It’s excruciating, Hartman’s repeated disasters in debating right wing ideologues and corporate apologists. . Indeed, I have had moments when he has flubbed arguments so well known and established that I believed he was intentionally throwing the argument in favor of the Right. Much of the time I am aghast at the delinquency of preparation in arguments and debates. One of those moments occurred on his radio program last week regarding GMOs.
On his may 27th show Hartman interviewed/debated (I use the term liberally) an advocate for the GMP industry. Just as I have heard quite painfully time and time again, the guest rolled over Hartman, who was fully unprepared to counter the numerous and transparently false information his supposed adversary paraded. Hartman apparently has never heard that one should not pick a fight he/she is unprepared for.
The guest cited “European” studies which he said proved. First, no such scientific study exists. What the guest was referring to was a report by the dubious European Food Safety Authority, an organization heavily criticized for cozy and frequent conflicts of interest to the companies and corporations it is meant to oversee. It is the same sort of relationship and revolving door situation we find in this country with the Food and Drug Administration, FDA. In fact, the EFSA did not “find” anything, but rather sided with Monsanto and the GMO producers.
A French study was attacked aggressively by the GMO industry. It showed, among other findings that GMO chemicals and material do, in fact, cross the placental barrier between mother and fetus-the same fetus the right claims holds greater rights than the mother. Even without such research there is one question that negates any defense at any level from governmental and even minority scientific opinions, and that has to do with the industry’s vehement assault against any suggestion of labeling. It took Thom Hartman 47 minutes, 35 minutes after the guest mercifully departed to mention that most obvious and prominent argument against the use of GMOs. Why does Monsanto and others not want GMO ingredients labeled? In an interview with activist Margaret Nelson, her issue had to do with a multitude of severe food allergies. Labeling was imperative to this woman’s health and quality of life. The industry points to the negative public sentiment regarding GMOs, offering that consumers would avoid or boycott GMO labeled foods. That would be the free market corporations pretend as economic religion, but in truth the industry’s rejection of labeling is largely driving suspicions among consumers.
My question for Hartman; what else do you have to do other than prepare for these debates. You should be responsible as the last real national voice on the Progressive side for at least the base arguments. Forcing answers to those questions and issues is paramount. Those basic questions always supports progressive issues on everything from GMOs to climate change and social and racial justice. In my little 2 hour weekend show on a small nonprofit low power station, working another job I still manage to read and absorb a monstrous amount of data, as well as energetically dissecting the obtuse and flimsy arguments of the Right. Hartman, working full time on these issues could do the same or better.
There are so few resources for the Left and Progressives. Ed Schultz is, well, confused and no one even knows he exists any longer. Stephanie Miller, though attracting a large and sympathetic audience is largely co-opted fully by the DNC, her arguments amounting to the mass media equivalent of “Duh!” We are beleaguered on the Left in the media. Personalities like Hartman must become a source for arming progressives with the best and most accurate information, arguments and facts rather than frustrating them in debates in which the adversary embarrasses him and the Left.
Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com
The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting. Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.