Background Briefing: February 18, 2019


More Evidence That Trump is Both a Criminal and a Traitor

We begin with stunning revelations by the former Acting Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe in an interview on “60 Minutes” where he discussed his new book “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump”.  With the book revealing that Trump believes what Putin tells him and not his own intelligence officials who are telling him otherwise, McCabe joins a line of former top intelligence officials such as FBI Director Comey, DNI Clapper, CIA Director Brennan and CIA and NSA Director Hayden who have all gone public warning Americans that their president is possibly a traitor because of his peculiarly deferential relationship with Putin, the leader of the country’s main adversary.  Craig Unger, who has written about the Trump/Russia scandal for The New Republic and Vanity Fair and is the author of the new book “House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia” joins us to discuss how the evidence that Trump is both a criminal and a traitor is piling up before our eyes. And while Trump tweets indignation at McCabe’s “illegal and treasonous behavior”, and an “illegal coup attempt” which Senator Lindsey Graham joins the chorus calling for a senate investigation of McCabe, not Trump, the surreal nature of the growing weight of evidence versus the diminishing credibility of denial should be apparent to all, but not so if you watch Fox News.


The UK Parliament Slams Facebook as a Digital Gangster

Then we examine the devastating report on “fake news” from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the U.K. parliament which slams Facebook as a digital gangster destroying democracy and accuses its CEO Mark Zuckerberg of pursuing a “deliberate” strategy of deceiving parliament. Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies and Director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia and author of “Antisocial Media, How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy” joins us to discuss how Senator Schumer is making sure Facebook does not face a similar probe in the United States.


The Dystopian Reality of the Tech Industry

Then finally we speak with Corey Pein, an investigative reporter who did a deep dive into the greed and hubris of Silicon Valley, emerging with a scathing sardonic expose of tech culture in his new book “Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley”.  He joins us to discuss the dystopian reality of a tech industry which sold us on a utopian future and the techno-oligarchy of short-sighted reactionary titans atop the world’s most powerful corporations amassing vast fortunes at the cost of the common good.