Day: December 25, 2018

Background Briefing: December 25, 2018

Caught Between Putin and Trump, Will American Democracy be Saved by Robert Mueller?

We continue our look back on the most important stories of 2018 with an insightful briefing from May 10th on the tenuous state of American democracy as we find ourselves caught between two kleptocratic and autocratic criminals. One, Vladimir Putin, has used fascist tactics to neutralize democracy in Russia and justify rule by wealthy oligarchs. And the other, a wannabe billionaire whose business was rescued by Russian dirty money, Donald Trump, who owes his election to the Russian intelligence services and is attacking the very foundation of American democracy, the rule of law, as the special counsel Robert Mueller closes in on him. Timothy Snyder, Professor of History at Yale and author of “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century” joins us to discuss his latest book just out, “The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America”.


A Conversation With Michael Eric Dyson

Then we revisit an interview from June 5th with Michael Eric Dyson, one of America’s premier public intellectuals and the University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University whose latest book, just out, is “What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversations About Race in America”. He joins us on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of RFK to discuss what white America can learn from the black experience just as Robert Kennedy learned after meeting with James Baldwin and other black activists in 1963. And how we can all fight back as Trump tries to turn the clock back on race relations and divide America with dog whistle appeals reviving racist hatred to rile up his base.


How Propaganda is Working for Trump

Then finally we go to an interview from June 18th with Jason Stanley, a Professor of Philosophy at Yale University and author of “How Propaganda Works” whose forthcoming book is “How Fascism Works”. He joins us to discuss the extent to which Donald Trump has weaponized the advice of the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels to “Make the lie big, keep it simple, keep saying it and eventually they will believe it”. Amid signs that Trump’s campaign to discredit the Mueller investigation is working with 36% now having an unfavorable opinion of Mueller and just 32% approving of the inquiry, we will discuss how, thanks to Fox News and other pro-Trump propaganda outlets, propaganda is working for Trump and America is getting closer to fascism.