This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Dec. 25, 2013 for week ending Jan. 3, 2014


"They really push a corporate-backed agenda and that runs from undermining workers rights by pushing so-called 'right to work' laws in states – and so-called 'paycheck protection,' to undermining environmental protections and regulations – to trying to tear down public education and replace it with a for-profit model there, as well as in every sector."

–Interview with Rebekah Wilce, reporter and researcher with Center for Media and Democracy, on the State Policy Network's corporate agenda

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 State Policy Network: Right-Wing Thinktank Promotes the Corporate Agenda in State Government

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Interview with Rebekah Wilce, reporter and researcher with the Center for Media and Democracy, conducted by Scott Harris


When researchers at the Center for Media and Democracy and investigative reporters scratched beneath the surface of legislative campaigns in many states pushing “Stand your Ground” gun laws, measures to make it more difficult for Democratic Party constituency groups to vote and other conservative initiatives, they found ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC brings together state legislators and corporations which launch coordinated efforts to rewrite state laws by producing model bills that are then proposed, debated and voted on in state capitals around the U.S. Since the murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida and widespread controversy focusing on ALEC-sponsored voter suppression legislation, ALEC has lost both corporate members and donors.  Story continues

Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons Condemned as 'Torture, Cruel, Inhuman, Degrading Treatment'

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Excerpt of speech by Hope Metcalf, director of the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School, recorded and produced by Melinda Tuhus


Prison solitary confinement is considered a form of torture and prohibited under the Geneva Conventions, which the U.S. initiated and has signed onto. Yet, the U.S. has employed various degrees of segregation in prisons, both at Guantanamo Bay and inside America's prison system. The National Religious Campaign Against Torture has taken up this issue, and in mid-December, the Washington, D.C.-based organization held a public forum in New Haven, Conn., presenting an update on the treatment of the prisoners remaining at Guantanamo. Hope Metcalf, another speaker at the event, is director of the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale University Law School and a lecturer there.  Story continues

New FCC Chairman Faces Tests on Net Neutrality, Media Ownership Consolidation Issues

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Interview with Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the media reform group Free Press, conducted by Scott Harris


With President Obama’s appointment of new FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler and the Senate’s unanimous confirmation of his nomination to become the agency’s chairman on Oct. 29, the era of outgoing FCC Chair Julius Genachowski came to a close. Genachowski had been criticized by media reform democracy groups for cheerleading many communications industry actions, often to the detriment of consumers. Although Barack Obama campaigned for the presidency in 2008, pledging to strengthen net neutrality protections for Internet users, Genachowski often caved into pressure from telecom giants like AT&T and Comcast, rejecting tough regulations, supporting instead weaker rules with corporate friendly loopholes.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon


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