America’s Lawyer E52: It has been nine years since the Flint water crisis began, and almost a decade later, we still have residents in Flint who do not have clean water. We have people who are dying of diseases that are a direct result of the water switch. Not a single person responsible has gone to jail and the corporate media packed up their cameras and left the state of Michigan years and years ago. But luckily, there is one group that has stayed in Michigan that has been covering this nonstop, keeping us informed. Filling in for Mike Papantonio this week, Farron Cousins is joined by Jordan Chariton from Status Coup News to talk about where we are nine years later in Flint.

Click here to read Jordan Chariton’s full article at Metro Times.

Click here to check out Status Coup on YouTube.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Farron Cousins: Welcome to America’s Lawyer, I’m Farron Cousins in this week for Mike Papantonio. And coming up today, we have a very special program. It has been nine years since the Flint water crisis began, and almost a decade later, we still have residents in Flint who do not have clean water. We have people who are dying of diseases that are a direct result of the water switch. And joining me to talk about this today is gonna be Jordan Chariton from Status Coup News. Jordan has made dozens of trips to Flint, Michigan. Has been one of the few people on the ground nearly this entire time, keeping us informed about what’s happening. So don’t go anywhere. America’s Lawyer starts right now.

We just hit the nine year anniversary of the Flint water crisis and so far, after nine years, Flint does not have clean drinking water. Not a single person responsible has gone to jail and the corporate media packed up their cameras and left the state of Michigan years and years ago. But luckily, there is one group that has stayed in Michigan that has repeatedly returned, that has been covering this nonstop, keeping us informed and that is Status Coup. And I am pleased now to be joined by Jordan Chariton. Jordan, you have joined us so many times to talk about Michigan, Flint, the water crisis. I have actually done segments based on your reporting on Flint. You’ve been wonderful throughout this whole thing, and you actually, you just took another massive trip to Michigan. You know, on the nine year anniversary, you have this great article that you have put out. I read it in the Metro Times. So let’s start with where we are nine years later in Flint. Everything’s fixed, right? It’s wonderful, great, happy rainbows everywhere, no problems.

Jordan Chariton: Unfortunately, not too different than where we were five, six years ago. Other than, you know, if you’re in Flint, you know, less people obviously out at these events and protests in large part because people are unfortunately passing away due to being sick from the water, or are too sick to come out and protest or come to anniversary events or have just lost hope. I mean, we’re all humans. So if nothing changes after nearly a decade, you kind of lose your fight a bit. But I was just there. I think a few points. Number one, the media had declared the water safe years ago based on what they were hearing from the EPA, but as Status Coup and I broke, the data was manipulated years ago, and all you gotta do is go to Flint and just talk to enough residents.

Residents are still developing body rashes when showering in that water. Still have burning eyes in many cases from showering in that water. Residents report different things, including the water smelling like sewer, the water having black, like little tiny black particles coming out of it, I’ve seen video of recently. Water in some cases smelling like formaldehyde. This is not anecdotal. I mean, you talk to enough residents, you really don’t talk to anyone that tells you their water smells or looks right. And it really makes sense not to get too in the weeds, but this water system was built for Flint when Flint had 250,000 residents. Flint is down to about 80 to 85,000 residents. So it’s a massive $600 million, 600 million mile water pipeline that goes through the city, but I mean, not even close to the population.

So you have a lot of stagnant water that goes through still corroded pipes. That’s the other point. Not all the damaged pipes have been replaced, not even, not even close. They have not changed the main pipes that go underneath the street, those were busted by the toxic Flint River water. Never changed those. They have not changed all of the service lines. Those are the pipes that go from your curb into your home, a decade later by the way, they haven’t done all this, and they haven’t touched the majority of residents interior plumbing. So just common sense, any engineer will tell you, if you’re still dealing with corroded damaged infrastructure, you’re still gonna have lead and other potentially hazardous heavy metals and other things leaching off the pipes into the water. And the other thing is, there’s serious question as to the safety of the water, but justice wise, there is no justice. I could get it, you know, we could talk about it more in depth, but bottom line, this Attorney General, Dana Nessel, who’s a Democrat, has so bungled this investigation that right now round it to a decade, it’s very likely no one is gonna go to jail for poisoning Flint.

