Forthcoming

Senator Elizabeth Warren "We're a country that is built on our differences; that is our strength, not our weakness"

 

Nov 5, 2018 A report on two pstate NY races:--CD 19, and NY State Senate 42. From Egypt and Tunisia new films by and about women-- "Youm el-Setat" and "El-Jaida"

Sept 24 Do war memoirs really advance education? Attacks on BDS and Americans' freedom of speech continues.

Sept 17-- Sport stars and politcal dissent stemming from Kaepernick's actions. NY State's Sept 13 Primaries

Sept 10  Assessing Muslim Americans' ongoing fight for Muslim rights, and in the context of today's election cycle.

Aug 27, Where are Muslim Americans in the US administration's immigrant purge?

Aug 20 Celebrating achievements-- Sam Anderson and Rosemari Mealy. And still more published memoirs fro Middle East peoples

August 1- The inexorable struggle for Palestinian rights

July 2, WBAI Radio  Exploring EXILE in American literature:--  "Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits", and "In The Light of What We Know".

June 25 EXILE in literature: a review of the novels "Cutting For Stone" and "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers".

June 18, The vicissitudes of Nepal's fledgling democracy. And a review of White House Ramadan "iftar" ceremonies.

June 11 The rentier economy of Jordan and current public protests. How the UK and US use Jordan. And celebrities' role in news.,

June 4 "Naila and The Uprising" a film memory of Palestinian resistance. And: why is Tariq Ramadan imprisoned?

April 30 How could detante in Korea affect other conflicts? And a look at our own role in plastic pollution.

April 23  The US mission creep into Syria, and more reviews of children's books about refugees. 

April 16  Why are Islamist rebels are being escorted out of the so called liberated areas, and where are they going? and a review of new Arab American memoirs 

April 9; Saudi Arabia's long and deep times with the US film industry. And we review the plethora of Arab women's memoirs

April 2 documenting war trauma. Do some war traumatized matter more than others? 

March 26 Iraq's neglected agricultural industry, and the persecution of Swiss-Arab Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan

March 19, Iraq today. And the legal challenges facing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against apartheid Israel.

March 12,Commentary on the fall of Myanmar's Ang Sang SuKyi; and recent observations for Iraq.

Jan 8, 7:45 am Film review of "Land of the Pomegranates", and an introduction to the American organization "Muslimish"

Nov 27, Russia and Syria: commentary on this longstanding relationship in the current international scene

Nov 20. A look at the new crisis created around Lebanon PM Hariri's resignation. Comments on a culture that's infused and spilling over with sexual predators.

Nov 13 Update on Kirkuk, Iraq. Veterans Day USA: Is celebration of war heros increasing?.

Nov 6, WBAI  News of Kirkuk, N. Iraq after the failed Kurdish referendum; Accusations towards male religious figures in ongoing sexual abuse exposes.

Sept 25: Syria update: the changing status quo and resulting change in US media coverage.. The Kurdish referendum

Sept 18: Myanmar's Ang San Su Kyi's eary history; beware of simplistic sectarian analyses

Sept 11: women as pawns in justifying American "wars to protect"

August 28, 7:45 am WBAI. Linda Sarsour, Arab American and US Muslim community leader: in her defence. Margo Shetterley author of "Hidden Figures"

Aug 21, WBAI Palestinian-American Rasmea Odeh, stripped of citizenship and deported this week.

Aug 14: BN Review of the anti-Israel boycott action in the US Congress. WBAI, 90.5 fm

July 10:  Nepal just completed its first election in 20 years for nationwide local admin posts.

July 3, WBAI Radio. "All politics is local":-- the hard work of using local news resources.

June 26: WBAI Radio We ask why is there no anti-war movement in the US? And: “Martyrdom”—an archaic phrase but a concept we need to think about today.

June 19  On the 50th anniversary of the 1967 war, and Israel's seemingly unstoppable political, diplomatic and territorial march, it’s remarkable that the Palestinian voice is heard at all.

June 12  The dilemma of 'moderate Amercian Muslims; following ReclaimNY , a child of Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer.

May 1, Workers Day, WBAI 99.5 fm. BN Aziz highlights the rise of the 'gig economy'

April 24, 7:45 WBAI 99.5 fm. A check on our progress as American Muslims; and, Lynne Stewart: the Peoples' Lawyer. 

See Ramzy Baroud's assessment on how our Muslim community misuses celebrity Muslims as surrogates for their own stuggle.

 

Monday April 17 WBAI Radio, NYC. Why is there essential no anti-war movement in the USA?

April 10;  A critical look at media coverage of the US assault on Syria; and an update on ReclaimNY.

B. Nimri Aziz weekly radio commentary on events around the globe and in the USA. Listen in at 99.5 fm, or online www.wbai.org where we are livestreamed.

