December 27, 2005
Our guest is Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of thirteen books, including the New York Times bestseller Nickel and Dimed. A frequent contributor to the New York Times, Harpers, and the Progressive, she is a contributing writer to Time magazine.

Ehrenreich will discuss her latest book, Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream which highlights the people who’ve done everything right — gotten college degrees, developed marketable skills, and built up impressive résumés — yet have become repeatedly vulnerable to financial disaster, and not simply due to the vagaries of the business cycle.

In Bait and Switch, Ehrenreich goes undercover into the shadowy world of the white-collar unemployed. Armed with a plausible résumé of a professional “in transition,” she attempts to land a middle-class job — undergoing career coaching and personality testing, then trawling a series of EST-like boot camps, job fairs, networking events, and evangelical job-search ministries. She gets an image makeover, works to project a winning attitude, yet is proselytized, scammed, lectured, and — again and again — rejected.

Listen to the Ehrenreich interview here

December 20, 2005
At the age of thirty our guest today, Jesus Christ, made a significant change in his lifestyle. Leaving the family business behind, he started touring Israel with a message that today has been translated and retranslated tens of thousands of times — with varying degrees of success. Now, with his own religion, Christianity, and a following of 2.1 billion people, Jesus is a household word around the world. A Jew, a carpenter, a religious icon, Jesus is the figurehead of hundreds of Christian organizations from Catholics to Orthodox, from Protestants to Anglicans — Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, the Salvation Army, Seventh-Day Adventists, Shakers, Quakers, Gnostics all agree, Jesus is the man.

Listen to the Jesus interview here

December 13, 2005
Our guest today is Robert Fisk.

During the thirty years he has reported on the Middle East, Fisk has covered every major event in the region, from the Algerian Civil War to the Iranian Revolution, from the American hostage crisis in Beirut to the Iran-Iraq War, from the Russian invasion of Afghanistan to Israel's invasions of Lebanon, from the Gulf War to the invasion and ongoing war in Iraq.

In his new book, The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East, Robert Fisk brings his knowledge, his firsthand experience and his intimate understanding of the region to address the full complexity of its political history and its current state of affairs.

Middle East correspondent for London’s The Independent, Fisk lived in the Middle East for almost three decades and is one of the few Western journalists who has interviewed Osama bin Laden.

Listen to the Fisk interview here

December 6, 2005
Our guest today is Bruce Lawrence, Professor of Religion at Duke Universityand editor of Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden.

Despite the saturation of media coverage of the war on terror, there remains little public awareness of Osama bin Laden’s goals and idealogy. In the new book Messages to the World, this unbalance is redressed.

In bringing together the various statements issued under bin Laden's name since 1994, Messages to the World forms part of a growing discourse that seeks to demythologize the terrorist network. Newly translated from the Arabic, annotated with a critical introduction by Islamic scholar Bruce Lawrence, Messages places the statements in their religious, historical and political context. It shows how bin Laden's views draw on and differ from other strands of radical Islamic thought; it also demonstrates how his arguments vary in degrees of consistency, and how his evasions concerning the true nature and extent of his own group, and over his own role in terrorist attacks, have contributed to the perpetuation of his personal mythology.

Lawrence is also the author of New Faiths, Old Fears: Muslims and Other Asian Immigrants in American Religious Life, and Defenders of God: The Fundamentalist Revolt Against the Modern Age.

Listen to the Lawrence interview here

November 29, 2005

Our guest is investigative journalist Robert Parry, author of the new book Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq. Tracing investigative leads back through three decades, Secrecy & Privilege explores the mystery of how the two George Bushes rose to the pinnacle of American political power – and what the rise of their dynasty has meant to the nation’s democratic principles.

In addition to Secrecy and Privilege, we'll talk to Parry about his recent article on the possibilty of impeaching George Bush, Is Impeachment the Answer?

"Bush and Cheney could be faulted for the crony-driven incompetence in handling natural disasters and the mismanagement of the federal budget," Parry Says, "taking it from record surpluses to record deficits. Widespread malfeasance in office could well be regarded as an impeachable offense.

In the 1980's Parry's work for the Associated Press helped expose the Iran-Contra scandal, and included the first story about Oliver North's secret network and the first story about Nicaraguan contra-cocaine trafficking. While working for Newsweek and PBS Frontline, Parry covered Washington politics and international hotspots from Iran to Haiti, from Israel to Nicaragua.

In 1995, Parry established Consortium News as an online ezine dedicated to investigative journalism. Consortium News published groundbreaking articles on Ronald Reagan's “October Surprise,” the war in Kosovo, and the impeachment process against President Bill Clinton.

Listen to the Parry interview here

November 22, 2005
Our guest is John Bainbridge, Jr., journalist, lawyer and co-author — with Stephen Hunter — of American Gunfight: The Plot to Kill Harry Truman and the Shoot-Out That Stopped It.

American Gunfight is an account of an extraordinary historical event — the attempted assassination of President Harry Truman in 1950 by two Puerto Rican Nationalists and the bloody shoot-out in the streets of Washington, D.C., that saved the president's life.

The first book to report on the inner workings of this conspiracy, American Gunfight examines the forces that led the perpetrators to conceive the plot. Bainbridge and Hunter also tell the story of the men themselves, from their youth and the worlds in which they grew up to the moment the gunfire erupted. Their telling commemorates heroism — the quiet commitment to duty that in some moments of crisis sees some people through an ordeal, even at the expense of their lives.

Listen to the Bainbridge interview here

November 15, 2005
Our guest is Joe Conason. the bestselling author of Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth and co-author of The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton.

In his new book, The Raw Deal: How the Bush Republicans Plan to Destroy Social Security and the Legacy of the New Deal, Conason explains the Right’s privatization goals, Bush’s hard-fought campaign built on a stacked “study,” the corporate interests behind those efforts, the media blitz to undermine confidence in Social Security, and how we can stop the swindle.

We'll talk to Conason about The Raw Deal, Harriet Miers, Judith Miller, Patrick Fitzgerald and whoever or whatever else is making news in Washington.

National correspondent for the New York Observer and investigative editor for The American Prospect, Conason also writes a weekly column for Salon.com, and his writing and reporting have appeared in Harper's, The Guardian, The Nation, and The New Republic.

Listen to the Conason interview here

November 8, 2005
Mike and Nathan chat up California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's special election taking place today — an election that is costing the taxpayers of California $52 million.

