Day: September 23, 2019

Background Briefing: September 23, 2019


The Media’s False Equivalence Helps a Guilty Trump Smear Biden

We begin with an analysis of the way the press is handling the latest White House scandal which this time could lead to impeachment since it seems clear President Trump was shaking down a foreign leader to get dirt on his political opponent. Nevertheless in the name of fairness and balance, some outlets are following Trump’s cue to go after Hunter Biden in the way that back in 2016 they got behind Trump’s deflection of the real scandal of Trump University and his refusal to hand over tax returns to make a false equivalence with the Clinton Foundation at the same time Trump’s obvious ties to the Russians were equated with Hillary Clinton’s emails. The award-winning author and national correspondent for The Atlantic, James Fallows, joins us to discuss his latest article at The Atlantic “The Press is Embracing False Equivalence – Again. Coverage of the president’s pressure on Ukraine suggest the media learned nothing from 2016”. With the evidence pointing to a sitting American president using the power and resources of the U.S. government to exact extortion demands on a foreign leader to get him to interfere in a U.S. election, the “both sides” media convention is being employed apparently to allay fears of “a liberal bias” which ends up helping one side in the story, and that is the guilty party. And even if the false charges against Hunter Biden and his father which Trump is throwing out without providing evidence were proven to be true, that case would not begin to rise to the serious level of high crimes and misdemeanors Trump appear guilty of.


Crossing the Impeachment Threshold

Then with the Thursday deadline Speaker Pelosi has given the White House to deliver a transcript of the contested phone conversation between Trump and Ukraine’s president, we examine the likelihood that more stonewalling by Trump will force Pelosi to cross the threshold to begin an impeachment. One of the leading constitutional scholars in the nation, Michael Gerhardt, Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, and author of “Impeachment: What Everyone Needs to Know”, joins us to discuss the next steps that would follow a decision by the Democrats to impeach President Trump.


A 17 Year-Old Climate Activist on Today’s UN Climate Action Summit

Then finally with today’s powerful and uncompromising excoriation of the world’s leaders gathered at the United Nations from the 16 year old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, we speak with 17 year-old Nadia Nazar, the Founder, Co-Executive Director and Art Director of Zero Hour, a movement of youth activists fighting for a livable planet. She was with Greta Thunberg when she rebuked the Congress last week charging, “You’re not trying hard enough. Sorry” and urging them to “Listen to the scientists”.