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Chris Hedges on Ukraine, the Press & Much More!

 Ralph welcomes back prolific Pulitzer Prize winning author and esteemed public intellectual, Chris Hedges, to get his thoughts on the hypocrisy of war, corporate control of the press, Julian Assange, unions, grass roots activism, Christian fascists, and his work teaching in prisons. Plus, Ralph comments on the proposed Amazon internal app and the threat to Senate cafeteria workers.

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, who spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He was host of the Emmy Award­–nominated RT America show On Contact. He is the author of numerous books, including Our Class: Trauma and Transformation in an American Prison, and he is the host of The Chris Hedges Report.



[NPR], like PBS, are dependent upon corporations and wealthy donors, including the Koch brothers… And that has essentially neutered their capacity to give a platform to voices that don’t represent the power structures, corporate structures, military structures.

Chris Hedges


You could say that [On Contact wasn’t removed by Youtube] over the content. But in fact, of course, it was over the content. Those were the kinds of voices that this increasingly discredited corporate state doesn’t want heard.

Chris Hedges


The mainstream church is in such decline and is atrophied in the same way that, of course , news organizations have. That they’re terrified of offending anybody within those organizations, especially those who have the capacity to give money. So, they’ve retreated into this kind of “boutique activism” and “How is it with me?” spirituality, which was really just narcissism, and squandered whatever moral authority they have in this society.

Chris Hedges


Congress is the only thing we have left in a situation like this. 535 of them. We all know their names. Listeners, you know what you have to do. You have to shout “Diplomacy!” You have to shout “Negotiation!” You have to shout for an end to a war that gets spread all over the world. You even hear people talking about “World War III”, which would be the last world war.

Ralph Nader


We eventually have to get back to the people. They’ve got to start doing their homework. They’ve got to start understanding that if you give dictatorial forces a foot, they’re going to take a mile. And then it’s going to come back against them on where they live, work, and raise their families. That’s the history of autocratic and dictatorial movements abroad.

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 423 Transcript (Right click to download)


  1. Burton Raabe says:

    We lost our community radio station where I would listen to Ralph, Richard Wolff, Democracy Now, Hard Knock Radio, Harry Shearer and other enlightening shows. I defaulted back to NPR to hear fund drives where they would beg for money, explaining that the shows they were playing were expensive. I called and said that they should just get cheaper shows. The program director acted like I was speaking in tongues. They have to play “Wait, Wait, Don’t tell Me”. Very frustrating.

    • Donald Klepack says:

      Your response to PRN, “they should get cheaper shows” is priceless. Substack is a great site to find free speech advocates. For some reason Youtube is starting to allow more progressives to talk freely. What I do is go on Duckduckgo and search for people you like, for example Chris Hedges.

    • Chadd ludwig says:

      Wait till Twitter gets took o-er !

  2. Larry A Gerber says:

    Great interview as usual. I’m not a journalist lawyer or politician. I’m an artist. An artist such as myself is an observer of human nature. Many of my paintings are social commentaries. I have in my 74 years come to the same conclusions as Chris Hedges, Ralph Nader , Howard Zinn and numerous other well know authors and journalist.
    My views have come from observations and listening. All long before I knew of Hedges and Zinn.
    They validate my conclusions
    It seems the United States is suffering from Stockholm syndrome
    I have tried for 42 years to inform whom ever I knew about the atrocities to come. They are here.
    They fail to see the completed jigsaw puzzle. They, the public only see the incidences shown by a corrupt media.
    The worst is yet to come!
    Very frustrated
    Larry A. Gerber

  3. Bonnie says:

    Can I read the transcriot?

  4. Don Harris says:

    Another excellent episode providing valuable information on the problem………..

    It seems to me that you, Ralph, could get together with people like Chris Hedges and form a non-profit selling shares for 100 dollars each that can only be bought by American citizens (actual people) and no one can own more than ten shares. These shares could only be sold for one hundred dollars as the purpose of owning these shares would be to keep control of the non-profit in the hands of ordinary citizens and not as a monetary investment.

