Day: February 19, 2023

Background Briefing: February 19, 2023


An Update From the Munich Security Conference

We begin with a report from the Munich Security Conference in Germany at which VP Kamala Harris spoke along with European leaders and Wang Yi, China’s top foreign policy advisor to Xi Jinping who said about the war in Ukraine, “this warfare cannot continue to rage on” promising that Beijing is ready to present a peace proposal. Joining us from Munich is Charles Kupchan, who was director for European Affairs on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. He is now a professor of International Affairs in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and spent the last 3 years of the Obama administration as Special Assistant to President Obama for National Security. He is the author of Power in Transition: The Peaceful Change of International Order, and How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace, and his latest book, Isolationism: A History of America’s Efforts to Shield Itself from the World.


Fox News is Afraid of Its Viewers and the Truth Which Would be Bad For Business

Then, with the release of texts and emails from top Fox News anchors and Rupert Murdoch himself as a result of court filings in the lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems, the public is getting damning evidence that Fox is not a news operation but a propaganda outlet afraid of its own viewers who they have indoctrinated with lies but can’t afford to lose them to Newsmax or other further-right platforms if they dared to tell what they know to be true. Joining us is an expert on propaganda, Peter Pomerantsev, a Senior Fellow at The SNF Agora Institute Johns Hopkins University and an author and TV producer. He studies propaganda and media development and has testified on the challenges of information warfare to the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the UK Parliament Defense Select Committee. His books include Nothing is True and Everything is Possible and, most recently, This is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality. He is a member of the Reckoning Project.

The Origins of the Derailment in Ohio

Then finally we examine the origins of the derailment in Ohio that released toxic chemicals into the environment which turns out to be one of a thousand derailments per year. Joining us is Clyde Whitaker, the Ohio state legislative board director for SMART Transportation, a rail workers union, who specializes in safety issues. We discuss readily available safety equipment that could have prevented the derailment but has not been installed because of the capture of Congressional Republicans by lobbyists from the rail companies whose priority is pleasing Wall Street over the safety of railway workers and the American public.