It has been nine months since the attack on Capitol Hill, and we still have no real responsibility. Representative Adam Schiff and the rest of the January 6 House select committee are issuing subpoenas to key witnesses, including Steve Bannon, Dan Scavino and two organizers of the “Stop the Steal” rally. “No one is off the table,” says Schiff.
But in a political ecosystem that is defined in part by the spread of disinformation and polarization on platforms like Facebook and the power of right-wing media like Fox News and One America News Network, to what extent a congressional inquiry will do- does it really get things done for a democracy in danger? Especially when the effort – billed as bipartisan – has only two Republican members?
[You can listen to this episode of “Sway” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]
In this conversation, Kara Swisher emphasizes the ability of the January 6 committee to effect change and its efforts to subpoena key witnesses. As Swisher points out, “issuing subpoenas is one thing, but getting people to comply is another” – and it proves more difficult as Donald Trump advises his allies to challenge the committee. They also discuss Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, how Schiff wished Mark Zuckerberg had answered questions about the platform’s role in amplifying polarization and whether Trump would run in 2024. And Schiff thinks about the former president’s nicknames for him.
(A full transcript of the episode will be available at noon on the Times website.)
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“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Matt Kwong, Daphne Chen and Caitlin O’Keefe, and edited by Nayeema Raza; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair, Michelle Harris and Kristin Lin; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing of Carole Sabouraud and Sonia Herrero; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Mahima Chablani.