Background Briefing with Ian Masters

News & Politics Podcasts

Background Briefing goes far beyond the headlines and deep under the radar to bring forward truths unheard elsewhere in American media. Background Briefing features international and national news, expert guests, policymakers, and critics offering analysis and insight on national security, foreign and domestic policy, political, cultural, and social issues.


United States


Background Briefing goes far beyond the headlines and deep under the radar to bring forward truths unheard elsewhere in American media. Background Briefing features international and national news, expert guests, policymakers, and critics offering analysis and insight on national security, foreign and domestic policy, political, cultural, and social issues.




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February 2, 2023 - Thomas Kahn | Luke Cooper | June Dreyer

Speaker McCarthy Will Continue Legislative Terrorism to Extort Budget Cuts by Threatening to Crash the US and Global Economy | Cleaning Up Corruption Ahead of Ukraine's Talks on EU Membership | The US/Philippines Deal For "Spaces Not Bases" Close to Taiwan


February 1, 2023 - Angela Stent | Wendy Via | Christina Fair

Facebook/Meta Reinstates Trump While Allowing Other Despots to Incite Violence and Genocide and Spread Hate and Disinformation | A Top US Russia Expert on Mistakes Made in Dealing With Putin | Pakistan Faces Blowback From the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban


January 31, 2023 - Scott Horton | Olga Lautman | Tom Collina

Trump Could be Indicted in Atlanta and Manhattan Within Days or Weeks | The Ukraine War Has Derailed Russian Espionage Activities Leading to an Unprecedented Number of Arrests | The State Department's Announcement Today that Russia is Not Complying With the New START Treaty


January 30, 2023 - Lara Friedman | Will Bunch | Stuart Schrader

Secretary of State Blinken's Meeting with Netanyahu and Israeli Drone Strike on Iran | Was Top FBI Agent Involved in Comey's Nothingburger and the NY Times's Dismissal of Trump's Russia Ties That Helped Elect Him? | The Systemic Problems From Elite Police Units and Militarized Policing


January 28, 2023 - Cheryl Dorsey | Frank Costigliola | Daniel Nexon

The Culture of Violence in Elite Police Squads and the Failure of Command to Know or Want to Know What is Going on at the Street Level | George Kennan's Warning About NATO Expansion Eastward | The Rise of the Radical Right at Home and Abroad


January 26, 2023 - Jeff Stein | Matthew Connelly | Daniel Holz

Could the Arrest of a Top FBI Counterintelligence Agent in New York on a Russian Oligarch's Payroll be Connected to HRC's Claim that Comey Cost Her the Election? | The Understaffed National Archives Tries to Preserve the Historical Record While the $18 Billion Classification Machine Keeps Too Many Secrets and Is Slow to Declassify Them | The Doomsday Clock is Now the Closest Ever at 90 Seconds to Midnight


January 25, 2023 - Mark Lowenthal | Dr. Sumit Ganguly | Harold Meyerson

McCarthy's Revenge as he Strips Schiff and Swalwell of Their Seats on the House Intelligence Committee | India's Prime Minister Modi's Frantic Efforts to Prevent 1.4 Billion in the World's Biggest Democracy From Seeing a BBC Documentary | Although the Republicans Did Not Vote For the IRA, Green Money is Pouring Into Red States


January 24, 2023 - John Donohue | Douglas London | Katherine Stewart

Another Mass Shooting in California, a Record 39th So Far This Year in the US | Assessing Russia's anti-Putin Partisan Movement and How Much the US Should Support Russia's Armed Opposition | The Alarming Growth of Spirit Warrior Christianity


January 23, 2023 - Jonathan Alter | Jim Small | David Schultz

Another Gift From Biden to Trump and Whether Biden Should Not Run in 2024 | Congressman Ruben Gallego's Announcement Today He is Running to Replace Sinema | Attacks on Academic Freedom by DeSantis and at Harvard and Hamline Universities


