May 1 2013

Whose Police State?

National media focus on 2nd Amendment over 4th Amendment


National media focus on 2nd Amendment over 4th Amendment.

Mar 1 2012

Stopping Short on Stop and Frisk

NYT reports racist policy but won’t call for its end

The New York Times (12/1/99) reported in 1999 the finding of an investigation by state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer that the New York Police Department’s “stop and frisk” program unfairly targeted black and Hispanic people. “Police officials have long contended that the disparity was based on the fact that most people are stopped in poor, high-crime neighborhoods, many of which have a majority of black and Hispanic residents,” the story explained. “But the attorney general’s analysis found that, even when the statistics were adjusted to take higher crime rates among minorities into account, the number of blacks and Hispanics stopped […]

Sep 16 2011

Brandi Grissom on Texas death penalty, Tom Engelhardt on campaign coverage


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: For a lot of people, the Republican debate on September 9 had one memorable moment: when Texas governor Rick Perry was asked about his state’s death penalty record, the audience cheered wildly. Moderator Brian Williams wanted to know if Perry lost sleep worrying whether he’d ever executed an innocent man. Perry said no, and that’s where it was left. But what’s the record in Texas? We’ll ask Texas Tribune reporter Brandi Grissom. Also on CounterSpin today, at this point in the 2008 Republican primary season, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson were topping GOP polls. […]

Jul 22 2011

Mary Bottari on ALEC Exposed, Marjorie Cohn on prison hunger strike


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: You’ve probably never heard of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. So why do they have so much sway over the laws affecting your life? We may get some sunlight on the actions of this influential “public/private membership organization” with the release of a cache of previously secret documents on their work. We’ll hear from Mary Bottari of the Center for Media and Democracy about the ALEC Exposed project, and what it all means. Also on the show: A hunger strike by California prisoners against what they say are torturous and abusive conditions […]

Mar 25 2011

Asli Bali on Libya, Alia Malek on US Muslim prisons


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 7 2011

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


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 1 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 […]