Trump Watch

KPFK Wed. Dec. 29: Susan Sontag remembered

SUSAN SONTAG died yesterday — She was a towering public intellectual who had the courage to test the limits of coventional thought and to challenge both the Right and the Left. We’ll have comment from STEVE WASSERMAN, editor of the Los Angles Times Book Review.
Read Steve Wasserman’s obit in the LA Times.

The music that mattered–from the decade that didn’t: “Left of the Dial” is a Rhino 4-CD set covering the ’80s musical underground. GARY STEWART, who works under the slogan “Opinions Galore,” will talk about the music and the decade.
PLAYLIST: Pretenders “Message of Love” 1981; English Beat “Mirror in the Bathroom” 1980; Gang of Four “To Hell with Poverty” 1981; Dream Syndicate “Tell Me When it’s Over” 1983; X “”Johnny hit and Run Pauline” 1981; Husker Du “Don’t Want to Know” 1986

PLUS: IAN WILLIAMS of The Nation looks at the Palestinian elections and the phony neocon scandal over the UN’s Iraq oil-for-food program. Ian’s new book is The Deserter: Bush’s War on Military Families, Veterans and His Past.


KATHA POLLITT, columnist for The Nation, asks “how long did it take Republicans to write their thank-you note to the Christian right?” Answer: “About five minutes.”
Katha recommends supporting the National Network of Abortion Funds,

Plus: in the wake of John Kerry’s shattering defeat, it’s once again the labor movement that has plunged itself into a far-reaching debate over the changes it needs to make to rebuild a progressive, more equitable nation. HAROLD MEYERSON reports; he’s a columnist for the LA Weekly and the Washington Post.

Also: the punk rock politics of JOE STRUMMER: he transformed punk from its early nihilistic politics into a social movement. Antonino D’Ambrosio explains; his new book is Let Fury Have the Hours: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer. Antonino also is founder/director of La Lutta New Media Collective.

Wed. Dec. 8: AMOS OZ

AMOS OZ, the Israeli peace activist and novelist, says there is good news in the mideast: “the vast majority of the Israeli Jews and the vast majority of the Palestinian Arabs know now that in the end of the day, there is going to be a two-state solution.” His amazing new book, A Tale of Love and Darkness, describes his family in Jerusalem in the 1940s and 1950s.

PLUS: historian GEORGE CHAUNCEY says gay marriage is not the cause of the Democrats’ defeat at the polls: his new book is Why Marriage?: The History Shaping Today’s Debate Over Gay Equality.

AND: our Iraq war update with JUAN COLE: he knows more about Iraqi politics than anyone in America — he writes the “Informed Consent” blog at

Also: it was 24 years ago today that JOHN LENNON was killed — we’ll be playing some Lennon music and remembering him.

WEB EXTRA: HOWARD ZINN says the argument that “Kerry won” is a diversion from the left’s real task: building the anti-war movement. LISTEN TO HOWARD ZINN online:

Wed. Nov 24: Sex, Death, and Hope

“Sex is easy; love isn’t”: That’s the theme of the new film “EASY” . It opens in LA this weekend at Laemmle theaters. We’ll speak with writer-director Jane Weinstock.
Watch the trailer for “Easy”:

Death, love and liberty in the American ballad: GREIL MARCUS and SEAN WILENTZ have been listening to some classic American songs, and now they have put together a CD of the songs and book about them, both called “The Rose & the Briar.”
Listen to the CD:

Hope in the Dark is the title of a great book by REBECCA SOLNIT. She wrote it before the Nov. 2 election, but we certainly need it now. She’s an activist and writer who won a Lannan Literary fellowship and the 2004 award for criticism from the National Book Critics Circle.

Web extras: Friday is Buy Nothing Day: check “9 theses against corporate rule” at

Wed. Nov. 17: HOWARD ZINN

HOWARD ZINN says the argument that “Kerry won” is a diversion from the left’s real task: building the anti-war movement. His new book is Voices of a People’s History of the United States.
LISTEN TO HOWARD ZINN at the Radio Nation audioblog:

plus: the Mideast after Arafat: comment and analysis from AMY WILENTZ, former Jerusalem correspondent for the New Yorker. She also writes for The Nation, the LA Times Opinion section, and the New York Times op-ed page. She wrote the award-winning novel Martyr’s Crossing about Israelis and Palestinians.

and TERRY GROSS of NPR’s “Fresh Air” talks about what went wrong in her interviews with Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan, and Bill O’Reilly. Her new book is All I Did was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians and Artists.

