Recent blog posts
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Robert McChesney: Mainstream Corporate Media Covering 2016 Election Through Eyes of Clinton Campaign
"This has been an all-time low by mainstream corporate media," says media scholar Robert McChesney, who joins us to discuss how the media is covering the race for the White House. "What we’ve seen is the Sanders campaign has been largely neglected ... And the coverage and the framing of it has been largely through the eyes of the establishment for the Hillary Clinton campaign." McChesney says reporters also failed simply to ask questions about what exactly happened over the weekend when Sanders supporters erupted in protest at the Nevada state Democratic convention after they said rules were abruptly changed and 64 Sanders supporters were wrongly denied delegate status. This "brought to the front just how little actual journalism goes on," he notes, "how much of it is simply regurgitating what people in power tell them." McChesney is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Communication and is co-founder of Free Press, a national media reform organization.
- EgyptAir Plane Crashed After Disappearing Between Paris and Cairo
- 3 Countries Recall Ambassadors to Brazil over Rousseff's Ouster
- Senate Dems Hold Mock Confirmation Hearing for Merrick Garland
- Trump's 11 SCOTUS Picks: White, Male and Conservative
- Trump Meets with Henry Kissinger to Discuss Foreign Policy
- Nigeria: One of the Missing Chibok Schoolgirls Returns Home
- Afghan Officials: 5 Killed in U.S. Drone Strike
- Seychelles Decriminalizes Sex for LGBT People
- Canada: Trudeau Apologizes for 1914 Komagata Maru Incident
- KY Elects First African American Woman to State Legislature in 20 Years
- South Carolina Passes Bill Banning Abortion After 20 Weeks
- Youth Climate Activists Score Legal Victory in Mass.
- U. of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate Student Union Votes for BDS
- Today is 95th Birthday of Late Civil Rights Activist Yuri Kochiyama
As Democracy Now! broadcasts from Chicago, Illinois, we look at major developments in several high-profile cases of police shootings of unarmed African-American men and women, and how the independent media has played a key role in exposing police misconduct. On Tuesday, Dante Servin resigned from the Chicago Police Department just days before hearings were set to begin into whether he should be fired for shooting Rekia Boyd while he was off duty and she stood with a group of friends near his house. This comes as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced this week that he plans to disband the city’s controversial police oversight agency that has been criticized for sluggish investigations that rarely resulted in disciplinary action. Mayor Emanuel is also facing calls to resign over a possible cover-up of the police killing of Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times in 2014. We are joined by Jamie Kalven, founder of the Invisible Institute and a freelance journalist who uncovered the autopsy report showing Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times and who first reported on the existence of the video of the shooting. In recent months, he has won a George Polk Award, an Izzy and the Ridenhour Courage Prize for his reporting on Chicago police misconduct. We also speak with Page May, a co-founder and organizer with Assata’s Daughters. She was also a member of the We Charge Genocide delegation to the U.N. Committee Against Torture.
The relationship between the Bernie Sanders campaign and the Democratic Party leadership has been challenging from the start of the 2016 election campaign, when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began the primaries with a more than 400-delegate lead by securing support from superdelegates—the 712 congressmembers, senators, governors and other elected officials who often represent the Democratic Party elite. Now a new article from In These Times by Branko Marcetic uncovers "The Secret History of Superdelegates," which were established by the Hunt Commission in 1982. We are joined by Jessica Stites, executive editor of In These Times and editor of the site’s June cover story, and Rick Perlstein, the Chicago-based reporter and author of several books, including "Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America."
As Donald Trump moves closer to securing the Republican nomination, we begin today’s show looking at how he is changing the GOP. We are joined by Rick Perlstein, a Chicago-based reporter and author who has extensively researched the conservative movement. Perlstein’s books include "Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America" and "The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan." His recent piece is, "Donald Trump’s avenging angels: How the orange-haired monster has rewritten the history of American conservatism."
- Sanders Wins Oregon Primary; Clinton Declares Victory in Tight Kentucky Race
- Donald Trump Moves Closer to Nomination with Oregon Win
- Sanders Criticizes Nevada Democratic Leadership After Disputed Convention
- Iraq: At Least 70 Killed in Latest Wave of Baghdad Bombings
- Senate Passes Bill to Let 9/11 Families Sue Saudi Arabia
- White House Threatens to Veto Draft of Military Spending Bill
- Mexican President Proposes Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Nationwide
- In Emotional Plea, Father of Missing Student Calls for Rapporteur to Visit Mexico
- Nigeria: Union Representing Millions Launches General Strike
- France: Scores Arrested as Up to 220,000 Protest Labor Reforms
- Millions More U.S. Workers to Become Eligible for Overtime Pay
- Chilean Court Asks U.S. to Extradite Former Pinochet Agents
- Pipeline Company Indicted over California Oil Spill
Chomsky on the Late Michael Ratner & How U.S. Thawed Cuba Ties to Avoid Dwindling Regional Influence
At the opening of the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C., last year after almost half a century, Democracy Now! spoke to attorney Michael Ratner, who played a key role in fighting for the habeas corpus rights of Guantánamo prisoners and wrote several books about the U.S. role in Cuba and Latin America. We discuss his legacy and new U.S. stance toward Cuba with Noam Chomsky, who argues the change came about in part because the United States was being driven out of the hemisphere. "Latin America used to be just the backyard. They do what you tell them. If they don’t do it, we throw them out and put in someone else. No more. Not in the last 10, 20 years."
