Podcast / Start Making Sense / Jan 10, 2024

Only Joe Biden Can Stop the War in Gaza—Plus Corporate Bullsh*t

Only Joe Biden Can Stop The War in Gaza—Plus “Corporate Bullsh*t”

On this episode of Start Making Sense, Amy Wilentz analyzes Israeli politics, left, right, and center; and Joan Walsh talks about the lies that defend profits.

The Nation Podcasts
The Nation Podcasts

Here's where to find podcasts from The Nation. Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the news, from a progressive perspective.

Only Joe Biden Can Stop the War in Gaza, plus ‘Corporate Bullsh*t’ | Start Making Sense with Jon Wiener
byThe Nation Magazine

Israel's war in Gaza has been going on now for three months, and the IDF said over the weekend they plan to keep the war going for another year. Amy Wilentz talks about Netanhayu’s use of the war to hold on to power.

Also: the lies that protect profit, power and wealth in America: they are documented, and dealt with, in a wonderful new book co-authored by Joan Walsh. It's called Corporate Bullsh*t.

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Biden with Israeli, US flags

President Joe Biden leaves a press conference following a visit to Tel Aviv, Israel, on October 18, 2023.

(Brendan Smialowski / Getty)

Israel’s war in Gaza has been going on now for three months, and the IDF said over the weekend that it plans to keep the war going for another year. On the podcast, Amy Wilentz talks about Netanhayu’s use of the war to hold on to power and avoid prison.

Also on this episode: The lies that protect profit, power and wealth in America are documented and dealt with in a wonderful new book coauthored by Joan Walsh. It’s called Corporate Bullsh*t.

The Nation Podcasts
The Nation Podcasts

Here's where to find podcasts from The Nation. Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the news, from a progressive perspective.

Abortion could make Florida a swing state in 2024; plus ‘Ukrainians in Exile’ | Start Making Sense
byThe Nation Magazine

An abortion rights amendment to Florida’s constitution has gotten enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Now it’s up to the state’s supreme court to decide whether people will get to vote on it, potentially transforming the electorate there in November. The Nation’s abortion access correspondent, Amy Littlefield, is on the podcast to report.

Also on this episode of Start Making Sense: This week is the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. To commemorate the anniversary, The Nation has released a new documentary short film, Ukrainians in Exile. We’ll speak with the filmmaker, Janek Ambros.

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Jon Wiener: From The Nation magazine, this is “Start Making Sense.”  I’m Jon Wiener.  Later in the hour: The lies that protect profit, power and wealth in America: they are documented, and dealt with, in a wonderful new book called Corporate B.S.  We’ll speak with one of the authors – Joan Walsh. 
But first: Israel’s war in Gaza: Amy Wilentz will comment – in a minute.
[BREAK]
Israel’s war in Gaza has been going on now for three months, and the military said over the weekend they plan to keep the war going for another year. For comment, we turn to Amy Wilentz. She was the Jerusalem correspondent for The New Yorker. Her journalism has also appeared in The Atlantic and The New York Times, and she’s a longtime contributing editor at The Nation. She wrote the novel Martyrs’ Crossing, set at a West Bank checkpoint in the 1990s, among other books. She’s also a 2020 Guggenheim fellow, and she teaches in the Literary Journalism program at UC Irvine. Amy, welcome back.

Amy Wilentz: Thank you, Jon.

Jon Wiener: Israel has now killed about 23,000 Palestinians in Gaza. More than two thirds of them we are told were women and children. That’s almost 20 Palestinians killed for every Israeli killed by Hamas on October 7th, 20 to 1. But there is some good news from Israel, and let’s start there. Netanyahu’s yearlong campaign to undermine the Israeli Supreme Court came to an end last week. Tell us about that.

AW: The Supreme Court was challenged, basically, by a law passed by the Knesset, which is overwhelmingly in the control of parties loyal to Netanyahu. This law proposed removing the court’s authority to overturn government decisions, effectively then giving complete power of government to the executive under Netanyahu. That would’ve been the result had this law remained, and the Supreme Court of Israel overturned that, thus keeping its own power. It was asked basically to vote on its own power or impotence, and it said, ‘No, we need to retain power as a court to defend the country’s constitution, such as it is, against the full reign of the executive.’

Jon Wiener: And the underlying issue here is that Netanyahu has been charged with corruption and is likely to be found guilty if this actually goes to trial. A little bit like our own President Trump in some of the arguments he’s been making to our own Supreme Court.

