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Gov Actually Episode 34: The history and importance of whistleblowers

The term whistleblower has blown up the news cycle in recent weeks, playing a central role in Democrats’ campaign to impeach President Donald Trump. 

For many, it might be the first time they’ve meaningfully encountered the term as it impacts federal government operations, international relations and politics. But, as Gov Actually hosts Dan Tangherlini and Danny Werfel explain in this new episode, the whistleblower is a vital function of American Democracy as old as the nation itself.

Dan and Danny particularly highlight the important role whistleblowers play in oversight. And as always, they give some firsthand experience encountering whistleblowers during their own time serving in the federal government.

“It just makes sense, not only for the government, but just in any organizational construct, in any societal construct, you want to incentivize people to report bad behavior and have that investigated,” Werfel says. “But obviously, there’s tensions involved in it, and over time, I think we’ve tried to come up with the right set of processes to allow federal employees to report out things they see that trouble them.”

Tangherlini explains that the nation is “now at this intersection of whether whistleblowing is, per se, good. I think leading up to the present time, it was a notion that it was in fact, per se, good. Anyone who was going to have the courage to stand up and say ‘I’ve seen this issue,’ there’s been a building sense that’s per se good,” but things have changed with the current storylines.

Hear that and more on the latest episode.

Catch all of the Gov Actually episodes on SoundcloudApple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher or Alexa’s TuneIn.

Let us know what you think in the comments on those platforms.

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