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In this hour, philosopher Cornel West is one of the most visible public intellectuals in the U.S. Tavis Smiley is – after Oprah – the best known black media figure in the country. They co-host a weekly public radio talk show, in which they frequently take on the mainstream media and the political establishment. Both of which they blame for ignoring the disenfranchisement of the working poor. Steve Paulson talks with them about the state of American democracy.
Then, Vice President Joe Biden has called him a “high tech terrorist.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says his work “tears at the fabric of responsible governments.” His supporters include the hacker group Anonymous, which brought down the websites of Visa, Mastercard and PayPal in his name. We’re talking about Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks and one of the most controversial figures of our time. Whether you agree with him or not, Assange’s work grows out of a strong commitment to using information technology to foster democracy. Anne Strainchamps reached Assange in England, where he’s under house arrest. He spoke with her outdoors, from a cell phone, on a windy day.
Next, historian John D'Emilio is the author of Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin. D'Emilio tells Jim Fleming that Rustin was crucial to the civil rights movement but has been forgotten because he was gay.
And finally, Keli Carender is a Seattle area blogger considered by many to be the very first Tea Party activist. She tells Steve Paulson what the first protests were like. [Broadcast Date: November 9, 2011]