Media Matters - January 29, 2012

Project Censored’s Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips

Every year since 1976, Project Censored-a university-wide project at Sonoma State University founded by Carl Jensen, directed for many years by Peter Phillips, and now under the leadership of Mickey Huff-has produced a Top-25 list of underreported news stories and a book, Censored, dedicated to the stories that ought to be top features on the nightly news, but that are missing because of media bias and self-censorship.

Seven Stories Press has been publishing this yearbook since 1994, featuring the top stories listed democratically in order of importance according to students, faculty, and a national panel of judges. Each of the top stories is presented at length, alongside updates from the investigative reporters who broke the stories. Beyond the Top-25 stories, additional chapters delve further into timely media topics: The Censored News and Media Analysis section provides annual updates on Junk Food News and News Abuse, Censored Déjà Vu, signs of hope in the alternative and news media, and the state of media bias and alternative coverage around the world. In the Truth Emergency section, scholars and journalists take a critical look at the US/NATO military-industrial-media empire. And in the Project Censored International section, the meaning of media democracy worldwide is explored in close association with Project Censored affiliates in universities and at media organizations all over the world. A perennial favorite of booksellers, teachers, and readers everywhere, Censored is one of the strongest life signs of our current collective desire to get the news we citizens need-despite what Big Media tells us.

Mickey Huff is the Director of Project Censored and is a member of the board of directors for the Media Freedom Foundation. He is currently an associate professor of history at Diablo Valley College (DVC), located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Huff is radio co-host of the Project Censored Show with former Project Censored director Dr. Peter Phillips. The program airs as part of The Morning Mix on KPFA inBerkeley, CA on Pacifica Radio, and is rebroadcast on the Progressive Radio Network online out of New York City. He is also on the board of directors of No Lies Radio and is a former advisor to the Students for a Democratic Society at DVC. Huff regularly holds forums on campus with authors and activists from across the country to discuss issues surrounding history, critical thinking, and current events.

As mentioned, Peter Phillips directed Project Censored for many years. A professor in Sociology at Sonoma State University, Peter is also the President of the Media Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit established in 2000 to support First Amendment organizations and investigative research by raising funds for and working closely with Project Censored, and countless other investigative research and media related organizations.

Censored 2012 was published in October 2011.

Join the conversation this Sunday at 1pm by calling (217) 333-9455 or (800) 222-9455.

Media Matters - January 22, 2012

Josh Silver, CEO of United Republic

Josh Silver is the co-founder and current CEO of United Republic, an organization fighting the corrupting influence of well-financed special interests over American politics and government. He is also the former CEO and president of Free Press, the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization co-founded with Bob McChesney and John Nichols in 2002 to engage the American public in media policy. He was previously campaign manager for the successful "Clean Elections in Arizona" ballot initiative; director of development for the cultural arm of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.; and director of an international youth exchange program. He has published widely on media, telecommunications, campaign finance and other public policy issues. Silver has been profiled the Wall Street Journal and featured in outlets including the New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Salon.com, C-SPAN, and NPR. He speaks regularly on media and technology issues and blogs at The Huffington Post.

Silver is one of the leading figures in the growing movement for media reform. His quest to foster more critical, investigative journalism led him to start Free Press, arguably the most effective organization in the media policy reform space. His work with Free Press focused on inhibiting media consolidation, ensuring that the Internet is fast, neutral and affordable, fostering more critical, independent journalism, and encouraging a more robust, politically insulated public media system.

Media Matters - January 15, 2012

Mari Jo and Paul Buhle on the 2011 labor demonstrations in Madison, Wisconsin

In the spring of 2011, Wisconsinites took to the streets in what became the largest and liveliest labor demonstrations in modern American history. Protesters in the Middle East sent greetings-and pizzas-to the thousands occupying the Capitol building in Madison, and 150,000 demonstrators converged on the city.

In a year that has seen a revival of protest in America, here is a riveting account of the first great wave of grassroots resistance to the corporate restructuring of the Great Recession.

It Started in Wisconsin includes eyewitness reports by striking teachers, students, and others (such as Wisconsin-born musician Tom Morello), as well as essays explaining Wisconsin's progressive legacy by acclaimed historians. The book lays bare the national corporate campaign that crafted Wisconsin's anti-union legislation and similar laws across the country, and it conveys the infectious esprit de corps that pervaded the protests with original pictures and comics.

Media Matters - January 08, 2012

Tom Frank, author of Pity the Billionaire

Thomas Frank is an American author, journalist and columnist for Harper's Magazine. He is a former columnist for the Wall Street Journal, authoring "The Tilting Yard" from 2008 to 2010. Frank is a historian of culture and ideas and analyzes trends in American electoral politics and propaganda, advertising, popular culture, mainstream journalism and economics. With his writing, he explores the rhetoric and impact of the 'Culture Wars' in American political life, and the relationship between politics and culture in the United States.

His new book, Pity the Billionaire, Frank examines the peculiar mechanism by which dire economic circumstances have delivered wildly unexpected political results. Using firsthand reporting, a deep knowledge of the American Right, and a wicked sense of humor, he gives the first full diagnosis of the cultural malady that has transformed collapse into profit, reconceived the Founding Fathers as heroes from an Ayn Rand novel, and enlisted the powerless in a fan club for the prosperous. The understanding Frank reaches is at once startling, original, and profound.

