Show details for November 23th, 2008

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This week’s guest:

– Veteran DC journalist ROBERT PARRY on the necessity of a real liberal media

And in the second half of our program:

The attempted overthrow of FDR in 1934



Journalist ROBERT PARRY has appeared on The Monitor a number of times. Monitor co-anchor Pokey Anderson discusses his article on using this moment in history to create a real liberal media. Parry writes:

“If America’s media imbalance is to be corrected, progressives – both individuals and liberal foundations – must invest heavily in a media infrastructure that is national but focused on the news centers of Washington and New York…. Financial support is needed for the gutsy Web sites that stood up to Bush – like our own – but money also should go to larger media institutions, which can then help publicize stories that are generated by the smaller outlets.”

We also ask him about the decision by a federal judge this week to free five prisoners from Guantanamo. The judge is normally one of the most reliable Bush supporters.

Robert Parry is a veteran of Washington journalism, with a career spanning three decades. He broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. Parry has won numerous awards including the George Polk Award for National Reporting in 1984, the Pultizer Prize finalist for National Reporting in 1985 and was a Emmy finalist for Best Explanatory Work on Breaking News in 1994.
His recent book is Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, by Robert Parry, Sam Parry and Nat Parry. He left mainstream journalism to start his own news service, Consortium News in 1995 because, as he writes, “I was distressed by the silliness and downright creepiness that had pervaded American journalism by the mid-1990s.”

Consortium News

QUOTE by Robert Parry:

“The fight for honest information is a battle for the future of American democracy.”

Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, by Robert Parry, Sam Parry and Nat Parry (2007)

Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq (2004)

Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’ (1999)

The Time Has Come to Create a Real ‘Liberal Media’
By Robert Parry
Consortium News
November 21, 2008

The GOP Judge Who Bolted on Gitmo
By Robert Parry
Consortium News
November 22, 2008


The attempted overthrow of FDR in 1934

Major General SMEDLEY BUTLER – hero

Smedley Butler, a celebrated Marine of the time, was called by Teddy Roosevelt “the finest fighting man in the armed forces.” He won two Congressional Medals of Honor. After facing gunfire 120 times in his military career, General Butler saved his country AFTER he retired from the military.

Butler plays a heroic role in this 1934 story, by breaking up an attempted coup, financed by some of the leading industrialists of the era, from the DuPont, Pew and JP Morgan financial empires. They envisioned a half-a-million-man army, led by Butler, to force their coup against President FDR.

Monitor co-anchor Pokey Anderson researched this little-known story several years ago, and found an interview in the Pacifica Archives with the one person to have written a book about it, Jules Archer. Tonight you can hear parts of these archival interviews, recorded by Bob Debolt in 1987 and 1991, interspersed with Pokey’s commentary based on additional research. One of the coup plotters told General Butler (according to Jules Archer):

“You know, the American people will swallow that [someone taking over for FDR]. We have got the newspapers. We will start a campaign that the President’s health is failing. Everybody can tell that by looking at him, and the dumb American people will fall for it in a second.”

Jules Archer’s book was originally written in 1973. Copies were exceedingly rare, until it was finally reprinted in 2007, as The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking True Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow FDR.

The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking True Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow FDR, by Jules Archer

War is a Racket, by Smedley Butler

QUOTE hinting at why corporate interests were so upset with FDR. (Note: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, JP Morgan & Co. was the world’s most powerful bank):

“In May 1933, U.S. Senate Banking Committee counsel Ferdinand Pecora exposed how [JP] Morgan reserved shares at reduced prices for certain clients, giving guaranteed profits to former President Calvin Coolidge, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s sitting treasury secretary, the chairmen of the Republican and Democratic national committees, and the CEOs of General Electric, AT&T, and Standard Oil, among others. To curb these abuses, FDR signed the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, which prohibited commercial banks from underwriting securities, and the next year signed the Securities Exchange Act, which created the Securities and Exchange Commission to police Wall Street and prevent stock manipulation. … J.P. Morgan Jr. reportedly so loathed FDR that his grandchildren were told not to mention the president in his presence and Morgan’s servants removed photos of FDR from the morning paper. ” (Rogue Whale: Seventy years after FDR, JP Morgan finally got its revenge against banking regulations with its Chase merger. But a new FDR is watching,” by Sam Natapoff, The American Prospect, March 1, 2004)

The Plot To Overthrow FDR
produced by the History Channel
Approx. 50 min., $24.95, DVD, Catalog Number: AAE-73631


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