Thursday, December 7, 2017

Citations Needed News Brief: The First Failson-in-Law Saves the Middle East


On this Patron-Only News Brief, Adam and I discuss the latest news out of Palestine, Jared Kushner lobbying for Netanyahu, the history of presidential pandering on Jerusalem, and ABC News' Brian Ross tanking the stock market.

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

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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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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Citations Needed, Episode 18: Fake News Panic and the Silencing of Dissident Media


Since Hillary Clinton's surprise 2016 electoral loss to Donald Trump, there have been thousands of articles, columns, and op-eds lamenting the rise of so-called “Fake News” and its pernicious effect on our democracy. The definition of what exactly "Fake News" is has never quite been made clear - yet this hasn’t stopped major corporate media outlets and even the U.S. Congress from rushing to curb this uniquely pernicious and dangerous "threat."

The primary response to this alleged crisis - the creation of a tiered, fact-checking system for social media that effectively bifurcates “real news” and “fake news” - has many in alternative, Leftist, and libertarian media claiming the anti-Fake News algorithms made by Twitter, Facebook, and Google have reduced their web traffic and readership. While it’s difficult to gauge the specifics of these individual reports, it does seem clear at this point that dissident media has taken a hit from efforts to stop co-called “Fake News.”

So what are the origins of this panic and whom does it benefit? How can one protect against obvious bullshit without bestowing the power to arbitrate truth unto a handful of U.S. national security state-aligned corporations and tech giants?

In this episode, we dive into the Fake News hole with Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, New York Times best selling author, and activist Chris Hedges.

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The Show



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The Guest

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, New York Times best selling author, former professor at Princeton University, activist and ordained Presbyterian minister.

He has written 11 books, including the New York Times best-seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. His other books include "Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt," (2015) “Death of the Liberal Class” (2010), “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009), “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” (2008) and the best-selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” (2008). His book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and has sold over 400,000 copies. He writes a weekly column for the website Truthdig in Los Angeles, run by Robert Scheer, and hosts a show, On Contact, on RT America.

Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries during his work for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

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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.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Citations Needed, Episode 17: Whitewashing America's Role in Yemen


Over 15,000 civilians dead and almost a million reported cases of cholera. 17 million people unsure of where their next meal will come from, including 7 million on the brink of starvation. Nearly 3 million people internally displaced. Hunger, disease, and bombs. That's what the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have wrought on Yemen.

After almost three years of wanton destruction by U.S.-supported Saudi bombing campaigns and, most recently, a total land, air and sea blockade, the vast majority of Americans still haven’t heard much about the dire circumstances facing the people of Yemen. They've heard even less about how the United States is enabling, facilitating, authorizing, aiding and abetting this slaughter.

By and large, the media has almost entirely ignored the decimation of Yemen and its civilian population. When it is touched upon, America's central role in the conflict is often omitted, as is––even more inexplicably––Saudi Arabia's. The violence is routinely referred to as a regional "proxy war" between Gulf monarchies and Iran or Sunnis and Shias, rather than a U.S.-backed massacre.

On this episode, Adam and Nima, joined by Dr. Sheila Carapico and Dr. Greg Shupak, look back at the media’s coverage of this tragedy, why it let Obama off the hook for it, how the typical “cycle of violence” framing is used to obscure U.S. responsibility, and what can be done to lay blame where it belongs moving forward.

[A Patron-Only News Brief on even more recent Yemen coverage was posted on November 22.]

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The Show



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The Guests

Dr. Sheila Carapico is a expert on Yemen. She is a professor of political science and international studies at the University of Richmond, contributing editor of Middle East Report, and has written for many outlets including The Nation and Muftah.

Dr. Greg Shupak is an author and activist who teaches Media Studies at the University of Guelph in Canada.

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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, November 22, 2017

Citations Needed News Brief: 60 Minutes' Yemen Whitewash


In this Patron-only News Brief, Adam and I discuss recent omissions by 60 Minutes and The Washington Post of the U.S. role in bombing Yemen, the broader effort to throw America's responsibility for creating famine and disease into a memory hole, and shifting human rights standards for U.S. and its allies.

