Visu.News Podcast
Visu.News: Isolated Incidents Podcast - The Unification Church aka Moonies

Visu.News: Isolated Incidents Podcast - The Unification Church aka Moonies

July 27, 2022

This is Zach D Roberts, I'm an investigative photojournalist and cofounder of Visu.News. This is the Visu.News Podcast - Isolated Incidents edition. Each month I interview an expert in the world of extremism on a topic in the news - this month I'm speaking with Alisa Mahjoub. They are an independent researcher of the relationship between the Unification Church cult group and United States imperialism/fascism.

This month the former prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe was assassinated - this was because of Abe's connections with the Unification Church. I’ll post more info in the show notes on this but I figured this was a good reason to have Alisa on to discuss their leaving the church and what this somewhat mysterious organization is like.

My real introduction to the Unification Church was covering the ‘gun cult’ in Northern Pennsylvania led by Pastor Sean Moon - the son of the founder of the Unification Church, Reverend Sun Myung Moon for The Progressive Magazine. There is a much larger Unification church that is thriving around the world - especially in South Korea, Japan, and the US. Sean Moon’s Rod of Iron Ministries is just a small part of it.

 

About Alisa:

Alisa Mahjoub (they/them), is an independent researcher of the relationship between the Unification Church cult group and United States imperialism/fascism. Having grown up in the UC, Alisa is now part of a yet unnamed collective of ex UC members who are actively working to expose the church's various state sanctioned human rights abuses, provide relevant information to the public, and offer support and resources on deradicalization to those who have exited or are interested in exiting the cult. You can find Alisa on twitter at

Follow Alisa on Twitter at @alisa_mahjoub 

Support their work at patreon.com/AlisaMahjoub

 

Links:

Articles on shooting motivation: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/07/15/national/crime-legal/yamagami-abe-shooting-motivation/ 

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/23/world/asia/japan-unification-church-lawsuits.html 

My photo-essay on the Rod of Iron Festival https://progressive.org/latest/love-guns-god-and-donald-trump-roberts-211018/ 

 

Visu.News - Nobody Is Protected - Interview with author Dr. Reece Jones

Visu.News - Nobody Is Protected - Interview with author Dr. Reece Jones

July 9, 2022

Support our work at Patreon.com/zdroberts - you get early access to podcasts, supporter exclusive photoessay's and much more. 

 

This episode of the Visu.News podcast - I speak with author Dr. Reece Jones who has a new book out this week, titled Nobody is Protected: How the Border Patrol Became the Most Dangerous Police Force in the United States 

The book is the untold story of how, through a series of landmark but largely unknown decisions, the Supreme Court has dramatically curtailed the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution in service of policing borders. The Border Patrol exercises exceptional powers to conduct warrantless stops and interrogations within one hundred miles of land borders or coastlines, an area that includes nine of the ten largest cities and two thirds of the American population.

Dr. Reece Jones is also the author of White Borders: The History of Race and Immigration in the United States from Chinese Exclusion to the Border Wall - a Guggenheim fellow and a professor and the chair of the Department of Geography and Environment at the University of Hawai'i.

VisuNews - Applebees but not the Streets?

VisuNews - Applebees but not the Streets?

January 27, 2022

We're back! In this podcast Zach talks to Aaron about covering the March for Life and the Anti-Vaxx/Mandate... and then proceeds to rant a bit about where the masses are that took to the streets during the Trump Presidency. 

 

Must-reads: 

Patriot Front is outed...

https://unicornriot.ninja/2022/patriot-front-fascist-leak-exposes-nationwide-racist-campaigns/

Matt Gaetz is going to have some problems...

https://www.thedailybeast.com/witness-can-confirm-matt-gaetz-was-told-he-had-sex-with-a-minor

Alex Jones Pleads the 5th...

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/far-right-conspiracy-theorist-alex-jones-pleaded-the-5th-amendment-almost-100-times-before-the-january-6-committee/ar-AAT83Iv?li=BBnbcA1

And then spilled on his show...

https://www.thedailybeast.com/alex-jones-pleaded-the-fifth-to-jan-6-probe-then-spilled-on-his-radio-show?ref=home

Fascism and the right to life are a Venn diagram circle... 