Although Schwarzenegger's name will not appear on the ballot, his political career is at stake. California voters will consider initiatives he says are crucial to reshape state government, when in fact they are crucial to serving Schwarzenegger's special interest groups.

During his election campaign, Schwarzenegger (pictured above) posed as a moderate Republican. After his election, he revealed his rightward leanings, which have culminated in the November 8 reform initiatives that target Democratic lawmakers and public-sector unions.

Californians were not amused. A recent poll found that just 36 percent of voters want to see Schwarzenegger re-elected next year, with 55 percent opposed.

November 1, 2005
Our guest is satirist and counterculture legend Paul Krassner.

In his new book, One Hand Jerking: Reports from an Investigative Satirist, Krassner gazes on the fires of pop culture, politics and celebrity and returns unscathed to help us make sense of our senseless world.

From cults to pornography, from Charles Manson to Homer Simpson, from the war on drugs to the invasion of Iraq, from Dolly Parton to Lenny Bruce, from circumcision to propaganda, this collection epitomizes Krassner's credo, "Irreverence is our only sacred cow."

Krassner is the only person in the world ever to win awards from both Playboy and the Feminist Party Media Workshop (for journalism), to be inducted into the Counterculture Hall of Fame at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, to receive an ACLU Uppie (Upton Sinclair) Award for dedication to freedom of expression, and to be described by the FBI as "a raving, unconfined nut."

"The FBI was right; this man is dangerous—and funny, and necessary."
— George Carlin

"Krassner has the uncanny ability to alter your perceptions permanently."
— Los Angeles Times

Listen to the Krassner interview here

October 25, 2005
Our guest is Jay Feinman, Distinguished Professor of Law at Rutgers University and author Unmaking Law: The Conservative Campaign to Roll Back the Common Law.

Throughout the twentieth century, contract, property, and personal injury law evolved to take more account of social conditions and the needs of the less powerful members of American society. But all that is changing. The Bush Administration has a clear agenda to turn back the clock on the common law to increase the rights of big business.

In his book, Unmaking Law, Feinman looks at America’s radical conservative movement that has been systematically turning back a century's worth of gains and protections found in the areas of law that affect most of the everyday activities of ordinary people.

Feinman, an authority on contract law, tort law, legal education, and legal theory, is also the author of Law 101: Everything You Need to Know About the American Legal System.

Listen to the Feinman interview here

Also, for a pre-Halloween take-back-the-streets treat, International urban planner David Engwicht discusses his new book, Mental Speed Bumps: The Smarter Way to Tame Traffic — a practical, down-to-earth guide for residents, parents, health professionals and city planners that turns conventional wisdom on its head.

Mental speed bumps can instantly slow drivers without them being aware that they have slowed. Engwicht will reveal why removing all traffic signs, white lines, speed humps and traffic lights dramatically slows traffic and makes streets safer and — even in auto-centric Orange County, California — why building the social life of the street is the most effective way to tame traffic.

Listen to the Engwicht interview here

October 18, 2005
Our guest is
American Book Award-winner James W. Loewen who will discuss his latest book, Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism.

From Myakka City, Florida, to Kennewick, Washington, the nation is dotted with thousands of all-white towns that are (or were until recently) all-white on purpose. Sundown towns can be found in almost every state.

Loewen demonstrates that strict racial exclusion was the norm in American towns and villages for much of the twentieth century.

Sundown Towns redraws the map of race relations, extending the lines of racial oppression through the backyard of millions of Americans — and lobbing an intellectual hand grenade into the debates over race and racism today.

Loewen taught race relations for twenty years at the University of Vermont. Previously he taught at predominantly black Tougaloo College in Mississippi. He now lives in Washington, D.C., continuing his research on how Americans remember their past. His previous books include Lies My Teacher Told Me and Lies Across America.

Listen to the Loewen interview here

October 11, 2005
Our guest is Jennifer Miller, author of Inheriting the Holy Land.

Miller's perspective on the Middle East conflict is presented through interviews with young Israelis and Palestinians and conversations with some of the most influential officials involved in the Middle East, including Shimon Peres, Yasir Arafat, James Baker, Benjamin Netanyahu, Colin Powell, Ehud Barak, and Mahmoud Abbas. This book will open eyes, open hearts, and open minds.

Miller interweaves her candid interviews with the realities of life in the streets. Just as she was forced to confront her biases as an American, a Jew, a woman, and a journalist, in Inheriting the Holy Land, Miller similarly challenges readers to reexamine their own cherished prejudices and assumptions.

“The next generation is critical to Israeli-Palestinian peace. Jennifer Miller’s important book tells you why.”
– Mahmoud Abbas

"Jen Miller’s personal story about young Palestinians’ and Israelis’ efforts to renounce violence and war will certainly contribute to the new atmosphere of détente in the Middle East. Their quest for mutual understanding and peace communicates a moving appeal for faith in hope.”
– Elie Wiesel

Listen to the Miller interview here

October 4, 2005
Our guest is Anne Farrow, a veteran journalist for The Hartford Courant, the country’s oldest newspaper in continuous publication and co-author of Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged and Profited from Slavery.

Slavery in the South has been documented in volumes ranging from exhaustive histories to bestselling novels. But the North’s profit from–indeed, dependence on–slavery has mostly been a shameful and well-kept secret…until now.

Complicity reveals the cruel truth about the Triangle Trade of molasses, rum, and slaves that lucratively linked the North to the West Indies and Africa; discloses the reality of Northern empires built on profits from rum, cotton, and ivory–and run, in some cases, by abolitionists; and exposes the thousand-acre plantations that existed in towns such as Salem, Connecticut. Here, too, are eye-opening accounts of the individuals who profited directly from slavery far from the Mason-Dixon line–including Nathaniel Gordon of Maine, the only slave trader sentenced to die in the United States, who even as an inmate of New York’s infamous Tombs prison was supported by a shockingly large percentage of the city; Patty Cannon, whose brutal gang kidnapped free blacks from Northern states and sold them into slavery; and the Philadelphia doctor Samuel Morton, eminent in the nineteenth-century field of “race science,” which purported to prove the inferiority of African-born black people.

Listen to the Farrow interview here

September 27, 2005
Our guest is Anthony Shadid, author of Night Draws Near and the only journalist to win a Pulitzer Prize for reporting from Iraq.

Covering the War in Iraq for The Washington Post, Anthony Shadid was neither embedded with soldiers nor briefed by politicians. Because he is fluent in Arabic, Shadid — an Arab American born and raised in Oklahoma — was able to disappear into the divided, dangerous worlds of Iraq.

