Sources I recommend for thinking outside the corporate media box

Democracy Now!

I came upon this daily show online about 15 years ago, probably searching for interviews with Noam Chomsky. It was an audio podcast, and a few years later made their TV show available for free online. This is the hub of much of what I’ve developed in my thinking about politics, power, and economics. Here is where I first heard of people like Glenn Greenwald, long before he wrote about Wikileaks, Bernie Sanders long before last year’s campaign made him the most popular political figure in the country, Matt Taibbi before I read him in Rolling Stone, and my favorite journalist Naomi Klein. This is what journalism broadcasting should be about. Instead of the nightly network news, watch this. You get a daily news perspective that you just don’t get from corporate media and its right wing offshoots. I once did some volunteer transcription for them, and I still have my Democracy Now t-shirt, full of holes, that I wear to work once a week.

A recent favorite report from Democracy Now! is about Trump pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord

This is Hell

These guys are a ragtag gang of National Beer drinking lefties from Chicago. I found this online, probably searching for Chomsky interviews again, while I was a farmer, looking for something to listen to while doing chores. This weekly 4 hour Saturday morning public radio show is my favorite radio show in America. Chuck Mertz does his homework in his interviews with some of the world’s top journalists and political thinkers. And unlike Democracy Now they bring a sense of humor into it. I contributed their 666th Hangover Cure (whisky in coffee). And they once sent me a book for saying something funny on their facebook page.

My favorite recent This is Hell interview, from the June 10 2017 show:

Jacobin’s Nicole Aschoff charts the downward prospects of Whole Foods-style conscious capitalism. Nicole wrote the Guardian op-ed Whole Foods represents the failures of ‘conscious capitalism.’

Jacobin Magazine

I remember this one from years ago, and rediscovered it through This is Hell a few months ago. I’ve been reading about 3 or 4 Jacobin articles a week at work. Also I’m a picker at a large distribution warehouse, so reading articles for me means standing in an aisle where the security cameras can’t see me, away from my supervisors, hunched down looking at my phone.

Jacobin’s tagline is “Reason in Revolt” which we need so much of right now, and calls itself a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture.”

My favorite recent article: “Hobsbawm’s Long Century” by Joseph Fronczak, examining the life of communist historian Eric Hobsbawm:

With rare imagination, intelligence, and erudition, Hobsbawm not only synthesized the history of the modern world, he intensely conveyed a concentrated world-in-words capable of changing how the reader would thereafter see the larger world…

Hobsbawm recalls the murderous political warfare of those last days of the Weimar Republic, and explains that it was then that he first took up communism. He took part in the last legal demonstration of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), days before Hitler became chancellor…

The Baffler

A recent find for me, also via This is Hell, The Baffler was “Founded in 1988 by Thomas Frank as ‘the journal that blunts the cutting edge,'”.  A little less socialist than Jacobin, I also read a few of these a week at work.

I posted below about my recent favorite article by Amber A’Lee Frost,
All Worked Up and Nowhere to Go

The Intercept

Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill’s vehicle. The website is great in and of itself for articles to read at work. I haven’t heard the podcast yet, but I’ve heard good things about it from smart people. If you want to be informed about world affairs, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with all of the writers who appear on The Intercept

My favorite recent article, and a fine example of why I call her my favorite journalist, is Naomi Klein’s “The Worst of Donald Trump’s Toxic Agenda Is Lying in Wait – A Major U.S. Crisis Will Unleash It”

Since taking office…Donald Trump has never allowed the atmosphere of chaos and crisis to let up. Some of the chaos, like the Russia investigations, has been foisted upon him or is simply the result of incompetence, but much appears to be deliberately created. Either way, while we are distracted by (and addicted to) the Trump Show, clicking on and gasping at marital hand-slaps and mysterious orbs, the quiet, methodical work of redistributing wealth upward proceeds apace.

We have collectively imagined this extreme winners-and-losers ending for our species so many times that one of our most pressing tasks is learning to imagine other possible ends to the human story in which we come together in crisis rather than split apart, take down borders rather than erect more of them.



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