American Scandal

Every scandal begins with a lie. But the truth will come out. And then comes the fallout and the outrage.

Scandals have shaped America since its founding. From business and politics to sports and society, we look on aghast as corruption, deceit and ambition bring down heroes and celebrities, politicians and moguls. And when the dust finally settles, we’re left to wonder: how did this happen? Where did they trip up, and who is to blame? From the creators of American History Tellers, Business Wars and Tides of History comes American Scandal, where we take you deep into the heart of America’s dark side to look at what drives someone to break the rules and what happens when they’re caught. Hosted by Lindsay Graham.

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Oklahoma City Bombing | Does Social Media Cause Political Polarization?  | 5

Oklahoma City Bombing | Does Social Media Cause Political Polarization? | 5

Tue, 14 Mar 2023 07:01

In 1995, Timothy McVeigh detonated a truck bomb in downtown Oklahoma City, in an effort to strike the federal government. Nearly 30 years later, many have begun to warn that McVeigh’s radical ideology is making a resurgence—and that social media is at least partly to blame.

In this interview, Lindsay discusses the warnings—and potential solutions—with Paul Barrett, co-author of the report “Fueling the Fire: How Social Media Intensifies U.S. Political Polarization – And What Can Be Done About It.”

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Hey, Prime Members, you can listen to American Scandal add-free on Amazon Music. Download the app today. Music From Wondery, I'm Lindsey Graham and this is American Scandal. On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh detonated a truck bomb in downtown Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds more. It was the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in US history, and as law enforcement began investigating McVeigh, they learned that the former American soldier saw the attack as only the beginning in a larger war against the government he once served. Over the years, McVeigh had become a political radical. He been swept up in paranoid conspiracy theories and believed meaningful change could only occur through a large act of violence. McVeigh was ultimately found guilty for his crimes and was executed in 2001. But over 20 years later, some have begun to warn that McVeigh's radical ideology is making a resurgence, and that social media is at least partly to blame for the rise of political extremism. My guest today is Paul Barrett, an author, journalist and the deputy director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, where he co-authored the report, Fueling the Fire, How Social Media Intensifies US Political Polarization, and What Can Be Done About It. Barrett's books include Glock, which tells the story of the weapon that's become known as America's Gun. He also wrote Law of the Jungle about a lawyer's quest to hold big oil accountable for polluting the Amazon. For over three decades, Barrett worked as a reporter, first at the Wall Street Journal, and then at Bloomberg Business Week Magazine, covering business, law, and social issues in America. In this conversation, we'll discuss how social media has helped foster political polarization and extremism, and what lawmakers and tech companies can do about it. Our conversation is next. American scandal is sponsored by New York Times All Access. For the best in news, analysis, and culture, there's only one New York Times. And now you can enjoy time-level expertise in the areas of games, cooking, product reviews, and sports with a New York Times All Access subscription. In addition to original reporting from journalists worldwide, you can unwind with spelling bee. My favorite wordl, The New York Times Crossword and more. Enjoy delicious recipes and daily inspiration from cooking experts, or explore independent reviews for thousands of products in wire cutter. You'll also discover in-depth personalized sports journalism from the athletic. Get all of this and more with New York Times All Access. Everything the Times offers all in one subscription. To subscribe, go to slash All Access. American scandal is sponsored by Dell Technologies, whose semi-annual sale is on with limited quantity deals on top tech. Save on select PCs powered by the latest 12th gen Intel Core processors, like thin and light XPS 13 laptops, in-sprone laptops, and 2-in-1s. Plus get savings on select accessories, free shipping, and monthly payment options with Dell Preferred account. Save today by calling 877-Ask Dell. That's 877-Ask Dell. Paul Barrett, welcome to American scandal. Well, thanks very much for inviting me to be here. Now in September of 2021, you co-authored a report for NYU titled Fueling the Fire. It looks at the connection between social media and political polarization. In that report, you and your co-authors argue that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have exacerbated the problem of polarization, but are not solely responsible for the problem. Let's start the conversation with just a general overview of your findings. Sure. Well, you summarized the main finding correctly. We are in a period of extreme political polarization in the United