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Following today's mob violence at the U.S. capitol building, we break down how, once again, American media would rather ignore homegrown currents of white supremacist vigilantism and their buddy buddy relationship with law enforcement and focus instead on how an anomalous President Trump makes us like those horrible poor people of the Global South.…
 
"Sen. Mark Warner said progressives' calls to 'defund the police' were in part to blame for Democratic losses in the House in a cycle when the party was expected to gain seats," The Hill tells us. "How ’defund the police' sabotaged Democrats on Election Day," Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune writes."'Defund the police’ is killing our party, and…
 
This is the second installment of our scoldy, buzzkill, two-part episode on Obama-era media failures we should be on the look out for as the Biden administration takes office. On this episode, we examine five more tropes that, sadly, are already being resurrected. Our guest is Roberto Lovato, author of Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, G…
 
President-elect Joe Biden has promised what he calls a return to "decency" and "unity," and American media has broadly characterized his victory over Donald Trump as, in the words of New York Times columnist Charles Blow, "The Third Term of the Obama Presidency." Many of the same holdovers — Samantha Power, Antony Blinken, Michèle Flournoy, Bob McD…
 
A CNN headline from this past summer read: “Mental health during coronavirus: Tips for processing your feelings.” Psychology Today gave us an article on “Coping With Loneliness During a Pandemic,” while the Washington Post presents, “A guide to taking care of yourself during the pandemic.” Everywhere we’ve turned over the past 9 months, American me…
 
"Joe Biden Calls For ‘Immediate, Full And Transparent Investigation’ Into Jacob Blake Shooting," Forbes reports. "Obama Fraud Task Force Takes on the Big Banks," Bloomberg News proclaims. "Democratic lawmakers call for vote on bill to study reparations," announces CNN. It seems that every time there’s a movement toward righting a historical or curr…
 
Pete Buttigieg wants to create “a Senior Cli­mate Secu­ri­ty role in the Sec­re­tary of Defense’s office respon­si­ble for man­ag­ing cli­mate secu­ri­ty risks.” Elizabeth Warren insists “our military can help lead the fight in combating climate change.” And the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis tells us our primary goal should be to “Co…
 
“Climate change is real.” “Three words — science, science, and science.” “From coastal towns to rural farms to urban centers, climate change poses an existential threat.” “Now it is time to put our coalition to work and pass bold climate solutions.” These are just some of the many statements — all of them true — that the U.S. public routinely hears…
 
In this News Brief follow up to Episode 115 on Hollywood's symbiotic relationship with the Pentagon and CIA, we spoke with director and screenwriter Oliver Stone about his experience making mainstream motion pictures about often taboo subjects like the American imperialism and war crimes.
 
Every year, a series of highly anticipated listicles of "successful" and "influential" people hailed for their accomplishments surface in corporate media. Forbes reveals the most successful 30 people under the age of 30, and Fortune hails the most successful 40 Under 40. Meanwhile, other business outlets like TechCrunch, Fast Company and CNBC seek …
 
By now, it's largely taken for granted that country music is a racialized signifier, interchangeable with right-wing politics. And it’s not such an unreasonable generalization: the political currents of twanged and drawled patriotic paeans like Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA," Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (The Angry Americ…
 
Waiting tables. Bartending. Hospitality, food delivery, beauty salons, rideshare driving. The service industry, as anyone who has worked in it knows all too well, is notorious for relying on tipping to undercut employee wages and deputize individual customers to determine how much money a worker should be able to take home. Amid increasing recognit…
 
"U.S. military tactics falling behind those of adversaries, Pentagon official warns," The Guardian proclaims. "Russian Propaganda Is Pervasive, and America Is Behind the Power Curve in Countering It," reads a report from the RAND Corporation. "U.S. falling behind in new space race, says CIA's former head of science and tech," cautions CBS News. U.S…
 
One point brought up in Episode 116, highlighting the connection between real estate interests and over-policing, solicited a lot of feedback from listeners. In this News Brief, we wanted to expand upon this topic by interviewing an academic source we cited in the episode: assistant professor of sociology at the University of Colorado Denver Brende…
 
The popularity of HGTV house-flipping TV shows can’t be overstated: In the second week of July, HGTV was the fourth highest rated cable network, behind only Fox News, MSNBC and CNN, making it the highest rated entertainment network in the United States. Its most prominent programming: the reliable, risk free formula of home flipping shows. All of t…
 
For over a hundred years, the American film industry has been promoting and glorifying U.S. foreign policy, initially working with the military and Department of Defense, and eventually, the CIA as well. From its origins as a producer of wartime propaganda like 1911’s The Military Air-Scout to its contemporary role as purveyor of high-tech action e…
 
More stats Citations Needed PodcastPro Unlimited 10,122 followers10.1K 142 tracks142 Our cultural context for understanding what we see on the news and hear in our politics, is often informed by the films and TV shows we’ve grown up watching. Pop culture is powerful and persuasive, and — for a century now — racist, Orientalist and cartoonish portra…
 
The United States and its close allies Saudi Arabia and Israel have been bombing and occupying large sections of the so-called “Muslim world” for decades – drastically ramping up after the 9/11 attacks and seemingly with no end in sight. The U.S., like all empires, cannot operate a large, complex system premised on violence, meddling and subjugatio…
 
"Polarization Is Dividing American Society, Not Just Politics,” laments The New York Times. “The Constitution Is Threatened by Tribalism,” frets The Atlantic. “American politics has reached peak polarization,” declares Vox. After the past few election cycles, and as uprisings occur throughout the country, we’ve seen endless concern about our allege…
 
“Obama lauds small business owners in his State of the Union,” announced The Washington Post. “I have always said that there is nothing more optimistic – perhaps maybe getting married – than starting a small business,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells us. “John Kerry would raise taxes on 900,000 small businesses,” insisted a reelection ad for George W. B…
 
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