Political Analysis

From the grassroots to Washington and beyond, the realities of politics and power are routinely cloaked in euphemism and evasion.

    Political Analysis
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This week's show is an hour-long special covering the life and lasting influence of rebel investigative and independent journalist Izzy Stone, with two distinguished guests.

1.) Fred Peabody is an Emmy-winning journalist and filmmaker whose credits include seven years as a producer-director on the acclaimed CBC investigative program “The Fifth Estate”. In 2003 he was Supervising Producer on “Perfect Illusions," a PBS documentary about eating disorders in young women. His film on the childhood exploitation of the Dionne quintuplets was nominated for an Emmy in 1998, and he won an Emmy in 1989 for a film about wild horses rescued from starvation and abuse. He’s produced two documentaries on chemical and biological weapons, and a major investigation of corporate SLAPPS (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation).

Fred learned his craft at the CBC in Toronto, where he spent four years as a news editor/reporter with CBC News, followed by seven years as a producer on "The Fifth Estate". His investigative work at “The Fifth Estate” led to staff producer jobs with ABC News 20/20 and Dateline NBC.

He is currently writing, producing and directing "All Governments Lie", a 90-minute theatrical release documentary on the legendary Washington journalist I. F. Stone, in collaboration with Peter Raymont, President of White Pine Pictures in Toronto.

2.) Myra MacPherson is a journalist, lecturer and author of five books that include best sellers and award winners. "All Governments Lie: The Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I.F. Stone" was awarded the Ann M. Sperbr biography award in 2007, a 2007 PEN USA Literary Award finalist, named Number One of the Top Ten Biographies of 2006-2007 by Booklist and Best Book of the year by newspapers, including the Boston Globe. MacPherson is also noted for her best selling "Long Time Passing: Vietnam and the Haunted Generation," which was published in 1985 and was the first trade book to mention an unknown phrase, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Her book is now considered a Vietnam classic and remains in print.

Her latest book, "The Scarlet Sisters: Sex Suffrage and Scandal in the Gilded Age" saw a return to the subject of feminists and women's rights that she had touched on in her best selling "The Power Lovers: An Intimate Look at Politicians and Their Marriages."

MacPherson was a long time political and general reporter for the Washington Post, wrote for the New York Times, numerous magazines, and Salon.com.

May 22nd, 2015 by progressiveradionetwork at 11:03 am

The May 21, 2015 edition of "Political Analysis" featured two guests.

1.) Meg Healy was a researcher & reporter for the website RioOnWatch.org last year and will be returning to Rio in August as a housing policy reporter. She is a recent graduate at University of Wisconsin-Madison and authored her recently-submitted senior thesis titled, "Olympic Housing Games: Housing Policy and Socio-Spatial Displacement in Pre-Olympics Rio de Janiero." Healy discussed her research and writing on the forthcoming Olympic games with "Political Analysis."

2.) Alleen Brown is Associate Research Editor for The Intercept and author of two recent investigative articles on one of the lesser-known forces that propelled Obama Administration-backed Arctic drilling from dream to reality. That is, the National Petroleum Council, not to be confused with the American Petroleum Institute. Brown talked about these articles and previewed what she's working on in the coming days and weeks for The Intercept.

The May 14 edition of "Political Analysis" on The Progressive Radio Network featured a debate between a proponent of U.S. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) run for president as part of the Democratic Party primary vs. Hillary Clinton (among others) and a critic of it. It also featured a critical look at the political-economy of freelancing.

On the first half of the show, Carl Gibson, author of an Al Jazeera America article in favor of a Sanders Democratic Party primary run went toe-to-toe with Ashley Smith, author of an article appearing online in Jacobin Magazine critical of such a run.

The second half of the show featured Sarah Grey, author of the recent piece published online by Jacobin titled, "Four Myths About the 'Freelancer Class.'”