AW: Those two guys take policies from each other’s playbook all the time. Really, the Israeli population was up in arms against Netanyahu before the Hamas attack on October 7th. There were demonstrations in the streets every week scheduled, and they were massive demonstrations against the attempt to defang the Supreme Court. Even in spite of the fact that Israel is now in what many consider to be an existential war in many ways in Gaza, the court still ruled against the executive even in wartime because this was just a very obvious threat to Israeli democracy.

Jon Wiener: Such as it is.

AW: Such as it is. And one of the things that’s interesting to me is that in the old days, there was sort of a general consensus in Israel about what Israeli democracy was, and it was so understood that nobody ever thought to protect it, and no one ever imagined Knesset passing laws like this. But that consensus has been lost, as it has been lost in our own democracy.

Jon Wiener: And there’s some other good news about Israeli politics: On Saturday night, thousands of Israelis protested again in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and outside Netanyahu’s house in Caesarea, calling for early elections, calling for the return of the hostages, and calling for the end of Netanyahu as Prime Minister. One speaker at the Tel Aviv rally, who had been evacuated from her home next to the border with Gaza, said “the government didn’t just hand over suitcases of money to Hamas; it sold us along the way. The residents of the Gaza border communities, it gave up on us, and their lie blew up in our faces on October 7th.” A lot of these demonstrations have been led by the families of hostages around the slogan, “Bring Them Home,” which of course requires a ceasefire. This turns out to be the one voice calling for at least a pause, and in some cases an end to the war in Gaza.

AW: Well, one of the things about Israel has been in the past that any hostage taken was considered of almost familial value to the government of Israel. There’s the famous case of Gilad Shalit who was in captivity for an endless amount of time.

Jon Wiener: Four years.

AW: And then a thousand prisoners, Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, were released in exchange for this one soldier. And now Israel has allowed these hostages to be under bombardment in Gaza, Israeli bombarding in Gaza for 90 days.  Plus doing nothing, it’s astonishing to these families that nothing is happening to save their people, and in fact that their own people are under friendly fire. Netanyahu is untenable on so many fronts right now. This is one, the other is the fact that his government was incapable or did not bother to defend the, what is known as, the ‘Gaza envelope,’ which I love the expression. It speaks of Israeli lack of understanding of what’s going on in Gaza. The army was away from the Gaza envelope when October 7th happened. So that’s another strike against Netanyahu, who has never taken any responsibility, any shred of responsibility for what happened.

Jon Wiener: Recent opinion polls of Israeli voters show that a plurality do hold him responsible for the catastrophe of October 7th. 76%, in the most recent opinion poll I could find, want him to resign either after the war or during the war. Nearly 30% said they want him to go right now. Another poll found that nearly 6 in 10 voters from his own Likud party want him to resign.
And the biggest worry on the part of the anti-war forces inside and outside Israel is that Bibi will prolong the war in Gaza because it’s keeping him in power and it’s keeping him out of jail, and many are worrying, including, we’re told, in the Biden White House, that Netanyahu may even provoke a war with Hezbollah for the same reasons. Israel has been threatening a preemptive attack on Hezbollah in Lebanon; there’s been more fighting on the Northern border for the last week. Israel announced on January 1st the temporary withdrawal of several thousand troops from Gaza. People are worrying that perhaps that could be for some kind of military operation in the North.

AW: And further, Israel just targeted a Hamas leader inside Beirut, near Hezbollah headquarters. And today I read they also targeted and killed a leader of Hezbollah, not Nasrallah, but someone else who was in Beirut. Again, I mean, if they keep striking inside Beirut, eventually Hezbollah, which I believe talks to the United States and doesn’t want to go forward with a full-scale war against Israel, is going to have to act.
We’ve talked a lot, Jon, about the situation of Netanyahu, his personalizing of Israeli politics. He was so freaked out by the continual protesting over his attempt to subvert Israeli democracy that many people who I talked to on October 7th, before we understood the full scale of a Hamas attack, much less the Israeli response, we said, well, this is like a gift to Netanyahu.

Now he has an enemy who he can point at and say, ‘oh, look at Hamas. You need me– ‘ But his response, I think, has been so violent because of the fact that he is perceived as weak and corrupt and incapable. And so he’s had to respond with sort of a hyper-masculine brutality in Gaza to prove to Israel that he can be a tough guy. And I totally agree that he would perfectly well continue the killings in Gaza in order to fiddle with his corruption trials.

