Monthly Archives: June 2004

Swinging over Swing Voters

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Michael Moore’s new film is raising temperatures across the nation. Fahrenheit 9/11 pokes at the Bush White House using the same sort of sandbox tactics, as conservative talk radio. These days even Rush Limbaugh is focused on Michael Moore; something that’s likely to send even more movie-goers to the theatre.

From dinner tables to bars and barbershops, there’s a new battle on for the hearts and minds of voters, with everyone wondering what effect, if any, Michael Moore’s cannonball film will have as it lands in a pool normally reserved for of the likes of Bill O’Reilly. With many Americans still trying to decide how they feel about the war and who should lead, the country partisan politics goes from the squawk box to the silver screen.

Guests:

Richard Just, Editor of The New Republic Online;
Siva Vaidhyanathan, Cultural Historian and Media Scholar, New York University

Power to the people

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The annual shareholder meeting used to resemble a cheerleading competition — with executives and investors alike shaking those corporate pom-poms. But these days many such meetings look more like protest rallies — with shareholders, issuing demands and forcing votes on resolutions on everything from how a company invests its money, to how it picks and how much it pays its executives.

Shareholder activists say that they’re fed up with corporate scandals and want a greater say in shaping company policy. Most of these resolutions are non-binding and executives are free to ignore them, but – post-Enron – they do so at their peril. At the same time, some executives are pushing back, arguing that CEOs know best – and that shareholders should stop meddling.

Guests:

Nick Rossi, shareholder activist. Richard Bliss, Associate Professor of Finance at Babson College

Tracey Rembert, co-ordinator for advocay and public policy programs at the Social Investment Forum

The Photography of Rene Burri

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Photographers may be among the artists whose images can become more famous than they are. At least that’s true for the globe trotting photographer Rene Burri. You might not know his name, but you’ve almost certainly seen his work: from Picasso’s Paris and Franco’s Spain, to war-torn Vietnam, to that iconic image of a young Che Guevara chomping defiantly on a cigar at the Cuban Ministry of Industry .

The story of Burri’s career is the story of the last half of the 20th century, with all its conflicts and characters. Burri shot portraits, and architecture, and though he often took assignments as a photojournalist, he was never without his artful eye, and his talent for finding the human face in history.

Guests:

Rene Burri, photographer

A Decision on Detainees

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The Commander in Chief got his comeuppance in court yesterday. In two historic decisions, the Supreme Court ruled that while the President is free to detain citizens and non-citizens as enemy combatants, he can’t keep them from having their day in court, not even in wartime.

The decision is a check on the power of the President, until now, he had denied legal rights for detainees saying he could not let the United States’ “enemies use the forums of liberty to destroy liberty itself.” But the decision doesn’t mean the some 600 prisoners at Guantanamo are going anywhere, anytime soon. All it means is that they can now file lawsuits and learn what they are charged with. New rulings in the war on terror, and throttling back the power of the President.

Guests:

Christine Huskey, a lawyer with Shearman and Sterling, the law firm representing a group of Kuwaiti prisoners in Guantanamo:David Rivkin, partner in the Washington office of Baker & Hostetler:Khaled al-Oda, heads group of family members of Kuwaiti prisoners.

Jason Beaubien

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Guests:

Jason Beaubien, NPR’s Africa reporter.

Insurgency in Iraq

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Guests:

Dan Murphy, coorespondent for The Christian Science Monitor in Baghdad
Hassan Mneimeh, Director of The Iraq Foundation
Juan Cole, Professor of Middle East History
Colonel Patrick Lang, former Middle East and Terrorism Intelligence officer for the Department of Defense

Early Handover in Iraq

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Sovereignty in Iraq came a little early this week. Instead of waiting for the planned transfer of power on Wednesday, US officials handed over the keys to the kingdom two days early. Now Iraq’s interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi is in charge, and Paul Bremer is on a plane. But beyond the shuffling of files and the shifting of power, Iraqis and Americans are waiting to see what difference this day will make. Some say the early transfer is aimed to head-off more attacks– the car bombs which recently killed more than 100 people in a single day. Iraqi politicians say they are ready to rule. So if the occupation is over, why hasn’t anyone told the insurgents?

Guests:

Juan Cole, Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

Hassan Mneimeh, Director of The Iraq Foundation in Washington, DC

David Foster Wallace

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Guests:

David Foster Wallace

Women vs. Wal Mart

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Guests:

Ellen Bravo, Executive Director of 9 to 5, the National Association of Working Women
Carrie Lukas, Director of Policy for the Independent Women’s Forum
Christine Kwampnoski, former Wal Mart employee

Remembering Cary Grant

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Never without a witty response, the Hollywood legend once famously said “Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.” An American icon, Cary Grant was born Archibald Leach to a poor British family in Bristol, and knew better than anyone the difference between his real life and his debonair on-screen persona.

The Cary Grant most of us knew was a man women loved and men admired, who knew how to wear a suit better than anyone then or since. And though he was as handsome as his contemporaries Clarke Gable and Gary Cooper, it was his sense of style and confidence, that set him apart. One hundred years after his birth, a look back at one of Hollywood’s greatest actors.

Guests:

David Thomson, film critic and editor of “The New Biographical Dictionary of Film.”;
Jeanine Basinger, Chair of the Film Studies Department at Wesleyan University;