My way of coping with anxiety during this year of a presidential election happening in the midst of a global pandemic was to make a 4 hour long video series. Roy M. Cohn and Donald J. Trump have both left behind long records of evidence fitting a pattern of paid influence work. I hypothesize that Cohn’s and Trump’s life’s purpose was to deliberately deepen the divisions in American society on behalf of a foreign adversary.
I crafted these motion-picture collages by putting together pieces from a number of great American journalists. The names of the individual writers along with the titles of their articles are listed chronologically in the introduction to each episode. Some additional credits are noted within the episodes themselves — these were sources that I included in the project after the intro had already been completed.
IMO it’s the dogged fact finders raking the muck who set down the preconditions for a democracy. Journalists collectively create the basis of our mutually agreed upon reality. Their work is continually forming and reforming the baseline of objectivity that is required for a free and fair society to function.
Thank you for investigating and reporting the facts. Thank you for defending the Constitution of the United States of America. Thank you for carrying the light into the darkness.
Words have power. Words have meaning. This project is dedicated to journalists everywhere.
— Arthur Mullen, December 2020
The purpose of a system is what it does.
- Episode 1 draws inspiration from the 2020 documentary, “Bully, Coward, Victim,” by Ivy Meeropol, granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who Ian Pickus interviewed recently on NPR.
- Episode 2, “The Apprentice,” is about how Roy Cohn groomed Donald Trump to become his replacement as the Russians’ high profile NYC asset for subversive influence.
- Episode 3 revisits Trump’s 1987 — the Moscow trip, his Presidential ambition, and 3 competing Atlantic City casinos — through the lens of, “Ideological Subversion,” as defined by defected KGB contact Yuri Bezmenov.
- Episode 4, “Dreamicide,” features NYT reporting (sources are listed in intro, but that’s not super clear because, sorry again, it’s badly self-produced) detailing the economic consequences resulting from Mr. Trump’s repeated casino bankruptcies in the 1990s.
- Episode 5, “Perestroika,” combines Russian money laundering and Mr. Trump’s image restructuring by way of Mark Burnett’s post-scrapped-Mir-project reality TV show.
- In Episode 6, Trump’s rising television fame dovetails with an apparent implicit threat from Russian President Putin, in the form of a Russian mob hit on Sixth Avenuue.
- Episode 7 draws back the curtain on Russia’s early investment in the American social media company Facebook, and the melodrama of Trump’s astroturf campaign against Jon Bon Jovi, all of which helped set the stage for Russia’s active measures and disinformation operations in the 2016 election.
Here is another way to watch “Posiwid“
This playlist features the same content in shorter individuated videos: