Democracy in Crisis

  • Democracy In Crisis Episode 21: Black Bloc and the Prosecution of Journalism

    Democracy In Crisis Episode 21: Black Bloc and the Prosecution of Journalism

    On this week’s episode co-host Baynard Woods talks with Baltimore City Paper editor Brandon Soderberg and Center for Emerging Media's Imani Spence about the charges against journalist Aaron Cantú stemming from the black bloc actions on Inauguration Day. Democracy in Crisis is a weekly podcast hosted...

  • Dream Darker: The indictment of journalist Aaron Cantú portends grim future for First Amendment

    Dream Darker: The indictment of journalist Aaron Cantú portends grim future for First Amendment

    Dozens of defendants, each sitting with their own lawyer, fill a Washington, D.C. courtroom, looking like college students wearing their nicest clothes for a job interview. It is far more serious than that. They are all facing charges of felony rioting, conspiracy to riot, and destruction of property...

  • I took my Trump-loving father to Mar-a-Lago

    I took my Trump-loving father to Mar-a-Lago

    A couple of weeks ago, my dad and I stood on a Palm Beach sandbar staring at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago golf club and resort. My dad didn't dress up much for the trip. He was wearing his quintessential summer garb of kneehigh white sport socks, a faux polo shirt from the sale rack, and a pair...

  • Democracy in Crisis Episode 20: Maryland AG Brian Frosh sues the president

    Democracy in Crisis Episode 20: Maryland AG Brian Frosh sues the president

    On this week’s episode co-host Marc Steiner interviews Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh about the Emoluments Clause. Democracy in Crisis is a weekly podcast hosted by Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner, produced and engineered by Imani Spence for The Center for Emerging Media. Theme music by Ruby...

  • Democracy in Crisis: Amid Comey chaos, lessons from the history of America's secret police

    Democracy in Crisis: Amid Comey chaos, lessons from the history of America's secret police

    Hundreds of people lined up in the marble hallways of a Senate office building, hoping to get one of the 88 public seats in Room 216, where James Comey, the FBI director Trump fired over the Russia investigation, was scheduled to testify at 10 a.m. That was at 8:30 a.m. More came. Some of the people...

  • Amid Comey chaos, lessons from the history of America’s secret police

    Amid Comey chaos, lessons from the history of America’s secret police

    Hundreds of people lined up in the marble hallways of a Senate office building, hoping to get one of the 88 public seats in Room 216, where James Comey, the FBI director Trump fired over the Russia investigation, was scheduled to testify at 10 a.m. That was at 8:30 a.m. More came. Some of the people...

  • Democracy in Crisis Episode 19: Politics and the Counterculture

    Democracy in Crisis Episode 19: Politics and the Counterculture

    On this week’s episode co-hosts Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner, joined by producer Imani Spence, talk about the Fugs, exorcising the White House and the state of the counterculture. Democracy in Crisis is a weekly podcast hosted by Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner, produced and engineered by Imani...

  • Democracy In Crisis: Reinventing the underground part one—a countercultural exorcism

    Democracy In Crisis: Reinventing the underground part one—a countercultural exorcism

    Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, poet and provocateur Ed Sanders shouts "Out demons, out!," his arms raised in clenched fists above his head, a computer bag hanging from the shoulder of his powder-blue sports coat. With a wild halo of white hair exploding from his balding pate, small...

  • Democracy In Crisis: Marching for truth days before Comey testimony

    Democracy In Crisis: Marching for truth days before Comey testimony

    Ten members of St. Gabriel’s Celestial Brass Band gathered at the trolley turnaround at the corner of Market and Powell St in San Francisco last Saturday. The New Orleans second line brass band usually just “marries ‘em and buries ‘em,” as one band member told me, but today the band volunteered...

  • Democracy in Crisis Episode 18: Hannah Arendt in the Age of Trump Part 2, Global Fascism

    Democracy in Crisis Episode 18: Hannah Arendt in the Age of Trump Part 2, Global Fascism

    In the second part of a two-part conversation, cohost Baynard Woods talks with scholar and writer Kathleen B. Jones about the relevance of political theorist Hannah Arendt in the age of Trump. Jones is a professor emerita at San Diego State University and the author of numerous books, stories and...