Farron Cousins: And, you know, I’ve read, in fact, you and I have talked on this network here about Dana Nessel, and it almost seems that she bungled this so bad that it’s borderline intentional to make the mistakes or, you know, the so-called mistakes that she made, the one person grand jury, which technically isn’t even illegal, by the way. But she did all these things. She knew what the outcome was gonna be, and then kind of has to say, oh, well, but we’re still investigating, right? We’re still looking at things. She hasn’t officially closed the investigation, but let’s talk about Dana Nessel for a moment, because we were at a point where we had the previous Attorney General, they had their, you know, prosecutor, they were looking at Governor Snyder, they were looking at RICO charges for those involved. You know, we could have had everybody basically with those RICO charges, and then Nessel comes in and take it from there.

Jordan Chariton: Yeah, I just wanna, like, for your audience, just imagine if like, I don’t know, Mueller, Robert Mueller or Merrick Garland are gunning for Trump. They indict 15 officials in the Trump administration for various crimes. And then then there’s a new administration. The new attorney general comes in, they say Mueller or Garland were incompetent, and they just trash the investigation and start from scratch. I mean, that’s pretty much unheard of that. I’ve spoken with lawyers, they’ve never heard of it. Yeah, maybe fire like a prosecutor here and there, but not start from scratch. That is what Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, did in 2019. There had been a three year investigation. It was building momentum. Two of the top officials, the head of the health department, the chief medical executive in Michigan, a judge had ruled based on yearlong pretrials that they would now have to face a jury trial for involuntary manslaughter, for covering up the deadly Legionnaires outbreak that killed a lot of people in Flint.

And that was done by prosecutors from the first investigation. Dana Nessel came in for a variety of reasons that never made sense, she said they were incompetent. She fired the special prosecutor. She fired the chief investigator, who by the way, ran the FBI office in Detroit. He was also instrumental in bringing down the Gambino crime family in New York, if you know your mafia. So not some schlub, pretty heavy duty investigator. She hires, she appoints her own prosecutors who had very little experience, particularly in investigating financial crimes, which is part of this. And they dropped charges against top officials. Then they recharged them a year and a half later, in many cases, with lesser crimes. And then last year, the Michigan Supreme Court tossed them, basically saying that they bungled it because they had used something called a one man grand jury, which essentially just means a judge issues the indictments rather than a grand jury or, you know, pre-trials.

And the Michigan Supreme Court six zero decision, it wasn’t like partisan, it was conservative and liberal judges said that that was against Michigan’s constitution. Not only did they bring the charges the wrong way, they did not use a taint team, which your colleague Mike Papantonio and you would know a taint team in English just means during a criminal investigation, a set of independent lawyers that would comb through all of this, all the discovery, all of the evidence, and discard, take out anything that’s protected by attorney-client privilege. They didn’t use that. So either way, they tossed the original investigation aside. They fired them saying they were incompetent, but in fact, they basically destroyed the investigation and all of it was tossed out. When I reached out to the Attorney General’s office on the nine year anniversary saying, could you please tell me what you mean by there’s an active investigation?

Because the Michigan Supreme Court tossed the charges, including the misdemeanor charge that they charged Governor Rick Snyder with. And then they lost their appeal. So how do you have an active investigation when the Michigan Supreme Court tossed it out? You lost your appeal. You can’t bring this to the federal Supreme Court because there is no federal nexus. It’s a state constitution ruling. And for most of these crimes, the statute of limitations has run out in Michigan, for most of these felonies, it’s six years. We’re now at nine years. They basically gave me a word salad that didn’t make sense. I took their answer to me, sent it to two lawyers who told me that’s basically bs and they’re just posturing and running out the clock. So, I mean, name your crime here, the original crime against the people of Flint, or the crime of injustice. But it’s just re-victimizing the people of Flint. And you used the word almost intentional. Literally I asked many Flint residents what they think about this. Every single one said, it almost feels like they did this on purpose.

