On today's BradCast, a very rocky start for Democrats in Philadelphia and bad news for Fox 'News' may be good news for the country. [Link to complete audio of show posted below.]
Before our coverage of today's remarkable news from the Democratic National Convention, some late (and overlooked) news on the mass shootings in Munich last week and in Fort Meyers, Florida on Sunday night. Also, record deadly heat continues to grip both the U.S. and the world, and new polling shows Donald Trump now taking a lead both nationally and in key battleground states after receiving a 'bump' from last week's GOP convention in Cleveland.
Then, with Dems gathering for their own convention in Philly this week, things were off to a very bumpy start on Day 1. The release of hacked emails written by DNC insiders (in which The BradCast makes a very brief cameo) have led to Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), a long time Hillary Clinton supporter, finally stepping down from her role as DNC Chair before the gathering was even gaveled to order. That followed booing for the controversial party chief by protesters at a breakfast meeting of the Florida delegation, as well as similar jeers for California Democrats and even for Bernie Sanders himself after an appearance asking his supporters to defeat Trump and elect Clinton.
Then, we're joined by Eric Boehlert of Media Matters on what history may well regard as the biggest news of the past chaotic week: the firing of Fox 'News' mastermind Roger Ailes on the heels of sexual harassment allegations, now said to be supported by some twenty-five other staffers in the company's internal investigation.
"I can't even calculate how much more powerful Roger Ailes is to the Republican Party than Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is to the Democratic Party," Boehlert notes early in our conversation, before we discuss what finally took down Ailes, what more is still to come, what happens next for the Rightwing propaganda outlet, and whether or not Fox' remarkable effect on the national electorate for the past twenty years can continue in Ailes' absence.
"That Islamophobia, that race-baiting, that ugly hate rhetoric, 'Democrats are traitors' --- that all came from Roger Ailes. That came from the top," Boehlert explains. "Certainly under Obama, you could make the argument [Ailes] was running the Republican Party. He was picking the candidates. He was picking the talking points. Fox News created the 'Tea Party' with non-stop coverage back in 2009."
"The Beltway press, for twenty years for the most part, has treated Roger Ailes as this brilliant genius," he tells me. "Never a hint that any of this was going on. The press has treated Ailes with kid gloves, considering the damage he's done to politics. ... I think people try to put Fox and the right-wing media into this box, 'Well, it doesn't affect me, it doesn't affect our politics, those people are crazy'. It permeates everything, and the Trump campaign is the best example of that. People are crying: 'Where did he come from?! Oh my gosh, how is this happening to America?!' It's been broadcast for twenty years."
Finally, just in case you hadn't heard, in what would normally be today's lead story, if these were normal times, Clinton has chosen Sen. Tim Kaine, a moderate and well-liked Democrat from Virginia, as her Vice Presidential running mate. Yes, all of that and much more on today's BradCast...
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)