Through the lives of men and women, Sunnis and Shiites, American sympathizers and outraged young jihadists newly transformed into martyrs, Night Draws Near describes the journey of a defiant, hopeful, resilient Iraq.

Listen to the Shadid interview here

September 20, 2005
Our guest is George Galloway, British MP and author of Mr. Galloway Goes to Washington.

In May of this year, Galloway addressed a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in Iraq.

The subcommittee had released a report recycling discredited allegations that a campaign Galloway was involved in had been paid off by Saddam Hussein’s regime in exchange for opposing the brutal regime of U.S.-backed economic sanctions,

Galloway singled out chair Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) in his opening statement. “Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right, and you turned out to be wrong,” Galloway said. “And 100,000 people paid with their lives — 1,600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.

Galloway will speak in Los Angeles on September 22. He is currently the Respect Member of Parliament (MP) for Bethnal Green and Bow, and was previously MP for the Glasgow constituencies of Hillhead (1987-1997) and Kelvin (1997-2005), elected as a Labour Party candidate.

Listen to the Galloway interview here

September 13, 2005
8 - 10 am Pacific

Our first guest is Stephen J. Ducat author of The Wimp Factor
Gender Gaps, Holy Wars, and the Politics of Anxious Masculinity.

Ducat looks at how male anxiety has come to shape political thinking and behavior and argues that there is a direct association between the magnitude of a man’s femiphobia and his tendency to embrace right-wing political opinions.

Ducat shows how anxious masculinity has been a discernible subtext in politics throughout the history of Western culture — from the political campaigns of ancient Greece to the contest for the presidency. He also explores why and how political issues — such as environmental protection, support for war, welfare reform, and crime and punishment — get gendered.

Analyzing various aspects of popular culture, such as editorial cartoons, political advertisements, and Freudian slips made by politicians — and drawing on his own pioneering research on the gender gap — Ducat illustrates how men’s fear of the feminine has been a powerful, if subterranean, force.

“Even those who disagree with Ducat’s values can appreciate his skillful deployment of anecdotes, media, and wordplay.”
— Psychology Today

Listen to the Ducat interview here

Our second guest is Tim Pritchard, a London-based journalist, film-maker and author of Ambush Alley: The Most Extraordinary Battle of the Iraq War.

On March 23, 2003,U.S. Marines from the Task Force Tarawa were caught up in one of the most unexpected battles of the Iraq War. What started off as a routine maneuver to secure two key bridges in the town of Nasiriyah in southern Iraq degenerated into a nightmarish twenty-four-hour urban clash in which eighteen Marines lost their lives. It was the single heaviest loss suffered by the U.S. military during the initial combat phase of the war.

This was not a battle of modern technology, but a brutal close-quarter urban knife fight that tested the Marines’ resolve and training to the limit.

Pritchard's Ambush Alley, captures the chaos and panic of the fight for Nasiriyah, bringing back the full force the day and with it, the anguish, suffering, brutality, and stupidity of war.

Listen to the Pritchard interview here

September 6, 2005
8 - 10 am Pacific

Our first guest is Victor Navasky,editor, writer, and teacher who has been at the helm of The Nation for almost thirty years. His new book, A Matter of Opinion, is a reflection on his journalistic experiences, and also an political document — an argument for independent journals of opinion as vital to the health of democracy.

In his book, Navasky tells of his innovative efforts to find money to keep The Nation and about his colleagues and opponents, from E. L. Doctorow to Bill Buckley; his heroes, from I. F. Stone to Jürgen Habermas; and his precedessors, from Daniel Defoe to Carey McWilliams.

Whether at the satirical magazine Monocle (which he founded when he was in law school), or at The New York Times, or finally at The Nation, Navasky's commitment to political engagement and to the social and intellectual values of independent cultural activity has always been front and center.

Listen to the Navasky interview here

Our second guest is Andrew Gumbel, a U.S. correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent and author of Steal This Vote.

The 2000 presidential election meltdown and the more recent controversy about computer voting machines did not come out of the blue. Steal This Vote tells the fraught but very colorful history of electoral malfeasance in the United States. It is a tale of votes bought, stolen, suppressed, lost, cast more than once, assigned to dead people and pets, miscounted, thrown into rivers, and litigated all the way to the Supreme Court. (No wonder America has the lowest voter participation rate of any Western democracy!)

Andrew Gumbel — whose work on the new electronic voting fraud has been praised by Gore Vidal and Paul Krugman, and has won a Project Censored Award — shows that, for all the idealism about American democracy, free and fair elections have been the exception, not the rule. In fact, Gumbel suggests that Tammany Hall, shrouded as it is in moral odium, might have been a fairer system than we have today, because ostensibly positive developments like the secret ballot have been used to squash voting rights ever since.

Listen to the Gumbel interview here

August 30, 2005
Our guest is Greg LeRoy founder and director of Good Jobs First, a national resource center promoting corporate and government accountability in economic development and the author of The Great American Jobs Scam:
Corporate Tax Dodging and the
Myth of Job Creation

What do Wal-Mart, Dell, Fidelity Investments, Boeing, and Cabela's have in common? They're all part of a $50 billion a year scam in which — in the name of 'job creation' — corporations play states and cities against each other to win hefty taxpayer subsidies that routinely exceed $100,000 per job. But in reality, they rarely create any new jobs. In fact, after securing these packages, many companies lay people off, pay poverty wages, or even relocate to other states.

This is the Great American Jobs Scam: a costly bait-and-switch that swindles communities out of good jobs and revenue. LeRoy exposes corporations' careful orchestration of this scam, dissects government and corporate mumbo-jumbo with plain talk, and offers commonsense reforms that will give taxpayers powerful new tools to protect our communities.

"Here is the secret history of our economic times, a tale of public larceny told plainly and painstakingly and also with a dash of mordant humor. Our erstwhile corporate benefactors have taken us all for a ride. But this book is the first step on the long road back."
—Thomas Frank

What’s the Matter With Kansas?

Listen to the LeRoy interview here

August 23, 2005
Our guest is Joel Garreau, author of Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies — and What It Means to Be Human.

Radical Evolution takes a look at the hinge in history at which we have arrived. For hundreds of millennia, our technologies have been aimed outward at altering our environment in the fashion of fire, agriculture, or space travel. Now, for the first time, we are increasingly aiming inward at modifying our minds, memories, metabolisms, personalities, progeny and possibly our immortal souls. Radical Evolution is about altering human nature — not in some distant tomorrow, but in the next 10 or 20 years.

