Hollywood Strikes: Light at the end of the tunnel? Harold Meyerson; plus Erwin Chemerinsky on the Georgia Indictments

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There seems to be progress toward a settlement of the strikes by Hollywood writers and actors–Harold Meyerson reports.

Also: if it was a good strategy for Special Prosecutor Jack Smith to charge Trump with four felonies, is it also a good idea for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to charge Trump and 18 other people with a total of 41 felonies? Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at UC Berkeley, explains.  8-24-2023

Right-Wing Attacks on Small-Town Libraries—Plus, The Snow Leopard

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Public Libraries are often wonderful places, but they have become targets of right-wing attack in the culture war. On this episode of the Start Making Sense podcast, Sasha Abramsky talks about his reporting on the battle in one small town in Washington state.

Also on this episode: Peter Matthiessen’s exploration of suffering, impermanence, and beauty in his book “The Snow Leopard,” an account of his trek in the Himalayas. Pico Iyer, who wrote the introduction to the Penguin Classics paperback edition, is on the show to talk about the book. The conversation with Iyer was recorded in 2008.

Transcript HERE  8-17-2023

Sasha Abramsky on the Culture Wars; D.D. Guttenplan on Cornel West; Francine Prose on “Vixen”

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Public Libraries are often wonderful places, but they have become targets of right-wing attack in the culture war. Sasha Abramsky reports on the battle in one small town in Eastern Washington state.

Also: Cornel West should not run as a 3rd party candidate, but in the Democratic Primaries – that’s what D.D. Guttenplan says – he’s editor of The Nation.

Plus: A comic novel about Ethel and Julius Rosenberg?  Who’d have thought that was possible?  Francine Prose has written one:  it’s called “The Vixen,” and it’s terrific. (recorded in July, 2021) 8-17-2023

Erwin Chemerinsky on the Trump Indictment, Plus Katha Pollitt on Barbie

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Should Trump have been charged with incitement of insurrection, or at least violence? What’s the line between free speech and incitement? If Trump sincerely believed he’d won the election, can he still be prosecuted for conspiracy? Erwin Chemerinsky explains – he’s dean of the law school at UC Berkeley.

Also: What’s bad about Barbie the doll, and what’s good about “Barbie” the movie—Katha Pollitt comments.

Transcript HERE  8-10-2023

 

 

Abortion Rights Win Again: Harold Meyerson; Trump’s Jan. 6 indictment: Erwin Chemerinsky; “Barbie”: Katha Pollitt

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Ohio voted on a referendum that would make it harder to amend the state constitution – including the addition of the right to abortion. The amendment lost, abortion rights won – Harold Meyerson comments.

Next: Should Trump have been charged with incitement of insurrection, or at least violence? What’s the line between free speech and incitement? If Trump sincerely believed he’d won the election, can he still be prosecuted for conspiracy? Erwin Chemerinsky explains – he’s dean of the law school at UC Berkeley.

Plus: What’s bad about Barbie the doll, and what’s good about “Barbie” the movie—Katha Pollitt comments.  8-10-2023

Trump’s Trials, plus Barbie and Oppie

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This month, Donald Trump will be facing four indictments in four different jurisdictions at the same time, each for multiple felonies. Yet, Republicans still want him as their candidate. On this episode of the Start Making Sense podcast, Joan Walsh comments on the former President’s latest legal developments, and the latest poll numbers.

Also on this episode: Barbie is one of the most feminist blockbuster films ever made, and it grossed $774 million worldwide in its first ten days. In the same period, Oppenheimer made $400 million worldwide. John Powers joins the podcast to discuss this summer’s two big Hollywood hits. He’s Critic at Large on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Transcript HERE  8-3-2023

The Class Struggle This Summer

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The Teamsters reached a historic agreement for UPS workers this week, protecting and rewarding more than 340,000 UPS Teamsters nationwide. We had been headed for the biggest strike in decades, scheduled to start next week, but now we have what looks like one of the biggest labor victories in decades. The Nation’s John Nichols is on the Start Making Sense podcast to report.

Also on this episode: Hollywood actors and writers have been on strike–the Writers Guild of America since May, and the Screen Actors Guild since July 14. The studios are showing no signs of settling. WGA member and Nation writer Ben Schwartz joins the show. He argues that the studios and streamers are likely to fracture before the unions do.

Transcript HERE  7-27-2023

Picket Line Near You HERE 

 

Teamsters victory: Harold Meyerson; Hollywood strikes update: Ben Schwartz; Ireland since the ’50s: Fintan O’Toole

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The Teamsters won a historic victory in the new contract with UPS, setting the stage to take on Amazon. Harold Meyerson reports. Also: where is Melania?

Plus: Hollywood actors and writers have been on strike–the Writers Guild of America since May, and the Screen Actors Guild since July 14. The studios are showing no signs of settling. WGA member and Nation writer Ben Schwartz joins the show. He argues that the studios and streamers are likely to fracture before the unions do.

Also: Fintan O’Toole’s personal history of Ireland since the fifties: how a country dominated by a corrupt Catholic church came to legalize gay marriage and abortion — by referendum. His much-honored ‘personal history’ of Ireland, titled “We Don’t Know Ourselves,” is out now in paperback.  7-27-2023

The War on Black Studies, plus Hollywood on Strike

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Remember how the state of Florida banned the African-American studies curriculum proposed by the College Board on the grounds that it might cause guilt, anguish or other forms of psychological distress in students? Now, teachers, scholars, and activists have been fighting back. Historian Robin D.G. Kelley explains.

Also: last week the actors joined screenwriters on the picket lines outside film and TV studios in LA and New York – the writers have been out for 75 days. The issues: compensation in the age of streaming, and protection against AI. Josh Gondelman comments—he’s a member of both SAG and the WGA.

Transcript HERE  7-20-2023