Russell Brand Sits Down With a Philosopher to Find the ‘Truth Behind the Headlines’

Apr 19, 2014 by

Screen shot/YouTube

Some newspapers would have you believe you’re in constant danger of being eaten by a giant South American bird around the corner from your home. As comedian and actor Russell Brand and “popular philosopher” Alain de Botton point out in their under-10-minute bit, the media benefit from keeping us scared and when true dangers aren’t as rampant as they’d have us believe, they sensationalize irrelevant stories to distract us from the truly terrible injustices occurring right around us. And although some days it’s a bird, other days it’s “immigrants, gays” or any other number of fabricated threats newspapers can sell you (while selling newspapers, of course).

The two search for “trews,” as Brand comically calls “truths,” in the U.K.’s embarrassingly popular Daily Mail and find nothing but fear-mongering and advertisements that prey on sincere human desires to sell products. Though seemingly U.K.-focused, this critique applies to mass media all over the world and is worth a watch and laugh along the way.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata



1 Comment

  1. I’m all for everyone committing to analyzing their life and the encouragement to do so. I worry, though, that without the tools learned in courses like logic, ethics, and so on that many people do that rather poorly. Everyone can reason, but how many know an ad hominen, ad populum, or strawman arguments are not perfectly reasonable? Fox news guests use these fallacies all the time, and people that can tie their shoe laces and otherwise lead normal, functional lives believe this nonsense.

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