Episode for December 15, 2020
26:20 Clint Watts is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and Non-Resident Fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy. He is also a national security contributor for NBC News and MSNBC. He recently examined the rise of social media influence by publishing his first book entitled Messing With The Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians and Fake News.
His research and writing focuses on terrorism, counterterrorism, social media influence and Russian disinformation. Clint’s tracking of terrorist foreign fighters allowed him to predict the rise of the Islamic State over al Qaeda in 2014. From 2014 – 2016, Clint worked with a team to track and model the rise of Russian influence operations via social media leading up to the U.S. Presidential election of 2016. This research led Clint to testify before four different Senate committees in 2017 and 2018 regarding Russia’s information warfare campaign against the U.S. and the West.
Clint’s writing has appeared in a range of publications to include the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast, Politico, Lawfare, War On The Rocks and the Huffington Post.
Before becoming a consultant, Clint served as a U.S. Army infantry officer, a FBI Special Agent, as the Executive Officer of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point (CTC), as a consultant to the FBI’s Counter Terrorism Division (CTD) and National Security Branch (NSB), and as an analyst supporting the U.S. Intelligence Community and U.S. Special Operations Command.
50:00 Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine and a weekly news analyst for NPR’s “Here and Now.” We talked about his latest pieces at The Atlantic. He was born in McLean, Va., in 1986, and he graduated from Northwestern University, in 2008, with a triple major in journalism, political science, and legal studies. In 2015, he wrote the cover story “A World Without Work” about the future of jobs and technology. “Hit Makers,” his first book on the secret histories of pop culture hits and the science of popularity, comes out in February 2017. He has appeared on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list and Time’s “140 Best Twitter Feeds.” I always love talking to him.
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