The internet is filled with countless individuals who are willing to denigrate themselves in exchange for attention and profit, but few are as prominent as YouTuber Ethan Klein, aka H3H3 Productions.
Ironically, Klein rose to fame on YouTube by making comedic videos about crazy, eccentric or insincere people online. Yet much has changed since the old days of YouTube, as has Klein. Since hitting a lull in his comedic YouTube career, Klein pivoted to podcasting and has hosted numerous famous figures, including Dr. Jordan Peterson, whom he hosted twice.
The success of his podcast led Klein to collaborate with various leftist commentators, including Hasan Piker. The two now have a show together called "The Leftovers." The evolution of Klein's politics is a metaphorical licking of the finger and seeing which way the wind blows. It's a relatively recent evolution and is heavily tied to whoever he is currently collaborating with.
However, a new identity comes with a new audience who may see Klein's old associations as verboten. Peterson is one such forbidden figure for Klein's new subscribers.
"Years ago I interviewed Jordan Peterson before I was very familiar with his politics - he was an interesting guest who I enjoyed sitting with. But, especially now, I can see he's a dangerous gateway to alt-right, transphobia, and covid misinfo. I removed both interviews today," Klein said in a tweet on Friday.
Klein attests that he was utterly unaware of Peterson's politics, which is an insincere position as Klein has outwardly praised Peterson in the past.
"He's an incredibly educated, well-spoken and insightful person on pretty much every topic," Klein said in introducing Peterson on his podcast in 2017.
The love didn't stop there. In Peterson's next appearance, Klein said, "Today's guest is the great and wonderful and one of our all-time favourite guests, Dr. Jordan Peterson, who has graced us with his presence yet again."
Klein also lauded Peterson's book, 12 Rules for Life, saying he "read it" and "loved it." Nonetheless, the Ethan Klein of 2017 was no more, which is a disappointing shock to not only former fans like myself but Peterson.
"What are you up to, Ethan? We had a good conversation. I enjoyed meeting you and talking with you. What have I said, precisely, that motivated your actions and your accusations? Deleting our discussion...An honest question," Peterson tweeted Friday evening in a lengthy Twitter thread addressed to Klein.
"Finally, @h3h3productions [Ethan], you might seriously consider providing me with the footage, so I can post it, given that I agreed to appear on your show based on the agreement that there would in fact be a show," Peterson continued, a salient point as Klein not only profited off the podcast but gained subscribers. Surely he should block all those bigoted listeners as they subscribed as a result of Peterson's appearance. "Also, I should warn you that those who engage in cancel culture generally live to regret it. I'm not going to come after you, except politely, in this Twitter stream. But the chickens will definitely come home to roost."
"You will be held to higher and higher and soon impossible to maintain ethical standards by the very mob you currently wish to please. Then you will make a mistake, and they will devour you. With glee. Please take this warning seriously. I liked you," Peterson concluded the Twitter thread.
Peterson is wisely witnessing the purity spiral of Ethan Klein and is aware that, like all humans, Klein is not without his own skeletons in the closet. There is countless video footage of Klein uttering "N****r f****t," which is offensive to black people and the LGBTQ community.
Additionally, Klein played a significant role in the "Hugh Mungus" story. Rudy Pantoja, aka "Hugh Mungus," went viral in 2015 after being harassed by an angry feminist on video. This feminist accosted the man, demanding to know his name. He replied, "Hugh Mungus," causing the feminist to shriek and be detained by police. Klein's video on the subject is titled, Crazy SJW Gets Triggered Ft. Hugh Mungus and has 7.8 million views.
Pantoja became famous due to Klein's coverage and the two even had an interview together. However, a lot has changed since 2015 and Klein's promotion of a vile patriarchal bigot such as Hugh Mungus would not fly today. Truly, the Ethan Klein of 2022 acutely resembles the crazed feminist who accosted Hugh Mungus all those years ago.
It is perhaps not a stretch to also say that the Ethan Klein of 2022 would likely be a subject of comedic ridicule by the Ethan Klein of 2016 that we all loved.
It would be a mistake to say that Ethan Klein has become radicalized because it is fundamentally clear he isn't remotely literate in any leftist dogma, including the most basic of Pravda. Many of his fans have been quick to point out that Klein is incredibly impressionable and has likely adopted the beliefs of the "BreadTubers" he surrounds himself with.
"Being white isn't a race, dipsh*t," Klein told a fellow YouTuber, who was denouncing racism towards white people. This tweet is now deleted and Klein has never addressed this bizarre take, which seems to be a poor understanding of race itself.
Klein's insincerity doesn't stop there. Klein was evidently uneducated in leftist dogma when he accepted a challenge to debate conservative Steven Crowder, only to flee and have leftist commentator Sam Seder debate for him. It is seemingly the case that when Klein is challenged, he resorts back to his ideological allies to explain his own dogma for him.
This is why Peterson's earnest request to know exactly what his sins are will never be met with any truthful response. Klein will not ignore the request, as he needs the attention, but will instead grossly mischaracterize Peterson (His former favourite guest) and activate leftist allies to speak for him.
With this in mind, what comes next for Ethan Klein? He is continuously diving deeper and deeper into the left and peacocking aggression toward right-wing figures. Earlier this month, Klein attacked Joe Rogan for his health choices and now Klein attacks Peterson for his moral philosophy.
Klein continues to try and cancel every figure he considers a threat to his new dogma, unaware that Peterson's warning may well come true. When Klein himself is cancelled, he will be left with no reasonable allies to defend him, only inquisitors of the purity mob he created.