The Experts

Interviews with experts and discussions of propaganda techniques, disinformation, and conspiracy theories.


May 16, 2022

The Polarized States of America

Dr. Peter Coleman discusses the nation's progression to "toxic polarization" and how we can begin to break the cycle.

Producer: Serena Balani
Published: May 16, 2022


May 15, 2022

The Psychology of Conspiracy Beliefs

Shauna Bowes discusses research on the psychological factors and personality traits behind conspiratorial beliefs.

Producer: Grace Lovins and Michael Gordon
Published: May 15, 2022


May 09, 2022

The Origins of American Propaganda

Author, John Maxwell Hamilton discusses the complicated legacy of the Committee for Public Information.

Producer: Elena Walsh Ferré and Grace Lovins
Published: May 09, 2022


April 29, 2022

Propaganda as the Medium of Government

Author, Nicholas O'Shaughnessy discusses how the Nazis pursued propaganda as the totality of government.

Producer: Elena Walsh Ferré and Grace Lovins
Published: April 29, 2022


March 19, 2022

Disinformation is not Just Fake News

Dr. Larissa Doroshenko details how "reflexive control" forms the framework of Russian disinformation.

Producer: Johannah James and Michael Gordon
Published: March 19, 2022


March 01, 2022

Overcoming Polarization

Nolan Higdon and Mickey Huff discuss the breakdown in civil discourse and how to re-engage with those across the political divide.

Producer: Johannah James
Published: March 01, 2022


February 19, 2022

Democratizing Character Assassination

Dr. Jennifer Keohane discusses how social media has democratized character assassination attacks.

Producer: Blaire Hobbs
Published: February 19, 2022


February 11, 2022

Classifying Dog Whistles

Author, Ian Olasov, discusses how classifications can be used to help better detect and verify dog whistles.

Producer: Johannah James
Published: February 11, 2022


January 27, 2022

Propaganda Precedes State Violence

Dr. Josephine Lukito discusses how state governments use propaganda and disinformation to lay the groundwork for state violence.

Producer: Blaire Hobbs
Published: January 27, 2022


January 21, 2022

The Shift from Journalism to Propaganda

Dr. Sarah Oates discusses the fundamental shift in U.S. media from journalism to propaganda.

Producer: Stephanie McVicker
Published: January 21, 2022


January 21, 2022

Building Resilience to Disinformation

Dr. Peter Warren Singer details the new rules that govern social media weaponization and how average citizens can avoid becoming part of the problem.

Producer: Michael Childers
Published: January 21, 2022


January 06, 2022

The Virality of Disinformation on Social Media

Dr. Filippo Menczer explains how the natural structure and dynamics of social media inevitably leads to echo chambers.

Producer: David Madden
Published: January 06, 2022


December 02, 2021

The Evolution of Character Assassination

Dr. Sergei Samoilenko discusses ad hominem attacks and how character assassination is evolving with technology.

Producer: Michael Gordon
Published: December 02, 2021


November 06, 2021

The Challenge of False Narratives

Paulina Alvarado-Goldman discusses the destabilizing effects of widespread false narratives.

Producer: Michael Childers
Published: November 06, 2021


June 15, 2021

The Makings of a Strongman

Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat details the common playbook populist strongmen use to rise to and hold on to power.

Producer: Jahnavi Akella and Michael Gordon
Published: June 15, 2021


June 10, 2021

Combating Polarization and Defending Truth

Jonathan Rauch discusses overcoming polarization and the critical role norms and institutions play in defending truth.

Producer: Jahnavi Akella and Michael Gordon
Published: June 10, 2021


May 02, 2021

The Unique Danger of Conspiracy Theories

Dr. Adams Enders discusses the unique challenges conspiracy theories pose and why they are so hard to dislodge once they take hold.

Producer: Matthew Werman
Published: May 02, 2021


April 14, 2021

Justifiable Whataboutisms?

Dr. Axel Barcelo explores when a whataboutism might be more than just a form of fallacious argumentation.

Producer: Matthew Werman
Published: April 14, 2021


April 14, 2021

The Need for Critical Media Literacy

Dr. Jeff Share talks about the urgency for critical media literacy in a rapidly evolving media landscape.

Producer: Stephanie McVicker
Published: April 14, 2021


April 08, 2021

Sowing Discord through Trolling

Dr. Josephine Lukito discusses how Russian trolls, posing as Americans online, sow discord and heighten U.S. political and racial divisions.

Producer: Stephanie McVicker
Published: April 08, 2021


March 19, 2021

The Firehose of Falsehood Effect

Dr. Christopher Paul discusses going up against the "firehose of falsehood" and strategies to counter its formidable impact.

Producer: Stephanie McVicker
Published: March 19, 2021


March 19, 2021

The "Umbrella Protection" of Inoculation

Dr. Bobi Ivanov discusses the endurance and virality of inoculation messaging and its role in building "umbrella protection."

Producer: Stephanie McVicker
Published: March 19, 2021


March 03, 2021

Buying into Conspiracy Theories

Dr. Dannagal Young discusses the emotional traits those buying into conspiracy theories have in common and what those close to them can do about it.

Producer: Stephanie McVicker
Published: March 03, 2021


January 21, 2021

Deconstructing Straw Men

Dr. Louis de Sassure discusses the social mechanics of straw men and why they can be effective, even when exposed.

Producer: Michael Gordon and Jahnavi Akella
Published: January 21, 2021


January 11, 2021

How Intuition Fuels Conspiracy

Dr. Eric Oliver explains how intuitionism and feelings of uncertainty fuel conspiracy theories and intensify political polarization.

Producer: Michael Gordon
Published: January 11, 2021


December 28, 2020

Building Resistance through Inoculation

Dr. John Banas discusses how attitudes and beliefs can be protected against persuasion through inoculation.

Producer: Michael Gordon
Published: December 28, 2020


November 11, 2020

Why Conspiracy Theories Stick

Dr. John Cook discusses the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking and how conspiracy theories are immune to evidence.

Producer: Lauren Shields
Published: November 11, 2020


October 02, 2020

How Repetition & Familiarity Influence Truth

Dr. Tom Stafford explores the relationship between the illusory truth and mere exposure effects and how each influences what we perceive as true.

Producer: Lauren Shields
Published: October 02, 2020


September 17, 2020

The Origins of Scapegoating

Dr. Alexander Douglas talks about the origins of scapegoating and the social and political function it serves.

Producer: Lauren Shields
Published: September 17, 2020


September 16, 2020

Using Science to Muddy the Waters

Dr. Cailin O'Connor explains how propagandists "fight science with science" to muddy the waters and raise doubt.

Producer: Lauren Shields
Published: September 16, 2020


August 29, 2020

Introducing Media Literacy

Fiona Young Brown discusses the importance of media literacy education for both young and old.

Producer: Lauren Shields
Published: August 29, 2020


August 18, 2020

Weaponizing Fake News

Dr. Nolan Higdon discusses hyper-partisanship, sensationalism in the media, and the weaponizing of "fake news."

Producer: Lauren Shields and Samy Amanatullah
Published: August 18, 2020


December 17, 2019

The Collective Toll of Fake News

Dr. Gordon Pennycook discusses the perils of lazy thinking and the collective toll fake news takes on our ability to decipher truth.

Producer: Samy Amanatullah
Published: December 17, 2019