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Panel discussions from the Left Forum, April 18, 2009

10,000 March on Wall St., April 4, 2009

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Many BTL interviews are excerpted from Scott Harris' live, 2-hour program, Counterpoint. To hear more in-depth analysis you won't get in mainstream media, listen to Counterpoint LIVE Monday nights from 8 to 10 p.m. EST on WPKN Radio

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"Best of New Haven 2001"
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WPKN Radio, 89.5 FM

'A New Era of Responsibility'

"Push Obama to Follow Through on Peace Vows," by Amy Goodman, The Capital Times (Wisconsin), Jan. 22, 2009
"How to Push Obama," by John Nichols, The Nation, Jan. 12, 2009

"The Danger of Green Stimulus," Jesse Jenkins, Huffington Post, Jan. 5, 2009

"Who Will Seize the Moment?" Turning Crisis into Opportunity, by Ralph Nader, Counterpunch, Dec. 4, 2008

"Community Organizers Press Obama for Real Change," by, Dec. 3, 2008

Civil Liberties

"The effects of Obama's refusal to investigate Bush crimes," by Glen Greenwald,, Jan. 20, 2009

"Binding U.S. law requires prosecutions for those who authorize torture, " by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Jan. 18, 2009

"Obama Has to Hold Bush Accountable for the Laws He Broke," by Elizabeth Holtzman, The Nation, Jan. 16, 2009

"Obama Must Restore the Constitution: Prosecuting Bush and Cheney," by Dave Lindoff,, Jan. 16-19, 2009

A BETTER WORLD IS POSSIBLE: Human Rights Solutions

"Single-Payer Health Care Would Stimulate Economy," by John Nichols, The Nation, Jan. 15, 2009

"Fulfilling the Promise of Human Rights: The Universal Declaration at 60," audio recordings from a Connecticut conference marking the 60th anniversary of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Conn., Dec. 6, 2008

A BETTER WORLD IS POSSIBLE: Converting Fossil Fuel/War Economy to Green, Renewable Energy/Peace Economy

"Green Jobs Should Top Our Economic Recovery List," by Juleyka Lantigua, Jan. 6, 2009

"Obama Must Get Afghanistan Right,"by Katrina Van Heuvel, The Nation, Jan. 9, 2009

"Nine Steps to Peace for Obama in the New Year," by Deepak Chopra, Alternet, Jan. 1, 2009

"Electric Cars Put Hawaii on The Road to Independence," by Times Online/UK, Dec. 4, 2008

"Weapons Come Second: Can Obama Take on the Pentagon?" by Frida Berrigan,, Nov. 25, 2008

The FY 2009 Pentagon Spending Request - Global Military Spending, by the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

Economic Crisis

"The Outcry Is Muted, But The Food Crisis Is Getting Worse," by Jayati Ghosh, The Guardian/UK, Jan. 9, 2009

"Ideas for Obama, "by Paul Krugman, by The New York Times, Jan. 12, 2009

"The Ponzi Scheme Presidency: Bush's Legacy of Destruction," by Tom Engelhardt,, January/February, 2009

"Fiscal Therapy," by David Cay Johnston, Mother Jones, January/February, 2009

"A Look At Wall Street's Shadow Market: How Some Arcane Wall Street Financial Instruments Magnified Economic Crisis," 60 Minutes, Oct. 5, 2008

"Swapping Secrecy for Transparency," by Christopher Cox, SEC Chairman, The New York Times Op-Ed, Oct. 19, 2008

"The Bet That Blew Up Wall Street: Steve Kroft On Credit Default Swaps And Their Central Role In The Unfolding Economic Crisis," 60 Minutes, Oct. 26, 2008

Broken Government

"Broken Government: By The Numbers," 40 ways in which the federal government failed to perform under the administration of George W. Bush, 2001-2008

Class Warfare

"How the Rich Are Different From You and Me,"Places that went for Obama are richer and smarter than places that went for McCain, by Bill Bishop and Robert Cushing, Slate, Dec. 11, 2008

"Questions About the $700 Billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Funds, " First Report of the Congressional Oversight Panel for Economic Stabilization, Dec. 10, 2008

War And Profiteering

"This Is Change? Twenty Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama's White House," by Jeremy Scahill,Alternet, Nov. 20, 2008

"Don't Let Barack Obama Break Your Heart," Why Americans Shouldn't Go Home, by Tom Engelhardt, Nov. 12, 2008

"The Future of Iraq: The Spoils of War," Blood and oil: How the West will profit from Iraq's most precious commodity, by Danny Fortson, Andrew Murray-Watson and Tim Webb, The Independent/UK, Jan. 7, 2007

"Noam Chomsky on Middle East Conflict and U.S. War Plan Against Iraq," Between The Lines interview with Noam Chomsky, conducted by Scott Harris, for the Week Ending May 3, 2002

