22 episodes

Nazis lie. A lot. And the things they lie about are often too niche or too technical to find the truth. The Nazi Lies Podcast talks experts in subject areas nazis lie about to find the truth about nazi lies.

The Nazi Lies Podcast The Nazi Lies Podcast

    • History
    • 3.3 • 3 Ratings

Nazis lie. A lot. And the things they lie about are often too niche or too technical to find the truth. The Nazi Lies Podcast talks experts in subject areas nazis lie about to find the truth about nazi lies.

    The Nazi Lies Podcast Ep. 22: The Lying Press

    The Nazi Lies Podcast Ep. 22: The Lying Press

    Mike Isaacson: Lügenpresse!
    [Theme song]
    Nazi SS UFOs
    Lizards wearing human clothes
    Hinduism’s secret codes
    These are nazi lies
    Race and IQ are in genes
    Warfare keeps the nation clean
    Whiteness is an AIDS vaccine
    These are nazi lies
    Hollow earth, white genocide
    Muslim’s rampant femicide
    Shooting suspects named Sam Hyde
    Hiter lived and no Jews died
    Army, navy, and the cops
    Secret service, special ops
    They protect us, not sweatshops
    These are nazi lies
    Mike: Welcome to another episode of The Nazi Lies Podcast. Today, we're talking about the lying press with Jonathan Hardy, professor of communications and media at the University of Arts, London. His most recent book, Branded Content: The Fateful Merging of Media and Marketing, explores the world of branded content, particularly native advertising or sponsored content–longform marketing copy made to look like news items. Welcome to the podcast, Dr. Hardy.
    Jonathan Hardy: Thank you, Mike. It's a pleasure to be here.
    Mike: It's great to have you. So I'm really excited to talk about marketing with you because that's the industry I'm in now, and I do have some ethical issues with some of the techniques that we use. Now I write in the B2B space, selling services to business owners and officers, so I don’t super have a problem with what I do–you know, manipulating business owners into buying things.
    So reading your book, what comes up again and again is that most of these marketing techniques aren’t new, but the digital age has made them more invasive and persistent. Can you talk a bit about how digitization has changed the advertising world?
    Jonathan: Sure. Well, it's done so definitely in a great many ways but I'll talk about some key ones that really relate to the work I've been doing on branded content. In the 20th century, through most of the 20th century, we had a model that I call advertising integration with separation, which means that the advertising appeared in the same vehicles as media.
    When you looked at a magazine or a newspaper, you turned the page and it’s editorial, you turn the page, it's advertising. Or the adverts that appeared between programs on television and radio. So we had integration, but often some quite strict rules and strict practices that kept advertising and media separate.
    So what we're seeing in the digital age is an intensification of two tendencies which face in opposite directions. One is towards integration, so advertising getting baked into media content and integrated with it; product placement all the way through to influencer marketing, branding content and so on. But the other trend is disaggregation, advertising getting decoupled from media. Because essentially in the digital age, advertisers didn't need–as some of them put it–to pay the premium prices to put their ads in media content. They could track users around the internet. So these are trends going in opposite directions obviously, right? One is about integration, the other one is about disaggregation.
    But I argue that they have one really common power, which is that they indicate the growing strength of marketers over media. Media that rely on advertising revenue are having to become more and more dependent, satisfying advertisers who want to integrate their content so that people will engage with it. And they're also desperate because of these other trends of losing ad revenue coming from disaggregation to kind of, again, appeal as much as they can. So what we're seeing is a strengthening of marketer power in the digital age.
    Mike: So my intention with this episode was to give a deep dive into how things like the Cambridge Analytica scandal could have happened. To start, let’s get some technical details. We’re talking mostly about inbound marketing today. So before we get into advertising techniques and stuff, what is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?
    Jonathan: Sure. Well

