Robert Scheer

American writer, activist and tax resister Robert Scheer

Robert Scheer is an American journalist who writes a column for Truthdig that is nationally syndicated by Creators Syndicate in publications such as The Huffington Post and The Nation. He is a clinical professor of communications at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California and co-hosts the weekly political radio program Left, Right & Center on KCRW, the National Public Radio affiliate in Santa Monica, California.
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home town
The Bronx
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April 21, 2003
Dr. Pieter Drooglever Professor Emeritus Institute of Netherlands History The House Subcommittee and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment chaired by Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS) held a historic hearing on "Crimes Agains
April 21, 2003
Attendees from Papua The House Subcommittee and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment chaired by Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS) held a historic hearing on "Crimes Against Humanity: When will Indonesia's Military be held ac
April 21, 2003
Joseph Yun The House Subcommittee and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment chaired by Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS) held a historic hearing on "Crimes Against Humanity: When will Indonesia's Military be held accountable
April 21, 2003
Joseph Yun The House Subcommittee and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment chaired by Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS) held a historic hearing on "Crimes Against Humanity: When will Indonesia's Military be held accountable
April 21, 2003
Attendees from Papua The House Subcommittee and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment chaired by Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS) held a historic hearing on "Crimes Against Humanity: When will Indonesia's Military be held ac
April 21, 2003
Joseph Yun The House Subcommittee and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment chaired by Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS) held a historic hearing on "Crimes Against Humanity: When will Indonesia's Military be held accountable
April 21, 2003
Attendees from Papua The House Subcommittee and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment chaired by Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS) held a historic hearing on "Crimes Against Humanity: When will Indonesia's Military be held ac
April 21, 2003
Attendees from Papua The House Subcommittee and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment chaired by Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS) held a historic hearing on "Crimes Against Humanity: When will Indonesia's Military be held ac
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How Afghanistan Went From Hippie Haven To War Battleground
The Huffington Post - 3 months
In this week’s episode of KCRW’s “Scheer Intelligence,” Robert Scheer talks to Jere Van Dyk, who has reported on Afghanistan since the 1970s and has written extensively about the nation’s evolution from a hippie haven to a battleground for the war on terror. Van Dyk’s most recent book is The Trade: My Journey into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping, which details his search for answers after being kidnapped by the Taliban in 2008. More...
Article Link:
 The Huffington Post article
Filmmakers Look At The Myths Of Racism
The Huffington Post - 6 months
Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis’ new documentary “Whose Streets?” may take the recent racial justice movement out of Ferguson, Mo., as its main focus, but its scope and significance are far broader. Take, for example, Foyalan’s comment to Robert Scheer in this week’s episode of “Scheer Intelligence,” in which she quickly dispenses with one of several lingering national fantasies about racial relations in the U.S.: More...
Article Link:
 The Huffington Post article
Author Rebecca Carroll On Identity And The ‘Monolith Of Blackness’
The Huffington Post - 8 months
In this week’s episode of KCRW’s “Scheer Intelligence,” Robert Scheer interviews Rebecca Carroll about race, her writing process and the current climate for black writers and artists. Carroll, an author, journalist and the producer of special projects on race at radio station WNYC, explains how her race and upbringing—she is biracial, and her adoptive family is white—informs her writing. She tells Scheer that her childhood in New Hampshire was “blissful,” but “it became complicated abruptly when I realized that I didn’t have the tools to be a black child in an all-white environment.” More...
Article Link:
 The Huffington Post article
Director John Scheinfeld On The Spiritual Journey Of Jazz Icon John Coltrane
Huffington Post - 9 months
In this week’s episode of “Scheer Intelligence” Robert Scheer speaks with documentarian John Scheinfeld about his latest film, “Chasing Trane” about jazz icon John Coltrane. The two also discuss Scheinfeld’s earlier film, “The U.S. vs. John Lennon,” and Lennon’s political activism during the Vietnam War. The conversation begins with a look at the parallels between Lennon and Coltrane. Noting that the two music legends “overlapped in time,” Scheer tells Scheinfeld: “What you capture in both stories is a search for integrity and rebellion.” After delving into Lennon’s political activism during and after the Vietnam War, the two discuss Coltrane’s legacy. Scheinfeld notes that Coltrane was a “practice nut” who would practice “hours and hours every day.” “Yes, jazz exists today, but it’s not the same thing,” Scheer says. Scheinfeld explains Coltrane’s background and musical process, and the two agree that his music defied any genre. “He seemed to always be learning and...
