Background Briefing: October 23, 2018


Trump’s Torrent of Lies Rally His Base

We begin with the torrent of lies issuing forth from Donald Trump as he doubles down in the final two weeks of campaigning ahead of the midterms rallying his base with the most absurd lies and fact-free assertions echoed by Fox News which unfortunately too many Americans believe. Charles Lewis, a bestselling author and investigative journalist and founder of the Center for Public Integrity and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists joins us to discuss his book “935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity” and Trump’s war on the truth.  We examine why ridiculous lies like passing a new middle class tax cut in November when the congress in not in session and the bill has not been written are believed by Trump’s base who, according to the polls, are increasingly motivated to vote apparently by the combination of brazen lies and demagogic fearmongering. We will assess whether facts matter anymore in America and since we are reaching the point in the public discourse where virality trumps veracity, we explore the role of the tech titans like Facebook and Google in providing platforms for the spreading and dissemination of lies without what is described as algorithmic accountability.


Trump’s Lie-Filled “Nationalist” War on the Truth is Moving the US Towards Tyranny

Then we look further into Trump’s assault on the truth and his unabashed cynicism as he stokes fears of an invasion of migrants mixed with terrorists and criminals heading towards out southern border because Democrats have promised them luxury cars, even Rolls Royces. Will Bunch, an award-winning writer and national columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer Daily News and author of “The Backlash: Right Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters, and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama” joins us. We discuss his latest article “With lie-filled ‘nationalist’ war on caravan, transgender people, Trump moves U.S. toward tyranny” and how much Trump is motivated to stop the Democratic takeover of the House because of his fear of impeachment.


A Capitalist’s Critique of American Capitalism

Then finally we speak with a successful capitalist, Jonathan Tepper, about his new book which is a critique of American capitalism “The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition”. He joins us to discuss how monopolies and oligopolies are not inexorable and how a revival of antitrust is needed to save us from an economy in which consumers already have little to no choice in banking, beer, beef, health insurance, social networks, air travel, Internet access and even the funeral industry.