  • Jackson, Trump, Hitler and the seeds of global fascism

    Jackson, Trump, Hitler and the seeds of global fascism

    I'm writing this week from North Carolina, the state that may be the center of our current illiberal, anti-democratic and yet ostensibly populist politics; the place that should be called North Coup-d'etat-arolina after the Republican legislature tried to disempower the democratically elected Democratic...

  • Democracy In Crisis Episode 17: Hannah Arendt in the Age of Trump

    Democracy In Crisis Episode 17: Hannah Arendt in the Age of Trump

    On this week's podcast, cohost Baynard Woods talks with scholar and writer Kathleen B. Jones about the relevance of political theorist Hannah Arendt in the age of Trump. Jones is a professor emerita at San Diego State University and the author of numerous books, stories and essays, including "The...

  • Democracy in Crisis: What we can learn from Turkey's populist regime

    Democracy in Crisis: What we can learn from Turkey's populist regime

    I fucked up on Twitter last week when sending out a story I wrote about Kurds and other activists who were attacked by Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security forces outside of the Turkish ambassador's Washington, D.C. residence. Instead of typing "Turkish security forces," I inadvertently wrote "Trump...

  • Kurds and other anti-Erdoğan protesters detail attack by Turkish forces at D.C. embassy and demand justice

    Kurds and other anti-Erdoğan protesters detail attack by Turkish forces at D.C. embassy and demand justice

    Shortly after Donald Trump tweeted “It was a great honor to welcome the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to the @WhiteHouse today!,” members of Erdoğan’s security staff, many of whom appear to have been armed, attacked a peaceful protest across from the Turkish ambassador’s residence...

  • Democracy in Crisis: Brutal attack on protesters outside Turkish ambassador's residence

    Democracy in Crisis: Brutal attack on protesters outside Turkish ambassador's residence

    Shortly after Donald Trump tweeted "It was a great honor to welcome the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to the @WhiteHouse today!" members of Erdoğan's security staff, many of whom appear to have been armed, attacked a peaceful protest across from the Turkish ambassador's residence in...

  • Whose Autocracy Is It Anyway?: 13 authoritarian jokes on America

    I. FBI Director James Comey was speaking to federal agents when news of his firing flashed across the television behind him. The regime blamed new Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and cited Comey's treatment of the Clinton email investigation—as if daring us to pretend they are telling the...

  • Democracy In Crisis Episode 15: On the canning of FBI Director James Comey

    On this week's episode, cohosts Marc Steiner and Baynard Woods talk with Mark Trahant about Donald Trump's decision to fire FBI director James Comey. Mark Trahant is an independent print and media journalist who writes at TrahantReports.com. He is the Charles R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism...

  • Democracy In Crisis: Comey, Comey, Comey Chameleon, You Come and Go

    Back in March when then-FBI Director James Comey testified before the House Select Intelligence Committee—chaired by Devin Nunes, who had yet to jump out of an Uber in the middle of the night for a shady White House meeting—he began the substance of his remarks by saying, “I have been authorized...

  • Democracy In Crisis: Populism, Belonging, and Inside Jokes at Trump's Reality Show Rally

    It's hard to know what to make of these post-election Trump rallies. The latest one, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was intended to celebrate his first 100 days in office. It it also served as a distraction from the People's Climate March, which brought hundreds of thousands of demonstrators to D.C.,...

  • Democracy In Crisis: Inauguration Day protesters face decades in jail

    It was almost like a smaller, less intense recap of inauguration day as socialist Wobblies waving red Industrial Workers of the World and the black masked anarchist ranks of ANTIFA marched up to the line of police officers standing in attention outside the H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse in Washington...

  • Democracy In Crisis Episode 14: Trump's Harrisburg Rally and May Day Marches

    On this week’s episode, cohost Baynard Woods and Baltimore City Paper editor Brandon Soderberg talk about the strange political landscape after attending both the Trump rally in Pennsylvania and the May Day marches in D.C. Democracy in Crisis is a weekly podcast hosted by Baynard Woods and Marc...

  • Democracy in Crisis: The complexities and hypocrisies of the March For Science

    Twenty years ago I was arrested for occupying the office of Sen. Pete Domenici in Albuquerque, N.M. The senator and one-time segregationist Dixiecrat presidential candidate Strom Thurmond had threatened to defund the Environmental Protection Agency if it did not approve the Waste Isolation Pilot...