The May 7, 2015 edition of "Political Analysis" on The Progressive Radio Network featured the work and voices of two documentarians: Marcos Barbery and Neal Broffman. 
1.) Marcos Barbery, Director and Producer of the newly-released documentary film "By Blood," which is a contemporary and historical account of the African-American Freedmen of Cherokee descent, who were enslaved by the Cherokee Tribe and have still yet to achieve the rights and benefits they argue are owed to them by the Tribe. The movie raises fascinating questions about race, identity and history and is timely given what's going on as of late in Baltimore, Ferguson and other US cities.

Barbery is a filmmaker and journalist and founder of THREAD Productions.The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute has supported Barbery’s reporting. Barbery's writing has been featured by Long Reads, and appeared in Salon, The Huffington Post, and This Land Press. 

2.) Neal Broffman, Director and Producer of the new documentary film "Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi" about Sunil Tripathi, who was initially misidentified as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev during the initial manhunt for Dzhokhar and his now-dead brother Tamerlan (then known as "Suspect One" and "Suspect Two"). Sunil was eventually found dead (having committed suicide) in a river near Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, but not before the damage was done and his name forever tied to the April 2013 bombing. The movie's recent release coincides with the ongoing death penalty phase of USA v. Tsarnaev case occurring in a U.S. District Court in Boston.

Sunil's mom Judy and his brother Ravi also came on the show, joining Neal Broffman.

Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi had its world premiere in March, 2015 at the Atlanta Film Festival where it won the Audience Award for Feature Film. The international premiere was in April-May of 2015 at the renowned Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, where it was also included in Docs For School.

The April 30, 2015 edition of "Political Analysis" on The Progressive Radio Networked featured the work and voices of two energy and environmental historians: Christopher Jones and Bob Johnson. 

1.) Christopher Jones, history professor at Arizona State University, joined "Political Analysis" to discuss his book "Routes of Power: Energy and Modern America," recently nominated for the Turku Book Award.
2.) Bob Johnson, history professor at National University in La Jolla, California, joined the show to talk about his new book titled, "Carbon Nation: Fossil Fuels in the Making of American Culture."
Apr 23rd, 2015 by progressiveradionetwork at 7:00 pm


Greg Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group joins Chuck McCune of Prizm Foundation (sitting in for Host Sandy Leon-Vest) for an in-depth discussion on energy, global instability, nuclear weapons, conservation, environment, sustainability, white privilege resource consumption, and expected converging disasters. This in the context of unresponsive government, industry and regulators regarding the concern for our future survival. We examine the strategies of the last 4 decades and the progress, or rather the lack thereof, and call for a boycott of all Ecocidal Products and Services. For more information, Facebook Page Boycott Ecocidehttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Ecocide/378437659029235, Los Alamos Study Group www.lasg.org, Prizm Foundation www.prizm.org.


Apr 17th, 2015 by progressiveradionetwork at 11:47 am

The two show segments centered around the "Battle of Seattle" (no, not the one of late-90s fame!).

Segment one featured Sydney Brownstone, a reporter for The Stranger, Seattle's only newspaper, an alt-weekly and a Pulitzer Prize-winning publication. Brownstone talked about her latest reporting on the oil-by-rail legal battle pitting the Swinowish Tribe vs. Warren Buffett's rail company giant BNSF Railway, as well as her prolific reporting on the battle over Shell's movement to use Seattle's port to store its tankers and accessories there as it awaits an opportunity to tap oil in the Arctic.

Segment two featured Adam Brown and Jason Reid, Director and Producer respectively of the documentary Sonicsgate, which covers the business wheeling and dealing that forced the Seattle SuperSonics to move from Seattle to become the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

Apr 3rd, 2015 by progressiveradionetwork at 4:43 pm

The April 2, 2015 edition of "Political Analysis" featured three professors and contributors to Jacobin Magazine

1.) Matthew Huber is an assistant professor of geography at Syracuse University and author of the book "Lifeblood: Oil, Freedom, and the Forces of Capital." He discussed his latest piece in Jacobin titled, "Too Much Oil," which analyzes what lowering global oil prices means for the Left going forward among other related things.

