Tuesday at 6:30pm


Counterspin is FAIR’s weekly radio show, hosted by Janine Jackson, Steve Rendall and Peter Hart. It’s heard on more than 125 noncommercial stations across the United States and Canada. Counterspin provides a critical examination of the major stories every week, and exposes what the mainstream media might have missed in their own coverage.

Combining lively discussion and a thoughtful media critique, Counterspin is unlike any other show on the dial. Counterspin exposes and highlights biased and inaccurate news; censored stories; sexism, racism and homophobia in the news; the power of corporate influence; gaffes and goofs by leading TV pundits; TV news’ narrow political spectrum; attacks on free speech; and more.

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Ronnie Dunn on Philando Castile, Stacy Mitchell on Amazon/Whole Foods June 27, 2017 | 6:30pm

The release of police dash cam video of the killing of Philando Castile after the verdict finding the officer who killed him not guilty is just the latest turn in this bewildering and upsetting story, now sparking protests around the country. What does the Castile case tell us about the limits of the law in delivering justice for African-Americans killed by law enforcement, and what are some of the other fronts we need to fight on to push for that justice? We’ll talk with Ronnie Dunn, professor of urban studies at Cleveland State University.

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Trudy Lieberman on the Secret Healthcare Bill June 20, 2017 | 6:30pm

Senate Republicans are hiding in plain sight as they let everyone know they are crafting critically important healthcare legislation in secret, away from the scrutiny of even congressional colleagues, that they hope and expect to force through—over what they know would be public objections. It’s an obvious crisis for democracy, but elite media are used to taking their cues, for what to write about and how, from politicians. So how do they react when those politicians tell them outright to look the other way?

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Rebecca Vallas on WaPo vs. the Disabled, Holly Sklar on Livable Wages June 13, 2017 | 6:30pm

“She took the family to McDonald’s because they liked it, even though she knew they couldn’t afford to eat out. She went through more pain pills than she needed, and every few weeks, when those pills ran low, like today, she returned to the doctor for more.” That’s some of what the Washington Post thinks you should know about the mother in a family that relies on Social Security Disability Insurance. The paper is doing a series on disability benefits and so far it’s…exactly like that fragment suggests. And if you like bad data along with your mean-spirited anecdote, the Post has you covered there as well. We’ll talk with Rebecca Vallas of the Center for American Progress about the many problems and the potential impact of this kind of reporting.

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Heidi Beirich on White Supremacist Violence, Maria Luisa Mendonca on Brazil’s Crisis June 6, 2017 | 6:30pm

The Washington Post headlined a May 30 analysis piece “Trump’s Quick to Tweet on Terror and TV, Slower on Things Like the Attack in Portland.” Meant to call out Trump‘s unwillingness to engage white supremacist violence, the paper unwittingly illustrates the problem of elite media, who continue to maintain separate spaces for extremist attacks based on who commits them. Heidi Beirich leads Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, which publishes the Intelligence Report and the Hatewatch blog. She’ll join us to talk about what’s going on.

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Medea Benjamin on Saudi Arabia, Arissa Hall on Mama’s Bail Out Day May 23, 2017 | 6:30pm

“While Saudi Arabia’s restrictions on freedom and ban on women driving often grab headlines, Trump is not expected to make human rights concerns a centerpiece of his talks with Saudi royals on Saturday.” That, from AP‘s story on Trump’s state visit, leads one to wonder: If Saudi Arabia’s abuses are such common press fare, how does that sit with the credulity suggested earlier in the same piece, with the unchallenged statement that King Salman says he and Trump will “‘forge a new partnership’ in the war against extremism”? We’ll hear from Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the peace group Code Pink and author of Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the US/Saudi Connection.

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Ed Morales on Puerto Rican Debt Crisis, Margarida Jorge on Trumpcare May 16, 2017 | 6:30pm

Puerto Rico’s debt has been described as $34,000 for every man, woman and child; a common sort of trope, but one that tends to endorse a narrative—”everyone played now everyone’s gotta pay”—that doesn’t match the reality of how Puerto Rico came to be in its present state, or how “shared” the “sacrifice” is set to be as things move forward. Ed Morales has been reporting on Puerto Rico for The Nation, he’s a lecturer at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, and author of Living in Spanglish and Latinx, forthcoming from Verso. We’ll talk to him about Puerto Rico’s past, present and future.

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Jim Naureckas on Bret Stephens, Paul Paz y Miño on Ecuador’s Oil Devastation
May 9, 2017 | 6:30pm

The New York Times is having trouble squaring its hire of climate change denialist Bret Stephens for a regular column with its current PR campaign branding the paper a bastion of rationality in a dangerously “alt-fact” moment. Stephens, a white man, like nine of the 12 current columnists, is also known for columns he wrote at the Wall Street Journal like “Haiti, Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire: Who Cares?”—which argued that colonialism was “the best thing to happen” for some people.

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Craig Aaron and Malkia Cyril on Net Neutrality, Kyle Wiens on Copyright Overreaching May 2, 2017 | 6:30pm

FCC chair Ajit Pai has announced his plans to gut net neutrality; the former Verizon lawyer and Jeff Sessions staffer declared his intentions at a private event in DC. So the victory activists fought for—having broadband recognized as a public utility like the telephone, and not some sort of corporate gift—is in jeopardy. What does this mean for all of us who rely on an open internet, and in particular for communities of color, for whom the web’s relatively even playing field is crucial for communication and organizing? We’ve addressed this issue many times on the show. We’ll do a backgrounder on how we got here and what’s at stake with two of the leaders of the fight, Craig Aaron president of Free Press and Malkia Cyril, executive director of the Center for Media Justice.

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Saqib Bhatti on Wells Fargo, Jeremie Greer on Taxes and Inequality April 25, 2017 | 6:30pm

Activists are using the Wells Fargo scandal to call attention to a range of other problems at the bank—problems not addressed by a couple of top executives giving back some of their golden parachutes.

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Alex Vitale on De-Policing April 18, 2017 | 6:30pm

When elites get to define the problem, they get to decide what constitutes solving it—and for many people, that makes for too shallow a conversation when it comes to policing.

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