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 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.


1 comment:

icon said...

very good attempt. will love to read more. keep posting. thanks