Some thoughts on looking back and forward...
By Brad Friedman on 1/30/2023, 8:34am PT  

19 years? Now in our 20th?! I'm having trouble processing it as well. I recall all too well my dumb anniversary jokes over the years about turning 3 or 5 or 9 or sweet 16. Now, unpredictably enough, The BRAD BLOG is officially in its 20th year of blogging, broadcasting, trouble-making and muckraking! (And all still supported by readers and listeners like you!)

It's been a wild, hilarious, maddening and terrifying ride, at times, even if I'm not much of a look-backer.

I'm proud, however, to know that our deep archives here tend to speak for themselves. For history. There are a lot of ignored --- and still-accurate --- warnings in our past 19 years of collective reporting. Interestingly enough, however, there are a number of exclusive BRAD BLOG stories we have broken over those years which have becoming surprisingly relevant all over again in recent years for a number of reasons...

Just this past week, for example, I was contacted by a national media outlet regarding our exclusive, secretly recorded Koch Brothers tapes which we obtained and released here and at Mother Jones back in 2011. They revealed that billionaire brother Charles Koch, at the time, was seeking to raise more than a billion dollars from millionaire and billionaire rightwing cronies at a secret meeting near Vail, Colorado. His remarks to the crowd were protected (they thought) from prying media, with the deployment of huge speakers blasting pink noise out into the mountains to avoid sensitive, long-range, parabolic microphones. Koch seemed to echo none other than Saddam Hussein in his remarks as he described the GOP's upcoming battle against Democrats and Barack Obama in 2012 as "the mother of all wars." Those exclusive recordings also did no favors to that weekend's secret keynote speaker, one of the GOP's chief Presidential hopefuls at the time, a then-popular, pre-BridgeGate Chris Christie who managed to sneak out of his state to secretly address the millionaires and billionaires. NJ media had no idea he had even left that weekend until it was revealed by our reporting.

Every time I hear Trump's disgraced attorneys Sidney Powell or Rudy Giuliani or any of the other 2020 MAGA election denialist stooges falsely citing the late Hugo Chavez and Venezuela as somehow playing a role in "stealing" the 2020 election from Donald Trump with voting systems made by Dominion or Smartmatic, I enjoy a quiet smile knowing exactly whose exclusive reporting those clucks had wildly misinterpreted and/or bastardized to spin up their fantastical, evidence-free tales about it. Whenever I hear yet another corporate media news story about one more step towards the multi-billion dollar defamation suits that those scam-artist attorneys and their friendly dupes at Fox "News" and other rightwing outlets now face from the two voting machine companies, it remains a singular point of quiet pride.

I still hear frequently from folks just now discovering for themselves via The BRAD BLOG that former GOP superstar Ann Coulter is actually an unapologetic two-time voter fraud scofflaw herself. And I'm always happy to point them to our coverage detailing how she is hardly the only headline GOPer who has personally defrauded the voting system while hypocritically citing phantom Democratic voter fraud conspiracies in order to rig elections for Republicans.

Harranging outlets like The New York Times to finally (partially) correct a dozen or so inaccurately reported stories about Republican con-artist James O'Keefe and his phony 2010 "ACORN Pimp Hoax" tapes is another point I look back on with pride, even if the admission of mainstream media failure would come too late to prevent the critical voter registration organization's misinformation-driven demise. (And, yes, O'Keefe shows up later on that list cited above of GOP vote fraudsters.)

Still, there is no small amount of irony in knowing that the publisher of O'Keefe's ACORN bullshit, Andy Breitbart --- in the years before his untimely sudden death in 2012 (who knew they even had COVID vaccines back then?) --- used to try and harrangue me on Twitter (and on air) about my well-reported concerns over electronic voting systems.

