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 126: Vote-By-Mail Shenanigans

    July 2nd, 2020  |  7 mins 45 secs
    america, conservative, cops, coronavirus, covid-19, george floyd, left, liberal, libertarian, misconduct, police, police unions, progressive, reform, right, teachers unions, unions

    In this episode: We round up some developments related to the organizations behind the Black Lives Matter organization, teachers unions set themselves as a principal roadblock to re-opening American economic and social life, and vote-by-mail leads to shenanigans in Indiana and New Jersey.

  • Episode 125: Charter School Myths

    June 25th, 2020  |  15 mins 55 secs
    americans, black, charter school, conservative, left, liberal, libertarian, press, progressive, public school, race, racial, right, riots, school, unions

    In this episode: Nationwide demonstrations continue against perceived American racial and ethnic groups. And while left-wing activists and the metropolitan press focus on Leftist wish lists and mob-initiated iconoclasm, our guest offers a different answer to improve the material and social circumstances of Black Americans. Jim Waters, President of the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solution, offers one such solution, expanding charter schools.

  • Episode 124: Unpacking Black Lives Matter

    June 19th, 2020  |  7 mins 20 secs
    ads ban, big labor, black lives matter, blm, censor, conservative, federalist, google, left, liberal, libertarian, nbc news, police brutality, police unions, progressive, right, unions, verification

    In this episode, NBC’s factually challenged “News Verification Unit” tries to get a conservative website de-funded, Big Labor makes it harder to get fired for committing police brutality than for writing about it with less-than-impeccable left-progressive language, and we attempt to unpack the organizational structure of Black Lives Matter.

  • Episode 123: Police Unions Blocking Reform

    June 12th, 2020  |  15 mins 29 secs
    america, california policy center, conservative, cops, george floyd, left, liberal, libertarian, misconduct, police, police unions, progressive, reform, right, unarmed black man, will swain

    In this episode: Since the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in police custody, the country has been rocked by debates and demonstrations over police misconduct. And while radicals on the far-left demand the defunding or abolition of commentators across the ideological spectrum have noticed the problem of police unions, which often stand in opposition to accountability for the bad apples said to infest America’s police departments. Today, we are joined by Will Swain, President of the California Policy Center, to discuss those police unions and the prospects of reform.

  • Episode 122: Protesting, Rioting, and Looting

    June 5th, 2020  |  9 mins 36 secs
    2020, abuse, brutality, conservative, coronavirus, george floyd, left, liberal, libertarian, looting, may, police, politics, progressive, protesting, radical, reform, right, rioting, unions, violence

    In this episode, we’ll continue to cover the ongoing protesting, rioting, and looting and talk about how – although it may feel like we’re in unchartered territory – the country has actually seen this kind of upheaval before. And we’ll tell you a little bit about the primary groups involved in some of the violence.
    We’ll also discuss the blatant hypocrisy of journalists and legislators encouraging mass protests in the interest of social justice after spending months telling Americans they must shut down their lives and livelihoods for fear of uncontrollable outbreaks of the coronavirus.
    Finally, we’ll talk about the death of George Floyd and how police reform – and even defunding police as some more radical elements have called for – will not solve the problem of abusive police behavior, but addressing the hold unions have on police departments might.

  • Episode 121: Margaret Sanger: Origins of Birth Control

    May 29th, 2020  |  18 mins 9 secs
    birth control, conservative, history, left, liberal, libertarian, margaret sanger, nazi party, overpopulation, planned parenthood, politics, progressive, right, soviet russia, ussr, world war ii, wwii

    In this episode, we interview Capital Research Center’s own investigative researcher Hayden Ludwig on his five-part series on Margaret Sanger and her outsized influence on the modern left.

  • Episode 120: Solar and Wind Energy Myths Destroyed

    May 21st, 2020  |  9 mins 55 secs
    conservative, dark money, democrat, environment, filmmaker, green, left, liberal, libertarian, michael moore, planet of the humans, progressive, propaganda, republican, right, solar, super pacs, turbines, wind

    In this episode, we’ll cover just how much Democrats love the things they profess to hate as we reveal they’ve outspent Republicans in the 2020 election cycle using “dark money” to pay for political ads; and discuss their recent embrace and affection for the devil they know, Super PACS. Next, we’ll revisit the vote-by-mail furor and tell you just what states like Michigan and Pennsylvania are willing to do to make sure voters won’t need to cast an in-person vote in the 2020 election cycle thereby risking that some votes will never counted at all. And finally, we’ll go over filmmaker Michael Moore’s surprising apostasy on the green energy issue in his new documentary, “Planet of the Humans,” a film in which the grandfather of liberal propaganda proves wind turbines and solar arrays aren’t up to the task of powering our current industrial civilization.

  • Episode 119: COVID-19 Relief Mistakes

    May 14th, 2020  |  7 mins 40 secs
    2020, big labor, california, congress, conservative, coronavirus, covid-19, election, heroes act, left, liberal, libertarian, nlra, politics, progressive, right, union, vote by mail, vote-by-mail

    In this episode: As the COVID-19 death rate continues to decline in the U.S., some states are beginning the process of cautiously re-opening for business. This has not stopped other states like California from embracing a complete vote-by-mail scheme in preparation for an absentee election in the Fall. Nor has it stopped federal Democratic legislators from attempting to mandate a vote-by-mail system nationwide by attempting to include funding for that scheme in their preferred iteration of the next COVID-19 relief bill, which they’ve named the HEROES Act. Democratic leaders, in pushing for the HEROES Act, are essentially seeking to incentivize states to remain closed by funding them in the coming weeks, if not months, and using the pandemic as justification. And finally, we’ll discuss how Big Union is apparently trying to shut down levity itself by accusing a prominent conservative publisher of violating provisions of the National Labor Relations Act because he told a joke on Twitter.

