129 episodes

Citations Needed is a podcast about the intersection of media, PR, and power, hosted by Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson.

Citations Needed Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson

    • News
    • 4.9, 2.2K Ratings

Citations Needed is a podcast about the intersection of media, PR, and power, hosted by Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson.

    News Brief: 7 Years On, US Media Still Has No Answer for #BLM Other Than Vague Handwringing

    News Brief: 7 Years On, US Media Still Has No Answer for #BLM Other Than Vague Handwringing

    In this News Brief we catch up on the patronizing, racist media coverage of protests in Minneapolis.


     
     


     



     


     

    • 32 min
    News Brief: Trump, the NFL, and the Upcoming Mother of All 'Culture Wars'

    News Brief: Trump, the NFL, and the Upcoming Mother of All 'Culture Wars'

    Trump is likely pinning his reelection hopes on "reopening" the NFL––a grand media spectacle that will signal victory over the virus and usher in a new low in Triggering The Libs politics.
    A cynical corporate media and pro-Trump billionaire NFL owners are happy to go along with it. But will NFL players? Will Democratic Party leaders? What will a "safe reopening" look like and how, more broadly, should the Left and liberals counter the Right's nihilistic "reopen" narrative?
    On this News Brief, we are joined by The Nation's Dave Zirin to shed some light on the upcoming perfect storm of sports-infused election season PR b******t.

    • 40 min
    Episode 110: The Shiny-Object Psychology of American Capitalist “Innovation”

    Episode 110: The Shiny-Object Psychology of American Capitalist “Innovation”

    “Free markets drive innovation!” It’s a narrative imparted to us ad nauseam. The ultimate catalyst of creation and progress — we’re told by policymakers, business executives, think tanks, and the media outlets that bolster them — in which great strides in healthcare, electronics, media, and other areas are the domain of private enterprise motivated by competition and profit, and unencumbered by state intervention.
    As the prospect of socialism — or at least the word “socialism” — regains currency in the West, these claims have resurged. Capitalism’s supporters insist that a profit-first system is the reason the world is always improving, lifting people out of poverty while equipping them with iPhones, WiFi, and central air conditioning. Socialism, they contend, hinders innovation because public ownership of the means of production removes the competition and profit that ostensibly incentivize creativity.
    But why are we expected to believe that concentrating ownership of the means of production in the hands of a few is the key to progress and prosperity for all? How is it that the most important metrics of “innovation” are consumer goods available to some, rather than socialized, need-based programs available to all? And above all, who does this narrative that “innovation” is driven by Anglo-American style Randian capitalism really serve?
    On this episode, we delve into these questions, looking at how the United States — the world’s foremost champion of capitalism — packages propaganda about its alleged innovation; the reasons capitalism not only fails to drive innovation, but also actively destroys it; and the U.S.’s brutal actions to thwart socialist efforts toward a more equitably and sustainable version of “innovation” at home and aboard.
    Our guest is Current Affairs associate editor Vanessa A. Bee.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Episode 109: Self-Help Culture and the Rise of Corporate Happiness Monitoring

    Episode 109: Self-Help Culture and the Rise of Corporate Happiness Monitoring

    How can one achieve happiness? It’s the eternal question. From Aristotle to Al-Ghazali, Thomas Aquinas to Arthur Schopenhauer. The answer, we’re told, is to look within. These days, we’re told repeatedly by our modern philosophers, Oprah Winfrey, Srikumar Rao, Tony Robbins, Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra and other corporate happiness monitors that prosperity and fulfillment come through deep introspection and mindfulness—just pay for more inspiring books, videos, retreats, seminars, and classes!
     

    These prescriptions, while ostensibly useful in the short term for answering personal questions or alleviating stress, all fall within the genre of self-help. The trouble is, on the whole, they’re not very helpful at all. The self-help industry is predicated on the ever-American and thoroughly capitalist concepts of rugged individualism and personal responsibility, arguing that if you have a problem, it’s invariably up to you, and only you, to fix it. Meanwhile, it imparts the appearance of virtue and legitimacy with hollow, cherry-picked references to Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and psychology.
     