Farron Cousins: You know, it’s really weird too, especially when you start to think about the statute of limitations here, just because that basically means that it’s okay to commit a crime if you are capable of running out the clock. I just, I find statute of limitations in some instances just completely ridiculous. I mean, especially when you’re dealing with this level of poisoning an entire city. We’re dealing with, people are dying. You’re having young people, as you point out in this piece. Let me read this. You know, a large number of the sick go on to die. The causes of death run the gamut. Relatively young people die of cancers for which they have no family history. Others kidneys or livers fail. Many develop heart problems or sudden strokes. Children suffer from brain damage, developing learning disabilities, volatile mood swings that cause disruption in their schooling, extracurriculars, relationships.

So we are talking about pretty much every horrible thing you could imagine here. You know, we’ve got cancers, we’ve got heart problems, we’ve got neurological issues, we’ve got cognitive issues, every horrible thing. And usually when we see these poisonings, there’s like one big thing. You know, this certain type of cancer is caused by this chemical. You know, this is a neurological disruptor. So this is affecting the brains. We’re having it all in Flint. And these are lifelong issues. This is not, oh, I got sick for a few days after this poisoning. I’m better. These are lifelong persistent life altering diseases. If you even survive. If you make it to that point, you still have to deal with it for the rest of your life. And not a single one of these people who knew what they were doing, none of ’em went to jail. You know, allegedly, we still have an investigation. I don’t believe that for a second. All it means is that they just haven’t officially shut it down yet, because that’s gonna look really bad if they officially shut it down. She’ll wait till her term’s over. The next person will come in and say, okay, now we’re done. But till then, she’ll just keep it open just enough to where it looks like we’re doing something, even though we’re really not.

Jordan Chariton: Yeah, and I think your audience should understand, and this is unfortunately part of the problem is our media, which could only cover something for a week or two before moving on. In the case of mass shootings, if you’re lucky, they’ll cover it for a day or two. But in the case of Flint, and also let’s talk about East Palestine too. Most of these issues, you don’t die right away. In the case of Flint, heavy metal poisoning, it progressively gets worse. Your symptoms get worse as the years go on. So if you’re poisoned in 2014, you know, you could start seeing things progressively get worse and develop two years, four years, five years. Heavy metal, lead will get hidden in your bones. So it won’t even show up on the blood tests if you, if they test you for your lead levels. Case of East Palestine, they blew up five cars of toxic vinyl chloride, which shockingly the CDC has been urging doctors not to test residents for, but residents are literally going to a chiropractor to get a script.

And they’re testing positive for elevated levels of vinyl chloride. That will cause unfortunately, rare forms of like liver cancer, but not right away. So it’s kind of like outta sight outta mind. The media doesn’t follow up and then when people die later, it’s not attributed to the poisoned water, or it’s not attributed to the train that exploded with a petrochemical mushroom cloud. But in the case of Flint, it’s not just lead. That was always the headline. But they had Legionnaires, the bacteria in there, PFAS, which are those forever chemicals. There was a whole lot of things that independent testers found that the EPA was not testing for. They were only testing for lead and copper. So the death count in Flint, there’s no, I don’t think there’s any objective good faith person that could give you a death count because there was no health registry for many years to track people’s illnesses.

And when I go there, every time I go there, I’m learning about new people that have died. Every time I go there, sadly, there would be these go-to people that I’d always follow up with an interview, this last time I went three of them have died within the last year. Cancers, liver problems. Let’s also mention Flint at one point, maybe it didn’t report this, Flint at one point had the highest covid positive test rate in the world.

Farron Cousins: Wow.