The author of the bestselling Edge City: Life on the New Frontier and The Nine Nations of North America, Garreau is a reporter and editor at The Washington Post, a member of the scenario-planning organization Global Business Network, and has served as a senior fellow at George Mason University and the University of California at Berkeley.

Listen to the Garreau interview here

August 16, 2005
Our guest is Douglas Rushkoff, author, teacher, and documentarian who focuses on the ways people, cultures, and institutions create, share, and influence each other's values. He sees "media" as the landscape where this interaction takes place, and "literacy" as the ability to participate consciously in it.

His ten best-selling books on new media and popular culture have been translated to over thirty languages. They include Cyberia, Media Virus, Playing the Future, Nothing Sacred: The Truth about Judaism, and Coercion, winner of the Marshall Mcluhan Award for best media book.

We’ll talk to Rushkoff about his upcoming book for HarperBusiness, applying renaissance principles to today's complex economic landscape, Get Back in the Box: Innovation from the Inside Out.

Rushkoff has written and hosted two award-winning Frontline documentaries — The Merchants of Cool looked at the influence of corporations on youth culture, and The Persuaders, about the cluttered landscape of marketing, and new efforts to overcome consumer resistance.

Listen to the Rushkoff interview here

August 9, 2005
Our guest is Ronald Wright author of A Short History of Progress.

Each time history repeats itself, the cost goes up. The twentieth century — a time of unprecedented progress — has produced a tremendous strain on the very elements that comprise life itself: This raises the key question of the twenty-first century: How much longer can this go on? Wright lays out a convincing case that history has always provided an answer, whether we care to notice or not. From Neanderthal man to the Sumerians to the Roman Empire, A Short History of Progress dissects the cyclical nature of humanity’s development and demise, the 10,000-year old experiment that we’ve unleashed but have yet to control.

It is Wright’s contention that only by understanding and ultimately breaking from the patterns of progress and disaster that humanity has repeated around the world since the Stone Age can we avoid the onset of a new Dark Age. Wright illustrates how various cultures throughout history have literally manufactured their own end by producing an overabundance of innovation and stripping bare the very elements that allowed them to initially advance.

"If you read one book about impending doom this year make it this one." — Ottawa Citizen

Listen to the Wright interview here

August 2, 2005
Our guest is Joshua Frank, author of Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush. Frank will discuss his book and his latest article in CounterPunch "Passing CAFTA."

Noam Chomsky once pointed out that a lot can be learned by examining the left end of the mainstream political debate because it reveals the limits to the principles guiding US government. Joshua Frank examines those limits, and shows how electoral politics in the US forces voters to make narrow, apathetic choices. When this occurs, Frank argues, the fight for democracy has been lost. Left Out! names the names, bulls-eyes the opposition, and shows us how to get where we need to go.

Frank has appeared as a political commentator on MSNBC. His investigative reports and columns have appeared in CounterPunch, Z Magazine and Common Dreams.

Listen to the Frank interview here

July 26, 2005
8 - 10 am Pacific

Our first guest is Larry Diamond, Stanford University professor, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and author of Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq.

In the fall of 2003, Diamond received a call from Condoleezza Rice, asking if he would spend several months in Baghdad as an adviser to the the American occupation authorities. Diamond had not been a supporter of the war in Iraq, but he felt that the task of building a viable democracy was a worthy goal now that Saddam Hussein's regime had been overthrown. He also thought he could do some good by putting his academic expertise to work in the real world. So in January 2004 he went to Iraq, and the next three months proved to be more of an education than he bargained for.

Diamond found himself part of one of the most audacious undertakings of our time. In Squandered Victory he shows how the American effort to establish democracy in Iraq was hampered not only by insurgents and terrorists but also by a long chain of miscalculations, missed opportunities, and acts of ideological blindness that helped assure that the transition to independence would be neither peaceful nor entirely democratic. He brings us inside the Green Zone, into a world where ideals were often trumped by power politics and where U.S. officials routinely issued edicts that later had to be squared (at great cost) with Iraqi realities. His account makes clear that Iraq — and by extension, the United States — will spend many years climbing its way out of the hole that was dug during the fourteen months of the American occupation.

Listen to the Diamond interview here

Our second guest is Ron Hira, author of Outsourcing America: What’s Behind Our National Crisis and How We Can Reclaim American Jobs.

Outsourced jobs are extending well beyond the manufacturing sector to include white-collar professionals, particularly in information technology, financial services, and customer service. Outsourcing America reveals just how much outsourcing is taking place, what its impact is and will be, and what can be done about the loss of jobs. It also shows how outsourcing is part of the historical economic shifts toward globalism and free trade, and demonstrates the impact of outsourcing on individual lives and communities.

Hira is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Rochester Institute of Technology where he specializes in engineering workforce issues and technology policy. He is the only person to testify twice before Congress on outsourcings implications.

July 19, 2005
Our guest is Harold Schechter, a professor of American Literature and culture at Queens College, pop culture expert and true crime author.

In Savage Pastimes, his latest book, Schechter asks, "Does violence in movies, on television and in comic strips and cartoons rot our children's brains and make zombies-or worse, criminals-of adults at the fringes?"

The answer: No.

Schechter argues that exactly the opposite is true: a basic human need is given an outlet through violent images in popular media. He blasts those who bemoan the alleged increased violence in media today, and who conveniently scapegoat popular entertainment for a variety of cultural ills, including real-life violence. Though American pop culture is far more technologically sophisticated today, Schechter shows that it is far less brutal than the entertainments of previous generations.

Listen to the Schechter interview here

July 12, 2005
Our guest is New Yorker and Liverpudlian Ian Williams, The Nation's UN correspondent. We'll discuss John Bolton, the London Bombings, Judith Miller, Rum, the impeachment of George Bush and whatever else he fancies.

In addition to his work for The Nation, Williams has frequently appeared on a wide variety of radio and TV outlets, including Hardball, The O'Reilly Factor, Scarborough Country, Weekly Signals and many more.

Next month Nation Books will publish William's Rum: A Social and Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776 — a book that restores rum’s rightful place in history, from the slave plantations of seventeenth-century Barbados (the undisputed birthplace of rum) through Puritan and revolutionary New England, to voodoo rites in modern Haiti, where to mix rum with Coke risks invoking the wrath of the gods. Rum also explores the showdown between the Bacardi family and Fidel Castro over the control of the lucrative rights to the Havana Club label.

