Wow, an internet celebrity I’ve actually heard of for once. Granted, I’ve probably only sat through like one of his music reviews total, but they come up as suggestions on YouTube when I search for music constantly. Here’s something I don’t understand though, why would you want to watch a video of a guy doing a music review? I mean, even if you wanted to listen to one, wouldn’t the sound be enough?
Not something I’ll ever get, but it turns out the guy is also a crap human being in addition to me just sort of hating his face. Maybe he’s a shit person precisely because he has a hateable face. What’s weirdest if you read the whole article is that you don’t know if he was delving into this alt right billionaire propaganda idiocy with his lesser know channel (which he deleted because of this article) because he’s into it, or simply because he knows there’s a market. In a way, I’m not sure which is worse. (from the Fader)
A few months after Akkad, Fantano welcomed another fringe figure on his podcast: Sam Hyde. Hyde is a complex person with a confusing narrative. Essentially, he was an absurdist comedian who garnered attention through his YouTube comedy show Million Dollar Extreme; last year, the show moved to Adult Swim, until it was cancelled after it became clear Hyde was using the show to smuggle noxious alt-right in-jokes and racist memes onto TV. During the presidential election, he was a prime vector for Pizzagate fake news; recent stunts include donating $5,000 to the neo-Nazi website Stormfront.
Hyde’s conversation with Fantano is horrific, offensive, and enlightening as to where both men stand. Fair warning: he describes rape and murder. At one point Hyde brings up Lena Dunham and explains in detail what he’d like to do to her. “I’ll take extra time, OK?” he says. “I’ll be nailing her, I’ll be punching her in the back of the neck, I’ll be boxing her eyes in. I’ll break both her orbital bones. I’m gonna destroy Lena Dunham so badly that the people that come to clean her up, they’re gonna be puking when they see what I did to her. I want them to know how I feel about her, so I’m gonna fuck her up so bad that they’re gonna puke when they see her bruised mangled body.”
You might be wondering what exactly the joke is here, but Fantano finds the bit hilarious — he laughs along without challenging Hyde. Nor does he push back when the pasty comedian says that he’s “strapped with my niggas,” or when he complains about “the government giving women a paycheck to use their pussies like ATMs and crap out kids.” Fantano just chuckles. It feels reminiscent of middle school, when one edgy kid would push the limits and bring more timid kids along for the ride — regardless of Fantano’s true beliefs on the subject of Lena Dunham’s violent death and ATM-pussies, he seems to find Hyde’s performance compelling and cool, and would never let himself, God forbid, get triggered. You can almost feel Fantano’s desire to be able to do what Hyde does.
In the 18 months since the release of the podcast, his content has swerved much farther right. On June 8, 2016, he uploaded a video called “Trigglypuff MEME REVIEW (#MessageToFeminists).” It has since been reuploaded by another user, and you can watch it here. It’s a dissection of a viral clip in which a protester yells at Milo Yiannapolous during a campus appearance — Fantano calls the protestor, who was nicknamed Trigglypuff by 4Chan, a “Hostess cake huffer” and a “loud obnoxious pig of a human being,” and awards the video ”500 points … for an accurate portrayal of social justice slacktivism.” He describes social justice advocates as “walking cringe compilations” and fills the screen with images of women he believes fit that description, including the aforementioned Sarkeesian and Emma Sulkowicz, known for carrying a mattress around Columbia University in protest of the school’s refusal to expel her alleged rapist. Fantano has chosen to paste the phrase “fuck me in the but” [sic] over her image, a reference to a text Sulkowicz allegedly sent to her rapist, which, according to anti-feminist bloggers, proves her rape claim was a hoax.
Hyde noticed. “This is so good… you gotta do more of these,” he commented on the video. “Thank you for your blessing,” Fantano responded.