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Nation in the News

Nation in the News

TV and radio appearances by Nation writers and editors, big Nation announcements.

Ari Berman: How Can Obama Energize His Base?

Nation writer and Nation Institute Investigative Journalism Fellow Ari Berman recently joined Brave New Studios to talk about his first book, Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics, and the root cause of the GOP's big wins in the 2010 elections.

In this Brave New Chat, Berman traces the cause to the Obama administration failing to connect with the grass roots organizers that helped get him into office. Like the Tea Party, Berman argues, Democrats need to keep in mind how to actively keep their base involved in order to secure progressive change.

See more Chats like this one at Brave New Conversations.

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Lou Dobbs: Two Times A Hypocrite

Last month, The Nation published Isabel Macdonald's investigative report on Lou Dobb's use of undocumented workers on his estate and horse stables. Even though Dobbs made his career railing against "illegals" and the people who employ them, Macdonald found that he himself has relied on their labor for years.

A month after the initial media storm this news provoked, it turns out Dobbs is getting a show on Fox Business Network. But when it comes to business advice, Dobbs is just as hypocritical as he was giving his anti-immigrant rants: he publicly criticized corporations for outsourcing, while investing in many of them himself and praising them in his financial newsletter.

Isabel Macdonald outlines Dobbs's contradictory business positions in her Huffington Post article. You can read it here.

—Braden Goyette

Greg Mitchell and Howard Kurtz on Olbermann's 'Countdown': Can Journalists Make Political Donations?

Keith Olbermann, who returned to MSNBC on Tuesday after his two-show suspension for donating to Democratic candidates, invited The Nation's media blogger Greg Mitchell and The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz to debate whether networks such as MSNBC should ban journalists from making donations.

According to Kurtz, Olbermann "made a serious mistake," arguing that "there has to be some sort of line between journalists...[and] partisan players. I would put giving money to politicians on the wrong side of that line. If you cross this line, you're no longer one of us, you're one of them." 

Mitchell takes a step back to review the context of Olbermann's suspension, pointing out that the debate actually started several years ago "when straight news reporters...were encouraged by their editors to blog, to do online chats, to express their opinions. This line that Howard has talked about and written about has blurred a long time ago." 

Olbermann emphasizes that he made no attempts to cover up his donations, even though he could have "gone the corporate route" and avoided the controversy altogether.

—Joanna Chiu

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Deepak Bhargava and Gara LaMarche on Fighting Corporate Influence

On October 13, journalist Bill Moyers moderated a discussion between The Atlantic Philanthropies President Gara LaMarche and Deepak Bhargava, the Executive Director of the Campaign for Community Change, about the road ahead for progressives in the current political climate. At The Atlantic Philantrophies New York office, LaMarche and Bhargava expanded on the views that they expressed in their Nation article, "The Road Ahead for Progressives."

LaMarche and Bhargava argue for a connection between philanthropy and social justice advocacy that would help progressives overcome the influence of money, corporations and the mainstream media to achieve real change. Bhargava says that it is "scandalous that in the year 2010 there is hardly a dime spent on civil participation in this country."

LaMarche puts forward a more optimistic perspective: "We have a diverse country that looks very different and young people are increasingly having more progressive attitudes... Things are moving in the right direction. There are [people like] Carl Paladino out there who make no apologies for their bigotry, but I see that as a backlash that you get when you see a forward movement." Although LaMarche thinks that people like Paladino are threatened when people are coming forward to claim their places in society, LaMarche is "optimistic" about the longer term progressive movement.

You can watch the full discussion here.

—Joanna Chiu

Katrina vanden Heuvel on 'The Colbert Report': We Need a Party of Political Courage

After the Republicans gained sixty seats in the House last night, the media has been buzzing about what this means for the state of Obama's presidency and the Democratic party on the whole.

The Nation's editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel appeared on The Colbert Report this election night to lay out what Obama has really done wrong, and what progressives need to do about it—and she did it with style, leaving Stephen Colbert momentarily speechless. Watch the clip to get her rundown of what progressives are up against post-election, and how working people are going to get shafted for the next thirty years if the Democrats don't change tack. Once you've watched the clip, read Katrina's post-election message, "Stand & Fight."

