Power Corrupts

By Brian Klaas

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Description

Does power corrupt? Absolutely. This is the podcast about the hidden—and often nefarious—forces that shape our world. Election rigging. Smuggling. Narcopolitics. Ransom. Conspiracy Theories. North Korean bank heists. Cults. Drug Lords. Voodoo. Money laundering. Assassinations. Unhinged conspiracy theories. Unbelievable stories. Stitched together with the help of world-leading experts. Created and narrated by Dr. Brian Klaas, a political scientist and columnist for The Washington Post.

Episode Date
Ransom
51:52
What's it like to be held by Somali pirates for 977 days? Or to meet your Dad for the first time after he's been held in a basement in Beirut for nearly 7 years? Are you more likely to be killed as a hostage if you're American than if you're French? And how does economic game theory help us answer the question: what is the price of your freedom?

 

 

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Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.
May 23, 2019
Disinformation and Deep Fakes
53:25
Disinformation is a powerful weapon. It forces your enemy to inflict damage upon themselves based upon lies that you've deliberately spread. How did a homeless man's corpse help win World War II? How does reality television function in Russia, given that the media is so tightly controlled? And what happens when fake video gets so good that we can't tell the difference between fiction and reality? 
 

 

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Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.

 

May 16, 2019
Voodoo, Vampires, and General Butt Naked
59:22
Why did a West African rebel leader send his troops into battle completely naked, protected only by talismans? How did threats of voodoo and invisible zombies stave off a US invasion of Haiti? And why was a journalist nearly killed when local villagers mistakenly thought he was a vampire? In this episode, we explore the wild and weird world of the politics of magic and witchcraft.

 

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Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer and sound editor is George McDonagh.

 

May 09, 2019
Narcopolitics
58:31

How have drugs been used in warfare? Why does the cocaine in London nightclubs pass through a dictatorship in West Africa? Why did British soldiers get high on hallucinogens and try to talk to birds? How does heroin bought in the West create a market for child brides? And, should we legalize some drugs? 

 
 
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Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer is George McDonagh. Theme music is by Scott Holmes, and additional music by Lee Rosevere, John Bartman, and Kevin McLeod.

 

May 01, 2019
Conspiracy Theories
54:45
Why do some people believe unhinged conspiracy theories? How are they affecting our politics? How did insane theories—like QAnon—convert millions of people? Did John Kerry split a hurricane in half with a laser beam from Antarctica? What's really lurking beneath the Denver airport? And what can we do about these unhinged beliefs, given that America now has a Conspiracy-Theorist-in-Chief?
 
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Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer is George McDonagh. Alex Portfelix is the producer and sound editor. Theme music is by Scott Holmes.

May 01, 2019
How to Rig an Election
49:33
How do you rig an election—and get away with it? Why did a cult try to poison an entire county to win a local election? And what about using disappearing ink, or threatening arson, or name doubles? This episode shows how the amateurs rig elections — with hilarious mix-ups and puréed beavers — and how the pros get away with it.
 
 
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Power Corrupts is written and narrated by Brian Klaas. The executive producer is George McDonagh. Alex Portfelix is the producer and sound editor. Theme music is by Scott Holmes.

News clips in this episode came from PBS, KKGW in Portland, Euronews, and CBS News.

May 01, 2019
Power Corrupts: Launching May 2
02:23

Does power corrupt? Absolutely. This is the podcast about the hidden—and often nefarious—forces that shape our world. Election rigging. Smuggling. Narcopolitics. Ransom. Conspiracy Theories. North Korean bank heists. Cults. Drug Lords. Voodoo. Money laundering. Assassinations. Unhinged conspiracy theories. Unbelievable stories. Hear the trailer now and subscribe. The show launches on May 2 2019.

Mar 24, 2019