Eyewitness to January 6th
January 6th has become one of those days like September 11th where you need to say no more than the date for people to know what you’re talking about. Ralph welcomes New York Times congressional reporter, Luke Broadwater, who was in the Senate chamber when the rioters breached the building and has not only been covering the January 6th hearings but wrote the introduction to the NY Times version of the final report.
Luke Broadwater is a congressional reporter in the Washington bureau of the New York Times. He played a key role in the paper's coverage of the January 6th attack on the Capitol, for which the Times was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist. His work is featured in the Twelve Books edition of The January 6 Report: Findings from the Select Committee to Investigate the Attack on the U.S. Capitol with Reporting, Analysis and Visuals by The New York Times.
Congress is a place that, for better or worse, prides itself as its own island of niceties. You’re not supposed to criticize another member by name on the floor, and you're supposed to pretend that you’re all colleagues and there’s a level of respect between people. And it was seen on the Hill as very aggressive that they even issued a subpoena.
Bruce Fein is a Constitutional scholar and an expert on international law. Mr. Fein was Associate Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan and he is the author of Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for Our Constitution and Democracy, and American Empire: Before the Fall.
In the Watergate situation, we had the star witnesses who appeared in person… That was vivid. The American people were riveted. There were no star witnesses who were shown in the January 6th hearings. These were all second- or third-tier people. Even someone like Pat Cipollone was interviewed in private, not in public. And that’s why I think the impact was so much less than in Watergate— you’re never going to get a public to oppose a president based upon paper documents, and not flesh-and-blood where the public can make their own evaluation of credibility.
The civic community that used to get a lot of media in the ‘60s and ‘70s and connected with members of Congress and changed the consumer, worker, and environmental framework of legislation in those golden years is no more. And civic community’s shut out like beyond my wildest nightmares.
Hello RNRH Team,
I am a loyal listener, active Congress Club member and grateful for the important work you do.
Thank you for all that your team invests in creating your show and, Ralph, for your decades of service and tireless efforts to hold our elected officials accountable so that our government will actually serve the People.
Your work is important, and I am grateful for all you do.
I do my best to keep an open mind when listening and very rarely question any of the perspectives that you and your team share during your show.
Nevertheless, I believe that fairness and accuracy is critical for trusted sources of information like your show.
In the recent Big Tech Spying episode of your Podcast you make this statement:
“That's what Apple and Google are deliberately doing; they’re making it difficult…"
I believe that Google and Apple approach this issue quite differently, but this was not communicated in the episode - instead, the companies were lumped together as though their work in this space is the same or very similar, which I believe was not accurate and, therefore, concerning.
Disclosure: I’ve worked at Apple for 15 years - mostly in our Retail locations though I’ve supported Recruiting for the past 5 years - and I’ve done my best to mitigate my biases as I listened and now drafted this message.
I am not an executive earning ridiculous salary and stock options, so this is not an effort to protect the status quo because I’m living high on the hog.
My wife and I have lived in the same 2 room Studio apartment in San Francisco because it’s rent-controlled and enables us to save so we might purchase a home and move into the next phase of our lives.
Nothing I share here represents Apple in any way, and no-one at Apple knows or would approve of my sending this message since I’m not part of the PR team.
I’ve anonymized my email address and signature as I could experience repercussions should any details of this message become known to Apple.
I am an individual with opinions and not a spokesperson for the company, and I am also a worker who has contributed much of my salary to participate in Apple’s Employee Stock Purchase Program so that my wife and I might one day purchase a home and find the quality of life we strive for.
I often work 50 - 60 hour weeks and have done so for more than a decade, and I hope that this hard work will provide us financial security.
So, admittedly, my own self-interest influences my perspective and why I am sending this message.
People (myself included) trust what they hear on your show, and the impact on sentiment may affect their choices as consumers - and that ultimately impacts our long-term financial planning along with tens of thousands of other Apple employees who work hard, save all they can and try to plan for their futures.
Apple is not perfect.
I acknowledge that Apple’s business model depends heavily on the % they collect from all Developers and in-App purchases and that stock buy-backs have artificially inflated share prices since Tim Cook assumed the role of CEO after Steve Jobs’ passing.
The dominance of the “Freemium” model in Apps is problematic as many people spend more money than they should for in-App purchases; heck, I’ve been guilty of that myself and know how dangerous this can be.
Though this is not unique to Apple, it troubles me, and I hope that greater regulation is introduced to further protect users who are unable to resist the urge to buy virtual items or otherwise spend beyond their means.
In spite of these imperfections, I do believe that Apple’s commitment to user privacy and safety is vastly superior to Google and other product and software developers, but this was not clear in this particular show.
Apple has introduced many important features and enhancements that are easy to use and truly empower people using their products to control their data and protect their privacy.
2020 iOS 14
With the introduction of iOS 14, Apple actively equipped users of their products with the most powerful tools ever released enabling people to protect their privacy and data.
Safety Check enabled customers to immediately stop any Apps or individuals from accessing data from Apps in Apple products.
Apple introduced Privacy “nutrition labels” in the App Store to increase transparency and report how developers use data to provide greater customer control.
App Tracking Transparency (iOS 14.5) introduced a feature in which Apps are required to ask users’ permission to track their activity, and iOS users receive App Privacy reports showing what Apps requested information and if/ when/ how that information was used.
Finally (for 2020) Apple enabled users to control any Ad Targeting on their Apple devices.
All of these enhancements enraged notable and rather despicable characters like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, which is alone quite satisfying.
2021 iOS 15
Apple further refined privacy features in 2021 with the release of iOS 15
Users were now empowered to hide mail activity as well as their email address as the OS enabled them to use a randomly generated email address when creating site profiles.
Instead of pinpoint accuracy for location services, iOS enabled people to share “approximate location” so that they can still benefit from location features without disclosing their precise location.
Users were now able to deny access to their local network for Apps and also to detect Camera and/ or Microphone access requests from Apps.
Safari was further refined with warnings about problematic passwords (used multiple times and/ or easily guessable passwords) and also provides a privacy report.
2022 iOS 16
In 2022 Apple continued refining their commitment to protect user privacy.
A simplified and enhanced interface to Manage Sharing enables people to not only view what information they are sharing with others but also to see in great detail what data Apps have accessed and easy tools to adjust those access levels.
Several companies are working on “passkeys” to eliminate the risk of passwords, and Apple will undoubtedly release the most effective version of this - though not always the first to release a new product or feature, developers at Apple get it right and optimize these features.
Finally, Lockdown Mode, is the most extreme protection measure I’ve ever seen in tech, and this is specifically intended for activists, journalists and others concerned about spying or malicious parties trying to access their information.
I hope you find some value in this feedback and the details I’ve provided.
I continue to listen to your show and take the actions you recommend to influence our elected officials and push them to actually work for their constituents and improve conditions for underserved and marginalized Americans.
Devoted supporter and fan from San Francisco.