—Braden Goyette

Election Roundtable: Breaking Down the Results on Democracy Now!

Last night, the elections saw two key Senate victories for the Tea Party and major losses for the Blue Dog Democrats. To explain the results, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman moderated a roundtable discussion with The Nation's John Nichols, Laura Flanders and Richard Kim, with journalist David Goodman joining in via telephone. 

"The Tea Party had some considerable wins last night, but also significant losses," says Kim. "The Tea Party is going to be very aggressive about pursuing their legislative agenda—which is to repeal everything. It's a big question about whether sane Republicans will step in and [tell the Tea Partiers] that you are responsible for some but not all of the Republican victories and that the country is not where [the Tea Party] is."

When Flanders brought up the unprecedented and largely uninvestigated millions of dollars that corporations invested in the midterm election, Nichols warned that the GOP will go into 2012 with "dramatically more money than they spent this year."

—Joanna Chiu

Katrina vanden Heuvel on Election Insurrection in Midterms 2010

In a Town Hall forum moderated by NBC's Dan Abrams and organized by The Common Good, The Nation's editor and publisher, Katrina vanden Heuvel joined a panel of journalists, writers and political strategists to dissect the Democrat's prospects for this year's midterm elections.

Vanden Heuvel disagreed with other members of the panel that Obama has lost his base. Instead, vanden Heuvel pointed to the ways that corporate money has corroded the political system and aided the attempts of the Tea Partiers to "roll back the social and economic progress that we've made in the twentieth century."

"There are a lot of people in the progressive community...who during the presidential election, thought that Obama walked on water. Politicians don't walk on water." According to vanden Heuvel, rather than blaming Obama, progressives "need to organize to move this country in a decent common sense direction."

To view the full panel discussion, visit the Common Good Network's Channel.

—Joanna Chiu

Katrina vanden Heuvel and Nick Gillespie on Bickering Inside the Beltway

Last night, Katrina vanden Heuvel squared off against Reason.com's Nick Gillespie on CNN's Parker Spitzer. When Spitzer asked about the possibility of compromise in Washington, vanden Heuvel said that even Tea Partiers "support [strengthening] Social Security benefits" and referred to a transpartisan alliance between libertarian Ron Paul and progressive Barney Frank to suggest that there is potential for compromise in Washington.

However, the conversation soon turned into a heated debate about Wall Street, big business, health care and government spending—aptly highlighting issues that those on the right and  left have trouble finding consensus on. Vanden Heuvel and Gillespie disagreed about whether there is uncertainty on Wall Street and in the big business community—with vanden Heuvel arguing that "they are sitting on $2 trillion in investments and they're not investing in rebuilding this country" and with Gillespie saying that companies are cautious about hiring because of uncertainty "about tax rates come January 1."

—Joanna Chiu

Katrina vanden Heuvel on Coalition Building in Washington

Should progressives be disappointed with the first two years of Obama's presidency? "It takes more than one election cycle to change the order of things," argued The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel today on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "I think progressives need to be as pragmatic, clear-eyed, tough about our President Obama as he is about us."

The problem, says host Joe Scarborough, is that the president can't govern as a progressive because he ran as a moderate: "It's so much easier to run as a conservative Republican for president, and if you look back, conservative candidates win. Moderate Republicans don't win. But if you're a Democrat, you have to run as a moderate." But for vanden Heuvel, the anger surrounding the banks bailout, Wall Street's fecklessness and threats to social security make the moment ripe for across-the-aisle political relationships: "In this country today, you could craft some true transpartisan coalitions and run...without any of the labels you just applied."

Sharron Angle vs. Joy Behar: It's On

Nevada's Sharron Angle has been running a racially charged anti-immigration campaign ad, and Joy Behar is fuming. Things got heated on The View this week, when Behar challenged Angle to try coming out to the South Bronx and talking smack about immigrants.

Nation correspondent Ari Melber and MSNBC's Chris Jansing sat down with Lawrence O'Donnell to take apart what this might mean for longtime-Nevada Senator Harry Reid's chances on November 2, and to discuss more broadly the ways Tea Party candidates have been interacting with—and avoiding—the press.

Watch the clip for more on campaign craziness, Democrat infighting and what Harry Reid needs to do to counter punch in the last days before the election.

Braden Goyette

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