An odd aspect of modern American life is that even with 24-hour news and its roster of blathering pundits, many creative thinkers with valuable insights are blacklisted from mainstream media, perhaps most notably Noam Chomsky who turned 85 on Dec. 7, as Jeff Cohen reflects.
On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the inspiration from King’s non-violent civil disobedience has spread around the world, including to Palestine where much of the resistance to Israeli repression is following King’s guidebook, writes Jeff Cohen.
Some of our special stories from July, focusing on the National Security Agency surveillance scandal, the deepening chaos in the Middle East, and the American Right’s growing hostility to science and history.
President Obama seems more willing to alienate his base of young supporters who object to the growing Surveillance State than to offend the national security apparatchiks who run it. But Obama’s crackdown on leakers also has found apologists among MSNBC’s “liberal” talkers, as Jeff Cohen reports.
After a brief flurry of aggressive journalism in the 1970s, the mainstream U.S. press has grown steadily more tame, transforming itself into what might be called the government’s “semi-official” news agencies – another “secret” brought out by the case of Edward Snowden, as media critic Jeff Cohen notes.
While the U.S. media has some spirited debate over politics and social issues – i.e. Fox News vs. MSNBC – there remains a broad consensus about foreign adversaries whose behavior is almost always cast in the harshest light, a reality that colors how America reacts to the world, as Jeff Cohen writes.
As the Iraq War’s architects and boosters remain respected figures in Official Washington, whistleblower Bradley Manning faces possible life in prison. To counter this injustice, media critic Jeff Cohen thinks Manning should get the Nobel Peace Prize, as he explained to Dennis J. Bernstein.
Over several decades, as the Right built a powerful political/media infrastructure and effectively took over the Republican Party, the Left squandered its advantage in holding many positions that mesh with popular sentiment by too often insisting on political “purity” and refusing to work within the Democratic Party, writes Jeff Cohen.
As Wall Street bankers and hedge funds deploy powerful computers in “high-frequency trading” – siphoning off capital meant for productive purposes – one counter-measure would be a “financial transaction tax” to discourage the practice and raise needed revenue, a plan gaining traction in France, reports Jeff Cohen.