His previous book The Deserter: Bush's War on Military Families, Veterans and His Past showcases our president's breathtaking hypocrisy, cynical doublethink and egregious neglect of the actual defense of the United States.

"We know that Karadzic and Mladic are still at large, sharing with Osama Bin Laden a bemusing immunity from US intelligence, which  as we know, can find weapons where no one else can, and which can airlift suspected terrorists from anywhere in the globe to Guantanamo Bay."
Ian Williams

Listen to the Williams interview here

July 5, 2005
Our guest is Joseph Wilson, a political centrist, career United States diplomat from 1976 to 1998 and author of The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Put the White House on Trial and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity.

Called by President George H. W. Bush “a true American hero,” Wilson was the acting U.S. ambassador in Iraq during Operation Desert Shield, the massive U.S. buildup in Saudi Arabia after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, and was responsible for freeing 150 American hostages seized by Iraq. He was the last American official to meet with Hussein before the first Gulf War.

In February 2002, Wilson investigated reports of Iraq’s attempt to buy uranium from Niger. When his investigation turned up nothing, he reported back to officials in Washington that there was no basis for the claims.

Surprised that President Bush repeated the claim, most famously in his 2003 State of the Union address, Wilson wrote in a New York Times op-ed that the Bush administration had exaggerated the public case for invading Iraq. In retaliation and to discourage others from speaking out, White House officials called reporters to identify Wilson’s wife, Valerie Wilson (née Plame) as a clandestine C.I.A. operative. The conservative columnist Robert Novak published the information, inciting an ongoing investigation into the possibly illegal intelligence leak that involves the highest officials of the current administration.

Listen to the Wilson interview here

June 28, 2005
Our first guest is Norm Stamper, former chief of the Seattle Police Department and author of Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing.

In 1994, after serving 28 years on the police force in San Diego, Stamper became Seattle’s Chief of Police. Following the Seattle WTO riots Stamper — one of America's most progressive police officers — resigned his post.

Now, in this memoir, Stamper calls for a radical, top-down reform of the institution of policing. In addition to assailing a culture of racism, sexism, and homophobia that is still pervasive in 21st century police departments, he criticizes what he sees as misdirected law enforcement priorities that squander resources on victimless crimes while allowing cycles of violence to perpetuate through generations. Among many other reforms, Stamper advocates:

• Demilitarizing American police forces
• Abolishing the death penalty on moral and pragmatic grounds
• Decriminalizing prostitution and protecting sex workers
• Decriminalizing non-violent offenses including drug use
• Vigorously enforcing domestic abuse and child abuse laws
• Recruiting and training new officers in community policing practices

Listen to the Stamper interview here

Our second guest is Mark Benjamin, National Correspondent for Salon magazine. A former UPI Investigations Editor and winner of the American Legion's Fourth Estate Award for uncovering the plight of hundreds of sick and wounded U.S. soldiers, Bnejamin's latest articloe Return of the Body Counts asks the question: Is America headed down the same corrupting road it did in Vietnam?

We'll also discuss the subject of Benjamin's Military Injustice, Iraq vet Jullian Goodrum, who blasted his superiors for misdeeds that he says cost a soldier his life. Goodrum's reward: The Army he once loved refused to treat his psychological wounds, then charged him with desertion.

Listen to the Benjamin interview here

June 21, 2005
Our guest is John Perkins who, in 1971 joined the international consulting firm of Chas. T. Main, a Boston-based company of 2000 employees that kept a very low profile. As the company's Chief Economist and Director of Economics and Regional Planning, Perkins s primary job was to convince Less Developed Countries around the world to accept multibillion dollar loans for infrastructure projects and to see to it that most of this money ended up at Main, Bechtel, Halliburton, Brown and Root, and other U.S. engineering/construction companies. The loans left the recipient countries wallowing in debt and highly vulnerable to outside political and commercial interests. He documents his experience in the New York Times bestseller Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

Perkins resigned his position at Main in 1981. He founded and became CEO of Independent Power Systems, pioneering technologies that promoted the use of "waste" power plant heat in hydroponic greenhouses and other cogeneration applications. In 1990, he sold IPS and founded a nonprofit organization, Dream Change Coalition, which works closely with Amazonian and other indigenous people to help preserve their environments and cultures.

Listen to the Perkins interview here

June 14, 2005
Our guest is John Sayles, one of America's preeminent independent filmmakers, whose films include Silver City, The Secret of Roan Inish, Eight Men Out, Matewan, The Brother from Another Planet, and Return of the Secaucus 7 (which was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress).

Before films, Sayles embarked on a career as a fiction writer. Though Sayles may be best known for his screenwriting and directing, we’ll also be talking to him about his award-winning short story collection, The Anarchist's Convention which was recently reissued by Nation Books.

Listen to the Sayles interview here


June 7, 2005
Our guest is John Markoff, senior writer for The New York Times and author of What the Dormouse Said: How the 60s Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer.

While there have been several histories of the personal computer, Markoff has created the first ever to spotlight the unique political and cultural forces that gave rise to this revolutionary technology. Focusing on the period of 1962 through 1975 in the San Francisco Bay Area, where a heady mix of tech industries, radicalism, and readily available drugs flourished, What the Dormouse Said tells the story of the birth of the personal computer through the people, politics, and protest that defined its unique era.

Based on interviews with all the major surviving players, Markoff captures the lives and times of those who laid the groundwork for the PC revolution, introducing the reader to such colorful characters as Fred Moore, a teenage antiwar protester who went on to ignite the computer industry, and Cap’n Crunch, who wrote the first word processing software for the IBM PC (EZ Writer) in prison, became a millionaire, and ended up homeless.

Listen to the Markoff interview here

May 31, 2005
Our guest is Clyde Prestowitz, counselor to the Secretary of Commerce during the Reagan Administration, President of the Economic Strategy Institute and author of Trading Places and Rogue Nation. We'll discuss Prestowitz's latest book Three Billion New Capitalists: The Great Shift of Wealth and Power to the East.

In Three Billion New Capitalists, Prestowitz shows the powerful yet barely visible trends that are threatening to end the six-hundred-year run of Western domination of the world. The trends include America's increasingly unsustainable trade deficits; the equally unsustainable (and dangerous) buildup of massive dollar reserves in places like Japan and China; the end of America's position as the world's premier center for invention and technological innovation; the sudden entrance of 2.5 billion people in India and China into the world's skilled job market; the role of the World Wide Web in permitting many formerly localized jobs to be done anywhere in the world; and the demographic meltdown of Europe, Japan, Russia, and, in later decades, even China.

