Tag Archives | Progressives

Bill Maher: ‘Corporatist’ Evan Bayh Is What’s Wrong With Senate (Video)

Reports Huffington Post on a Bill Maher interview with Anderson Cooper:
Evan Bayh is not a centrist, he's a corporatist, according to Bill Maher. Maher appeared on "Anderson Cooper 360" Tuesday night to comment on the state of affairs in Washington, D.C. He argued that Evan Bayh, the retiring Senator from Indiana, is what's wrong with Congress. The Senate is "where legislation goes to die," Maher says, because "corporatist Democrats" like Bayh act like Republicans. Maher told Cooper that politics are not polarized enough and that the U.S. lacks a real progressive party.
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Robert Greenwald Attacks Kennedy Miniseries On History Channel

From the very start of our home video business, we've worked with director Robert Greenwald, who has become a sort of Defender of the Faith for progressive politics. It speaks volumes that when Robert takes up a cause, it lands on the front page of the New York Times (story below). I have to say I'm also delighted that Robert has highlighted the problem with much of the History Channel's programming - it's not history, it's entertainment with a focus on ratings at the expense of veracity:
A new mini-series about John F. Kennedy’s presidency that is being prepared by the History channel does not yet have a cast or a premiere date. Not a frame of footage has been shot. It does, however, have prominent critics who want it brought to a halt. The critics, including Theodore C. Sorensen, a former Kennedy adviser, say they have read the scripts for the project and that those contain errors of fact and emphasis. But like a similar controversy over a 2003 television film about Ronald Reagan, the dispute over the embryonic Kennedy series seems to say as much about the enduring place of the Kennedys as a battleground in the culture wars as it does about history itself. The mini-series, called “The Kennedys,” is the brainchild of Joel Surnow, a creator of the Fox action show “24” and an outspoken political conservative...
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Howard Zinn: Historian, Activist, Author, Teacher, Dies at 87

What an incredible lifetime of work. Reports the AP via the NY Times: Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn, an author, teacher and political activist whose book A People’s History of the United States became a million-selling leftist alternative to mainstream texts, died Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 87 and lived in Auburndale, Mass. The cause was a heart attack, his daughter Myla Kabat-Zinn said. Published in 1980 with little promotion and a first printing of 5,000, A People’s History was, fittingly, a people’s best-seller, attracting a wide audience through word of mouth and reaching 1 million sales in 2003. Although Professor Zinn was writing for a general readership, his book was taught in high schools and colleges throughout the country, and numerous companion editions were published, including Voices of a People’s History, a volume for young people and a graphic novel. A People’s History told an openly left-wing story. Professor Zinn accused Christopher Columbus and other explorers of committing genocide, picked apart presidents from Andrew Jackson to Franklin D. Roosevelt and celebrated workers, feminists and war resisters.
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Glenn Beck Talks the Beatles’ “Revolution”

I actually don't think Glenn Beck believes the Beatles were secret maoists; it's just his latest attempt to turn the word "progressive" into the f-word. He'll make any possible connection in order to do that. Oh well, it's fun to play both clips together and wait and see if Glenn Beck's head will explode:
But when you want money for people with minds that hate All I can tell you is brother you have to wait Don't you know it's gonna be alright...
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow Don't you know know it's gonna be alright...
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Why The End Of Air America Is Not The End Of Liberal Talk Radio

Air AmericaSteve Carney dissects what went wrong at Air America and what it means for progressive talk in the Los Angeles Times:

Coming only two days after the Republicans’ upset U.S. Senate victory in Massachusetts, the sudden demise of the Air America radio network — after a protracted illness — left liberals reeling and conservatives gloating over the failure of their competing ideology’s highest profile outlet.

But the end of Air America is not the end of liberal talk radio, nor should it be, according to observers.

“The only thing they did that was outstanding — boy, did they get a lot of PR,” said Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers magazine, a trade journal of the talk-radio industry.

“The thing that was so maddening about Air America’s original programming — and they squandered their initial capital and their initial publicity — [was that] all you heard was about how bad Rush Limbaugh was and how bad Sean Hannity was,” Harrison said in an interview Friday.

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Air America Calls It Quits

The lone voice of progressive talk in the radio spectrum is conceding that it just can’t attract an audience the same way that the conservatives do and will declare bankruptcy. Funny how liberal blogs are so popular in comparison…

From the Air AmericaAir America site:

It is with the greatest regret, on behalf of our Board, that we must announce that Air America Media is ceasing its live programming operations as of this afternoon, and that the Company will file soon under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code to carry out an orderly winding-down of the business.

The very difficult economic environment has had a significant impact on Air America’s business. This past year has seen a “perfect storm” in the media industry generally. National and local advertising revenues have fallen drastically, causing many media companies nationwide to fold or seek bankruptcy protection. From large to small, recent bankruptcies like Citadel Broadcasting and closures like that of the industry’s long-time trade publication Radio and Records have signaled that these are very difficult and rapidly changing times.

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Moyers, Moore and Maddow: Alternet Ranks the Most Influential Progressives

Brave New FilmsInteresting survey from our friends at Alternet. Congratulations to Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films for landing in the top 15, as many of you know, Disinformation has distributed several of his documentaries over the years, starting with Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War back in 2004 up to his latest Rethink Afghanistan. The Disinformation Podcast crew recently interviewed Greenwald about his latest film (Listen here).

Don Hazen writes on Alternet:

The three M’s — Bill Moyers, Michael Moore and Rachel Maddow — scored highest in a recent AlterNet survey* asking more than 5,000 readers to rate the most influential progressive media figures. Moyers, who scored 67.5, and Moore, with a 66.2 score, were very close. Maddow was a tad behind at 63.5.

It’s no surprise that Moyers, the moral sage, and Moore, the rabble-rouser, are ranked at the top. They have been popular with AlterNet readers for years.

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Political Power Couple Susan Sarandon & Tim Robbins Split

On Zennie Abraham's SF Gate blog:
When I read that Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins separated after 23 years together, my thoughts immediately turned to their two decades of liberal political activism. The Democratic power couple was particularly active during the 2008 Presidential Campaign. Here's Susan Sarandon talking about Sarah Palin at Boston University in September 2008, when she says that Palin's views are "worrying" and would set the woman's movement back. She also quoted actor Ed Harris, who said Palin "would be a really large footnote in the annals of moose hunting". Saradon also expresses her thoughts on the media's coverage of politics.
Tim Robbins was no less involved in political commentary and activism. In this video originally provided by CrooksandLiars.com, Robbins appears on Real Time with Bill Maher and really gets after Steve Hayes, who tried to claim a connection between al-Queda and Saddam Hussein...
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The Relentless War on Drug Users Is Escalating Violence in the US: It’s Time for Harm Reduction

Don Hazen, veteran progressive and currently the main man at AlterNet, (plus a good guy and friend of Disinformation), has penned a compelling editorial on the drug war:

Ethan Nadelmann is one of a handful of marvelously charismatic and motivating speakers within the liberal and progressive universe. He talks creatively and emphatically about race, class, gender, corruption, power, human rights, immigration and the devastating impact of prison-industrial complex on all aspects of society, all progressive touchstones. Yet relatively few people know who he is, or follow his efforts. Why? Because he has devoted his life to transforming America’s attitudes and laws about drugs, which is no easy task, and often a thankless one.

There exists a complex, almost paradoxical attitude toward drug use and the ramifications of “drug war” repression among many progressives. Even Baby Boomers, many who successfully navigated a journey through their own drug experimentation as they came of age, often overreact to the possibilities of their own childrens’ experimentations with drugs.

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