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The Debrief with Major Garrett
39 minutes | 3 days ago
Virus of Hate
As if the coronavirus pandemic hasn't wrought enough anguish on our country, there's a disturbing viral side effect that has no vaccine cure or therapeutic treatment. Americans are being attacked by other Americans. They're being beaten, spat upon, yelled at, shunned and hounded with racial slurs. Some have died, others have been hospitalized. The victims: Asian Americans. Their crime: the way they look.Roughly 3000 incidents of hate against Asian Americans have been recorded since the pandemic reached full bore last March, according to one group that tracks these cases. And those are just the incidents victims reported. This week, Major Garrett explores what's behind the surge in anti-Asian racism, what can be done about it, and the long history of prejudice against these ethnic groups in the United States. Major speaks with pro basketball player Jeremy Lin, US Congressman Ted Lieu, CBS News correspondent Weijia Jiang, and others who have experienced this discrimination firsthand. For more on this topic, visit:https://stopaapihate.org/https://www.standagainsthatred.org/https://hateisavirus.org/https://www.ncapaonline.org/https://acttochange.org/#about
23 minutes | 10 days ago
The Big Lie Meets the Big I
For the second time in just over a year, the Senate elected to acquit Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors, this time over his role inciting the lethal January 6th melee at the Capitol. The vote was the most bipartisan exercise of its kind. Seven Republicans joined all 50 Democrats and independents to convict the former president.The outcome, though never seriously in doubt, provided a view into the future of the Republican Party. Yes, Donald Trump's relentlessly loyal base still has a grip on the GOP, but a small yet significant faction is ready to move on. Even Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell - in words - laid blame at Mr. Trump's feet for provoking the January 6th riot. In deed, McConnell voted not guilty, showing that breaking up with the president and his followers is hard to do. Major Garrett looks back at the week that was in Washington and what it means for history and the future.
35 minutes | 17 days ago
Disinformation: Part 2
While we were putting this episode together, we quickly realized the vast, convoluted scope of QAnon, its tantalizing effect its followers and the bit players who conspired to propagate the lie were bigger and more twisted than we'd imagined. QAnon, we learned, is many things to many people. So we decided to focus on a question we kept encountering: what to do about the untold legions who have fallen for QAnon's intoxicating allure. Could they be disabused of their beliefs and brought back to the mainstream?There is a temptation to lash out at these destructive - and so obviously false - conspiracy theories and the violence they helped unleash upon the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. But the wiser course, experts told us, is to walk toward QAnon believers with compassion and empathy. In this episode, Major meets Jitarth Jadeja, a thirty something Australian who spent two years locked in QAnon's vice grip. When he emerged, chastened and deeply shamed, Jadeja made it his mission to help pull others out of the rabbit hole.
39 minutes | 24 days ago
Disinformation: Part 1
If your friend tells you it's going to rain tomorrow, and it turns out to be sunny, that's misinformation. Your friend was misinformed or the forecast changed.But if your friend tells you it's going to rain lizards, that is disinformation. And disinformation – deliberate falsehoods spread to mislead the public – has never been more prevalent. The 2016 election was marred by a hostile foreign actor engaged in a coordinated disinformation campaign. In 2020, homegrown disinformation - amplified by the highest levels of government - permeated social media and contributed to one of the most shameful episodes in US history: the deadly assault on the US Capitol.In part one of this two-part series, Major Garrett explores disinformation: what it is, how it spreads, what’s being done to stop it.
29 minutes | a month ago
In a feat of human achievement, vaccine developers cracked COVID-19's scientific code in less than a year, testing and developing a shot that has so far proven effective against the deadly infection.What's proving difficult now is getting that vaccine out of manufacturing facilities and into Americans' arms. President Trump's Operation Warp Speed placed the onus on states and localities to figure out distribution. The Biden administration wants to the federal government to take a greater role in administering 100 million vaccines in 100 days. By springtime, anyone who wants a vaccine should be able to get one, the president said Monday.Major Garrett explores the obstacles to mass vaccination, why some states are doing better than others and whether the Biden administration's goals are achievable.
33 minutes | a month ago
Every four years on January 20th, the United States sends a worldwide reminder: this is what democracy looks like. Our incoming and outgoing presidents traditionally share a limousine ride to the Capitol. They appear together before the assembled masses and then bid one another farewell.What will the inauguration look like in 2021? Will our example of a peaceful transfer of power still shine as brightly in the dark, autocratic corners of the globe?In the wake of the January 6th Capitol riot, there will be more national guardsmen protecting the inauguration than spectators on the Capitol's west front. President Trump won't attend. Security concerns and a raging pandemic will drain much of the splendor out of our quadrennial celebration.Major Garrett looks at the subdued 2021 inauguration - what's the same and what's changed.
34 minutes | a month ago
Insurrection: Capitol Hell
History will record Wednesday's assault on our democracy as one of the US's darkest, most shameful episodes. Mob rule was the ambition of the marauding, counterfeit American patriots who laid siege to the Capitol on a false premise: that Donald Trump had won an election he so clearly lost.For months, President Trump convinced his supporters that he could not lose. That if he did, the election was somehow rigged. And when he did, that widespread fraud in key states had tipped the election in Joe Biden's direction. None of this was true, yet tens of thousands of supporters arrived in downtown Washington Wednesday morning to hear the president spread more falsehoods, erroneously claiming Vice President Mike Pence could flout the constitution and deliver four more years to Mr. Trump. All of these fabrications, stirred with seething anger and ill-prepared security forces, yielded explosive and deadly consequences. Ultimately, our constitutional guardrails held on January 6, 2020, but at a frightening cost.This week, Major Garrett looks back at that reprehensible day and how those in and around the Capitol experienced it.
32 minutes | 2 months ago
America's economy needs women. It also needs working parents. Coronavirus has taken a toll on both, but women with children have suffered more than men. They've lost more jobs, lost more in wages and some 2 million dropped out of the workforce entirely.In early 2020, there were more women on payrolls in America than men. Then, as coronavirus swept the nation, 11 million women lost their jobs. Even as some of those jobs came back, balancing the stresses of working remotely, childcare and at-home learning became overwhelming for many. In this week's episode, Major examines the "She-cession" - the pandemic's economic toll on working parents - and what can be done to ease the added burdens brought on by the pandemic.
28 minutes | 2 months ago
Freight of the Union
Yes, whatever you ordered online is taking longer than usual to be delivered. Be patient. Listen to our podcast while you wait. Your shipment will get to you. Eventually.America's shipping networks are literally and figuratively filled to the brim. More people are shopping online because of the pandemic. Add to that peak holiday season gift-buying and millions of vaccines that need to get from the manufacturers into people's arms as soon as possible. By one estimate, the US Postal Service, FedEx, UPS and Amazon are handling 100 million packages a day.This week, Major Garrett explores the shipping industry and how the pandemic has brought never-before-seen volume and rapid industry change.
37 minutes | 2 months ago
Electoral College Clarity
If projections from news organizations felt insufficient and certified election results from state officials did not convince you, the electoral college has spoken. On Monday, 538 electors in 50 states and the District of Columbia confirmed Joe Biden will be the next president.Biden's 306 electoral votes equaled President Trump's total four years ago. On January 6th, congress will meet to tally those state totals and two weeks later, Joe Biden will assume the presidency.Despite calls to ditch the electoral college in favor of directly electing presidents by popular vote, the electoral college has proven durable amid this seemingly chaotic post-election period marred by charges of fraud, machine error and outright lies.This week on The Debrief, Major Garrett explores the electoral college. How did we get this system? What does slavery have to do with its origins? Should we change the way we elect the president?
31 minutes | 3 months ago
More Americans are hungry now than at any time since the Great Depression. Let that sink in. The uptick is yet another awful consequence of the covid outbreak. Watch the evening newscasts recently and you've probably seen lines of vehicles snaked around stadium parking lots-turned-food distribution points. Maybe you've volunteered at one of those sites. Maybe you've waited in those lines yourself.By nearly any metric, hunger in America is at crisis level. Food banks are stretched. Children who would normally get free or reduced priced meals at school aren't in school. Congress is gridlocked.There's no shortage of food in America. Food producers churn out plenty. Getting it to people when and where they need it and at an affordable price remains the challenge.This week Major examines food insecurity in America. What are its causes? What's being done to combat the crisis? How can government help?
29 minutes | 3 months ago
This month, three major vaccine developers reported preliminary data showing their covid-19 vaccines were highly successful in protecting participants in late-stage clinical trials. This news may feel like a lone bright spot in a year of ugly - and deadly - pandemic-related headlines. In a matter of weeks, the Food and Drug Administration could sign off on emergency use of these vaccines, making them available to vulnerable populations, health care and frontline workers and eventually the general population. So how does the vaccine work? How quickly can we get it from manufacturing facilities to end users? What are the risks and side effects? How can we trust it's safe? Major explores these questions and more this week on "The Debrief."
34 minutes | 3 months ago
For those who lived through it, the presidential election of 2000, might seem comparable to what is going on now. It is not.Then, fewer than 600 votes in Florida separated George W. Bush and Al Gore. Voter intent was in dispute (hanging chads anyone?). The election hung on the outcome of the vote in one state. Today, thousands - and in some cases tens of thousands of votes - separate Joe Biden and President Trump in several states. Voter intent is well-established. President Trump's legal challenges are themselves challenged - most on account of non-existent facts. Biden maintains a commanding lead in the electoral college and will be sworn in as president at noon on January 20, 2021. Mr. Trump need not concede.Since our country's founding, we have had our share legitimately contested elections. 2020 is hardly one of them. This week on The Debrief, Major explores the history of too-close-to-call presidential races and how America has resolved democratic disputes far more complicated than the 2020 election.