Article Link:
 Huffington Post article
Director Laura Poitras: Julian Assange Is An ‘Equal-Opportunity’ Leaker
Huffington Post - 9 months
  The subject matter of Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras’ new film “Risk” could not be more timely: controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. “I absolutely defend what WikiLeaks published,” Poitras tells Robert Scheer in this week’s episode of “Scheer Intelligence” on KCRW. “It’s crucial journalism.” Poitras, director of “The Oath” and “Citizenfour,” and Scheer discuss Assange’s role as a publisher and the effect WikiLeaks had on the 2016 presidential election. Their conversation comes just as Assange is back in the headlines: Early Friday, news broke that Sweden has dropped rape charges against the leaker. “I don’t agree with all of Julian’s decisions. I don’t agree with his decision to not redact certain information—I think that if something is personal information, and it’s not newsworthy, it should be redacted,” Poitras explains. “But those are differences of opinion, not differences of his right to publish.” Scheer notes that many Americans...
Article Link:
 Huffington Post article
Oliver Stone On Interviewing Putin, Documenting Snowden, And Making Controversial Choices
Huffington Post - 10 months
From “Platoon” and “Born on the Fourth of July” to “Snowden,” director Oliver Stone’s film projects have zoomed in on some tough topics and larger-than-life figures. In this week’s edition of “Scheer Intelligence,” Stone—who is not one to shy away from challenges or controversies—tells Robert Scheer what has motivated him to choose the subjects he has brought to screens big and small. “I’ve always managed—miraculously—to do what I wanted to do,” Stone says. “I never did a movie because it was good for my career.” Scheer recalls Stone’s dogged determination to make sure that author Ron Kovic’s book “Born on the Fourth of July” became a film with Stone at the helm. Scheer also engages the director on other topics, including Stone’s upcoming documentary that features lengthy interviews with Vladimir Putin. “The Putin Interviews” will screen on Showtime beginning June 12. Stone has conducted filmed interviews with other “unpopular figures,” as he puts it, such as ...
Article Link:
 Huffington Post article
Immigrant Scapegoating Didn’t Start Under Trump—It Was ‘Greatly Accelerated’ Under Clinton
Huffington Post - 11 months
In this week’s episode of Scheer Intelligence, Robert Scheer interviews attorney Bill Blum, a Truthdig columnist and a lecturer at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. The two examine Blum’s recent column, “Bill Clinton Laid the Groundwork for Trump’s Ugly Immigration Policies,” in which Blum explains how Trump’s harsh policies “haven’t sprung from thin air” but rather “owe a specific debt to legislation enacted during the tenure of none other than President William Jefferson Clinton.” Blum tells Scheer how he found “legal antecedents in the Clinton administration” that “created the machinery that Donald Trump and his team now want to use to expand the deportation of the undocumented population in the United States to new levels.” Scheer commented that, although Blum’s column is “startling” to many readers, it reinforces an important narrative: Trump is not a new manifestation of evil, but rather an outcome of decades of in...
Article Link:
 Huffington Post article
From The ‘Nation Of Poets’ To Trump’s America, One Somali-Born Writer Is Giving Refugees A Voice
Huffington Post - 11 months
In this week’s episode of “Scheer Intelligence,” Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer interviews Boyah J. Farah, a nonfiction writer whose work has appeared in Salon and The Guardian. Farah was born in Somalia and came to the U.S. in 1993 as a refugee. Somalia is one of six countries facing restricted immigration into the U.S. under President Trump’s travel ban. But when Farah came to the U.S. as a teenager, life was much different. Leaving behind his war-torn country, Farah honed his nonfiction skills through a memoir program at Grubstreet, a creative writing school in Boston. Now, unfortunately, immigration to the U.S. is much more difficult, and refugees face heightened racism and xenophobia in Trump’s America. Farah tells Scheer of President Trump’s dangerous “tribal rhetoric” and draws parallels between political language in war-torn Somalia and the language employed by Trump and other politicians today. “Last Tuesday, I was sitting at Starbucks,” Farah remarks. “...
