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Mid-Atlantic - conversations about US, UK and world politics

Can we save local journalism in an age of social media

Katherine Brodsky is a freelance writer, Katherine has also contributed to publications such as The Washington Post, WIRED, Esquire, The Guardian, Newsweek, USA Today, CNN, The Independent, Playboy Magazine, New York Magazine/Vulture, AFAR, Entertainment Weekly, USA Weekend, Mashable, Elle Canada, Backstage, MovieMaker Magazine, Montecristo, NUVO, Delta Sky Magazine, Time Out, Canadian Traveller, and many others.

The rise of citizen journalism has been seen as a solution to the problems that have plagued traditional journalism in recent years. However, while it offers a more diverse range of voices and allows local voices to tell their stories, it is not necessarily a more trustworthy source of information.

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  • Javier Milei - Argentina's Bold Leap

    This episode of "Mid Atlantic" delves into the political and economic upheaval in Argentina following the election of Javier Milei as president. Host Roy Phil Brown and guest Daniel Schweimler explore the implications of Milei's victory for Argentine politics, the economy, and the broader South American context.Daniel Schweimler is an Al Jazeera correspondent based in Buenos Aires, who has extensive experience reporting on Argentina's complex political and economic landscape. He has been observing and reporting on the region since 1986, witnessing numerous economic crises and political changes in Argentina.1. **Javier Milei's Election and its Significance**: The episode begins with a discussion on the election of Javier Milei, marking a significant shift in Argentine politics. Milei's victory is considered a departure from traditional political norms in Argentina, especially given his promise of radical economic reforms.2. **Argentina's Economic Challenges**: Schweimler outlines Argentina's history of high inflation, economic instability, and the struggle with boom and bust cycles. He touches on the impact of successive administrations and their handling of the economy, including excessive government spending.3. **Melei's Proposed Economic Reforms**: A key focus is Milei's proposal to dollarise the Argentine economy, a move that has stirred both interest and concern nationally and internationally. This radical approach raises questions about the potential impacts on Argentina's financial stability and sovereignty.4. **Schweimler's Personal Experiences and Observations**: Daniel shares his firsthand experiences living in Argentina since 1986, including witnessing economic meltdowns and societal frustrations. He provides a personal perspective on the country's economic and political turmoil.5. **Analysis of Argentine Political Landscape**: The discussion delves into the intricacies of Argentine politics, including the role of the Peronist party and the political dynamics leading up to Milei's election. Schweimler provides insights into the changing political sentiments in Argentina.6. **Implications for Argentinian Society and Global Relations**: The episode covers the potential societal impact of Milei's policies, including his stance on issues like abortion and his views on international relations, particularly with China and Brazil.7. **Interactive Audience Participation**: The podcast features an interactive segment where audience members ask questions, contributing to a diverse discussion on topics like the feasibility of dollarisation and the historical context of Argentina's economic policies.QuotesDaniel Schweimler on Argentina's Economic History: "Argentina is potentially one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It should be; it has been in the past, certainly in the middle of the 20th century, it was one of the world's greatest wheat exporters, a big agricultural country with some of the best meat in the world."On Javier Milei's Election and Argentina's Economic Situation: "So in many ways, the election of Javier Milei is the culmination or the latest chapter in a whole series of economic difficulties that Argentina's faced."About Javier Milei's Radical Approach: "He's unconventional, promising things which are very different to anything that Argentina, perhaps any country has seen before. And now there is this kind of inquest into quite what, why Argentine voted for him in such numbers and what they now expect from him."
  • Revisiting Vietnam: The My Lai Massacre - Marshall Poe