    • 1 hr 10 min
    The Nazi Lies Podcast Ep. 21: Just Like the Fall of Rome

    The Nazi Lies Podcast Ep. 21: Just Like the Fall of Rome

    Mike Isaacson: Rome gets sacked ONE TIME, and that’s all these people can talk about!
    [Theme song]
    Nazi SS UFOs
    Lizards wearing human clothes
    Hinduism’s secret codes
    These are nazi lies
    Race and IQ are in genes
    Warfare keeps the nation clean
    Whiteness is an AIDS vaccine
    These are nazi lies
    Hollow earth, white genocide
    Muslim’s rampant femicide
    Shooting suspects named Sam Hyde
    Hiter lived and no Jews died
    Army, navy, and the cops
    Secret service, special ops
    They protect us, not sweatshops
    These are nazi lies
    Mike: Welcome to another episode of The Nazi Lies Podcast. Today we’re talking with Edward Watts, professor of history and Alkaviadis Vassiliadis Endowed Chair in Byzantine Greek History at the University of California San Diego. He’s here to talk to us about his book, The Eternal Decline and Fall of Rome: The History of a Dangerous Idea. The book is an extraordinary scholarly endeavor that managed to give a detailed and engaging history of 1700 years of Roman history in under 300 pages. Welcome to the podcast, Dr. Watts.
    Edward Watts: Thanks so much for having me. It's exciting to be here.
    Mike: All right. Now, you are one of the rare guests on our show whose book was actually directed at debunking Nazi lies. Tell us what you had in mind when you were writing this book.
    Edward: So the thing that prompted me to write this book was a recognition that the history of Rome, and in particular the legacy of Rome as it relates to the end of Roman history, was something that was being repeatedly misused across thousands of years to justify doing all sorts of violence and horrible things to people who really in the Roman context had very little to do with the decline of Rome, and in a post-Roman context, had nothing really to do with the challenges that people using the legacy of Rome wanted to try to address.
    And in particular, what prompted this was the recognition after 2016 of how stories about the classical past and the Roman past were being used on the far right and the sort of fascist fringe as a way of pointing to where they saw to be challenging dynamics and changes, critical changes, in the way that society was functioning. What was happening was people were doing things like using the story of the Gothic migrations in the 4th century AD to talk about the need to do radical things in our society related to immigration.
    And the discussions were just misusing the Roman past in really aggressive ways as kind of proof for radical ideas that didn't really relate to anything that happened in the past and I think are generally not things that people would be willing to accept in the present. And Rome provides a kind of argument when it's misunderstood,when Roman history is misunderstood, it provides a kind of argument that people are not familiar enough with to be able to refute, that might get people who think that a certain policy is aggressive or inhumane or unnecessary to think twice about whether that policy is something that is a response to a problem that people need to consider.
    And that's just wrong. It's a wrong way to use Roman history. It's a wrong way to use history altogether. And it's a rhetoric that really needs to be highlighted and pointed to so that people can see how insidious these kinds of comparisons can be.
    Mike: Okay, so your book discusses the idea of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, which you say started before any such decline or fall in the late Republic. What was politics like in the Roman Empire before the myth of Rome's decline popped up?
    Edward: So this is an interesting question because the story of Roman decline actually shows up in some of the very earliest Roman literature that we have. So the very first sort of intact Latin texts that we have from the Roman period are things like the plays of Plautus. In one of the earlier plays of Plautus, he is already making fun of people for saying that Rome is in decline.
    And he's saying this at a time right after the

    • 36 min
    The Nazi Lies Podcast Ep. 20: Castrate Them

    The Nazi Lies Podcast Ep. 20: Castrate Them

    Mike Isaacson: Reproductive rights are inmates’ rights apparently.
    [Theme song]
    Nazi SS UFOs
    Lizards wearing human clothes
    Hinduism’s secret codes
    These are nazi lies
    Race and IQ are in genes
    Warfare keeps the nation clean
    Whiteness is an AIDS vaccine
    These are nazi lies
    Hollow earth, white genocide
    Muslim’s rampant femicide
    Shooting suspects named Sam Hyde
    Hiter lived and no Jews died
    Army, navy, and the cops
    Secret service, special ops
    They protect us, not sweatshops
    These are nazi lies
    Mike: Welcome to another episode of The Nazi Lies Podcast. I’m joined today by Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Michigan State University, Mark Largent, who is with us today to talk about his book Breeding Contempt: The History of Coerced Sterilization in the United States. This slim volume tells the story of the historical enthusiasm for depriving certain classes of people the ability to reproduce and the efforts towards making that a reality. Really happy to get to read this book a second time for this podcast. Welcome to the show Dr. Largent.
    Mark Largent: Thank you for the invitation and for your kind words.
    Mike: So I want to start today by talking about what you start the book talking about, which is a discussion of your historical method of storytelling, your historiography. So you make a very deliberate choice of vocabulary that really does have a powerful effect in exposing, kind of, the grittiness of the whole issue. Can you talk about that and what effect you intended to have?
    Mark: So I was trying very hard to work in an anti-presentist mode. Presentist mode is most commonly what's used in exploring issues like eugenics, things that have become recognized as problematic for a variety of reasons. What often happens when you take a presentistic view like that is you fail to understand how something that seems so obviously problematic to you could have been acceptable to large numbers of people in the past.
    The danger, of course, is that you fall into the trap of becoming an apologist. So it's a fine line to walk between being a presentist and being an apologist when you're dealing with issues like this. You don't want to explain away past people's beliefs and assumptions and actions as merely products of their time because that doesn't treat them fairly; it doesn't treat them as equals; it sort of lets them off merely because they lived before you.
    On the other hand, you need to understand the world as it was understood by them. So I think in graduate school is where I first heard the term “doing violence to the historical subject”. That is if you view them through your own eyes, you are doing violence to them. If you view them in such a way as to not hold them to any real standards simply because they came before you and therefore operated in a space of naivete relative to what you think you know, you're doing violence to them. You're treating them as somehow less than you and your present day colleagues.
    So to walk that line really requires that you use their language and you try to understand and discuss the world the way that they may have understood and discussed it. Now, the problem, of course, when you're dealing with something like this is that many of the things that they held true, many of the assumptions on which their work is based, are deeply problematic to us today, or we at least on the surface claim that they're deeply problematic.
    Because one of the real dangers of presentism is that it allows you to imagine that you're somehow better than the historical subjects were, that you're above whatever it was that they were dealing with, when in fact, you may simply rationalize some of the very same problematic assumptions that they held differently, holding them in a different way. So as a historian, I feel like it's my responsibility to treat the historical subjects fairly, and that means holding them to the same standards that I hold present-d

    • 51 min
    The Nazi Lies Podcast Ep. 19: The Earth Is Flat

    The Nazi Lies Podcast Ep. 19: The Earth Is Flat

    Mike Isaacson: The earth isn’t flat. Everything is going downhill.
    [Theme song]
    Nazi SS UFOs
    Lizards wearing human clothes
    Hinduism’s secret codes
    These are nazi lies
    Race and IQ are in genes
    Warfare keeps the nation clean
    Whiteness is an AIDS vaccine
    These are nazi lies
    Hollow earth, white genocide
    Muslim’s rampant femicide
    Shooting suspects named Sam Hyde
    Hiter lived and no Jews died
    Army, navy, and the cops
    Secret service, special ops
    They protect us, not sweatshops
    These are nazi lies
    Mike: Welcome to another episode of The Nazi Lies Podcast. Today I am joined by Kelly Weill, reporter at The Daily Beast on the fringe ideology beat and author of the book Off the Edge: Flat Earthers, Conspiracy Culture, and Why People Will Believe Anything. Ms. Weill, thanks so much for coming on the show.
    Kelly Weill: Hey, thank you so much for having me.
    Mike: So now when I finished the book, I DM’d you to tell you that you're absolutely brilliant. And the reason why is your intentional approach when it comes to being a conduit of misinformation. You're very careful in how you reference your source material so as not to lead readers to it. Can you talk a little bit about your methodology a bit and how you dealt with your sources?
    Kelly: Yeah, absolutely. It's weird dealing with somebody like flat earth, which is objectively wrong, right? When you're talking about that subject, you already kind of risk platforming that conspiracy theory as if there's any validity to it. So one thing that I tried to do throughout the course of my reporting and then to replicate as I was writing this book, was not to really engage with flat Earth as though it were a legitimate theory. And I kind of had it easy there. If I were doing something like medical misinformation, I would have probably had to get in the weeds a little bit more.
    But as far as flat earth goes, I would go to these conferences and when I was interviewing people, I'd be really straightforward. I'd be like, "Hey yo, I'm not I'm not a flat earther. I'm a reporter; I believe in the globe. But let's talk about why you believe this thing." And for me, that was a bit more interesting than the details of what exactly they believed because flat earth is wrong, but I wanted to come to why they bought into a theory that's so wrong. And when we had those conversations about their pathways to belief, that turned out to be a lot more interesting to me than just the zaniness of this theory.
    Mike: Okay, and we'll get into that soon. I want to talk about some things I learned. So the first thing I learned from your book is that flat earth theory is actually not that old? Like, there were cultures that believed in a flat earth, but there wasn’t the sort of pseudoscientific theory to justify it. So, when does the story of the flat earth movement start?
    Kelly: Yeah, totally. This is a bit of a misconception actually. I know when I was a kid I thought that there was, you know, Columbus thought he might have been sailing off the edge of the world. That's not true at all. We've known for thousands of years that earth was round because you can prove it with some pretty basic math. It's something that we've been able to do long before we could physically observe the shape of the Earth.
    But where flat earth theory actually comes back in is in England in around 1840. And that's when we have a guy named Samuel Rowbotham. He's a really interesting guy. He was a failed leader of a socialist commune; he had his hands on all kinds of short-lived fringe movements. I had a great time going through, you know, pre-Marxist socialist newspapers to find out what he was up to.
    But one of his career trajectories that didn't fail had to do with misinformation. He sold fake miracle cures, sort of a proto-Alex Jones. And he started shelling this idea that maybe earth was flat. And that idea was really alluring to certain people in that moment because, around mid-1800s, we're talking about a time when the n