[Note: This is a News Brief update on recent Yemen coverage; a full-length episode on the topic is coming soon.]

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.


*****

Citations Needed News Brief: #J20 Trial Update and the Political Definitions of 'Violence'


In this all-access Citations Needed News Brief, Adam and I catch up with the latest from the #J20 trial, how the media shaped coverage early in favor of the state, and the racist roots of criminalizing protest.

We are joined by Sam Adler-Bell, who walks us through his excellent new article in Mask Magazine, “It’s a Police State Mentality” — J20 and the Racist Origins of Criminalizing Protest.



If you like what you hear, please 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, November 15, 2017

Citations Needed, Episode 16: Editorial Boards - Protectors of Establishment Ideology

Donald Trump speaks with Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan, left, as he departs a meeting with the editorial board of The Washington Post. Editorial page editor Fred Hiatt is on the right. (Bonnie Jo Mount/Washington Post)


Editorial boards are the establishment voice from above, handing out decrees of moral and political import behind an anonymous byline. Major papers like The New York Times and The Washington Post have an Official Position™ and it's important that Important People™ hear that position. But of what use is this 19th Century artifact? Whose interest does it serve and why does it even still exist?

On this episode of Citations Needed, we attempt to answer these questions and more with guests Janine Jackson and Jim Naureckas of the always-essential FAIR.org.

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The Show



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The Guests

Janine Jackson is the program director of Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting and producer/host of FAIR’s syndicated weekly radio show CounterSpin. She contributes frequently to FAIR’s newsletter Extra!, and co-edited The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the ’90s.

Jim Naureckas is the editor of FAIR.org, the website of Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting. Since 1990, he has edited Extra!, FAIR’s print publication, now a monthly newsletter. He is the co-author of Way Things Aren’t: Rush Limbaugh’s Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the ’90s. You can follow him on Twitter at @JNaureckas.


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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.

*****

Friday, November 10, 2017

Citations Needed News Brief: A Prince, a Purge & the Media's GoT Obsession


On the latest Patrons-Only Citations Needed News Brief, Adam and I discuss the Game of Thrones-obsessed media's hand-wringing over––and promotion of––Saudi Arabia's latest bloodbath.

If you want to check it out, 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, November 8, 2017

Citations Needed, Episode 15: The Real Estate Page as Colonial Dispatch


Real Estate sections of local papers and magazines feature mostly fun, breezy profiles of the super rich buying up apartments, buildings, and houses or remodeling the ones they already own. Harmless escapist fun? Maybe. But how we write about real estate often reveals casually racist and colonial attitudes that are rarely, if ever, examined.

Gentrification of American cities is often, if not always, accompanied by telling language. Newly-arrived, often wealthy, residents in neighborhoods long populated by primarily Black and brown families are routinely referred to as "urban pioneers." These "settlers" are said to bravely venture into the "concrete jungle" - discovering and taming the "diverse," "funky," and "rough" and (guess what?) affordable "frontiers" that have been all too neglected by the savage natives.

In this episode, we talk about why the way we talk about the real estate business matters and how the white civilizing mission seems never to have gone away.

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The Show



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The Guest

Aaron Miguel Cantú writes for the Santa Fe Reporter. He is a senior editor for The New Inquiry and has contributed to VICE, The Intercept, The Nation, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, 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, November 1, 2017

Citations Needed, Episode 14: The Iran Deal Protection Racket



We are told time and again from Republicans and nominal liberals alike that Iran desperately wants to acquire nuclear weapons, was "racing toward the bomb" before the implementation of the multilateral Iran Deal - officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and was merely months away from holding the world hostage with a nuclear arsenal before being stopped by diplomacy, aided by "crippling sanctions." The core axioms of this narrative are never really challenged, even by those viewed as progressive on foreign policy.

But how correct are these assumptions? Why does the media keep saying Iran has a "nuclear weapons program" when it doesn't? Will the nonstop back and forth over Iran's "nuclear ambitions" ever cease?

Using both Nima and Adam's own analyses, we attempt to answer these questions and more as we take a deep dive into the Iran Deal protection racket.

