Oct 10 2014

Gary Webb & Kill the Messenger, Katha Pollitt on Abortion Rights

Kill_The_Messenger_43208

This week on CounterSpin: The new film Kill the Messenger tells the story of investigative journalist Gary Webb, whose 1996 Dark Alliance series exposed links between drug traffickers and the US-backed Contras in Nicaragua. Prestige outlets like the New York Times devoted serious resources to going after Webb in an attempt to discredit his reporting. We’ll go back to the CounterSpin archives to hear from Webb himself.

Also on the show: You might think you hear enough about abortion in the press. A new book says: We need to talk about abortion differently. PRO: Reclaiming Abortion Rights is the latest from author, poet and Nation columnist Katha Pollitt. We’ll talk with her about reframing that conversation.

Oct 03 2014

Murtaza Hussain on Khorasan Group, Vijay Prashad on Narendra Modi

khorasan-cspin

This week on CounterSpin: When the US military attacks on Syria got underway, there was a sudden shift in the coverage: We weren’t just bombing the Islamic State, but something called the Khorasan Group. But who are they and how come no one had ever heard of them before? We’ll talk to reporter Murtaza Hussain of the Intercept about that.

Also this week: Indian prime minister Narendra Modi received a royal welcome when he arrived in the US for a visit on September 26. For a republic, it’s always been a little strange how the US treats foreign heads of states like royalty, but with his controversial past and politics, Modi’s treatment was even more curious than most. We’ll talk with Trinity College history professor Vijay Prashad about Modi’s American reception.

Sep 26 2014

Laurie Garrett on Ebola Crisis, Anne Petermann on Climate March

abc-ebola-2

This week on CounterSpin: The current outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa is unprecedented in its scale. But while some media focus on experimental vaccines, health experts say we ought to be talking about fundamental inequities in basic healthcare delivery. We’ll talk about ebola with Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Also on the show: The largest environmental march ever brought hundreds of thousands into New York City streets, but the People’s Climate Watch was mostly ignored by the media. As was its companion action, Flood Wall Street, which targeted corporations behind climate instability with civil disobedience. Is the people’s voice on climate change being ignored by the corporate media just as it’s been ignored by corporate backed governments? We’ll speak with Anne Petermann, director of the Global Justice Ecology Project, and the Climate-Connections blog.

Sep 19 2014

Raed Jarrar on Iraq & ISIS, Robert Weissman on Democracy for All

abc-terr-threat

This week on CounterSpin: “We have no choice,” CBS’s Bob Schieffer told viewers, calling for US military attacks on the extremist group ISIS, because “this evil must be eradicated.” Though the shouts of warmongers may make them hard to hear, we do have choices – choices more likely to lead to longterm peace in Iraq and Syria than dropping bombs. We’ll hear from Raed Jarrar, policy impact coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee.

Also on the show: In response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, there’s a grassroots movement to amend the Constitution to try to curtail the influence of big money in politics. But it’s not getting much sympathy from the press– the AP says it’s an election year stunt, and pundits like George Will call it an attack on free speech. Robert Weissman of Public Citizen will join us to talk about the Democracy for All amendment.

Sep 12 2014

Antonia Juhasz on BP Spill, Greg Grandin on the Economist and Slavery

deepwater

This week on CounterSpin: A judge has ruled BP was guilty of willful misconduct and gross negligence in the Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 people and dumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. With Obama talking about expanding offshore drilling, you’d hope the media would take serious notice. We’ll talk about what that would look like with Antonia Juhasz, author of Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill.

Also on the show: The Economist magazine recently apologized and retracted its review of ‘The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism,’ a review that faulted the author for portraying whites as slavery’s villains, and blacks as its victims. Yes. New York University history professor Greg Grandin will join us to talk about the Economist’s slavery problem.

Sep 05 2014

David Kotz on Ukraine, Anya Schiffrin on ‘Global Muckraking’

cnn-ukraine-2

This week on CounterSpin: As the fighting continues in eastern Ukraine, Russian president Putin has proposed a peace plan, and NATO is meeting to discuss Ukraine among other things. What are the prospects for peace and how is the press doing in helping us understand the events in Ukraine. We’ll talk with University of Massachusettes professor David Kotz.

Also this week: Is this a golden age for investigative journalism? Anya Schiffrin has edited a new collection of global muckracking, and she seems some good news for journalism. She’ll join us to explai

Aug 29 2014

Brian Jones on Teacher Tenure, Nikole Hannah-Jones on School Segregation

public-schools1

This week on CounterSpin: A special back to school episode, with two interviews from this year that get at some of the thorniest issues around public education: The politics of teacher tenure and the de facto segregation of American schools. Our guests are writer and activist Brian Jones and Nikole Hannah-Jones of ProPublica.

Aug 22 2014

Malkia Cyril on Ferguson, Jeff Cohen on James Risen

msnbc-ferguson

This week on CounterSpin: The New York Times’ David Carr says ‘nothing much good was happening in Ferguson until it became a hashtag’. It’s naïve to think that media attention to the police killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown is enough to address the crisis it represents, but Carr’s not wrong that it was the internet and not corporate media that put the story on the front burner. We’ll talk about Ferguson and media with Malkia Cyril of the Center for Media Justice.

Also on the show: Will New York Times reporter James Risen go to jail for refusing to testify against a source? Risen’s case is seen by many as a clear-cut example of how the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers is also a war on journalists and journalism. We’ll talk to FAIR founder Jeff Cohen, director of the Park Center for Independent Media about the state of the case and the activist pushback.