Our Podcasts

Evergreen and Emergent Risk International Podcasts

How Do You Know What’s True?

That’s the premise behind “Disinformation” – with award-winning Evergreen host Paul Brandus. Get ready for amazing stories – war, espionage, corruption, elections, and assorted trickery showing how false information is turning our world inside out – and what we can do about it. A co-production of Evergreen and Emergent Risk International.

The United States of America vs. Social Media

Aug 8, 2023 | S:2 E:4

“What is the line where your ability to say what you want stops and your ability to make up things that harm people starts?”

In Elon Musk’s recent interview with the BBC, he discussed free speech and his vision for the platform to serve as a “digital town square.” However, the challenge arises when determining what constitutes misinformation in a divided society where basic facts are contested. The episode explores the concept of disinformation and the concerns surrounding its potential resurgence on Twitter under Musk’s ownership as well as on other social media platforms. Join host Paul Brandus as he delves into the complex issue of disinformation in the digital age.

Navigating the Age of Disinformation

Jul 25, 2023 | S:2 E:3

In this episode of “Disinformation,” host Paul Brandus and analyst Meredith Wilson explore the overwhelming amount of information that bombards us each day. Dr. Daniel Levitin, a cognitive psychologist and author, explains that we are faced with five times more information than ever before, making it difficult to discern what is true and what is not. The rise of social media and tribalism further complicates this issue, as we tend to trust and align with like-minded individuals. Bret Schafer and Peter Benzoni of the Alliance for Securing Democracy discuss countermeasures in NATO and the Marshall Plan.

Website Spoofing, URL Hijacking and Other Russian Tricks

Jul 4, 2023 | S:2 E:2

The rebellion in Russia has caused Moscow to complain about – ironically – disinformation. But the Russians continue to practice this insidious craft themselves in clever ways, including so-called “website spoofing,” in which fake websites are created to look like the real thing. Mereddith Wilson and Theo Gioe of Emergent Risk International, along with Beatriz Saab of Berlin-based Democracy Reporting International, share their insights.

The Future of Media Literacy: How to Combat Disinformation in the Age of AI

Jun 20, 2023 | S:2 E:1

In season two of the Disinformation podcast, Paul Brandus discusses the emergence of avatars and false media outlets created by artificial intelligence, blurring the lines between fact and fiction; truth and untruth. He and Meredith Wilson, CEO of Emergent Risk International, discuss how the rapid growth of AI accelerates the possibility of false narratives spreading faster than ever before, and how these false narratives are forms of disinformation. Paul also interviews Jack Stubbs, VP of Intelligence at Graphika, who discusses the discovery of a fake media outlet called Wolf News, which is part of a Chinese state-aligned political influence operation.

Retrospective – S1E12

Jun 6, 2023 | S:1 E:18

Today, we’re taking time to recap some of our past reporting. Please enjoy this retrospective from our Season 1 episode “News Deserts”.

Retrospective – S1E3

May 15, 2023

A look back at some material from our first season – highlighting the growing dangers of disinformation, but also some ideas on how, perhaps, it can be thwarted. Appearing: Meredith Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Emergent Risk International, and Brady Roberts, ERI’s Chief Operating Officer.

Ep 16: The Pandemic – Lessons Learned

May 2, 2023 | S:1 E:16

The COVID-19 pandemic has faded, but health experts warm that future pandemics could occur. In terms of disinformation, what lessons have we learned from the past that can be applied to the future? Featuring Center for Countering Digital Hate CEO Imran Ahmed, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, and CEO of Emergent Risk International Meredith Wilson.

Ep 15: Hearts and Minds in Africa – Russia’s International Disinformation Campaign

Apr 17, 2023 | S:1 E:15

Russia may be losing the public opinion battle in North America and Europe, but it has plenty of support elsewhere. Featuring Thea Gioe, Director of Training, Emergent Risk International; Meredith Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, Emergent Risk International.

Ep 14: Fake Bombs & Fake Traffic Reports

Apr 5, 2023 | S:1 E:14

Disinformation — like reports of a White House bomb blast — can move billions of dollars on Wall Street. Or it can snarl your morning commute. And don’t think you’re immune to such trickery. Featuring Meredith Wilson, CEO of Emergent Risk International, Jimmy Peng, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the National University of Singapore, and Jorie Craig, Head of Digital Integrity for the Institute of Strategic Dialogue.

Ep 13: Fighting Back – Part One

Mar 21, 2023 | S:1 E:13

How to stamp out—or at least dilute—the power and danger posed by disinformation? In this multi-part series, we’ll go over the numerous ideas on the subject. Featuring Clare Melford, Chief Executive Officer of Global Disinformation Index, Megan Marelli, Editorial Director for Meedan, and Meredith Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, Emergent Risk International

Ep 12: News Deserts

Mar 7, 2023 | S:1 E:12

The disappearance of local newspapers around the United States over the past 20 years has created so-called “news deserts” – information vacuums that are being filled by peddlers of demagoguery and disinformation. Featuring the journalist who coined the phrase “pink slime” journalism Ryan Zickgraf , former Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Penny Muse Abernathy, and Meredith Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Emergent Risk International.

Ep 11: Putin’s War: Ukraine, 1 Year Later

Feb 21, 2023 | S:1 E:11

His invasion of Ukraine one year ago floundered from the very beginning. But what about Putin’s disinformation efforts? In some parts of the world, his messages appears to have gained – to some degree – traction.

Special thanks to CIA Veteran John Sipher, former Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research Ellen McCarthy, special correspondent on Soviet affairs of The Wall Street Journal David Satter, and to Meredith Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Emergent Risk International.

Ep 10: Artificial Intelligence

Feb 7, 2023 | S:1 E:10

The rise of generative technologies like OpenAI’s ChatGPT offer a tantalizing – and perhaps ominous – look at information that can be easily curated and packaged into distributable false narratives. Even more powerful iterations of AI are just around the corner. Special thanks to Dr. Bruce Schneier, Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society; Dr. David Yoffie, Professor of International Business Administration at Harvard Business School; Meredith Wilson, chief executive officer, Emergent Risk International.

Ep 9: The Pandemic

Jan 24, 2023 | S:1 E:9

Many Americans—influenced by political leaders and even some health providers—chose to downplay or ignore science-based recommendations from infectious-disease experts to get vaccinated, wear masks, and practice physical distancing. At the same time, unproven, even “dangerous anti-science beliefs and behaviors” spread, gaining traction with some. As a result, notes Scientific American, “more people have died in the U.S. from COVID-19 than in any other country, and our nation has one of the highest per capita death rates in the world.”

Ep 8: No Delete Button

Jan 5, 2023 | S:1 E:8

On the second anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, we look at the government’s need to recalibrate its approach to domestic terrorism. But a revamping of basic American institutions is needed as well – featuring Dr. David Gioe, Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Director of Studies for the Cambridge Security Initiative and co-convener of its International Security and Intelligence program.

Ep 7: A House Divided

Dec 15, 2022 | S:1 E:7

Americans see each other in increasingly tribalistic terms — one side or the other, and the nation seems, at times, a tinderbox for violence. Adversaries (or perhaps enemies) like Russia, China and others are only too happy to pile on. Featuring John Cohen, former acting under secretary for intelligence and the counterterrorism coordinator, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Ep 6: Lights and Wires In A Box

Nov 29, 2022 | S:1 E:6

We were told decades ago of television’s immense power to do good—or to rip at the fabric of our democracy. Thanks to disinformation, the same holds true today for the internet and social media.
Special thanks to analyst Meredith Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Emergent Risk International, Counter-terrorism expert John Cohen, and former CIA officer Cindy Otis, author of “True or False.”

Ep 5: Leon Panetta: Disinformation in the Modern World

Nov 10, 2022 | S:1 E:5

One of just three people in American history to be both Secretary of Defense and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency – Leon Panetta shares his views on Russia, Vladimir Putin, China, disinformation, and his worries for the survival of the United States in an age of division and lies. Analyst Meredith Wilson also weighs in.

Ep 4: The Modern Election

Oct 27, 2022 | S:1 E:4

What lessons have social media firms learned from the 2020 election — and what are they doing as the 2022 midterm election looms? Analyst Meredith Wilson – the chief executive officer of Emergent Risk International – and guest Katie Harbath, a technology executive, chief executive officer of Anchor Change and former director of public policy at Facebook, weigh in.

Ep 3: Anyone Can Do It

Oct 13, 2022 | S:1 E:3

The immense power and reach of social media and the internet can act as accelerants for disinformation. Paul’s guests include Meredith Wilson, chief executive officer of Emergent Risk International and ERI’s Brady Roberts.

Ep 2: Disinformation in the Cold War

Sep 30, 2022 | S:1 E:2

A top CIA official and others explore the long struggle between America and the Soviet Union, and the role disinformation played.

Ep 1: Disinformation & World War II

Sep 15, 2022 | S:1 E:1
Disinformation played a huge role in winning the greatest conflict of the second World War. Host Paul Brandus explores the guille behind D-Day, Midway, and other key battles and moments that led to Allied success in WWII.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter to receive our monthly intelligence briefing, infographics, and updates on the latest events. (And we promise we don’t do spam).