Background Briefing: April 6, 2022


An Analyst Who Exposes Russian Propaganda, Watching it For 8 Hours a Day

We begin with the alternative universe the Russian people are in when it comes to what they are told is happening next door in Ukraine as state media propagandists are now working overtime to portray news of the massacres of civilians by Russian soldiers as “fake news” going so far as to suggest that because the town of Bucha sounds like the English word butcher, the massacre was the work of the British. Joining us is Julia Davis, an expert on the Russian media who watches between 6 and 8 hours of it every day. A Russian Media analyst, she specializes in exposing Russian propaganda tactics, with a focus on the Kremlin’s hybrid warfare and foreign policy. She is a former federal officer who served with the Department of Homeland Security and is currently a Columnist for The Daily Beast where her latest article is “Putin’s Minions Demand Grotesque ‘Rewards’ for Mass Killers.”


Russian Propaganda Takes a Sinister Turn, Now It’s All Ukrainians, Not Just the Government Who Are Nazis

Then we examine further how propaganda is working on the Russian people, most of whom believe Putin’s big lie he is liberating Ukraine from the Nazis which is not dissimilar from most Republicans believing Donald Trump’s big lie that he won the last election. However Russian propaganda is now taking a sinister turn from originally it was just the government of so-called Nazis that needed to be purged, but because the Ukrainians are putting up such a strong resistance, now it’s the whole population that needs to be denazified which leads to the spectre of genocide. Joining us is David Kaye, a clinical professor of law at the University of California, Irvine who, from 2014-2020, was the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. He is the author of Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet and his work addresses, among other topics, the ways in which Artificial Intelligence technologies implicate human rights issues, the global private surveillance industry and its impact on freedom of expression and growing repression of freedom of expression globally.


The Continuing Smears Against Ketanji Brown Jackson and Public Defenders

Then finally we look into the upcoming Senate vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court and the continuing smears against her by white Southern senators with Senator Cotton suggesting that if she were a judge on the Nuremburg Tribunal, she would be defending the Nazis. Joining us is Garrett Epps, a legal affairs editor of the Washington Monthly who has taught constitutional law at American University, the University of Baltimore, Boston College, Duke, and the University of Oregon. He is the author of American Epic: Reading the U.S. Constitution, and we discuss his latest article at The Washington Monthly, “Ketanji Brown Jackson Was a Public Defender. Here’s Why That’s a Great Thing.”