    This episode delves deep into the Vietnam War, specifically focusing on the My Lai Massacre. The guest, Marshall Poe, an expert historian on the Vietnam War, discusses the causes and implications of the My Lai Massacre, drawing parallels with modern military conflicts. He emphasises the complexity of war, the difficulty in distinguishing between civilians and combatants in counterinsurgency, and the psychological and operational challenges faced by soldiers. The conversation also explores the broader context of the Vietnam War, including its impact on American public perception and its comparison with subsequent conflicts like those in Afghanistan and Iraq.Key Points Covered in the Podcast:Nature of the Vietnam War and My Lai Massacre: Marshall begins by exploring why the Vietnam War, particularly the My Lai Massacre, is still relevant today. He challenges the popular perception of the Vietnam War as merely a war of counterinsurgency, suggesting instead that, from the perspective of the soldiers, it was more akin to a war of occupation.Comparisons with Other Conflicts: The discussion moves to comparing the Vietnam War with other American military involvements, such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq. Marshall highlights the heightened risks in wars of counterinsurgency and how these differ from conventional military conflicts like World War II.Root Causes of the My Lai Massacre: Marshall delves into the specifics of the My Lai Massacre, discussing the operational and psychological factors that led to this tragic event. He emphasizes the difficulty soldiers faced in distinguishing between civilians and insurgents, which was exacerbated by the hostile environment and the nature of guerrilla warfare.The Leadership Failure and its Consequences: The podcast highlights the role of leadership in the massacre, with Marshall assigning significant blame to the officers in charge, particularly Lieutenant Colonel Frank Barker. He examines how Barker's ambition and poor decision-making were instrumental in the tragedy.The Aftermath and Cover-up: The episode also touches on the immediate aftermath of the My Lai Massacre, including the initial cover-up by the military and the subsequent exposure of the event by investigative journalists and whistleblowers.Broader Impact on American Society: The conversation concludes with a look at the wider impact of the My Lai Massacre on American public opinion about the Vietnam War. Marshall discusses how the massacre significantly shifted perceptions, turning the American public against the war and altering views on military interventions.Key Quotes:On the Nature of Modern Conflicts: "When you're involved in what they call a war of counterinsurgency the risk of this kind of thing happening is obviously heightened."On the Perception and Reality of War: "It's true. There was a draft, but I think if you take the entire, we sent two million Soldiers to Vietnam in total. Most of them are volunteers."On the Impact of My Lai Massacre: "The magnitude of it made it different in the American mind. And, for good reason."The Reality of the My Lai Massacre and the Myth of the Vietnam War by Marshall Poe
  • Turbulent Politics: GOP Jostling and UK's Chaotic Week

    Main Topics:Republican Party's Presidential Campaign: Analysis of the shifting dynamics after Senator Tim Scott's withdrawal. Focus on Donald Trump's lead, Nikki Haley's ascension, and the strategic implications for the GOP.UK Politics: A turbulent week, including the sacking of the Home Secretary, the recall of David Cameron, and the Supreme Court ruling on the Rwanda refugee plan.Guests: Zee Cohen Sanchez, Logan Phillips, Leah Brown, Corey BernardKey Quotes:On Political Dynamics: "It's going to be hard for [Nikki Haley] to beat Trump, but at least she'll have a chance now." - Discussion on the changing landscape of the GOP primaries.On Campaign Effectiveness: "Out of the folks that did field in the way that we told them to, we had a hundred percent win rate." - Zee Cohen Sanchez on campaign strategies.On Tim Scott's Campaign: "I think that he didn't have enough of a following to begin with...riding between the lanes too much was not helpful for him." - Analysis of Tim Scott's campaign strategy.On UK Politics: "I'm almost disappointed by the way that things have unfolded... Confidence in the direction of travel is no longer clear." - Leah Brown on the turbulent week in UK politics.Discussion Points:Analysis of the current state and potential future of the Republican Party in the U.S. presidential race, including the impact of internal rivalries and strategies.The state of UK politics, focusing on recent government actions and their implications for leadership and policy directions.Insights into the efficacy of political campaign strategies, emphasizing the importance of fieldwork and funding.Diverse perspectives from various geographical and political standpoints, offering a comprehensive view of current political events in the U.S. and UK.
  • The Democrats Sweeping Victories - Gaza in US and UK politics

