Background Briefing: April 22, 2024

Arrests of Students Protesting the War in Gaza Spread From Columbia to Yale

We begin with dozens of students protesting the war in Gaza arrested today at Yale University following last week’s arrests of over 100 at Columbia University and speak with Alexander Sammon, a politics writer at Slate who has previously written for Mother Jones, The New Republic and the American Prospect. We will discuss his latest article at Slate, “What Just Happened at Columbia University: Inside the student protests that led to more than 100 arrests.”


The Optics of Trump on Trial in New York; a President Off His Pedestal Defending Sleazy Criminal Behavior

Then we look into the optics rather than the legal issues in today’s opening arguments in the New York trial of Donald Trump which has the former president off his pedestal reduced to a criminal defendant confronted with his sleazy behavior of sex with a porn star shortly after his wife gave birth and the coverup for which an underling went to jail. Joining us is Anne Nelson, a Research Fellow at Columbia University, author and lecturer in the fields of international affairs, media and human rights who was the director of the international program at the Columbia School of Journalism where she created the first curriculum in human rights reporting. Her books include Red Orchestra: The Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitler and Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right, now out in an updated paperback version. The new film BAD FAITH: Christian Nationalism’s War on Democracy based on her book Shadow Network starts streaming on multiple platforms on April 26th.

A Positive Case For America’s Next Economy

Then finally we speak with Natalie Foster, the president and co-founder of the Economic Security Project and an Aspen Institute Fellow. A leading architect of the movement to build an inclusive and resilient economy, she speaks regularly on economic security, the future of work, and the new political economy. She previously founded the sharing economy community Peers, co-founded Rebuild the Dream with Van Jones and served as Digital Director for President Obama’s Organizing for America—a leading partner in winning transformative healthcare reform. We discuss her new book, out tomorrow Tuesday, The Guarantee: Inside the Fight for America’s Next Economy.