Jon Wiener: Well, eventually the war in Gaza will end, and my friends say that what happens next after that is pretty obvious. The opposition will form the next government, and that will be headed by Benny Gantz. There was a Maariv poll last month that found 27% of Israeli voters wanted Netanyahu to lead the next government, 49% said they would vote for Benny Gantz and his party. This is a guy who formerly served as head of Israel’s army and defense minister. He’s a general, he was a general, he joined Netanyahu’s Unity government after October 7th. He’s kind of a centrist who’s in the past opposed Netanyahu and the far right, but he’s never really endorsed a two-state solution. He’s never really opposed a Palestinian state. And right now, Benny Gantz is a senior partner in all the decisions about the war in Gaza. Some of his critics say he saved Netanyahu by joining the war cabinet, but he seems to be what’s going to happen next.

AW: I think he is a savvy politician, and he walked right into the midst of the fight. He walked toward the center line because he would like to be the next Prime Minister, and you can’t predict what’s going to happen in a war. So the best thing for him, he felt, and not everybody joined him in the war cabinet, not everyone in the opposition who he asked joined him, but he felt that having that position would put him in the best light to become the next Prime Minister as both part of this attack on Gaza, which many more Israelis than we would’ve expected have supported as much as they can, so to be part of defending Israel, which is the way they see it.

Jon Wiener: If Netanyahu and the IDF plan to continue the war in Gaza for another year, who can stop them?

AW: It’s Joe Biden, actually, and the United States. But really Joe Biden, because he would have to lead decisions about foreign aid and military aid to Israel. So far he’s been very open to Israel’s requests. Although you read all the time in the media about how behind the scenes, the Americans are going crazy–like, ‘don’t keep doing this. You have to stop doing this.’
This is not playing well for Israel. Really, it’s one of the situations where if you win the war, you’re going to lose the real war. It’s just not a good, as the young people would say today, it’s not a good look for Israel right now to continue with this when they’ve pushed almost all of Gaza’s Northern population to the South and then continued bombing. It’s just not, you just don’t do that anymore.

Jon Wiener: There’s a new Gallup poll showing that Netanyahu is viewed positively in the United States by 14% of Democrats, and 30% of Independents. So Biden certainly has popular support for limiting or cutting back on military support for the war on Gaza. 55% of Republicans view Netanyahu positively, which does say something about our country.

AW: Yeah, Biden has wiggle room on this. He could move ahead, but I think Biden is a traditionalist. He has been a friend of Israel forever, and the US has been a friend of Israel forever, and I think he feels reluctance to sever that relationship or harm it in some way. But I think that he is going to have to do it if Netanyahu won’t stop.

Jon Wiener: Biden was in Charleston over this past weekend, and an appearance of his was disrupted by pro-Palestinian demonstrators. He told them, “I’ve been quietly working with the Israeli government to get them to reduce significantly, to get them out of Gaza. I’m using all I can to do that,” Biden said. So he says many of the right things. He actually said the words, “get them out of Gaza.” I haven’t seen him say that before, but certainly his administration has indeed been working quietly behind the scenes. I consider this a big step that he said publicly. “I’m working to get them out of Gaza.”

AW: Yeah, it is a big step–except that they are getting out of Gaza to a degree. The Israelis themselves have said, “we’re reducing troop presence.” We don’t know what that really means because Israel has firepower that doesn’t require a troop presence on the ground. Israel has drones. Israel has a lot of beautiful aluminum and steel toys that they can deploy, given to them by the United States, bought for them by the United States. So “I’ve been working to get them out”—There are interpretations, one can make of those words. Of course, it is Joe Biden, so I think he thinks he’s been working to stop them. So I would rather wait for the State of the Union speech and hear what he says there in formal terms when he’s had to consult with his people right before the speech happened.

Jon Wiener: Bernie Sanders this week called for no more US funding for Netanyahu’s war in Gaza. He opposes $10 billion in unconditional military aid, but I think he’s the only one in the Senate to do that.

AW: Yeah, it’s not an easy thing for these people to do. There is, first of all, I don’t know where the American Jewish population stands on this. I don’t know. I mean, I’m sure AIPAC is all for continuing .

Jon Wiener: It’s a very good point. We know that AIPAC challenges liberal Jews in primaries who failed to support Israel “100%”.

AW: Right, so let’s wait until after the primary season and then see what happens with the political face of an American Jewish population.

Jon Wiener: The most recent poll I could find was from the beginning of November. Jewish registered voters approved of Biden’s conduct of the war in Israel, 66% to 34%, 2 to 1.
Amy, any last thoughts?

