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.

 

"The Donald" and the American Media

2016-01-31

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

Is “The Donald” Really One-up on US Media? If So, Should We Not Champion Him?

Why are we so surprised by the audacity and rise of The Donald? We made him. America made him. Our free, uncensorable press made him. For as long as I can recall being a media critic, we’ve been decrying our out-of-control, profiteering American media empire. We have charged the media with commandeering our elections, with making or breaking political aspirants according to how they ‘appear’, with caring less about facts than image, with reducing essential policies to sound bites, with skewing discussions and analyses with their hand-picked, biased pundits.

Remember Nixon’s triumphant 1952 “Checkers Speech”  http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2008/01/17/the-dog-carries-the-day-for-nixon in the newly launched medium of television? And the homey images of J.F.K. that propelled him into the hearts of the nation? And those hard-nosed TV hosts like Ted Koppel whose reputation was built on bold confrontations with politicians?

Our corporate media rings up their cash registers along the way too, with TV ads absorbing the bulk of campaign budgets. We charge that elections are bought with unchecked contributions by rich donors who can saturate the media for their favorite candidates. News networks have us at both ends. Doing our civic duty largely from the sofa, we depend on network commercials for candidate’s promotional ads. And we seem to need televised interviews and analyses to help evaluate, to shame, or to promote the choices we make at the ballot. Not only has US media culture made a mash of competition for high office; it has established a pattern of pseudo news and dependence on TV election coverage that became a model across the world. Leadership is not only subject to media image; aspirants seek to gain control of media, as Italy’s former boss Silvio Berlusconi, himself a media tycoon, proved. Or like India’s Narendra Modi, they become expert media mavens. Recent scandals in the UK have pointed up the coziness of Tory leader Cameron and media mogul Rupert Murdock.

Across the world, in democracies and monarchies alike, effective leaders learn how to accommodate media demands, always in the hope to turning it to their advantage. Even our own Barack Obama is surely trying to play the media to his advantage by his frequent appearances on TV comedy shows. (To what success is another question.) One doubts he’s chatting with Jay Leno or Ellen DeGeneres merely to fill a free afternoon.

But back to the most shameless media man: The Donald. It seems to me, as I follow his stage appearances and interviews, that he is able to somehow make media serve him. So much so that, unlike other candidates, he seems to avoid spending his personal millions on paid ads. And he calls the shots.

Trump’s political incorrectness is galling, and frightening. I find him shameful, believing as I do, that some threads of democracy still hold us together. With the prospect that The Donald’s espoused principles could become US policy under his leadership, I may not want to live in this country.

Some political commentators now suggest that the US news media itself could be responsible to allowing Trump to gain the traction he has over these recent months. Oh, now they notice? Have they not fed his bombast and daring, his quips and his off-the-cuff behavior? His style may appear refreshing compared to formulaic presentations by other candidates--DNC and GOP. Now, they find that he’s uncontrollable?

They accorded The Donald super coverage to increase their own ratings; now  they can’t shut him down. More worrying, through our playful media The Donald has built what appears to be a serious audience and following.

Scrutiny and pressure by some TV hosts has exposed the weaknesses of candidates like Carson and Jeb Bush. Not The Donald however. In the case of Fox Network’s Megan Kelly who he refuses to face, he simply bypassed the debate altogether, and later mockingly shouts: “I’m on the front page of major papers without having been at the (January 28th) debate”. Then there’s the GOP who welcomed him to the party but can’t seem to ‘handle’ him. He defies their rules and procedures. Isn’t his something that we should welcome, given what we know about backroom deal-making? Isn’t he defying the decision of Citizens’ United as well?

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