If political talk shows are your thing, chances are, that by now, you’ve tuned into at least one podcast or YouTube channel airing of The Rubin Report. Hosted and facilitated by its creator, Dave Rubin, the free-speech-advocating show tackles hot political topics and other thought-provoking big ideas, leaving viewers with much to debate afterwards. But what makes it different to the shows we see on television? The Rubin Report provides a platform, in what’s been called the ‘intellectual dark web’, opposing that of mainstream media, which, according to him, often masks opinions as facts. Instead, it exposes its viewers to discussions from left and right-leaning viewpoints without expecting them to pick a side. Rubin’s message is that one should rather embrace one’s status as an individual.
Who is Dave Rubin?
Can one person be both a stand-up comedian and serious political talk show host? If you’re Dave Rubin, the answer is, yes. Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1976, he went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science in 1998. Promptly afterwards, he kicked off his career in comedy – even interning at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In the years to follow, he co-founded several comedy clubs in New York City and stuck to doing stand-up gigs till 2007. Rubin then moved on to host two very popular podcasts, which were turned into a television series. Another podcast of his, The Six Pack, became one of the top podcasts on iTunes and turned into a live radio talk show. Later, The Rubin Report, attracted such widespread attention that it was picked up by Larry King’s Ora TV. In his personal life, Rubin came out as gay in 2006, and married his partner in 2015. He describes himself as a free-thinking, classical liberal who, as a listener, and not a fighter, allows the voices from all sides to be heard on his show.
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Hot Topics on The Rubin Report
The Rubin Report doesn’t put his eclectic mix of guests on the show, in the proverbial hot seat. Instead, Rubin facilitates non-confrontational discussions around topics that have the potential to evoke an emotional response. Over the last few years, the sometimes-taboo issues covered, ranged from left and right political beliefs, religion, atheism, feminism, terrorism, immigration, campus controversies and of course, free speech.
Most Noteworthy Guests of 2018
Despite their varied views, one thing that guests on The Rubin Report seem to have in common is a strong academic background. During 2018, Rubin interviewed a number of prominent personas, including the following:
- Jordan Peterson – clinical psychologist and professor of psychology
- Ben Shapiro – conservative political commentator, writer and lawyer
- Sam Harris – American author, philosopher, religious critic and podcast host
- Tucker Carlson – conservative political commentator and columnist
- Thomas Sowell – American economist, social theorist and Senior Fellow at Stanford University
- Larry King – award-winning American television and radio host
- Eric Weinstein – mathematician, economist, writer and MD of an investment firm
- Bret Weinstein – biologist and evolutionary theorist
- Claire Lehmann – Australian writer and founding editor of Quillette
A Hit or a Miss with Viewers
Aimed at intellectuals and featuring academics, The Rubin Report, certainly isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. And while the show’s viewership keeps growing, many have publically announced that they’ve unsubscribed from it, mainly due to the fact that Rubin never seems to really challenge what his guests say. Then again, isn’t this his whole objective, and what sets his show apart from the expected jab-and-duck approach we’ve come to expect from mainstream media? That said, thanks to podcasts and YouTube channels, there is an arena to suit every audience preference. Rubin’s provides a shift from the norm, and that, in itself is refreshing.