Article Link:
 Huffington Post article
The CIA’s 60-Year History Of Fake News: How The Deep State Corrupted Many American Writers
Huffington Post - 11 months
In this week’s episode of “Scheer Intelligence” Robert Scheer interviews Joel Whitney, author and co-founder of Guernica magazine. Whitney’s new book, “Finks: How the C.I.A. Tricked the World’s Best Writers,” explores how the CIA influenced acclaimed writers and publications during the Cold War to produce subtly anti-communist material. During the interview, Scheer and Whitney discuss these manipulations and how the CIA controlled major news agencies and respected literary publications (such as the Paris Review). Their talk comes at a particularly tense time in American politics, as accusations of fake news and Russian propaganda fly from both sides of the aisle. But the history detailed in Whitney’s book presents a valuable lesson for writers hoping to avoid similar manipulations today. Scheer opens the discussion with the question: “Were they really tricked?” “It could have been ‘paid,’ it could have been ‘subsidized,’ it could have been ‘used,’ it could have been ‘col...
Article Link:
 Huffington Post article
Fired ‘Marketplace’ Reporter Wonders: Is Objective Journalism Dead?
Huffington Post - 12 months
In this week’s episode of “Scheer Intelligence,” Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer interviews Lewis Wallace, a former reporter fired for questioning objective journalism in the age of Trump. Wallace had been working for the American Public Media show “Marketplace” for months when he was abruptly fired in February. The reason? He’d written a personal blog post, titled “Objectivity is dead, and I’m okay with it,” in which he explored how journalists will “adapt to a government that believes in ‘alternative facts’ and thrives on lies, including the lie of white racial superiority.” “Marketplace” executive Deborah Clark stated that the blog post “was a clear violation of our ethics code.” Wallace, who is transgender, tells Scheer that he can’t be objective when it comes to LGBTQ issues in the news—nor should he have to be. The two also discuss diversity in journalism. Listen to the full interview below: Adapted from Truthdig.com -- This feed and its contents are th...
Article Link:
 Huffington Post article
Mary Astor’s Purple Diary: The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936
Huffington Post - 12 months
On the KCRW show “Scheer Intelligence,” Edward Sorel, author and illustrator of book and magazine covers, tells Robert Scheer about the enduring interest that led to his new book, “Mary Astor’s Purple Diary: The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936.” The book details the life of the late actress Mary Astor and her scandalous extramarital affairs with prominent men of the time, including Broadway producer George S. Kaufman and actor John Barrymore. Sorel and Scheer also discuss the impact Astor’s very public love affairs had on her movie career and the parallels between the movie business of the early 20th century and the industry of today. —Adapted from Truthdig.com -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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 Huffington Post article
Heyday Books Publisher Steve Wasserman Discusses the Future of the Printed Word
Huffington Post - about 1 year
In this week's episode of KCRW's "Scheer Intelligence," Steve Wasserman, former editor at Yale University Press and the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and publisher of Heyday Books, speaks with Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer about actual books and e-books and recounts how Malcolm Margolin founded the imprint to champion indigenous people. Wasserman has worked with many authors, including Tom Hayden and Christopher Hitchens, and was once Scheer's agent. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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 Huffington Post article
A Conversation With Willie Nelson, Part II: Living in the Promised Land
Huffington Post - about 1 year
In the second portion of a two-part conversation, the American musician Willie Nelson tells Robert Scheer why, in spite of prevailing political conditions, he is optimistic about the future of the United States. Nelson also discussed his start in the music industry as a DJ and promoter and his love of Texas and Texans, and explained why he's not afraid of getting older. Why do Texans keep voting for "assholes," Scheer asks Nelson. "Because assholes keep running," Nelson replies. When Scheer points out that many liberals do not understand why millions of their fellow citizens voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, Nelson says: "I recorded a song called 'Living in the Promiseland.' ... It's about welcoming everyone: 'Living in the promiseland, our dreams are made of steel. The prayer of every man is to know how freedom feels. Bring us your foreign songs, we will sing along. ...' Come on. Come on, America. We love you. We'll help you. We'll find a spot for you." Scheer ...
