“Look no further than CBS CEO Les Moonves. During the lead up to the election…he said, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” Money is rolling in, and ‘this is fun.’ Yeah, it’s really, really fun to have [Trump] steamrolling…the most repressive agenda we’ve seen in quite a long time in this country.” – Abby Martin
Abby Martin, an American based journalist originally from the bay area and the host of both the investigative Empire Files and The Media Roots podcast, is currently one of the most well known and widely watched anti-capitalist journalists making media.
In 2009, Martin founded Media Roots, which went on to cover the Occupy Movement, and her footage was used in the lawsuit of Iraq Veteran Scott Olsen against the Oakland Police Department. Olsen, who was shot in the head with a tear gas canister in Downtown Oakland in 2011, ended up winning his lawsuit, while the violent attack went on to set into motion a general strike and port shutdown in November. By 2012, Martin had graduated to RT, and began hosting her own show, Breaking the Set, recorded in Washington DC, which featured an opening shot of a sledgehammer smashing a TV screen bearing the CNN logo. In 2014 however, Martin butted heads with RT in order to denounce Russian military action in the Ukraine, and by 2015, the show was over. Soon after however, Martin returned with a new show on teleSUR, entitled, The Empire Files, which produced investigative reports and documentaries.
In this podcast interview, we cover a lot of ground, from the olster of Steve Bannon and what is to become of Trumpism, to the ongoing circus surrounding #Russiagate, as well as the very real drive for war. We start off by discussing what can be learned, if anything, after the release of the bombshell book, Fire and Fury, as well as the ensuing fallout between Bannon and Donald Trump. In our conversation, Martin digs into both the Democrats and the Trump establishment, while also predicting (on top of Trump winning in 2020), that Trump’s peanut butter and chocolate coming together of far-Right ‘Deplorables’ and Christian Evangelicals will continue to be a winning combination into the future.
Beyond Trump and Bannon, we also talk about Martin’s recent investigation on life in post-Harvey Houston, Texas, as well as the continued growth of “sacrifice zones” in the wake of disasters fueled by climate change. We then turn towards discussing grassroots radical and anti-capitalist media, and how in turn we can grow our platforms while also helping to nurture movements and social struggles. Throughout this podcast we hit some difficult and frightening material; from the global push towards war, to the death drive that defines modern capitalist civilization marked by crisis, rising State authoritarianism, and looming ecological collapse.