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Jacobin Radio

Michael and Us: Studio Sucky

After inhabiting the White House but before examining the Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin created a show that sought nothing less than to fix the most important American institution of them all: Saturday Night Live. We launch what will eventually become a multi-episode discussion of STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP (2006-7). Catch parts two and three on Patreon.


Michael and Us is a podcast about political cinema and our crumbling world hosted by Will Sloan and Luke Savage.

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  • Michael and Us: An Oedipal Day in the Neighborhood

    01:06:48
    During the Trump presidency, #TheResistance had a powerful figurehead, and his name was (the late) Mr. Rogers. We discuss the Tom Hanks-led #nicecore landmark A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD (2019), the strengths and limitations of Fred Rogers as a Trump-era political symbol, and what this movie fails to understand about him. PLUS: What's eating David Frum about the recent Mexican election?"Can You Say... 'Hero'?" by Tom Junod - https://www.neighborhoodarchive.com/publications/press/esquire/index.html"How Liberalism Betrayed the Enlightenment and Lost Its Soul" by Michael Brenes - https://jacobin.com/2024/05/cold-war-liberalism-moyn-reviewMr. Rogers at the Emmys - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Upm9LnuCBUM&ab_channel=TheEmmyAwardsMichael and Us is a podcast about political cinema and our crumbling world hosted by Will Sloan and Luke Savage.
  • Jacobin Radio: The Fate of Russia's Opposition w/ Ilya Budraitskis

    53:43
    On June 5, Boris Kagarlitsky’s appeal against a five-year prison sentence was rejected by the Russian Supreme Court's Military Chamber. Kagarlitsky must now serve his sentence in a penal colony in Torzhok some 155 miles northwest of Moscow. The decision was unjust, but not unexpected.Kagarlitsky spent nearly five months in pre-trial detention, charged with "justifying terrorism" for ironic remarks he made on his social media channel after the explosion on the Crimean Bridge in 2022. He was freed after a military court handed him a fine in December. But in February 2024, there was an unexpected appeal trial at a military court of appeals where the prosecutors overturned the December verdict that freed him, citing excessive leniency.During the June 5 appeal hearing, Kagarlitsky explained that the title of the offending YouTube video, “Explosive Congratulations for Mostik the Cat” — a reference to a real cat that lived on the Crimea bridge — was “an extremely unfortunate joke.” He argued that his jail term was disproportionate to the offense. Kagarlitsky’s attorney plans to appeal the verdict with Russia’s Constitutional Court on the grounds that his client received “excessive” punishment.The case against Boris Kagarlitsky is indicative: He received five years not for the content of the video, but for the words of its title. The judges’ cruel decision reflects the determination of the Putin regime to crush domestic opposition to its war on Ukraine. This is a state bent on suppressing all forms of criticism, jokes included. In this context, the basic democratic and legal rights of anti-war activists like Boris Kagarlitsky and thousands of others count for very little.Boris Kagarlitsky is in prison for courageously speaking out against the war in Ukraine. He is the victim of a gross but entirely deliberate miscarriage of justice and has become a symbol of the struggle for the right to freedom of expression. He is a political prisoner and prisoner of conscience.Ilya Budraitskis, another Putin critic, was dismissed from his job at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences and forced to flee Russia to avoid arrest for his active critique of the war in Ukraine and consistent opposition to Putin’s regime. He joins us with his take on the fate of opposition in Russia and the case of Boris Kagarlitsky in general.Jacobin Radio with Suzi Weissman features conversations with leading thinkers and activists, with a focus on labor, the economy, and protest movements.
  • Behind the News: The Hindu Right w/ Siddhartha Deb

    53:01
    Siddhartha Deb, author of Twilight Prisoners, dives into the Hindu right and its poor showing in India’s elections. Sean Jacobs, professor at the New School and publisher of Africa Is a Country, explains the ANC’s poor showing in South Africa’s elections.Behind the News, hosted by Doug Henwood, covers the worlds of economics and politics and their complex interactions, from the local to the global. Find the archive online: https://www.leftbusinessobserver.com/radio.html
  • Dig: Thawra Ep. 12 - Origins of Saudi Reaction

    02:35:27
    Featuring Abdel Razzaq Takriti, this is the TWELFTH episode of Thawra (Revolution), our mini-series on Arab radicalism in the 20th century. Today’s installment tells the story of Saudi Arabia, a country whose reactionary, US-aligned trajectory was throughout the 1950s and 60s challenged by labor strikes, dissident currents, rebellious princes, and an anticolonial oil minister. But Saudi royal conservatism asserted itself and a friendship with Nasser’s Egypt turned into conflict. Ultimately both countries got drawn into North Yemen’s civil war, which sapped Egypt’s military strength ahead of the 1967 war with Israel. Plus: radical politics against British colonial power in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the Trucial States. Support The Dig at Patreon.com/TheDigCheck out our newsletter and vast archives at thedigradio.comBuy tickets for live Dig with Jeremy Corbyn in London:unionchapel.org.uk/venue/whats-on/versothe-dig-live-podcast-with-jeremy-corbyn-laleh-khaliliBuy Twilight Prisoners at Haymarketbooks.com Buy Automatic Fetish at Versobooks.com
  • Long Reads: Biden's Gaza Double Talk w/ Akbar Shahid Ahmed