Jordan Chariton: Let me repeat. Flint had the highest positive covid rate in the world. Why? Because it wasn’t just elderly people most susceptible, everybody’s immune system, all ages was compromised by this poisoned water. So let’s say you contract, you know, if you’re not poisoned by your water, you contract covid before there’s a vaccine. Maybe you’re able to survive. I mean, obviously a lot of people didn’t, but maybe, you know, some people survived, some people didn’t. Some people got it worse than others. In Flint, there’s a lot of people that contracted covid but because their immune system was so compromised, they died. Even some that were vaccinated.

So, I’m writing a book now and I say, I mean, this could be in the thousands that have died. Not to mention the people that are slowly dying. It sad. But people I met first time in 2016, in their twenties, thirties, forties, if they’re still around, and I talk to them now, I mean, they’ve aged 30 years just through how they look, their symptoms. And it’s really, there’s so many, like macro but micro crimes within this. But the bottom line is this, the fact that it looks like no one is gonna be held accountable for this, this is the playbook. This is the playbook for East Palestine for government officials to look at what happened in Flint and follow that playbook. Indiana just had a plastics plant explode. You’re seeing more trained derailments, you’re seeing more massive plants explode or go on fire or leaks. And you find out who knew what, when. This is the playbook. Somebody in Flint said, you know, the popular show How to Get Away with Murder, this is how to get away with poisoning. And, it’s really, it’s a shame because Dana Nessel has a permanent, you know, green room seat at MSNBC.

She’s always welcome on to like, talk about whatever, you know, fascism she’s going after, you know, going after Trump electors. Nobody in the state of Michigan’s media challenges her on what the hell, you know, what’s going on here? Why did you fire this whole team? Why did you not go after the financial fraud that led to the Flint water crisis? And we should also mention Governor Snyder perjured himself in front of Congress based on my reporting. But perjury, the federal statute on perjury is five years. But we know Congress makes it up as they go along. So if they wanted to, they could go after former Governor Snyder, who is a multi-millionaire, who to be clear, that whole running out the clock that we talked about, if you’re wealthy and white and you have the money to pay for lawyers that could delay, delay, delay and appeal, appeal, appeal, you might be able to run out the clock. If you are lower middle class poor, you’re screwed.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. You know, I do wanna talk about the media because I think that’s such a big part of it. Not just, you know, you bring up Dana Nessel on MSNBC and I’ll read articles, you know, MSNBC, blah, blah, blah and I’ll see Dana Nessel’s name in there and it instantly me off. And it me off because I’ve read your reporting, I’ve talked to you about Dana Nessel, and not once do they mention this. You know, Raw Story will cover things that happen on MSNBC and that’s where I come across Dana Nessel’s name all the time. And it just absolutely infuriates me. But you also mentioned, and you mentioned this in your article, you’ve broken stories about what happened in Flint and everything that’s happened in the nine years since. You’ve broken them at The Intercept. You’ve broken them at The Guardian, you know, this one I have, this is from Metro Times.

I’m not sure if that’s where it’s originally published, but these are stories that they’re not going in the New York Times. They’re not going in the Washington Post. You’re not seeing ’em on CNN. You’re not seeing ’em on MSNBC. You have to go to these, you know, The Guardian is a little more, not independent, I guess, but The Intercept is wonderful for investigative reporting. I’ve seen you on other shows, you know, in addition to Ring of Fire here talking about these issues. So are we the only ones left? You know, the independent, you know, leftist outlets out here that even care about this anymore? Because that’s how it’s starting to feel. And it hurts me for the people of Flint because nobody’s hearing their voices. Nobody is paying attention to what’s happening now. Like you said, the media’s got an attention span about a week or two before they move on to the next shiny object. So it is infuriating because I think the media moving on from this has played a massive role in the lack of accountability here.

