Background Briefing: September 5, 2018
Kavanaugh Stonewalls Democrats While Republicans Heap Unctuous Praise Upon Him
We begin with the testimony today from Brett Kavanaugh where he obfuscated tough questions from Senate Democrats with layers of lofty legalism while being handed groveling softball questions from Republicans about how his kids feel about the way the hearings are going. Paul Campos, a professor at the University of Colorado Law School and author of “Jurismania: The Madness of American Law” who blogs at Lawyers, Guns and Money, joins us to discuss the fatuous nature of this political theater in which one side plays hardball and the other fumes in impotence. And while Kavanaugh’s confirmation appears to be a foregone conclusion, there were hints in questions from Senator Leahy that the nominee may have been less than truthful about the hacking of Leahy’s email which if pursued, might tip the scales. But given the lock-step nature of the Republicans on the committee and the determination to get Kavanaugh confirmed as a trophy for the GOP base before the election, it is doubtful that anything short of a video of Kavanaugh drowning kittens or cavorting with Satan would derail the confirmation of Trump’s second Justice onto the Supreme Court. In part because of the saturation of scandal fatigue from the constant outrages of our porn-star-prone president.
Will the Shocking Revelations in Woodward’s Book Impact Trump’s Base?
Then we look into the possible political effect of Bob Woodward’s new book “Fear: Trump in the White House” which is already getting enormous media attention ahead of it publication next Tuesday. Paul Farhi, The Washington Post’s media reporter joins us to discuss the difference between Woodward’s book and earlier exposes of a chaotic and dysfunctional White House and whether the shocking revelations about a president who himself is a threat to our national security, could move the needle in terms of influencing Trump’s base inside the Fox News bubble.
Policing Hate Speech Online
Then finally, with hearings today before the Senate Intelligence Committee at which the CEO’s of Facebook and Twitter testified about Russian election interference and data manipulation, propaganda and hate speech on social media, we speak with Jared Holt, a Research Associate at Right Wing Watch who specializes in Alt-Right and so-called “New Right” media and the influence of the right wing in social media. He joins us to discuss the altercation outside the hearing room between Senator Marco Rubio and the conspiracy theorist and hate-monger Alex Jones.