Oct 21 2013
Having done his damage with the government shutdown over Obamacare, Texas’ Republican Senator Ted Cruz has wasted no time in turning his sights over to a new target: the nomination of Tom Wheeler as head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Cruz’s objection to Wheeler is based on his desire to protect the identities of political ad funders.
Cruz’s move is part of an on-going conservative push to remove all regulations on money in our elections. As if the Citizens United Supreme Court decision which allows unlimited corporate contributions wasn’t enough, the court is now hearing arguments in a new case called McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission.
Shaun McCutcheon, a wealthy Alabama mining industry CEO, has deemed that $123,000 in campaign contributions over two years is not enough – he wants rich folks to be able to give any amount of campaign donations directly to political candidates and parties.
Today we spend the hour discussing an issue that can be traced to nearly every political cause: the money and media election complex and its impact on American democracy. My guests are the leading voices in today’s media reform movement. John Nichols and Robert McChesney co-founded the organization Free Press, which has led the battle against media consolidation.
John Nichols is the Washington DC correspondent for the Nation Magazine, a contributing writer for the Progressive and In These Times, and associate editor of the Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin. He has written a number of books including Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, and The “S” Word: A Short History of an American Tradition…Socialism.
Bob McChesney is a Professor of Communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has authored or edited nearly two dozen books. He is the former host of the Media Matters” weekly radio program and was named by the UTNE Reader as one of “50 visionaries who are changing the world.” He was also named by conservative David Horowitz in his book, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America. His latest book is called Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is turning the Internet Against Democracy.
Aside from co-founding Free Press, Nichols and McChesney have a long history of collaboration and have written many books together including It’s the Media, Stupid!, Our Media, Not Theirs: The Democratic Struggle Against Corporate Media, Tragedy & Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections and Destroy Democracy, and The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again.
They’re now on book tour with their latest collaboration called Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Campaign is Destroying America.
JOHN NICHOLS AND BOB MCCHESNEY WILL BE SPEAKING AT THE FOLLOWING EVENTS IN LA:
Monday October 21—Noon-1:00PM. Annenberg Research Seminar, University of Southern California, Geoffrey Cowan Forum (ASC207) FREE
Monday October 21—4:30-6:00PM. Loyola Marymount University. Ahmanson Auditorium (UH 1000). FREE