This month President Obama will become the first serving U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, where the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb toward the end of World War II on what Noam Chomsky calls "the grimmest day I can remember." Chomsky examines the U.S. role in launching the nuclear age, Obama’s role in continuing it, and the rest of his legacy. "I don’t usually agree with Sarah Palin, but when she was ridiculing this—what she called this 'hopey-changey stuff,' she had a point. There were a few good things. ... But opportunities that were available, especially in the first two years when he had Congress with him, just were not used. By the standards of U.S. presidential politics, it’s kind of nothing special either way, nothing to rave about, certainly."
We speak with world-renowned political dissident Noam Chomsky about the Republican party, the rightward shift in U.S. politics and the 2016 election. "If we were honest, we would say something that sounds utterly shocking and no doubt will be taken out of context and lead to hysteria on the part of the usual suspects," Chomsky says, "but the fact of the matter is that today’s Republican Party qualify as candidates for the most dangerous organization in human history. Literally."
As protests continue in Brazil over the Legislature’s vote to suspend President Dilma Rousseff and put her on trial, Noam Chomsky notes that "we have the one leading politician who hasn’t stolen to enrich herself, who’s being impeached by a gang of thieves, who have done so. That does count as a kind of soft coup." Rousseff’s replacement, Brazil’s former vice president, Michel Temer, is a member of the opposition PMDB party who is implicated in Brazil’s massive corruption scandal involving state-owned oil company Petrobras, and has now appointed an all-white male Cabinet charged with implementing corporate-friendly policies.
Chomsky: Saudi Arabia is the "Center of Radical Islamic Extremism" Now Spreading Among Sunni Muslims
As Saudi Arabia continues to fund fighting in Syria and Yemen, Noam Chomsky says it is "the center of radical Islamic extremism." Chomsky adds that the U.S. ally is "a source of not only funding for extremist radical Islam and the jihadi outgrowths of it, but also, doctrinally, mosques, clerics and so on, schools, you know, madrassas, where you study just Qur’an, is spreading all over the huge Sunni areas from Saudi influence."
Today, the U.S. and Russia co-chair a meeting of the 17-nation International Syria Support Group aimed at easing the five-year conflict with a death toll that has reached close to half a million people. Just last month, President Obama announced the deployment of 250 more Special Operations troops to Syria in a move that nearly doubles the official U.S. presence in the country. Syria is only one of a number of ongoing deadly conflicts in the Middle East. Last year, a record 60 million people around the world were forced to flee their homes, becoming refugees. For more on these conflicts and the rise of ISIS, we continue our conversation with internationally renowned political dissident, linguist and author, Noam Chomsky. "The U.S. invasion of Iraq was a major reason in the development, a primary reason in the incitement of sectarian conflicts, which have now exploded into these monstrosities," says Chomsky. He has written over 100 books, most recently, "Who Rules the World?" Chomsky is institute professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he’s taught for more than 50 years.
- North Carolina: 11 Arrested Protesting Anti-Transgender Law
- Trans Singer of Against Me! Burns Birth Certificate on Stage in North Carolina
- Democrats Vote in Kentucky, Oregon; Sanders Supporters Protest Nevada Results
- Puerto Rico: Sanders Decries Austerity in Campaign Stop
- Attorney Says Trump Could Sue over NYT Article on His Treatment of Women
- Supreme Court Declines to Rule on Key Birth Control Case
- Afghanistan: Thousands Flood Capital over Route of Electric Power Line
- Philippines President-Elect Vows to Resume Executions
- CIA Internal Watchdog Admits It Destroyed Copy of Senate Torture Report
- Mexico: Journalist Manuel Torres Shot Dead in Veracruz
- New York: Regulator Deals Blow to Residents Opposed to Gas Storage at Seneca Lake
- Intercept Begins Releasing Trove of Internal NSA Newsletters
Who is the world-renowned political dissident Noam Chomsky voting for? "In the primaries, I would prefer Bernie Sanders," Chomsky says. "If Clinton is nominated and it comes to a choice between Clinton and Trump, in a swing state, a state where it’s going to matter which way you vote, I would vote against Trump, and by elementary arithmetic, that means you hold your nose and you vote Democrat. I don’t think there’s any other rational choice."
