Counterspin - FAIR's weekly radio show

CounterSpin is FAIR's weekly radio show, hosted by Janine Jackson, Steve Rendall and Peter Hart. CounterSpin is heard on more than 130 noncommercial stations across the United States and Canada. CounterSpin provides a critical examination of the major stories every week, and exposes what the mainstream media might have missed in their own coverage.

Aug
01
2014

Arjun Makhijani on Renewable Energy

Wind power in Germany (cc photo: Mathias Dalheimer)

The UN's panel of climate scientists have issued grave warnings about continued dependence on fossil fuels, but US policy seems to be looking more to the polluting energy source--with a fracking boom, the Keystone pipeline and, in the latest news, the White House's opening of the Atlantic coast to oil and gas drilling. We'll talk to Arjun Makhijani of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research about why none of this has to be this way.

Jul
25
2014

Alex Kane on US Weapons in Gaza; Jamie Kalven on Police Abuse Records

Chicago arrest (cc photo: Matt Novak)

The US press doesn't talk much about where Israel gets its weapons--or other aspects of the US role in the Gaza conflict. And a recent legal victory in Chicago could help expose police brutality in poor communities of color.

Jul
18
2014

David Alexander Bullock on Detroit Water, Ralph Nader on Export-Import Bank

detroitwater

The UN says water is a human right, and if people are unable to pay, shutting off their water is a human rights violation. That puts the city of Detroit on the wrong side of international law, as well as human decency, with shut-offs affecting thousands of city residents. But the water shut-offs are only the latest attack on the poor and public resources in Detroit. We'll hear from area activist, Pastor David Alexander Bullock.
Also this week: Something called the Export-Import Bank started getting some press once Tea Party activists and Republican lawmakers started criticizing it as corporate welfare. Pundits say the critics don't know what they're talking about and could threaten American jobs. But our guest, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, thinks the bank deserves some scrutiny—and that it's an issue that resonates beyond the Tea Party right.

Jul
11
2014

Yousef Munayyer on Gaza Attacks, Lee Fang on Marijuana Legalization

abc-israel

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have claimed dozens of Palestinian lives, including those of more than a dozen children. There are no Israeli casualties so far. The fact that US corporate media fail to note the unequal power and disproportionate suffering of Palestinians is just one of the ways middle east coverage is distorted. We'll talk with Yousef Munayyer of the Jerusalem Fund, about that.

Also on the show: For the first time, Gallup reports a majority of Americans support the legalization of marijuana. Of course many things can stand between popular opinion and legislation, and in this case one of those things is a powerful industry, though you don't hear much about it in debates around pot. Lee Fang of the Nation institute will join us to talk about his piece, The Real Reason Pot Is Still Illegal.

Jul
04
2014

Dave Zirin on World Cup, Sarah Jaffe on Supreme Court

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Much of the world is tuned into the World Cup. And while the drama on the field is on our TV screens, what about the wrenching political and economic upheaval in host country Brazil that has inspired millions to protest? That's the World Cup story Dave Zirin has been reporting, he'll join us to talk about it.

Also this week: The Supreme Court rulings in Hobby Lobby and Harris, though reportedly narrow, may have far-reaching impacts. Particularly as both almost exclusively affect working women. We'll talk with Sarah Jaffe of In These Times.

Jun
27
2014

Murtaza Hussain on Iraq, Laura Carlsen on Immigration Crisis

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This week on CounterSpin: The crisis in Iraq has pundits talking about Al Qaeda and ISIS and regional powers like Iran -- but there's also the suggestion that this is merely the latest round in a 1400 year old war between Muslim sects. That lets the US off the hook, but does it fit with actual history? Writer Murtaza Hussain joins us to explain how it doesn't.

Also this week: Are the increasing numbers of children migrants from Central America "refugees who need asylum or illegal gold-diggers who need to go home?" Not clear whom the Christian Science Monitor thought it was helping with such inhumane framing of what the White House is now calling an 'urgent humanitarian situation'. We'll talk about the more complicated pushes and pulls behind this child migration with Laura Carlsen of the Americas Program of the Center for International Policy.

Jun
20
2014

Ross Caputi on Iraq, Brian Jones on Teacher Tenure

ISIS-CSpin

This week on CounterSpin: According to US media, a brutal jihadi group known as ISIS has taken over large regions of Iraq in recent days. This has resulted in a parade of pundits discussing just how massive the US military response should be. We'll talk with Ross Caputi, a former marine who served in Iraq and is a now a leader in the reparations movement, about what is really going on there.

Also this week: A judge in California takes aim at tenure for public school teachers, to the delight of education 'reformers' and editorial pages. But are they right about what tenure means? And does any of this help students? We'll talk to writer and activist Brian Jones.

Jun
13
2014

Jennifer Fiore on Gun Violence, Keane Bhatt on Human Rights Watch

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This week on CounterSpin: Another fatal school shooting, another round of media stories about what we as a society need to talk more or more honestly about. One effort now gaining ground says there are some things we can do besides talk. Jennifer Fiore is executive director of the Campaign to Unload. She'll join us to talk about divesting from gun violence.

Also on the show: Two Nobel prize laureates have joined scores of academics in publishing letters to Human Rights Watch, challenging the prominent human rights group to scuttle a revolving door policy that has seen top staff land jobs in the US state department and vice versa, and noting times when the group seems to put aside neutrality to side with the US. Keane Bhatt, the activist and writer behind the effort, will join us to talk about that.