I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 24-28 February 2021

Heather Cox Richardson Her ‘Reconstruction’ series continues on January 28th where she discusses the ‘switch’, where the Republicans went from supporting the idea of every American (man) being able to get ahead, to the protection of Big Business. In order to pay for the Civil War, the Republicans introduced taxation (yes, the Republicans) and erected a tariff wall around the whole US economy. When the economy soured, the argument (that we still hear trotted out today) was that the economy and business had to be protected so that the little man could be employed. There’s a fair bit of economics here, but I’ve always wondered when the Republican/Democrat switch occurred.

The Daily (NYT) Down here in the Southern Hemisphere, we have been watching the icy storms in Texas with disbelief. Texas?! The Blackout in Texas (February 17) has an interview with someone huddling in their icy house, having charged their phone in the car, and then another energy journalist with the NYT.

In A Battle for the Soul of Rwanda, they look at the current situation of Paul Rusesabagina, the hero of Hotel Rwanda, who is currently facing terrorism charges in Rwanda. I feel disappointed that things seem to be becoming more repressive in Rwanda- I was very impressed with the beauty, cleanliness and apparent reconciliation in the country..

Conversations (ABC) Australians are very familiar with Dr Norman Swan and his Coronacast podcasts, but most of us had not heard of his son, journalist Jonathan Swan until his Axios interview with Donald Trump. Jonathan Swan now has a podcast How it Happened and in this Conversations episode Trump’s Last Stand Richard Fidler talks with Jonathan Swan about Trump, and the journalistic environment in the Trump White House.

How It Happened And so of course, I then listened to Jonathan Swan’s podcast How It Happened. It is in five episodes. He argues that there is a direct line between Trump’s premature declaration of victory on Election Night and the invasion of Congress on January 6. He goes through Trump’s clutching at a new legal team, his rupture with Barr and Pence, and finishes with a very detailed analysis of what happened on January 6 from the point of view of the congressmen. Unfortunately, instead of having named sources, he is having to work with “deep backgrounding” where he can use the information given to him, but not identify the source. Nonetheless, the series gives a good fly-on-the-wall retelling of post-election Trump antics.

Background Briefing (ABC) Down in leafy Mt Eliza, there was an ashram led by Russell Kruckman. The chilling secrets of a Melbourne guru is a pretty typical cult-story, complete with manipulation, exploitation and sexual abuse. The chilling secrets of a Melbourne guru spends more time than it should on even questioning whether this is a cult.

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