Doctor, Lawyer, Insurrectionist: The Radicalization of Simone Gold


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As we approach the five-month anniversary of the January 6 insurrection, the Republican Party has made one thing clear: They want to forget all about it—holding Trump and his big lie closer than ever.

In the House, the party just kicked out a top leader, Rep. Liz Cheney, for calling out Trump’s lies and authoritarianism. Over in the Senate, Republicans are likely to stymie efforts to formalize a January 6 commission to investigate the attack. The GOP might be desperate to move on, but the Department of Justice—and the nation—isn’t. There are more than 400 cases working their way through the courts, in what has become the biggest counterintelligence operation since 9/11.

Over the next two episodes, the Mother Jones Podcast team gives you a snapshot of where we stand, what history has taught us, and what's next in the hunt for the insurrectionists. On today’s show: the story of someone who might not fit your picture of an insurrectionist—and how she was radicalized so quickly. Dr. Simone Gold is a Stanford-educated lawyer and board-certified emergency room physician who ended up on an FBI most wanted poster.

Guest host Fernanda Echavarri is joined by Mother Jones senior reporter Stephanie Mencimer, who charts Gold’s stereotype-busting rise from far-right media stardom to the steps of the Capitol on January 6. Her eventual arrest highlights not only the role of conservative media in fomenting an insurrection, but also illustrates what experts on extremism have long known: Education is no defense against radicalization.

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