No charges for cop who shot Jacob Blake, DA says — plus, right-wing militias riot in D.C. as Congress was to certify presidential election results

Photo: Jacob Blake with his children, from his family’s GoFundMe.

On this show:

0:08 – The district attorney in Kenosha County, Wisconsin has announced he’ll decline to press charges against Rusten Sheskey, the officer who shot Black father Jacob Blake seven times in his back on August 23, 2020. We hear from Ruth Conniff (@rconniff), editor in chief of the Wisconsin Examiner, a nonprofit newsroom; also editor-at-large for The Progressive.

0:18 – Today, Congress certifies Electoral College votes in the Biden-Trump presidential contest. What makes right-wing media so successful in publishing falsehoods about the results of the election? Matthew Sheffield is a former conservative journalist and founder of right-wing site Newsbusters. He now hosts the Theory Of Change podcast, on why he hopes to “free” people from the very media ecosystem he helped build.

0:34 – We take a U.S. history tour of 1876, when electors’ votes were disputed in the United States, and parties jockeyed to claim the presidency ahead of the “Compromise of 1877” that ended Reconstruction. Historian David Blight joins us — he is professor of history, African American studies and American studies at Yale University. You can read his books here.

0:58 – Amid outcry over the antidemocratic results of the electoral college, we take a look at the most promising national movement to replace the system with a national majority vote for the presidency. In 15 states and the District of Columbia, popular vote advocates have passed compacts to supersede the electoral college and give each state’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. Scott Drexel is senior adviser to National Popular Vote.

1:08 – Far-right militia groups and white supremacists are descending on Washington, D.C. today for protests demanding Biden’s election win be overturned. Adele Stan (@AddieStan) joins us; she is editor of RightWingWatch.org and a columnist for The American Prospect.

1:34 – Amid the Covid surge, we look back at the smallpox epidemics of the beginning of the 20th century, with Brandeis history professor Michael Willrich. Willrich is the author of Pox: An American History.


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