11:25 GMT18 January 2021
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    Do US Media Outlets Fear Loss of Viewers, Revenue Once Trump Leaves White House?

    The Critical Hour
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    After four years of soaring ratings, major US media outlets are reportedly concerned that they will lose both viewers and money after their cash cow US President Donald Trump leaves office.

    Dr. Linwood Tauheed, associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, joins us to discuss the coming change of power in the United States, as the Electoral College has met and certified the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Additionally, a Monday New York Times article asserts that executives at CNN and MSNBC are concerned that the networks' ratings may plunge dramatically in a future without Trump. One on-air personality for MSNBC is reported to have asked, "What happens when you don't need us?"

    Jim Kavanagh, writer at The Polemicist and CounterPunch, returns to The Critical Hour to talk about recent rumors that Trump may pardon Edward Snowden. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Sunday advocated in a tweet that Snowden receive a pardon. The organization was immediately attacked on social media from the angle of identity politics for not including a call for Reality Winner to be pardoned. The crew also discusses the importance of having a pardon for Julian Assange in the conversation. 

    Professor Danny Shaw, author, activist and professor of Latin American studies, joins us to discuss the Venezuelan election outcome. In a surprising move, just "a few days after the December 6 election, two-time opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles gave an interview to BBC, where he asked the United States to drop its backing of Juan Guaidó," according to a Tuesday article in CounterPunch. Opposition leader angst over harsh US sanctions is having the opposite effect intended by US and EU proponents of regime change. 

    Dr. Yolandra Hancock, board-certified pediatrician and obesity medicine specialist, joins us to talk about a frightening health issue arising in the United Kingdom. A new strain of the coronavirus may have characteristics that cause it to be more infectious. Recent infection rates in parts of England are causing concern, and scientists are working to find out if this new variant is a contributing factor. "The new variant, which UK scientists have named 'VUI – 202012/01,' includes a mutation in the viral genome region encoding the spike protein, which - in theory - could result in COVID-19 spreading more easily between people," Reuters reported Tuesday.

    Robert Fantina, journalist and Palestine activist, returns to The Critical Hour to discuss the future of the Iran nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). While US President-elect Joe Biden's foreign policy team has indicated that they are open to returning to the deal, they have also implied that they see it as a bridge to further negotiations. However, the Iranians have announced that they are open to immediately rejoining the agreement under the original terms and have no intentions to extend talks. Also, a coalition of 50 retired generals, former secretaries of defense, diplomats and lawmakers from across the spectrum are urging Biden in an open letter to swiftly rejoin the JCPOA when he takes office in January.

    Nicolas Davies, peace activist and author of "Blood on Our Hands, the American Invasion of Iraq," talks with our hosts about a John Pilger article in Consortium News, in which he contends that war is a much more lethal virus than COVID-19. Pilger reviews the damage that the coronavirus has caused and then looks at the money that is being spent on war and how it has left neoliberal societies broke and unable to address any such health crisis. Pilger's contention is supported by the recent passing of a defense bill in the US Congress that allocated $740 billion for the Pentagon when lawmakers have been unable to come to a consensus for economic relief for the American public.

    Ted Rall, political cartoonist and syndicated columnist, returns to discuss the current status of coronavirus relief and stimulus in the US Congress. Despite months of negotiations, the Republican Party seems determined to provide as little relief as possible, and the Democratic Party has lost considerable ground. In rejecting previous GOP offers before the presidential election, the Democrats have lost leverage and appear poised to accept a fraction of the sum contained in their original deals. 

    Kevin Gosztola, journalist, author and documentary filmmaker, returns to discuss whether the national security agencies are in charge of US foreign policy. They review Jacob Hornberger's recent article discussing that question and the book "National Security and Double Government," by Michael J. Glennon. Hornberger argues that it is the national security establishment that is in charge of the federal government. Our guest discusses Trump's initial attacks on traditional US foreign policy and the disastrous blowback from intelligence agencies.

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

    National Security, SARS coronavirus, COVID-19, Venezuela, Edward Snowden, US Electoral College
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