Article Link:
 Huffington Post article
The Insanity of a New Cold War: A Top Russian Scholar Sounds the Alarm
Huffington Post - about 1 year
In this week's episode of KCRW's "Scheer Intelligence," host Robert Scheer is joined by Russian-born professor Sergei Plekhanov. Plekhanov teaches at York University in Toronto and has a wealth of knowledge about Russian culture and politics, which, he argues, are overlooked by Western media. The conversation begins with a brief discussion of the history between the United States and Russia, particularly during the Cold War. Scheer then asks Plekhanov about U.S. attitudes toward Russia today. Listen to the interview below: In the eyes of some in the United States, "Russia has undermined the international order," Plekhanov says. "So," he continued, "Russia needs to be punished, Russia needs to be contained. That's the view." Scheer brings up the recent political mayhem over allegations of Russian hacking, particularly the role of FBI Director James Comey and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Clapper makes it seem like we are entering another chapter of th...
Article Link:
 Huffington Post article
Blase Bonpane, A Priest Who Defied The Catholic Church
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Rev. Blase Bonpane. (Office of the Americas) The Rev. Blase Bonpane, a Catholic priest and author of the new book, The Nicene Heresy: Christendom and War, Reverence and Critique, speaks with "Scheer Intelligence." Robert Scheer and Blase Bonpane discuss Bonpane's career working for peace in Central America and his conflicted relationship with the Catholic Church. Bonpane is the director of the Office of the Americas, which promotes peaceful relations in Central America. He was active in Guatemala in the 1960s during that country's revolution. He tells Scheer about his disassociation from the Catholic Church that resulted from his international work and his eventual marriage to a nun. He also discusses the parallels between the "religiosity of nationalism" in the United States and in Islamic State in the Middle East -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be...
Article Link:
 Huffington Post article
Socialist Kshama Sawant Talk About Progress for Seattle Workers
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Truthdig.com In this week's episode of "Scheer Intelligence," Robert Scheer speaks with Kshama Sawant, the second socialist (and the first within one hundred years) to hold a seat on Seattle's City Council. Sawant, currently in her second term on the council, discusses her upbringing in India and how inequality in America ultimately led her to embrace socialism. She also explains how socialism, as a label, is becoming less controversial and is being embraced by millennials. Sawant also provides specific examples of how Seattle has benefited from her political ideology. Adapted from Truthdig.com Read the interview below: Robert Scheer: Hi this is Robert Scheer and we'll be getting to this week's Scheer Intelligence shortly but the election has thrown a bit of a hook at us. When I interviewed Kshama Sawant the independent socialist member of the Seattle city council an advocate of economic social justice, I did as most pollsters and commentaries assumed that Hillary...
Article Link:
 Huffington Post article
Lizbeth Mateo: Contradictions of U.S. Immigration Policy
Huffington Post - over 1 year
In this week's episode of "Scheer Intelligence," Robert Scheer speaks with lawyer and immigrant rights activist Lizbeth Mateo, who self-deported in order to illuminate the plight of immigrants like herself. Mateo came to the United States with her family at age 14 and attended college and law school. She returned to Mexico for several days in 2013 and was subsequently denied DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), calling into question her ability to live and work in the United States. In their conversation, Mateo tells Scheer why she decided to become an activist and self-deport, knowing it was a risky move. She explains why activists call President Obama the "Deporter-in-Chief," and affirms that whatever happens in the presidential election, immigrants will not forget the politicians who remained silent while Donald Trump insulted them. Adapted from Truthdig.com Read the interview below: Robert Scheer: Hi. This is Robert Scheer. Welcome to another editi...
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 Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Robert Scheer
    LATE ADULTHOOD
  • 2015
    Age 78
    Scheer's latest book, They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy, was released on February 21, 2015.
  • 2013
    Age 76
    Robert Scheer is editor-in-chief of the news website Truthdig, which is a four-time recipient of the Webby Award for best political blog, and in 2013, Truthdig won a fifth award for best politics site.