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The Show



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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, October 25, 2017

Citations Needed, Episode 13: The Always 'Stumbling' U.S. Empire


"We seem, as it were, to have conquered and peopled half the world in a fit of absence of mind."
- Sir John Robert Seeley, The Expansion of England (1883)

The media does a lot mind-reading when it comes to U.S. foreign policy. The idea that the United States and, often, its allies operate in “good faith” is taken for granted for most of the American press - so much so that we don’t really think much about it.

On this episode, we explore the media's commitment to the narrative of "United States as reluctant warrior," whose leadership and decision-making always has the "best intentions." We also examine the new Ken Burns and Lynn Novick series on Vietnam with our guest, Professor Hannah Gurman, who recently published an excellent article in The Washington Post, "As we rethink the Vietnam War, we have to grapple with its racial implications."

The Show



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The Guest

Professor Hannah Gurman is an associate professor at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study and author of "The Dissent Papers: The Voices of Diplomats in the Cold War and Beyond."

An historian of the United States with a PhD in literary studies, Prof. Gurman's research focuses on national-security information as a site of political contest that reflects deeper struggles over the nature and meaning of US national security. Her book, The Dissent Papers: The Voices of Diplomats in the Cold War and Beyond, was published in 2012 by Columbia University Press. She is also editor of Hearts and Minds: A People’s History of Counterinsurgency (The New Press, 2013). Her work has appeared in American Quarterly, Diplomatic History, and the Journal of Contemporary History, as well as The Nation, Salon, and Huffington Post.

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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, October 11, 2017

Citations Needed, Episode 12: The New Atheists - Celebrity Crusaders for Empire

Bill Maher and Sam Harris on HBO's Real Time

On this week's episode of Citations Needed, Adam and I discuss the particular breed of liberalism known as “New Atheism,” with guest Luke Savage.

While the New Atheist movement is hardly a monolith, it has at its core features of liberal chauvinism, anti-"political correctness," “science,” secularism, and a general deference to U.S. foreign policy consensus. Its most well-known champions, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Maajid Nawaz, Bill Maher, and the late Christopher Hitchens, were and remain major features in mainstream liberal discourse – from television shows on HBO to major podcasts to writings featured everywhere from The New York Times to The Guardian to The Daily Beast.

For years, however, leftists of all stripes--anti-imperialists, socialists, progressives--have expressed concern over this brand of liberal chauvinism, its out-sized place in the media and its ability to turn the U.S., and white Americans in particular, into The Real Victims™ ; its ability to offend the religious while championing boilerplate National Security consensus and imperial wars abroad. It seemed vaguely provocative but who was it really offending? And, more importantly, who was it serving?



The Guest


Luke Savage is a Toronto-based writer, co-host of the Michael and Us podcast, and a regular contributor to Jacobin and Current Affairs. His analysis of the New Atheist phenomenon and its most recognizable endorsers includes 'New Atheism, Old Empire' (Jacobin, 2014) and 'The Hollow Courage of Bill Maher' (Jacobin, 2017)


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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, October 4, 2017

Citations Needed, Episode 11, Part II: The Deficits Racket - Racist Media as Barrier to Government Spending


If broad government programs are so popular, why don’t we just vote them into existence?

One of the primary barriers to democratic socialism - or spending, in general - is racist media coverage and racist attitudes about how government programs are administered. In this episode of Citations Needed, we explore how media-fueled racism and means-tested nickel-and-diming makes radical change that much more difficult.

This episode features our producer Florence Barrau-Adams filling in for me.



The Guests


Sean McElwee is a policy analyst at Demos focused on how racism affects public policy, the impact of voter turnout on policy, and how economic inequality affects democracy. His writing has been featured in The Atlantic, The New Republic, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, Politico, New York and Boston Review. Follow him @SeanMcElwee.

Noël A. Cazenave is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut. His most recent book is Conceptualizing Racism: Breaking the Chains of Racially Accommodative Language. Professor Cazenave is also the author of The Urban Racial State: Managing Race Relations in American Cities, Impossible Democracy: The Unlikely Success of the War on Poverty Community Action Programs, and co-author of Welfare Racism: Playing the Race Card against America’s Poor. His current book project is tentatively entitled Killing African Americans: Police and Vigilante Violence as a Racial Control Mechanism.

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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.

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