    • 30 min
    The Nazi Lies Podcast Ep. 18: Human Biodiversity

    The Nazi Lies Podcast Ep. 18: Human Biodiversity

    Mike Isaacson: Encouraging inbreeding won’t get you very far.
    [Theme song]
    Nazi SS UFOs
    Lizards wearing human clothes
    Hinduism’s secret codes
    These are nazi lies
    Race and IQ are in genes
    Warfare keeps the nation clean
    Whiteness is an AIDS vaccine
    These are nazi lies
    Hollow earth, white genocide
    Muslim’s rampant femicide
    Shooting suspects named Sam Hyde
    Hiter lived and no Jews died
    Army, navy, and the cops
    Secret service, special ops
    They protect us, not sweatshops
    These are nazi lies
    Mike: Welcome to another episode of The Nazi Lies Podcast. I am joined by Uppsala University professor of animal conservation biology, Jacob Höglund. He is literally the perfect person to talk to about today’s Nazi lie: human biodiversity. He has a book from Oxford University Press called Evolutionary Conservation Genetics, which is the thing that Nazis obsess about. The book is great because it doesn’t get lost in the weeds with too much theory, it has tons of examples, and totally unintentionally, it absolutely demolishes the Nazi case for racial segregation and ethnic cleansing. I’m sure this is not at all where you expected to be interviewed for this book. Welcome to the podcast, Dr. Höglund.
    Jacob Höglund: Thank you very much. I'm glad to be here.
    Mike: All right. So obviously, you were not intending to write a book to dispel Nazi lies writing a book about the genetics of extinction and conservation. So talk a little about what inspired you to write this book and what you learned along the way.
    Jacob: Yeah, you're right. It's a completely different context, but the background is basically that the earth is facing a major biodiversity crisis. Biodiversity is defined as three basic levels; ecosystems, species, and genes. And I focus on genetic diversity. I'm concerned about loss of genetic diversity, and that's why I wrote the book.
    Mike: Alright. By page two, you’re already undermining the core of Nazi racial theory by asserting that diversity, both genetic and demographic, is important for avoiding extinction. Before we get into why that is, talk a little about what diversity means in this context, because the human biodiversity crowd might be like, “Well, I believe we need diversity too.” But what they mean is a humanity segregated by race. So, what do we mean by that diversity here?
    Jacob: Actually, in biology it means completely opposite. It's a bit complicated, but fragmentation-- So basically biodiversity loss or habitat loss, leads to smaller populations that become separated in a sense.
    Imagine that you have a large population which is connected, and then human action causes land loss and changing land use and all that sort of stuff. So populations that once were big and connected now become small and fragmented.
    And these small and fragmented populations tend to lose genetic variation through a process called genetic drift. Genetic drift is basically the random loss of genetic variants. This is what conservation genetics is trying to understand and to counteract.
    Mike: Okay. You talk a bit about segregation and its evolutionary consequences in your book. Obviously, you don’t mean to refer to race here, but for practical purposes the effect of segregation would be genetically the same for humans. Talk about what happens to species with segregated populations.
    Jacob: Yeah. We biologists don't talk about segregated populations; we talk about fragmented populations. So it's a small distinction, right? But as I tried to explain before, when you have fragmentation because of this process called genetic drift, you lose genetic diversity. Genetic diversity is sometimes also called heterozygosity when geneticists talk to one another.
    Mike: What does heterozygosity mean exactly? How is it defined?
    Jacob: It's again, a bit technical and complicated. But many organisms like plants and animals, the ones we are most familiar with, they are what we call diploid. And what a diploid is, it means that basicall

