Lots of breaking news today on The BradCast, including the Cleveland, Ohio court which has now found probable cause to recommend murder charges in the police killing of 12-year old African American Tamir Rice; and, yet another huge security breach at a federal website. (But don't worry, Internet Voting is still totally safe, right?); Rep. Alan Grayson and other progressives say it's time to "burn up the phones" to stop TPP "Fast Track" authority in the U.S. House; And the climate science denying, "free speech loving" loons at Heartland Institute toss out an environmental journalist from their 10th annual pretend "Climate Change Conference".
Then, speaking of freedom of the press, we talk with Vice News' investigative reporter Jason Leopold on new information he's obtained on the U.S. drone killing of U.S. citizen Samir Kahn, as well as his own testimony (full video here, written testimony here [PDF]) before the U.S. House Oversight Committee last week in regard to the Obama Administration's "slow-walking" of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. He tells both them and me about the "thousands" of requests he's filed as a journalist and has had to sue to try and see fulfilled; the irony involved in his entertaining testimony before Republican legislators; and just some of the crazy news he made in the bargain.
Plus: don't miss the saddest story you'll ever hear about poor Rick Santorum's run for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination. All on today's BradCast!...
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MONTHLY BRAD BLOG SUBSCRIPTION
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)
Q. What made you guys want to tackle climate change?
A. I did a story last year - and I'm going to do this every season, every time we get a chance because I think it's the biggest problem facing humanity as a whole today. I don't know how you get bigger.
... Q. And yet mainstream media often shies away from covering it, at least in proportion to the seriousness of the problem.
A. I find it incredibly strange that that's the case. When you talk to people in the scientific community and ask how much of this is our fault, they say, "Oh, 100 percent of it." And most people don't think it's true. But I guess there's people who deny gravity and evolution. ... It's not even that the gun is to our heads; the hammer has been cocked back. We have to do it now or we're screwed.
... Q. What made the biggest impression on you while out there on the ice?
A. The scale of what's happening is amazing. I live in Tribeca, and during Sandy my whole street was underwater. It's personal: My house is going to sink. You realize the scope of the problem. Greenland is several miles thick, and it's sinking as fast as it can. We flew over this deglaciated land which has been covered for 50,000 years, and 10-15 miles of it is deglaciated. You realize what used to be miles wide and miles thick is just gone. If you understand the science, you understand it will happen at an exponential rate. And then it becomes wholly terrifying. You can see how a place that's three times the size of Texas is melting all at once. It's mind-bogglingly huge.
I don't think the scientific community understands the war they're in. [They say], "It's difficult to say anything is 100 percent this or that." They don't understand that if they leave any loophole, the far right, the Koch brothers, the well-funded lobbies will exploit it. Ninety percent of the comments on anything we do [on VICE] are positive, but when we cover climate change they're negative, and it's because they're funded.
That's what I really think is the most insidious. Look, we all know [climate change] is real - the science at this point is indisputable. But people who know the science is real are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for people to say it's not real. That's the definition of shitting where you eat: damning future generations so you can make short-term profit on fossil fuels.
Unfortunately, the episode doesn't appear to be available online for free, other than for HBO subscribers at HBO Go. If you have access to either, you should try and watch VICE's disturbing "Greenland is Melting" segment. Here's Shane Smith's "Debrief" on the episode...