Web Extra: Read Howard Zinn at on Voices of a People’s History.

Wed. Nov. 10: Election fraud?

Was the election stolen? Did something more foul than minor slip-ups and routine political chicanery occur? DAVID CORN of The Nation has been investigating: he concludes that those who say yes–at this point–are relying more on supposition than evidence. David Corn wrote the book The Lies of George W. Bush.

Plus: historian SEAN WILENTZ says the real electoral division isn’t between the coasts and the heartland. It’s between cities all over the United States and the rest of the country. Sean writes for the L.A. Times op-ed page; he is co-editor of The Rose and the Briar, a new book about American ballads.

And TORIE OSBORN of the Liberty Hill Foundation talks about what we lost — and what we can learn — from last Tuesday’s election.

And DAVID COLE comments on the resignation of John Ashcroft — who, as Cole wrote for The Nation, is “zero for 5,000” in prosecuting 9-11 terrorists. David’s book is Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism.

Web Extra: “SORRY EVERYBODY” -or- a wonderful new site where people post photos and messages apologizing to the world for Bush’s election — you gotta check this out, and flip through the hundreds of postings.

Wed Nov. 3:Election Day– What happened?

How did Bush win? comment and analysis on last night’s disaster from

ROBERT SCHEER of the L.A. Times — he co-authored The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us about Iraq;

HAROLD MEYERSON of the LA Weekly and the American Prosect;

JOHN NICHOLS of The Nation — he wroteDick: The Man who Is President ;

and TOM FRANK; his book What’s the Matter with Kansas? seems especially relevant; it’s about the fact that so many working class and poor voters in the middle of the country “insist on re-electing the very people who are screwing them.”

Wed. Oct. 27: ERIC SCHLOSSER on KPFK 4pm

ERIC SCHLOSSER, author of the classic Fast Food Nation, talks about Prop. 72, requiring big companies to provide health insurance for workers — like the people who work for MacDonalds. Eric writes for the L.A. Times op-ed page and other publications.
More info:

Also: “Yes on 66,” the initiative to amend the Three Strikes Law to limit it to violent felonies: GERI SILVA of Families to Amend Three Strikes and DOROTHY ERSKINE will explain.

Plus: LIBERTY VOTE is a poineering “voter engagement” campaign of the Liberty Hill Foundation to change the political culture in low-income neighborhoods — we?ll speak with campaign manager KAFI WATLINGTON-MACLEOD.
Read Jon Wiener in The Nation on Liberty Vote:

finally: Polls show the voters evenly divided; Can Kerry win? JOHN NICHOLS of The Nation has been following the campaign: he writes “The Online Beat” for, and his new book is Dick: The Man who Is President.

Fri. Oct. 15: JOHN SAYLES on Radio Nation

JOHN SAYLES, award winning independent filmmaker whose films include “Return of the Secaucus Seven,” “Brother from Another Planet,” “Matewan” and “Sunshine State” — now he’s published a book of short stories, Dillinger in Hollywood

Plus: JOHN NICHOLS, he writes “The Online Beat” for The Nation, talks about the campaign and Dick Cheney — his new book is Dick: The Man who is President.

Also: ART SPIEGELMAN won the Pulitzer Prize for his Holocaust story Maus — now he’s done comix about 9-11, the book In the Shadow of No Towers — a Sept. 11 story that is both highly personal and intensely political.

Web extra: “Rocking the Youth Vote” — how Bruce Springsteen, REM and the Dixie Chicks are following John Lennon’s strategy from 1972:


ART SPIEGELMAN, who won the Pulitzer prize for Maus, a Holocaust story, has a new graphic book out: In the Shadow of No Towers — a Sept. 11 story that is both highly personal and intensely political. “I hadn’t anticipated that the hijackings of September 11 would themselves be hijacked by the Bush cabal that reduced it all to a war recruitment poster.”

Plus: GISH JEN: her new novel, The Love Wife, is a candid, delightful and imaginative story about cultural collisions in one Asian-American family.

Also: Dick Cheney debated on TV last night — JOHN NICHOLS of The Nation magazine comments on “the man who is president.” John writes The Online Beat column for The Nation; his new book is Dick: the Man Who is President.

WEB EXTRA: SEE drawings about 9-11 from Art Spiegelman’s new book: