Background Briefing with Ian Masters-logo

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 22, 2024 - Lincoln Mitchell | Mitchell Plitnick | Maria Snegovaya

RFK Junior's Role as a Spoiler Since His Campaign's Biggest Donor is Also Trump's Biggest Donor | An Update on Diplomatic Efforts Underway For a Ceasefire in the Gaza War | What is Behind the Rise of Illiberal and Right Wing Politics in Europe


February 21, 2024 - Amanda Marcotte | Robert Baer | Maxwell Stearns

Increasing Signs That Christian Nationalists Plan to Impose an American Theocracy | Evidence That The Source For the "Biden Crime Family" Case is a Dissembler Working for Russian Intelligence | A Plan to Reinvent Our Polarized and Dysfunctional Government


February 20, 2024 - Wendy Pearlman | Jacob Heilbrunn | Justin Vaughn

The US Again Gives Israel Cover Vetoing a UN Resolution For an Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza | The American Right's 100-Year Romance With Foreign Dictators | The Latest American Historians' Survey That Has Donald Trump Dead Last in 45th Place


February 19, 2024 - Daniel Treisman | Anna Massoglia | Jonathan Metzl

Navalny Wanted to See "The Beautiful Russia of the Future" While Putin is Fixated on Historical Delusions of Reviving Russian Imperialism | Do Mike Johnson's Financial Ties Explain Why He is Cutting Off Aid to Ukraine? | A Country Held Hostage by Gun Violence


February 18, 2024 - Dr. Ariel Cohen | James Risen | John Pike

A Friend of the Murdered Leader of the Russian Opposition Discusses Putin's Latest Murder of the Leader of the Russian Opposition | Why Speaker Johnson Admires Putin and Has Shut Down the Government for a Month | What We Know About Recent Warnings Russia Plans To Deploy a Space Weapon


February 15, 2024 - Tom Collina | Casey Michel | John Feffer

What is Behind The Republican Head of the House Intel Committee's Warning of "A Serious National Security Threat"? | The Role of US Consulting Firms Who Launder Election Money and the Reputations of Dictators | How Brazil Handles an Insurrectionist President Compared to the U.S.


February 14, 2024 - Thomas Kahn | David Cay Johnston | Sidney Blumenthal

How to Get Around Speaker Johnson's Servility to Trump as He Blocks Aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan | A Resounding Win For Democrats and a Rebuke of Trump and the Republicans on the Border Issue | Will the Far Right Supreme Court's Majority Delay the Cases Trump is Facing in Federal Court?


February 13, 2024 - Lawrence Levy | Thomas Pepinsky | Joshua Oppenheimer

Voting to Replace George Santos Underway in a Snow Storm In a Race That Will Impact the House GOP's Slim Majority | Elections in Indonesia Could Have a General With Blood on His Hands Who Was Banned From the U.S., Become the Nation's Next President | The Military's Role in the 1965-66 Genocide and the How the U.S. Aided and Abetted the Slaughter of 2 Million Indonesians


February 12, 2024 - Joshua Shifrinson | Scott Horton | Shuja Nawaz

Trump Alarms Allies Saying He Would Let Russia Do "Whatever the Hell They Want" to a NATO Country | Why Aren't Journalists and Democratic Strategists Exposing Trump's Obvious Ties to Putin? | Is Pakistan on the Brink of Economic and Civil Collapse?


February 11, 2024 - Avraham Burg | Dennis Aftergut | Chris Whipple

Can Biden Go Around Netanyahu to Save Israel From Its Ruinous Leader? | SCOTUS Avoids Talking About Insurrection in a Case That Was All About the January 6 Insurrection | How Biden Should Counter Questions About His Age and Kamala Harris's Qualifications


February 8, 2024 - Simon Shuster | Rick Perlstein | Michael Bociurkiw

The Contrast Between the Transparent Leadership Change in Ukraine and Putin Cancelling the Token Opposition Candidate Because He Was Too Popular | Looking Ahead at the Fact-Free and Violence-Prone 2024 Election | 17 Donor Nations Refuse to Fund UNWRA based on a Disputed Israeli Dossier


February 7, 2024 - Justin Higgins | Michael Weiss

Trump's Successful Scuttling of the Immigration Bill and His Toady Mike Johnson's Humiliation | As Trump and Tucker Carlson Work For Putin to Kill Aid to Ukraine, Are They Traitors of "Useful Idiots?"


February 6, 2024 - Aziz Huq | Wendy Via | Natalie Melnyczuk

If Trump is Disqualified From the Ballot Waves of Violence Will Follow Whether he Wins or Loses the Election | The Right Wing "Texit" Movement Russia and China are Encouraging | President Zelensky's Planned Leadership Shakeup of "Multiple State Leaders"


February 5, 2024 - Andrew Feinberg | Steven Simon | Pavlina Tcherneva

To Solve Crises, Biden is Increasingly Relying on His Enemies at Home and Abroad | Biden Should Bypass Netanyahu And Go to the Israeli Public With a Peace Plan | The Disconnect Between Biden's Great Economic Numbers and How Voters Feel about the Economy Host: Ian Masters Producer: Graham FitzGibbon Assistant Producer: Evan Green


February 4, 2024 - Joshua Landis | Taras Kuzio | Lawrence Lessig

As US Bombing of Syria and Iraq Continues, Will Iraq's Government be Forced to Eject 2,000 US Personnel Who Could Become Hostages? | Conflicting Reports of Rifts in Ukraine's Leadership | Did SCOTUS Give Trump and Republican Legislatures a Way to Steal the 2024 Election?


February 1, 2024 - Stephen Biddle | Asher Kaufman | Victor Pickard

Why Russia's War on Ukraine Has Reached a Stalemate | US Sanctions 4 Israeli Settlers But Not the Ministers Who Support Them | What it Will Take to Save American Journalism From Big Tech and Vulture Capitalism


January 31, 2024 - Gregory Brew | Benn Steil | Bartlett Naylor & Richard Anthony

With Biden Poised to Retaliate, Both the US and Iran Say They Don't Want a Wider War | In 1944 FDR Ditched VP Wallace For Truman, Should Biden Do the Same With Kamala Harris? | Bipartisan Outrage in the Senate Today at the CEOs of Meta, X, Snap, TikTok and Discord


January 30, 2024 - Caroline Fredrickson | Jonathan Kuttab | Christian Dyogi Phillips

The Plutocratic War on the New Deal and American Democracy | With "End Times" Christian Zionists Supporting Israel's War, Could Trump be the Antichrist? | How Layoffs at Newsrooms Will Impact This Year's Elections


January 29, 2024 - Nick Heras | Paul Pillar | Allan Lichtman

Biden's Options to Retaliate as Pressure Mounts to Strike Iran | Will the Presence of 2,400 US Soldiers in Iraq and Syria Become the Main Reason We Fight Iran? | One of 25 Historians of the Civil War and Reconstruction Who Signed An Amicus Brief to Have Trump Removed From the Ballot Under the 14th Amendment


January 28, 2024 - Jared Yates Sexton | Maria Popova & Oxana Shevel | Alexander Sammon

Texas Leads a Secession Movement as Militias Head to the Border in a New Civil War | The Real Reasons Behind Putin's War on Ukraine | Billionaire Republican Donors Are Prepared to Spend Over $100 Million to Primary Progressive House Democrats