    Brief Summary:In this episode of "Mid Atlantic," host Roifield Brown and a panel of experts dissect the Democratic Party's significant victories in recent U.S. elections. The discussion covers various aspects, including the impact of local issues, the role of abortion rights, and the influence of President Biden's administration on these outcomes. The episode also delves into the dynamics of the conflict in Gaza and its repercussions in U.S. and UK politics.Longer Summary:In a detailed episode of "Mid Atlantic," host Roifield Brown is joined by Cora Bernard, Logan Phillips, Michael Donoghue, and Aram Fisher to analyze the Democratic Party's recent electoral successes. The panel begins by examining the underpolling of Democratic voters and President Biden's unique position in influencing voter turnout. They discuss the strategic focus on local issues and the significant role of abortion rights as a mobilizing factor, especially in traditionally conservative states.The conversation shifts to the broader implications of these victories, considering the potential impact on the 2024 presidential elections. The panelists explore the challenges facing both Democrats and Republicans in maintaining and expanding their voter bases. They also discuss the high voter turnout among young people and the importance of consistent overperformance by the Democrats in various states.Additionally, the episode touches on the conflict in Gaza and its influence on domestic politics in the U.S. and the UK. The panelists discuss the political ramifications of the Israeli-Hamas conflict, the role of the ceasefire, and the impact of these international events on local political dynamics, particularly within the Conservative and Labour parties in the UK.Quotes:"His [Biden's] approval rating has been lower than most, but he doesn't seem to animate the people that dislike him to vote that much." - Logan Phillips"It's clear that reproductive freedom is an issue that favors Dems by a lot." - Aram Fisher"Democrats did really well... especially compared to 2021, a great year for Dems." - Logan Phillips"It's become a hot topic because Suella Braverman wants to be the leader of the Conservative Party." - Cora Bernard
  • 1948 - Israel and Palestine - Benny Morris

    SummaryIn this thought-provoking episode of Mid Atlantic, we dive deep into the historical roots and contemporary implications of the Israel and Palestine conflict, with a special focus on the events of 1948. Renowned Israeli historian Professor Benny Morris provides a critical examination of the conflict's history, the Palestinian refugee problem, and the recent shocking events of October 7th. As tensions escalate in the Middle East, Morris's insights offer a poignant reflection on the past's impact on the present.The episode opens with a deviation from the usual format, setting the stage for an in-depth exploration of the Israel and Palestine conflict, particularly in light of the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas. Professor Benny Morris, a critical voice in Israeli historiography, joins the conversation to shed light on the pivotal year of 1948, which he argues is essential for understanding the current situation.Morris recounts the harrowing events of October 7th, expressing personal shock but no direct involvement. He predicts significant repercussions for Israel's security apparatus and political landscape, including the potential downfall of Prime Minister Netanyahu's government.The discussion then pivots to 1948, a year marked by the creation of the State of Israel and the onset of the Palestinian refugee crisis. Morris challenges traditional narratives, presenting a nuanced view based on his extensive research. He describes the mixed causes of Palestinian displacement, including fear, Israeli military actions, and a lack of systematic expulsion.Morris also touches on the broader Arab-Israeli conflict, the UN's partition plan, and the subsequent Arab rejection and war. He provides specific examples of flight and expulsion from Arab towns, offering a complex picture of the events that shaped the region.Professor Morris reflects on his personal journey as a historian and a Zionist, discussing how his research into Israeli government papers and the darker aspects of the Zionist movement affected his views. The dialogue touches on the differences between Hamas and Fatah's stances towards Israel and the complex road towards a two-state solution that Professor Morris advocates for, despite the resistance from various factions within the region.**Quotes from the Podcast:**1. "The most shocking, in fact, thing that had happened to the Jewish people since the Holocaust, basically." - Reflecting on the impact of the events of October 7th.2. "1948, I think is the crucial year in the evolution of the Zionist-Arab conflict." - On the significance of the year 1948 in the conflict's history.3. "There was no predetermined plan. There was no systematic expulsion of the Palestinians, but on the other hand, most of them fled because of Israeli conquest and fear of Israeli conquest, Israeli atrocities in the '48 war." - Discussing the causes of the Palestinian refugee problem.4."The Arab leaders had been terribly humiliated by their defeat by this cluster of 650,000 Jews, and weren't going to be further humiliated by agreeing to peace with the 650,000 Jews."5."As a Zionist, I'm agreeable to a two-state solution. I think that's a solution which would give a modicum of justice to both peoples. The Jews would have a state, and the Palestinian Arabs would have a small state."
  • British Politics isn't Right enough: A Conversation with Calvin Robinson

