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General News    H1'ed 10/30/14

Intvw Transcript: James Risen--Tips on Investigative Journalism and Living With Prison Hanging Over His Head

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James Risen
James Risen
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This is the first part of a series which will comprise the transcript of my 65 minute interview with James Risen.

Rob: Welcome to the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, WNJC 1360 AM out of Washington Township reaching Metro Philly and South Jersey, sponsored by Just do a google search for progressive opinion or liberal news, you don't even need to remember the name of the website, and it'll come up first.

My guest tonight...I'm really honored and excited to have on the James Risen. He's a Pulitzer Prize Winning investigative reporter for the New York Times and winner of the 2006 Goldsmith Prize for investigative reporting. His 2006 book, State of War earned him the wrath of the Obama administration and the justice department and he's been living under the threat of going to jail for refusing to disclose sources ever since then. In addition, his reporting on NSA was, because of collaboration with the Bush White House, kept secret for over a year until he forced the issue by publishing his book. His new book,, I'm publishing the book in 2006, State of War. Now his new book, Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War just came out...literally days ago, and it is just a blockbuster. And I have to say that it's an inspiration for aspiring journalists and a fascinating read for people who want to get an in depth, big picture understanding of some of the most important developments in the US.

Jim, welcome to the show.

JR: Hey, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Rob: So I want to talk about the book and we're going to -- I've got a lot of questions about it -- but I want to get started by discussing the threat of prison that's been hanging over your head. Can you talk about how it has affected your work, your sources, your doing your job as an investigative journalist?

JR: Yeah, well. I mean I think my...I've been facing this for...I guess it's about 7 years now and at first it kind of bothered me but now I'm kind of used to it, and I decided basically to respond to the government by writing another book and by continuing to investigate and investigate in particular the war on terror, which I think is the most important issue of our time; and in particular how we have allowed our country to be transformed since 9/11 because of our fear of terrorism, how we have basically exaggerated the threat and allowed the whole country...allowed the creation of a new national security state.

Rob: Okay so part of...and you do that brilliantly and fascinatingly in your book, but part of what I do as publisher of OpEdNews is I publish people from all over the world who act as kind of citizen journalists, so part of my goal in my interview with you is to also get a feel from a kind of a meta point of view of what's happening with you as a journalist. So again, thing you did was you basically came back and you disclosed a ton more that when they mess with you they now learned that you strike back harder...that's great, and thank you for...I can't speak for the world but you're doing something that really an invaluable, necessary thing and as I said it's an inspiration.

JR: Thanks.

Rob: So has it any way affected your sources, your work with the New York Times?

JR: Yeah sure, I mean the fact that I've been facing subpoena for so long has, you know, it's been a mixed bag. I think there's a lot of people I'm sure who are afraid to talk to me now and who don't want to have anything to do with me out of fear; but then on the other side there's other people who come to me and said, you know, I'm willing to talk to you because I know I can trust you, I know you' protect sources. And so it's kind of mixed you's helped in some ways and hurt in others. So I just try to, you know, try to keep going. And I think as a reporter if you start pulling on one...on a thread and then you just keep pulling on it, eventually you'll find just amazing stories so that's what I try to do.

Rob: If you pull a thread...tell me more about that because I'm very interested in what makes a investigative journalist as successful as you are. What are the secrets? What are the tools that you use pulling on threads?

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Rob Kall Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. 

Check out his platform at

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet (more...)

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