Background Briefing: December 2, 2021


A Narco-Dictatorship is About to be Transformed Into a Social Democracy

We begin with the good news emerging from Central America where a narco-dictatorship is about to be transformed into a social democracy now that the candidate of the criminal party allied with drug dealers and death squads has conceded in the face of an overwhelming defeat. Joining us from Honduras is Jared Olson, a writer and independent journalist based in Honduras covering violence, migration, and social struggle in Central America. His writing has appeared in The Nation, the New Humanitarian, El Faro English, Vice World News, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among others and he has an article at The Los Angeles Times, “Honduras at crossroads in election to end corrupt rule of Juan Orlando Hernandez,” and another at The New Republic, “What Happens After a U.S.-Enabled Narco-Dictatorship Ends? We discuss the jubilation in the country and the hope that ordinary citizens will not have to fear for their lives from the gangs and the military which will mean there will be a reduction in immigration to the U.S. which has been driven by desperation. We also examine the environmental cost of the palm oil and mining industries who have had up until now a free reign to despoil and pollute.


How Public Funding Could Save American Journalism Where it Began, at the Local Level

Then we speak with Robert McChesney, a professor emeritus of communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, host of the weekly talk show Media Matters and cofounder of the media reform organization Free Press. He is the author of a number of books including Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century: Media, Politics, and the Struggle for Post-Capitalist Democracy, and co-author, with John Nichols, Dollarocracy: How the Money-and-Media-Election Complex is Destroying America. His latest book is Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times and he has an article in the Columbia Journalism Review, “Only Public Funding Can Save Local Journalism—and Thus Democracy”. We discuss his plan to revive journalism in this country where it began, at the local level, and how massive public investment could revive and reestablish a consensus about what is true and what is real so that Americans will not continue to be divided, deluded and ignorant about what is happening in their community and their country.