Mar 25 2011

Asli Bali on Libya, Alia Malek on US Muslim prisons

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The U.S.’s sudden military involvement in Libya raises many questions that have not been answered by officials who’ve plunged the country into a war they say is to protect civilians, or even asked by many journalists who have been too busy cheering to ask them. Questions like how certain are we that going war will be better for Libyan civilians than the threat they faced from Libyan dictator Muammar el-Gadhafi? And what solutions short of war were sought? We’ll be joined by UCLA law professor Asli Bali. Also on the show: the seemingly unending […]

Jan 07 2011

Bob Parry on GOP ‘info war,’ Nancy Lockhart on Scott sisters

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: the Tea Party takes power in Washington. The new Republican majority in the House of Representatives brought a certain type of political theater—giant gavels, the reading of the Constitution, and John Boehner’s tears. But there is another kind of theater to come, as Republicans vow to launch a variety of investigations of the Obama White House. Robert Parry of Consortium News will join us to talk about how these efforts are likely to play in the press. Also on CounterSpin today, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour commuted the sentences of Jamie and Gladys Scott. The […]

Jul 30 2010

Daniel Ellsberg on WikiLeaks, A.C. Thompson on New Orlean police shootings

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The release of tens of thousands of Afghan War documents by the organization WikiLeaks has met with some confusion in the media, who seem to want to downplay its importance but who also insist that WikiLeaks and its founder are dangerous and irresponsible. Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked The Pentagon Papers to the press 40 years ago, will join us with his thoughts on the WikiLeaks revelations. Also on the show: If tens of thousands of displaced people have been unable to convince journalists that hurricane Katrina is not a finished story, the recent indictments […]

Feb 01 2010

Voices from the Hellmouth

For convict journalists, freedom of the press is not so black and white

On January 31, 2009, John Dannenberg, Prison Legal News’ California correspondent, was released from California State Prison, San Quentin, where he had spent the past 23 years serving a life sentence for murder. Although by Dannenberg’s recollection he has written more than 1,000 articles for PLN since he began working with the publication in 2000, the majority of his writing does not bear his name. As a prisoner, anonymity was a condition of Dannenberg’s role as a journalist—something he learned with his first PLN story. “I had written something that was uncomplimentary about the guards’ union and somebody apparently on […]

Jan 15 2010

Bill Fletcher on Haiti, Beau Hodai on Charles Overby

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Haiti’s status as the poorest nation in the hemisphere has been mentioned time and again by journalists covering the current catastrophe, but where were journalists before the earthquake hit? And how are they doing in explaining the larger context of how Haiti got to this point? We’ll talk to Bill Fletcher, former president of TransAfrica Forum and executive editor of The Black Commentator. Also on the show: Charles Overby is CEO of the Freedom Forum, a foundation ostensibly dedicated to principles of free speech and a free press. He’s also a director and shareholder […]

Jan 01 2010

Freedom Forum CEO Tied to For-Profit Prisons

An advocate for--and against--freedom of information

Al Neuharth (cc photo: Scott Henrichsen/Knight Foundation)

Charles Overby has a foot planted firmly in two very different worlds. In one, he is a champion of the free press. In the other, he is part of a group at the helm of a corporation that has worked hard to limit freedom of information and the ability of the press to inform the public. In one world, Overby is chief executive officer of the Freedom Forum, a foundation created by former USA Today publisher Al Neuharth, and its Newseum—located on Pennsylvania Avenue, blocks from the Smithsonian and the Capitol, and which literally has the First Amendment etched onto […]

Aug 28 2009

Spencer Ackerman on CIA torture documents, Ed Herman on Lockerbie

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: A few months ago it seemed like Dick Cheney wouldn’t get off your television screen, insisting that secret CIA documents would prove that Bush torture policies saved the United States from further terrorist attacks. Well those documents have surfaced, along with a 2004 CIA inspector general’s report. So what’s in these documents? And has Cheney been vindicated? We’ll speak with reporter Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent about that. Also on CounterSpin today, “Outrageous and disgusting” is how White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs described scenes in Tripoli where Abdel al-Megrahi was greeted on his […]

Jul 03 2009

Greg Grandin on Honduras coup, Nomi Prins on Madoff verdict

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Coverage of the Honduran coup ousting president Manuel Zelaya has often included the claim that the coup was prompted by Zelaya’s move to change the constitution, so that he could stay in power. The fact that this central claim is untrue shows how confusing that coverage can be. We’ll talk to New York University Latin American history professor Greg Grandin about the real reasons certain sectors of Honduran society wanted Zelaya out of the picture. Also on the show: The sentence of 150 years for convicted Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff is gratifying on […]