Episode

5/18 The History That Gave Us Trump & The Press; Unionizing The Game Industry w/ Jon Marshall & Alex Speidel

May 18, 2022

Sam and Emma host Jon Marshall, associate professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, to discuss his recent book Clash: Presidents and the Press in Times of Crisis. Then, Sam and Emma are joined by Alex Speidel, organizer for the United Paizo Workers to discuss their meeting at the White House and Paizo’s unionizing efforts. Professor Marshall dives right into where the dynamic between the Presidency and the press stands today, looking at the troubled relationship as a continuation of two centuries of US history. Next, he, Emma, and Sam jump back to the 1790s, looking to John Adams’ attacks on newspapers via the Sedition Act, cracking down on critiques of the government, only to see a spectacular backfire with a resounding loss in the election of 1800. Prof Marshal then walks through the structure he follows in his analysis, using ten specific presidencies that he thought reflected the progression of this dynamic, next moving forwards to the Presidency of Abe Lincoln, and the influence he took from the abolitionist press of the time, seeing it both as a central perspective to take in on the issue and as an important part of his GOP coalition, as the press pushed him from a tentative but anti-slavery president to signing the emancipation proclamation. Emma, Sam, and Jon then move forwards to Woodrow Wilson’s prosecution of anti-war journalists during the first World War, not only relying on Adams’ Sedition Act but bringing about the Trading with Enemies and Espionage acts, and the rollback of the overwhelming executive isolation from the press as the war ended – particularly after his lack of a relationship with the press saw the Right step in and turn public opinion on his League of Nations – before the Espionage act made its return in the late aughts and early 2010s with Obama employing the act against whistleblowers more than all previous presidents combined. This, of course, set the stage for Donald Trump’s presidency, and his extension of espionage to journalists on the *receiving* end of leaks, particularly amidst the media boom of the 21st century, with countless new avenues (both more and less legitimate) arising between the President and media, yet algorithms and a crippling of local news serving to corrupt and corporatize much of the industry. They wrap up the interview by diving deeper into disinformation in media and the role government can, and should, play in supporting integrity in journalism. Then, Alex Speidel joins as they discuss what Paizo is, the size of the TTRPG industry, and how the pandemic saw space for him and his co-workers to create personal bonds that would serve as the eventual web of solidarity for the first North American TTRPG union and beyond. Sam and Emma also cover the progressive Ws on Ws on Ws from yesterday’s primaries, Ukraine’s halting peace talks, and DeSantis’ crackdown of those cracking down on those cracking down on free speech, or something.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma break down the message that was sent to corporate Democrats in last night’s primaries, with big victories in PA and KY, Ben Shapiro blames wokeness for legitimizing Great Replacement fears, and Mike from Jersey shows state pride while Gabe from KC walks through the progressive primary Ws. Chris Wallace pushes Bernie on Build Back Better, unfortunately going after the wrong person 12 months too late, Jimmy Dore says Donald Trump is the true anti-imperialist president and blames progressives for making him horny for DeSantis, Scott from TX dives into religion and conservatism, and Ronald Raygun dives into Right Wing media. Jordan Peterson and Bret Weinstein cannot deal with their cruelty being met with people making fun of them, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Jon’s book here: https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/potomac/9781640123854/

Check out the United Paizo Workers here: https://unitedpaizoworkers.org/

Check out Emma’s interview with Summer Lee from March at the 1:00:00 mark here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulrVWGnDOBk&ab_channel=TheMajorityReportw%2FSamSeder

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