Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Citations Needed, Episode 33: Liberals' Obsession with the Phantom Reasonable Republican


Jeffrey Goldberg, Leon Wieseltier, and James Bennet


The unlikely rise of Trump in the past three years has created a chasm in the Republican party: those who embrace the President’s wild, unorthodox, nativist style and those who––with much posturing and self congratulation––reject his brand of conservatism. The latter group, generally called “NeverTrump” Republicans occupies a special, protected status in Serious Centrist media––despite representing only 5% of the American population.

Major outlets like The Washington Post, The Atlantic and the New York Times employ roughly 20 #NeverTrump conservatives between them; there is no greater affirmative action policy in U.S. media than for anti-Trump conservatives. So long as they reject Trump, #NeverTrump pundits can get away with the most odious points of view––anti-Arab racism, climate change denial, literally suggesting women be hanged en masse for having abortions.

What accounts for this? Where does the institutional obsession with finding a Reasonable Republican come from and why is there such a widespread denial that Donald Trump does, in fact, actually and accurately represent the GOP as it exists today?

We are joined by Slate's Osita Nwanevu.

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The Show



Episode transcript available here.

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The Guest



Osita Nwanevu is a staff writer at Slate.





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Citations Needed is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and LibSyn (here’s the RSS feed). You can also check us out on Twitter and Facebook.

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For further reading, show notes, a periodic newsletter, and more exclusive content, please visit our Patreon page and sign up to support the show!


***

Citations Needed is a media criticism podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, political commentators and media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.

Citations Needed is produced by Florence Barrau-Adams. Our Production Consultant is Josh Kross. Our research assistant is Sophia Steinert-Evoy. The theme is ‘Nonphenomenal Lineage’ by Grandaddy.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Citations Needed, Episode 32: Attack of the PC College Kids!

Students at Middlebury College disrupt speaker Charles Murray.

The horror stories are ubiquitous: a theater group at Wesleyan won’t perform The Vagina Monologues because it’s offensive to trans women! Oberlin is banning classes featuring white authors! Rich, sheltered college students, increasingly indoctrinated by radical Marxist professors, are asking for safe spaces!

But how much merit is there to the popular trope that college kids are hypersensitive and coddled? Is there really a free speech crisis America's campuses? What are the origins of this evergreen complaint? Who does the constant harping on the threat of "political correctness" and anti-free speech undergrads actually hurt? And more importantly, whom does it benefit?

Today's guest is David Palumbo-Liu, professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University.

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The Show



Episode transcript available here.

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The Guest

David Palumbo-Liu is a professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University. He is the author of The Deliverance of Others: Reading Literature in a Global Age and Asian/American: Historical Crossings of a Racial Frontier, founding editor of the e-journal, Occasion: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities, and a Contributing Editor for The Los Angeles Review of Books. His writing can also be found in The Nation, The Guardian, Truthout and Salon.

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Citations Needed is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and LibSyn (here’s the RSS feed). You can also check us out on Twitter and Facebook.

***

Want More?

For further reading, show notes, a periodic newsletter, and more exclusive content, please visit our Patreon page and sign up to support the show!


***

Citations Needed is a media criticism podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, political commentators and media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.

Citations Needed is produced by Florence Barrau-Adams. Our Production Consultant is Josh Kross. Our research assistant is Sophia Steinert-Evoy. The theme is ‘Nonphenomenal Lineage’ by Grandaddy.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Citations Needed, Episode 31: Fake ISIS Plots and the Selling of Forever War


We’ve seen the headlines hundreds of times: "ISIS plot foiled," "ISIS in Brooklyn," "Woman Stopped At Airport on Way to Join ISIS." These stories strike fear into the hearts of Americans everywhere, especially in the build-up to the war effort against ISIS in Summer 2014.

The terror group was everywhere, recruiting our teenagers and attempting to strike in every major city––seemingly all at once. But what do these headlines mean exactly? What is an "ISIS plot" anyway? What is the gap between the image the media provides versus the reality of what's occurring?

On this week's episode we dive into the 17-year-long phenomenon of the US media assisting the government's war on terror by parroting dubious claims of al-Qaeda and ISIS plots when the vast majority of the time––no al-Qaeda or ISIS are involved.

With guest Pardiss Kebriaei, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights.

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The Show



Episode transcript available here.

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The Guest

Pardiss Kebriaei is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. She was lead counsel for CCR in Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta, which challenged the killings of three American citizens in U.S. drone strikes in Yemen, and Al-Aulaqi v. Obama, which challenged the authorization for the targeting of an American citizen added to secret government “kill lists.” She represents current and former Guantanamo detainees, as well as the families of two detainees who died in Guantanamo in 2006. Her writing has appeared in Harper's Magazine, The Nation, and the Yale Law & Policy Review.