33 minutes | 4 months ago
The 46th President
Election night in America is usually just that. A night. Just one night. Not in 2020. Not in a pandemic-afflicted year when so few things seem normal.This is the story of the people at CBS News who brought you Election 2020 coverage that started on Tuesday and ended Saturday. At 11:25 AM eastern time, CBS News Elections and Surveys Director Anthony Salvanto piped into the internal communication channel at CBS News with a historic projection, "Joe Biden: win, Pennsylvania. Joe Biden elected president."Those sentence fragments put to rest four days of national uncertainty. The race had been close, and while the president promised legal challenges, voters had spoken clearly: Joe Biden would be the next president.Join Major Garrett for a behind the scenes look at CBS News's coverage of four days in November that shaped history.
20 minutes | 4 months ago
The Fax Machine Election
The last time an incumbent president lost re-election, Google, Netflix and friend weren't verbs. The year was 1992. And it was Major's first time covering a presidential race - incumbent Republican George H.W. Bush against Arkansas Governor and Democratic upstart Bill Clinton.Let's be clear: we don't know who is going to win in 2020. But the parallels between the 1992 and 2020 elections are striking. In this episode, Major reflects on the Bush-Clinton race, what's changed and what remains the same as America renders its verdict on the first term of the Trump presidency.
28 minutes | 4 months ago
America is voting. And it's doing it in record numbers.With a week to go before Election Day, early voting totals have eclipsed 2016 levels. Turn out in Texas is already 82% of overall participation four years ago. In Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina, it's 66%. Experts predict turnout will only accelerate the closer we get to November 3rd.Our debut episode in July examined the challenges posed by voting in a pandemic. Would there be enough poll workers? How about enough funding? Could states adopt new laws to accommodate voting procedures with expanded absentee access? Would those changes lead to widespread fraud?In this episode, thirteen weeks later, we answer those questions. We've come a long way since July, but have we come far enough?
24 minutes | 4 months ago
Is This Robert Bork's Supreme Court?
"To Bork" someone, according Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, is "to attack or defeat (a nominee or candidate for public office) unfairly through an organized campaign of harsh public criticism or vilification."The phrase entered the lexicon after Ronald Reagan's nominee to the Supreme Court, Robert Bork, faced a bruising confirmation process in 1987. By all accounts, Bork was a qualified jurist, but Senate Democrats, then in the majority, feared his conservative ideology would swing the court to the far right. The result? A 42-58 vote to reject Bork's nomination divided mostly along party lines.Bork's failed nomination foreshadowed partisan nomination battles for decades to come. No better example can be found than Barack Obama's pick Merrick Garland, who was denied even a hearing, less a vote.As Senate Republicans inch closer to confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett days before the 2020 election, Major Garrett explores Robert Bork's failed nomination and how its legacy endures some thirty years later.
31 minutes | 4 months ago
President Trump's campaign stop in Florida Monday marked the first time he'd left the White House after checking into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center ten days earlier. The president announced his positive covid-19 test result on October 2nd. Thereafter, his doctors provided cherrypicked details about the president's condition that painted a picture of the 74-year old president triumphing over a disease that has killed more than 210,000 Americans.Missing were key details like when the president had last received a negative test result or whether his lungs suffered damage.President Trump is far from the only president to endure a health scare in office. He's also not the first to conceal important details about it. John F. Kennedy denied having Addison's disease...even though he did. During the 1944 campaign, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's doctor wrote his health was so poor, he would be unlikely to complete another term. The memo was kept secret. Roosevelt died the next year, 5 months after being re-elected. Grover Cleveland went as far as to schedule a fake fishing expedition so he could have oral surgery on board the boat and hide it from the American people.Major Garrett examines presidential health and secrecy. What is the proper balance between patient privacy, national security, politics and the public's right to know about the wellbeing of its elected leader?
26 minutes | 5 months ago
Polls, Projections and Winners
Attention political junkies: we are taking a poll. How many of you like to know trends and results of the presidential race on election night? How about who’s up or who’s down during the race? Or what sorts of voters voted for a given candidate?If you answered yes to any of those questions, you can thank a pollster. For this episode of “The Debrief with Major Garrett,” we pull back the curtain on polling and election night projections. How do they do it and why is it - mostly - accurate?
27 minutes | 5 months ago
Can The President Do That?
During his convention speech in 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump proclaimed, "Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it." Not congress, nor the courts, nor the states or any other institution we vest with power. Just a would-be President Trump. The bounds of presidential power have been defined and redefined since the nation's founding. George Washington and Alexander Hamilton sparred with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison over then-President Washington's view that he, not congress, could decide whether to engage in a foreign war. Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus because, he argued, it was necessary to snuff out rebellion in order to win the Civil War. An executive order from Franklin Delano Roosevelt made it US policy to intern Japanese people and their descendants during World War II, even though nearly two thirds of those jailed were American citizens.When congress failed to act on immigration, President Barack Obama's executive action created the DACA program for children brought to the United States illegally by their parents. President Trump unilaterally redirected military funds to build a wall on the southern border, after congress declined to fund it.Major Garrett explores presidential power and its limits, uses and abuses. Can the president do that?
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