Category: Uncategorized

Background Briefing: February 3, 2019

 

How Facebook and Google are Killing Digital Journalism

We begin with the crisis in digital journalism as the past week has seen a cascade of layoffs at outlets including BuzzFeed, Vice, Huffington Post, McClatchy, and other outlets. We discuss how these digital media companies are struggling to find a sustainable business model to compete with legacy outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post as Facebook and Google continue to gobble up the vast majority of the digital advertising revenue. Matt Stoller, a fellow at the Open Markets Institute who is writing a book on the history of monopoly power in the United States, joins us to look into the stranglehold Silicon Velley is exerting on the media landscape in essence getting it both ways since they aggregate the journalism from The New York Times and The Washington Post etc., at no cost to them, then soak up 85% of the digital dollars from advertising thus making it impossible for the BuzzFeeds of the world to sustain a business. We look into alternative media models and the growing need for anti-trust action against the giant tech monopolies such as Google and Facebook.

 

The Consequence of the US and Russia Pulling Out of the INF Treaty

Then we speak with Panay Vaddi, a fellow in the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who worked in the US State Department in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance. He joins us to discuss the consequences of the US pullout from the INK treaty which was quickly followed by a pullout by Russia which has prompted the Chinese to suggest Russia and the US should stay in the treaty while China wants to stay out. We assess whether the Trump Administration in credible in claiming they want to broaden the scope of a future INF treaty to include China, Pakistan and India and others and discuss whether the minimal strategic deterrence that China has with fewer than 300 warheads could be an example for the US and Russia to follow since they each have over 1500 strategic warheads pointed at each other.

 

Saudi Arabia and Israel Have Had Much More Influence Over Our Elections Than Russia

Then finally we discuss how much technology emerging form Silicon Valley has ended up being a tool of repression as authoritarian regimes around the world are using technology meant to free us and spread information to have greater control over their people’s thoughts and activities. Graham Fuller, the former Vice Chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA joins us to discuss this issue and how our almost obsessive focus on Russia meddling in our elections misses how much Saudi Arabia has been buying influence in Washington for decades while Israel has had an outsized influence over our politics and politicians.