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Citations Needed is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and LibSyn (here’s the RSS feed). You can also check us out on Twitter and Facebook.

***

Want More?

For further reading, show notes, a periodic newsletter, and more exclusive content, please visit our Patreon page and sign up to support the show!


***

Citations Needed is a media criticism podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, political commentators and media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.

Citations Needed is produced by Florence Barrau-Adams. Our Production Consultant is Josh Kross. Our research assistant is Sophia Steinert-Evoy. The theme is ‘Nonphenomenal Lineage’ by Grandaddy.

*****

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Citations Needed, Episode 30: Liberal Media’s Myopic Military Worship


Fighting against the far right forces of the Republican Party and their auxiliary white supremacist media makes attempts to appropriate notions of nationalism into a liberal mold a compelling short cut for Democrats looking for easy clapbacks and viral RTs. The temptation to promote a kinder, gentler, "woke" patriotism is understandable.

But what is the collateral damage of this approach? From the justifiably horrified response to mass shootings to the jingoistic worship of all things military, what is the long-term downside of lifting up #VetsForGunControl and retired military brass as a counter to the vulgarity of Trumpism? Can the Left – including liberals – embrace a more holistic and anti-imperialist moral grammar that avoids short cuts and rejects the idea of nationalism altogether?
 
We are joined by Maggie Martin, co-director of About Face.

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The Show



Episode transcript available here.

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The Guest

Maggie Martin is co-director of About Face (formerly Iraq Veterans Against the War). During her time in the U.S. Army from 2001-2006, she was deployed three times to Kuwait and Iraq. Martin left the army as a Sergeant in 2006.



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Citations Needed is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and LibSyn (here’s the RSS feed). You can also check us out on Twitter and Facebook.

***

Want More?

For further reading, show notes, a periodic newsletter, and more exclusive content, please visit our Patreon page and sign up to support the show!


***

Citations Needed is a media criticism podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, political commentators and media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.

Citations Needed is produced by Florence Barrau-Adams. Our Production Consultant is Josh Kross. Our research assistant is Sophia Steinert-Evoy. The theme is ‘Nonphenomenal Lineage’ by Grandaddy.

*****

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Citations Needed, Episode 29: The Asymptotic 'Two-State Solution' (Part II)


NOTE: If you haven't yet listened to last week's Part I of this episode, please do that first.

We continue our discussion of the always just-out-of-reach "two state solution" and the perpetual-by-design "peace process." Covering topics like BDS, the tedious toxicity of liberal Zionism, and pro-Israel media bias with Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace.

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The Show



Episode transcript available here.

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The Guest

Rebecca Vilkomerson is the Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. In 2010 she was named one of the 50 most influential Jewish American leaders by the Forward, and was named one of 14 Women to Watch in 2014.

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Citations Needed is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and LibSyn (here’s the RSS feed). You can also check us out on Twitter and Facebook.

***

Want More?

For further reading, show notes, a periodic newsletter, and more exclusive content, please visit our Patreon page and sign up to support the show!


***

Citations Needed is a media criticism podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, political commentators and media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.

Citations Needed is produced by Florence Barrau-Adams. Our Production Consultant is Josh Kross. The theme is ‘Nonphenomenal Lineage’ by Grandaddy.

*****

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Citations Needed, Episode 28: The Asymptotic 'Two-State Solution' (Part I)


The idea that there exists an ongoing effort to achieve a “two-state solution” in Israel and Palestine - often referred to as The Middle East Peace Process™ - is uniformly taken for granted by American media. This "two-state solution" is always at different stages of viability, yet never quite works out. Presidents fail to achieve it; Palestinian violence makes it "more difficult"; Israeli settlements are "unhelpful" to it.

But how honest is this effort? How are nonstop obituaries for a phantom "process" helping to maintain the status quo, or worse? How much does this infinitely regressive effort deliberately mask an ongoing and active policy of ethnic cleansing by the Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza?

In Part I of this two-part episode, we discuss this "two-state" racket with Professor Noura Erakat.

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The Show



Episode transcript available here.

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The Guest

Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and an Assistant Professor at George Mason University. In addition to teaching international human rights law in the Middle East at Georgetown University, Noura is a co-founding editor of the digital magazine Jadaliyya and is a frequent presence on national and international broadcasts, including CNN, NPR, NBC, PBS, BBC, Democracy Now!, and Al Jazeera. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Nation, Foreign Policy, Jezebel, Al Jazeera, and elsewhere.