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/patriot-front-s-anti-abortion-advocacy-march-life-sends-clear-ncna1287952

Police Union defending cop that choked another cop on camera... 

https://www.rawstory.com/christopher-pullease/

 

 

 

Why Local News Matters - A Visual News Behind the Scenes Story with Andrew Dolph

Why Local News Matters - A Visual News Behind the Scenes Story with Andrew Dolph

December 24, 2021

Hi, this is Zach D Roberts with a special episode of the Visu.News podcast AND the Around the Lens podcast. For those who are new to the pod - Around the Lens is a visual imaging show that I used to do regularly with David J Murphy. Well, we're bringing it back and trying out a bunch of new ideas - expanding out beyond just visual journalism with more reviews and interviews from people outside my usual field. 

 
One feature that we're working on is bringing you interviews like the one here with Times Reporter photojournalist Andrew Dolph that focuses on getting the "director's commentary" of a photo story. Basically the 'behind the scenes' tale of how and why they got the shots. 
 
 
 

I'm friends with Andrew so I saw these images posted on his Twitter (@andrewdolph) a couple of days ago and I knew I had to talk with him about them. Andrew's paper, the Times Reporter is a daily paper based out of New Philadelphia, Ohio which is on the map between Columbus, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. 

 
So without further ado - here's my conversation with Andrew Dolph. 
 
 
Isolated Incidents Episode 1: Alex Jones and Talking with Brooke Binkowski

Isolated Incidents Episode 1: Alex Jones and Talking with Brooke Binkowski

November 28, 2021

This is the first ever episode of the Isolated Incidents podcast. A monthly dive into the stories that journalists have put out covering the world of far-right and the grifters that inhabit it. When I first came up with the idea it was before the pandemic so I didn’t think to necessarily cover the anti-vax devotees but as the worlds of right-wing grifters, politicians and radio hosts expands we'll cover those too. 

 

First a little bit about me. I’m Zach D Roberts an investigative journalist and photographer who has been covering the far right for over a decade. I followed Trump and his MAGA caravan on the 2016 campaign trail which then slid into the far-right rallies like the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, my photos helped get some of the violent white supremacists thrown in jail, and since then I’ve been going to MAGA rallies, fascist marches, and white supremacist clusterfucks. Now as the movements have evolved and after January 6th they’ve somewhat gone into hiding its anti-mandate’ anti-vaxx and mask rallies that I cover - which are really just the new MAGA rally… with a lot of new faces. 

 

As this is the first episode of Isolated Incidents we’re focusing on the OG conspiracy broadcaster - Alex Jones. Well, actually that would probably be either Art Bell or Bill Cooper or even some John Birch Society connected loon … I’m sure we’ll talk about them in the future. 

Last month I spoke to journalist Brooke Binkowski who has been tracking Jones for a while now, delving into his coverage of the Sandy Hook mass killing in 2012 for the Texas defamation lawsuit brought by family of the murdered children. His refusal to provide the requested information to the multiple lawsuits against him by the parents of the murdered Sandy Hook children saw default judgments in Texas and Connecticut. He’s currently attempting to raise $2 million to save his disinformation empire, he’s even talking about selling his tank. 

Right-wing broadcaster Alex Jones is once again, in legal trouble. 

Last week, the January 6th Commission has subpoenaed him. A letter from the Commission, signed by Congressman Bennie Thompson has called on Jones to provide documents pertaining to his part in the organization of the rally and the subsequent march that he participated in to the Capitol. The Commission cites his “facilitating a donation to provide what he described as “eighty percent” of the funding.”

Jones used his megaphone and live broadcast to call on people during the allegedly impromptu Jan 6th march to head in the direction of InfoWars guest, Ali Alexander’s permitted rally location on the East side of the Capitol. The Commission does not seem to be claiming that he was part of a planned attack on the Capitol but was part of the larger move on the day to march to the building. On January 6th, the broadcaster repeatedly told his listeners that Trump personally ordered him to lead such a march. 