States and in some other countries around the world. And the question has been raised, is social media playing a role fueling this polarization? Our answer was that yes, it is, but we're making an important distinction. We are not saying that social media platforms and people's use of them is the prime cause or the sole cause of political polarization. Polarization is actually quite complex phenomenon and it is typically fed by multiple causes. But one of them at the moment, or more accurately over the last, you know, dozen years or so, one of the key ingredients here, which I think you can think of as sort of the lighter fluid poured on top of the already smoldering fire is social media and how it is used and abused. I think most Americans would understand or certainly agree that polarization does feel to be more rife and present these days. But is that actually the case? It is in fact the case that we are in a period of elevated polarization. A couple of things to say about that. For one thing, we live in a democracy, which is based on the idea that people are going to disagree on matters public and private. So some degree of disagreement is not to be seen as an aberration or necessarily as a problem. However, there are periods in history when polarization has been extreme. Social science was not measuring polarization in the 1850s and 1860s. But when you have a civil war almost by definition, you've got a lot of polarization. If you fast forward to the 1950s, you actually find a period in the post war era when within the United States there was a markedly low polarization period, period of consensus on many issues between the major political parties. So much so that political scientists in the 1950s expressed anxiety over the fact that the two major parties were not producing enough distinctive and potentially useful proposals for dealing with social problems because there was so much consensus. Now, consensus isn't necessarily entirely benign or positive, but in the 1950s, obviously there were all kinds of social problems that subsequently led to polarization, such as the civil rights revolution, the recognition, finally of the degree to which African-Americans had been put at a disadvantage and discriminated against. And in the subsequent decades, a lot of change took place and that provoked a lot of ranker and recrimination. So in that context, a degree of polarization can actually be an affirmative good thing. But in recent decades, measures of polarization and particularly a form of polarization called effective polarization have risen to very high levels. And I think many people, both social scientists and ordinary civilians, now perceive a degree of divisiveness that is almost certainly contributing to serious problems in our society and have become a force that is eroding democratic institutions, which is I think quite dangerous, quite ominous. And brought up two issues here, one, the concept of effective polarization, but also that it is being measured. Let's tackle the last one first. How is this phenomenon, this national feeling being measured by social scientists? Yeah, political scientists some time ago, decades ago, came up with a scale for measuring attitudes toward out groups. So that's just social scientists, lingo, for people that are different from you and comparing the measure of affection or attachment or support for your in-group, whoever you associate with and comparing that to your degree of animosity toward out groups toward others. And when this measure, which is done with a temperature metaphor, reaches large extremes, the political scientists conclude that polarization is a right. And it's probably worth defining effective polarization. That is the type of divisiveness where as opposed to disagreeing on particular issues, you know, people have different beliefs as to how at what level taxation should be set at. People have even more passionate beliefs as to whether abortions should be legal or not. People have passionate beliefs about, you know, what level of immigration into the country would be good for society. All of those are substantive issues that people are going to divide over, but they will not necessarily in disagreeing on those issues. Come to the conclusion that the people on the other side of the debate have bad motivations are not patriotic. And their very being is a threat to the future of society and the future of democracy. That's effective polarization. When the people when you perceive that the people on the other side are evil, they're reprehensible by definition anything they they're they favor you disfavor and actually destroying them literally or figuratively is justified. And things are so dire that perhaps the normal processes of democracy need not be followed because the threat from the other side is so great. So when I'm talking about polarization in the context of social media industry, I'm talking about that type of polarization. So this is the danger to democracy, a system in which disagreement is implicit. But you've mentioned there have been other periods in American history where the country has been deeply divided. And that while social media is making polarization worse today, it's not the only cause of the problem. So what are the other factors that have led us to this