As you may recall, Russell Brand was once a very loud lefty progressive. He starred in documentaries about ending the war on drugs and fixing income inequality. He even once had a biweekly column in the liberal rag The New Statesman. Now look at him. After the pandemic began, he found a new audience by preaching to anti-vaxxers and other right-wing conspiracy theories — all while losing some of his old audience, who thought he’d “officially lost his mind.” Now the rebranding (so to speak) appears to be complete: He’s signed up with the far right video platform Rumble.
I’ve been censored on Youtube pic.twitter.com/2JwGFzdXY6
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) September 27, 2022
What was the final nail in the coffin that got him hanging with the likes of Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Dinesh D’Souza and other conservative creeps? It’s because one of his YouTube videos was censored. He wasn’t banned. He simply had a video taken down that included misinformation. Brand even admitted that he’d gotten something wrong, in a video apology he later took down himself..
“We made a mistake in saying [here he jokingly self-censors his incorrect claim] was now recommended by the NIH. What we should have said is their trialing [censored, in the same way]. That’s what we should have said,” he said. He also stressed that he and his team “have a responsibility to make sure that the information we convey is absolutely 100 percent as accurate as it possibly could be.” Which, when dropping the original video, they didn’t.
And yet Brand claims, because he spread false claims he himself later admitted were wrong, he’s been “persecuted.” So while he’s taking some — but by no means all — of his toys and going to the place that plays home to the likes of Alex Jones. August company indeed.
“I believe we’re at a point of crisis and things need to radically change fast, and I believe we’ll be able to communicate our message more freely on Rumble,” Brand said. “And this misinformation strike and take down demonstrates exactly what it is we’re talking about. We made an error, in my opinion, a relatively small error, and we’re being penalized for it. That looks like censorship.”
Does it, though? While Brand argued that the same rule doesn’t apply to people like Rachel Maddow, citing a clip in which she erroneously once said vaccines completely block COVID, his logic is a little wishy-washy. If he’d been banned, his about-face might make sense. But he wasn’t. He dropped a video featuring claims he himself confessed were wrong, and it was removed because it contained misinformation that could endanger lives. It’s the flimsiest excuse possible for decamping to the far right — while, it’s worth pointing out, staying for the most on YouTube. He’s having his cake and eating it, too.
But it might just work. After all, today’s far right likes few things more than a lefty who joins them on the dark side. How long until someone who used to rail against corruption is posting on Trump’s failing Twitter clone?