Good afternoon, listeners! We have an excellent episode for you this week, as host Richard Aldous welcomes Brett Forrest back to the show to discuss Sepp Blatter’s sudden resignation from scandal-ridden FIFA, before speaking with Michael Rubin about deploying satire as a weapon in the fight against ISIS.
First, Brett Forrest, author and senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, reacts to the dramatic and still developing story of the exposure of FIFA’s corruption, discussing the surprising resignation of Sepp Blatter just days after his reelection. He explains why the United States was the one to ultimately call FIFA leadership to the carpet, and points to the structure of FIFA’s organization as being particularly conducive to corruption, bribery, and kickbacks. He says that now that Blatter is gone, anything is possible with regards to changing the location of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups (currently slated to be hosted in Russia and Qatar, respectively). Finally, he looks at the massive task lying ahead for FIFA: reforming its processes and ridding itself of an endemic culture of corruption.
Then, Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, joins Richard to advocate for the usage of satire to combat ISIS. He suggests that sophisticated satire can puncture the image radical Islamists project to recruit new members, and in effect show that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes. He points out how humor can counter the theatricality ISIS employs when engaging with the rest of the world, and while acknowledging the difficulties of carrying out this idea without being insensitive to the religion of Islam, he tells us why it’s important to tackle this threat on this front, however delicate that operation may be.