Citations Needed

Citations Needed is a podcast about the intersection of media, PR, and power, hosted by Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson.

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Episode 84: How Claims of “Sowing Discord” Are Used to Silence Criticism of Power


Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez taking to Twitter to criticize House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, we are told, “plays into the hands of Trump.” Russians are using Black Lives Matter and anti-fracking activists to “sow discord,” insists CNN. We must “be united” rather than “divided.”   Everywhere we turn we are told by high-status pundits that we shouldn’t air our criticisms of power at this particular moment with any reasonable degree of severity lest our mutual enemies exploit these divisions to empower themselves.    We are told again and again that progressives criticizing party leaders is helping Trump. That fighting Trump’s racism is merely “playing into his hands,” that we shouldn’t attack other democrats in the primary too harshly lest it “give us four more years of Trump.”   But there’s a major problem with this: There’s no evidence that intra-party fighting loses elections or assists the "other side." In many ways, it may actually help engage voters and make them feel heard, rather than viewed as box-checkers for the already anointed.   We are joined by Maximillian Alvarez of the podcast Working People.


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 2019-07-24  1h7m