The Iraq Crisis, a Global Policy Forum, U.N. Security Council section on the 13 years of sanctions and other background of the war, the humanitarian situation, the importance of Iraq's huge oil resources, and disputes over a post-war government and reconstruction plan

"Pipeline Politics: Oil, The Taliban, and the Political Balance of Central Asia," World Press Review Special Report, November-December 2001

Between The Lines

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Posted Aug. 12, 2009

Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Aug. 21, 2009


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This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

Media Coverage of Health Care Debate
Emphasizes Drama Over Substance

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Peter Hart,
activism director with
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting,
conducted by Scott Harris


Conservative groups opposed to health care reform being pushed by President Obama and the Democratic- controlled Congress have succeeded in distracting the national media's attention away from a substantive debate on the issues and toward a litany of false and bizarre accusations. Among the irresponsible claims being made by right-wing activists affiliated with corporate-sponsored organizations are that Democratic party-supported health care reform legislation will force the euthanasia of senior citizens, mandate abortions for handicapped fetuses and abolish the nation's private insurance companies. Echoing the rants of conservative radio talk show hosts, some activists compare President Barack Obama with Adolph Hitler and his health care plan to the Holocaust.

While much of the U.S. corporate media is eager to amplify these crude lies, most of the coverage fails to dig deeper to reveal the groups behind the campaign to misinform the public and disrupt congressional town hall meetings. Among these groups are Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. Freedom Works' chairman is former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey, a senior policy advisor with the law firm DLA Piper, which represents major energy corporations and the pharmaceutical industry. FreedomWorks is funded by the right-wing Koch, Scaife, Bradley and Olin foundations.

See rush interview transcript.
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interview transcripts.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Peter Hart, activism director with the media-watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting or FAIR. Hart assesses the corporate media's coverage of the U.S. healthcare reform debate and conservative activists' disruption of congressional town hall meetings.

Contact FAIR by calling (212) 633-6700 or visit their website at

Related Links:
Public Policy Should be Employed
to Combat Rise in Obesity

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Kelly Brownell,
founding director of the Rudd Center
for Food Policy and Obesity,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus


A recent report shows that the cost of treating obesity has doubled in the past 10 years, and that obese people spent 42 percent more on medical costs in 2006 than people of normal weight. As the debate on health care reform heats up, this is one area where policymakers are looking to reduce costs through prevention programs. But the problem is complex, involving lifestyle, economics, psychology and the outsize impact of the food industry and its marketing arm.

Giant food corporations market their products to children and teenagers, spending over $1.6 billion annually in advertising. The overwhelming majority of these ads, now targeting schools, the Internet, and mobile phones, are for unhealthy snack foods, high in calories, sugar, fat, and/or sodium.

See rush interview transcript.
Sign up for Between The Lines Q&A
interview transcripts.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Kelly Brownell, founding director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. He says blaming or shaming people for their weight problems is counter-productive and suggests several public policy changes that could help prevent and reduce obesity and its corresponding personal and social costs.

Contact the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at (203) 432-6690 or visit their website at

Venezuela Transfers Private Radio Licenses
to Community Media Groups

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Gregory Wilpert,
sociologist and author,
conducted by Scott Harris


In early August, the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez revoked the broadcast licenses of 32 privately held radio stations and 2 regional television stations, triggering objections from opposition groups. According to officials at Venezuela's telecommunications agency, CONATEL, the decision on the radio stations was made because their licenses had expired or they had violated government regulations. The status of another 200 station licenses are currently under review. Licenses from the closed outlets will be transferred to community media groups.

Nelson Belfort, president of the Chamber of Radio Broadcasters and Circuito Nacional Belfort, owner of five of the closed stations, charged that the revocation of licenses is a government attack on freedom of expression. The Chavez government and privately-owned media outlets have clashed repeatedly in recent years, particularly since many media outlets supported the failed coup attempt against President Chavez in April 2002. In May 2007, tensions were heightened when the Chavez government denied the national opposition television station RCTV, a renewal of their license.

Between the Lines' Scott Harris spoke with sociologist and author Gregory Wilpert, a former U.S. Fulbright Scholar who lived in Venezuela for many years. He examines the long-running media-government conflict in Venezuela and the charge that Chavez is attempting to suppress all opposition criticism of his government.

