extremely is a podcast for anyone that wants to understand and interrupt modern hate and extremism. Hosted by Oren Segal and brought to you by ADL and American University. These conversations feature expert analysis and fresh perspective on this global threat and what it might take to stop it in its tracks. https://twitter.com/orensegal
Elizabeth Williamson – “The results of this mass delusion”
In this episode of extremely, Oren Segal speaks with Elizabeth Williamson, feature writer for The New York Times and author of “Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Truth.”Elizabeth and Oren discuss how disinformation and falsehoods inevitably follow mass shootings, and how conspiracies and lies - aided by super-spreaders like Alex Jones - increasingly lead to harassment of and threats against victims’ families. Elizabeth describes how the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting “was a foundational story of how these false narratives and misinformation have gained traction in society.”“The arbiters of truth in our county,” Elizabeth says, “are still there but they are increasingly disbelieved, and people are making other choices than to listen to them. And so consequently, your arbiter of truth is the person who echoes your beliefs rather than someone who is legitimately interested in getting to the bottom of the situation and presenting facts.”You can follow Elizabeth on Twitter @NYTLizStay engaged and follow along for more on Twitter at @OrenSegal @ADL and @PERIL_AU
Sam Jackson - "Motivated by a desire to understand people who I think are bad for the world"
In this episode of extremely, Oren Segal speaks with Sam Jackson, assistant professor in the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the State University of New York at Albany, and author of, “Oath Keepers: Patriotism and the Edge of Violence in a Right-Wing Antigovernment Group.”When Sam was an undergrad religious studies major at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, he “accidentally” took a class on religion and violence that sparked his interest in antigovernment extremism. Today, Sam emphasizes the distinctions between leaders of anti-government groups like the Oath Keepers and their subordinates.“Prominent people within the group are much more ideologically on point or ideologically disciplined,” Sam tells Oren. “They are thinking about a narrower set of ideas, and they are talking about them in a more cohesive and coherent way. Whereas rank and file members of the group might have any of a wide range of ideological motivations to join. Or even non-ideological motivations.”You can follow Sam on Twitter @sjacks26Stay engaged and follow along for more on Twitter at @OrenSegal @ADL and @PERIL_AU
David Neiwert - "They are against something, and that something is democracy"
In this episode of extremely, Oren Segal speaks with David Neiwert, investigative journalist, and author of, “Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump.” David, who has been reporting on extremism for decades, provides his insight into the evolution of anti-democratic movements in the U.S. and how it culminated with the January 6th insurrection.In addition to describing how he made extremism reporting a beat, David argues that to truly understand the impact of extremism on communities, media needs to “interview the people who are afraid to even raise their heads in their towns and who feel frightened and intimidated by this wave of thuggery that this tide of right-wing extremism has unleashed in their communities.”You can follow David on Twitter @DavidNeiwertStay engaged and follow along for more on Twitter at @OrenSegal @ADL and @PERIL_AU
Lisa Kaplan - “Democracies have generally faced worse, and we can get around this one too”
In this episode of extremely, Oren Segal speaks with Lisa Kaplan, founder of the Alethea Group, which detects and mitigates disinformation and social media manipulation. Lisa explains the difference between disinformation and misinformation and highlights strategies to reduce the consequences of disinformation campaigns, which she says are "fast, cheap and easy to do."Beyond her love of dogs – repeat, Lisa loves dogs – she describes herself as an “eternal optimist when it comes to these sorts of issues.” She notes that “democracies have generally faced worse, and we can get around this one too” by promoting good information and education to create a more digitally savvy population.More on Lisa’s work: https://nationalsecurity.gmu.edu/lisa-kaplan-in-the-news/Stay engaged and follow along for more on Twitter at @OrenSegal @ADL and @PERIL_AU
Amy Cooter – “This is not exactly what you think it is”
In this episode of extremely, Oren Segal speaks with Amy Cooter, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Vanderbilt University, about her ethnographic research on the militia movement in the U.S.Amy, who has interviewed militia members directly and observed their training firsthand, is not “a stereotypical academic.” She says that while most militias “see themselves as fundamentally local,” that started to change when they “became more willing than they had been for a number of years to quite literally bump shoulders with more extreme groups at protests and at other events they thought captured” shared concerns.Amy tells Oren she initially thought she was going to be a chemist but got bored with it and took a sociology class. She realized “people were more interesting to study because there’s always a bit of an unknown factor” and they are “not as controllable as something that we are putting in test tube and trying to figure out.”More on Amy’s work: https://as.vanderbilt.edu/sociology/bio/?who=amy-cooterStay engaged and follow along for more on Twitter at @OrenSegal @ADL and @PERIL_AU
Mary McCord - "Professional question asker"
In this episode of extremely, Oren Segal speaks with Mary McCord, Executive Director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) and a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.Before her national security work or serving as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Mary attended journalism school, which she describes as a "pretty good precursor to law school because essentially you become a professional question asker when you are a journalist and that's in many ways what a lawyer is."Despite describing herself as a glass half empty person, Mary provides examples of people in her life who “do the right thing in the right moment." She also talks to Oren about being part of the legal team representing the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.More on Mary's work: https://www.law.georgetown.edu/faculty/mary-mccord/Stay engaged and follow along for more on Twitter at @OrenSegal @ADL and @PERIL_AU