We speak with world-renowned political dissident Noam Chomsky about where the Democratic presidential candidates stand on the issue of Israel and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS. "Boycott and sanctions make perfectly good sense when these tactics are properly applied, as they often are," Chomsky says. "You can understand why Hillary Clinton is frightened of them. They might undermine the policy of her husband and his predecessors, and Obama, as well, to support Israeli violence and aggression."
World-renowned political dissident Noam Chomsky weighs in on Trump’s candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, particularly his denial of climate change and push for greater militarization. "Trump is saying, 'Yeah, let's make the global warming problem as dangerous and imminent as possible. Let’s march towards destruction of the species, like we’re destroying everyone else. And let’s escalate militarization and, at the same time, sharply cut down resources by radical tax cuts, mostly for the rich,’" Chomsky says. "This is a really astonishing moment in human history, if you look at it."
President Obama has just passed a little-noticed milestone, according to The New York Times: Obama has now been at war longer than any president in U.S. history—longer than George W. Bush, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Obama has taken military action in at least seven countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Just last month, President Obama announced the deployment of 250 more Special Operations troops to Syria in a move that nearly doubles the official U.S. presence in the country. As war spreads across the globe, a record 60 million people were driven from their homes last year. Experts warn the refugee crisis may also worsen due to the impacts of global warming. Over the weekend, NASA released data showing 2016 is on pace to be by far the hottest year ever, breaking the 2015 record. Meanwhile, many fear a new nuclear arms race has quietly begun, as the United States, Russia and China race to build arsenals of smaller nuclear weapons. These multiple crises come as voters in the United States prepare to elect a new president. We speak with one of the world’s preeminent intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, institute professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught for more than 50 years. His latest book is titled "Who Rules the World?"
- Washington State: 52 Arrested Blockading Tracks to Oil Refineries
- New York: Thousands Converge on Albany to Protest Oil "Bomb Trains"
- Germany: More Than 100 Arrested at Coal Protest Amid Global Wave of Actions
- Shell Spills 90,000 Gallons of Oil into Gulf of Mexico
- Last Month was the Hottest April Ever—by a Record Margin
- Iraq: ISIS Militants Attack Natural Gas Plant, Kill At Least 12
- Speaker Paul Ryan "Encouraged" After Trump Meeting
- Report: Women Detail Trump's Unwanted Advances, Comments on Their Bodies
- RNC Chair: "People Just Don't Care" About Reports Trump Mistreated Women
- GOP Megadonor Sheldon Adelson to Throw Millions Behind Trump
- Obama Takes Aim at Trump's Rhetoric in Rutgers Address
- Clinton, Sanders to Face Off in Kentucky and Oregon
- Venezuela: Maduro Extends State of Emergency, Accuses U.S. of Fomenting Coup
- Brazil: Protests Continue over Ouster of President Rousseff
- El Salvador Refuses to Recognize New Brazil Gov't After Rousseff Ouster
- Spain: Thousands Mark 5th Anniversary of Indignados Movement
- Pfizer Blocks the Use of Drugs in Executions
- Palestinian "Nakba" Demonstrators Met with Israeli Tear Gas
We go behind bars to get an update on the end of a 10-day strike by Alabama prisoners to protest severe overcrowding, poor living conditions and the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which bans slavery and servitude “except as a punishment for crime,” thus sanctioning the legality of forced, unpaid prison labor. "These strikes are our methods of challenging mass incarceration, as we understand the prison system is a continuation of the slave system, which is an economic system," says Kinetik Justice, who joins us by phone from solitary confinement in Holman Correctional Facility. He is co-founder of the Free Alabama Movement and one of the organizers of the strike. He says organizers tried petitioning their conditions via the courts and lawmakers, but when they were unsuccessful, "we understood our incarceration was pretty much about our labor and the money that was being generated from the prison system, therefore we began organizing around our labor and used it as a means and a method to bring about reform in the Alabama prison system."
As the death toll in Syria’s five-year conflict reportedly reaches half a million people, we look at how Syrians are working at the local level to survive and organize in the midst of war—and to keep the revolutionary spirit of the 2011 Syrian uprising alive. We are joined by Yasser Munif, a Syrian scholar who specializes in grassroots movements in Syria, who describes the ongoing work of media activists, journalists, medical crews and rescue workers. "They don’t perceive the kind of work they are doing as humanitarian or relief work. They perceive it as the backbone of the revolution," Munif notes. "The revolution is still alive. It may be marginal, but if there is a ceasefire … it can come back. It is very much invisible and, for some, unthinkable." Munif is the co-founder of the Campaign for Global Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution.