Continuing a short video series by Common Dreams, we interviewed seven of of our long-time contributors—Robert McChesney, Fran Korten, Norman Solomon, Sonali Kolhatkar, John Nichols, Marjorie Cohn, and Michael Winship—to reflect on their assessment of the current political and historical moment.
In the first segment we asked them to speak about their notions of both pessimism and optimism—either as a personal statement or as reflected in the broader society.
In this second installment, we asked each contributor to draw a line between three issues we have covered extensively in recent years at Common Dreams -- austerity economic policy, drone warfare, and the growing impact of climate change. Selection of these three issues was not arbitrary, of course, but it should be noted that any number of other issues could have been substituted into this thought experiment of 'connecting the dots.'
Recorded at the National Conference on Media Reform in Denver on April 6th and 7th, what follows are the responses that followed the simple prompt to draw a line between these general topics. Later this week, we'll post the final installation in this series. Stay tuned.
Robert McChesney is research professor in the Institute of Communications Research and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois. His most recent book is Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy. A co-founder of the media reform group Free Press, his forthcoming book, written with John Nichols, is Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America.
Fran Korten is publisher and executive director of YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas and practical action.
Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include: War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death and Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State.
Sonali Kolhatkar is co-director of the Afghan Women's Mission, a US-based non-profit that supports women's rights activists in Afghanistan. Sonali is also co-author of Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence. She is the host and producer of Uprising, a nationally syndicated radio program with the Pacifica Network and aired locally on KPFK.
John Nichols is Washington correspondent for The Nation and associate editor of The Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin. His most recent book is The “S” Word: A Short History of an American Tradition. Also a co-founder of Free Press, his forthcoming book, written with Robert McChesney, is Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America.
Marjorie Cohn, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and past President of the National Lawyers Guild, is the deputy secretary general for external communications of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, and the U.S. representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists. She is the author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law and editor of the anthology, The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration and Abuse. She is currently working on a book about the Obama Administration's drone and targeted assassination program.