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)


***

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.

***

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.

*****