  • Episode 118: 1619 Project’s Fake History

    May 8th, 2020  |  14 mins 8 secs
    1619 project, commentary, conservative, history, left, liberal, libertarian, new york times, nikole hannah-jones, politics, progressive, pulitzer prize, right, slavery, united states

    Last week, the Pulitzer Prizes announced that the prize for Commentary was awarded to Nicole Hannah-Jones, the architect of the New York Times’s highly controversial and factually suspect “1619 Project,” a nominally historical exercise to re-center the origins of the United States on the first importation of enslaved Africans to Virginia. Today, I’m joined by my Capital Research Center colleague Ken Braun, who wrote the Influence Watch profile on the 1619 Project to discuss the project itself, the criticisms of prominent—in some cases, Pulitzer-Prize-winning—historians of the Project, and the goals of the Project’s institutional supporters.

  • Episode 117: The Left Wants the Covid Economy

    April 30th, 2020  |  12 mins 48 secs
    coronavirus, covid-19, economics, energy, government, green new deal, institute for energy research, left, libertarian, politics, progressive, research, right, socialist, stay at home, unemployment

    You’ve heard of the Green New Deal, that radical, socialist makeover of the American economy proposed by the hardline wing of the environmentalist movement. More than a few people—including this podcast, last week—have noted that the economy envisioned by the Green New Dealers resembles the economy of…right now, in the middle of government-ordered shutdowns of all forms of normal human interaction that have put over 30 million people into the unemployment lines. Joining us to discuss that truth is Tom Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research.

  • Episode 116: Environmentalists Praise Economic Devastation

    April 24th, 2020  |  7 mins 23 secs
    big labor, conservative, coronavirus, covid-19, crisis, government worker union, government workers, green new deal, left, liberal, libertarian, pandemic, progressive, right, states, union, unions, wuhan virus

    In this episode, supporters of the Green New Deal praise the destitution inflicted by the government response to the pandemic coronavirus, government worker unions and state-government-interest advocates try to use the crisis to shore up already-broken state finances, and we debunk a supposed “prudential conservative case” for the power of Big Labor.

  • Episode 115: George Soros: In His Own Words

    April 17th, 2020  |  10 mins 30 secs
    billionaire, economics, george soros, left, libertarian, open society, open society foundation, philosophy, politics, progressive, right

    In this episode: You’ve undoubtedly heard the name George Soros, but what do you actually know about the man and his philosophy? Today, I’m joined by my Capital Research Center colleague Shane Devine, who read and reviewed the left-progressive billionaire’s philosophical and political testament, In Defense of Open Society.

  • Episode 114: The Radical Left’s Government Censoring Scheme

    April 9th, 2020  |  8 mins 22 secs
    big labor, censorship, congress, coronavirus, covid-19, government, labor, left, pandemic, right, uaw, union, united auto workers, wuhan virus

    In this episode, a radical-left pressure group calls for the government to censor the government, labor union activists allege shenanigans in the succession to head the United Auto Workers amid its ongoing corruption scandal, and Big Labor and its congressional allies take aim at one of the few things making the ongoing pandemic lockdowns tolerable: Independent contracting work.

  • Episode 113: Playing Pandemic Politics

    April 3rd, 2020  |  7 mins 16 secs
    congress, conservative, coronavirus, embezzlement, fraud, gig economy, left, liberal, libertarian, progressive, right, trump, unions

    In this episode, we discuss the ways in which progressive legislators have gone out of their way to not let the coronavirus crisis go to waste, first by going on a wild spending spree, purchasing political ads knocking the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic. But also by inserting legislative wish-list items into the coronavirus relief bills, efforts that could pave the way for voter fraud while potentially destroying the gig economy. And finally, we’ll reveal exactly why blindly supporting unions can have disastrous consequences for union members as we tell you about one union boss who may have embezzled as much as 1 million dollars from a first-responders pension fund.

  • Episode 112: Sen. Schumer Threatens Supreme Court Justices

    March 5th, 2020  |  7 mins 45 secs
    abortion, cenk uygur, chuck schumer, collective bargaining, conservative, left, liberal, libertarian, principles, right, scotus, supreme court, threats, young turks

    In this episode: SCOTUS considers an abortion case that has the backing of some strange bedfellows, and that has caused the Senate minority leader to issue what could only be called a threat; principled conservatives are revealed to be less principled and less conservative than they claim; and union fan Cenk Uygur loves collective bargaining, except when it comes to his own staff at the Young Turks News show.

  • Episode 111: Fighting California's Union "Gag Rule"

    February 27th, 2020  |  6 mins 32 secs
    9th circuit court of appeals, abortion, big labor, citizens united, conservative, department of labor, fast-food, gag rule, janus, left. right, liberal, libertarian, nlrb, obama, obama administration, seiu, trump, trump administration, unions

    In this episode, the National Labor Relations Board hands a major setback to the SEIU’s $180 million corporate campaign to unionize restaurants, local officials and free-market groups push back against California’s “gag rule” against discussing government workers’ Janus rights, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the Trump administration’s rule withholding federal family planning funds from organizations that perform or refer for abortions.