The subpoena sites multiple instances on his broadcasts in the leadup to January 6th that the rally was going to be something bigger than a goodbye to the one-term President. The rallying cry of 1776 Former President Trump tweeted out “Big Protest on January 6th, Be there will be wild!” - in response, the loudest cheerleader for MAGA responded:

But finally Trump has done the right thing. .. . He is now calling on We the People to take action and to show our numbers. . . . This is the most important call to action on domestic soil since Paul Revere and his ride in 1776. The time for games is over. The time for action is now. Where were you when history called? Where were you when you and your children's destiny and future was [sic] on the line? I've been on the air 27 years, and I've never reported on anything that comes as close to being this huge. This is seismic. 
• • • 
And if you allow this multinational consortium to steal our election, you have committed not just us, but yourselves, to a living hell. . . . Trump is trying to do a lot of good things. And he is our President and he was reelected. 

Roger Stone, the originator of the phrase “Stop the Steal” and mentor to already subpoenaed Ali Alexander has also himself been today subpoenaed. With the previous subpoena of Ali Alexander and Nathan Martin much of the Stop the Steal leadership has now been called. 

Stone and Jones have a record of not complying with subpoenas and Alexander has claimed on his private Telegram channel that he will not participate with the Commission.

Brooke Binkowski is the editor of TruthofFiction.com a fact checking news site and is the former managing editor of Snopes.com. 

You can find all the legal documents here: https://infowarslawsuit.com/

I recommend listening to the Knowledge Fight podcast if you want to learn more about the world of Alex Jones but also laugh about it. http://knowledgefight.libsyn.com/

VisuNews: 10 Years of Occupy Wall Street

VisuNews: 10 Years of Occupy Wall Street

September 16, 2021

Zach D Roberts and Aaron Cynic are back with a conversation about Occupy Wall Street, which turns 10 years old on Friday, September 17th.

No OWS hasn't been occupying Zuccotti Square for 10 years but the legacy OWS lives on in many forms. There's no Bernie presidential run without OWS, there's no conversation about the 99% without OWS - we could go on - but that's why we recorded this podcast!

Zach was in NYC for the occupation at Zuccotti aka Liberty and Aaron was in Chicago's financial district and Grant Park.

 

READ THIS:

This is a great piece in The Indypendent on how 9/11 set back the anti-globalization/pro-worker movement. 

https://indypendent.org/2021/09/9-11-and-never-forgetting/

Lessons from OWS in The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/15/occupy-wall-street-10-year-anniversary-lessons

Occupy Wall Street Did More Than You Think in The Atlantic by the co-founder of the Occupy Wall Street Journal

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/09/how-occupy-wall-street-reshaped-america/620064/

I was beaten several times and arrested at OWS #D17 along with hundreds of other journalists and activists. This is an excellent report detailing some of them. (The Global Justice Clinic (NYU School of Law) and the Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic at the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice (Fordham Law School)

https://chrgj.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/suppressingprotest.pdf

 

 

Repost Episode: Photojournalists on the Unite the Right Rally 3 Years on and more…

Repost Episode: Photojournalists on the Unite the Right Rally 3 Years on and more…

August 11, 2021
Photojournalists on the Unite the Right Rally 3 Years on and more...

 

This is a special crossover episode of the Visu.News and Around the Lens podcasts. We’re recording this on the third anniversary of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville that ended in the death of Heather Heyer and severe injuries to dozens more. 

I’m here with a handful of photojournalists who were there that day discussing what has and hasn’t changed since then. Our conversation starts with the tiki torch march then on to the next day - the Unite the Right rally, August 12th. We then drift into chatting about how covering the far right has changed and discussed some of the new risks of working as a photojournalist covering protests. 

I apologize that I did not have each person do a proper intro of themselves, so I will list who is on the call in the order in which they spoke. You can find their socials and websites in the show notes.

Sandi Bachom is a freelance video journalist based in New York City with Getty and NowThisNews (Sandibachom.com). You can find her on Twitter and Instagram

John Rudoff is a freelance photojournalist with SIPA-USA and based in Portland (Rudoffphoto.com) You can find him Twitter and Instagram

Ford Fischer is an independent video journalist and co-founder of News2Share.com based in Washington DC. You can find him on Twitter and YouTube.

