Margo Jefferson on “Negroland”: KPFK 10/7

MARGO JEFFERSON will talk about what she calls “Negroland”—the world of the black elite in the fifties–the world in which she grew up. She won the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism for her work at the New York Times; now she’s professor of writing at Columbia University School of the Arts, and she has a new book out: Negroland: A Memoir.

Also: GREIL MARCUS has written many books, starting with the classic Mystery Train and the unforgettable Lipstick Traces. Now he has several new books coming out:Three Songs, Three Singers, Three Nations; the monumental Real Life Rock, the complete collection of his columns over the last 30 years; and now he’s found new way of talking about the history of rock ‘n’ roll: The History of Rock ’n’ Roll in Ten Songs.

Eat food. Not too Much. Mostly Plants: KPFK 9-30

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Seven little words from MICHAEL POLLAN“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. His number one-bestseller, out now in paperback, is IN DEFENSE OF FOOD. Michael is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley.

Also: HENRY FORD’s Amazon colony — historian GREG GRANDIN tells the story of Ford’s biggest failure.  His book Fordlandia is out now in paperback.

Plus: Politics and modern music: Hitler and Stalin went to the opera, and Joe McCarthy subpoenaed composers. What was going on?  ALEX ROSS explains he’s music critic for The New Yorker, where’s he’s written not only about classical music but also about Bjork, Bob Dylan and Radiohead.  His award-winning book, out now in paperback, is THE REST IS NOISE: Listening to the 20th Century, and his famous website is

Hillary and the left, then and now: KPFK 9/9

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Hillary Clinton spent the first half of her political life denying that she was a feminist or a progressive.
Now that the political forces in the Democratic Party have shifted, she needs to convince progressives that she really is who she was once widely believed to be.  MICHELLE GOLDBERG will explain—she wrote the cover story in The Nation about Hillary.

Plus: Steve Jobs, creator of the iPhone and the iPod, is beloved by millions—yet, as ALEX GIBNEY shows in his documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, he was a ruthless corporate exec who exploited Chinese workers (and his own friends) while claiming to “think different.”  We’ll speak with Alex about the man and the movie. WATCH the trailer HERE.
The ACLU opposes funding body cams for the LAPD, because LAPD policy “undermines transparency and accountability.”  PETER BIBRING will explain.

Also: JULIAN BOND died a few weeks ago – he was a hero of SNCC and the civil rights direct action movement of the sixties, and went on to lead the NAACP. We’ll revisit our 2001 interview with him, where we talked about SNCC’s critique of the NAACP—he remembered it well.

Bill McKibben: “a rare emotion: hope” KPFK 7/15

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says the progress on solar power has given him what he calls “a fairly rare emotion: hope.” Bill is one of our heroes –a founder of, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement. He also spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone pipeline, going to jail in the process, and launched the fossil fuel divestment movement. He wrote about solar power for the New Yorker, HERE.

Once again, we’re not done with the sixties: TODD GITLIN says Bernie Sanders’s start in the sixties explains how he got where he is today. Todd teaches journalism and sociology at Columbia; he wrote the classic history The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage. He wrote about Bernie’s roots in the sixties for The New York Times, HERE.

Also: Gay marriage won by arguing for equality. Should abortion rights be making an equality argument? KATHA POLLITT, columnist for The Nation, talks about opposition to women’s equality as a key issue of our time. She wrote about the equality argument for abortion HERE.

Thank you, Edward Snowden: 6/3

Instead of prosecuting Edward Snowden under the Espionage Act, Congress and the president should be saying Thank you.  Without him, Congress would never have ended the NSA’s bulk phone data collection.  I
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My Struggle to Get the Dodgers on Time Warner Cable: LA Times 5/25

Time Warner Cable DodgersMy wife gave me Time Warner Cable as a retirement present so I could spend my golden years watching the Boys in Blue on TV. This makes me a lucky guy because 70% of Southern California doesn’t get to watch the Dodgers on TV, at least until Charter Communications fulfills its promises. But nothing about it has been easy.
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Do the Police have a Right to Withhold Video when they Kill Someone? 5/21

Do the police have a privacy right to withhold video shot by in-car cameras or body cams? Do public officials, acting in their public capacity, have a right to prevent the public from reviewing video evidence of their conduct? You’d think the answer was obviously “no.” When the police kill somebody, it’s not “private.”  . . . continued at, HERE

Chris Burden and ‘The Other Vietnam Memorial’: TheNation 5/11

Los Angeles artist Chris Burden, who died on April 10 at age 69, is best known here for his 202 antique street lamps in front of LACMA—they’ve become an icon of the city—but one of his most fascinating and misunderstood works is The Other Vietnam Memorial– 3 million Vietnamese names etched into a dozen gigantic copper plates that stand 13 feet high.
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Defend Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons? Yes.
Give them an award? No. TheNation May 1

It’s a simple distinction, but somehow it’s been overlooked by a lot of those who support the decision by PEN to give its “Freedom of Expression” award to Charlie Hebdo. Those who signed the protest against the award (I was one of them) agree that Charlie Hebdo had a right to publish cartoons about Islam, no matter how disgusting, and not be killed for doing it. The question is whether Charlie Hebdo should be given an award for publishing them.
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ACLU App Preserves Cellphone Video of Police Encounters: TheNation May 1

The ACLU in California today released a free smart-phone app that allows people to send cellphone videos of police encounters to the ACLU, automatically—and the ACLU will preserve the video footage, even if the cops seize the phone and delete the video or destroy the phone. The app, “Mobile Justice CA,” works for both iPhones and Android users. It’s available at Apple’s App Store and at Google Play.
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