BTS 12/26/05: State of the Press; Whither the Death Penalty Post-Tookie?; Israeli Politics

Listen: Michael Massing - Mike Farrell - Roane Carey

While the traditional press faces many challenges from loss of readers and the challenge of the internet, it’s botched and timid reporting on Weapons of Mass Destruction and the buildup to the war, Michael Massing documents its structural and internal problems that keep it from being the watchdog over the powerful and witness to injustice. He joins us for an extended conversation on an issue crucial to the survival of democracy.

Then we turn to Mike Farrell, President of Death Penalty Focus and member of the advisory board of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death penalty to talk about where we are as a state and a nation after the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams on December 13.

Our last segment looks at Israeli politics following the volcanic departure of Sharon from Likud to join with Shimon Perez of the Labor Party to form Kadima – a party meant to fill the polit5ical center and appeal to what our guest, Roane Carey, calls "the securocrats."

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Michael Massing is contributing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, writes frequently on the press and foreign affairs and is the author of Now They Tell Us: The American press and Iraq, published by NYRB Books in 2004.

2. Mike Farrell is an actor and humanitarian who originally became famous on the hit show MASH and currently serves as Co-Chair of Human Rights Watch in California, President of Death Penalty Focus and member of the advisory board of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

3. Roane Carey is a senior editor at The Nation, and the editor of The New Intifada (Verso) and, with Jonathan Shainin, The Other Israel: Voices of Refusal and Dissent (New Press).