BTS 12/3/07: Russian Elections; Venezuela Referendum; WGA Strike

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Tonight we go beneath the surface on yesterday’s election in Russia with Stephen F. Cohen and then look at Hugo Chavez’s narrow defeat for constitutional reforms including removing term limits for the Presidency in Venezuela – with Mark Weisbrot. The Russian election was so managed and manipulated that all accounts question the results. In Venezuela the upset was a surprise but Chavez graciously accepted it, declaring his continued fealty to the constitution.

Finally, today marks the one-month anniversary of the Writer’s Strike. Howard Rodman joins us to celebrate, contemplate and prognosticate on a strike that has garnered widespread support but intransigence from the AMPTP (Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers), which Rodman calls a Coalition of the Unwilling.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Stephen F. Cohen, professor of Russian studies at New York University, is the author of several books, including Rethinking the Soviet Experience: Politics and History Since 1917, Buhkarin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography, 1888-1938, Voices of Glasnost: Conversations With Gorbachev's Reformers (with Katrina vanden Heuvel) and, most recently, Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia (Norton).

2. Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan and has written numerous research papers on economic policy. He is also an expert on Latin America. He is co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: The Phony Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2000). He writes a column on economic and policy issues that is distributed to over 550 newspapers by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. His opinion pieces have appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and most major U.S. newspapers. He appears regularly on national and local television and radio programs. He is also president of Just Foreign Policy. Weisbrot writes widely on Latin America.

3. Howard Rodman is a screenwriter, novelist, educator. He is professor and former chair of the writing division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts; a member of the board of directors of the Writers Guild of America, west; and an artistic director of the Sundance Institute Screenwriting Labs. His films include Savage Grace, starring Julianne Moore, and August, with Josh Hartnett, Rip Torn, and David Bowie--both of which will have their US premiers at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Rodman also wrote Joe Gould's Secret, which opened the 2000 Sundance festival and was subsequently released by October/USA Films. Rodman's original screenplay F. was selected by Premiere Magazine as one of Hollywood's Ten Best Unproduced Screenplays. He is the author of the 1990 novel Destiny Express, an historical romance set in the pre-war German film community. Rodman has also published his journalism widely including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, and the Village Voice. He's also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.