Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Internet activists are trying to rein in abusive aspects of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or CFAA, with a law dubbed "Aaron's Law"--named in honor of activist Aaron Swartz. But new developments in the House threaten to make the law even more abusive. We'll talk with David Moon from the group Swartz founded, Demand Progress. Also on the show: With millions of Americans in prison, and seemingly more each day, one might imagine that what goes on in prison would be a topic for sustained journalistic inquiry. Yet there are only a [...]
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This week on CounterSpin: When it comes to the Iraq War, elite media are willing to say 'mistakes were made' around evidence of weapons, but virtually none appear interested to revisit the other justifications they endorsed, including that toppling Saddam Hussein would advance human rights in Iraq and especially the rights of women. Surely media that truly regretted their role in the war would show more interest in tracking those aspects of its ongoing impact? We’ll speak with Diana Duarte of the group MADRE, about what they’d find if they did.
Also on the show: Veteran journalist Barbara Miner's new book takes a look at decades of history in Milwaukee—including fights over school integration, welfare reform and the birth of the school voucher movement. And she argues that journalists and policymakers can't have a sensible conversation about the state of public schools if they're ignoring the big issues, like racism and poverty. She'll be here to talk about 'Lessons from the Heartland: A Turbulent Half-Century of Public Education in an Iconic American City.'
This week on CounterSpin: The Washington Post is again suggesting that Iran is expanding its nuclear program. This time, they say Iran is attempting to import magnets for use in uranium centrifuges. But is the story credible? And how does it play alongside the US’s latest National Intelligence Estimate? We'll talk with Yousaf Butt, physicist and scientist-in-residence at the Monterey Institute for International Studies.
Also on CounterSpin today: Remember Fix the Debt? Last year a group of CEOs, along with Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, were on a crusade to save the country from its crushing debt load—mostly by cutting Social Security and Medicare. That moment of crisis passed, but the group's still as active as ever. PR Watch and the Nation reported on the things we should know about Fix the Debt; we'll talk to PR Watch deputy director Mary Bottari.
This week on CounterSpin: Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez is dead but his independence and help for Venezuela's poor remains unforgiven in the US press. We'll talk to Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research about what media's portrayal of Chavez says about media.
Also on the show: Bradley Manning's trial took a dramatic turn when he explained, in great detail, the reasons why he uploaded thousands of sensitive files to the website WikiLeaks. His goal was to spark public debate about U.S. war and foreign policy. Kevin Gosztola has been covering the trial for firedoglake.com he'll join us to talk about Manning's statement, and about the implications the trial has for press freedom.
An irreplaceable activist for freedom of information
It’s always difficult to write about a death. If it’s after a lifetime of accomplishments, how do you sum that up in a few brief paragraphs? When a life has been cut cruelly short, it’s even worse—trying hopelessly to convey the sense of lost possibilities. With Aaron Swartz, who died on January 11 by his own hand, you have the worst of both worlds. At the age of 26, he had already achieved so much in so many different arenas as to baffle an obituary writer: taking part in creating the RSS protocol when he was just 14 years old, [...]
Argo won the Best Picture Academy Award. The film claims to be 'based on' the true story of the Iranian hostage crisis. But just how far removed is it from that true story, and why does it matter? We'll hear from Nima Shirazi of the blog WideasleepinAmerica.
Also on the show: The Supreme Court has determined that the government doesn't have to reveal who it's targeting with its domestic spying programs, but civil liberties groups can't challenge the spying because... they can't prove they’ve been targeted. Mitra Ebadolahi of the ACLU's National Security Project will explain.
Deflecting blame for Bangladesh factory fires
What should be done to prevent incidents like the January 26 fire at the Smart Fashion Export factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in which at least seven garment workers (three of them teenage girls) were killed, their escape impeded by a blocked exit and the absence of the most rudimentary fire safety equipment? The answer for many would be: whatever is necessary. But to hear elite media tell it, it’s complicated—so much so that it’s not even clear who the victims were: the women crushed to death escaping flames, or the system that exploits and endangers them. Or else why would [...]