FEATURING JOSHUA FRANK - The Washington Post on November 24th published an article with the sensationalist headline, "Russian propaganda effort helped spread 'fake news' during election, experts say." Technology writer Craig Timberg cited two teams of what he called "independent researchers," one of which is a group called PropOrNot. According to Timberg, PropOrNot is a "nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds." Except that the group keeps its identity secret and on its website promotes a list that includes hundreds of news websites some of which might in fact be funded the Russian government, but many others of which are simply independent news websites or blogs. Among the websites that, according to PropOrNot, "Reliably Echo Russian Propaganda," is an outlet that I write for, Truthdig.com, and other popular left-of-center websites such as Truth-out.org, nakedcapitalism.com, and Counterpunch.org. Is this a revival of the red baiting tactics of
FEATURING STEVEN SALAITA - The on-going actions at Standing Rock, North Dakota have been met with many gestures of solidarity. One of the most interesting is solidarity from Palestinian rights activists who have seen a clear parallel between the Indigenous struggle for sovereignty and treaty rights with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. One of the leading American academics making such connections for many years is Steven Salaita, who last year won a settlement with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over its rescinding of the offer of a tenured position in the American Indian Studies program. Steven Salaita, Edward W. Said Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut, author of Uncivil Rites: Palestine and the Limits of Academic Freedom. His latest book is called Inter/Nationalism: Decolonizing Native America and Palestine.
FEATURING STEPHANIE ABRAHAM - Coming just months before the White House will house one of the most unconventional First Ladies in US history, Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín has released a new feature film called simply Jackie. In it, Oscar winning actress Natalie Portman portrays the life of Jacqueline Kennedy in the days after her husband's assassination and how she navigates the expectations of being First Lady with the horrific tragedy that has just befallen her. Critics are raving about Portman's performance but today we turn to our own pop culture correspondent and film reviewer for the social and political significance of the film. Stephanie Abraham is a writer and media critic, she helped found the feminist magazine make/shift and was the founding editor of the feminist magazine LOUDmouth. Her works have been published in McSweeney’s, Al Jazeera, Mizna and Bitch Magazine. She is the Pop Culture Correspondent and Film Critic for
FEATURING JODIE EVANS - As the US-backed Iraqi effort to oust the Islamic State from its stronghold in Mosul drags on, many are asking the question of how the war strategy is playing out and whether it will work. But we often forget to remember the broader context of thirteen years of violence in Iraq, and that is the war that President George W. Bush launched after the September 11th attacks and the Afghanistan war. It is the war that President Barack Obama continued, and tried unsuccessfully to end. It is the war that gave birth to the Islamic State. And sadly, like the Afghanistan war, it is a war that has seemingly no end. Now a group of antiwar activists who have spent the past decade or more working tirelessly for peace and justice, are holding a People's Tribunal on the Iraq war in Washington DC over a two
FEATURING BECKY BOND - Most progressive Americans, particularly those who supported Bernie Sanders' primary election bid, knew that post-election political organizing was going to be crucial even with a Hillary Clinton win. But with Donald Trump as our unexpected President elect, the stakes are far, far higher than we imagined. Today, as Trump picks one extremist after another to fill cabinet positions, rather than the feeling of dread and demoralization that is fast spreading over the nation, my guest offers a path forward. Find more information about the book at www.BigOrganizing.com. Becky Bond, Senior Advisor on the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and was an architect of the campaign’s national, volunteer-driven grassroots campaign. Former political director at CREDO and cofounder of CREDO SuperPAC. Together with her co-Senior Advisor Zack Exley, she has written a book called Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything.
FEATURING DAVID MOORE - An effort by Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein to force vote recounts in key battleground states has netted nearly $7 million in funding in just a few days. A group of computer scientists had urged the Clinton campaign to challenge results in three key states where the former Secretary of State lost by just a few tens of thousands of votes, resulting in her electoral college loss. But it wasn't until Stein led the effort that Clinton belatedly announced she would join in. At the heart of the matter is that raw exit polling data from states where Clinton was expected to win - Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania - was inconsistent with vote counts. Donald Trump who was declared the electoral college winner and who has lost the popular vote to Clinton by more than 2 million votes, has denounced the recount efforts. But Trump
FEATURING HECTOR ARISTIZABAL - Colombian President Juan Manual Santos, just about a month after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, oversaw the negotiation of a historic peace accord that is meant to formally end one of the most politically violent chapters in his nation's history. In a move that shocked the world, Colombians narrowly voted against ratifying the peace deal in early October. Now, this new attempt at salvaging what voters rejected, circumvents direct democracy. The talks for the original peace deal that brought together Colombian government officials with representatives of the rebel FARC group, were hosted by Cuba, a nation that lost its greatest leader over the weekend. Fidel Castro passed away at the age of 90. Hector Aristizabal, therapist, psychologist, actor, artist and activist and is the founder and Artistic Director of Imaginaction, a non-profit theater arts organization. Originally from Colombia, Hector is a survivor of torture and has been
Voice of FIDEL CASTRO - The great Cuban revolutionary leader and former President Fidel Castro has died. He was 90 years old. Castro had spent the last few years of his life watching from the sidelines after he stepped down from his role as President and turned over the reigns of his country to his brother Raul. He lived long enough to see a detente with the US, whose harsh embargo as punishment for Castro's communist rule, had devastated the island's economy. Castro was different things to different people. To the left he was a hero who stood up to the US like no one else could, surviving countless assassination attempts by the CIA. To conservatives, he was a dictator who violated rights. But under Castro Cuba's literacy rate soared to 100%, higher education was free, organic agriculture became the norm, trained medical professionals are so plentiful that they have
FEATURING ROBERT JENSEN - A gathering of white nationalists in Washington DC garnered major news coverage as Nazi salutes and calls of "Hail Trump," rang aloud. White nationalism and supremacist views have begun flaunting themselves openly with the electoral college victory of Donald Trump. Many have taken cover under the innocuous label of "Alt-Right." Is the US sliding toward fascism and if so, how do we gird ourselves and our communities in these dark times? Robert Jensen, a Professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, and author of numerous books that we have featured on this show, including, Arguing for Our Lives: A User's Guide to Constructive Dialogue; and We Are All Apocalyptic Now: On the Responsibilities of Teaching, Preaching, Reporting, Writing, and Speaking Out.
FEATURING IMANI GANDY - Among the terrifying things that Donald Trump's electoral college victory has unleashed is any sense of propriety that the anti-abortion politicians had. In Texas in particular, state legislators have pre-filed a whopping 600 bills eroding women's right to reproductive healthcare. Some of those bills propose banning what is already prohibited at the federal level, suggesting that there is a level of political posturing at work. And, among the bills is a ghastly requirement for fetal tissue to be given a funeral. Nationally, Trump is considering GOP Representative Tom Price of Georgia for the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services. Price has a singularly consistent record of voting against federal support for women's reproductive services. Read more at www.rewire.news. Imani Gandy, Senior Legal Analyst with Rewire News.