Background Briefing (5am)

Background Briefing with Ian Masters – May 11, 2023

We begin with the indictment today of Republican Congressman George Santos on 13 counts, 7 on wire fraud, 3 counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and 2 counts of lying to the House of Representatives on financial forms. Joining us is a reporter who has followed the saga of this serial liar from before he was recently elected is Will Bredderman, a Senior Researcher at The Daily Beast who previously covered politics for Crain’s New York Business and the New York Observer, where he utilized public records and social media to score scoops on everybody from Michael Bloomberg to Jeffrey Epstein to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He has a number of recent articles at The Daily Beast on George Santos including “George Santos’ Massive Campaign Loans May Not Be Legal” and we discuss calls for Santos to resign coming from Republican lawmakers but not from House Speaker McCarthy.

Then we assess Putin’s brief address at a scaled-down military parade yesterday marking Russia’s most important remembrance of its World War II sacrifices on Victory Day. We discuss Putin’s grievances and the Wagner mercenary head Prigozhin’s crude critique of the boss’s parade, “Happy Victory Day to all of our grandfathers, and what we are celebrating is a big question. You just need to remember about them and don’t f**k around on Red Square”. Joining us is Michael Gorham, Professor of Russian Studies at the University of Florida. He is the author of two award-winning books on language culture and politics: After Newspeak: Language Culture and Politics in Russia from Gorbachev to Putin and Speaking in Soviet Tongues: Language Culture and the Politics of Voice in Revolutionary Russia. In addition to two co-edited volumes, Digital Russia: The Language, Culture, and Politics of New Media Communication and The Culture and Politics of Verbal Prohibition in Putin’s Russia, he has recently published articles devoted to the political and rhetorical impact of Russian trolls, hackers, blogging bureaucrats and tweeting presidents.

Then finally we look into Sunday’s important election in Turkey where there is a good possibility the authoritarian kleptocrat who is a friend of Putin and more of a headache for Biden and NATO could be voted out, although Erdogan may not accept the results. Joining us is Elmira Bayrasli, the Director of the Bard College Globalization and International Affairs Program and the CEO of Interruptrr, a weekly foreign policy newsletter. We discuss her article at CNN, “Turkey’s Erdogan is in the fight of his political life. The real winner may be Putin.”



Artist Song Album Label
The PlattersThe Great PretenderJukebox-Hits (Vol. 3)Old Style
The BeatlesBack In The USSRThe Beatles 1967-1970 (The Blue Album)EMI Catalogue
Burhan Ocal & The Trakya All StarsBugu JazzBuddha Bar IXGeorge V Records
Los LobosOne Time One NightJust Another Band From East L.A.: A CollectionRhino/Warner Bros.