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The 10 Best 'Scheer Intelligence' Episodes of 2018

Dustin Lance Black, left, and Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer. (Christopher Ho / KCRW)

How does an inmate preserve his humanity when he knows the state is trying to execute him? What is our capacity for fascist violence, both at home and abroad? Who directly benefited in the run-up to, and immediate aftermath of, the Great Recession?

These are some of the questions explored on “Scheer Intelligence,” whose interview subjects this year included pioneering journalists, corporate whistleblowers and countercultural musicians, to name but a few. Together, they capture an America at a unique crossroads in its history, one in which even the future of its democracy appears an open question.

What follows is an incomplete list of the podcast’s most compelling episodes. Click on the headline to listen to the interview or read its accompanying transcript.

Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black on Risking Career for LGBT Rights
By Robert Scheer
The Academy Award-winning screenwriter talks to Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer about the risky but necessary decision to pause his career in pursuit of LGBT equality.

Maj. Danny Sjursen: Dissent Is Patriotic (Audio and Transcript)
By Robert Scheer
The columnist and U.S. Army officer tells Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer that U.S. foreign policy since 9/11 makes us less safe.


John Kiriakou: Haspel Is the Wrong Woman for the CIA
By Robert Scheer
Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer and CIA whistleblower Kiriakou discuss the nomination of Gina Haspel as the spy agency’s director.

Filmmaker Sara Driver on Jean-Michel Basquiat (Audio and Transcript)
By Robert Scheer
Truthdig’s Robert Scheer discusses the American artist with the director of “Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat.”

Nomi Prins on the Banks That Run the World (Audio and Transcript)
By Robert Scheer
The author and former banker discusses what Truthdig’s Robert Scheer calls her “most ambitious” book, “Collusion.”

From Ali to LeBron James: Howard Bryant on Revolt of the Black Athlete
By Robert Scheer
The acclaimed sports journalist discusses his new book, “The Heritage: Black Athletes, A Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism.”

Seymour Hersh on America’s Capacity for Fascist Brutality
By Robert Scheer
In a wide-ranging interview, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist discusses the My Lai massacre and more.


Jane Fonda Is a Living, Breathing Rebuke of the Patriarchy
By Robert Scheer
Director Susan Lacy reflects on the film star’s personal evolution and her sui generis brand of political activism.


Wall Street’s Corruption Runs Deeper Than You Can Fathom
By Robert Scheer
Author Carmen Segarra sounds off on Goldman Sachs, deregulation and how our culture rewards bad behavior.


Is California About to Execute an Innocent Man?
Robert Scheer with Kevin Cooper
Kevin Cooper reflects on his near-execution, the cowardice of California Democrats and his struggle to stay sane on death row. Part 1 of 2.


Could Kevin Cooper Finally Be Exonerated?
Robert Scheer with Kevin Cooper
Efforts by the inmate’s legal team and journalists lead California’s governor to order a re-examination of the case. Part 2 of 2.

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