BTS 4/16/07: French Elections; Cyber-Harrassment; Tax Day

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**Due to inclement weather and related travel problems, Suzi Weissman was unable to host the show this week. Producer Alan Minsky and associate producer Meleiza Figueroa co-hosted the show in her absence.

In the first segment of the show Alan Minsky talks with veteran journalist Doug Ireland – first, talking briefly about the horrible tragedy today at Virginia Tech University where 32 people were killed by a gunman – and then discussing the Presidential Election in France, the first round of which is taking place in six days. Doug Ireland used to write for the great French radical newspaper, Liberation – and he’ll give us the lowdown on who may succeed Jacques Chirac – in what is widely viewed as one of the most important elections in Europe in recent memory.

Then Meleiza Figueroa will join Alan Minsky in studio. They talk with Jessica Valenti, executive editor of the popular website Ms. Valenti wrote an article recently for the Guardian of London about the epidemic of cyber-harassment. Studies show that if you identify yourself as a women on the web – there’s a good chance that misogynistic hate-speech will come your way. We talk to Ms. Valenti about the women organizing against such hate speech – and also about her very successful website which reflects the wide spread interest in feminism among young women today – a trend you wouldn’t know about from the mainstream media.

And lastly, it’s tax-day eve – every year Suzi does a segment about tax-day and per Suzi’s tradition, Alan and Meleiza look at where your taxes will be going – or rather where they won’t be going. Economist Max Sawicky will be joining us to explain that even with the Democrats in control of congress – public spending seems to be on a dead-end track in America.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Doug Ireland is a longtime radical political journalist and media critic, who considers himself a purveyor of what the great I.F. Stone (at whose feet Doug sat as a lad) called "investigative opinion." A longtime contributor to The Nation magazine, he's a contributing editor of POZ magazine and In These Times, and the former media critic for His articles have appeared in many U.S. and French publications. Among those he writes for regularly these days is the L.A. Weekly, where his articles on politics frequently appear. He's also senior contributing editor of Page One Q.

2. Jessica Valenti is a 28 year-old feminist writer from New York. She has a Masters degree in Women's and Gender Studies from Rutgers University and has worked with organizations such as NARAL Pro-Choice America, Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund), Planned Parenthood, the Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) and Ms. magazine. She is also a co-founder of the REAL hot 100, a campaign to highlight the important work that young women are doing across the country. Jessica is the editor of Beijing Betrayed, a global monitoring report on women's progress worldwide and a contributing author to We Don't Need Another Wave and Single State of the Union (Seal Press). Her writing has appeared in Ms. magazine, Salon, The Guardian (UK), Bitch, Alternet, The Scholar & Feminist and Guernica. Her book, Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters, will be available in Spring 2007.

3. Max Sawicky is an economist at the Economic Policy Institute. He has worked in the Office of State and Local Finance of the U.S. Treasury Department and the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. He is a member of the National Board of Americans for Democratic Action and serves on the editorial advisory board of Working USA.