“We Have Actually Dealt With Hazards This Huge Prior To”: Rachel Maddow’s New Podcast Is a History Lesson on American Democracy Under Attack - Upsmag - Magazine News

“We Have Actually Dealt With Hazards This Huge Prior To”: Rachel Maddow’s New Podcast Is a History Lesson on American Democracy Under Attack

When I released a Rachel Maddow profile a couple of months back, the part that made the most news was Maddow stating not-terrible aspects of Tucker Carlson. More alluring to me, if not the tabloid press, were Maddow’s remarks about a juicy podcast she was hard at work on, the very first significant production of her brand-new megadeal with NBCUniversal and MSNBC. “It’s an American history, underappreciated story,” Maddow had actually informed me in Might, keeping the description unclear, “that has resonance for all these things we’re handling today—the danger of authoritarianism and the concern of whether criminal law is the suitable location, and has the best constitutional powers, to manage those type of hazards. It’s about journalism and journalistic principles, and the capability of effective individuals to control American systems.”

Get your popcorn out, due to the fact that the pod’s all set for showtime. As Maddow fans may anticipate, it starts with a rabbit-hole-style windup that draws you in prior to you understand what you’re getting drawn into. There was this man, 62-year-old Minnesota senator Ernest Lundeen, a sobbing mess as he prepared to board a Pittsburgh-bound Pennsylvania Central Airlines flight out of Washington, DC, on Saturday, August 31, 1940. The flight decreased less than 40 miles from the departure point, without any survivors from the 25 guests and team members, their body parts spread throughout a field in rural Virginia. The crash was a head-scratcher. New Douglas DC-3. Airline company without any mishaps in its history. Experienced pilot with a clean record. No proof of a fire or a surge or engine problem prior to witnesses viewed the doomed airplane nose-dive into the earth. The plot thickens: There had actually obviously been a scuffle in between guests right prior to departure, and it ends up Lundeen wasn’t the only significant individual noted on the flight manifest, which likewise consisted of the names of an FBI unique representative, a 2nd FBI worker, and a federal district attorney. Odd.

So you make it about 23 minutes into the episode, seeming like you’re in Amelia Earhart and D.B. Cooper area, when lastly you begin to recognize what you’re really doing there: Naturally this service about Senator Lundeen and the mystical aircraft crash was obviously in some way associated to a Nazi representative penetrating Congress as part of a plot to topple the United States federal government. That’s the essence of Ultra, which drops Monday, an eight-episode weekly audio series about the little-remembered Great Sedition Trial of 1944. MSNBC costs the podcast as “the all-but-forgotten real story of excellent, old-fashioned American extremism getting supercharged by distance to power. When extremist chosen authorities get captured outlining versus America with the violent ultra right, this is the story of the lengths they will go to…to cover their tracks.”

It’s a history lesson worth taking provided the delicate state of American democracy in 2022, alarmed by significantly noticeable reactionary extremists, political leaders with authoritarian propensities, and riots in the halls of Congress. “I believe it is a healthy impulse,” Maddow informed me, “to recall at The second world war—where the feel-good history is that all Americans were joined versus Hitler, and it was constantly unavoidable that we were gonna get in the war and kick their butt—to be ready to recall at that time and the more nuanced reality of it, which is that a great deal of Americans not just didn’t desire us in the war, they believed if we were gonna remain in the war, we must be on the opposite.”

Those Americans are Ultra’s bad guys, consisting of “some actually awful members of Congress,” as Maddow put it. “I believe great deals of Americans would inform you today, like, wow, we’ve got some individuals in Congress that are—it’s tough to think they’ve got these positions of authority. And this story is an excellent tip that there have actually constantly been awful members of Congress, and some were a lot more awful than you can potentially have actually envisioned…. Like, move over, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jewish area lasers. Fulfill the man who’s reading excerpts from Procedures of the Elders of Zion on the flooring of your home.”

In a comparable vein, Maddow continued, “we tend to believe that our conservative-media universe today is as severe and likewise as prominent as you can potentially envision. I believe there’s an excellent truth look for that with the treatment we have [in Ultra] of Dad Charles Coughlin,” an anti-Semitic, fascist-friendly Catholic priest whose weekly radio broadcasts in the lead-up to WW II reached an audience of 30 million. “Coughlin isn’t a figure that’s lost to history, however I believe a real gratitude of his reach, his supremacy, and his radicalism merits. Like, in a few of these cases, the historic resonance merits due to the fact that something rhymes a lot with what we’re going through now, and in other cases, it’s worth keeping in mind, like, Oh, wow, individuals have actually dealt with even worse.”

Ultra’s heroes, who perhaps have been lost to history, are Maddow’s enthusiasm. “Investigative reporters and crusading writers and activists working both to expose the danger and likewise, sometimes, to penetrate these groups,” she stated. “There were basically Jewish activist groups in Southern California in the lead-up to The second world war that couldn’t get the FBI or police thinking about these armed groups, these actually extreme groups, and what they were doing, consisting of, you understand, outlining actually violent attacks on the federal government and installing sort of pogrom-style violence versus Jewish neighborhoods. Therefore they did it themselves. They hired, oftentimes, German American World War I veterans to penetrate these groups and report on them and expose what they were doing. There were reporters like Dorothy Thompson and Drew Pearson, and a Washington Post reporter with this terrific name, Dillard Stokes, who does this definitely brave investigative work.… There’s all these sort of brave, anti-fascist Americans who operate in all sorts of fascinating methods to disrupt and expose these groups. To see all the various, imaginative, amusing, active, brave, fascinating, and ethically supercharged manner ins which Americans chose to take this battle on themselves, tinkering the fascists, it’s motivating, and it’s fascinating, and it’s stimulating.”

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