InfluenceWatch Podcast

The podcast where we go beneath the surface to reveal the web of connected influence, money, and motivation driving the news.

About the show

The podcast where we go beneath the surface to reveal the web of connected influence, money, and motivation driving the news, sourced primarily from our website, the Capital Research Center's online encyclopedia of the donors, non-profits, and influencers driving politics.

You can watch the video version of the podcast at:

InfluenceWatch Podcast on social media


  • Episode 197: Progressive Ruins

    December 3rd, 2021  |  38 mins 39 secs
    michael shellenberger, progressives, sick cities

    In this episode: Mike Watson and CRC's Senior Investigative Researcher Ken Braun talk with Michael Shellenberger, author of "San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities" about the book and his work as President of the group Environmental Progress.

  • Episode 196: Rigged -- The Story of the 2020 Election

    November 19th, 2021  |  22 mins 18 secs
    2020 presidential election, election integrity, the federalist

    In this episode: Mike Watson chats with Mollie Hemingway, senior editor of The Federalist, about her new book examining efforts by the left to "fortify" the 2020 election.

  • Episode 195: How Teachers Unions Affect Elections

    November 12th, 2021  |  24 mins 31 secs
    leftism, municipal elections, teacher unions

    In this episode: CRC's Mike Watson interviews Max Eden, a research fellow at AEI, on the extraordinary and little-discussed power teacher unions have to affect the outcome of municipal elections.

  • Episode 194: The National School Board Association's Arrogant Overreach

    November 5th, 2021  |  13 mins 15 secs
    domestic terrorists, nsba, osba, parents

    In this episode: Mike Watson interviews Sara Clark, the Chief Legal Counsel for the Ohio School Boards Association to discuss their decision -- emulated in states across the country -- to disassociate from the National School Boards Association following the now-infamous letter to President Biden.

  • Episode 193: Planned (And Well-Funded) Climate Chaos

    October 29th, 2021  |  20 mins 59 secs
    climate chaos, fossil free, leftist funding

    In this episode: Mike Watson interviews CRC Research Assistant Parker Thayer on the little-covered "Climate Chaos Week," in which demonstrations were held for five days around Washington, DC and introduced the group Build Back Fossil Free to the world.

  • Episode 192: Election Integrity Begins With Local Politics

    October 22nd, 2021  |  25 mins 13 secs
    election integrity, local politics, unions

    In this episode: Sarah Lee interviews Mike Watson on why local politics -- and the involvement of union organizers and activists at that level -- have played a role in some of the election integrity concerns plaguing modern American politics.

  • Episode 191: The Blueprint For Buying Elections?

    October 15th, 2021  |  27 mins 29 secs
    2020 election, ctcl, zuckerberg

    In this episode: Mike talks to William Doyle, Ph.D., principal researcher at Caesar Rodney Election Research Institute in Irving, Texas, about his thesis that, based on the data, the 2020 election wasn't stolen. It was instead purchased by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Episode 190: Big Left Philanthropy

    October 11th, 2021  |  26 mins 1 sec
    big philanthropy, ford foundation, jd vance

    In this episode: The two Mikes (Watson and Hartmann) discuss the leftward direction of Big Philanthropy and whether or not it's reasonable to suggest reform that "seizes assets" of any nonprofit or charitable organization.

  • Episode 189: Eco-Right Rising

    September 30th, 2021  |  20 mins 10 secs
    conservatives, eco-right, environmentalism, green new deal

    In this episode: Is there a way to be environmentally conscious without adopting the policy positions of leftists who want to implement radical policies like the Green New Deal? Mike Watson and Hayden Ludwig discuss Hayden's new report, "Rise of the Eco-Right."

  • Episode 188: Race As A Marxist Hammer

    September 24th, 2021  |  22 mins 5 secs
    blm, heritage foundation, marxism

    In this episode: CRC Research Director Mike Watson interviews Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow Mike Gonzalez about his new book, "BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution."

  • Episode 187: The Business of Woke

    September 17th, 2021  |  16 mins 4 secs
    big business, boardrooms, scam, social justice, woke culture

    In this episode: CRC's Mike Watson interviews author and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy on the invasion of woke culture into America's boardrooms and businesses.

  • Episode 186: Is Mail-In Balloting Here to Stay?

    September 9th, 2021  |  23 mins 17 secs
    center for voter information, mail-in ballots, virginia gubernatorial election, voter participation center

    In this episode: Sarah Lee is joined by CRC Senior Investigative Researcher Hayden Ludwig to discuss a recent article he wrote on the effort by some left-leaning activist groups to promote and facilitate mail-in balloting in Virginia before the gubernatorial election in November. Is pervasive mail-in balloting destined to the be the left's favored election strategy forever more?

  • Episode 185: The Weather Underground Resurfaces

    September 2nd, 2021  |  22 mins 36 secs
    andrew cuomo, chesa boudin, pardon, soros das, weather underground

    In this episode: Mike Watson interviews a fellow CRC analyst, Ken Braun, on his research and writing related to the 1981 Brink's armored car robbery -- a subject that's just hit the news again all these years later because of its association with The Weather Underground and one Soros-funded DA named Chesa Boudin.

  • Episode 184: Liberal Myths About H.R. 4

    August 26th, 2021  |  27 mins 24 secs
    big government, elections, ken blackwell, states rights

    In this episode: With both sides of the political aisle claiming a desire to protect elections, Mike Watson gets to the heart of the debate with the always edifying Ken Blackwell. Join them as they discuss the myths liberal legislators peddle as they attempt to pass H.R. 4, legislation that would federalize elections.

  • Episode 183: The Redistributionist Right

    August 19th, 2021  |  26 mins 18 secs
    american compass, national review, oren cass, redistributionist right, wall street journal

    In this episode: Sarah Lee and Mike Watson talk about the merits (or lack thereof) in a conservative embrace of unions, a conversation that comes after Watson publicly called out American Compass (in an op-ed at National Review) for pushing a new "conservative" approach to labor unions while taking significant funding from decidedly less than conservative donors such as the Omidyar Network.

  • Episode 182: Living Orwell Instead of Reading Him

    August 12th, 2021  |  21 mins 57 secs
    censorship, colleges, first amendment, free speech, universities

    In this episode: Cherise Trump, Executive Director of Speech First, joins the Influence Watch podcast to discuss the challenges and trends related to censorship and infringement of speech on college campuses.