AW: I think it’s not clear that when this war ends, this will be a post-Netanyahu Israel, first of all.  And it may not end until Netanyahu can be sure that it won’t be a post-Netanyahu Israel. And that may play into the fact that it’s only really Joe Biden with his money and arms who can end the war effectively.

Jon Wiener: One last thing: your novel Martyrs’ Crossing. It was published in 2001, but as I recall, it’s very much about a lot of what’s been going on in the last three months.

AW: It’s about the innocent babies on both sides. It’s about how Israelis perceive even young children in Gaza as basically future terrorists and thus not innocent. And it’s about a small child who becomes sort of a hostage to the situation in life and in death across the Israeli-Palestinian border.

Jon Wiener: Amy Wilentz– you can read her novel Martyrs’ Crossing, and you can read her also at thenation.com. Amy, thanks for talking with us today.

AW: Thank you, Jon.
[BREAK]

Jon Wiener: Now it’s time to talk about the lies that protect profit, power and wealth in America. They are documented and dealt with in a wonderful new book co-authored by Joan Walsh. It’s called Corporate B.S. Joan, of course, is national affairs correspondent for The Nation and author of the book, What’s the Matter with White People. She’s also co-producer of the Emmy nominated documentary, The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show. We talked about it here. We reached her today at home in Manhattan. Joan, welcome back.

Joan Walsh: Thanks for having me, Jon.

Jon Wiener: I guess we should start by explaining that the title on the cover of your new book is not exactly Corporate B.S. What is the actual title? Maybe you should spell it.

Joan Walsh: Well, yeah. First of all, we wanted to give people choices so you can curse if you want to, but officially, the title puts a little asterisk in the word bull, you know what, for the I.

Jon Wiener: B-U-L-L-S-H asterisk T.

Joan Walsh: We were trying to have it both ways, I think. And I’m not sure we succeeded on that. But you really sometimes have to call BS, BS. And we just were so – this is an unpleasant image, but neck deep in it by the time we’ve finished our research and writing. I think it was the only title that would really sum up the book.

Jon Wiener: I want to start with some of my favorite examples of Corporate BS that you feature in this book. There was a New York Times headline in 1994: “Tobacco Chiefs Say Cigarettes Aren’t Addictive.” Then there was Ronald Reagan in 1980: “The Minimum Wage Has Caused More Misery and Unemployment than Anything Since the Great Depression.” And then you have Donald Trump in 2013: “I’m in Los Angeles and it’s freezing. Global warming is a total hoax.” And then I found one more, this was when the Clean Air Act was proposed in 1970. Lee Iacocca was the president of Ford Motor Company said, “This bill could prevent continued production of automobiles. It is a threat to the entire American economy and to every person in America.”

Joan Walsh: That’s a good one. That’s a really good one.

Jon Wiener: I wonder, what are some of your favorite examples?

Joan Walsh: Well, I love the various defenses of slavery. I mean, our former vice president, John C. Calhoun, ultimate proponent of secession in the Civil War talks about how ‘the Negro peoples of Central Africa have reached their highest moral and physical levels thanks to the discipline of slavery. It’s just gone so well for them.’ I love all the ways that people defend child labor:  ‘Child labor keeps kids out of trouble and is good for them building muscles, and the kids who work in the mines could beat the hell out of the kids who go to school.’ There’s just so much denial and so much creative denial. I got to hand it to them.

Jon Wiener: Well, this book is not just an encyclopedia of Corporate BS. You found that the lies fell into six categories. First was, ‘it’s not a problem.’ What’s a good example of this lie?

Joan Walsh: There are so many, but one of my favorites is the governor of West Virginia saying that ‘coal mining accidents are just part of the natural mining process. Not really a problem.’ I mean, it starts with denial, but also they often put a little spin on the denial that ‘it’s not a problem. It’s actually a good thing.’

Jon Wiener: And category two is ‘the free market can fix it.’

Joan Walsh: Yes. That comes up over and over to this day. People attacked the Biden COVID plans as anti-free market, but one of my favorites is the Chamber of Commerce fighting the Occupational Safety and Health Act by saying, ‘We don’t need this because safety is good business.’ There you go.

Jon Wiener: ‘We don’t want to hurt our workers, we want our workers to be healthy.’

Joan Walsh: ‘That doesn’t help us.’

Jon Wiener: Category three is really the most evil of all, ‘it’s not our fault, it’s your fault.’