Jordan Chariton: Vice as well. I broke a story really at the beginning of covid April, 2020. So bad timing, but I broke it in Vice, that former Governor Snyder’s top advisor, like everyone knew he was kind of the governor’s fixer. Some called him the Governor’s henchman. He was going around offering payoffs to sick Flint residents to keep ’em quiet. And I figured, all right, this didn’t get picked up. But, you know, the world was, the media was consumed with covid, understandably. But then, I mean, your audience, let me paint a picture. Late 2020, early 2021, I drove to Michigan during covid, I meet with the number two editor at the Detroit Free Press, which is the largest newspaper in Michigan. We got our windows rolled up because of covid. I won’t get into full details, but let’s just say I handed him what I had, which was phone logs showing that the former governor, his chief of staff, the head of the health department, were on the phone 22 times in two days, six months after the water switch.

And prosecutors concluded at this time, they were covering up the deadly Legionnaire’s outbreak, which killed, according to the state, 12 people, according to other experts, potentially hundreds of people. But they were on the phone trying to cover it up, stop it from going public two weeks before his reelection. Handed it to the Detroit Free Press, he says to me, this is explosive. Let me go back to the boss. Three days later I get an email, we don’t have enough resources at this time. I mean, if you had three hours, I could go, Detroit News has blown me off. I have gone, for every story, I’ve gone to Michigan outlets before national outlets to try and break it because I want, first and foremost, the people of Flint and Michigan to know about this. Detroit News has twisted themselves into a pretzel to make excuses why they won’t run the reporting I have.

Or if I break it in the Guardian, Vice, the Intercept, why they won’t report it after the fact, which is common in news. You know, aggregation, somebody breaks something elsewhere, another outlet reports it. Hell, the New York Times commonly steals other people’s work and acts like they report, you know, they broke it. So at a certain point, and the Flint Journal too, I you not, I literally went inside, knocked on the door, this is on video, handed them a packet that we put together for like dummies of, here’s the latest story we just broke showing that the governor’s top officials erased their phones right before the launch of a criminal investigation, handed to him. He pretended like this was the first time he’d seen it. They never reported it. So at a certain point, and through a lot of sources I spoke to, it became clear there’s multiple things going on.

Number one, I think there’s Flint fatigue, as I’ve been told. They’re over it, including newspaper reporters and editors. Number two, nationally our media is all concentrated in New York and DC. There are a bunch of losers whose, and frankly in a many cases, elitists who their top moment in their lives is the White House Correspondents dinner. They’re so disconnected from poor majority black people in a city like Flint. And outta sight outta mind. I mean an editor. I have, somebody I know is an editor at NBC News that I’m friends with. I brought that person what I had in the case of the destruction of evidence that they were erasing their phones. She said, I don’t know, but I’ll bring it to the boss. Brings it to the head of NBC News’ website.

She got back to me. I really pushed for it. But they kind of said, well, isn’t most of this already kind of known? Of course it wasn’t. This is all new information. But she told me like, you know, kind of, they don’t think there’s enough return here. So I think, listen, and I could even tell you from the book world, I’ve got eight chapters written. There have been books about Flint reported, but not really about the coverup, more about the humanitarian crisis, human stories, which is important. And I’ve had agents tell me, because I, you know, pitching agents, publishers, I’ve had them tell me, you’re reporting is some of the best I’ve seen, but we don’t think that this is commercially viable. So when I said, could you just break that down? You don’t think enough people care? Yeah. So I know enough people care.

The problem is enough people don’t know. So where you are, I guarantee you, if you actually got 10 people in a room, showed them bang, bang, bang, all the stories I broke, the top reaction I get is I thought this was fixed. I thought this was solved. Why is nobody in jail? Most people, if you don’t see something in the news anymore, your assumption is it’s over. So there’s the original coverup and then there’s the media coverup. And we should get to, which I’m gonna report actually today, we’re gonna publish this video, there are active coverups going on, not past tense. I spoke with a Flint couple in my last trip there. That’s why it’s so important to keep going back to these places because you learn new information. I spoke with a man who had Legionnaires in July, 2021. Again, Legionnaires is the deadly, it’s a bacteria that comes from water.