moment? Well, you know, among the circumstances that do not have to do with social media necessarily are circumstances such as demographic change. Our, you know, demographic stew has changed over over time. And this is something that people who are white and uncomfortable uneasy about these changes and uneasy and unhappy about losing the degree of influence they may have perceived perhaps their parents is having in society that this contributes to an embeaddled feeling that would feed into effective polarization. There have also been tremendous economic shifts in the past decades ago. We had a very strong manufacturing base that provided well-paying jobs that would allow for a middle class lifestyle and without necessarily having a lot or any higher education. A lot of those jobs left the country literally. They were outsourced, you know, beginning in earnest in the 1980s and, you know, with great velocity in the 1990s and the 2000s. And that's a source of tremendous unease where people live in communities that had been solid, socially, economically, and now have been hollowed out economically. And that causes them to be uneasy and to be and to look around for people to blame. We, you know, we are still living with the reverberations of racial animus in this country. And to some degree, the progress that we've made in certain senses has ironically contributed to a backlash. And then we come to media and it's not all social media in the late 80s. The innovation was conservative talk radio, Russia Limbaugh and his imitators who were not so much about arguing about particular issues, but were more about conveying the message, you're being screwed, my listener. And we're going to do something about that. We're going to take our country back, make things the way they were in the past, which may in fact have been a largely mythical past, but that often doesn't matter in politics. And following conservative talk radio, you had the rise in the 1990s of hype report, does in cable TV, exemplified most prominently by Fox News, of course, there were to some degrees echoes on the left, but in the form of MSNBC, most prominently. But in terms of the prominence of the media outlet and the success of the media outlet had in shaping the debate, Fox News and activists and thought leaders on the right side of the spectrum were far more successful. Well, let's talk about the difference that social media in particular brings to the table, because you described a decades long process of increasing polarization and the use of different types of media, but we come to social media, which is different and something that you've looked at in particular. What about their design and you hinted at it? Is it that exacerbates political divisions in particular? Social media platforms are based on sort of several key foundations. The first, of course, is the most basic, which is what is a social media platform? It's a business that disseminates content, text, still images, moving images. But the content that it disseminates is not content that it has produced. It is content that is generated by the users of the platform. So it's, in that sense, quite different, say, from our traditional media, whether you look at television and entertainment or news or you look at newspapers or for that matter of, you know, even older books, the content is not necessarily being edited on its way to being spread. And the business part of it is the owner of the platform is selling advertising to companies that want the attention of those millions or in some cases, billions of users. And the way the level of attention is measured, almost by consensus between the advertisers and the proprietors of the platforms, the Facebook's, YouTube's, TikToks and so forth, is to measure user engagement. So it's not just that I show up on a platform and look at something, you know, for a split second and then move on, that's not terribly valuable to an advertiser or it may not necessarily be valuable. But if I pause and I like something or I reshare it or I tap in a comment to it, that is what the people in the trade call engagement and that is understood by the purchasers of advertising and the sellers of advertising is evidence that you have the attention of the user to a greater degree and the advertisement that may be swimming around the content that the user is interacting with is engaging with is more likely to have an impact on that user. But it's that engagement calculation that is crucial and it's crucial in another sense because then the question becomes how do you generate engagement? So how do social media platforms generate engagement? How do these decisions get made? The decision making as to what content is likely to generate engagement is actually passed off from the human beings who operate the platform to the algorithms, the computer systems that are able to take certain commands from the humans and then make decisions on their own to fulfill those commands. So if the command is above all else, promote engagement, the algorithms sift through the, you know, literally billions of pieces of content that are potentially available to a user on any given major platform and plucks out the content thought likely by the computer system to stir engagement for this particular user. But this