Ross Caputi on Iraq, Brian Jones on Teacher Tenure


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.


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


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.


Janet Redman on EPA Rules, Trevor Timm on James Risen


The EPA has proposed new rules limiting carbon emissions, and the outcry from industry -- lost jobs! higher energy costs! -- were completely predictable. But people concerned about climate change aren't exactly dancing in the aisles either. So are the new rules a bold step toward fighting climate change, or something much less? We'll hear from Janet Redman of the Climate Policy Program at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Also this week: New York Times reporter James Risen faces incarceration for citing the reporter's privilege to protect a source and refusing to testify in a criminal case against an ex-CIA employee. The Supreme Court refused to take his case on June 2nd and effectively let stand a lower court ruling finding there is no such thing as a reporter's privilege. We'll talk to Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation about the ruling.


Priyamvada Gopal on Indian Elections, Soraya Chemaly on Trigger Warnings


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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.


Craig Aaron on Net Neutrality, Anand Gopal on Afghan War


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.