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 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.

  • Episode 181: Easy To Vote, Hard To Cheat

    August 5th, 2021  |  27 mins 48 secs
    election integrity, election reform, honest elections

    In this episode: Mike Watson talks with Jason Snead, executive director of the Honest Elections Project, about how the country can get back to having faith in elections again.

  • Episode 180: Episode 180: Critical of Critical Race Theory

    July 30th, 2021  |  28 mins 53 secs
    critical race theory, education, leftism, parents defending education

    In this episode: Parents of all political persuasions have begun to push back against the creeping curriculum known as Critical Race Theory by taking matters -- and their children's education -- into their own hands. Mike Watson interviews Parents Defending Education's Erika Sanzi on this new educational reality.

  • Episode 179: Social Justice Unionism

    July 22nd, 2021  |  25 mins 46 secs

    In this episode: Can unions continue to claim they advocate for the worker when they embrace social justice advocacy that has little or nothing to do with their original mandate? CRC's Research Director Mike Watson tries to answer this question.

  • Episode 178: Chaos in Cuba (with guest John Suarez)

    July 16th, 2021  |  32 mins 28 secs
    blm, castro, communism, conservative, cuba, democrat, demonstrations, freedom, john suarez, left, liberal, libertarian, liberty, politics, progressive, protests, republican, right, riot, society

    In this episode: Since last Sunday, Cubans have publicly demonstrated against the Communist regime that has inflicted tyranny on their homeland for over sixty years. Joining us to discuss the background behind the demonstrations and the prospects for a freer Cuba is John Suarez, the executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba.

  • Episode 177: Teachers Unions Running Wild (with guest Alleigh Marre)

    July 9th, 2021  |  13 mins 36 secs
    alleigh marre, community, critical race theory, critical theory, crt, education, free to learn coalition, freedom, k-12, left, parents, politics, pta, right, school, society, teachers, unions

    In this episode: Our regular podcast host, CRC’s Research Director Mike Watson, is on vacation so CRC's Director of Communications and External Relations Sarah Lee is filling in. We are thrilled to welcome a Alleigh Marre to talk about a subject that is everywhere in the news right now and one of great importance to parents and school children. Alleigh Marre leads the Free to Learn Coalition, a group that describes itself as a nonpartisan organization established to support parents, caregivers, and community organizations in their advocacy for quality K-12 education. Specifically, the coalition wants to make classrooms safe enough again that students are: Free to ask questions, Free to develop individual thoughts and opinions, Free to think critically of ideas and concepts and, Free to achieve.

  • Episode 176: Ranked Choice Voting in NYC (with guest Michael Hendrix)

    July 2nd, 2021  |  15 mins 42 secs
    conservative, culture, elections, left, liberal, libertarian, manhattan institute, mayor, nyc, politics, progressive, ranked choice voting, right, society

    In this episode: What do pizza toppings, test data, and waiting have to do with becoming Mayor of New York City? Thanks to the city’s new, confusing, and poorly administered “ranked choice voting” system, quite a lot. While New Yorkers voted last week on their party nominees for Mayor, on the Democratic side they still don’t know who won over a week later. Joining us to discuss the car-crash outcome in NYC is Michael Hendrix, director of state and local policy for the Manhattan Institute.

  • Episode 175: Orwellian Fact Checkers (with guest Chris Bedford)

    June 25th, 2021  |  23 mins 14 secs
    aspen institute, big tech, chris bedford, conservative, culture, disinformation, left, liberal, libertarian, ministry of truth, orwell, politics, progressive, right, society, tech giants, the federalist, woke

    In this episode: It’s a name worthy of Orwell: The “Committee on Information Disorder,” a project of the posh and well-connected Aspen Institute designed to identify “disinformation” for Big Corporations and Big Government to suppress. A notionally private-sector, woke-progressive Ministry of Truth, as it were. Joining us to discuss this effort to control the political discourse is Chris Bedford, senior editor of The Federalist.

  • Episode 174: The History of Big Tech Censorship

    June 18th, 2021  |  22 mins 18 secs
    amazon, apple, big tech, censorship, communication, conservative, culture, facebook, google, left, liberal, netflix, politics, right, social media, tech, twitter

    In this episode: “Big Tech”—the major social media and online communications companies like Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google—FAANG, for short. Especially since Facebook and Twitter banned the then-still-sitting President Donald Trump from their services after the riot at the U.S. Capitol in January, conservatives have expressed increasing alarm at the power of Big Tech to remove voices not in alignment with Current Year liberalism from the internet. Joining us to discuss the history of Big Tech censorship and the prospects for reform is James Bowers, managing director of Challenge Censorship.

  • Episode 173: The State of Redistricting

    June 11th, 2021  |  21 mins 58 secs
    conservative, culture, gerrymandering, left, liberal, libertarian, politics, progressive, redistricting, right

    In this episode: Our regular podcast host, CRC’s Research Director Mike Watson, joins the show to discuss his latest report on redistricting, a four-part series that lives on the CRC website entitled, “The State of Redistricting 2022.” We take a look at the myths, history, and lies around “gerrymandering.”

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