Ralph welcomes Janine Jackson, of FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) and producer and host of FAIR’s syndicated weekly radio show “CounterSpin” to give us her take on the corporate media landscape and in particular how the major outlets are opining on the crisis in Gaza. Then, Palestinian American, Dr. Tariq Haddad, cardiologist and member of the Virginia Coalition for Human Rights joins us to recount the tragic story of how he has lost nearly one hundred family members in the current Israeli bombardment.
Janine Jackson is the program director of FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) and she is the producer and host of FAIR’s syndicated weekly radio show CounterSpin. Ms. Jackson contributes frequently to FAIR’s newsletter Extra!, her articles have appeared in various publications, including In These Times and the UAW’s Solidarity, and in books including Civil Rights Since 1787 and Stop the Next War Now: Effective Responses to Violence and Terrorism.
What I like to say is: we hear a lot from the people we hear a lot from. The conversation becomes kind of insular, and it's very much a pro-U.S. and whatever the U.S. is doing position, with some criticism around the edges. But the point is, you're not hearing from the people who are recipients/victims of U.S. policy. You're hearing overwhelmingly from the people who make that policy.
If you just read the New York Times and the Washington Post, the U.S. is the world. We're the only good country in the world. Anything we do is democracy. Anybody we bomb, we're bombing in service to democracy. And you're just supposed to keep swallowing that. And I feel that elite news media don't understand that people are not buying it. We're not buying it anymore.
What [Dr. Tariq Haddad] relates is not going to be easy to take for our listeners, but bear with us, listeners. We have to face up to it because it's your tax dollars, it's your US weapons… and cover—diplomatic and political—that is what Netanyahu wants and gets. The rest is just deceptive rhetoric.
Dr. Tariq Haddad is a cardiologist and member of the Virginia Coalition for Human Rights— a broadly based, growing coalition of 19 organizations, with over 10,000 Virginians from diverse backgrounds, who advocate for Palestinian human rights. Dr. Haddad grew up in Gaza.
For the last four months, my routine has been basically every morning finding out who's died, who's survived, who's suffering, who needs help, and it's been a constant daily thing starting from October.
Dr. Tariq Haddad
I couldn't bring myself as a human being—forget as a physician—couldn't bring myself to meet with somebody (Secretary of State, Antony Blinken) for a photo op as a grandstanding opportunity, knowing full well what this administration has done to cause suffering and death in my family. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. And I just—especially given three minutes. How am I, in three minutes, going to describe everything that's happened to my family and all my fellow Palestinians in Gaza?
Dr. Tariq Haddad
In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis
1. Eminent scholar Professor William Youmans, working with the Arab Center Washington DC, has published a study examining media bias on Gaza in the context of Sunday talk shows – including NBC’s Meet the Press, CBS’ Face the Nation, ABC’s This Week and Fox News Sunday. This study found significant “patterns of bias in guest booking, in the range of views expressed by guests, and in the framing of issues,” signifying “an abandonment of the ideal that news media’s purpose is to scrutinize government policies and the actions of those in power and to inform the public so it can forge independent opinions.”
2. A groundbreaking report from the Lever has revealed many of AIPAC’s top donors, including such shady characters as Leonid Ravinsky, the billionaire behind the amateur pornography site OnlyFans, and Leslie Wexner, former CEO of Victoria’s Secret and a close associate of Jeffrey Epstein. This information came from a donors-only call that Lever journalists infiltrated. Also on that call was New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who said pro-ceasefire members of Congress are being misled by misinformation from “TikTok and China and Russia and our other adversaries.”
3. 19 student activists at Brown University have begun a hunger strike, demanding that the university divest “its endowment from companies enabling and profiting from the genocide in Gaza," the Providence Journal reports. The group, called Hunger Strike for Palestine, includes both Jewish and Palestinian students. Brown has invested in weapons manufacturing companies such Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon, among others. In a transparent attempt to suppress this story, the University is blocking media access to the campus.
4. Over 1,000 constituents of Representative Dan Goldman have signed a letter excoriating the Democratic Congressman for aligning himself with Republican efforts to discredit South Africa’s case against Israel at the International Court of Justice, per the Intercept. The letter reads “Despite vehement and overwhelming opposition from your constituents and the alarming and escalating death toll that has now passed 26,000 Palestinians killed, including several thousand children, it is unfathomable that you persist in endorsing the U.S.’s continued support for these atrocities.” Goldman was a top recipient of AIPAC cash last month, receiving $45,400.
5. Following a mammoth general strike against President Javier Milei’s radical capitalist economic policies in Argentina, the country’s courts have “annulled the entire labor chapter of…Milei’s mega-decree, declaring its ‘constitutional invalidity,’” Progressive International reports. Among other controversial provisions, Milei’s labor decree would have retaliated against workers who have engaged in certain forms of political protest.
6. The Intercept’s Ryan Grim has, for some time, been covering the story of Imran Khan – Pakistan’s popular former president who has been the target of political repression and a lightning rod of civil resistance in that country. Just recently, Khan’s party was formally barred from the upcoming Pakistani elections. Interestingly, this is a similar set of facts as in Venezuela, where President Nicolas Maduro has also barred an opposition party from competing in their upcoming election. Yet, as Grim comments, the disparity in the American response is stark: “Pakistan… convict[s] the main opposition leader on totally bogus charges and…ban[s] his party. State Dep[artmen]t calls that an internal matter for Pakistan. Maduro does similar, citing a coup attempt, and State instantly dishes out sanctions.”
7. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, a progressive former teacher in Chicago public schools, now publicly supports ending the Board of Education’s $10.3 million contract with the Chicago Police Department, thereby removing cops from the city’s schools. According to research on this topic, “students who attended a high school that had a Chicago officer stationed inside were four times more likely to have the police called on them than kids at high schools that didn’t have in-house cops. And there [is] a stark divide in the rate at which Black students [are] policed compared to their peers.” Additionally “the presence of school officers has also not proven to prevent school shootings.” This from the Chicago Sun-Times.
8. More Perfect Union reports “Mississippi has approved bills to give Amazon a 10-year, 100% corporate tax exemption, plus 30 years of state tax exemptions. Lawmakers also set aside $44 million to help fund Amazon's latest project in the state.” This corporate welfare giveaway is all the more galling because, as More Perfect Union notes, “Mississippi has the highest poverty rate in America.” One can only hope this vote does not kickoff another race to the bottom for Amazon’s crumbs among the other poorest states in the union.
9. Bloomberg reports that the United Auto Workers union has signed up a majority of employees at Volkswagen’s plant in Tennessee. Expansion of the union into plants owned by foreign auto companies has been a top priority for new UAW president Shawn Fain, and a union election at this factory would be key test for the industry and the union. Moreover, the speed at which they have organized majority support will no doubt put other non-union auto companies – namely Elon Musk’s Tesla – on notice.
10. Finally, speaking of Elon Musk, the AP reports a Delaware judge ruled against the billionaire in a recent case, deciding that he is “not entitled to a landmark compensation package awarded by Tesla’s board of directors that is potentially worth more than $55 billion.” Lawyers for the shareholders argued that it was “dictated by Musk and was the product of sham negotiations with [non-independent] directors … [and] approved by shareholders who were given misleading and incomplete disclosures in a proxy statement.” This all begs the question, how crooked do you have to be to lose a corporate case in Delaware?
This has been Francesco DeSantis, with In Case You Haven’t Heard.