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Citations Needed is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and LibSyn (here’s the RSS feed). You can also check us out on Twitter and Facebook.

***

Want More?

For further reading, show notes, a periodic newsletter, and more exclusive content, please visit our Patreon page and sign up to support the show!


***

Citations Needed is a media criticism podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, political commentators and media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.

Citations Needed is produced by Florence Barrau-Adams. Our Production Consultant is Josh Kross. The theme is ‘Nonphenomenal Lineage’ by Grandaddy.

*****

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Citations Needed News Brief: How to Respond to Knee-Jerk Bigotry on Live TV


Badass fashion blogger and activist Hoda Katebi joined Citations Needed for an all-access News Brief to discuss her now-infamous WGN television segment. With Hoda, we explore what it means to "sound American," the politics of women's clothing, and why everyone with even a single drop of Iranian blood is expected to be an expert on nuclear energy and international affairs.



And, if you haven't seen it already, please watch Hoda's full appearance on Chicago's WGN9. It's really something to behold.


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Head over the our Patreon page and sign up to support the show. You'll get all the exclusive content!

***

Citations Needed is a media criticism podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, political commentators and media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.


*****

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Citations Needed, Episode 27: How the Media Mainstreamed Racist Pseudoscience


If one were to approach New York Times-reading liberals circa 1990 and tell them about a crime-fighting policy that arbitrarily harassed black and Latino youths who had committed no crime and threw the book at low-level nonviolent offenses, they would be rightfully outraged at the idea. But, if one were to couch this exact policy in pseudoscience promoted by mercenary sociologists and glowingly written up in The Atlantic, these same liberals would not only accept it, they'd be its primary advocates.

This is that story. This is the story of how the racist pseudoscience of Broken Windows and Stop-and-Frisk that started on the rightwing fringes slowly seeped into the centrist and liberal media and how two new racist pseudosciences, predictive policing and high profile "gang raids", are – again, with the help of liberals – taking their place.

We are joined this week by Josmar Trujillo.

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The Show



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The Guest

Josmar Trujillo is a writer and organizer based in New York City. He has organized around education, disaster recovery and policing. He currently organizes with the Coalition to End Broken Windows and New Yorkers Against Bratton. He has written for the Village Voice, New York Daily News, Newsday, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, and In Justice Today.


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Citations Needed is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and LibSyn (here’s the RSS feed). You can also check us out on Twitter and Facebook.

***

Want More?

For further reading, show notes, a periodic newsletter, and more exclusive content, please visit our Patreon page and sign up to support the show!


***

Citations Needed is a media criticism podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, political commentators and media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.

Citations Needed is produced by Florence Barrau-Adams. Our Production Consultant is Josh Kross. The theme is ‘Nonphenomenal Lineage’ by Grandaddy.

*****

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Citations Needed, Episode 26: The 'Welfare' Dog-Whistle


In Donald Trump's 2011 book, Time To Get Tough, his ghostwriters Wynton Hall and Peter Schweizer - both Breitbart editors - wrote:
Kids who grow up in homes where a magic check appears each month from the government believe there's nothing wrong with sitting at home doing nothing while taxpayers bust their humps working to fund them. For an entire generation, government welfare programs are eradicating the virtues of responsibility, hard work, and self-reliance that built America.
Of course, stigmatizing those who participate in social safety net programs is nothing new, and is often coupled with coded, racist language meant to paint all recipients of government support as lazy black and brown people - undeserving moochers getting handouts from "hard-working Americans."

Indeed, the term "welfare" itself is thrown around so casually in political speeches and media coverage we hardly notice it anymore. CNN reports that “GOP will tackle Medicare, Medicaid, welfare in 2018," while The Washington Post insists that “Trump recently called on Congress to move to cut welfare spending after the tax bill.” CBS News tells viewers that “Washington eyes welfare reform," as The Wall Street Journal warns that "After Push on Taxes, Republicans Line Up Welfare Revamp Next."

But what do these outlets and the Republican Party actually mean when they talk about "welfare"? What programs are they referring to? The exact definition of "welfare" – which supposedly ended over 20 years ago – remains unclear.

While the word "welfare" and the welfare state has a positive connotation in Europe, in the United States it's more often than not a malleable propaganda term meant to dog-whistle programs for African-Americans and Latinos while signaling to whites that their checks and corporate handouts will remain untouched.

In this episode, we dig into the racist history of anti-welfare crusades, the political purpose of pathologizing poverty, and the meaninglessness of phrases like "welfare reform," with guest Sarah Jaffe.