Sometimes it’s misdiagnosed as pneumonia because it has similar traits. There was a massive outbreak in 2014 through 2016 from the Flint River. He’s hospitalized for Legionnaires in 2021, in July. This deadly bacteria thrives in the hot summer months. He’s disabled his wife’s disabled, that they’re of limited means. They were not using their air conditioning to cut costs. He’s showering four times a day to cool off. You could get Legionnaires from cooling systems like the AC or your shower heads. Well, process of elimination, he wasn’t using the AC, he was showering four times a day, about 10, 15 minutes a time. He goes to the hospital, fortunately he survived. The CDC called him because the CDC is supposed to be flagged for Legionnaires in Flint. He, the CDC is really trying to push it that he got it from his AC.

He’s telling ’em, we don’t use the AC, it’s coming from the water. CDC ends the conversation. Never follows up. So, and I have reason to believe that there’s been other cases of Legionnaires that were not investigated in Flint as of last year, 2022. Again, they have not changed all the pipes. The water is going through a system that was designed for 250,000 people. There’s a whole lot of abandoned homes in Flint. So that causes stagnant water. When you have stagnant water not going through the system fast enough, the chlorine, which is put into water to kill bacteria, dries up quickly. That’s how you create bacteria like Legionnaires. So it just seems to me, whether it’s the EPA, the CDC, the government level, the media level, you have basically had this alliance to sweep this under the rug. Call it a crisis as in past tense.

But meanwhile, I implore any reporter that watches this or if you just are a curious person, go there and talk to residents. Anecdotally, if you drink the water, which I have recently, it tastes like a sharp punch in the face. This is a crime against humanity. Water is life. It’s not just a slogan. You cannot survive for that long without water. And these poor people are drinking contaminated water a decade later. I’m talking to mothers who are still having to bathe their children in like 15 to 20 bottles, bottled water. And there’s also an economic aspect. They’re paying some of the highest rates in America for poisonous water. And then they have to pay extra to buy bottled water. This is one of the most poor cities in America. It kind of competes with Detroit and Cleveland for top spot on poorest cities in America.

So people are having to beg, borrow, and steal to keep affording bottled water. And it’s just very frustrating from a journalistic point of view that the city and the story has been abandoned. I stay on it, but I’m human too. You feel like you’re not, you know, knocking your head against the wall. And the people appreciate that we’re staying on it. But I, you know, I do wish that more media could get out of the new shiny object or just constant Trump coverage. And at the end of the day, your job should be as journalists to advocate for the people and put a spotlight on corruption. Neither of those is being done in the case of Flint.

Farron Cousins: Well, and you know, I like how you talk about this as this massive coverup because that is what it is. And it’s at every possible level with state agencies, with government agencies, with Democrats, with Republicans, with the media. It’s something that if you saw it in a movie, you’d be like, listen, this is a little too farfetched, right? I mean, you’re never gonna see anything like that in real life, but this is real life and this is what’s happening. These are the facts. And it’s terrifying to think something like this is still happening. That there is still this coverup. But as you’re pointing this out, I mean, there is. There is still something going on here and we don’t, we’re not even at the bottom of it yet. And, you know, to talk about the media and the country, like, oh, everybody’s moved on.

I get it. I mean, look at covid. This country was ready to move on and pretend nothing happened by, you know, mid 2021, if not sooner. Everybody thought, nah, it’s over. I mean, we’ve ended the assistance to people even though we have people dying every day in this country from covid still. We’re, nah, we’re done. Yeah, we don’t wanna mess with it anymore. We don’t wanna think about it. It was so depressing. Yeah, it’s depressing. But guess what? Real life these days is pretty freaking depressing most of the time. That doesn’t mean that we have to just give up. But we’ve, we as a country have given up on Flint. We gave up on covid. We’ve given up on climate change as a country. Let’s be honest about it. I mean, we’re not actually doing anything about it.

A report came out, and I did a segment on this two weeks ago, it says that the sea level rise down here along the Gulf Coast, which is where I live, the sea level rise on the Gulf Coast is exceeding the sea level rise all over the world. It’s blowing scientists minds. They did not think this would happen. They could not have predicted it. And we’re just, okay, well yeah, we’re gonna lose more shoreline here along the Gulf than anywhere else in the world. We’re gonna lose it faster. And nobody cares. Nobody cares about these important issues. We’re literally losing land. We’re losing our environment. We’re losing our water. We’re dying from covid. We’re poisoning ourselves. And it’s a big yawn. Media doesn’t care because, hey, guess what? Trump just said something crazy on Truth Social. So we’ve gotta hyper focus on that for the next four days. Oh, CNN’s gonna let him have a town hall. Let’s debate whether we should even do that for a week before it happens. It’s nuts, man. And you know this just as much as anybody else.

Jordan Chariton: You know, I’ll say this, I’m not one of these, you know, there’s a lot of YouTubers out there that wanna make you nihilistic and tell you voting doesn’t matter. I’m not saying that. But what I will say is the more, I’m going on eight years reporting around the country. I’ve been to 35 states and cities, I’m not saying don’t vote, but you begin to learn that the media, it’s kind of the, I guess directors for what I would call mass theater and the theater is that all these elections really matter. I still vote. I tell people to vote. I think it’s the least we could do bare minimum, but they cover these elections because it’s the easiest, simplest, protagonist, antagonist, conflict sensationalism. Who’s up, who’s down? Let’s make news into a sport.

And that is how all of these things that you just broke down, covid, Flint, let’s not forget the mass shootings. I mean, in other sane countries, if 20 school children are massacred, they don’t move on from it two weeks later. You pass laws. You take away the guns. You know, things are done when mass massacres happen. Here, if you’re lucky, I mean, let’s face it, if the death count is two people dead in a mass shooting, you’ll see coverage for an hour and that’s it. If it’s five to 10, maybe you’ll get a full day. More than that, you’ll get a week. There is a formula now. But I have always told my viewers, listen, it’s great to protest in front of BlackRock, great to protest in front of Pelosi’s office, McConnell’s office, all that.

But there’s not enough pressure being exerted on the media, national and local. I don’t mean violent. We’re not talking about, you know, things being mailed to CNN. I’m talking peaceful. But why should all these people that are, they are the gatekeepers to information. They are, national and local media, they are the gatekeepers that either normalize or abnormal normalize events, right? What I mean by normalize is if you don’t cover it, these things become normalized. If you do cover it, but only in a formulaic way like CNN and MSNBC for these mass shootings, you just give the tick tock, the play-by-play. What we know about the shooter. Instead of going and aggressively questioning these politicians who are taking blood money. You do not see that. Pointing out this is why it’s happening, because of these politicians. Bringing on legal scours to point out that the second amendment has been bastardized.

We don’t need more play-by-play on how long it took the shooter to get there or, you know, why did the shooter do that? To a lesser extent it matters, but to a larger extent, it’s the same thing happening with different faces and different similar motives. But the point is, where is the protest of the New York Times for letting the mass poisoning of Americans just fade silently into the wind? Where is the protest of the Flint Journal, of the Detroit Free Press, of the Detroit News? There’s a lot of news deserts in this country where papers have been shut down. There still are papers in Michigan, they’re not covering this. I don’t live in Michigan. I just finished my 19th trip there. I don’t, you think I want to go to Flint nearly 20 times? I love the people. I could be doing a lot of other things.

I have to because the local media doesn’t investigate. They don’t even check in with the residents. So we have a real problem and I think there needs to be more people in front of the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, frankly focused on their advertisers complaining. To start demanding that you not only cover real things, but investigate real things. Now we need to look into who are the parent companies of these outlets? What are their conflicts of interest? What would be their motives of some of these multi-billion dollar corporations and the advertisers? I’ve been told in the case of Flint, certain local outlets have dropped things because some of their advertisers are involved in the Flint water crisis. So it’s just one giant cesspool. And I, you know, I’m human. Sometimes I wake up and say, why am I continuing this? Nothing’s changing. I mean, I’m delivering the information, which I’m proud of, which is not easy to get all this information, to acquire the documents, but nothing’s changing.

