This week on CounterSpin: US elite media have heralded Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a reformer—”young and brash,” as the New York Times editorial board had it—who is uplifting women, in particular, in the monarchy. It takes a lot to upset a narrative—particularly from a country that is mainly only reported in terms of its strategic partnership, i.e. usefulness to powerful US interests—but one would hope that reports that Saudi Arabia under MBS (as he’s called) is torturing women political prisoners would be sufficient. We’ll talk about story vs. reality with journalist Sarah Aziza.
Also on the show: Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz doesn’t like the word “billionaire”; he’d prefer we speak of “people of means,” thank you. Schultz is responding—touchily—to the increased willingness to engage seriously proposals to reduce wealth and income inequality in the US. We’ll talk about some of those proposals—what they can and can’t do, and why we need them all—with economist Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and author of the free book Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer.