On August 3 the leftist publication The Daily Beast published a scathing hit piece directed at one of YouTube’s most popular independent journalists, Tim Pool. The publication devoted over 11,000 words to attacking Pool, accusing him of everything from peddling misinformation to whitewashing the “far right.”
This type of salacious ‘journalism’ (though nothing The Daily Beast does could realistically fit the definition of that word) isn’t new, particularly when it comes to the targeting of alternative media personalities that are rising through the ranks of public consciousness, thanks to sites like YouTube. If anyone dares have an opinion outside that of the narrative CNN or MSNBC creates, then they are instantly targeted for character assassination and marked for cancellation.
“I found the [Daily Beast] article to be quite accurate on most of the history of Tim’s career,” said Adam Crigler, former roommate of Pool’s and one-time co-host of the Timcast IRL show. “Even some of the harsher things about him may have been true. But they go way too far on many subjects based on lies from people who want to bring Tim down.”
It’s easy to see why a publication like The Daily Beast would want to target a content creator and self-described “citizen journalist” like Tim Pool. Pool has slowly built a media empire over the years, quickly becoming one of YouTube’s most popular news channels. His main channel has 1.26 million subscribers, and his Timcast IRL channel boasts 1.04 million. In contrast, total viewership for CNN is reported to be 914,000 combined viewers for the first quarter of 2021 – less than either of Tim Pool’s channels!
And if one looks at the viewership breakdown of Pool’s videos versus the shows on CNN, it gets even more embarrassing. According to CNN, Anderson Cooper 360 received 1.228 million total viewers in April of 2021. Cuomo Prime Time with Chris Cuomo received 1.327 million viewers in the same period. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon got 1.066 million total viewers. How many views did Tim Pool get in that same timeframe? A whopping 315,775,021 views for just his main news channel!
That’s correct. If you add up CNN’s prime-time lineup’s total viewership numbers, it only amounts to 1.15% of Tim Pool’s.
Tim Pool has over a million subscribers on YouTube, while the Daily Beast does not even have a link to a YouTube channel on its website. Is it any wonder the mainstream establishment media looks at Tim Pool’s growing news network as an existential threat?
Indeed, the rise of independent alt-media has had establishment organizations quaking in their boots for some time. And Tim Pool hasn’t been the only YouTube personality targeted for destruction by the powers that be. YouTuber PewDiePie (real name Felix Kjellberg), who boasts a massive 110 million subscribers and the title of YouTube’s most popular creator, has been targeted by numerous publications who have tried to bring him down – most notably the infamous Wall Street Journal hit piece which did its best to paint him as an anti-Semite and Nazi sympathizer.
The New York Times has joined the Wall Street Journal in attacking alt-media YouTubers, with their massive front-page piece about how YouTube content creators are “radicalizing” their viewers. The article took aim at popular content creators like Steven Crowder, Alex Jones, Stefan Molyneux, Paul Joseph Watson, and Lauren Southern (all of which happen to be “right-leaning”).
Speaking of Steven Crowder, he was famously targeted by the left-wing publication Vox after a dust-up with journalist Carlos Maza, which pressured YouTube into completely demonetizing Crowder’s channel, even going so far as creating what has come to be called the “Voxpocalypse,” where numerous YouTubers saw their ad revenue destroyed due to Vox’s pressure tactics on YouTube in their effort to get Crowder deplatformed.
National Public Radio (NPR) has even gotten in on the action, attacking Ben Shapiro and his Daily Wire company, accusing Shapiro of manipulating the Facebook algorithm and of turning anger and outrage into a business model. All this comes off the rise of Shapiro’s daily YouTube podcast, The Ben Shapiro Show, which has 3.34 million subscribers and boasts over half a BILLION video views a month.
The list of YouTubers targeted by establishment media outlets could probably fill a phone book at this point. Conservative commentator Chris Kohls, who runs the Mr. Reagan YouTube channel, with his 319,000 subscribers, might not be as high-profile as Tim Pool, but that hasn’t kept him safe from the wrath of the mainstream media.
“I have personally been targeted in a hit piece by Media Matters,” Kohls said. “Action was immediately taken against my YouTube account after this hit piece was published. So, I know this does happen. YouTube definitely takes their cues from Media Matters.”
Adam Crigler also found himself as a target of the establishment media. “The Washington Post wrote an article about me very similar to the Daily Beast article,” he said. “Claiming I was an extremist of sorts on YouTube for talking about the 2020 election discrepancies. They claimed that’s all my show is. Clearly, they have never seen my show as I discuss a broad range of subjects mostly revolving around science, politics, and things I find fun. I think it is the same reason they hit Tim. I don’t follow their narrative.”
The reason for this increased focus on attacking YouTubers comes as more and more people are opting to get their news from platforms like YouTube instead of networks and newspapers. A recent study by the Pew Research Center says that 26% of U.S. adults get their news from YouTube, and a whopping 72% of news consumers say YouTube is an important way to get news.
But probably the most interesting information to come from this study is that 42% of news channels on YouTube are independently run, and 44% of all news channels are oriented around a personality, like Tim Pool. As an increasing number of people come to distrust establishment media outlets as “fake news” entities that are more concerned about pushing their own narratives than reporting on facts, YouTubers have risen up to fill that need of consumers to find news sources they can actually trust, often revolving around the personal credibility of the personality the YouTube channel is centered on.
“This is a problem for the left,” says Chris Kohls. “Not only because they are losing voters for critical elections, but also because CNN and MSNBC are losing viewers, the New York Times and The Washington Post are losing readers, and Buzzfeed and Vox are losing traffic. When conservative voices are free to express honest, rational, logical ideas, the left loses money and power.”
With this in mind, is it any wonder YouTubers are being targeted by mainstream news outlets? As their monopoly continues to disintegrate thanks to the rise of these ‘NewsTubers,’ they will continue to ratchet up the pressure on YouTube to further censor and deplatform content creators who challenge their dominance. There is no doubt we will continue to see more hit pieces aimed at alt-media creators because of this. And when asked why the media is so desperate to squash this new generation of “citizen journalists,” Adam Crigler had this to say:
“YouTubers are outside of the bubble of their control. It’s that simple.”
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