    In recent years, there’s rightfully been a new crop of criticism leveled against the self-help industry, with books offering “anti-self-help” alternatives for improving one’s life, calling for people to relax and stop placing so much pressure on themselves. Still, many of these critiques embrace the same form of individualism as the media they decry, ignoring the reality that the best way to ‘help’ people is to ensure their material needs—like housing, food, and healthcare—are met. 
     

    On this episode, we’ll chronicle the development of modern self-help culture, from its 19th-century protestant, capitalist roots to its modern ambassadors; analyze how self-help culture promotes the values of neoliberalism; examine the ways in which modern mainstream critiques of the self-help industry fall short, embracing the same reactionary principles they should be rebuking, and dissect the profound institutional incentives that compel us to prioritize solipsism over solidarity. 
     

    Our guest is political economist and author William Davies.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Episode 108: How GDP Fetishism Drives Climate Crisis and Inequality

    Episode 108: How GDP Fetishism Drives Climate Crisis and Inequality

    "Economists' forecasts for GDP growth in 2020 vary widely," says The Economist. "Algeria's GDP growth falls to 0.8% in 2019," one Reuters headline reads. "GDP — the broadest measure of economic activity — grew at an annual rate of just 1.9% during the third quarter," NPR warns. Everywhere we turn for economic news, the Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, is held up as the key proxy for prosperity and sound fiscal policy. 
     

    Since its codification as the new gold standard for measuring prosperity at the Bretton Wood conference in 1944, the GDP has been the most popular metric used by American and British media when measure a nation’s prosperity. The GDP, and its close cousin, the Gross National Product, have not been without its critics for decades, but prying it from its top position as The Most Important Policy Goal has been an impossible task. Despite many labor activists, environmentalists and economists leveling critiques at its myopic, capitalist ideology, the metric has remained central to how the media and lawmakers determine fiscal policy. 
     

    But what is the GDP exactly? How did it become the go-to proxy for prosperity in Western media? What are its ideological inputs, and how did post-war notions of colonialism and extractivism helps cement its place in our collective mindset? And what, more importantly, do activists argue we should replace it with? On this episode of Citations Needed we will explore these questions and examine how centralizing Gross Domestic Product––by its very design––obscures climate crisis, labor abuses, racism, drudgery, and a whole host of society's ills. 
     

    We welcome economic anthropologist Dr. Jason Hickel back to the show.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Episode 107: Pop Torts and the Ready-Made Virality of ‘Frivolous Lawsuit’ Stories

    Episode 107: Pop Torts and the Ready-Made Virality of ‘Frivolous Lawsuit’ Stories

    “Woman Sues TripAdvisor After Falling off Runaway Camel,” reports the Associated Press. “Red Bull Paying Out to Customers Who Thought Energy Drink Would Actually Give Them Wings,” eyerolls Newsweek. “Tennessee man sues Popeyes for running out of chicken sandwiches,” scoffs NBC News.
    We see “frivolous lawsuit” stories all the time and have for decades. Seemingly absurd cases of get rich quick schemes often with catchy headlines, a caricature of a plaintiff friendly legal system run amok. These stories play into faux-populist tropes of a country full of lazy poor people looking to cash in and a sleazy legal system that leeches off hard-working Americans.
    But how organic are these “pop torts”––or popular stories of frivolous lawsuits––and more importantly, how true even are they? What organizations are behind cherry-picking and teeing up these shameful tales of greed for uncritical writers, editors and producers? Who’s backing them, and what, perhaps, may be their ulterior motives?
    Moreover, what are the human stakes to so called “tort reform” and how did it come to be that the vast majority of Americans came to accept the premise that, at some point in the 1980s, we all became amoral lawsuit happy scumbags out to shutdown mom and pop stores and grab a quick buck?
    We are joined by the Center for Justice & Democracy's Joanna Doroshow.

    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
2.2K Ratings

2.2K Ratings

bfitz36 ,

This the only podcast I listen to where I feel truly informed afterwards

Literally dug our an old iPhone to leave this review. This is the best pod there is and join their Patreon if you can

Sweet sweet back ,

Thanks for the deep dive

Amazing content and logical

Neswii ,

Amazing quality

Just an incredible podcast. Very informative, focused, with great takes on the most important issues in the US.

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