Listen to the Prestowitz interview here

May 24, 2005
Our guest is Pratap Chatterjee, an award-winning journalist, program director of Corpwatch and author of Iraq, Inc.: A Profitable Occupation

In Iraq, Inc, Chatterjee delivers an on-the-ground account of the occupation business, exposing private contractors as the only winners in this war.

We'll talk to Chatterjee about the the big failings and even bigger swindles of Iraq's corporate managers — from the dangerous follies of an out-of-touch government-in-exile to the unchecked price gouging by Cheney's successors at Halliburton.

"Iraq, Inc. is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what has really gone wrong in Iraq."
— Naomi Klein, author No Logo, columnist The Nation

Listen to the Chatterjee interview here

May 20, 2005

Our guests are Daniel Ellsberg and Sibel Edmonds.

A committed Cold War warrior, Ellsberg served in the Pentagon in 1964 under Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. He then served for two years in Vietnam as a civilian in the State Department, and became convinced that the Vietnam War was unwinnable.

Later, working again at the Rand Corporation, Ellsberg managed to procure, photocopy, and return a large number of classified papers regarding the execution of the war. These documents became known as the Pentagon Papers. They revealed the knowledge, early on, that the war would not likely be won and that continuing the war would lead to many times more casualties than was admitted publicly.

Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times and on June 13, 1971, the Times began publishing the first installment of the 7000 page document.

Edmonds is a former FBI translator who was fired in March 2002 after she complained to FBI managers about another interpreter who she thought might have been a danger to the United States' security. Edmonds won a trial in 2004 in which she protested against having been fired for whistle-blowing.

The US government invoked the State Secrets Privilege to prevent her from testifying about her claim that the FBI had foreknowledge of Al-Qaeda's attacks against the World Trade Center in a case launched by the families of 600 victims against prominent Saudi officials.

Listen to the Ellsberg/Edmonds interview here

May 17, 2005
Our guest is Anne Lamott, the author of five critically praised novels including the national bestseller Crooked Little Heart. She has also written three bestselling works of nonfiction.

We'll talk to Lamott about her latest book Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith — a series of essays from her Salon.com column that she wrote during the beginning of the Iraq War. The column was voted the Best of the Web by Newsweek magazine.

In praise of that column, The New Yorker wrote, "The noted author, single mom, and cranky Christian has grown into her role as virtual diarist and reality checker. Lamott is refreshingly non-cyber and she can make you laugh and cry in the space of a few paragraphs."

A past recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, Lamott has taught at the University of California at Davis and at writing conferences across the country. She is also the subject of a 1999 documentary by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Mock, Bird by Bird with Annie.

Listen to the Lamott interview here

May 10, 2005
Our guest is Charles Stone, head of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Anti-Terrorist Unit and co-author of Hunting Eric Rudolph.

Accused of detonating bombs at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, two abortion clinics, and a gay nightclub, Eric Rudolph went on the run. He shot bears and ate salamanders for more than five years, but finally was captured in June 2003. In April 2005, Rudolph pleaded guilty to the bombings while issuing a "manifesto" justifying attacks against abortion clinics and their workers.

Hunting Eric Rudolph covers the problems that hampered the investigation into the Centennial Park bombing, including a wrongful accusation, and discusses where and how Eric Rudolph obtained bomb components. Going into detail as to who the FBI suspected of helping him during his time on the run, the story covers the secret surveillance methods used to track him in the woods and mountains, and also takes an in-depth look at life inside the Rudolph family.

Listen to the Stone interview here

May 3, 2005
Our guest is George Pendle, author of Strange Angel : The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons.

"Brilliant Rocket Scientist Killed in Explosion" screamed the front-page headline of the Los Angeles Times on June 18, 1952. John Parsons, a maverick rocketeer whose work had helped transform the rocket from a derided sci-fi plotline into a reality, was at first mourned as a tragically young victim of mishandled chemicals. But as reporters dug deeper a shocking story emerged-Parsons had been performing occult rites and summoning spirits as a follower of Aleister Crowley-and he was promptly written off as an embarrassment to science.

George Pendle tells Parsons's extraordinary life story for the first time. Fueled from childhood by dreams of space flight, Parsons was a crucial innovator during rocketry's birth. But his visionary imagination also led him into the occult community thriving in 1930s Los Angeles, and when fantasy's pull became stronger than reality, he lost both his work and his wife. Parsons was just emerging from his personal underworld when he died at age thirty-seven. In Strange Angel, Pendle recovers a fascinating life and explores the unruly consequences of genius.

Listen to the Pendle interview here

April 26, 2005
Our guest is
Douglas Mulhall — one of the first journalists to describe the field of NanoEcology: the interface between nanotechnology and ecology. Mulhall's book Our Molecular Future: How Nanotechnology, Robotics, Genetics and Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Our World appeared on the Barnes & Noble "Best Ten of Everything" bestseller list and was selected by New Scientist magazine for its top 20 "must-read" list.

We'll talk to Mulhall about the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and why the medical profession in the US is more concerned with treating disease than preventing it.

Mulhall's companion book The Calcium Bomb - The Nanobacteria Link to Heart Disease & Cancer focuses on calcification — a specific issue that was first covered in Our Molecular Future.

Listen to the Mulhall interview here

April 19, 2005
Mike and Nathan review Sin City, discuss gay marriage and propose a constitutional amendment to require an intelligence test for voters.

Listen to Mike and Nathan here

April 12, 2005
Our guest is Jim Wallis, a Christian leader for social change, a founder of Sojourners — Christians for justice and peace — and author of God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It. Wallis was instrumental in forming Call to Renewal, a national federation of churches, denominations, and faith-based organizations from across the theological and political spectrum working to overcome poverty.

While the Right in America has hijacked the language of faith to prop up its political agenda — an agenda not all people of faith support — the Left hasn't done much better, largely ignoring faith and continually separating moral discourse and personal ethics from public policy. While the Right argues that God's way is their way, the Left pursues an unrealistic separation of religious values from morally grounded political leadership. The consequence is a false choice between ideological religion and soulless politics.

Wallis argues that America's separation of church and state does not require banishing moral and religious values from the public square. In fact, the very survival of America's social fabric depends on such values and vision to shape our politics — a dependence the nation's founders recognized.