January 22, 2023 - Anna Grzymala-Busse | Alexander Motyl | Robert Young Pelton

Why is Germany's Chancellor Scholz Stubbornly Dragging His Heels Lagging Behind German Public Opinion? | Is Russia Becoming a Case in Which a State Fails When it Loses Its Monopoly on Violence? | Inside the Wagner Group the US Just Designated as an International Criminal Enterprise


January 19, 2023 - Robert Hockett | Maria Armoudian | Jo-Marie Burt

How to Deal With the Economic Suicide Attack by Legislative Terrorists | The Surprise Resignation of New Zealand's Much Admired PM Jacinda Ahern | Political Instability in Peru as Voters Feel Betrayed by a Left Wing President Propped up by the Right Wing Establishment


January 18, 2023 - David Satter | Thomas Berger | Morris Pearl

A Call to the World's Billionaires at Davos to End the Age of Extreme Wealth by Starting to Pay Taxes | Germany on the Spot For Vacillating Over Sending Arms to Ukraine | Why Tucker Carlson and Elon Musk on the Right and Many on the Left Are Apologists For Putin


January 17, 2023 - Jessica Feezell | Zachary Carter | Jared Yates Sexton

A "Stop the Steal" Loser Shoots up the Homes of Democrats Claiming "I stand with Donald J. Trump" | The Good Faith and Credit of the US at the Mercy of Freedom Caucus Nihilists | A History of Paranoid Fantasies and Today's Rise of Fascism Led by a Reality TV Star


January 16, 2023 - Jefferson Cowie | David Phillips | Ellis Krauss

On MLK Day: Taking on the Jan. 6 Coalition of Racists, Christian Nationalists, Anti-Government Radicals and the Freedom Caucus | Could Russia's Indifference Allow Another Genocide of Armenians? | Japan Joins in a New Arms Race in North East Asia


January 15, 2023 - Julian Zelizer | Luke Harding

What to do When You Elect a Fictional Character and Get Stuck With an Abject Fraud | A Reporter Who has Been Covering the War in Ukraine For The Guardian Since it Started 326 Days Ago


January 12, 2023 - Frederick Baron | Jared Olson | James Goldgeier

AG Garland Appoints a Special Counsel in Biden’s Classified Docs Self-Inflicted Wound | Brazen Murders in Honduras Raise Questions of How the US Is Dealing With the Root of the Migrant Problem | The Need to Engage Both Russia and Ukraine as a Long War in Ukraine Promises to Grind On


January 11, 2023 - Thomas Kahn | Alexander Sammon | Joshua Horowitz

Out With the Old and in With the New in the California Race to Replace Senator Feinstein | The New House and the GOP Tradition of Decrying Deficits While Running up the Debt | A Six Year Old in Virginia Shot His Teacher In What is Sadly Not Unusual in America


January 10, 2023 - Steven Rosenthal | Kenneth Roth | Laura Rodriguez

The First Bill the House Republicans Pass Cuts Funds For the IRS to Help Tax Cheats and Run Up the Deficit | The Former Head of Human Rights Watch is Denied a Fellowship at Harvard by the Pro-Israel Thought Police | 11 of the 17 New Chairs of House Committees are Election Deniers Some of Whom Supported the Insurrection


January 9, 2023 - Andre Pagliarini | Nancy MacLean | William LeoGrande

Brazil's Pro-Bolsonaro Riot Pales in Comparison to the January 6 Insurrection | McCarthy Has Been Installed by the Same Right Wing Oligarchs Behind, Trump and DeSantis | Mexico's President Calls on Our Right Wing Congress to stop Funding the Pentagon and Fund Central American and Caribbean Countries to Stop the Flow of Refugees to the US


January 8, 2023 - Michelle García | Geneive Abdo | Thomas Balcerski

Biden's Visit to the Border at El Paso on his Way to the North American Leaders Summit in Mexico | Why is the US Not Doing More to Support the Popular Revolution Underway in Iran? | An Historical Perspective and Assessment of the Price McCarthy Will Pay For His Speakership