imperative to promote engagement has tended to give a boost to content that is sensational, that is novel, and that will provoke emotions, particularly negative emotions. There was a study done at MIT, oh, five, six years ago now, that illustrated how social media posts that contain incorrect information travel 70 to 80% further, so to speak, on social media platforms, then comparable content that is based on correct information. And the researchers theorized that the reason for that is that frequently incorrect information is based on sort of novel assertions. It knew new or things, it's more surprising claims and therefore the algorithms were giving them more of a boost. So you can see out of that complicated situation, how misinformation, how hateful speech and highly divisive speech speech that would say the other guys are out to get you, don't you agree with me and you try to type on there, I retweet that and I second this emotion and all of my friends think the same thing. And that in a nutshell is how social media is contributing, not creating in the first instance, but contributing or amplifying polarization. Well no, Zombie, I don't think so. Okay? As long as I feel ashamed or sick, I can't get rid of it. barriers. And a great way to do that is to get fresh, pre-measured ingredients and seasonal recipes delivered right to your door with Hello Fresh. Hello Fresh recipes are easy to follow and quick to make and affordable, cheaper than grocery shopping and 25% cheaper than takeout. There's low calorie, vegetarian, family-friendly recipes and more. Switch it up whenever you like. I enjoy the bold world flavors like Shakyakshuka-style bacon breakfast bowls, new ingredients and techniques that broaden your palate and make you a better cook. So go to and use code Scandal60 for 60% off-plus free shipping. That's 60% off-plus free shipping at, offer code Scandal60. American scandal is sponsored by Audible. I recently came back from a podcast convention in Las Vegas, but a storm blew in on the day I was flying out and flights were being delayed. Did I get angry or frustrated? No. I also did not enter some Zen state of acceptance. Instead, I just shrugged and pulled out my headphones, knowing that at least I can make good use of the extra time by listening. And I've got a lot to listen to with Audible. There are the classics and bestsellers, but a lot more too. A giant selection of podcasts like this one and ad-free. There's also a bunch of Audible originals, audio entertainment you can't find anywhere else. And like all Audible members, I get one credit every month, good for any title in their entire premium selection, regardless of price to keep forever. Audible members get full access to all of these and more, and the Audible app makes it easy to listen anytime, anywhere, while doing chores, exercising, or milling about the Las Vegas airport. Maybe next time I'm stranded, I'll start the thriller airport by Arthur Haley. Listen with me. New members can try Audible free for 30 days. Visit, or text A-S to 500-500. We're speaking to you today at the tail end of a series on the Oklahoma City bombing. This was in a time which the internet was not as ubiquitous as it is now, so social media was not at presence in Timothy McVase's life, but he was still consumed by a radical ideology that somehow infected and drove him to violent action. Now, ideas are rarely dangerous by themselves, but it is the actions that they prompt that are so important sometimes. Now that we are in a moment of social media amplification, of polarization of hatred of radical ideologies that can be readily found anywhere, what are the real world threats of this increasing polarization? Well, there are a number of them. The most pronounced threat is the one you've identified. The Oklahoma City bombing style attack on government institutions, as was the case there, attack on a government building, attack on one's foes. You could think of people trying to blow up an abortion clinic because they think abortion should not be allowed, where the political becomes violent action. You don't just identify your enemies. You seek to physically attack and subdue your enemies. Our most recent, most dramatic illustration is, of course, January 6th at the Capitol, but there are less extreme manifestations that are still very, very significant. Another one I think has been the resistance to vaccination, and a little bit before that, even to more modest preventative steps like wearing a mask in response to a lethal pandemic. Some significant number of people in this country did not get vaccinated. Some significant fraction of those people died, and a big fraction of people were infected by those people. That's a terrible thing. You had in all likelihood thousands and thousands of deaths as a result of that manifestation of polarization. You have the paralysis that has characterized Congress for significant periods of time in recent years. Again, you don't want to overstate this, but overall, we no longer really have faith that Congress is going to grapple with some of our most difficult problems in a rational way. That takes you to yet another manifestation, which is an erosion of trust in basic democratic institutions. The best example of that is just the erosion of trust in elections. We