The only news that actually adds value to my life

In this livestream, host John Assaraf talks with Peter Montoya about his new book, The Second Civil War. They discuss reliable news sources, things you can do to shield yourself from fake news, and Peter uses the recent reporting on Afghanistan as an example of how you can become more conscious with your news intake.

So, one of the questions I’m asked quite frequently is, Peter, what news do you watch? Where do you get objective, unbiased news? And that question to me and I’m sorry, this language is going to be a little colorful, but that question to me is the same as where do you buy


your meth laced fecal matter? That’s what that question sounds like to me. I don’t watch any news. And once you understand that the news actually is not news. You would never watch it either, because the only thing that’s news to me is information that helps me make better decisions every day.


And so if you think about what information do I not have by looking out the window, maybe weather, maybe traffic, maybe some kind of natural disaster, maybe a pandemic. And you can get that information off of a app on your phone rather than watching any news channel.


So what’s happening in Afghanistan right now? I saw a little bit of the video by accident. It was horrifying. Go. That’s news. You need to know that this witness is ripping our country apart, is destroying the world. So here is the sad and horrifying truth.


What we are witnessing in real time in Afghanistan is happening just about every single minute. Somewhere in our country, somewhere, somewhere on our planet, there are civil wars. There are terrorist organizations. They’re doing things equally as horrible as what’s happening right now in Afghanistan.


Every minute of every hour of every day, 24 hours a day for the last 40, 50 years, sorry, thousands of years of our lives, it’s always happening. It just happened to get picked up by our news channels and now everyone’s covering it.


So the American news media is like a bird on a wire. If you’ve ever seen birds on a wire, there’d be a hundred year to two hundred birds on those telephone wires. One jumps up and starts flying in a certain direction, and all the birds follow in that same kind of swarm pattern.


That’s how the American media works. So if people are watching what’s in the book, I’m with you. It’s awful. The video I saw was horrible. And my heart goes out to those poor people. But sitting here and complaining about it doesn’t do me any good.


I made a donation to the Red Cross that might do a little bit of good. But beyond knowing this horrible things happening, it really doesn’t. Not that I don’t care. But it isn’t relevant to the decisions I got to make every day.


So, no, I don’t consume any news in a year from now. I’ll probably read a book on what happened in Afghanistan. The 20 year saga. And I guarantee you, the book will give me more insights and empathy and understanding than watching 10 hours of TV on it.


So let me ask a question. Ozzy asked a question here in the feed around, Shouldn’t we at least be aware of what’s going on in the world? Yeah, I think we should be personally. How do we get, you know, an overarching synopsis of what actually is going on in the world?


Like, I go from one. You know, I go I read a whole bunch of different news, not news channels, but different headlines, shall we say. Every day I do watch a little bit of news on different channels every day to have an idea of what every side is saying.


How do you keep yourself abreast of what is going on? Or you


just don’t? Yeah, I don’t. I really don’t. So most major news stories, people mention them and you’ll find that out. I want to be informed on influence and people to say, hey, did you know that the new mask mandate or or someone said, we think we’re in a drought in California.


OK, great. Now, I know we’re in a drought and conserving water more than I did before. Most major news stories just kind of bubble up and you kind of hear them in the ether. However, once again, even when you say I’m informed. What you are informed about is a small fraction of what is happening in the


world right now. Right now, the Uyghurs over there in China are being slaughtered. It’s not making our news. Does it change? I mean, it’s awful, horrible. And I wish there’s nothing I can do about it. So we can’t talk about our area of concern or area of influence.


And a lot of those issues that all they do is raise my blood pressure, raise my anxiety, make me want to vilify somebody else. If that’s all it’s doing is pulling me farther into drama. It’s not helping make a better decision about how to live my life today.


I don’t pay attention to it. I’ll read a book six months or a year after the event or watch long form journalism six months to a year after that. I don’t watch it in the moment unless it’s a global news story that actually a 9/11 size story.


Otherwise, I just won’t watch it. It doesn’t happen. All right.


Well, Peter, I know you’re busy doing interviews about your new book, The Second Civil War A Citizen’s Guide to Healing Our Fractured Nation. Where can people get the book easy enough?


It’s on Barnes & Noble dot com and also You can get it eBook, hardbound, softbound, on all those places. And you can always find me on my website, too, which is


I love it, my friend. Thank you for doing this. You and I have been friends for many years, and it’s a dialog that that I have with other friends. But I’ve never, you know, had this specific dialog on social media. I thought, hey, let’s enter into the dialog and everybody stand guard, OK?


You know, on the screen of your mind, stand guard with what is it that you really believe is, you know, are you choosing to believe the truth or a fragment or a little bit of the truth and be open minded to another one or two or three or ten opinions of the truth?


Just expand your awareness. Peter Montoya, thank you so much. Everyone pick up The Second Civil War, A Citizen’s Guide to Healing Our Fractured Nation by Peter Montoya on Barnes & Noble and on Amazon. And check him out at


Thank you. Thank you. Bye, everyone. How to leave me a comment below and share this right? Hit the share button. Let’s get this dialog out to other people so that we can expand awareness and more importantly, expand your ability just to be centered and in control.


Peter, you’ve got me rethinking whether I’m going to watch the news any more and I might take a… Last year, I took a 30 day hiatus from all news, and when I came back 30 days later, nothing was different.


It was all the same shit recycled over and over and over again.


That Billy Joel song, We Didn’t Start The Fire is completely accurate. The world’s been burning since the world’s been turning, and it will continue. Knowing all of it doesn’t really help us. If you are more committed to national unity than partisanship, please check out my book, The Second Civil War: A Citizen’s Guide to Healing


Our Fractured Nation. My book will challenge you to improve your relationships with friends and family. Click the link in the description below.