May 2 - Commercialism Trumps Democracy; A Critique of Bernie Sanders From the Left; What's Behind Puerto Rico's Debt Crisis

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with commercialism trumping democracy reflected in the recent statement by the head of CBS, Les Moonves, who said the Trump campaign “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS”. Victor Pickard, a Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania joins us to discuss the symbiosis between the TV and cable monopolies and Donald Trump who serve each other’s interests as the press enables Trump with up to two billions dollars of free publicity covering his headline-grabbing antics which feeds their ratings and generates their profits with little to no regard for the public good which used to be an obligation the mainstream media had for the use of the public’s airwaves.

This is a picture of Victor Pickard at Annenberg School for Communication ASC UPenn

Part 2

Then we get an unusual critique from the left of Bernie Sanders and his campaign from Kevin Drum, a political blogger at Mother Jones where his latest article is “Here’s Why I never Warmed Up to Bernie Sanders”. He joins us to discuss his concern that in calling for a revolution that may not come about and not offering inspiration is service of attainable goals, the likely failure of the Sanders’ campaign will result in a net increase in cynicism about politics with Bernie’s young followers giving up in disgust.

Part 3

Then finally we examine Puerto Rico’s debt crisis with Charles Venator Santiago, Professor of Latino Politics, Public Law, and Political Theory with the Department of Political Science and the Institute of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at the University of Connecticut. He joins us to discuss Congressional inaction in the face of Sunday’s default on a $422 million debt payment and the deceptive campaign by so-called vulture funds, shadowy hedge funds that are blanketing the airwaves with ads featuring middle class Puerto Rican grandmas worried about losing their life savings when it’s all about the vulture funds squeezing every last dollar out of the island.