This Week on Between The Lines

Posted May 22, 2013 for week ending May 31, 2013


"I see mid-level bureaucrats given almost no direction on how they're supposed to do their jobs in determining what's a legitimate political group and what's a social welfare group and doing the best they can in a poor way and rightly getting in trouble for it. But this is much less sexy than the media is trying to make it.

– Alex Seitz-Wald, political reporter, on why the scandal in which new conservative groups, in the wake of Citizens United were targeted for IRS scrutiny, is no Watergate-type scandal resulting from a White House political vendetta

Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.

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The Real IRS Scandal: Urgent Need for Campaign Finance and Tax Code Reform

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Interview with Alex Seitz-Wald, political reporter, conducted by Scott Harris


In recent weeks, the Obama administration has been battered by criticism over a trifecta of controversies – or scandals, depending on your political perspective. They include: questions about White House talking points in the aftermath of 9/11 anniversary attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans; the Justice Department’s covert collection of Associated Press reporter’s phone records in the course of investigating a government leak related to a foiled terrorist plot, and the Treasury Department’s admission that staffers at the Internal Revenue Service office in Cincinnati, Ohio had selected Tea Party and conservative groups for extra scrutiny of their 501(c)(4) non-profit status applications.  Story continues

Media Activists Organize to Stop Koch Brothers' Takeover of Tribune Newspapers

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Interview with Timothy Karr, senior director of strategy with the media democracy group Free Press, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


Multi-billionaires Charles and David Koch make their money by exploiting fossil fuels. They have funded all manner of conservative and right-wing political efforts and candidates, including organizations and individuals who deny the reality of human-caused climate disruption. Now the brothers are setting their sights on buying some of the most influential newspapers in the country. The Kochs have expressed interest in the bankrupt Tribune Company, which is looking for a buyer for the eight newspapers it owns: the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, the Hartford Courant, and four others in Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania.  Story continues

Monsanto Supreme Court Victory on GMO Seed Patent Strengthens Biotech Giants' Control of Agribusiness

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Interview with Bill Freese, science policy analyst with the Center for Food Safety, conducted by Scott Harris


In a landmark case for the U.S. biotech industry, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously on May 13 that farmers were prohibited from using Monsanto’s genetically-engineered soybean seeds to grow and replicate new seeds without first paying the company a licensing fee. The case, Bowman v. Monsanto, pitted the biotech giant against Indiana farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman, who had purchased soybean seeds from the bottom of a grain elevator, planted those, and then used the seeds produced for a second crop. Monsanto sued Bowman for $84,000 for his use of those seeds, which are genetically engineered to be resistant to the company’s own herbicide Roundup. Writing for the Court majority, Justice Elena Kagan ruled that Bowman had violated Monsanto’s patent rights.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon


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