"We are more alike than we are different"

  Maya Angelou

March 8, Women's Day Radio Specials  10-11 am on WJFF Radio, 90.5 fm, and 11:am on WBAI, 99.5 New York: B. Nimri Aziz interviews director Amber Fares about her new film "Speed Sisters" and exerpts from 2009-2010 interviews with professional women in Syria, Nadia Khost and Nidaa Al-Islam.

 

 

As a Black writer, I was expected to accept the role of victim. That made it difficult in the beginning to be a writer.      James Baldwin

I often feel that there must have been something that I should’ve done that I didn’t do. But I can’t identify what it is that I didn’t do. That’s the first difficulty. And the second is, what makes you think you’re it?   

         Harry Belafonte, activist and singer at 89

 

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; It's what you know for sure that just ainst so.

Mark Twain

 

You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.

Mary Tyler Moore

 

 You can’t defend Christianity by being against refugees and other religions

Pope Francis:

 

"I don't have to be what you want me to be". Muhammad Ali

"The Secret of Living Well and Longer: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure"  attributed to Tibetan sources

Recent audio posts include interviews with Rumi interpreter Shahram Shiva, London-based author Aamer Hussein, South African Muslim scholar, professor Farid Esack, and Iraqi journalist Nermeen Al-Mufti's brief account of Kirkuk City history. Your comments on our blogs are always welcome.

 

Pity the Democracy

2015-11-08

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

In the Interest of Media.     

Sit back and enjoy the ride. US media runs our proud American democracy. It’s in their interests to keep Trump in the forefront, then shift to Carson, maybe move to Fiorina—just for a day-- with interludes into the cozy nest of Democratic contenders.  

We are being toyed with by our news outlets—print, radio and TV, national and local. With every day the American presidential campaign moves on (if not forward), I become more dismayed. Take one major contestant for the White House, The Donald—I love media’s moniker for this political celebrity. Trump is a blustering, inarticulate, egoistic, maybe smart fellow who makes outrageous claims and calls people nasty names. Somehow, he has popular appeal. Thus he’s newsworthy.

Whether it’s Trump’s declaration that he’s not beholden to donors or his false statements on world history, he ought to be seriously challenged. He’s not; neither by his opponents nor by journalists. The men and women questioning Trump—everyone’s getting in on the act, like how, before the invasion of Iraq, every international correspondent dreamed of bagging an interview with Saddam Hussein-- do not really confront his outrages. They discuss Trump’s rudeness; they gossip about him with their political commentators; they fact-check Trump’s statements; they compare his poll numbers; they play clips from his rallies. The result:—more airtime for The Donald.  And we read reports like “The most stupid things said on the campaign trail”. That’s helpful?

Journalists can only push so far, they claim. “We can’t be advocates and we should not appear partisan”, we argue. Really?

Which candidate shines on any particular day varies as we move through the week, theoretically in response to shifting popularity polls. If we don’t learn much from a candidate’s declarations, we still follow them, eager to quote their latest outrage to friends. We eat it up. As Mr. Trump declared at the opening of one speech: “We’re killing them; we’re killing them.”

Audiences of 24 million and 15 million tuning into televised debates don’t reflect how popular Trump and his co-debaters are; those numbers demonstrate the cunning of our media producers. A lot of money is rolling into media coffers from companies blasting their commercials at us 24 million enchanted viewers. Later, ad revenue will be augmented by paid-for promotions from candidates’ coffers. All those $25. donations and the million dollars checks to your favorite candidate will end up in the accounts of media outlets too.

Today, Trump’s lead seems to be waning. Although it’s only by a fraction less than the margin of error, media are quick to exploit this and they shift to the soft-spoken surgeon. Carson’s statements on Muslim citizens and on gun violence seem to have done his popularity no harm; in fact they may have earned him more support. This week is Ben Carson’s week. So we’re treated to vignettes from his youth, his family, his medical career.

I watch. Am I waiting for Carson to make some blunder that drops him back to second place, or will Rubio shout some wisdom that will bump the good doctor off his perch? Both Trump and Carson have written books, I see. So if there’s no new news, we can watch book reviews. And maybe if something in these memoirs is questionable— as just happened -- guess what? More coverage.

Surely the entertainment power of these campaigns is confirmed by their imaginative reach into hit TV comedy shows—Kimmel, the View, SNL, The Late Show with Colbert. We need some lightness; we need to get away from awful subjects like military budgets, crony-capitalism, police violence, or the future of social security. Laughing candidates remind us we real human beings are running for the nation’s highest office. Look, they can take a poke.

You’re thinking of emigrating to the more civic-minded Europe, you say?  According to Serge Halimi’s survey of recent elections across the Atlantic, big media is in control there too. I admit I’m hooked on the US show. I’ll worry about democracy later. 

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