Background Briefing: April 5, 2023
As Trump Faces Further Legal Jeopardy, Is the Manhattan DA’s Case Against Him Weak or Strong?
We begin with a division of opinion among law professors and legal pundits, some of whom say the indictments against Donald Trump brought by the Manhattan DA are weak while others say the case is strong. Joining us for an assessment of the legal jeopardy facing Donald Trump is Corey Brettschneider, a professor of political science at Brown University, where he teaches constitutional law and politics, as well as visiting professor of law at Fordham Law School. He is the author of The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents and his latest book is Decisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Selection.
After Trump’s Prime Time Tirade of Bitter Fury and Paranoid Delusion, Will the Mainstream Media Continue to Give Him Free Campaign Advertising?
Then, following Trump’s prime time speech last night at Mar a Lago, but for the optics of a crowd of wealthy members of his private club amid the garish decor and flag-draped staging, it could have been a mentally-ill man on a street corner unleashing a tirade of bitter fury and paranoid delusions as the former president and current presidential candidate made countless fact-free assertions along with incendiary accusations against the family of the judge trying his case in Manhattan and the special counsel at the DOJ investigating January 6 and the stollen classified documents. Joining us is Victor Pickard, a Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania where he co-directs the Media, Inequality & Change Center. He is the author of America’s Battle for Media Democracy: The Triumph of Corporate Libertarianism and the Future of Media Reform, and his latest book is Democracy Without Journalism?: Confronting the Misinformation Society. We discuss how, even after giving Trump $5 billion worth of free advertising in 2016, the mainstream media is on course to give Trump a similar free megaphone for 2024 to troll, defame and demagogue instead of offering plans, programs, platforms and policies which candidates are supposed to offer.
How Libertarians and Alternative Health Gurus Created the Medical Freedom Hustle
Then finally we speak with Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling, a freelance journalist specializing in narrative features and investigative reporting. He has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, won a George Polk Award, and been voted Journalist of the Year by the Maine Press association, among numerous other honors. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, USA Today, Popular Science, Atavist Magazine, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Associated Press. He is the author of A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear: The Utopian Plot to Liberate an American Town (And Some Bears), and his latest book, just out, is If It Sounds Like a Quack…: A Journey to the Fringes of American Medicine and we discuss America’s war on science as libertarians and alternative health gurus have joined forces to created the anti-vax movement which today has 60% of Americans resisting vaccination.