I rarely use this space to promote television shows. But tonight, longtime blogger, former policy advisor to Alan Grayson, and Roosevelt Institute fellow Matt Stoller will appear on a broadcast television show on the major cable network F/X.
Stoller acts as what amounts to the sidekick on Brand X with Russell Brand, featuring the British actor and comedian. The late-night show premieres tonight at 11pm ET. Stoller’s brother, Nick, directed Russell Brand in two movies, but the duo met at Zuccotti Park during Occupy Wall Street, and generated the idea for this show there.
I saw a live preview of this show back in February in Los Angeles, and I can say that it represents a major shift in the range of opinions allowed on broadcast television. What passes for “liberal” on TV and in most of our media is extremely narrowed and constrained, with views very much in line with the political establishment. Heck, Richard Cohen is still seen as a liberal voice on the Washington Post editorial page. But this show, if the previews are any indication, will deconstruct the media and describe its narratives, in ways we haven’t really seen before. Brand dominates the show, and it’s also extremely funny. But Stoller provides the intellectual ballast. In the show I previewed, Brand and Stoller took a story about indecent exposure at a public library – obviously a topic tailor-made for predictable jokes – and compellingly framed it as a story about discrediting public services like libraries.
This varies greatly from the type of media analysis seen on, say, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, which primarily points at media stupidity, without dredging down into the underlying narratives.
You can read more about Brand X With Russell Brand here. I think you’ll all like it very much. Check it out tonight.