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My New Book on Journalism, Exposing Corruption, and the Resulting Risks, Dangers and Societal Changes

My New Book on Journalism, Exposing Corruption, and the Resulting Risks, Dangers and Societal Changes

On Mother’s Day in 2019, I obtained a massive archive of materials from Brazil’s most powerful officials. The reporting we did changed the country, and our lives.

In 2015, I travelled to Sweden for an event with former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein. It was billed as a conversation about modern journalism between the reporter who had broken the biggest story of the prior generation (Watergate) and the one responsible for the biggest story of the current one (NSA/Snowden revelations).

A couple of years earlier, at the height of the Snowden reporting, Bernstein and I had traded some barbed insults through the media. So before traveling to Sweden, he generously reached out to invite me to dinner in order, essentially, to clear the air so that we could have a civil conversation. The night before the event, we met for dinner at the hotel restaurant. We quickly laughed off the acrimony — it had been a couple of years prior, and both of us have had much worse said about us — and proceeded to have a perfectly enjoyable conversation.

Truth be told, I was excited to meet and talk to Bernstein. Though his Trump-era persona became conventionally fixated on melodramatizing Trump’s evils for CNN, at the time Bernstein for me was most associated with the high investigative drama of Watergate. As a kid, it was that journalistic triumph, along with the Pentagon Papers, that captured my obsessive attention and shaped my views of what journalism is: reporters and whistleblowers who risk everything and face various multi-level dangers to confront and expose corruption by the most powerful actors in society…

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Personal Politics, Public Impeachment, Persuasion and Post-Apocalyptic Planning

Personal Politics, Public Impeachment, Persuasion and Post-Apocalyptic Planning

One of my primary concerns regarding the forthcoming economic chaos and societal breakdown is that there will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. As normalcy bias evaporates like tears on dehydrated sunken cheeks, hungry neighbors and pre-collapse friends and acquaintances will soon assimilate into zombie hoards and come knocking like its Halloween.

What are you going to do? Shoot them?

Regardless, saying “I told you so” or “I tried to warn you, but you didn’t listen” will not be an effective deterrent. Furthermore, the resultant chaos will also deliver local strongmen and gangs ready to thieve and plunder amidst widespread violence and starvation.

In such a scenario, any lone bananas are sure to be skinned.

Are you ready?

Because very few will have the opportunity to bug out to a remote location and surprisingly, an isolated cabin in the woods, or a fenced-off hidden homestead in a rural area may not be best after all.  Take it from Fernando Ferfal Aguirre, who survived the economic collapse in Argentina.  In his book, “Surviving the Economic Collapse”, he described geographic areas as like organisms dying; where the extremities perish first. Aguirre identifies the urban areas as the safer places to work, trade, and live; with the rural areas as targets for roving gangs to raid and set up camp out of the reach of city services, police, and fire departments.

Therefore, since we know the endgame, what if we could parlay that into building trust with others now?   Perhaps entire regions could be fortified in a balkanized America, simply by reorganizing current civil administrations.  All that would be required would be for the heads of select institutions and agencies to work in coordination, quickly, and decisively as the proverbial excrement collides into the whirling flabellum. Roving bands, gangs, cartels, and feral feds, might then decide to move on to easier targets.

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Carl Bernstein: “Cold Civil War” Has Taken Over Media; “Fact-Based Debate Is Becoming Impossible”

Carl Bernstein: “Cold Civil War” Has Taken Over Media; “Fact-Based Debate Is Becoming Impossible”

To say that the U.S. media has a developed a bit of a credibility issue of late would be an understatement.  Mass hysteria over Trump’s victory in November has clearly resulted in a staggering deterioration in reporting standards as dropping the latest “bombshell” and inflicting the latest wound on the Trump administration has been prioritized over truthful, fact-based reporting.  All of which, as we’ve noted frequently of late, has resulted in a number of embarrassing corrections from several major media outlets who have been forced to admit their reporting was just outright “fake news.”

And, in case you missed it, Carl Bernstein, who is best known for his investigative reporting for the Washington Post that shed light on the Watergate scandal, appeared on CNN, of all places, this weekend to discuss the media’s credibility issue which he argued has largely developed in the “cable news era” as media outlets have become increasingly politicized in their race for ratings.

Among other things, Bernstein said that media outlets in this country are engaged in a “cold civil war” and that, as a result, “fact-based debate is becoming impossible.”

“The difference between Watergate and now is that we are in the midst of a cold civil war in this country.  A political and cultural civil war and all of our reporting is taking place in the context of that cold civil war.  And nothing quite like existed at the time of Watergate.”

“And part of the cold civil war itself is the configuration of media with Fox News, with CNN, being perceived by different sets of viewers as representing different truths.  When, in fact, Fox has changed American politics as perhaps no institution has since its invention in 1996.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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