Gregory Wilpert is the author of "Changing Venezuela by Taking Power, The History and Policies of the Chavez Goverment." Wilpert is an editor of the online publication

Related links:

This week's summary
of under-reported news

 RealAudio  MP3

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • In a move to win cooperation in Darfur, the Obama administration's envoy to Sudan, retired Air Force Gen. Scott Gration, has told the Senate Foreigns Relations Committee in July that genocide is no longer occurring in the war-torn western edge of Sudan. (" U.S. Diplomat Urged Revised Sudan Policy, " Washington Post, July 31, 2009; "Is Darfur Still a Genocide? White House Isn't Sure," Christian Science Monitor, July 30, 2009; "Too Early To Return Home, Say Darfurians," Washington Post, Aug. 4, 2009; " U.S. Reshaping Darfur Policy," Los Angeles Times, Aug. 4, 2009)
  • Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy has held up the release of anti-drug funds to Mexico over growing concerns about human rights abuses. ("Leahy Blocks Positive Report on Mexico's Rights Record," Washington Post, Aug. 5, 2009)
  • Solar installations in California are booming thanks to falling silicon chip prices and new government incentives like tax credits in the Obama stimulus package. (" Weak Economy Makes Solar Panels More Affordable To Homeowners," Los Angeles Times, Aug. 1, 2009)

Executive producer: Scott Harris
Segment producers: Scott Harris, Melinda Tuhus
Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Indu Anand
Senior web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Web producer: Jeffrey P. Yates
Web consultant: Gary Trujillo
Newswire editors: Bob Nixon, Anna Manzo and Reggie Johnson (Hank Hoffman is on vacation)
Photo editor: Scott Harris
Outreach coordinator: Anna Manzo
Distribution: Anna Manzo and Jeffrey P. Yates
Theme music: Written by Richard Hill and Jody Gray, and performed by Mikata

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Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 8/14/09

Between The Lines' Blog

"Reading Between The Lines"

U.S. Politics

"An Economic Time Bomb Being Mishandled by the Obama Administration?" Politics Daily, Aug. 12, 2009

"Governor Palin's Crazed Health Care Rant: Blame The Washington Post," by Dean Baker,, Aug. 10, 2009

"My 1933 Nightmare," by David Michael Green, Aug. 11, 2009

"How the White House's Deal With Big Pharma Undermines Democracy," by Robert Reich, Aug. 11, 2009

"Is Health Care Reform on Life Support?" Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III, Truthout, Aug. 13, 2009

"Healthcare Tyranny,"In These Times, Aug. 1, 2009

"Obama Wants to Kill Your Grandma: Five right-wing myths about healthcare reform, and the facts," Salon, Aug. 6, 2009

More newswire ...


"Foreclosure Plague: No Cure Yet," CNN/Money, Aug. 13, 2009

"If the Economy's So Much Better, Why Are Stores Giving Away Stuff Practically for Free?" Alternet, July 31, 2009

"Old Tricky Banks, New Lending Tricks," BusinessWeek, Aug. 6, 2009

"The Public Option in Banking: How We Can Beat Wall Street at Its Own Game,", Aug. 5, 2009

The Health Care Debate Has Only Just Begun,", Aug. 7, 2009

"The Town Hall Mob," New York Times, Aug. 7, 2009

More newswire ...

Bush Accountability

"Emails show Washington Post Reporter Coordinated Attorney Firing Story with White House," The Raw Story, Aug. 11, 2009

"Why Does Barack Obama Follow the George W. Bush Playbook?", Aug. 6, 2009

"Torturing Children: Bush's Legacy and Democracy's Failure,", Aug. 3, 2009

"Former Top Navy Psychologist Involved in Pre-9/11 Prisoner Abuse Case,", Aug. 5, 2009

More newswire ...

International Affairs

"Chávez: We're buying Russian tanks,"Christian Science Monitor, Aug. 6, 2009

"As a CIA spy, I saw in Iran What the West Cannot Ignore," Aug. 5, 2009

"A Somali Surprise?" Foreign Policy, Aug. 6, 2009

"Honduran Workers Fight for Return of Democracy," National Labor Committee, Aug. 5, 2009

More newswire ...

"Postwar" Occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan

"Endless War: The Suicide of the United States,", Aug. 5, 2009

"U.S. Eyes Vietnam for Afghanistan Tips," Associated Press, Aug. 7, 2009

"Where Our Defense Money Goes,"The Boston Globe, Aug. 5, 2009

"Militarizing the Homeland,", Aug. 6, 2009

More newswire ...

Civil Liberties/ Human Rights

"Obama's Torture Hangover," The Guardian/UK, Aug. 12, 2009

"The Forced Disappearance of Mustafa Setmariam Nassar,", Aug. 5, 2009

"Putting an End to Glenn Beck's Racist Antics and Apocalyptic Rhetoric," Alternet, Aug. 3, 2009

More newswire ...

Environment and Sustainability

"Climate Change: 75 Million Environmental Refugees to Plague Asia-Pacific," IPS, Aug. 4 2009

"Beyond Radical: What Conservatives Could Bring to the Climate Conversation," Orion Magazine, July/August 2009

More newswire ...

Media Issues

"Republicans want more Birther coverage", Aug. 6. 2009

"The Olbermann-O’Reilly Feud: Freedom of the Press and the Economic Value of the ‘News’", Aug. 3, 2009

"Did GE Stifle Keith Olbermann? Fox and MSNBC's Gentlemen's Agreement," FAIR, Aug. 7, 2009

More newswire ...


"We Need More Protest to Make Reform Possible," The Nation, Aug. 6, 2009

More newswire ...

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