Emily Molli is a video and still journalist and founder of SCNR.com follow her work on Twitter and Instagram 

Michael Nigro is a freelance photojournalist and film director based in New York City. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram and his portfolio site here

And I’m Zach D Roberts a freelance photojournalist co-founder of Visu.News and AroundTheLens.com.  You can find me on Twitter and Instagram

 
PA State Senator Was At the Capitol Insurrection (and loves the Big Lie)

PA State Senator Was At the Capitol Insurrection (and loves the Big Lie)

May 27, 2021

Hello, this is Zach D Roberts here with the Visu.News podcast. This week I'm chatting with Sean Kitchen of PASpotlight.org (Pennsylvania Spotlight.) Sean is a writer based in Pennsylvania's capital, Harrisburg - he has previously contributed to Raging ChickenPress (a favorite publication of mine) and is the go-to person to learn about all the Big Lie shenanigans going on in the Keystone State. 

In this episode, we focus on one politician - Republican State Senator Doug Mastriano. Since we recorded this episode it has been confirmed that Senator Mastriano was at least at the steps of the US Capitol on January 6th. 

To quote from the PASpotlight articleScreenshots of Senator Mastriano and his wife breaching a police barricade and walking on the North West Lawn of the Capitol grounds emerged over the weekend. PA Spotlight has previously uncovered that Senator Mastriano witnessed the first breaches of the Capitol in a little-known right-wing interview just days after January 6th. This sparked further interest by the #SeditionHunters to pinpoint his exact location. Parler footage from Propublica’s database that is time-stamped at 1:59 PM shows Senator Mastriano and his wife walking towards the main set of stairs that insurrectionists breached at 2:06 PM.

While I've been back in Georgia again covering the continued voter suppression happening there with SB202 - Pennsylvania is quickly becoming the state to watch for the quote unquote voter integrity happenings. Let's get into it.

How exactly is the ‘Officer Involved’ - Interview with Kit O’Connell

How exactly is the ‘Officer Involved’ - Interview with Kit O’Connell

April 16, 2021

This week on the Visu.News podcast Aaron Cynic and I speak with journalist Kit O'Connell about the media's use of language around police violence and shootings. The favored phrases of 'unbiased' news outlets around these incidents are often in a passive tone - not wanting to lay blame on anyone in law enforcement - the same doesn't go for the victims of police violence of course - as they are often described as suspects.  

Kit wrote an excellent and concise piece on the media's use of the term "Officer-Involved shooting" that asks the question - how was the officer involved? 
 
 
Other recommended reading: 
 
Let's get into it. 
 
This is Zach D Roberts and I thank you for listening - You can support this podcast at Patreon.com/ZDRoberts and Patreon.com/AaronCynic - we're now on Podbean and (should be) available on all the other places you can find podcasts. 
 
 
‘The Day The Klan Came To Town’, Author Speaks with Visu.News

‘The Day The Klan Came To Town’, Author Speaks with Visu.News

March 13, 2021

I'm here this week with publisher and author Bill Campbell who has a new graphic novel that's doing some crowd fundraising called The Day the Klan Came to Town. The book is a collaboration with artist Bizhan Khodabandeh and will be published later this year at PM Press (pre-order from PM Press at this link).

In the book - Bill tells the story of the time that the KKK came to Carnegie, Pennsylvania it's as their Kickstarter describes it a "fictionalized, graphic retelling of a KKK riot that occurred in Carnegie, PA in 1923 and the resistance to it."

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a review copy and it truly is an excellent book that any comic book reader or fan of history books will enjoy. Bill Campbell takes an incredible amount of research and information on the KKK and his home town at the time and builds a narrative arc that will keep everyone reading. While the book is a fictionalized retelling of Karnegie Day (yes, the Klan spelled it with a K) it sticks with the facts on the Klan and immigrants of the Pittsburg region. The Klan wasn't just there for African Americans but Catholics, Italians, Armenians and any immigrants that weren't seen as 'white' by them.

But let's jump right into my conversation with Bill Campbell the author of The Day the Klan Came to Town (PM Press 2021)

Find more on Bill Campbell's work at Rosarium Press - http://rosariumpublishing.com 

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