8 episodes

Bedrock, USA is a podcast about political extremism, small town life and the fight for democracy, hosted by Laura Bliss, a reporter at Bloomberg CityLab. 

In a super-divided, pandemic-era America awash in conspiracies and misinformation, it’s about a group of people who didn’t like what they saw happening in their local governments, and decided to get involved - whether that meant holding a rally, running for office, recalling an official or storming their government with bullhorns and threats. 

Their stories show how far-right ideologies enter into local politics - sometimes quietly, other times at full volume - and what it takes for regular people to fight back. They show the beauty as well as the risks, struggles and pitfalls of being an active participant in democracy today. And together they create a human-level portrait of a democracy that is fracturing, and the role that extremist ideologies are playing. (And they’re not going away.)

Where do their stories point us as a country? 

Bedrock, USA iHeartPodcasts and Bloomberg CityLab

    • Society & Culture
    • 3.8 • 206 Ratings

Bedrock, USA is a podcast about political extremism, small town life and the fight for democracy, hosted by Laura Bliss, a reporter at Bloomberg CityLab. 

In a super-divided, pandemic-era America awash in conspiracies and misinformation, it’s about a group of people who didn’t like what they saw happening in their local governments, and decided to get involved - whether that meant holding a rally, running for office, recalling an official or storming their government with bullhorns and threats. 

Their stories show how far-right ideologies enter into local politics - sometimes quietly, other times at full volume - and what it takes for regular people to fight back. They show the beauty as well as the risks, struggles and pitfalls of being an active participant in democracy today. And together they create a human-level portrait of a democracy that is fracturing, and the role that extremist ideologies are playing. (And they’re not going away.)

Where do their stories point us as a country? 

    Election Day

    Election Day

    Election day in Sequim. The Good Governance League wins by a landslide. A new mayor will be installed. However, down south in Shasta, the future is uncertain. We go back to the far-right activists who are trying to install more of their candidates into elected office. Will their takeover be successful? In both Shasta and Sequim, some residents have awakened to the importance of local government. But can that engagement last? And what does it mean for the fraying trust that is essential for democracy?
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 32 min
    Good Governance

    Good Governance

    With their beloved city manager Charlie Bush gone, a group of Sequim residents unites to fight the intrusion of partisan politics in their local government. They call themselves the Good Governance League and mount a campaign for an upcoming city election. Their plan? To get their own candidates into office, and to vote out the QAnon mayor. But it’s not easy. It turns out the mayor has allies. Will they succeed?
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 41 min
    Not In My Backyard

    Not In My Backyard

    We leave Shasta for now. We will come back in a later episode to find out the election results. Meanwhile, we return to Sequim, where Mayor Armacost reveals his love of QAnon on live radio and later forces his city manager Charlie Bush to resign, in what some residents see as an act of troubling partisan bias. It turns out the beef between Armacost and Bush has roots in a controversial proposal to build an opioid addiction treatment clinic in the heart of Sequim. We find out why that project divided the town and how that division sowed the seeds for Bush’s ouster.  
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 34 min
    Winner Takes All

    Winner Takes All

    The recall succeeds in removing one county supervisor, Leonard Moty. But it’s enough to gain the majority on the county board of supervisors. What do far-right leaders plan to do with their newfound power? One thing is clear: Top officials from across the county government leave in a mass exodus, as threats intensify. Far-right activists mount another campaign – this time for more elected county positions: The sheriff, the registrar of voters, school superintendent. What happens to Shasta as they try to take over?
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 40 min
    The Vengeful Billionaire

    The Vengeful Billionaire

    The Shasta County recall campaign gets a boost from a vengeful out-of-state billionaire named Reverge Anselmo, who fought with the county years before. The campaign struggles to get off the ground. Meanwhile, Doni Chamberlain, a local journalist, accuses the campaign of spreading misinformation and having no plan to govern. She worries, if the campaign succeeds, the consequences will be dire. 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 36 min
    Recall the Supervisors

    Recall the Supervisors

    We meet Mary Rickert, a Republican county supervisor in Shasta County who believes that far-right activists used the pandemic as a “weapon” to remake government. Their plan: to recall three Republican county supervisors, including her. We also meet Jeremy Edwardson, the producer of the pro-recall docuseries, “Red White and Blueprint,” who wants to spread the word. But do recall organizers have enough money to succeed?
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5
206 Ratings

206 Ratings

Petitjeandesign ,

Valuable Journalism

I enjoy following this series as it exposes a genuine plague on our nation, and on our societies. The loud minority, that is the extreme right, is being forced into the spot light. I can only hope they scatter like roaches.

Bob_LaBlaw ,

🇺🇸

Easy to tell which people reviewing this podcast have actually listened to it.

coinct ,

Very insightful. Essential listening.

Exceptionally well done podcast. Important information that illuminates the crisis that misinformation and tribalism are creating in our country. Hearing local citizens speak about all sides of these issues gives critical insight into how people are thinking.

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