December 27 - Trump's New Rules for the Press; The Continuing Fallout From the U.S. Abstention at the U.N.; How the U.S. Empowered Iran

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Part 1

We begin with the successful blurring of the line between news and fake news and propaganda that Steven Bannon and the Trump campaign have employed so far and look into how they will manage the press once they are in the White House. Playing by their own rules so far they’ve got the press to give them $5 billion’s worth of free media without him suffering any real scrutiny from them, certainly when it comes to tax returns, and in return Trump has given limited access to Fox News only and no press conferences, all the while threatening the press, insulting them and inciting his followers to attack them as he threatens to change the libel laws to sue them into submission.  An award-winning investigative correspondent for CNN, ABC and NBC, Mark Feldstein, a Professor and the Chair of Broadcast Journalism at the University of Maryland, joins us to discuss whether, as Trump continues to play by his own rules, the press will be able to have access to him, let alone be able to hold him accountable.

Part 2

Then we assess the fallout from the recent diplomatic upset Israel suffered at the U.N. Security Council where the U.S., which has routinely shielded the Jewish state from international condemnation by using its veto, for once abstained in a 14 to zero vote. Shibley Telhami, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution who was recently a Senior Advisor to the State Department on Palestinian – Israeli negotiations, joins us to discuss further tensions expected from an upcoming speech by Secretary of State Kerry while the White House continues to incur the wrath of Prime Minister Netanyahu whose Ambassador to the U.S. is claiming that Obama orchestrated the whole thing, a charge that he will only provide evidence for once Trump is inaugurated.

Part 3

Then finally, we speak with Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma who writes the daily newsletter and blog on Syrian politics, “Syria Comment”. We discuss the so-called Shia crescent as a reality and how much the ground has shifted in the Middle East with the expected victory of the Assad regime in Syria that will mean Iran, through its proxies, will project its power across Iraq and Syria and into Lebanon and right onto Israel’s doorstep.

 

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