God's Politics offers a clarion call to make both our religious communities and our government more accountable to key values of the prophetic religious tradition -- that is, make them pro-justice, pro-peace, pro-environment, pro-equality, pro-consistent ethic of life (beyond single issue voting), and pro-family (without making scapegoats of single mothers or gays and lesbians).

Listen to the Wallis interview here

April 5, 2005
Mike and Nathan discuss Bush's Culture of Life and Matt Blandings alternative Culture of Life Top Ten:

1. Withdraw the Troops
2. Stop the Death Penalty
3. Pass Effective Gun Control Laws
4. Fund Social Services
5. Create Universal Health Care for Children
6. Research Alternative Energy
7. Investigate Prisoner Abuses
8. Support AIDS Clinics Abroad
9. Implement a Fair Guestworker Program
10. Join the International Criminal Cour

March 29, 2005

Our first guest is Lou Dubose, co-author of The Hammer: Tom DeLay: God, Money, and the Rise of the Republican Congress. Delay, a Texas Republican has suggested that Terri Schiavo's grave situation is a gift from God — a holy defense against charges brought by Delay's political enemies who he characterizes as a vast left-wing conspiracy. Dubose, a journalist in Texas for twenty years, takes exception.

As editor at The Texas Observer and political editor at The Austin Chronicle, Dubose has been following "Hot Tub Tommy DeLay's" political antics since the early 1990s. Dubose is also the co-author of Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Brains Behind the Remarkable Political Triumph of George W. Bush and his freelance work has appeared in The Nation, Texas Monthly, The Washington Post, the Toronto Globe and Mail, the Liberty, Texas, Vindicator, and other publications.

Listen to the Dubose interview here

Our second guest is Amy Goodman of Democracy Now who will discuss her book, Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them and her March 31 appearance in Southern California.

Our third guest is Tim Carpenter, National Director of Progressive Democrats of America, who will discuss transforming the Democratic Party and an upcoming PDA fundraiser in Orange County with Mimi Kennedy.

PDA Fundraiser
Wednesday, April 13
Laguna Beach

March 22, 2005
Our guest is Thom Hartmann, the award-winning, bestselling author of Unequal Protection: The rise of corporate dominance and theft of human rights.

In Unequal Protection, Hartmann tracks the history of the loss of true democracy in America. It starts with the birth of the modern corporation and the founding of the East India Company in 1600, through the Boston Tea Party revolt against transnational corporate domination of the early American economy, the rise of corporations during the Civil War, the ultimate theft of human rights before the Supreme Court in 1886, and into the modern-day theft of human rights in the US and worldwide by corporate interests and the politicians they own.

Because of a mistaken interpretation of a Supreme Court reporter's notes in an 1886 railroad tax case, corporations are now legally considered "persons," equal to humans and entitled to many of the same protections guaranteed only to humans by the Bill of Rights - a clear contradiction of the intent of the Founders of the United States.

To remedy the legal blunder of corporate personhood, Hartmann offers specific action steps that can be taken by citizens, courts, legislatures, and local communities.

Listen to the Hartmann interview here

March 15, 2005
Our guest is William Arkin author of Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs and Operations in the 9/11 World. The war on terrorism and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to a secrecy explosion. In the 9/11 world the U.S. military and intelligence organizations have created secret plans, programs, and operations at a frenzied pace, each with their own code name. In a perfect world, all of this secrecy would be to protect legitimate secrets from prying foreign eyes. But in researching Code Names, defense analyst William M. Arkin learned that while most genuine secrets remain secret, other activities labeled as secret are either questionable or remain perfectly in the open.

The sheer volume and complexity of these operations ensures that the most politically important remain unreported by the press and shielded from the scrutiny of the American electorate. Despite the intelligence failures of 9/11 and the questionable assumptions that led to the war in Iraq and govern the war on terrorism, the U.S. government argues for massive amounts of funding and resources, while at the same time claiming that public accountability would compromise their missions. Arkin didn’t accept this argument during the Cold War – when he published two books that revealed U.S. nuclear “secrets” and led directly to a healthier public discussion of a “nuclear warfighting” emerging in the Reagan era – and he is challenging it again today.

William M. Arkin is a NBC News military analyst, consultant, and author. He has been a columnist for The Los Angeles Times, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic Education at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC, and an Adjunct Professor at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, U.S. Air Force, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. Arkin’s work as a military analyst for NBC News has spanned Desert Fox in Iraq in 1998, the 1999 Yugoslav war, the events of September 11, and current operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Listen to the Arkin Interview here

March 8, 2005
Our guest is Harvey Weinstein, Associate Director of the Human Rights Center in Berkeley, California. Weinstein co-edited the book My Neighbor, My Enemy which tackles a crucial and highly topical issue — how do countries rebuild after ethnic cleansing and genocide? And what role do trials and tribunals play in social reconstruction and reconciliation.

By talking with people in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia and carrying out extensive surveys, My Neighbor, My Enemy explores what people think about their past and the future. The conclusions controversially suggest that international or local trials have little relevance to reconciliation.

Communities understand justice far more broadly than it is defined by the international community and the relationship of trauma to a desire for trials is not clear-cut. My Neighbor, My Enemy offers an ecological model of social reconstruction and concludes that coordinated multi-systemic strategies must be implemented if social repair is to occur. Finally, the book suggest that while trials are essential to combat impunity and punish the guilty, their strengths and limitations must be acknowledged.

Listen to the Weinstein interview here

March 1, 2005
Our guest is Mark Weisbrot. Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., Weisbrot writes a weekly column on economic and policy issues that is distributed to over 550 newspapers by Knight-Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

Weisbrot will discuss his book, Social Security, The Phony Crisis which argues that there is no economic, demographic, or actuarial basis for the widespread belief that the program needs to be fixed.

Weisbrot emphasizes that there is virtually no disagreement about the facts of Social Security's finances, or even the projections for its future. Rather, the Social Security debate has been foundering on misconceptions, confusion, and lack of agreement on the meaning of crucial terms.

Weisbrot also take on related issues: that privatization would help save Social Security, that America has a pressing need to increase its national savings, and that future generations will suffer from the costs — especially for health care — of supporting a growing elderly population. Weisbrot seeks to cut through some of the myths and fallacies surrounding this crucial policy issue.

Listen to the Weisbrot interview here

February 22, 2005
Our guest is Melissa Boyle Mahle, author of Denial and Deception, An Insider’s View of the CIA from Iran-Contra to 9/11.

