May
30
2014

Priyamvada Gopal on Indian Elections, Soraya Chemaly on Trigger Warnings

CNN-india

India's new prime minister Narendra Modi is being well-received in the US press, with his neoliberal economic ideas in the foreground and his ties to Hindu extremism pushed further back, or glossed. We'll speak to University of Cambridge professor Priyamvada Gopal about Modi.

Also this week: 'Trigger warnings' are, according to various media think pieces and op-eds, a new attack on free speech on college campuses, an attempt to protect the delicate sensibilities of young people who refuse to be challenged or have their beliefs questioned. But many argue that alerting people that they may encounter traumatic content isn't about punishing free speech, but actually about expanding conversations about things like racism and violence. We'll talk it over with feminist writer Soraya Chemaly.

May
23
2014

Nikole Hannah-Jones on School Segregation, Lizbeth Gronlund on US Nukes

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This week on CounterSpin: Much of the media coverage of the 60th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision outlawing segregated schools noted an ominous development: American schools are still segregated, some even more so than before Brown. We'll talk to Nikole Hannah-Jones of ProPublica, who has been tracking this for a series called "Segregation Now."

Also this week: Congress is currently debating the military budget, including White House proposals to increase spending on nuclear weapons to 300 billion dollars over the next decade. But besides the rare wire story, you wouldn't know about it, despite news angles which might question how it conflicts with US international obligations and previous White House pronouncements. We'll speak with Lizbeth Gronlund of the Union of Concerned Scientists Global Security Program about nuclear weapons spending.

May
16
2014

Bronwyn Bruton on Nigeria, Ben Lilliston on Trade Policy & Climate

ABC_Nigeria

This week on the show: The Bring Back Our Girls social media activism is an understandable response to the horrific kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian school girls by the Boko Harum militant group. The story, ignored at first by the US press, is receiving wall to wall attention. We'll talk to Bronwyn Bruton of the Atlantic Council about some of the complexity often missing from that coverage.

Also this week: Some folks thought it odd that Barack Obama chose a Walmart as the place to declare his commitment to clean energy – the behemoth company is known, by many, for its record of climate pollution on a scale a few solar panels won't fix. But our guest says White House policies promoting energy efficiency and renewables face another formidable obstacle: namely, other White House policies. Ben Lilliston from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy will join us to explain.

May
09
2014

Dahlia Lithwick on Clayton Lockett, David Sirota on Journalists' Survey

botched-execution

Dahlia Lithwick discusses the Oklahoma execution case that has been making international headlines, and David Sirota talks about what a new survey tells us about the state of journalism.

May
02
2014

Craig Aaron on Net Neutrality, Anand Gopal on Afghan War

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Is the future of the open internet in danger? We'll talk to Craig Aaron of Free Press about what the FCC might be doing on net neutrality—and what the public can do to stop it.
Also this week: The Afghanistan War has a hidden history, well known to Afghans, but obscure to US media consumers. Without it, it's hard to understand why, when US foes vanished from the battle-field in 2002, the war continued, becoming America's longest. In his new book, No Good Men Among the Living; America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes, journalist Anand Gopal looks at that hidden history-- he'll join us to talk about it.

Apr
25
2014

Rafael Correa on Communications Law, Laila Al-Arian on Bangladesh

Rafael Correa

A new communications law in Ecuador seeks to break up powerful media conglomerates, create new community and public media and promote diversity on the airwaves. To US critics, though, it's really a way for left-leaning president Rafael Correa to silence his detractors. He'll join us to talk about the law and the press in his country.

Also on CounterSpin today, top: At the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh, a new film challenges US corporations' accountability for workplace conditions at suppliers they always seem to claim not to know. 'Made in Bangladesh,” from Al Jazeera America's Fault Lines series, recently won a Peabody Award. We'll speak with its producer, author and journalist Laila Al-Arian of Al Jazeera English.

Apr
18
2014

Adam Gaffney on Obamacare Costs; Astra Taylor on 'The People's Platform'

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This week on CounterSpin: It's an understatement to say that media characterizations of the Affordable Care Act vary wildly. But so much analysis is devoted to political football, when health insurance is an issue calling out for news people can use. We'll talk about coverage with Adam Gaffney, a physician and writer at theprogressivephysician.org.

Also on the show: It wasn't that long ago that many people believed the Internet would be a kind of utopia; today many still hold that if only everyone had a way to get on line, it could be a truly democratic town square. A new book interrogates that idea, and shows how in many ways the net is anything but revolutionary. It's called The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age. We'll speak with author Astra Taylor.

Apr
11
2014

Phyllis Bennis on Afghan Elections, Alfie Kohn on The Myth of the Spoiled Child

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CBS told viewers the recent presidential election in Afghanistan was a major victory for the US military. The idea that 12 years of war and occupation have gifted that country with peace and stability is shaping up as the line of the day in US media. Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies has a different take.

And author Alfie Kohn talks about his new provocative new book, "The Myth of the Spoiled Child," which argues that much of the conventional wisdom about children and parenting is just wrong.