    We dive deep into the heart of contemporary British issues and ethics with Calvin Robinson, a figure known for his provocative stance in the UK media landscape. As a clergyman and a critic of liberalism and metropolitan elitism, Robinson brings a unique perspective to the table, challenging the status quo and offering insights into the complexities of modern Britain.Episode Summary:Calvin Robinson's Background: Once a familiar face on GB News, Robinson is not just a media personality but also a man of faith. His views often challenge the mainstream narrative, particularly on topics like liberalism, social justice, and critical race theory.Controversy and Media Landscape: The episode delves into the recent controversies surrounding GB News, including the dismissal of Laurence Fox and Robinson's own firing. These events highlight the tensions within media outlets regarding free speech and political correctness.Brexit and British Identity: Robinson passionately defends Brexit, viewing it as a reclaiming of British sovereignty and independence. He argues that the focus should not solely be on economic metrics like GDP but also on the broader aspects of national identity and autonomy.Cultural and Political Discourse: The discussion also touches on the culture wars and the role of the media and political class in shaping public discourse. Robinson emphasises the need for honest conversations about Britain's challenges, including economic inequality and social issues.Future of British Politics: Looking ahead, Robinson shares his views on the future of populism in the UK and the potential impact of a Labour government. He stresses the importance of aspiration and innovation in politics, drawing comparisons with past leaders like Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.Calvin Robinson discusses his views on Rishi Sunak being a Hindu and its implications for British politics and society. He expresses concern about the challenges posed by having a non-Christian Prime Minister in a traditionally Christian country. Robinson points out that the Prime Minister is responsible for selecting bishops in the Church of England, and for the first time, this role is being fulfilled by someone who is not a Christian. He sees this as a conflict of interest and a deviation from the country's Christian heritage."We gained our sovereignty back with Brexit. For many voters, that was a price worth paying, even if it meant a short-term dip in GDP." - Calvin Robinson"The culture wars are not a waste of time; they are a battle for the very soul of our nation." - Calvin Robinson"We need another Thatcher. Someone to inspire aspiration and make better lives for ourselves and our children." - Calvin Robinson"It's a challenge because the prime minister, for example, at the king's coronation reads the epistle and it's just been a given that we have a Christian prime minister because we're a Christian country. And this is the first time we haven't had that whilst there's been a coronation. So we had someone who is outside of the faith partaking in the service."
  • The Israel and Hamas conflict - Week 2

    With the situation intensifying in Israel and Palestine, the podcast brings insights from Adam Block from Efrat Israel, Daniel Boardman, the Senior Correspondent for the National Telegraph in Canada, and Dr. Ibrahim Haroub from Hebron on the West Bank, a professor at Bethlehem University specialising in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The episode captures the tumultuous events in the Middle East, from potential invasions to the significant role of the US in the ongoing crisis.Roifield Brown introduces the episode by highlighting the escalating conflict in Israel and Palestine. He mentions the potential invasion of Gaza by Israel, which has mobilized its entire armored corps and called up 360,000 reservists. Amidst this tension, US officials are pressing Israel to delay its attack, hoping to negotiate the release of hostages held by Hamas. The situation worsened when a hospital was bombed, leading to over 500 casualties in Gaza. In the West Bank, Israeli forces have detained 120 Palestinians. As the situation escalates, over a million Palestinians have evacuated their homes in Gaza. US President Joe Biden's visit to Israel is also discussed, signaling his support for the state and potentially aiming to broker a deal to assist trapped Palestinian civilians.Dr. Ibrahim Haroub shares his perspective on the conflict, emphasizing the need for objectivity when addressing the Middle East crisis. He criticizes the US administration for not being fair in this crisis. He also mentions the aid package for Palestinians that President Biden is trying to broker. Dr. Haroub stresses the importance of stopping the war and the genocide against Palestinians. He also differentiates between terrorism and freedom fighters, emphasizing that ordinary Palestinian people are being killed on the ground.Adam, providing the Israeli perspective, talks about the mood of the Israeli people amidst the conflict. He mentions the trust in the military and the disappointment with Netanyahu. However, he believes that changing leadership in the middle of a crisis is not advisable. Adam also highlights the importance of President Biden's visit to Israel, which was a major boost for the Israeli people.The podcast recording also touches upon the actions of Hamas, with Daniel Bordman asking Dr. Haroub about specific war crimes and the events of October 7th. Dr. Haroub emphasizes the need for a two-state solution and peace agreement.Quotes:1. "You should be objective when you come to the Middle East and when you try to solve such a crisis, such a genocide against Palestinian people." - Dr. Ibrahim Haroub2. "I think that there's a strong degree of trust that the military will operate as it's supposed to, and that we're not at the point that we need to talk about changing the horse in midstream." - Adam Block3. "It's about the Palestinian lives. It's about this genocide against Palestinian. Every day they kill Palestinian people. Civilian Palestinian people." - Dr. Ibrahim Haroub
  • GOP's Speaker Dilemma, Labour's Rising Tide and Israel and Palestine

    The episode begins with a comprehensive analysis of the Republican party's leadership turmoil, particularly focusing on Jim Jordan's controversial candidacy for the Speaker position. Despite his long-standing presence in Congress, Jordan's lack of significant legislative accomplishments and his polarising nature, backed by conservative media and connections to former President Trump, are highlighted.Speakers:Roifield Brown (Host)Cory Bernard: Political commentator from Manchester, England.Aram Fischer: Californian political activist and strategist.Doug Levy: Freelance writer and communication strategy expert from San Francisco.Michael Donohue: Author, journalist, and political science enthusiast from Los Angeles.Topics Discussed:Jim Jordan's Candidacy for Speaker: Despite his long tenure in Congress, Jordan's lack of significant legislative achievements and his divisive nature are discussed. The challenges of building bipartisan coalitions and the role of conservative media in Jordan's rise are explored.UK Politics: The episode shifts to the UK, discussing the Labour Party's surge in popularity under Keir Starmer's leadership. Questions arise about whether this popularity is due to Starmer's vision or the Conservative party's missteps.Conflict in the Middle East: The episode touches on the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, with thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators protesting in London against Israel's military actions in Gaza. The episode also covers President Joe Biden's visit to Israel and the complexities surrounding it.Best Quotes:"The Republicans are successfully disabling the entire federal government." - Doug Levy"Tony Blair had a personality. And regardless of what the newspapers say, like there's only so much that they can modify positively the public opinion of Keir Starmer." - Michael Donohue"Labour now has, consistently a 16, 17, 18, sometimes as much as 20, 22 percent lead in the polls here over the Tories." - Logan Phillips
  • Google and Amazon in the Antitrust Crosshairs - Adam Kovacevich

    Episode Summary:Host Roifield Brown discusses the landmark antitrust trial between the U.S. Department of Justice and tech giant Google with guest Adam Kovacevich, the founder and CEO of the Chamber of Progress. The trial centers around Google's dominance in internet search and its potential anticompetitive practices. They explore whether Google's position is a result of genuine market success or if it has leveraged its power unfairly. The conversation also touches on the Federal Trade Commission's case against Amazon and the broader implications of these legal battles for big tech. Additionally, they discuss recent developments in European regulation affecting tech companies and their impact.In this episode, Roy Phil Brown and Adam Kovacevich delve into the complex world of tech giants facing antitrust scrutiny. They provide insights into the ongoing trials against Google and Amazon, discussing market power, competition, and the potential consequences of these legal battles for the tech industry and beyond. The conversation also touches on European regulation and its implications for tech companies.Speakers:Roifield Brown: Host/Moderator.Adam Kovacevich: Founder and CEO of the Chamber of Progress.Key Quotes:Adam Kovacevich on the Google antitrust case: "The heart of the case is whether these deals are improper, whether they themselves are making Google unbeatable in search. And that's really the heart of the question."Adam Kovovich on European regulation: "I just think Europe has gone on a very wrong-headed track over the last couple of years of digital regulation that's going to increasingly make Europe a place where companies say, 'Why bother?'"