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Roxie Theater: The Corporate Coup D’Etat
August 24, 2019 @ 4:15 pm - 6:15 pm
A Q&A with journalist Lee Fang and co-producer Jeff Cohen will follow the screening!
A democracy should protect its citizens, especially the most vulnerable among them, but increasingly the United States is failing to do so. This investigative and persuasive documentary blends the insights of philosophers, writers and journalists with the experiences of citizens of the Rust Belt in the U.S. Midwest, where the steel industry once flourished, but where closures and outsourcing have left urban areas desolate and hopeless. It’s here that Donald Trump finds some of his most fervent supporters, as he’s not considered part of the hated Washington establishment.
Journalist Chris Hedges argues that the crisis predates Donald Trump’s election by many years. Like his source of inspiration, the Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul, Hedges regards Trump as the symptom rather than the disease. Decades ago, U.S. democracy began selling its soul to big corporations. Lobbyists and corporatism took control in Washington, gradually undermining the will of the people. In the movie, Lee Fang confronts lobbyists and lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Journalist Naomi Klein recently described Trump’s administration as a “corporate coup d’état.” Hedges and Ralston Saul argue that the real coup took place long before.
The Hollywood Reporter calls it “a horror film of the most realistic kind.”
About Lee Fang
Lee Fang is a journalist at The Intercept with a longstanding interest in how public policy is influenced by organized interest groups and money. He was the first to uncover and detail the role of the billionaire Koch brothers in financing the tea party movement. His interviews and research on the Koch brothers have been featured on HBO’s “The Newsroom,” the documentaries “Merchants of Doubt” and “Citizen Koch,” as well as in multiple media outlets. He was an investigative blogger for ThinkProgress from 2009 to 2011, and then a fellow at the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute and contributing writer for The Nation. He is based in San Francisco.
About Jeff Cohen
Jeff Cohen, media critic and lecturer, was founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, where he was an associate professor of journalism. He founded the media watch group FAIR in 1986, and cofounded the online activist group RootsAction.org in 2011. Cohen has coproduced documentary movies, including “The Corporate Coup D’Etat” and “All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception and the Spirit of I.F. Stone.” He is the author of Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media. He has been a TV commentator at CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, and was senior producer of MSNBC’s Phil Donahue primetime show until it was terminated three weeks before the Iraq invasion. His columns have been published online at such websites as HuffPost, CommonDreams and Truthout—and in dozens of dailies, including USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Atlanta Constitution, and Miami Herald.
Directed by Fred Peabody. Canada, United States. 2018. 90 min