A Glimmer of Light in Television Wasteland


It’s time to knock the cobwebs off the television and fish the remote from the trashcan. Believe it or not, there’s finally something worth watching on TV. GRIT TV with Laura Flanders is a fast-paced political talk show that leaves its mainstream competitors in the rear-view mirror. This is the real deal and Flanders is hands-down the best interviewer in the business. She’s bright, cheerful, well-informed and engaging. She also keeps the topic moving briskly from panelist to panelist, an art in itself. She even has a good handle on what’s going on in the financial markets which is typically a weak-spot for liberals.

This isn’t a half-hour free-for-all like the McLaughlin Group or another tedious spitting-match between a Loofah-wielding simian and his faux-liberal guest. GRIT TV is a forum for intelligent, articulate progressives to discuss the issues in depth without a script or an agenda. It’s what TV is supposed to be, a way to strengthen democracy by maintaining an informed public. It’s taken a while, but GRIT TV is headed in the right direction.

Political junkies don’t have to wait for Bill Moyers Journal on Friday nights anymore to get their fix of thought-provoking analysis. GRIT TV runs Monday through Thursdays on Free Speech TV with a new panel every night covering everything from the environment, elections, race, gender, energy, to the economy. There’s no lull in the action. The guests are the people who never get a shot at network TV; the activists and authors who are working for change but don’t have the right-wing bone fides to appear on Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer or the other corporate-friendly talk shows. GRIT TV provides them with a platform to give their perspective and Flanders, thankfully, lets them talk. She doesn’t sit like a coiled snake ready to pounce whenever someone challenges the conventional wisdom on the war or (heaven forbid) disparages a corporate sponsor. GRIT TV is not underwritten by big oil, Boeing or King Coal like so much of the crap on PBS. It’s all contributions from people who still believe that television can perform a public service.

Do you care whether your new “gas saving” Prius was made with sweatshop labor, or whether Obama’s platform really offers progressive change, or what Kevin Phillips had to say about the global financial crisis? GRIT TV is a good place to start. It’s all issues without the attitude.

Thursday night Flanders reviewed the recent Supreme Court rulings on the second amendment (gun rights) and habeas for Guantanamo detainees. That was followed by a 4 minute video which showed how African Americans were disproportionately victimized by the subprime meltdown. After that, Flanders led a lively discussion on “executive pay” and America’s ever-expanding “wealth gap.” It was all first-rate coverage.

This is television at its best; broadcasting that does not assume that its viewers are nincompoops that need plunging necklines and endless car chases to keep them entertained. GRIT TV doesn’t provide bread or circuses, just hard-edged politics for people who really want to know what is going on. That’s Flander’s beat and she does it better than anyone in the business.

GRITtv airs Mon-Thurs,at 8pm & 1 am ET, on Free Speech TV (DISH Network ch. 9415) & at http://www.firedoglake.com. Laura Flanders is Alexander Cockburn’s niece.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com







MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

November 26, 2015
Ashley Nicole McCray – Lawrence Ware
Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving
Joseph Grosso
The Enduring Tragedy: Guatemala’s Bloody Farce
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Imperial Myths: the Enduring Lie of the US’s Origin
Ralph Nader
The Joys of Solitude: a Thanksgiving!

Joseph G. Ramsey
Something to be Thankful For: Struggles, Seeds…and Surprises
Dan Glazebrook
Turkey Shoot: the Rage of the Impotent in Syria
Andrew Stewart
The Odious President Wilson
Colin Todhunter
Corporate Parasites And Economic Plunder: We Need A Genuine Green Revolution
Rajesh Makwana
Ten Billion Reasons to Demand System Change
Joyce Nelson
Turkey Moved the Border!
Richard Baum
Hillary Clinton’s Meager Proposal to Help Holders of Student Debt
Sam Husseini
A Thanksgiving Day Prayer
November 25, 2015
Jeff Taylor
Bob Dylan and Christian Zionism
Dana E. Abizaid
Provoking Russia
Oliver Tickell
Syria’s Cauldron of Fire: a Downed Russian Jet and the Battle of Two Pipelines
Patrick Cockburn
Trigger Happy: Will Turkey’s Downing of Russian Jet Backfire on NATO?
Robert Fisk
The Soothsayers of Eternal War
Russell Mokhiber
The Coming Boycott of Nike
Ted Rall
Like Father Like Son: George W. Bush Was Bad, His Father May Have Been Worse
Matt Peppe
Bad Policy, Bad Ethics: U.S. Military Bases Abroad
Martha Rosenberg
Pfizer Too Big (and Slippery) to Fail
Yorgos Mitralias
Bernie Sanders, Mr. Voutsis and the Truth Commission on Greek Public Debt
Jorge Vilches
Too Big for Fed: Have Central Banks Lost Control?
Sam Husseini
Why Trump is Wrong About Waterboarding — It’s Probably Not What You Think
Binoy Kampmark
The Perils of Certainty: Obama and the Assad Regime
Roger Annis
State of Emergency in Crimea
Soud Sharabani
ISIS in Lebanon: An Interview with Andre Vltchek
Thomas Knapp
NATO: This Deal is a Turkey
November 24, 2015
Dave Lindorff
An Invisible US Hand Leading to War? Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness
Mike Whitney
Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire
Walter Clemens
Who Created This Monster?
Patrick Graham
Bombing ISIS Will Not Work
Lida Maxwell
Who Gets to Demand Safety?
Eric Draitser
Refugees as Weapons in a Propaganda War
David Rosen
Trump’s Enemies List: a Trial Balloon for More Repression?
Eric Mann
Playing Politics While the Planet Sizzles
Chris Gilbert
“Why Socialism?” Revisited: Reflections Inspired by Einstein’s Article
Charles Davis
NSA Spies on Venezuela’s Oil Company
Michael Barker
Democracy vs. Political Policing
Barry Lando
Shocked by Trump? Churchill Wanted to “Collar Them All”
Cal Winslow
When Workers Fight: the National Union of Healthcare Workers Wins Battle with Kaiser
Norman Pollack
Where Does It End?: Left Political Correctness
David Macaray
Companies Continue to Profit by Playing Dumb
Binoy Kampmark
Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security
Dave Welsh
Defiant Haiti: “We Won’t Let You Steal These Elections!”