BTS 12/10/10: Obama and Republicans, Media and Wikileaks; Tambien la Lluvia

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On tonight's program, John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation, joins us to talk about President Obama’s compromise tax deal with the Republicans that protects an aristocracy of wealth, the mutiny of Obama’s party and the battle with his base. We’ll also talk to John about the media and WikiLeaks. How is it that many media outlets have joined forces with Politicians to shift the debate to the character of Julian Assange? What about the character of the US government which now employs its massive power to discredit and destroy Assange for letting the public in on ‘secrets’ that demonstrate duplicity and official deceit hiding behind the claim of protecting national security? John has written extensively about the role of the media, and we’ll ask him what has happened to a media who joins with the state to protect state secrets rather than the public’s right to know.

Paul Laverty, screenwriter, joins us to talk about his new film “Even the Rain” (Tambien La Lluvia) which is Spain's Official Submission for the 2011 Academy Awards. It screens tonight in New York City and opens in Los Angeles in early February. We’ll be giving away tickets to the film on today’s program as one of our thank you gifts. TAMBIEN LA LLUVIA (Even the Rain), directed by Iciar Bollain and written by Scottish screenwriter Paul Laverty, is about, in the director’s words, “resistance and friendship. It’s a personal journey….an adventure undertaken by characters which brings the past into the present.” The story intertwines Columbus’ arrival in the Americas with the making of a film; it mixes the Spanish crown’s exploitation of gold in the 16th century with the fight for water in Cochabamba in the year 2000. The film takes us from the fiction of a period film to the reality of a film set in a small Bolivian city. And from that reality to another which is deeper and more dramatic, that faced by people with practically no rights, prohibited by law from collecting even the rain.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. John Nichols is the Washington Correspondent of The Nation, where he also blogs the “Online Beat”. John is also associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin, contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times, and is author of several books, including The Genius of Impeachment (The New Press), Dick: The Man Who is President (The New Press), and with Robert McChesney, It's the Media, Stupid! (Seven Stories), Our Media, Not Theirs (Seven Stories) and Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy (The New Press).

2. Paul Laverty’s previous films (in collaboration with film maker Ken Loach) include (among others) The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006), Sweet Sixteen (2002), Bread and Roses (2000), My Name is Joe (1998), and Carla's Song (1996).