40 episodes

With the thrust and parry of rigorous debate, Mehdi Hasan cuts through the headlines to challenge conventional wisdom, highlight contradictions and uncover double standards.

UpFront Al Jazeera English

    • News
    • 4.8 • 34 Ratings

With the thrust and parry of rigorous debate, Mehdi Hasan cuts through the headlines to challenge conventional wisdom, highlight contradictions and uncover double standards.

    • video
    Is the ‘global strongman’ movement killing democracy? | UpFront

    Is the ‘global strongman’ movement killing democracy? | UpFront

    The rise in recent years of right wing, so-called strongmen leaders - from Donald Trump in the United States, to Viktor Orban in Hungary and Narendra Modi in India - has fuelled fears that liberal values are under attack around the world.

    Now as millions of Americans head to the polls, many worry a second term for Trump would put democracy under serious threat in the US.

    But are those fears overblown? And what are the signs of a democracy dying out?

    We debate on this UpFront special with guests Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a historian and professor at New York University; Shadi Hamid, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC; and Ashley Farmer, a historian and assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

    • 25 min
    • video
    Jemele Hill: US does not deserve a white supremacist president | UpFront

    Jemele Hill: US does not deserve a white supremacist president | UpFront

    US President Donald Trump’s failure to condemn white supremacy during the first presidential debate triggered renewed focus on his racist rhetoric.

    In this season's first episode of UpFront, we discuss Trump’s racism with journalist Jemele Hill, who faced a backlash for calling the president a white supremacist back in 2017 and was not long after suspended from the US sports network ESPN.

    And in the Arena, we debate whether an administration led by Democratic challenger Joe Biden in Washington would make any difference in US policy towards the Palestinians.

    • 25 min
    • video
    COVID-19: Iran's government 'didn't botch the response' | UpFront (Headliner)

    COVID-19: Iran's government 'didn't botch the response' | UpFront (Headliner)

    According to official figures, at least six people die every hour in Iran from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The Islamic republic has become one of the world's coronavirus epicentres, with the death toll surpassing 3,000 this week and the number of cases topping 50,000.

    As the virus spreads in Iran, the government has been criticised for its response to the crisis, particularly how it handled the situation in Qom, now the country's worst-hit city where the outbreak began. It has also been accused of playing down the number of cases.

    But Iranian political analyst Mohammad Marandi claims the Iranian government acted to fight the virus as soon as the first case was discovered.

    "Iran got its first kit, I think on February the 17th. And on February the 19th, they discovered their first case. And they declared it on the very same day. And the fight began since then," Marandi said.

    "The Iranian government didn't botch the response. I'm not an advocate of the administration but the Iranian government, as soon as it discovered what the problem was, it began to deal with it, but they didn't know the scope of the problem," he added.

    Marandi blamed US sanctions for Iran's difficulty in obtaining kits as well as for the shortage of medical supplies in the country.

    "They've [the US] weaponised the coronavirus for the Iranian people by prohibiting Iran from using the banking sector, by prohibiting Iran from purchasing goods from important pharmaceutical companies. The United States has put so many conditions on different pharmaceutical companies across the world, that they will not work with Iran," Marandi said.

    When asked whether he agreed with claims made by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei that the coronavirus was a chemical weapon created by the Americans, Marandi said he did not know where the virus originated.

    "I don't know what was the origin of this virus, but I know that the regime in Washington has been using it as a weapon against Iranians. Don't blame the victim, that's ugly," he said.

    This week's Headliner, Mohammad Marandi, Iranian political analyst and professor at the University of Tehran, explains the government's response to the coronavirus.

    • 14 min
    • video
    COVID-19: Brazil's Bolsonaro is putting 'lives in danger' | UpFront (Special Interview)

    COVID-19: Brazil's Bolsonaro is putting 'lives in danger' | UpFront (Special Interview)

    With some 7,000 cases and 200 deaths, Brazil has more coronavirus infections than any other country in Latin America. The country's health minister warns the healthcare system could be overwhelmed by the end of April.

    Yet, President Jair Bolsonaro has been downplaying the pandemic. He has referred to the virus as a "little flu" and "hysteria" and even visited a busy market outside the country's capital, Brasília, in a bid to get people back to work.

    Brazilian Congresswoman Tabata Amaral accused Bolsonaro of lying and using social media to spread fake news.

    "By doing those things, and by telling people to go to their streets, and actually going himself to greet the crowds, which he did last weekend, he's putting lives in danger," Amaral said.

    "I'm very ashamed by all of the things he is doing, especially in moments of crisis, we need a leader who tells people everything will be all right," she added.

    In March, Bolsonaro visited the United States for a meeting with President Donald Trump. When he returned to Brazil, more than 20 members of his delegation tested positive for the virus. Bolsonaro says he tested negative for COVID-19, but speculation continues in Brazil that he may have the virus.

    "He is not someone known for telling the truth, and he hasn't been, he hasn't shown his test ... But the bigger point is that he is being extremely irresponsible," Amaral said.

    A movement is growing inside Brazil calling for Bolsonaro's impeachment, but Amaral stopped short of supporting it at this time.

    "I do think he should be held accountable for everything he's doing - but after the crisis. I don't think my country can handle another crisis on top of coronavirus right now," Amaral said.

    President Trump has employed rhetoric similar to the claims made by the Brazilian president. Like Bolsonaro, Trump has dismissed fears about the virus, saying it would "go away" and describing it as a political "hoax".

    But Amaral says while Bolsonaro is a fan of Trump, the two leaders' response to the virus differs.

    "President Trump is more pragmatic. When he saw all of the people who were dying in the US, when he saw all of what that meant to his popularity, to the economy, he changed his attitude, and Bolsonaro is not changing the attitude," Amaral said.

