Democracy Now! May 16, 2003

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Program Title:
Democracy Now! May 16, 2003
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Right wing media strives to have Danny Glover Dropped as MCI spokesperson; Michael Franti: On government surveillance and the role of artists in a time of war; A House Committee unanimously approves a modified Bush Bioshield : is it to protect the American people, or the pharmaceutical industry?

9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:07 Headlines 9:07-9:08 One Minute Music Break: Michael Franti 9:08-9:20: TransAfrica President Bill Fletcher urged that the telecommunications giant hear the message that retaining actor Danny Glover as a spokesperson demonstrates the company s embrace of democratic values that form the bedrock principle of good corporate citizenship. Glover, a vocal opponent of the U.S. war against Iraq, is being targeted in a right-wing media campaign demanding that MCI terminate his contract. The popular actor and activist has been engaged by the company in a series of national television spots. * Danny Glover, actor and activist * Bill Fletcher, President of TransAfrica 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break: Michael Franti 9:21-9:28: Franti grew out of the Bay Area music and political scene in the early 1990's. In 1986 he founded the duo the Beatnigs, paving the way for his next musical endeavor, the Disposable Heroes of HipHoprisy. His most recent musical project is the musical collective Spearhead, began in 1994. Franti's distinctive style is infused with hip hop, soul and jazz influences and driven by his eloquent political lyrics. He has always used music to push social boundaries. When we last spoke to Michael in March, he had just learned that members of his group Spearhead were under surveillance by the U.S. government. Today he joins us in the studio to talk about the governmental surveillance and the role of artists in a time of war. * Michael Franti, musician and activist, performing acoustically in our Firehouse Studios with members of his group Spearhead. Link: 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break: Michael Franti 9:41-9:58: The program is designed to try to assure drug companies a federal market for products designed in preparation for a biological attack. The pharmaceutical industry has said it cannot afford to spend millions researching a product that may never be needed and, if it is, will be distributed by the government agencies. So the House Committee yesterday set funding for the program at $5.6 billion over the next 10 years. The pharmaceutical industry gave unprecedented levels of campaign contributions to President Bush s election campaign. Meanwhile, three months into the smallpox inoculation campaign, CBS news is reporting the government is doing an about-face and will let states stop administering the high-risk vaccine if they choose to do so. The government has reported 11 cases of unusual heart inflammation among military troops who got the smallpox vaccine. Three civilian deaths are also under investigation. Furthermore, CBS is reporting one high-profile death that hasn't yet been counted that of NBC Correspondent David Bloom. He died of an apparent blood clot in Iraq several weeks after getting both the smallpox and anthrax vaccines. Researches have for years claimed there is a link between the smallpox vaccines and blood clots, though the link hasn t been widely accepted in the medical community. * Lynne Born, health advocate and activist * Barbara Loe Fisher, Co-founder and President of the National Vaccine Information Center 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Sharif Abdul Kouddous, Ana Nogueira, Elizabeth Press with help from Noah Reibel and Vilka Tzouras. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer. Thanks also to Uri Galed, Angela Alston, Emily Kunstler, Orlando Richards, Simba Rousseau, Rafael delaUz, Gabriel Weiss, Johnny Sender, Rich Kim, Karen Ranucci, Fatima Mojadiddy, Denis Moynihan and Jenny Filipazzo

Date Recorded on: 
May 16, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
May 16, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., May 16, 2003
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