  • 2011
    Age 74
    The Society of Professional Journalists awarded Scheer the 2011 Sigma Delta Chi Award for his column.
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  • 2010
    Age 73
    In the October 1, 2010, episode of the radio show Left, Right and Center, Scheer, a self-described liberal, expressed support for Rand Paul, son of former Libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul, in his bid for the 2011-2016 Kentucky Senate seat.
    It was published by Nation Books, who also released Scheer's previous book The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street on September 7, 2010.
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    Scheer received the 2010 Distinguished Work in New Media Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, and in 2011 Ithaca College named Scheer the winner of the Izzy Award for outstanding achievement in independent media.
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    In an April 7, 2010, article he wrote that Harry Truman perpetrated "the most atrocious act of terrorism in world history when he annihilated the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki."
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  • 2008
    Age 71
    In 2008 he published The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America.
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  • 2006
    Age 69
    In 2006, Scheer published Playing President: My Close Encounters with Nixon, Carter, Bush I, Reagan and Clinton – and How They Did Not Prepare Me for George W. Bush (Akashic Books), a collection of his many interviews, profiles, and columns about Presidents Richard Nixon through George W. Bush.
  • 2005
    Age 68
    On November 29, 2005 Scheer co-launched, as Editor in Chief, the online news magazine Truthdig, where his column is now based.
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    He also commented during a November 14, 2005, appearance on Democracy Now!
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    In it, he asked, "Would George W. Bush have been reelected president if the public understood how much responsibility his administration bears for allowing the 9/11 attacks to succeed?" After running his column for more than 12 years after he had worked as a reporter for the paper 17 years, the Los Angeles Times ended a nearly 30-year relationship with Scheer in November 2005, citing the need to cut costs, but subsequently replaced him with two conservative columnists.
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    Scheer has often expressed highly controversial ideas. For example, on February 15, 2005, he wrote an article entitled "What We Don't Know About 9/11 Hurts Us" for the LA Times.
  • 2003
    Age 66
    On November 4, 2003, he penned an article in favor of withdrawal from Iraq.
  • 2002
    Age 65
    In an August 6, 2002, article, he wrote that "a consensus of experts" informed the Senate that the Iraqi weapons arsenal was “almost totally destroyed during eight years of inspections.” On June 3, 2003, Scheer concluded that White House justifications for the war were a "big lie."
  • THIRTIES
  • 1976
    Age 39
    Scheer interviewed every president from Richard Nixon through Bill Clinton. He conducted the noted 1976 Playboy interview with Jimmy Carter, in which the then-presidential candidate admitted to having "lusted" in his heart.
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    After several years freelancing for magazines, including New Times and Playboy, Scheer joined the Los Angeles Times in 1976 as a reporter.
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  • 1970
    Age 33
    In the November 1970 California election, Scheer ran for the U.S. Senate as the nominee of the Peace and Freedom Party against Republican Senator George Murphy and Democratic Congressman John V. Tunney.
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    In July 1970, Scheer accompanied as a journalist a Black Panther Party delegation, led by Eldridge Cleaver, who also wrote for Ramparts, to North Korea, China, and Vietnam.
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  • 1968
    Age 31
    In 1968, he signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse to pay taxes in protest against the Vietnam War.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1966
    Age 29
    He challenged U.S. Representative Jeffrey Cohelan in the 1966 Democratic primary.
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  • 1965
    Age 28
    Scheer was formerly married to Serena Turan Scheer. Serena, sister of film critic Kenneth Turan, was from Brooklyn and was on the editorial staff of Root and Branch. Robert Scheer married Anne Butterfield Weills in 1965; they later divorced.
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  • 1964
    Age 27
    Between 1964 and 1969, he served, variously, as the Vietnam correspondent, managing editor and editor-in-chief of Ramparts magazine.
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  • 1962
    Age 25
    In 1962 in Berkeley, California, Scheer along with David Horowitz, Maurice Zeitlin, Phil Roos, and Sol Stern founded Root and Branch: A Radical Quarterly, one of the first campus New Left journals.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1936
    Born
    Born in 1936.
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