George Monbiot @GeorgeMonbiot
I've no insight into the grave allegations against #RussellBrand aired this weekend. But I've been concerned for a while about the way he now amplifies groundless conspiracy theories and the far-right influencers who promote them. theguardian.com/commentisfre…🧵
I once admired Russell Brand. But his grim trajectory shows us where politics is heading | George...
In an age of distortion, public figures have powerful tools and a responsibility. This is an object lesson in how that can go wrong, says Guardian columnist George Monbiot
As Brand repeatedly points out, there's a lot wrong with the mainstream media. But there's also a lot wrong with shows like his, whose audience numbers appear to depend on propagating ever more ridiculous claims and conspiracy fictions.
Brand is not on the far right. But I see him as cynically using the themes, obsessions and spokespeople of the far right to boost his numbers. In doing so, he is assisting them, by mainstreaming far right politics. Even though this is doubtless not his intention.
The question I've never been able to resolve is why far right conspiracy fictions seem, for so many online influencers, to be the key to massive audiences. What is it about this nonsense that attracts so many people?
Here's a thread from before in which I explore these questions in more depth, placing Russell Brand's journey in the context of similar influencers who have travelled from progressive critiques of power to amplifying far right themes, such as @ggreenwald.
1. What the hell has happened to Russell Brand? Here’s my column on his terrible political journey, plus a thread on the wider context, that explains what makes his shift so dangerous. 1/