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The Show



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The Guest

Sarah Jaffe is a reporting fellow at The Nation Institute and an independent journalist covering labor, economic justice, social movements, politics, gender, and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Atlantic, The Guardian, In These Times, The Nation, Truthout, The American Prospect and many other publications. She is the co-host of Belabored, a labor podcast hosted by Dissent magazine, and the author of Necessary Trouble: Americans In Revolt.

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Citations Needed is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and LibSyn (here’s the RSS feed). You can also check us out on Twitter and Facebook.

***

Want More?

For further reading, show notes, a periodic newsletter, and more exclusive content, please visit our Patreon page and sign up to support the show!


***

Citations Needed is a media criticism podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, political commentators and media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.

Citations Needed is produced by Florence Barrau-Adams. Our Production Consultant is Josh Kross. The theme is ‘Nonphenomenal Lineage’ by Grandaddy.

*****

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Citations Needed, Episode 25: The Banality of CIA-Curated Definitions of ‘Democracy’


Few words elicit such warm feelings as the term "Democracy." Wars are supposedly fought for it, foreign policies are built around it, protecting and advancing it is considered the United States' highest moral order.

Democracy's alleged opposite - broadly called "authoritarianism," "autocracy" or "tyranny” - is cast as the ultimate evil. The stifling, oppressive boot of the state that curtails liberties and must be fought at all costs. This is the world in which we operate and the one where the United States and its satellite media and NGO allies fight to preserve and defend democracy.

So how is "democracy" defined and how are those definitions used to justify American exceptionalism? Where do positive and negative rights come into play, and how do societal choices like illiteracy, poverty, and hunger factor into our notions of freedom?

On today's episode, we discuss the limits of democracy rankings, the oft-cited "Polity IV" metric devised by the CIA-funded Center for Systemic Peace, and more with guest George Ciccariello-Maher.

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The Show



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The Guest

George Ciccariello-Maher is a political theorist, professor and author of the books We Created Chávez, Building the Commune, and most recently, Decolonizing Dialectics. Follow him @ciccmaher.



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Citations Needed is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and LibSyn (here’s the RSS feed). You can also check us out on Twitter and Facebook.

***

Want More?

For further reading, show notes, a periodic newsletter, and more exclusive content, please visit our Patreon page and sign up to support the show!


***

Citations Needed is a media criticism podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, political commentators and media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.

Citations Needed is produced by Florence Barrau-Adams. Our Production Consultant is Josh Kross. The theme is ‘Nonphenomenal Lineage’ by Grandaddy.

*****

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Citations Needed, Episode 24: Highlighting Alternative Media - The Moral Limits of Dunking on Thomas Friedman


At Citations Needed we enjoy nothing more than ragging on corporate media - indeed, it’s our primary job. But can constant snark and negativity breed cynicism? Recent feedback from some of our listeners has us wondering if the act of media criticism need also make room for some media complimenting, lest we succumb to the forces of defeatism.

In this episode, rather than critiquing the myriad problems with the corporate press, we decided to highlight two smaller media organizations fighting back against tremendous forces - in this case, environmental destruction of native lands and the carceral state – by building alternate systems of communication, news-gathering, storytelling, and organizing.

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The Show



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The Guests

Jade Begay is a filmmaker and media strategist with Indigenous Rising Media, an Indigenous Environmental Network Project. She is also currently a Sustainability and Justice Communications Fellow at Resource Media.

Jay Donahue is a member of Critical Resistance, a national grassroots organization building a movement to abolish the prison industrial complex. The Abolitionist newspaper, a publication distributed free of charge to over 5,500 people in prisons, jails, and detention centers throughout the United States, is a project of Critical Resistance.
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The Organizations

Learn more about the organizations highlighted in this episode, sign up for their newsletters, and donate to support their work.

Indigenous Rising Media
Critical Resistance
The Abolitionist
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Citations Needed is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and LibSyn (here’s the RSS feed). You can also check us out on Twitter and Facebook.

***

Want More?

For further reading, show notes, a periodic newsletter, and more exclusive content, please visit our Patreon page and sign up to support the show!


***

Citations Needed is a media criticism podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, political commentators and media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.

Citations Needed is produced by Florence Barrau-Adams. Our Production Consultant is Josh Kross. The theme is ‘Nonphenomenal Lineage’ by Grandaddy.

*****

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Citations Needed News Brief: Why the Media Should Stop Calling it a "Government Shutdown"


On this all-access News Brief, Adam and Nima discuss why it's not a "government shutdown" but a liberal government shutdown – or, more precisely, a backdoor right-wing coup.



Head over the our Patreon page and sign up to support the show. You'll get all the exclusive content!

***

Citations Needed is a media criticism podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, political commentators and media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.


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