But then the other part of you says, well, if I give up, then this just goes away and there is no one covering this. So it is depressing. It is frustrating. I think a lot of people are kind of in denial about what the core problem in America is. Listen, vote. That’s all good. You know, prevent fascism. That’s important. But at the end of the day, until we really tackle money in politics, until we really tackle money in media, remember 30 years ago, not that the media was perfect, but you did not have six multi-billion dollar corporate conglomerates owning all of the media. Six companies own all of the media, radio, digital, tv. That’s, what do you expect if corporations basically control the information systems? And then you add in big tech owning the information systems. And then you add in companies like Google on this platform, they will recommend on YouTube if you put in the headline, you know, Steven Crowder or, you know, name your Neanderthal Republican, you put in the headline Flint still a crisis, they’re not gonna recommend that. You get less eyeballs. So it’s hard to get this information out when you even have algorithms that, you know, limit it.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And, so with that, where can people find you? Where can they find Status Coup and how can they support it?

Jordan Chariton: Yeah, and thank you. You’ve had me on several times and I appreciate it.

Farron Cousins: Oh, it’s a pleasure.

Jordan Chariton: Yeah, Status Coup on YouTube. You might have to type it in because it doesn’t always come up. That’s Status Coup, C O U P, if you can. Obviously we’re all fighting for limited breadcrumbs. But, yeah, our on the ground reporting, for example, I just went to Flint and Kalamazoo and then my colleague went to East Palestine for his third trip. Two weeks on the road costs between five and eight grand between flights, hotels, rent a car, food, last minute equipment. So we do not have any, you know, financial sugar daddies. We’re funded by the people to cover the on the ground reporting. So if people could join us as members, that’s I would’ve never been able to break the stories I broke about the coverup in the Intercept, the Guardian, Vice, the Detroit Metro Times, without having continually gone.

You know, you don’t build sources, they’re not gonna fax you the information. You gotta build relationships and that’s old school investigative reporting, which really doesn’t exist much anymore. So if people, you know, five bucks a month to join us as a member, that’s 16 cents a day. $10 a month, that’s 33 cents a day. Do not take it away, don’t end your support of Ring of Fire. But you could certainly end your support of some other channels who cover a lot of and food fights and really are just doing low-key TMZ on YouTube and packaging it as you know, progressive, you know, revolution and support real on the ground journalism. Because every time I go to Flint or Kalamazoo or East Palestine, there are, we are the only national outlet there, after the initial coverage. And we’re proud of that. But to continue, we need people’s financial support. So that’s And you know, we’re on Twitter and Instagram and all that stuff.

Farron Cousins: Jordan Chariton, your work has been amazing. You know, I hope that people do continue to support and more people support. We need more of this. And of course, you know, we’ve had Louis DeAngelis on the program multiple times this year talking about East Palestine. So, we’ll continue to do that. We’ll continue to have you on and promote everything y’all have because you’re one of the last true outlets out there doing real on the ground journalism, and we wanna support that in any way we can. So, Jordan, thank you again for joining me today.

Jordan Chariton: And thank you. I think this is the way independent media should be. You know, obviously we could react to stories in the Washington Post and the New York Times and mock CNN, but if you have people from your own tribe originating new information, it’s great to have an outlet like a Ring of Fire actually give a to have you on, and then you could do commentary on it, et cetera. So I really, really appreciate it and welcome your viewers to subscribe to Status Coup on YouTube.

Farron Cousins: Well, thank you man. Have a good one.

Jordan Chariton: You too.

Farron Cousins: And that’s all the time we have for America’s Lawyer this week. But don’t forget, you can follow the show on Twitter @AmericasLawyer. And we’ll be back, Mike Papantonio will be returning very soon. I am Farron Cousins and thank you for watching America’s Lawyer where we tell you the stories that the corporate media is ordered not to tell you because their advertisers won’t let ’em. We’ll see you next time.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.