New Media

How Independent Journalists Are Beating the Mainstream Media

“I don't know who to believe. Why don't I just go there and see for myself?"


"I'm not going to let them bully me out of reporting," said Tim Pool after recording an Antifa protest where angry activists cursed at him. There might have been violence, but Antifa's "de-escalation team" protected him, he says.

That surprised me. "Antifa has a de-escalation team?" I ask Pool in my latest internet video.

"They have people who try and make sure nobody from their side starts it—because cameras are rolling," he answered.

Pool is part of the new media that now cover stories the mainstream media often miss.

I've become part of that new media, too. I still work at Fox, but now most of my video views (117 million plus) come from short videos I post on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Pool considers himself a man of the left. He supported Bernie Sanders and once worked for Vice. But now he often finds himself criticizing his fellow leftists.

"This really strange faction of people on the left are saying ridiculous things," he says. "They're helping Donald Trump."

Trump probably does gain support when people watch street protests turn violent.

"Look at this protest in Portland," recounts Pool. "A Bernie Sanders supporter showed up with an American flag—to protest fascists. What did Antifa do? Crack him over the head with a club."

Pool won new followers with his coverage of the Washington, D.C., conflict between a Native American protestor and Covington, Kentucky, high school teens wearing Trump hats, including one who looked like he was smirking.

"All these big news outlets, even The Washington Post, CNN, they immediately made the assumption 'He must be a racist sneering at this Native American man'," says Pool. "I didn't make that assumption…. I just see a guy banging a drum and a kid with a weird look on his face."

Pool and Reason's Robby Soave were the rare journalists who bothered to examine more of the videos.

"The initial narrative that we heard from the activists was that this kid got in this man's face…. It's actually the other way around," Pool said. "No one else watched the video."

No one? Major news outlets said the student was racist without ever examining the full video?

"Here's what happens," Pool explains. "One left-wing journalist says, 'Look at this racist!' His buddy sees it and says, 'Wow, look at this racist.' And that's a big ol' circular game of telephone where no one actually does any fact-checking. Then The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN all publish the same fake story."

Although Pool made those big-name outlets look like irresponsible amateurs, he doesn't have a journalism degree. In fact, he didn't even finish high school. He dropped out of school and just started videotaping what interested him, funding his videos with ads and donations from viewers.

"I want to know why things are happening. Some people don't trust the media. I don't know who to believe. Why don't I just go there and see for myself?"

That's brought him more than a million internet subscribers.

It's also made him an advocate for free speech.

"When I was growing up, it was the religious conservatives that had the moral panic about music and swear words. But today the moral panic is coming from the left. Today, the left shows up with torches and burns free speech signs."

I'm glad there are young journalists like Pool, who still value open debate.

Actually, we have lots of new media options today.

Joe Rogan's podcast covers viewpoints from all sides. He has won a huge audience.

Dave Rubin reports on YouTube from a classical liberal perspective.

Naomi Brockwell covers how tech is changing the world.

On the right, Ben Shapiro, Steven Crowder, and Candace Owens irreverently critique my New York City neighbors' sacred cows.

On the left, Sam Harris has attracted a big podcast following by discussing all kinds of ideas, and Jimmy Dore takes a principled left-wing stand.

I don't agree with all those new media people. I very much disagree with some of them. But I'm glad they are out there, giving us more choice.


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  1. I’ve recently started following Pool on youtube. He’s interesting, in that he identifies a lot of the issues with identity politics and the circle-jerk happening in the media.

    He’s not very libertarian as he doesn’t believe in the free market or seem to recognize the right of free association-he had a lengthy “Bakers should be forced to bake the cake” discussion today. But at least he’s actually open to discussing that idea, recognizes that there’s nuance involved in it, and will invite honest debate instead of turning it away. If the median leftist sounded like him, they’d have a ton of broad appeal.

  2. Yay!!! Liberal beanie man got Stossel’d! Perhaps between the two of them Reason might actually put out a quality article this month…

  3. Pfft. I’ll bet he doesn’t even have a Journo license. He should be locked up until he gets the proper credentials from NYU or Mizzou

    1. Don’t worry, Sen. Booker is quickly working on legislation right now to require people to be licensed before they avail themselves of any rights guaranteed under the first amendment.

  4. Anyone who read the New York Times today understands how silly this headline is. Carry on, fringe players.

    1. Who do you cheer for when you read 1984?

      1. Isn’t it obvious?

      2. I’ll place my bet on Mr. Charrington.

        1. Charrington is way out of Kirkland’s league. My guess is Parsons.
          Kirkland seems like the kind of guy who would still praise the party as he climbs the steps of the gallows.

    2. Considering you can’t read anything that doesn’t require crayons, one of your hicklib hobo buddies must have told you about it.

    3. Yes, because having an impressive masthead and long history are far more important than actually doing journalistic legwork and reporting with integrity.

  5. The reality is that journalists want to be seen as high paid intellectuals but don’t want to get their hands dirty, which is how you get paid well. Instead it’s a bunch of low paid click bait creators living off their parents

  6. Pool is appreciated but clearly all over the map in his mind. He hasn’t realized just how evil the far left is….but he’s getting there.

    All those channels get massive views and audiences. Together they’re the ‘alt-media’ and do a pretty good job challenging the ‘fake news’ of the corporate media. You won’t see clips of alt media all using the same catch phrases and words like you see from the mainstream press. Youtune is filled with those videos.

    That’s why you’re seeing a hard push from traditional media to smear everyone and anyone connected to this new medium. They even go after Pewdiepie FFS.

    “When I was growing up, it was the religious conservatives that had the moral panic about music and swear words. But today the moral panic is coming from the left. Today, the left shows up with torches and burns free speech signs.”

    Tim is too young to have not witnessed PMRC. And they weren’t conservatives.

    1. +1

    2. +2 Good ol Tipper Gore! Someone should also tell him that the ridiculous standardized sentencing/Crime bill that disproportionately affects blacks was sponsored and campaigned for by Maxine Waters, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson.

  7. >>>the religious conservatives that had the moral panic about music and swear words.

    was the moral *majority* Tipper was no conservative. but go! dude love the 1A attitude.

  8. I recommend Tim Pool highly. Very good reporter.

    1. I do to. He’s sometimes a bit naive but he’s open minded and not pushing an agenda.

  9. My man Tim Pool getting the shout out from Stossel. Good on both of you.

  10. […] journalists now cover “stories the mainstream media often miss,” observes John Stossel at Reason. He points to Tim Pool, a high-school dropout who posts videos from news events, such as the […]

  11. “News” as it is today, is not journalism, it is Propaganda.
    Operation Mockingbird? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?
    Project Veritas exposed ‘Journolist’ for what it was twenty years ago, an organized cabal of Domestic Enemies.

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