"Diebold!Diebold!Diebold!Diebold!Diebold!Diebold!Diebold!Diebold!Diebold! Boo!," Breitbart scoffed in one of those many tweets, insinuating I was a moonbat conspiracy theorist for my years of accurate reporting that helped highlight the growing dangers and vulnerabilities of electronic voting and tabulation. That, of course, was back when in the Dubya-years when it was helpful to Republicans to tamp down such concerns. Years later, Steve Bannon, Breitbart's protege and successor at his eponymous Republican Internet propaganda site, would take up the mantle of electronic voting criticizer-in-chief, ironically enough. (But, of course, see references to dead Hugo Chavez above.)

2004 voting software whistleblower Clint Curtis, whose disturbing story is still likely the largest and creepiest one we've ever broken over the years, has enjoyed yet another round of fame (infamy?) post-2020 as Republicans (most of whom, like Brietbart, had scoffed at him so many years ago) suddenly discovered his story and convinced themselves they'd found the Holy Grail of stolen election whistleblowers! (They hadn't. But my thanks to Sidney Powell and ALL of the confused rightwingers who have shared so many links to our back archives over these past two years!)

And, of late, with the story of Donald Trump stealing hundreds of documents upon leaving the White House, it has been very helpful that, way back in 2004, I had gained a fairly robust working knowledge of the suddenly-relevant-again Presidential Records Act of 1975. I first became versed in that law during my coverage of the very first story from The BRAD BLOG that went nationally viral, dubbed "The White House Website Scrubbing Scandal" at the time, during the Bush/Cheney run-up to the flawed 2004 Presidential election that year.

There has been much more over the years --- catching CNN misreporting on a nuclear site from North Korea as if it was one just built in Iran in 2005; the corrupt federal Judge from Alabama caught on tape assaulting his wife in an Atlanta hotel room in 2014... and I could go on. But, as noted, despite all this looking back, I'm still not much of a look-backer. I note all of these stories because they also feel surprisingly relevant in various ways as we look forward.

We are where we came from. And its difficult to reconcile how correct many of us were in our warnings and reportage on just about everything, so many years ago in the old-school lefty blogosphere (largely supplanted since by the social media train-wrecks), even as we were often dismissed and/or marginalized by the right and corporate media at the time. We are now, in this country, in this world, exactly where some of us had long-warned we would be.

In more recent years, as we've moved more towards broadcasting with a daily radio program (begun just weeks before Trump came down his golden escalator --- what was I thinking?!) and our twice-weekly, nationally syndicated Green News Report, (now heading toward its own 14th Anniversary, and begun many years before there was much, if any, talk at all of "climate change" in polite society, much less in the corporate media), both programs have played an increasingly larger role in The BRAD BLOG Cinematic Universe.

In the meantime, I know some of you have been around, in one form or another here, for much or all of these past 19 years. My apologies, hats-off and endless thanks to you. We couldn't have made it this far without your years of support, be that as a donor, reader, listener, commenter or any combination thereof.

I should also include my thanks here to all of those who have contributed as writers to The BRAD BLOG over the year as well. But, believe it or not, that list includes almost 90 contributing guest-bloggers over these 19 years. Too long to list. But my huge thanks to all!

I'd say it couldn't possibly be our 20th year, but these days, feels like it's been at least that long, after what has been the most difficult and grueling career of my life (and I've had several --- careers...not lives.) It's also become more difficult to keep going with each passing year. I'd like to blame that on the horrible turn our politics have taken in recent years, versus just getting older. I'm gonna go ahead and go with the former, though ask me again when we reach our 20th birthday next year.

Until then, thank you, thank you, thank you for all!

And, yes, we are still 100% reader and listener supported. NO PAYWALL! Ya know, like the Internets are supposed to be! I'd love to keep it that way forever if possible. But, as always, your help remains required. Please sign up for an automatic monthly subscription of any amount you like if you haven't already and/or a one-time donation of any amount you can afford. Both are still greatly appreciated and very much needed! Thank you for all of that over all of these years as well!


-- Brad (and all of The BRAD BLOG Cinematic Universe superheroes by proxy!)


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(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)

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