Russell Brand's Charismatic Bullshit
The actor's appearance on Bill Maher is a masterclass in Gish gallop
The comedian-actor turned aspiring pundit Russell Brand utilized three charismatic persuasion techniques on Real Time with Bill Maher this past Friday:
Intrusive eye contact / name reference
Let’s break this down.
You’ll notice the constant touching and eye contact / name reference — saying “Bill” and “John” before each tirade — as a means of establishing presence and dominance, i.e. “I’m with you, present, but you’re a little off here and let me set you straight.”
Fortunately, in this situation, neither host or guest were sidetracked by these techniques, which is why Brand had to escalate.
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There were two moments in the show where both Heilemann and Maher pushed back against Brand.
When this occurred, his only recourse was to raise his voice, start waving his hands wildly (to distract the audience and debate members), and change the subject as much as possible, which is where Gish gallop comes in.
Gish gallop: a rhetorical technique in which a person attempts to overwhelm their opponent by providing an excessive number of arguments with no regard for the accuracy or strength of those arguments.
Context: Brand claims Fox News and MSNBC are “the same.” Both Maher and Heilemanm push back.
Heilemann says to Brand,
I'd like to hear a specific example of an MSNBC correspondent or anchor being on television saying something they knew was false.
He’s referencing the fact that Fox News hosts knew that “election fraud” was false but knowingly pushed Trump’s lies in order to keep ratings and stock prices high.
Do you want an example? The ludicrous, outrageous criticisms of Joe Rogan around ivermectin, deliberately referring to it as a horse medicine when it’s an effective medicine.
As Heilleman says, “that’s not a response.”
Not only is that true, but we know ivermectin is not a valid therapeutic for COVID-19.
Turning on the TV saying, ‘if you take this vaccine, you're not gonna get it when it hasn’t been clinically trialed.
Again, not a response, but also: 68,000+ people were enrolled in major clinical trials across the planet before the vaccines were made public.
Brand escalates and changes the subject completely:
Do you think you can improve America by determinedly and avowedly condemning Fox News without acknowledging that you're participating in the same game?
From there Brand goes on to take his “everyman rise up” approach to politics without actually answering the question.
Brand concludes his tirade with “You have an obligation to not condemn these people,” referring to the everyman that, in his ecstatic preacher’s prose, should rise up and overthrow the systems—though Brand can’t actually drill down on what that means or what it would take.
No, I have a duty to actually say things that are true.
Brand is incapable of replying to specificity because his firehose of Rumble content is designed to produce affect in the listener.
Which certainly boosts his revenue streams, but doesn’t move the dial in actual politics in any meaningful sense.
But, as should be clear by now, that’s never what it’s been about for him.
He just craves the spotlight.
Absolutely agree Derek and I’m in the uk where people LOVE him - ecstatic preacher is pretty accurate! And so are you, thankyou for the info as always 🧘♂️
While you're busy parsing Russell Brand's persuasive techniques, you are oddly silent and uncritical of the barrage of propaganda techniques used by MSNBC, the mainstream media, and our government agencies. For example, the false narrative making ivermectin out to be a dangerous "horse paste" when ivermectin is by many metrics safer than Tylenol and got a Nobel Prize for being such an effective anti-parasite for humans in third world countries. You also cite one study on ivermectin while ignoring all the others - and many of these studies are flawed - https://wholistic.substack.com/p/a-quick-summation-of-why-that-ivermectin