Day: March 4, 2021

Background Briefing: March 4, 2021


“How the Party of Lincoln Has Become the Party of Alex Jones”

We begin with the U.S. Capitol in lockdown today under increased security due to concerns by law enforcement authorities that followers of the bizarre QAnon sect might act on their lunatic beliefs that March 4th was the day their hero Donald Trump should have been inaugurated and therefore Democratic lawmakers must all be killed. Joining us is Nicole Hemmer, a research scholar at Columbia University and the author of Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics. She co-hosts the history podcasts “Past Present” and “This Day in Esoteric Political History” and joins us to discuss her article at CNN “How the party of Lincoln became the party of Alex Jones.” We discuss the role of right wing media in spreading conspiracy theories as these outlets have now become de facto messaging arms of the Republican Party.  


Christopher Miller and Ryan McCarthy Must Explain Why The Pentagon Waited Over Three Hours to Rescue the Capitol

Then we examine yesterday’s testimony from the General in charge of the D.C. National Guard who described his personal frustration of being unable to get the Pentagon to respond to desperate pleas from the D.C. Police to come to their rescue as the Capitol was overrun by rioting Trump supporters. Mark Perry, Senior Analyst at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and author of Partners in Command, Four Stars: The Joint Chiefs of Staff and America’s Civilian Leaders, joins us to discuss the need for the former acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller and former Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy to explain the 3 hour and 19 minute lapse and whether they were acting on deliberate orders to slow down the response to come to the rescue of the overwhelmed Capitol Police.


How One Crackpot Conspiracist is Holding Up Help For Millions of Americans

Then finally, with Republican Senator Ron Johnson frustrating efforts to pass the $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus package by employing an arcane stunt to have the senate clerk read the whole bill eating up 10 hours of floor time, we look into who Johnson is and why somebody who spouts such stupid conspiracy theories has support in Wisconsin. Matthew Rothschild, the executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and the former editor and publisher of The Progressive magazine joins us.