How Elon Musk Got Rich | The Kyle Kulinski Show

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“The first time I ever really listened to Kyle Kulinski’s show was in the back of a cab last summer. The driver had his phone hooked up through the stereo and was pumping out an episode through the car speakers — loudly, as if looking to convert a captive audience.

“Do you like Kyle Kulinski?”

The driver, Ahmed, was a recent immigrant and apparently a die-hard fan of Secular Talk, the political talk show that Kulinski broadcasts on YouTube. I told him, yes, in fact. I do like Kulinski, had come across his show several years ago, and, all things considered, he seemed pretty good.

“He understands what we’re up against,” Ahmed said. “Like Bernie.”

But I was surprised to hear Kulinski’s name mentioned in the same breath as Bernie Sanders, particularly with such adoration. Because what I did remember about Kulinski’s show struck me as mostly capital-P “progressive” takes on the news — the left wing of the Netroots crowd more than the democratic socialism Sanders has popularized.

It’s an impression that wasn’t entirely incorrect.

“I have no time for philosophical, airy bullshit,” Kulinski tells me from his home in Westchester, New York. “I don’t want to hear about Lenin. I don’t want to hear about Marx. I just want a super plainspoken, straightforward agenda with a straightforward way of selling it.”

With over 800,000 subscribers and nearly 670 million total views on YouTube, selling a progressive agenda is clearly something Kulinski knows how to do — even Democracy Now, the long-standing flagship of progressive media, cannot match his reach on the platform. Chapo Trap House can certainly boast a wildly devoted fan base (and a not insignificant degree of media influence), but their audience is roughly half the size of Kulinski’s.

While Secular Talk might be more likely to be looped in with the progressive networks around Air America and Pacifica alums like Sam Seder than the more resolutely socialist world, Kulinski’s fiery rhetoric, razor-sharp class instincts, and knack for withering takedowns sets him apart from his peers. Judging by his rhetoric alone, he’s closer to a Eugene Debs than a Chris Hayes.

But unlike Hayes, Amy Goodman, or his friend Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks — who began airing Secular Talk on his web network seven years ago — the thirty-two-year-old Kulinski is virtually invisible in the mainstream media. Despite his enormous fan base, his show has never once been mentioned in the obligatory trend pieces on “the Millennial Left” pumped out by the prestige media. Nor has Kulinski’s name ever popped up at all in the New York Times, Vox, the New Yorker, New York Magazine, or the Washington Post, despite his leading role in cofounding Justice Democrats, the organization widely credited with sweeping Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of “the Squad” to power.

Just last week, his Wikipedia page was deleted. The reason? “There is very simply no [reliable source] coverage of this person,” according to one moderator. In new media, he’s king — the Sean Hannity of the Berniecrat left. In old media, he’s nobody.

I suspect there are a few reasons for that. There is nothing “cool” about Kulinski’s show. (As a friend put it, “‘Welcome to Secular Talk’ sounds like something you’d hear on Egyptian radio.”) His no-nonsense social-democratic politics won’t get him much cred with the Full Communism crowd. He records his show not in Brooklyn or Los Angeles, but in a studio he built himself in his modest Westchester home. His hair is too groomed and his taste in clothes too preppy to qualify as “Dirtbag Left.” Nor has he ever attended an n+1 release party. “Not only have I not attended one,” he says, “I have no idea what that means.”

And yet he’s astonishingly plugged-in for a young man in the suburbs. Wondering how Sanders ended up on the Joe Rogan Experience? Kulinski, a frequent guest on Rogan’s wildly popular show, introduced them. “You make the most sense to me,” Rogan told Kulinski on a recent episode. “You’re a normal person.”

Much like Sanders himself, Kulinski’s show has a massive audience that just doesn’t compute with our media’s understanding of “what the kids want” or even “what the left-wing kids want.”

It’s probably for the best — the very woke and very WASP-ish decorum haunting much of the media world is nowhere to be found in Secular Talk. “Corporate Democrats over-focus on identity as a trick to divert you from the issues that unite us all — class issues,” he said on a recent episode. “That Raytheon decided they don’t hate gays or trans people — frankly, I don’t really give a shit what their take on that is…”

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  1. the way aspies work, there isnt public persona or private persona. Character wise he isnt hiding anything from the public.

  2. There is an old saying, "Behind every great fortune, is a great crime." Sounds like that was Musk's strategy.

  3. Is it me or does Kyle come off as increasingly uninformed. Like does Kyle read or just spit off his dome every episode. He’s just as bad as other talk heads who just give their take. What good is a persons opinion if it only incorporates limited information. How could Kyle not know that Elon didn’t found Tesla and that Tesla makes their money from carbon credits and not actual sales.

  4. Elon sells stock at a high value to buy Twitter, Twitter deal cancelled. Now Elon is still a billionaire even if Tesla stock tanks

  5. I've been following Elon Musk for about 10 years. I think I've heard everything in there already and much more. Elon has stated from the beginning that he generally believes in the free market, but that unpriced externalities must be accounted for. Greenhouse gases being one of them. That is a reasonable position to take. Musk was never a founder of Tesla, but it's clear that he has been the most important individual for the company since he took it from a private company producing prototypes to actually producing and selling a million cars in a year. Tesla has played a major roll in the adoption of electric cars to the masses. They try to pretend that tesla selling emission credits to other companies to make money is somehow bad, but the other companies were producing garbage electric cars they never planned to mass produce to cover this. Tesla used those credits produce a car people actually wanted. The credits are working and we are mad about it? SpaceX is clearly the cheapest most successful private rocket company. They beat out all the old dogs who never innovated or took risks to significantly improve costs within the rocket industry. Is Musk sometimes full of it? Yes. Does he greatly exaggerate product timelines? Yes. Is Musk sleezy? Probably. Do I agree with his politics? No. Did he actually bring real value to the world with his companies? YES! Well that is, if you prefer BEV's over combustion cars or if you believe cheaper flights to space is a good thing. The entire time Musk has been around half the media has praised him and half has hated him.

  6. The facts were great but I thought they tried to make him look like a silly person too often which I will think would turn off Elonstans from liking it I am thinking differently about him.

  7. Sorry..bull shit hit piece on Elon Musk.. Everything is public, do your own research.

  8. This isn’t an honest depiction. It’s a hit piece. Of course, there is truth in it. I’m not knocking that.

  9. Damn Kyle I can't believe you didn't know Musk stole Tesla, and here I thought that was common knowledge..

  10. Tesla isn't profitable?!​ That's an outright lie. Tesla has been profitable WITHOUT CREDIT SALES for a long time.


  11. That loan Tesla got was paid back early, with interest. How pathetic is it to attack Tesla for something like that?

  12. Musk was with Tesla from the start. When Tesla joined, Tesla was not an actual company. It didn't have anything, including any employees or tech.

    Also, why bring on the guy running the site "Tesla Death Watch" to speak on the company?

  13. $2000 to put himself through college? You can buy a semester, maybe a years, worth of books with that.

  14. Whiteness wins again!! How are black Americans supposed to compete with this type of crap going on? The government picks winners and losers and that’s a fact!! They seem to always pick whiteness to win!!

  15. Oh Kyle's never heard of Second Thought? That's kinda surprising given how big Second Thought is.

  16. This is just cancelling with more steps. Hey this guy doesn't support sterilizing and indoctrinating children so we are going to spend a lot of time and money to look at his whole life and spin it all in a way to make him look worse.

  17. Stop calling Epstein "The CEO of elite pedosinc.", because it isn't true. None of Epstein's victims were pre-pubescent, their age averaged 18 and the youngest were 15. Not all the people Epstein knew participated in his sex life, there is a small list of such people pointed out by the girls. In earlier times, in the 1960 and 70s, there were ACTUAL people in positions of power who abused pre-pubescent children, for example, Edward Heath, the conservative prime-minister of England in the 1960s, or Jimmy Saville, the TV personality. Epstein wasn't anything like those people.

  18. Kyle is a little late – which is on brand for him, haha – but at least he's finally realizing that Elon is just Trump but 30 years later.

  19. It's amazing Kyle doesn't know Second Thought. Second Thought puts out a video every week or so and he does a ton of research and I would say in terms of economic policy he aligns with Kyle quite a bit.

  20. Thanks for promoting second thought. I have to say tho everyone is on Elon and his Green drive & I get the electric car push and solar panels but at the end of the day between rockets, manufacturing, & all the power to fuel every thing hes ever done on the net like paypal for instance. His carbon footprint is pretty fuckin epic lmao & sure hes done a bit to develop our electric car industry and the reusable rockets but the most efficient thing hes done is develop Chinas electric car infrastructure…..

  21. Not gonna lie, I always had a positive image of Bill Gates. Until, the pedo-ring revelation. Then, the covid patent restrictions that they pressured Oxford not to lift. Also, look into the polio vaccine horrors the Gates Foundation has committed against Indian orphans in India. Several have died, and others had severe complications from them. The chose orphans froma developing country, so no one would notice.

  22. This video doesn't do a good job explaining that Musk seems to know nothing about how shit works, but that he's really good at convincing people that his tripe will work.