Latest edition: Democrats Bow Down to Wall Street

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Episode Details

Original tape date: December 12, 2014.

First aired: December 22, 2014.

Bill Moyers talks about trade and politics with outspoken veteran journalist John “Rick” MacArthur, president and publisher of Harper’s Magazine. Since 1850, Harper’s has thrown open its pages to some of the most ferociously independent voices in American letters -- from Mark Twain, Jack London and Herman Melville to William Styron, Joyce Carol Oates and David Foster Wallace.

This author and former newspaperman is resolute in his conviction that while blogging and social media have their place, they are no substitute for journalism. Harper’s has a website, but all of its material is behind a paywall – you have to subscribe to the print edition of the magazine to see it. “The web is bad for writers,” he told The New York Times this past summer. They’re “too exhausted by the pace of an endless news cycle to write poised, reflective stories and… are paid peanuts if they do… And it’s bad for readers, who cannot absorb information well on devices that buzz, flash and generally distract.”

During his more than three decades at the magazine, Rick MacArthur has been as ferocious a champion of democracy and journalism as any of those illustrious bylines that have appeared in its pages -- whether he’s writing in Harper’s or in such books as The Selling of Free Trade, an expose of how Democrats and Republicans colluded to enact NAFTA -- the North American Free Trade Agreement, and this one – The Outrageous Barriers to Democracy in America. 

Not only is Rick MacArthur an iconoclast when it comes to cyberspace, he’s also outspoken on politics and culture, and in two languages – English and French. In addition to books and his duties at the magazine, he writes opinion columns for the Providence Journal in Rhode Island and a French language newspaper Le Devoir in Montreal.  His fierce arrows of outrage are aimed at both political parties, but recently he has been especially incensed by Democrats for abandoning their progressive roots to serve Wall Street, K Street and a cabal of crony capitalists.

Guest List

John "Rick" MacArthur President and Publisher, Harper's Magazine

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