Day: November 27, 2019

Background Briefing: November 27, 2019


A Thanksgiving Sermon from the Reverend Billy of the Stop Shopping Choir

On this eve of Thanksgiving we begin with the Reverend Billy, the leader of the Stop Shopping Choir, a group of New York activists who sing while they risk arrest together as well as perform in concert halls and cabarets.  Their preaching takes them on trespassing invasions of climate-denying banks, Monsanto chemical plants, pipeline property and for-profit prisons. With holiday consumption a mortal sin for this church, they see fossil-fuel-based shopping as stupefying and we discuss their protests in the Manhattan lobby of JP Morgan Chase against financing the destruction of the planet by investing in projects that further climate change instead of reversing it. And while Jamie Dimon remained in his penthouse office, the guards in the bank’s lobby began to sing along with the Stop Shopping Choir and later while being booked at the police station, the Stop Shopping Choir sang a musical rendition of the First Amendment which entertained both the police and the inmates inside the holding cells.


From Nixon to Trump, Impeachment and a Comparison of Their National Security Councils

Then we examine the comparisons between the Nixon and Trump impeachments, and following last week’s testimony by staffers on the Trump National Security Council, we compare the quality of Kissinger’s NSC to the one led by the latest Trump appointment following the removal of Mike Flynn, the resignation of General McMaster and the firing of John Bolton. Roger Morris, who served in the United States Foreign Service and on the Senior Staff of the National Security Council under both Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, until resigning with Anthony Lake over the invasion of Cambodia, joins us.


Can We Have Media That Informs, Not Sells and Manipulates?

Then finally look into the role our polarized but highly commercial media will be playing in the upcoming impeachment and election and speak with Victor Pickard, a Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania where he co-directs the Media, Inequality & Change Center. We discuss his new book, out next week, “Democracy Without Journalism?: Confronting the Misinformation Society” and the need for massive investments in public media so that Americans can be informed, not entertained, sold products and manipulated.