Day: July 29, 2021

Background Briefing: July 29, 2021


The Need For the Media to Cooperate on Investigative Journalism While Combatting Disinformation

We begin with the difficulty of getting important stories from investigative journalists financed, published and disseminated in a media environment overwhelmed by deliberate disinformation from both foreign governments and our own political leaders like the font of fake news Donald Trump. Kent Harrington, a former senior CIA analyst who served as National Intelligence Officer for East Asia joins us to discuss his article at The National Interest, “Disinformation: It’s Time to Feature All the News that Isn’t Fit to Print.” We examine how a recent scoop from The Guardian on explosive documents from a 2016 National Security Council meeting in the Kremlin at which Putin ordered a campaign to hurt Hillary Clinton and help elect Donald Trump is being ignored by the mainstream media because it was not invented here. Meanwhile groups like ProPublica and Bellingcat uncover extraordinary open source intelligence which might be better served if the media giants formed a consortium to develop important stories while discrediting disinformation. Whether manufactured at Mar-A-Lago or Moscow, disinformation campaigns are a growing political malignancy undermining the news media as well as public confidence in democracy and the press. 


An Alarming New Study on the Planet’s Vital Signs

Then we speak with William Ripple, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Forest Ecosystems & Society at Oregon State University about the new study he co-authored at the journal BioScience, “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency 2021.” He joins us to discuss the planet’s vital signs and key indicators that the global climate crisis is worsening and is either approaching or exceeding the point of no return.


The Journalist, Without Whom, Jeffrey Epstein Would Still be Abusing Girls

Then finally we are joined by Julie Brown, an investigative reporter with the Miami Herald whose dogged work uncovered how a rich and powerful sex trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein, got a secret plea deal to avoid prison even though he was suspected of sexually abusing more than 100 underage girls and young women. Her work is now out in a book, Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story and without Julie’s reporting which led to his arrest and death in prison under highly suspicious circumstances, Epstein and his billionaire buddies would probably still be abusing girls to this day.