Media Matters - January 01, 2012

Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation

This week, Bob is joined by Katrina vanden Heuvel. Katrina is the editor, publisher and co-owner of The Nation magazine and has authored several books about American politics. A weekly columnist for WashingtonPost.com, she is a frequent commentator in the media on American and international politics.

She has received awards for public service from numerous groups, including The Liberty Hill Foundation, The Correctional Association and The Association for American-Russian Women. In 2003, she received the New York Civil Liberties Union's Callaway Prize for the Defense of the Right of Privacy. She is also the recipient of The American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee's 2003 "Voices of Peace" award. Katrina is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations, and she also serves on the board of The Institute for Women's Policy Research, The Institute for Policy Studies, The World Policy Institute, The Correctional Association of New York and The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.

Her newest book, The Change I Believe In: Fighting for Progress in the Age of Obama, was released in October 2011.

This episode's maiden broadcast will be aired this Sunday, January 1, 2012, although it was recorded in December of 2011.

Media Matters - December 18, 2011

Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky is a US political theorist and activist, and institute professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Besides his work in linguistics, Chomsky is internationally recognized as one of the most critically engaged public intellectuals alive today. Chomsky continues to be an unapologetic critic of both American foreign policy and its ambitions for geopolitical hegemony and the neoliberal turn of global capitalism, which he identifies in terms of class warfare waged from above against the needs and interests of the great majority.

Chomsky is also an incisive critic of the ideological role of the mainstream corporate mass media, which, he maintains, "manufactures consent" toward the desirability of capitalism and the political powers supportive of it. On the role of the mass media, Chomsky argues that the vested corporate interests controlling newspapers, television, and radio, no less than the content of what these outlets offer, form what he and Edward Hermann in their seminal study Manufacturing Consent call a "propaganda model" supine in the service of power.

Chomsky's bibliography consists of over one hundred titles, spanning over sixty year's worth of work and research, vastly contributing to the public dialogue of both linguistics and politics. His most recent publication is a second edition of a collection of essays and interviews entitled, 9-11: Was There an Alternative?

Media Matters - December 11, 2011

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader's latest book is "Only the Super-Rich can Save Us." Ralph Nader is one of America's most effective social critics. Named by The Atlantic as one of the 100 most influential figures in American history, and by Time and Life magazines as one of the hundred most influential Americans of the twentieth century, his documented criticism of government and industry has had widespread effect on public awareness and bureaucratic power.

Media Matters - December 04, 2011

Cultural historian and social critic Morris Berman

Morris Berman is well known as an innovative cultural historian and social critic. He has taught at a number of universities in Europe and North America, and has held visiting endowed chairs at Incarnate Word College (San Antonio), the University of New Mexico, and Weber State University. During 1982-88 he was the Lansdowne Professor in the History of Science at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. Berman won the Governor's Writers Award for Washington State in 1990, and was the first recipient of the annual Rollo May Center Grant for Humanistic Studies in 1992. He is the author of a trilogy on the evolution of human consciousness-The Reenchantment of the World (1981), Coming to Our Senses (1989), and Wandering God: A Study in Nomadic Spirituality (2000)-and in 2000 his Twilight of American Culture was named a "Notable Book" by the New York Times Book Review. During 2003-6 he was Visiting Professor in Sociology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Dr. Berman relocated to Mexico in 2006, and during 2008-9 was a Visiting Professor at the Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico City.

Media Matters - November 27, 2011

News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media

Bob's guests are Juan Gonzalez and Joseph Torres, authors of News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media, a sweeping account of the class and racial conflicts in American news media, from the first colonial newspaper to the internet age. It chronicles key government decisions that created our nation's system of news, major political battles over the role of the press, and the rise of media conglomerates and epoch-defining technologies. The book reveals how racial segregation in the media distorted the news and unearths numerous examples of how publishers and broadcasters actually fomented racial violence through their coverage. And it illuminates how Black, Latino, Asian, and Native American journalists fought to create a vibrant yet little-known alternative and democratic press and then, beginning in the 1970s, forced open the doors of the major media companies.

The writing is fast-paced, story-driven and replete with portraits of individual journalists and media executives, both famous and obscure, the heroes and the villains. It weaves back and forth between the corporate battles and government policies that built our segregated media system- as when Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover gave a radio license to a notorious KKK organization in the nation's capital-and those who rebelled against that system, such as Pittsburgh Courier publisher Robert L. Vann, who led a national campaign to get the black-face comedy Amos 'n' Andy off the air.

Media Matters - November 20, 2011

Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig

Join Bob and Professor Lawrence Lessig on Sunday at 1pm for a live show. Call and comment. Lawrence Lessig is the Director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Prior to returning to Harvard, Lessig was a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School (where he was founder of Stanford's Center for Internet and Society), Harvard Law School (1997-2000), and the University of Chicago Law School. Lessig clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. For much of his academic career, Lessig has focused on law and technology, especially as it affects copyright. He is the author of five books on the subject - Remix (2008), Code v2 (2007), Free Culture (2004), The Future of Ideas (2001) and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999) - and has served as lead counsel in a number of important cases marking the boundaries of copyright law in a digital age, including Eldred v. Ashcroft, a challenge to the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, and Golan v. Holder. His current academic work addresses the question of "institutional corruption" - roughly, influences within an economy of influence that weaken the effectiveness of an institution, or weaken public trust. His current work at the EJ Safra Lab oversees a 5 year research project addressing institutional corruption in a number of institutional contexts.

www.lessig.org

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