    31:43
    This is another special episode of Long Reads about the Israeli war on Gaza.On Thursday, June 6th, we spoke with Akbar Shahid Ahmed of the Huffington Post. Akbar previously spoke with us in early January about the role of the Biden administration. Five months later, with the Israeli government now on trial for genocide while the attack on Rafah has begun, it’s time for another look at Biden’s tenacious support for Israel.Find Akbar's coverage here: https://www.huffpost.com/author/akbar-shahid-ahmedLong Reads is a Jacobin podcast looking in-depth at political topics and thinkers, both contemporary and historical, with the magazine’s longform writers. Hosted by features editor Daniel Finn. Produced by Conor Gillies, music by Knxwledge.
  • Jacobin Radio: Labor for Palestine w/ Academic Workers in CA

    58:50
    Suzi talks to Isabel Kain at UC Santa Cruz, Marie Salem at UCLA, and Anna Weiss at USC — all UAW academic workers — about the unprecedented labor action on their campuses and the violent response from police called in by their administrations.We recorded the interview with Isabel at UCSC as the police in riot gear moved into the campus. Santa Cruz was the first to go on strike and unlike the other UC campuses, the administration was passive and did not call in the police. Until 1am on May 31. At the heart of the action is the war in Gaza, which has inflicted unspeakable suffering and carnage, provoking widespread actions in solidarity with Palestine on campuses. New movements organized in encampments have demanded an immediate ceasefire and university divestment from companies tied to Israel’s war and occupation. The response from the administration at UCLA in particular was brutal. They called in police who assaulted the encampment and stood back when a mob of white nationalists and neo-Nazis joined forces with Zionists to attack the camp, whose residents included a large number of Jewish students.Outraged grad students at UC, organized in UAW Local 4811, have launched a strike, turning the right to protest and freedom of speech into a labor issue. The local represents some 48,000 postdocs, teaching assistants, academic and student researchers across the UC system. At USC, academic workers filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) after five grad student members were arrested on campus during the crackdown on the protests. We get the story.Jacobin Radio with Suzi Weissman features conversations with leading thinkers and activists, with a focus on labor, the economy, and protest movements.
  • Behind the News: The Constitution's Failure w/ Aziz Rana

    53:01
    Aziz Rana, author of The Constitutional Bind: How Americans Came to Idolize a Document that Fails Them, analyzes how our founding document constrains democracy but we worship it anyway.Behind the News, hosted by Doug Henwood, covers the worlds of economics and politics and their complex interactions, from the local to the global. Find the archive online: https://www.leftbusinessobserver.com/radio.html
  • Dig: Gaza and the US Conjuncture w/ Dylan Saba and Waleed Shahid

    01:53:03
    Featuring Dylan Saba and Waleed Shahid on how Israel’s genocide in Gaza and the mass solidarity movement opposing it are transforming US politics. This anti-imperialist internationalist moment marks a profound turning point for the American left.Support The Dig at Patreon.com/TheDigCheck out our newsletter and vast archives at thedigradio.comBuy tickets for live Dig with Jeremy Corbyn in London:unionchapel.org.uk/venue/whats-on/versothe-dig-live-podcast-with-jeremy-corbyn-laleh-khaliliThe Socialism Conference will be held in Chicago from Aug 30 - Sept 2. Learn more and register at socialismconference.org (early bird discount until 6/28!) Buy Unbuild Walls at haymarketbooks.org
  • Jacobin Radio: The Trial Continued w/ Boris Kagarlitsky

    52:39
    The Russian Marxist Boris Kagarlitsky last spoke to us shortly after his release from nearly five months in prison. He was arrested on far-fetched charges of "justifying terrorism" for ironic remarks he made on his social media channel after the explosion on the Crimean Bridge in 2022. Boris was freed after a military court handed him a fine in December 2023, and spoke to Suzi two weeks later in the interview you are about to hear.Barely two months after Boris’s release there was an unexpected appeal trial at a military court in February 2024, and the prosecutors overturned the December verdict that freed him, citing "excessive leniency." He was sentenced to five years in a general regime penal colony and whisked from the courtroom to prison. Now three months later, after several moves, Boris has arrived at his final place of detention, Penal Colony No. 4 in Torzhok, 155 miles northwest of Moscow.Once again, Boris requires our solidarity. His final appeal will be heard on June 5 by Russia’s Supreme Court. An international petition has garnered more than 16,000 signatures calling for his release and all anti-war political prisoners. President Putin’s government is using anti-terror laws to step up its already draconian repression of dissent at home and in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine. More than 20,000 Russians have been detained and more than 1,000 have been put on trial.In an open letter from prison, Boris wrote, "Under today’s conditions, when political action and self-organization in our country have become extremely difficult, helping our co-thinkers who have been imprisoned is not just humanitarian activity, but also an important political gesture, an act of practical solidarity." He has brought his incisive analysis to these airwaves for more than three decades.The petition demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Boris Kagarlitsky and all other anti-war prisoners can be found at freeboris.info. This interview was originally broadcast in January.Jacobin Radio with Suzi Weissman features conversations with leading thinkers and activists, with a focus on labor, the economy, and protest movements.