    In this week's Special Interview, we discuss Jair Bolsonaro's defiance in the face of the coronavirus with Brazilian Congresswoman Tabata Amaral.

    • 10 min
    • video
    Why has the coronavirus hit Iran so hard? | UpFront (Full)

    Why has the coronavirus hit Iran so hard? | UpFront (Full)

    In this episode of UpFront we challenge prominent Iranian political analyst Mohammad Marandi on how Tehran is handling the coronavirus.

    And in a Special Interview, Brazilian congresswoman Tabata Amaral explains why she thinks President Jair Bolsonaro is putting millions of lives at risk.

    COVID-19: Iran's government 'didn't botch the response'

    According to official figures, at least six people die every hour in Iran from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The Islamic republic has become one of the world's coronavirus epicentres, with the death toll surpassing 3,000 this week and cases topping 50,000.

    As the virus spreads in Iran, the government has been criticised for its response to the crisis, particularly how it handled the situation in Qom, now the country's worst-hit city where the outbreak began. It has also been accused of playing down the number of cases.

    But Iranian political analyst Mohammad Marandi claims the Iranian government acted to fight the virus as soon as the first case was discovered.

    "Iran got its first kit, I think on February the 17th. And on February the 19th, they discovered their first case. And they declared it on the very same day. And the fight began since then," Marandi said.

    "The Iranian government didn't botch the response. I'm not an advocate of the administration but the Iranian government, as soon as it discovered what the problem was, it began to deal with it, but they didn't know the scope of the problem," he added.

    Marandi blamed US sanctions for Iran's difficulty in obtaining kits as well as for the shortage of medical supplies in the country.

    "They've [the US] weaponised the coronavirus for the Iranian people by prohibiting Iran from using the banking sector, by prohibiting Iran from purchasing goods from important pharmaceutical companies. The United States has put so many conditions on different pharmaceutical companies across the world, that they will not work with Iran," Marandi said.

    When asked whether he agreed with claims made by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei that the coronavirus was a chemical weapon created by the Americans, Marandi said he did not know where the virus originated.

    "I don't know what was the origin of this virus, but I know that the regime in Washington has been using it as a weapon against Iranians. Don't blame the victim, that's ugly," he said.

    This week's Headliner, Mohammad Marandi, Iranian political analyst and professor at the University of Tehran, explains the government's response to the coronavirus.

    COVID-19: Brazil's Bolsanaro is putting 'lives in danger'

    With some 7,000 cases and 200 deaths, Brazil has more COVID-19 infections than any other country in Latin America. The country's health minister warns the healthcare system could be overwhelmed by the end of April.

    Yet, President Jair Bolsonaro has been downplaying the pandemic. He has referred to the virus as a "little flu" and "hysteria" and even visited a busy market outside the country's capital, Brasília, in a bid to get people back to work.

    Brazilian congresswoman Tabata Amaral accused Bolsanaro of lying and using social media to spread fake news.

    "By doing those things, and by telling people to go to their streets, and actually going himself to greet the crowds, which he did last weekend, he's putting lives in danger," Amaral said.

    "I'm very ashamed by all of the things he is doing, especially in moments of crisis, we need a leader who tells people everything will be all right," she added.

    In March, Bolsonaro visited the US for a meeting with President Donald Trump. When he returned to Brazil, more than 20 members of his delegation tested positive for the virus. Bolsonaro says he tested negative for COVID-19, but speculation continues in Brazil that he may have the virus.

    "He is not someone known for telling the truth, and he hasn't been, he hasn

    • 25 min
    • video
    The US coronavirus response: An F for failure? | Upfront (Arena)

    The US coronavirus response: An F for failure? | Upfront (Arena)

    As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US surpasses 11,000, major cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York are in lockdown. Experts say a lack of available testing has been a major setback for the US and has prevented the country from getting ahead of the pandemic.

    Former Utah Republican Governor Mike Leavitt suggested the US could have done better in terms of testing.

    "When the after-action report is written on this episode, it's clear to me that a couple of things will have been learned. The first is that they need to open up to tests that have been validated in other countries," Leavitt said.

    Leavitt said the US faces a unique challenge: a scattered and large population.

    "There's 330 million people. It's a substantially bigger challenge, but it's going to be very clear that this will be seen as a weakness. I think that it is being overcome within the course of time, but it's cost us time ... there's no question that it has weakened our response," Leavitt said.

    In 2018, President Donald Trump disbanded the US government's team dedicated to responding to a pandemic. When asked about that decision, Leavitt said there was some dispute about what actually happened.

    "I'm not here to defend that one way or the other," he said.

    "What I do know is that the United States now is responding in a very robust way, with the closing of businesses, with the closing of schools and universities, with a complete suspension of many of our sports leagues and no meetings, that's a quite remarkable response," he added.

    When the first coronavirus cases were identified in the US, Donald Trump dismissed the seriousness of the spread. In January he said the virus was under control, in February he said it would "go away", and suggested Democrats were using the virus as a "hoax" to make him look bad.

    Leavitt said those statements were "impossible to defend" and that it was time now to look to the future.

    "I do think that what's important is what's happening now and in the next four weeks, not what happened before ... We now have to, as a people, rally to ensure that we in fact respond," he said.

    In this week’s UpFront, Mike Leavitt, former Republican Governor of Utah, discusses the US government’s handling of COVID-19.

    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

amindlv ,

Best talkshow

I admire mehdihasan because of its good program

center viewpoint ,

Disrespects his guests

The content as a whole is interesting. However, the host of this show constantly interrupts, puts down and mocks guests with opinions he disagrees with. It’s fine to disagree with your guests but be respectful about it! He also acts holier-than-thou which ticks me off. This all makes those interviews unlistenable. I would highly recommend the host ease off on his passive aggressive behavior.

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