    • 26 min
    The Nazi Lies Podcast Ep. 16: The Free Speech Crisis

    The Nazi Lies Podcast Ep. 16: The Free Speech Crisis

    Mike Isaacson: If your free speech requires an audience, might I suggest a therapist?
    [Theme song]
    Nazi SS UFOs
    Lizards wearing human clothes
    Hinduism’s secret codes
    These are nazi lies
    Race and IQ are in genes
    Warfare keeps the nation clean
    Whiteness is an AIDS vaccine
    These are nazi lies
    Hollow earth, white genocide
    Muslim’s rampant femicide
    Shooting suspects named Sam Hyde
    Hiter lived and no Jews died
    Army, navy, and the cops
    Secret service, special ops
    They protect us, not sweatshops
    These are nazi lies
    Mike: Welcome once again to The Nazi Lies Podcast. I am joined by two historians today. With us is Evan Smith, lecturer at Flinders University in Adelaide, and David Renton, who taught at a number of universities in the UK and South Africa before leaving the academy to practice law, though he still finds time to research and write. Each of them has a book about today’s topic: the free speech crisis.
    Dr. Smith’s book, No Platform: A History of Anti-Fascism, Universities and the Limits of Free Speech, chronicles the No Platform policy of the National Union of Students in the UK from its foundation in 1974 to the present day. Dr. Renton’s book, No Free Speech for Fascists: Exploring ‘No Platform’ in History, Law and Politics, tells a much longer story of the interplay of radical leftist groups, organized fascists, and the state in shaping the UK’s speech landscape and their significance in politics and law. Both are out from Routledge.
    I have absolutely no idea how we’ve managed to make the time zones work between the three of us, but welcome both of you to the podcast.
    Evan Smith: Thank you.
    David Renton: Thanks, Mike.
    Mike: So David, I want to start with you because your book goes all the way back to the 1640s to tell its history. So what made you start your story in the 1640s, and what did contention over speech look like before Fascism?
    David: Well, I wanted to start all that time back more than 300 years ago, because this is the moment when you first start to see something like the modern left and right emerge. You have in Britain, a party of order that supports the state and the king, but you also have a party which stands for more democracy and a more equal distribution of wealth. And essentially, from this point onwards in British, European, American politics, you see those same sites recreating themselves.
    And what happens again, and again, and again from that point onwards for hundreds of years until certainly say 50 years ago, you have essentially the people who are calling for free speech, whether that's the levellers in 1640s, Tom Paine 100 years later, J.S. Mill in the 19th Century. The left is always the people in favor of free speech.
    In terms of the right, if you want a kind of the first philosopher of conservatism, someone like Edmund Burke, he's not involved in the 1640s. He’s a bit later, about a century and a half later. But you know, he supports conservatism. So what's his attitude towards free speech? It's really simple. He says, people who disagree with him should be jailed. There should be laws made to make it harder for them to have defenses. And more and more of them should be put in jail without even having a trial. That's the conservative position on free speech for centuries.
    And then what we get starting to happen in the late 20th century, something completely different which is a kind of overturning of what's been this huge, long history where it's always the left that’s in favor of free speech, and it's always the right that's against it.
    Mike: Okay. Now, your contention is that before the appearance of Fascism, socialist radicals were solidly in favor of free speech for all. Fascism changed that, and Evan, maybe you can jump in here since this is where your book starts. What was new about Fascism that made socialists rethink their position on speech?
    Evan: So fascism was essentially anti-democratic and it was believed that nothing could be reasoned wit

    • 1 hr 27 min

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Top Podcasts In History

The Rest Is History
Goalhanger Podcasts
Past Present Future
David Runciman
WW2 Pod: We Have Ways of Making You Talk
Goalhanger Podcasts
Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford
Pushkin Industries
Dan Snow's History Hit
History Hit
The Spy Who
Wondery

You Might Also Like