    Just 6-7% of the 150 million 2020 voters investing 100 dollars in a share woulds raise 1 billion dollars to start up/ buy up media that will be controlled by ordinary citizens that elect a board of people like Ralph and Chris Hedges to oversee it so it can provide the kind of journalism lacking in corporate controlled media. And that 1 billion is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Isn’t the answer to bad free speech more good free speech?

    Here is your opportunity to help citizens help themselves provide more good free speech.

    It may not be the last opportunity before there is no more free speech, but just in case it is maybe you should not let it pass because then we would experience Larry Gerber’s worst is yet to come which promises to be more distressing and harmful than mere frustration.

  5. Joe says:

    Both of you must increase your visibility by going on the following TV and/or Radio Shows: Bill Maher, Howard Stern, Rogan show. WHY aren’t you doing this?

    • Skro35 says:

      You have to be invited onto those shows. You can’t just show up and say “Here I am!”

  6. Don Harris says:

    I don’t suppose you can just show up for the Ralph Nader Radio Hour and say “Here I am”, either.

    Ralph did provide a sort of open end invite to me when he was on Washington Journal (10-24-2018), but unfortunately it turned out that the end where I am actually on the Radio Hour seems to be destined to remain open never reaching the end.

    Very frustrating.

  7. David Faubion says:

    Joe, I take it that you are sincere about the three host you recommend. On the other hand, you might have merely written that as factitious. Those three and their audiences largely would bring little if any meaningful input to the critical dialogue that will save us from the perverse power of corporations and their government sponcers.

  8. David Faubion says:

    NPR and PBS have fallen for corporate greed, (the root of all evil) essentially becoming a commercial enterprise themselves: and through it’s Kafka-like metamorphosis, NPR still has the gall to solicit listener support. The final straw for me was it’s increasingly high rate of grammatical error and misinformation.

  9. I have the same respect for Chris Hedges as I have for Ralph and Noam Chomsky. Heard Chris live at a Presbyterian church (all but one religious institution openly opposed the US invasion, which likely would be closer to the inverse of that today) during the aftermath of the shock and awe upon the nearly defenceless, totally innocent Iraqis.

    However, I do have misgivings about RT, so someone please tell me what makes RT as a Russian state mouthpiece a hygienically unbiased news outlet. Glen Greenwald and Matt Taibbi have lost me for that reason, and others, too.

    Why not approach the current genocide without the upfront what-aboutism? Try it this way: we condemn the crimes against humanity perpetrated by madmen in Moscow, and if the world gets out of this apocalyptic mess, we must prosecute all the pending war crimes, this century and last, and cite and condemn all examples of genocide throughout history.

    • Skro35 says:

      David, allow me to answer that with what Hedges said in the episode about it not being about Russian propaganda as much as it was about squelching dissident voices in general. Hedges certainly wasn’t engaging in Russian propaganda:

      Hedges: “We knew from the Director of National Intelligence report in 2017 why they hated RT. There were 7 pages of that 25-page report dedicated to RT. And while they complained about Russian propaganda, every example they cited was about giving a voice to critics and dissidents . . . this is their language . . . to third-party candidates, to anti-fracking activists, to Occupy activists, to anti-imperialists. And so RT was clearly targeted and had already been removed without any warning from cable channels. It was the second most watched foreign news broadcast, after the BBC, in the country but it was just summarily disappeared from cable channels in New York State and California where it had a wide following.”

      • ROBERT says:

        I understood that RTV was in the news market. Isn’t closing them down an attack on the “free market of ideas”? I tuned in now and then to get an idea of what the Russkis were up to. THEY WERE GIVING A STAGE TO THOSE WHO DISSENTED FROM THE “US CORPORATE OLIGARCHS’ PROJECT”.

      • David Faubion says:

        Thank you, Steve. Sorry for my delay in reading your quote from Chris Hedges.

        So, I am now rethinking RT. If Thom Hartman and Chris Hedges use and stand by it, then I have to ask ‘What is behind the criticism of RT that I am hearing from some, even progressive reporters and the like?’

        It may very well be a case of shallow analysis, perhaps even based on the quoted DNI statement.

