Bedrock, USA

By iHeartPodcasts and Bloomberg CityLab

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Category: Documentary

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Description

Bedrock, USA is a podcast about political extremism, small town life and the fight for democracy, hosted by Laura Bliss, a reporter at Bloomberg CityLab. 

In a super-divided, pandemic-era America awash in conspiracies and misinformation, it’s about a group of people who didn’t like what they saw happening in their local governments, and decided to get involved - whether that meant holding a rally, running for office, recalling an official or storming their government with bullhorns and threats. 

Their stories show how far-right ideologies enter into local politics - sometimes quietly, other times at full volume - and what it takes for regular people to fight back. They show the beauty as well as the risks, struggles and pitfalls of being an active participant in democracy today. And together they create a human-level portrait of a democracy that is fracturing, and the role that extremist ideologies are playing. (And they’re not going away.)

Where do their stories point us as a country? 


Episode Date
Not In My Backyard
2073

We leave Shasta for now. We will come back in a later episode to find out the election results. Meanwhile, we return to Sequim, where Mayor Armacost reveals his love of QAnon on live radio and later forces his city manager Charlie Bush to resign, in what some residents see as an act of troubling partisan bias. It turns out the beef between Armacost and Bush has roots in a controversial proposal to build an opioid addiction treatment clinic in the heart of Sequim. We find out why that project divided the town and how that division sowed the seeds for Bush’s ouster.  

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Aug 17, 2022
Winner Takes All
2438

The recall succeeds in removing one county supervisor, Leonard Moty. But it’s enough to gain the majority on the county board of supervisors. What do far-right leaders plan to do with their newfound power? One thing is clear: Top officials from across the county government leave in a mass exodus, as threats intensify. Far-right activists mount another campaign – this time for more elected county positions: The sheriff, the registrar of voters, school superintendent. What happens to Shasta as they try to take over?

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Aug 10, 2022
The Vengeful Billionaire
2189

The Shasta County recall campaign gets a boost from a vengeful out-of-state billionaire named Reverge Anselmo, who fought with the county years before. The campaign struggles to get off the ground. Meanwhile, Doni Chamberlain, a local journalist, accuses the campaign of spreading misinformation and having no plan to govern. She worries, if the campaign succeeds, the consequences will be dire. 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Aug 03, 2022
Recall the Supervisors
2426

We meet Mary Rickert, a Republican county supervisor in Shasta County who believes that far-right activists used the pandemic as a “weapon” to remake government. Their plan: to recall three Republican county supervisors, including her. We also meet Jeremy Edwardson, the producer of the pro-recall docuseries, “Red White and Blueprint,” who wants to spread the word. But do recall organizers have enough money to succeed?

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 27, 2022
A Tale of Two Cities
1809

In "Bedrock, USA" Bloomberg CityLab investigates how the far right is making inroads into local government, and profiles the people fighting back. Reporter Laura Bliss introduces us to Sequim, Washington and Shasta County, California.

In Sequim, the QAnon-boosting Mayor William Armacost forces his city manager to resign, just days after the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol shocking residents. Meanwhile in Shasta County, California, right-wing activists accuse local leaders of too many rules around the Covid-19 pandemic. One of them threatens “blood on the streets.” But the county had barely enforced Covid mandates at all. So why are people so angry?

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 20, 2022
Introducing: Bedrock, USA
108

Bedrock, USA is a podcast about political extremism, small town life and the fight for democracy, hosted by Laura Bliss, a reporter at Bloomberg CityLab. 

In a super-divided, pandemic-era America awash in conspiracies and misinformation, it’s about a group of people who didn’t like what they saw happening in their local governments, and decided to get involved - whether that meant holding a rally, running for office, recalling an official or storming their government with bullhorns and threats. 

Their stories show how far-right ideologies enter into local politics - sometimes quietly, other times at full volume - and what it takes for regular people to fight back. They show the beauty as well as the risks, struggles and pitfalls of being an active participant in democracy today. And together they create a human-level portrait of a democracy that is fracturing, and the role that extremist ideologies are playing. (And they’re not going away.)

Where do their stories point us as a country? 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 06, 2022