  • Democracy in Crisis Episode 13: Imara Jones on Disarray At 100 Days

    In this week's episode, hosts Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner talk with writer and analyst Imara Jones about the chaos surrounding the White House as we approach the 100th day of the Trump administration. Imara Jones holds a degree from the London School of Economics and is currently developing...

  • Democracy In Crisis: The death of Freddie Gray and the future of police reform

    On a cold and rainy day shortly after the election, I interviewed Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis in his office overlooking the city's downtown. Donald Trump had just nominated noted racist Jeff Sessions as attorney general, and the consent decree the city had been negotiating with the...

  • Democracy in Crisis Episode 12: D. Watkins and the Death of Freddie Gray

    On this week’s episode, hosts Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner talk with D. Watkins, educator, editor at large at Salon.com, and the author of "The Cook Up," and "The Beast Side" about the drug war and Freddie Gray, who died after being arrested in Baltimore two years ago this week. And composer...

  • Democracy in Crisis: How to question science without becoming a chemtrail-chasing cynic

    Donald Trump rode to the White House on a wave of widespread distrust of institutions, a cynical view that sees truth merely as a discourse of power. In that, this view resembles the skepticism of postmodernism and deconstruction (a word Steve Bannon has come to favor). The same theory can be applied...

  • Democracy in Crisis: What we can learn about Trump's executive order on the environment from John Steinbeck, Woody Guthrie, and Jason Isbell

    "I know you're tired and you ain't been sleeping well, uninspired, likely mad as hell," Jason Isbell sings on his new beautiful new song "Hope the High Road." "Last year was a son of a bitch for nearly everyone we know," he continues. He's right, it was a son of a bitch, but now I can only think...

  • Democracy in Crisis: Trump, Putin, and Propaganda

    The Senate Intelligence Committee questioned three experts on Russian active measures, or propaganda, campaigns Thursday morning. One of them, Clinton Watts, of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and George Washington University's Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, made it clear that the...

  • Democracy In Crisis: Archaeological Notes on "Russia"

    After the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Russian interference with the U.S. election, I had to renew my press credentials and took the elevator down to the private subway that runs beneath the Capitol. As the train approached and the glass doors opened, I imagined a...

  • Democracy In Crisis: Paul Ryan’s No Good Very Bad Day

    Friday afternoon, after a dramatic capitulation, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan walked out before the press and conceded defeat on what had been his party’s primary concern for the last seven years. “Obamacare is the law of the land,” Ryan said. “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the...

  • Democracy in Crisis Episode 8: House Hearings on Possible Russian Involvement in the Election

    In this week's episode, hosts Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner talk about the House Intelligence Committee hearings on possible Russian involvement in the U.S. election and ask—where does this all lead? Democracy in Crisis is a weekly podcast hosted by Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner, produced and...

  • Democracy in Crisis: Congress going "berserk" over Russia

    Like the rest of the country, Congress has gone crazy. "The idea that Russia could come in and interfere with our election, all of us should be going berserk," Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings said Thursday, summarizing the mood on at least half of the Hill.  On Monday, the House Intelligence...

  • Democracy in Crisis: Republicans seek leaks, raise possibility of prosecuting press

    Republicans collectively twisted themselves into knots Monday in order to ignore what was really happening in the hearings on Russian hacking of the election and tried to use it as an opportunity for another attack on the free press. FBI Director James Comey confirmed during the House Select Intelligence...

  • Democracy in Crisis: Enough with the "alt" already

    It's a shitty time to have any kind of identification with the prefix "alt." Richard Spencer and other Nazi-types started using "alt-right" in 2010 to refer to their racist, misogynist bullshit. And instead of ignoring their hate, it became apotheosized in the election of Donald Trump and we were...

  • Democracy in Crisis Episode 7: The Deconstruction of the Administrative State

    In this week's episode, hosts Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner take a step back to try to figure out just what the hell Steve Bannon means by "the deconstruction of the administrative state." Democracy in Crisis is a weekly podcast hosted by Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner, produced and engineered...