Joan Walsh: That is really my favorite slash the opposite of favorite. I don’t know what the word is. It’s so evil. I was talking to someone, a European person who thought it’s really American. We internalize responsibility for our misfortunes, and so you’ve got, again, mining. So much stuff came from coal mining – comes from coal mining to this day – but it’s like ‘we can’t do anything about the man who refuses to wear his work boots and his helmet’ or in the textile industries. Chemical poisoning. ‘It’s not a problem except for the guy who drinks too much. Sadly, they’re the ones who are really affected.’

Jon Wiener: Yeah. This is also a big one of Purdue Pharma defending OxyContin causing addiction. ‘Addiction is caused by abusers, not by people who we have told will be cured by taking our product.’

Joan Walsh: Right. It’s ‘the problem is the addict not the medication.’ They had a whole strategy, memos saying, “Put the emphasis on the addict. The addict is the bad guy. We’re the good guys.”

Jon Wiener: Category four of corporate lies is ‘it’s a job killer.’

Joan Walsh: Oh, that applies to everything. Obviously, going back to slavery, that-

Jon Wiener: ‘Abolishing slavery would be a job killer.’

Joan Walsh: Yes, exactly. Starting with the New Deal, every single reform proposed was, ‘Oh, that’s all well and good, but you are going to kill jobs.’ Before the New Deal, that Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 where 150 something mostly immigrant young women lost their lives. ‘Well, fire safety codes are going to just put Manhattan out of business.’ This is something where my good friend and collaborator, Nick Hanauer, who people may know as a wonderful capitalist, a terrific billionaire who was always trying to raise his own taxes, he got involved and really helped spearhead the fight for $15 minimum wage in Seattle and had just case studies.
I mean, in a way it was really intricate, but even in Seattle, liberal Seattle, minimum wage hikes like that, ‘there will be no restaurant industry left in Seattle.’ And it’s like, I’ve seen Seattle recently and they have really good restaurants. It survived.

Jon Wiener: Yeah, ‘it’s a job killer.’ This is the reply to the argument for a higher minimum wage ever since the first minimum wage was introduced in America. It’s just the perennial and after that, one of the other big arguments you found made over and over is ‘you’ll only make things worse.’

Joan Walsh: Yes. And that’s another really evil one, and in my lifetime, my favorite, again, whatever the opposite of favorite is, is Ronald Reagan saying the federal government fought a war on poverty and poverty won. That wasn’t true, but also, a lot of these arguments set up a permission structure for people who don’t want to seem racist. They want to think that they’re Christians or whatever their religion, Jews, Muslims, their religion tells them to help the poor.
But what if welfare programs don’t help the poor? What if they hurt the poor? And that’s what Reagan did with that. You can see it everywhere that these well-intended programs hurt the people they’re meant for. So let’s just knock it off.

Jon Wiener: I was a little surprised to see how often the argument about opposing the minimum wage was phrased as defending Black people. It’s Black people who are going to lose their jobs if you impose a minimum wage. It’s going to hurt Black Americans. And of course, we want to help African-Americans.

Joan Walsh: Right. And Black teenagers especially, but it’s also so obviously racist. It’s like Black people don’t deserve a minimum wage. Black people don’t support families. Black teenagers are probably helping support their families. I mean, again, it kind of goes back to slavery. Let’s keep those people that we want to help in this other category where they belong, where we’re helping them by basically mistreating them, by not helping them.

Jon Wiener: So the arguments were: “it’s not a problem”; or “the free market can fix it”; or “it’s a job killer”; or “it’ll only make things worse.” And if all else fails, what do corporations argue then?

Joan Walsh: ‘It’s socialism.’ Obviously. This goes back to, again, the New Deal was just such a scary period in the ’30s after the depression. And we did have an actual Soviet Union. So socialism was not just something in individual cities or parts of a country, but a real thing. And that just became the complete catchall. And you’ve got Ronald Reagan going down in history saying, ‘Medicare was socialism, and if it passed, we would spend our twilight years telling our children and grandchildren about when people were really free.’
He shows up everywhere. It’s almost like he’s a time traveler. He’s just been in every debate. So every Democratic president going back to FDR has been called a socialist. And Ron Jonson, Senator Ron Jonson of Wisconsin, perhaps our dumbest senator, but there’s also Tommy Tuberville. He just goes off on Joe Biden, ‘I can’t get inside the mind of this liberal Marxist socialist Joe Biden.’ And Biden has his issues, but when he’s on, he’s on and he gets confronted with this and he says, ‘I bought a primary. I won a primary, and I beat the socialist. Do I look like…’ And we know who that is, beloved Bernie Sanders. ‘Do I look like a socialist to you?’
And I will say about that one, I still think it was definitely worth including because it has set back so much progress in this country, but it’s fading. It’s fading as a thing. We have real life socialists like Senator Sanders, like AOC, many more doing good things. And also some people are offended by this. I’m not turning out to be incrementalist because that’s the way we get stuff done in this country. So they’re not scary. Free college and Medicare for All; Green New Deal. All those things sound really good, especially to a younger generation. So it’s less effective than it was, which is why Joe Biden could laugh at it.

