Written on December 7th, 2011



Aired 12/04/11

ELISE WHITAKER, Action Committee, OccupyLA
DAVID DeGRAW, OWSnews.org, AmpedStatus.com
TODD GITLIN, The Sixties; Letters to a Young Activist

I have invited four guests to have a conversation about the movement referred to as the Occcupy movement, the Occupy Wall Street movement, or the 99% movement. From a group of people encamping in New York city September 17th, to affiliated actions or camps in 900 cities in the US and the world, through the removal of most of the physical camps — where do we stand now, where do we go from here?

I will ask for a brief update of status reports from around the country and then I want to explore the impact so far, its meaning, its prospects, its challenges and possibilities. How does OWS/99% interact with other movements and other political entities, including the 2012 elections and the Democratic party? How much of our hopes can we fulfill through this movement? How wide can it be? How far can it go? And what will it demand of us?

SARAH VAN GELDER is co-founder and Executive Editor of YES! Magazine and YesMagazine.org. She was a television and radio producer, a community organizer, founder of a cooperative of food co-ops, and a founding board member and resident of Winslow Cohousing. She is editor with the staff of YES Magazine of THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement.

TODD GITLIN, a professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the Ph. D. program in Communications at Columbia University, holds degrees from Harvard University, University of Michigan, and UC Berkeley (sociology). Giltin was the third president of Students for a Democratic Society in 1963-64, and is the author of fourteen books, including, and Letters to a Young Activist; The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage; aND The Whole World Is Watching. He gave three lectures on media, revolutions, and democracy as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo between March 23 and 29 of this year.

DAVID DeGRAW is an investigative journalist, founder and editor of AmpedStatus.com, as well as OWSnews.org, formerly editorial director of MediaChannel.org, and author of The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States. In DeGraw’s expanded “reports” he piles on (amply footnoted) data with a relentless fury that makes a reader want to cry uncle. Then he connects the dots, building a narrative that makes clear “uncle” is not an option. DeGraw’s challenge: Will we the people come together to take on our common enemies – the economic elites who have stolen our money, our media, and our democracy – before they steal our future?”







Q&A: JAMES O’SHEA, former editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times, author – THE DEAL FROM HELL

Written on November 23rd, 2011



This week’s show is about a Los Angeles institution and source of local pride, nurtured to greatness as a family-owned business, purchased by someone from out-of-town who knew little about the business, put up little of his own money, and ran the property into the ground so that it is now a shell of its former self. And many customers have reacted by not buying the product.

No, we’re not talking about the Dodgers, but the Los Angeles Times.

After buying Times Mirror, The Tribune Company sent JAMES O’SHEA to LA to run the Times. Sam Zell bought the Tribune Company in a deal that even I – no financial expert – thought was both bad and doomed, and soon the Tribune Company was in bankruptcy where it remains.

O’Shea refused to do his bosses’ bidding in terms of cutbacks and he was let go. Over the next two years the Times cut nearly 40% of its journalists. JAMES O’SHEA has since founded a Chicago news cooperative of which he is editor, attempting a new model of journalism.

JAMES O’SHEA is editor and co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative, former editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times and past managing editor of the Chicago Tribune. Under his leadership, the Tribune’s news staff received six Pulitzer prizes. O’Shea is the author of THE DAISY CHAIN about the savings-and-loan crisis of the 1980s, DANGEROUS COMPANY, an examination of management consultants’ role in corporate decision making, and his latest THE DEAL FROM HELL: How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American Newspapers.



Q&A: Occupy Wall Street/Occupy LA

Written on November 4th, 2011



Aired 10/09/11

Politics and the media have for the most part shown themselves impotent, indifferent, or in cahoots when it comes to confronting and rolling back the takeover of the United States by the super-rich and the super-corporations.

Since the days of Clinton, we’ve been reminding ourselves of the words of FDR to progressives pressing for the New Deal — “Make me do it.” Envying the attention and power granted the tea party. Millions march all over Europe in response to austerity measures that make the people pay for the failures of the financial class. Millions march in the Arab Awakening when hunger, poverty, corruption, and autocracy prove too much to bear and social media connects and informs the people like never before. When will Americans take to the streets?

September 17th, a small group of demonstrators camped out in a downtown New York park and Occupy Wall Street was born. Occupy Los Angeles emerged a week ago, October 1st. Both are alive and well. As of Saturday the Occupy movement has spread to 1,016 cities in the US and abroad. There has been carping in the mainstream media about the movement’s lack of focus, lack of clear message, lack of specific platform or demands. The closest thing to a brand for the movement so far is the claim that, “We are the 99%”. I think this is a wonderful opening. It’s based on cold hard facts. It is inclusive. Even a tea partier knows they are part of the 99%. Inequality is problem #1 in this country. from which all else follows, including a corrupted political system that is not able to meet the challenges we face.

I don’t think anyone knows where this goes…At some level a lot of us have grown so resigned to the dominance of money in our society that I’m not sure too many have a plan how to get from here to where we need to get.

I think we each also have to invent the role we are going to play as this story unfolds.

I’ll be joined by representatives for both Occupy Wall Street — NELINI STAMP (Working Families Party) and MELANIE BUTLER (Code Pink) — and Occupy Los Angeles — LISA CLAPIER (media, Occupy LA) and SHARIF ABDULLAH (Commonway.org). I plan to ask them to tell their individual stories, report what’s happening around them and what they think it means.


SPECIAL: Terrence fill in hosts on KCRW

Written on August 8th, 2011



Aired 08/05/11

Left, Right & Center

The global markets have been heading steadily south for the last two weeks, but on Thursday, they took a sharp dive. The Dow lost more than four percent of its value, its worst day in three years. As our program went to air on Friday afternoon, the markets continued to sputter downward. There was a bit of good news: unemployment went down and jobs went up in July, but only slightly. The jobs report appears to have prevented another day like Thursday on Wall Street, but is it enough to calm investor fears that we're entering into a double-dip recession? And with the grim economic forecast and a bruising fight over the budget, what are the political implications of all this for President Obama and lawmakers on Capitol Hill? What are their prospects for re-election? (Terrence McNally sits in for Matt Miller. Chrystia Freeland joins us as our special guest panelist.)

Economic Armageddon: Gretchen Morgensen on How Wall Street Broke the Economy

Written on July 26th, 2011

NYT business reporter Gretchen Morgensen discusses her new book and the corruption of the mortgage lending industry.

July 26, 2011  | Gretchen Morgensen was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for her “trenchant and incisive” coverage of Wall Street and has been on that beat ever since. Her new book, Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon (written with Joshua Rosner), lays out the toxic interplay between Washington, Wall Street and corrupt mortgage lenders that led to the meltdown. It examines how the watchdogs who were supposed to protect us from financial harm were actually complicit in creating the crisis.

Gretchen Morgenson is a business reporter and columnist at the New York Times, where she also serves as assistant business and financial editor. Prior to joining the Times in 1998, she worked as a broker at Dean Witter in the 1980s, and as a reporter at Forbes, Worth, and Money magazines.

Continue reading “Economic Armageddon: Gretchen Morgensen on How Wall Street Broke the Economy”