2.) Tyler Zimmer is a visiting professor of philosophy at Northeastern Illinois University and author of the recent piece, "Questions about Chuy," also appearing in Jacobin. He discussed his article, which serves as the "skunk in the room" of sorts in the Chicago Mayoral race, set to take place on April 7 and pitting Jesús "Chuy" García vs. Rahm "Rahmbo" Emanuel.

3.) Nicole Aschoff is an editor at Jacobin, an adjunct professor of sociology at Boston University and she blogs at The Game is Rigged, which she maintains on her own over at WordPress. Further, her new book "The New Prophets of Capital" published by Verso is now on-sale. She discussed her latest piece in Jacobin titled, "The Smartphone Society."

Guests: Nikeeta Slade and Alex Lotorto

There's a lot of talk right now about racism, sexism, classism, homophobia and elitism within the environmental movement. But too many white liberals view the term "racist liberal" as an oxymoron.

Tonight on Political Analysis, Sandy LeonVest is joined by Nikeeta Slade and Alex Lotorto to kick off an ongoing series, in which all of these issues and more will be addressed. 

The conversation is the first of its kind, dealing with the critical but underplayed issue of racism in (and the "unbearable whiteness" of) the contemporary green movement -- specifically the Big Greens and NGOs. 

Among other things, the program will look at the prickly (but all too real) issue of "liberal racism;" how environmentalists can go beyond PR, campaign slogans and tokenism to "reach out" to non-white communities; and how the current movement can begin strategizing for effective bridge-building. -- ie: the ways in which environmentalists can begin building deep diversity and REAL coalitions with communities all over the world, including with indigenous people (whom, after all, were the FIRST radical environmentalists).

Nikeeta Slade is a member of the International Socialist Organization and the Green Party ... She’s been involved in feminist, environmental and anti-racist organizing for several years … She’s also an editor and contributor to Red Wedge Magazine, a radical arts and culture magazine, and an editor for The Peace Newsletter, a Syracuse based publication dedicated to peace and justice.


Alex Lotorto has been an activist and organizer for the past several years – mostly around the issue of fracking. He’s been actively involved in labor organizing and union issues … Today, Alex Lotorto serves as the shale gas program coordinator for Energy Justice Network.


Feb 6th, 2015 by progressiveradionetwork at 1:46 pm

Public Schools Adam BessiePIMP THIS PUBLIC SCHOOL

Guest Lineup: Author and essayist PL Thomas, teacher and journalist Adam Bessie and teacher/journalist Mickey Huff (Project Censored).

On tonight's show, Sandy LeonVest and Steve Horn present Part One of their new series, headlined Pimp This Public School ... 

During the course of the series, they feature a critical look at public schools, the privatization frenzy, corporate influence and the importance of literacy and quality education for ALL – what some call “universal education” -- to a functional democracy. Joining Steve and Sandy are professor/essayist/author PL Thomas, college teacher and journalist Adam Bessie and Mickey Huff (Project Censored).

This conversation in the wake of President Obama's much-heralded (and some would argue, overly-hyped) proposal to make community college tuition-free.

PL Thomas serves as Associate Professor of Education at Furman University, in Greenville SC … He’s also a prolific author and essayist. Among his many books, Ignoring poverty in the US.: The corporate takeover of public education and  Becoming and Being a Teacher: Confronting Traditional Norms to Create New Democratic Realities.  

This School is Not A Pipe 1Adam Bessie is a professor of English at Diablo Valley College – based in Northern California. Adam has published essays on education, comics, media and culture in (among other publications) The Washington Post’s “Answer Sheet,” Daily Censored, the Project Censored book series and Truthout.

 Public SchoolsMickey Huff is a Professor of social science and history at Diablo Valley College … He serves as director of Project Censored, a Northern California-based non-profit, dedicated to educating students and the public about the importance of a free press for democratic self-government. Among other things, Project Censored exposes and opposes news censorship and promotes independent investigative journalism, media literacy, and critical thinking.

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