  • Democracy in Crisis: Inauguration day protestors arraigned amid doubts about evidence

    The morning of Wednesday March 8, as women across America were striking for International Women's Day, the struggles of 10 female felony defendants were obscured by D.C. courtroom walls, justice system bureaucracy, and public indifference. The defendants, who are among more than 200 being prosecuted...

  • Democracy in Crisis: Reorganizing the executive branch and the deconstruction of the administrative state

    On Monday, Donald Trump signed an executive order christened a "comprehensive plan for reorganizing the executive branch." The order directs the "Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director) to propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies...

  • Democracy In Crisis Episode 6: Department Of Justification & International Women's Strike

    Emily Bazelon, staff writer at the New York Times Magazine, joins us to discuss her latest piece called "Department of Justification," which discussed the long shared vision of Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Jeff Sessions. Then, we discuss the International Women's Strike with Kate D. Griffiths,...

  • Democracy in Crisis: The Man Behind FOIA

    Last week, reporters from the Indianapolis Star filed a state public records request and learned that while Mike Pence was governor he communicated using a hackable AOL account to conduct state business. And reporters used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) law in 2015 to show that Hillary Clinton...

  • Democracy in Crisis: General Flynn's brother responds to "From Skater to Hater"

    Joe Flynn, the brother of former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, wrote this letter in response to our story "From Skater to Hater: Mike Flynn's Wipe Out." We verified the identity of the author but did not edit the letter.  Baynard: I hope this finds you well. I am just so pissed at all the...

  • Democracy in Crisis: Steve Bannon is not an intellectual powerhouse

    White House assistant and chief strategist to the president, former Breitbart News capo, and according to Twitter, shaved Garfield, Steve Bannon, is the big brain behind Donald Trump because, well, he’s read some books and tells other people to read some books. Politico's "What Steve Bannon Wants...

  • Democracy in Crisis: Books Trump Should Read: "The Emperor," by Ryszard Kapuscinski

    A remarkable work of reporting by Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times  earlier this month described, in almost excruciating detail, the disarray of the Trump White House. It is a nocturnal tale of palace intrigue. “President Trump loves to set the day’s narrative at dawn, but...

  • Democracy in Crisis: Against Normalization—journalism in the ages of Hitler and Trump

    In the latest episode of the Democracy in Crisis Podcast, hosts Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner speak with Ron Rosenbaum. He is the author of "Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil," which includes a chapter on the Munich Post, a German newspaper that was highly critical of Hitler...

  • Democracy in Crisis: Church and Trump

    In front of the illuminated columns of the Supreme Court Building, the Rev. Patrick Mahoney and several other Christian activists gathered together, waiting for Donald Trump to announce his pick for Supreme Court justice—a spot left vacant for nearly a year after Republicans refused to acknowledge...

  • Democracy in Crisis: Occupying airports and the future of protest

    Donald Trump, Russian sex workers, and Vladimir Putin aren't the only ones who need to worry about piss. In a recent column about the Women's March in Washington on the day after the inauguration, Kate Drabinski wrote: "There's much to say about the politics and critiques of these events, but in...

  • Democracy in Crisis: A podcast discussing the BWI protest with one of its organizers

    In the first episode of the Democracy in Crisis podcast, hosts Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner speak with Payam, one of the organizers of a protest at Baltimore's BWI airport, about the Trump administration's indefinite ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, and...

  • Democracy in Crisis: Lawyers at Dulles fight for travelers trapped by Trump's 'Muslim ban'

    Lawyers are huddled up, poring over papers on the floor of Dulles International Airport, outside of Washington D.C. a couple hundred feet away from the throngs of protesters cheering, chanting and welcoming home people coming out of customs from international flights. Since Donald Trump signed...

  • Democracy In Crisis: Solidarity for the Inaugural Six

    Six journalists have now been charged with felonies for reporting on the black bloc protests on inauguration day in Washington D.C. Police allege that they have violated the district's laws against rioting. Evan Engel of Vocativ; Jack Keller, a producer for the web documentary series "Story of...

  • Democracy In Crisis: Darkness at noon

    Dozens of police officers blocked off the corner at 12th and Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C., gripping their batons and big canisters of pepper spray, their faces obscured behind shields, as nearly 100 activists who had already been arrested were cordoned off behind them, waiting to be...

77°