Tag Archives: Podcast Review

The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg

The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg is a podcast hosted by, you guessed it, former prosecutor and Justice Department administrator Chuck Rosenberg. You will know of Mr. Rosenberg as a regular justice expert guest on various MSNBC shows, especially the Rachel Maddow Show. Rosenberg was appointed as US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2006, and was previously a US Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, and later, Chief of Staff to Jame Comey at the FBI. He was administrator of the DEA from May 2015 to October 1, 2017. Appointed under Obama, departed under Trump.

Rosenberg stepped down from his post at the DEA because he had to either go along with Trump’s very wrong policies, or step away, which at the time was considered proper for justice department officials. (I suspect that is changing.) You may have heard his famous departing remark, issued in an internal DEA memo in response to Trump telling cops to get illegally tougher on the people they interact with:

The President, in remarks delivered yesterday in New York, condoned police misconduct regarding the treatment of individuals placed under arrest by law enforcement… I write to offer a strong reaffirmation of the operating principles to which we, as law enforcement professionals, adhere. I write because we have an obligation to speak out when something is wrong. That’s what law enforcement officers do. That’s what you do. We fix stuff. At least, we try.

Among his well known cases were the dog fighting charges against Michael Vick, the case against Zacarias Moussaoui, and work on child porn (against, not pro). So, not only has he great and interesting experience, but over time, he has made good friends with many key players in US Justice under the Bush and Obama administrations.

Because of these connections, and the high degree of respect he commands from his colleagues, it has been possible for him to put together a rather bang-up podcast. Different people will like or not like the subject matter, or will find it essential or outside their area of interests, but in fact, any one who listens to a good sampling of the interviews will learn things they didn’t know they didn’t know, but in fact, do need to know. I just now listened to his interview with Joyce Vance, also a regular on MSNBC as a commentator, and former AUSA in Alabama. (You also learn things like what “AUSA” stand for from this podcast.)

One thing I appreciate about The Oath is that Rosenberg, either through careful planning or skilled and thoughtful editing (probably both), makes sure the audience gets what they need to understand the story that is being told. He eschews the common fault many interviewer have of making sure the audience knows how much the interviewer knows, and asks what are probably utterly dumb questions from the point of view of an expert, but essential questions for the average listener. Like, “So what does AUSA stand for?”

I have never been a big podcast listener, but a while back, long after I started my own podcast with Mike Haubrich, I started to listen to a few, and I have a very short list of blue ribbon podcasts I keep up on. The Oath is one of them.

The podcast web page is HERE, but as is the case with most podcasts, you can listen to it with your favorite podcast accessing software on whatever device you use. Within reason.