Jon Wiener: Of course, it’s not surprising that corporations would work hard to protect their profits, but was there anything that surprised you that you found in putting this book together?

Joan Walsh: A couple of things jumped out at me. The rise of a union busting industry in the ’70s and ’80s really built on all of these arguments in an interesting way. I think that that has had such horrible consequences for all working people. Everybody but the richest.  Living standards were really depressed by the weakening of union power. I don’t think I’d ever put that together. I think I was surprised by – and we have a whole case study on this. The fact that the fossil fuel industry, ExxonMobil, all of them, they really did understand that climate change was a thing, global warming, whatever we were calling it back then.
And they flirted with, ‘maybe we have to deal with this. Maybe there are some things we should do.’ And then they went to full denialism. ‘We don’t know.’ ‘The evidence isn’t in.’ Don’t believe the non-science. I despise the Sacklers and what they did with Purdue Pharma, but obviously the fossil fuel industry, knowing what they were doing, being kind of close to admitting it and working for a solution. And then just 180, ‘Nope, this isn’t true. We have no proof.’ ‘We’re fighting this tooth and nail.’ That was really depressing. And I feel like since we finished the book, a lot more stuff, really great reporting has come out to make that case or to prove that case. But we got to a lot of it in the book, and I was proud of that.

Jon Wiener: I wonder if you found any changes in the lies told by corporations over the decades or over the centuries since 1923, or are the lies pretty much the same sort of thing now that they were 50 or a hundred years ago?

Joan Walsh: There’s one big change that I really think is important, and that is I think there’s much more of a consensus or widely held belief, understanding that the free market will not fix climate change. That is something we’ve got to come together around. We’re not doing enough, fast enough. But I feel like that has become much more of a mainstream understanding that has forced the other side to really play defense. And that’s a good thing.

Jon Wiener: Lots of hard work by our friends has gone into refuting corporate lies, lies about the minimum wage, workplace safety, environmental regulations, consumer protection. Lots of excellent scientific work, lots of economic research, challenging the arguments put together by the right-wing, think tanks and media and political figures. In this book, you have the necessary facts to refute the lies, but you deploy a different tactic, ridicule. I think that’s a necessary weapon, and it’s also a lot of fun.

Joan Walsh: I really love the fact that the book is very well-designed. We have cartoons. We have pull quotes. I’m not saying we dumbed it down because we didn’t. But we really intended to be a handbook, something you can dip into. You don’t have to necessarily sit and read it in one sitting, but you should keep it on your coffee table or on your desk because you’re going to need a quote from this. And it might just jump out at you because we’ve got reproduced headlines. It’s really written to make it easy to use, but also to make it funny to just – let’s just tell everybody these corporate hacks are just recycling. They’re making millions of dollars, recycling the same arguments, and it’s really stupid and let’s try to stop them.

Jon Wiener: Joan, any last thoughts?

Joan Walsh: I just have to give so much credit to one of my co-authors, Donald Cohen. Don has been an advocate and a writer activist for many years, and he started something along with Nation writer Peter Dreier, I should add, called The Cry Wolf Project. In his lobbying for good causes, not a lobbyist like that, he was finding these arguments over and over and he created a compendium of, I am not kidding, thousands of lies. I mean, we just had such a wealth of lies to go through thanks to Don. And so we could not have done it without him. In many ways, it really is his project.

Jon Wiener: Joan Walsh, she’s co-author of the wonderful new book, Corporate BS: Exposing the Lies and Half-Truths That Protect Profit, Power, and Wealth in America. The keyword here is spelled B-U-L-L-S-H asterisk T. Joan, thanks for this book, and thanks for talking with us today.

Joan Walsh: Thanks for having me.

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Jon Wiener

Jon Wiener is a contributing editor of The Nation and co-author (with Mike Davis) of Set the Night on Fire: L.A. in the Sixties.

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