Moynihan

  15. Hey Matt does Jesse Walker know you’re horning in on his conspiracy beat?

    1. That’s what I was about to say.

      Jesse Walker would have a field day with Welch’s “Gore family has skeletons in the closet lake” conspiracy.

    1. Probably just a random technical glitch.

      1. Probably.

    2. Clearly, a protest against republicans, CNN speaks truth to power by putting up the rainbow flag.

    3. “Oh Noe. Obviously we just lost his satellite feed. That Sucks.”

      Cuomo isn’t very convincing.

  16. Not gonna lie, i would watch American Psycho 3: Chuck Berry’s Return.

  17. Matt Welch says, “I ain’t looking at your wall turds.”

    1. Reason wrote a dozen posts about the Poop Swastika.

  18. the more absurd the clown-shows of politics becomes, the lower the esteem any of these people have in the public eye.

    It grieves me to see the level of reverence (if not outright adulation) most people exhibit in regard to politicians a bunch of vacuous nitwits and charlatans.

  19. So = “We can’t cover wikileaks, because its too much effort, and it takes too long to confirm this stuff.”

    Because there is so much effort put into everything else reported on here. How many stories have been written based on, “20-second youtube clips” with no further contextual information?

    1. You know who else built an extensive narrative on a 20-second youtube clip?

      1. The Warren Commission?

  20. Damn you, Moynihan!! Now i’m going to have unresolved Amanda Knox fantasies


  22. Matt, you are correct sir. Kmele is way more likable than you. I still like it when you are on RedEye. Drink!

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