Welcome back to OptOut's weekend news roundup! Today we'll look at independent journalism about the 20-year anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the Fed's blunders surrounding bank regulation and the SVB failure, Trump's legal troubles ramping up, and lots more.
First, some updates about the OptOut network.
What's New at OptOut
This week OptOut welcomed two more outlets to our independent media network!
TYPE INVESTIGATIONS is a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to transforming the field of independent investigative journalism. It covers the most urgent issues of our time, including racial and economic justice, climate and environmental health, and civil and human rights.
Here's a recent story by Jessica Pishko, co-published with OptOut member THE APPEAL, about the Harris County, Texas jail, where more than 50 inmates have died since 2021.
INDIGNITY is a general-interest blog and podcast, produced by Tom Scocca (check out his appearance on our GILDED AGE podcast) and Joe MacLeod, which features essays, reporting, commentary, and, most importantly, public-domain sandwich recipes. Will Tom and Joe oust Scott Walker as the internet's new sandwich kings?
In the March 15 edition, Scocca analyzes conservative author Bethany Mandel's embarrassing inability to define "woke" after writing a book attacking the phenomenon.
Congrats to our partner STATES NEWSROOM, which is acquiring Stateline, a daily politics and policy news service, from Pew Charitable Trusts, along with $3 million for the transition!
Another edition of OPTOUT NEW YORK came out this week!
Don't miss it next time by signing up for free in your account settings.
War in Iraq 20 Years Later
Twenty years ago today, the U.S. invaded Iraq on false pretenses, and now, most Americans think we shouldn't have created this war. At the time, most of the corporate and legacy media bought the Bush administration's brazen lies about Saddam Hussain's involvement in 9/11 and stockpile of "weapons of mass destruction," rallying public support for the disastrous military engagement.
"Two decades after the March 19, 2003, U.S. invasion of Iraq, it is still difficult to peel back all the layers of deceit that enveloped the war," writes James Risen in THE INTERCEPT.
Instead of the latest TV episodes tonight, you may want to watch this 2007 documentary, War Made Easy, based on the book by Norman Solomon and narrated by Sean Penn.
This critically acclaimed look at American war propaganda exhumes five decades of remarkable archival footage to show how presidents from both parties have relied on fear-driven political spin and craven media complicity to sell a succession of wars to the American people.
THE REAL NEWS NETWORK put the whole doc on YouTube. And don't miss Adam Johnson's "where are they now" piece about the war's biggest proponents in the media. (Hint: all six media figures profiled currently work in the corporate media, and half of them are at The Atlantic.)
It looks like Congress will finally repeal the 32-year-old and the 20-year-old Authorizations for Use of Military Force against Iraq. However, it's not going to ditch the 2001 AUMF that was first used to justify invading Afghanistan and has been used for subsequent military and counterterrorism efforts.
Diagnosing the Bank Failure
I now share with you some of the impressive economic wonkery in the OptOut network.
THE AMERICAN PROSPECT's David Dayen diagnoses the Fed's ongoing blunders that helped cause Silicon Valley Bank's collapse and may now, ironically, exacerbate inflation.
Matt Stoller argues that we should "fire the Fed as our most important bank regulator."
WHO WHAT WHY's podcast interviews distinguished economists Dean Baker and Brad DeLong about the debacle.
Trump's in Trouble
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg frustrated liberals when he declined to go after Donald Trump directly for his company's years of blatant tax fraud. Now he appears to have chosen another way to nail the ex-president, perhaps realizing that his reelection chances wouldn't be so great as "the Democrat who let off Trump."
The corporate tax fraud was a hole-in-one as far as I'm concerned (the media essentially laid out the entire case), but Bragg's office recently asked for a meeting with law enforcement to discuss an impending indictment of Trump over hush money paid to pornstar Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign. This would be the first time a former U.S. president will face criminal charges.
THE RATIONAL NATIONAL analyzes the situation and mentions Trump's breathless post on his floundering social media site, Truth Social, about his imminent arrest, in which he urged supporters to "protest" and "take our country back." Sound familiar?
In Other News
EOS makes an important point about climate journalism: experts and reporters from the Global South lack resources and access, and journalists from the Global North need to make an effort to center their voices.
In a win for workers, the Michigan Senate voted to repeal the state's 2012 "right to work" laws, which restrict the power of organized labor.
👏 And congrats to MICHIGAN ADVANCE for winning 22 Michigan Press Association (MPA) awards in its 2022 “News Media Publication of the Year” contest, including placing first in the Public Service Award for “Loss, strain and hope mark the next phase of the COVID pandemic.”
Other highlights from this week:
- TECH WON'T SAVE US: "Why We Must Resist AI"
- NC POLICY WATCH: "NC Freedom to Vote Act would protect and improve our democracy"
- SCALAWAG: "These Muslim men are disrupting cycles of homelessness after prison"
Thanks as always for following the best independent news in the U.S. and beyond. See you soon.
The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.