  10. Noelle Gillies says:

    Just in time for IPCC report, the war intensifies. Instead of using the fossil fuel dependence Russia uses for money to fuel this war as an incentive to get off the fossil fuel addiction, calls for building LNG terminals in Europe instead abound. No one is talking about how war is adding to climate catastrophe. We have to address climate catastrophe as well as nuclear weapons elimination instead of filling the coffers of arms manufacturers(Congress easily passed higher defense spending in response). It’s as if we are primed to hate the enemy with the slightest of prompting. I despair for both Ukrainians and Russians, Ukrainians being sacrificed in a proxy war between US and Russia.

  11. Wendyyona NooN says:

    We wish GlobaL News & Community News on a consistent basis. Is it possible to apply the Tax Money that goes to Public Radio BroadCasting to Public Computer Broadband ? If so, everyone can listen to NPR, Connect to 0uR Community’s, Hear GlobaL News & Learn “Careers in a Year”.

    A State Board Exam, plus a Two (2) Year Internships in their community will develop
    Community & each Student to become a “Master of their Trade” (Copying Germany); plus, the Two (2) Year Program can Serve as the State Draft.

    Returning our State Draft will $ave USA $2 billion per day that is paid to the Pentagon in Advance by our Congress to “Protect Corporate Assets”.
    Ergo, our taxes pay for corporate economic Hitmen that appear to be Hungry to complete the “scorched earth policy” that Eisenhower spoke of.

    Again, if we “Allow each Person” the opportunity & theIr Rite” to be connected with Internet to Study “Career in a Year” they will “Learn how to Fish” and will have Consistent income thus Creating Community & Economic Stability.

    Thank You Honorable Ralph and Rev Chris & ALL the Nader Raiders for Lighting 0uR Way
    with All that You Say. Ble🎼🎼ing🎼 Allway🎼

    ps. Two Community Radio Stations In Gainesville, FL down. Gospel Radio still alive.

  12. Don Harris says:

    From Ralph’s blog “Consumer Protection Progress and Regress- from the Sixties to Now”:

    “We need hundreds of new consumer protection organizations from the local to international levels making tough demands on lawmakers and pushing for wider access to justice for aggrieved people.”

    That seems to be an awfully round about way to address the problem as well as more expensive and is unlikely to succeed anytime soon if ever.

    As long the lawmakers are taking big money all the consumer protection organizations in the universe, much less here on Earth, will not change the lawmakers behavior. And the big money lawmakers are never to going to create any effective government consumer protection organizations because the big money interests have no interest in such government organizations.

    What we need is one organization where citizens work together to make the tough demand of politicians that they do not take big money and enforce that demand with our votes.

    If the politicians take big money they do not get our votes. if there are no small donor candidates on the primary or general ballot we write-in a vote to create and demonstrate demand for small donor candidates in future elections.

    Just 10% of the 2020 voters participating in 2022 would build a base that could grow in 2024 to elect some small donor candidates in 2024 and by 2026 we would be electing many small donor candidates.

    Then we would no longer have to create hundreds of consumer protection organizations to bang their heads against the brick wall of the big money lawmakers for decades getting nowhere.

    We would have small donor legislators working for us to tear down the brick wall.

    Real progress by 2024 ans 2026 or decades of fruitless effort.

    The powers that be have adjusted to the strategies of the sixties.

    Ralph should adjust to that.

  13. Zhivko says:

    Regarding accessibility — one major problem facing progressives is that the most influential of them refuse to criticize YouTube, Twitter, Facebook in any meaningful way, which prevents creating solutions to the problem of de-platforming. Why have so many progressives Twittered themselves when only 20% of the U.S. public uses Twitter and a minority of users produce the majority of content? Addiction? Inability to let go of their followers? Partnerships with the platforms themselves? How do they expect the general public to follow them into those manipulative feeds where their attention is constantly diverted? What are the Democratic alternatives to right-wing youth organizations like TPUSA and YAF? These are simple questions that can help move us away from our dependency on social media and toward independent digital platforms, but it’s difficult to ask them when so many left commentators practically live on the feeds. I think the Substack model is a step in the right direction, but can it challenge conservative media empires / social media apps?