now have a loud debate every time we get close to an election as to whether the election is going to be rigged, whether voting machines are technology that are going to be used to cheat. There's a high degree of suspicion about this most fundamental democratic institution, the election. All of those things together add up to a society where there's an absence of consensus on some of our most basic understandings and the institutions that are designed to hold us together, despite the fact that it's a very big country with people who come from very different backgrounds and may have very different views, all of which is not just unavoidable, but actually could be a strength and has been a strength at times. At the moment, it feels to a lot of people that instead the society is kind of coming apart and I think there are reasonable reasons to hold that view or at least to have that fear. So if the consequences are dire and the reasons for polarization seem to be real, I think we have to turn to the most recent contributor, which would be social media companies themselves. They tend and feed their algorithms daily. They know what they're doing, but at this point have any of them admitted culpability for their role in America's increasing polarization. For the most part, no. Right from the mouths of the CEOs of some of these companies in sworn congressional testimony, they've been asked the question, how is it that you contribute and why you're not doing more and they tend to deflect and answer defensively and say, well, Senator, polarization is a function of disagreement in society and anything you see on my platform is merely a reflection of that disagreement. But their own actions undercut those claims. As long ago as May 2020, Facebook posted an article on its corporate blog entitled investments to fight polarization. And this was written by a vice president who was the vice president for integrity. That was his title guy named Guy Rosen who I've met. And the post pointed to I'm quoting now some of the initiatives we've made over the past three years to address factors that can contribute to polarization. So, you know, in a slightly different context, you say hats off to you. You're recognizing your technology, not because it's your goal to exacerbate polarization, but it's having that effect. And now you're doing something about it. The problem is is they post something on the corporate blog, which not a lot of people are going to see because who's regularly monitoring Facebook's generally speaking, kind of boring, self-promotional corporate blog. But when they stand up in front of Congress, they say pretty much the opposite from this, no, we have nothing to do with this. Another manifestation of companies awareness that they're contributing to the problem. In November of 2020, immediately before and especially immediately after when it became evident that then president Trump was not going to concede, Facebook took action. Facebook, as you suggested in your question, you know, has certain levers. And what happened at Facebook and this has been documented by various journalists and ultimately confirmed by Facebook in the wake of that election that it adjusted the algorithm to calm things down, anticipating that there was going to be a frenzy over the unfounded claim that the election had been afraught. They basically turned the dial in such a way that more author material that was likely to be authentic as determined by its source or the type of people who were drawn to it to boast the visibility of that more authentic material and downgrade the prominence of material that was more likely to be tainted by misinformation and divisiveness. And interestingly, they did that for a short period of time. And then they turned the dials back to normal. In what I would suggest as a reflection of their uneasiness about going for too long without their normal, enhanced engagement promoting approach because that's where the advertising dollars come from. We can imagine that there's a certain amount of analysis that just proved to these executives that it was too costly at the moment to make these concessions to the public good and they reverted to their old ways. That's not particularly a fantastic world to think about, but it is a realistic one. So perhaps relying on market forces or internal company dynamics might not be the most effective way to get change enacted in a social media company. So the obvious then next step would be to look outside the companies and there have been plenty of high profile hearings in Congress about social media. Does it look like the House or Senate has any appetite of its own to take action on this issue? Yeah. Well, I agree with everything you just said. And the short answer to your question is there was an extraordinary amount of activity in the 117th Congress. We will see what happens in the 118th Congress. None of the legislation that was introduced that could conceivably have addressed anything that we've been talking about made much progress in the 117th Congress in large part because of the degree of partisan polarization that we've also been talking about. So there are things that could be done at the government level and I'll be happy to describe my thoughts as to what might work. But before doing so, it's really important to put this in context. It is very difficult for the government, the federal government or state governments to regulate an industry whose business is expression. For example, the government doesn't do very much by way of regulating newspapers, whether they're the traditional print newspapers that are all but disappearing or their online manifestations today. And the reason for that is because newspapers, news organizations more broadly, they produce expression. And there's a very wise provision that helps govern our democracy, the First Amendment, which says that in general government should not regulate expression by private entities, whether individuals or organizations or as it happens companies. So with that limitation, there is not a broad field for Congress to operate on. It can't say we hereby pass and we want the president to sign into law a set of policies to govern what shouldn't be on social media platforms. They could no more do that than they could pass a set of policies of what should go into the New York Times on the center left or the national review on the right. You can't do that under the First Amendment. So while there are things government, I think, can very legitimately do, they are not of the silver bullet variety. In the end, it actually is going to have to be the industry itself, possibly responding to incentives created by the government. But it's this industry itself that will have to regulate what goes on on its platforms. American scandal sponsored by sleep number. It's been a question asked since the beginning of time. What happens when we sleep? Modern science is still working on it, but for you, maybe your bed can tell you. Sleep number beds already adjust from soft to supportive on both sides, but sleep numbers sleep IQ technology also tracks how well you're sleeping to improve your sleep and energy and find your ideal schedule. I know my sleep number is 45. Why should you discover yours? So you can be at your best for yourself and those you care about most. And now it's sleep numbers lowest price ever. Save $1200 on the sleep number 360 i10 smart bed plus special financing for a limited time. Only at sleep number stores or slash AS. So acknowledging the boundaries of our system and its inability to address some of these problems, you nonetheless have some suggestions. What are they? The approach that I think could work and would do some good would rely on the concept of consumer protection, which has been enshrined in federal law since at least 1915 and is enshrined in the laws of all the states in one form or another. And the basis of consumer protection is that and here's the magic language unfair or deceptive commercial practices are to be stopped. At the federal level, the agency charged with addressing unfair or deceptive trade practices is the federal trade commission. And it has a long and storied history of confronting industries that basically make promises to their customers that they don't fulfill. That's the somewhat more boiled down or simpler interpretation of what consumer protection is all about. In this arena, when corporate expression is viewed as unfair or deceptive in this manner, it does not receive the kind of first amendment protection. Once you're in the realm of consumer protection and the analysis is this communication unfair or deceptive. And what I think the FTC could do without getting too close to the first amendment line would be to say social media industry, you make promises right now about content moderation. You tell the public that there are set of rules, which are published if somewhat obscurely someplace on your website. And you make statements publicly that you enforce those rules in a certain way. We'd like to see the underlying data. We'd like to see not trade secrets, but we'd like to see the ingredients that go into say the algorithms that decide how to rank, recommend and remove content. We've been led to believe that engagement is a major criterion. And what proportion is engagement, shaping the actions of your algorithms. And we're sure that there are other ingredients that go into this as well. Maybe authenticity, maybe, you know, who knows? The public right now doesn't know the answers to those questions. And those, I think those questions could be answered without revealing trade secrets, so there'd be no intellectual property problem, or without interfering with anybody's expression. And easier, I think, would be to ask them to describe how does your workforce of human content moderators, the people who review content that is problematic, how do those people interact with the automated systems? So there'd be all these sort of procedural questions that could be asked. And that would take me to the second sort of thrust of this regulation, which is I think that FTC could require that the platforms, if they purport to have content policies, which the mainstream platforms all do. And if they purport to enforce them, they should have to be able to demonstrate that they have procedurally adequate systems in place to do that work. Now, if this all sounds kind of limited and tentative, it's because it is, the companies with doubt was resist making these kinds of disclosures, but perhaps they would be forced to by courts, I would hope they would be. But these disclosures don't cure the problem. They more would reveal what the problems are so that we could then have a much better informed public debate about better self-regulation by the platforms. Because coming back to what I said earlier, in the end, for better or for worse, companies in the business of expression cannot be thoroughly or substantively regulated by the federal government, or state governments for that matter. We've left out one large contingent responsible for the polarization in this country, and that's probably its citizens. So maybe perhaps we can end this conversation with your thoughts on what we as individual users of this media and social media, what we can do to turn the heat down a bit. Well, that's a very important question. I'm glad you asked it. I agree with you 100% that individual users are part of the picture here. I think the platforms often stress that point in a defensive way, and so it gets kind of discounted by a lot of people. And I think the answer comes in several parts. One, I think that we need to, in this country, begin to do some form of digital media education as a formal part of education in public schools. It may sound like a challenging undertaking in an era when education has been so politicized, but this really needs not be a partisan undertaking. Trying to point out that there's a distinction between truth and untruth on certain subjects. Of course, some subjects there isn't. It's purely subjective. Like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, no wrong answer there. But you know, whether an election that's been thoroughly litigated was rigged or not rigged, there is an answer to that. So beginning with baby steps in the early grades, I think we should imitate countries such as those in Scandinavia, which address media literacy as a topic that's important for everybody to understand, at least to understand that it's an issue that everything you see online is not necessarily correct and that online outlets can be abused. So that's one piece of it. I think then as adults, people just have to take more responsibility for what they're doing. You can't force people to be reasonable online when they're stopping short of threatening imminent violence. You can't force people to not subscribe to a QAnon conspiracy. But you know, if we all end up in our respective parties and corners subscribing to conspiracy theories, you know, will be cooked and there won't be anything much to do about. But I think we as individuals as adults need to demonstrate you know, greater reason, greater judiciousness. Think before you retweet, you know, read the article before you send it to, you know, hundreds of other or thousands of other people who follow you on a given platform. And you know, the platforms themselves can contribute to this, Twitter to its credit, pre-Elon Musk, you know, instituted certain features that were meant to kind of slow people down a little bit. Think a little bit before you, you know, burst out into, you know, ferocious argument, read the article or, you know, and then retweet, I think more of that is really the only prescription. Well, Paul Barrett, thank you so much for speaking with me today on American Scandal. My pleasure, thanks for having me. That was my conversation with Paul Barrett, author, journalist and the deputy director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights. From Wondery, this is episode five of the Oklahoma City Bombay for America's Camp. In our next series, we look at America's covert operation to overthrow a democratic government in Iran. The mission was led by the CIA, and with the blessing of America's top political leaders, Richard Ophatives undertook a campaign of bribes, psychological warfare, and staved riots that promised to reshape the Middle East. Hey, prime members, you can listen to American Scandal ad-free on Amazon Music, download the Amazon Music Camp today, or you can listen ad-free with Wondery Plus and Apple Podcasts. Before you go, tell us about yourself by completing a short survey at slash survey. American Scandal is hosted, edited and executed to produce by me, Lindsey Graham, for airship, audio editing by Molly Bach, music by Lindsey Graham. Our senior producer is Gabe Ribbon. Executive producers are Stephanie Jenns, Jenny Lauer Beckman, and Marsha Louis for Wondery. Hey everyone, this is Freddie Prinz Jr., and I want to invite all of you to listen to my new podcast. That was pretty scary. Join me and my co-host, John Lee Brody, as we rewatch and review every horror movie we've ever seen. Trust me, it's a lot. We'll talk about how some of the most iconic monsters were created and break down all the techniques filmmakers use to try and scare us. If you have a love for horror films, or even enjoy all Hollywood stories, this podcast is for you. So join us both as we take you through our favorite horror films. Recover everything from blockbusters like Scream to classics like Psycho to my very own I know what you did last summer, and even some films from the B-movie universe like killer clowns from outer space. John and I will bring you horror films from all over the globe. Follow that was pretty scary wherever you get your podcasts. You can listen early and add free on the Amazon Music or Wondery app.