Today, a Democracy Now! special with legendary independent filmmaker and author, John Sayles. Over the past three decades, he has directed 17 feature films, including Return of the Secaucus Seven, Matewan, Lone Star, and Eight Men Out. He has often used his films to tackle pressing political issues, as well as themes of race, class, labor and sexuality. His newest film, Amigo, which opens in August, is set in the Philippines during the U.S. occupation. Sayles is also a celebrated author. A winner of the O. Henry Award, he has just published his first novel in 20 years. It’s called “A Moment in the Sun,” and it is a sprawling work which takes the turn of the 20th century in its sights — from a white racist coup in Wilmington, North Carolina, to the first stirrings of the motion picture industry, to the bloody dawn of U.S. interventionism in Cuba and the Philippines. We spend the hour with Sayles, discussing his work and career. “However small your audience is, however frustrating it is to get your version of the world or what you want to talk about out there, it’s part of the conversation. And if you shut up, the conversation is one-sided,” says Sayles.
An eye-opening interview with Dr. Noam Chomsky.
After two decades of work, Dr. Manning Marable completed a new biography, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. Dr. Marable used material for his book that was recently made available, thus providing a new insight into the famed civil rights leader. His biography, however, has also refueled the debate on many controversial aspects of Malcolm X’s life and interpretation of his politics and legacy. To discuss Dr. Marable’s biography, we host a roundtable discussion with three guests. Amiri Baraka is an acclaimed poet, playwright, music historian and activist based in Newark, New Jersey. Herb Boyd is a Harlem-based activist, teacher and author who edits the online publication, The Black World Today, and writes for several publications, including Amsterdam News. Michael Eric Dyson is a professor of sociology at Georgetown University and is the author of numerous books, including Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X
Obama Won’t Sign Foreclosure Bill
The White House has announced President Obama won’t sign a congressionally approved bill that could have made it easier for banks to foreclose on homeowners. Consumer advocates had criticized the measure over a provision that would have limited homeowners’ ability to challenge foreclosure documents prepared in other states. The White House move comes amidst growing calls for a nationwide moratorium on home foreclosures following revelations major lenders may have committed fraud while forcing thousands of people out of their homes.
On the ninth anniversary of 9/11, thousands take to the streets of Lower Manhattan for and against the plans to build an Islamic community center near Ground Zero. We host a different kind of debate. Tariq Ramadan, one the world’s most renowned Muslim scholars who was barred from entering the United States for six years under the Bush administration, says it should be built elsewhere. He debates Mustafa Bayoumi, an associate professor at Brooklyn College and author of How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America.
Arianna Huffington on Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning The Middle Class And Betraying the American Dream
One out of every six Americans are in government anti-poverty programs. More than 50 million Americans are in Medicaid, forty million receive food stamps and 10 million receive unemployment benefits. The prospects for a speedy recovery from the Great Recession appear dim. We speak with Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post about her latest book, Third World America
Facing Poor Unemployment, Foreclosure & Bankruptcy Rates, Obama Campaigns on Economy in Lead-Up to Nov. Midterms
It’s the economy, stupid. As President Obama faces devastating unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates, with no end in sight, he’s begun a ten-week campaign around the country leading up the November midterm elections. We speak with John Nichols, the Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine, who says Obama should borrow a page from FDR and call for economic justice.
Robert Scheer on The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street
We speak with veteran journalist and Truthdig editor, Robert Scheer, about his latest book, The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.
Elizabeth Warren Says Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, That She Might Head, Is Obama’s “Strongest Financial Reform”
As a battle rages behind the scenes over who will head the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, we play a speech by bailout watchdog Elizabeth Warren, who has emerged as a frontrunner for the position.
Gary Rivlin on “Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc.—How the Working Poor Became Big Business”
In his latest book, bestselling author and journalist Gary Rivlin says the rapacious practices of subprime lenders laid the foundation for powerful mainstream banks to get into the subprime business and turn it into a multi-billion-dollar enterprise. He calls this the “poverty industry.” And for those in this industry, business is booming. The book is called Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc.—How the Working Poor Became Big Business.
With Rumored Manhunt for Wikileaks Founder and Arrest of Alleged Leaker of Video Showing Iraq Killings, Obama Admin Escalates Crackdown on Whistleblowers of Classified Information
Pentagon investigators are reportedly still searching for Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange, who helped release a classified US military video showing a US helicopter gunship indiscriminately firing on Iraqi civilians. The US military recently arrested Army Specialist Bradley Manning, who may have passed on the video to Wikileaks. Manning’s arrest and the hunt for Assange have put the spotlight on the Obama administration’s campaign against whistleblowers and leakers of classified information. We speak to Daniel Ellsberg, who’s leaking of the Pentagon Papers has made him perhaps the nation’s most famous whistleblower; Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a member of the Icelandic Parliament who has collaborated with Wikileaks and drafted a new Icelandic law protecting investigative journalists; and Glenn Greenwald, political and legal blogger for Salon.com.
Hoodwinked: Former Economic Hit Man John Perkins Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded—and How to Remake Them
John Perkins calls himself a former economic hit man. He has seen the signs of today’s financial meltdown before. The subprime mortgage fiasco, the collapse of the banking industry, the rising unemployment rate—these are all familiar to him. Perkins was on the front lines of monitoring and helping create these very events that were once just confined to the Third World. From 1971 to 1981, he worked for the international consulting firm of Chas T. Main, where he was a self-described “economic hit man.” He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Confessions of An Economic Hit Man and The Secret History of the American Empire.