As a former US intelligence officer and an expert on the Middle East and counterterrorism, Mahle was one of a handful of women in the CIA who spoke Arabic during her years in the Agency.

Mahle risked her life working as an undercover CIA field operative in the Middle East until her departure in 2002. Her insiders vantage point provides a unique view of the political and operational culture of the agency in the post-Cold War climate.

February 15, 2005
Our guest is Medea Benjamin, founding Director of Global Exchange. For over twenty years, Benjamin has supported human rights and social justice struggles around the world.
She is a leading activist in the peace movement and helped bring together the coalition United for Peace and Justice. She is also the co-founder of Code Pink: Women for Peace, a women's group that organizes creative actions against the war and occupation of Iraq.

We'll be speaking with Benjamin about her recent trip to bring a shipment of humanitarian aid for distribution to people in need in Falluja and about her new book, How to Stop the Next War Now.

A powerful, smart, and passionate work, How to Stop the Next War Now aims to educate and reflect on the effectiveness of peace movement activities. How to Stop the Next War Now persuades us that the time is ripe for the first-ever global movement to put an end to war — and tells readers what they can do about it.

February 8, 2005
Our guest is Jeremy Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends and the author of seventeen books on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment.

Rifkin has been influential in shaping public policy in the United States and around the world. He has testified before numerous congressional committees and has had consistent success in litigation to ensure responsible government policies on a variety of environmental, scientific and technology related issues.

In his latest book, The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream, Rifkin argues that while the great American Dream is fading, a powerful new European Dream is beginning to capture the attention and imagination of the world. The nascent European Dream, says Rifkin, is, in many respects, the mirror opposite of the American Dream, but far better suited to meet the challenges of a globalizing society in the 21st century.

Rifkin's monthly column on global issues appears in many of the world's leading newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times in the U.S., The Guardian in the U.K., Die Suddeutsche Zeitung and Welt am Sonntag in Germany, L'Espresso in Italy, El Pais in Spain, Le Monde in France, and Al-Ittihad in the U.A.E.

February 1, 2005
Our guest is Terry Jones, founding member of the legendary Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Jones, unquestionably the most talented Python, not only directed Monty Python and The Holy Grail, Life Of Brian and The Meaning Of Life, but wrote a slew of childrens' stories, comedy sci-fi with Douglas Adams, the BBC series The Crusades and the Discovery Channel’s The Hidden History of Egypt.

We’ll be talking to Jones about his latest bit of writing — a collection of columns brought together in the newly published book, The War on the War on Terror which targets, with wit and venom, the Anglo-American response to September 11.

As Jones writes, "What really alarms me about President Bush's 'War on Terrorism' is the grammar. How do you wage war on an abstract noun? ... How is 'Terrorism' going to surrender? It's well known, in philological circles, that it's very hard for abstract nouns to surrender."

January 25, 2005
Our guest is Theresa Hitchens, Vice-President of The Center for Defense Information.
Hitchens will discuss the militarization of outer space and her latest article, “The U.S. Air Force Transformation Flight Plan 2004: A Kinder, Gentler Space Strategy? Not Really.”

Editor of Defense News from 1998 to 2000, Hitchens has had a long career in journalism, with a focus on military, defense industry and NATO affairs. From 1983 to 1988, she worked at Inside Washington Publishers on the group's environmental and defense-related newsletters, covering issues from nuclear waste to electronic warfare to military space.

She has had a long interest in security policy and politics, having served internships with Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, and with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels. Most recently, she was director of research at the British American Security Information Council, a think tank based in Washington and London.

Hitchens currently serves on the Editorial Board of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

January 18, 2005
Our guest today is Dr. Sidney Wolfe. An adjunct professor of internal medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and outspoken critic of the Federal Drug Administration and the pharmaceutical industry, Wolfe has been the director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group — an independent, nonprofit consumer-advocacy organization — since it was founded in 1971. The Health Research Group has recently publish the 2005 edition of Worst Pills, Best Pills, an expanded, up-to-the-minute, fully revised edition of their bestselling guide to prescription pills.

We'll discuss the payola scandal at the NIH reported in a recent Los Angeles Times article “The National Institutes of Health: Public Servant or Private Marketer?” Doctors have long relied on the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to set medical standards. But now, NIH researchers are accepting fees and stock from drug companies.

According to the Times, “When leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee felt the NIH was not complying with a request to identify every drug industry payment, the panel went directly to 20 companies. Those responses revealed more than 130 consulting deals with industry that did not appear to have the required NIH approval. One of them was the $508,050 relationship between Sunderland, the Alzheimer's researcher, and Pfizer.”

January 11, 2005
8 - 10 AM

Our first guest is Lou Dubose, co-author of The Hammer: Tom DeLay: God, Money, and the Rise of the Republican Congress. A journalist in Texas for twenty years, Dubose was editor at The Texas Observer and political editor at The Austin Chronicle. He is also the co-author of Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Brains Behind the Remarkable Political Triumph of George W. Bush.

Dubose's freelance work has appeared in The Nation, Texas Monthly, The Washington Post, the Toronto Globe and Mail, the Liberty, Texas, Vindicator, and other publications.

Also, an interview with Peter Phillips, Director of Project Censored. Phillips will run down the highlights of the year’s twenty-five most important underreported news stories. In past years, the project's annual book, Censored, has been instrumental in helping push underreported stories into the mainstream. In the 1997 edition, Karl Grossman’s article "Risking the World: Nuclear Proliferation in Space" led to 60 Minutes doing a national feature on the subject. Censored 1999 featured Monsanto’s "terminator seed" project, which was subsequently discontinued because of negative publicity. Censored 2001 exposed the disasterous impact of the increasing privatization of the global water supply, a story that is rapidly becoming one of the major issues of the twenty-first century. We can expect more of the same vital and aggressive coverage from Censored 2005.

January 4, 2005
Ian Williams, The Nation's UN correspondent, author of The UN for Beginners and Deserter: George Bush's War on Military Families, Veterans, and His Past discusses his latest article "The Right's Assault on Kofi Annan."

"Last June UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said of the media coverage of the so-called Oil for Food Scandal, "It's a bit like lynching, actually." By December the vigilantes were lining up, swinging their ropes. The neoconservative and paleoconservative assault on him and the UN has been like a slightly slower version of the Swift Boat veterans' campaign against Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry — right down to the halfhearted and belated disavowals by George W. Bush."
— From "The Right's Assault on Kofi Annan," by Ian Williams






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