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Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan
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Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan

Author: The Intercept

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Journalist Mehdi Hasan is known around the world for his televised takedowns of presidents and prime ministers. In this new podcast from The Intercept, Mehdi unpacks a game-changing news event of the week while challenging the conventional wisdom. As a Brit, a Muslim and an immigrant based in Donald Trump's Washington D.C., Mehdi offers a provocative perspective on the ups and downs of American—and global—politics.
56 Episodes
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Israeli voters returned to the polls this week for the second time in five months to elect the 120 members of the Knesset, the country’s legislative body. The outcome remains too close to call, but it looks like Benjamin Netanyahu, the country’s longest serving Prime Minister, may be denied a majority. His likely successor is former army chief of staff Benny Gantz of the Blue and White Party. Yet missing from so much of the international conversation is the fact that five million Palestinian residents of the occupied territories remain unable to vote in elections that could determine their future. Given that Gantz, like Netanyahu, has adopted bellicose rhetoric toward Palestine in the past, can they really expect things to change? Noura Erakat, Palestinian American legal scholar and author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss whether it’s fair to describe Israel as an apartheid state.
The Democratic candidates met in Houston on Thursday night for a third round of televised debates. This time the format was limited to a single night with 10 participants, which meant that for the first time, all the top-tier candidates were onstage together. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren defended their respective healthcare plans, but the center of attention was frontrunner Joe Biden, who spent the night fending off attacks from his rivals. As the evening wore on, Biden's answers became increasingly difficult to decipher. Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim joins Mehdi Hasan to breakdown the latest debate, as do Justice Democrats Executive Director Alexandra Rojas and Pod Save the World host Tommy Vietor.
A whopping 20 Democratic presidential candidates met in Miami, Florida this week for the first in what promises to be a very long season of primary debates. Pre-debate buzz centered around frontrunners like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren—or Kamala Harris and Joe Biden, who let the fireworks fly on the second night in a heated exchange over the ex-Vice President’s record on school bussing. One surprise standout was former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, who made headlines on the first night for his radical immigration proposals and for clashing with fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke. Castro joins Mehdi to talk about his big night, and Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim stops by to analyze the debates.
Calls for military action against Iran grew louder this week in response to the Trump Administration’s claims that the Islamic Republic was responsible for attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Many analysts and politicians, both in the US and abroad, expressed skepticism of those claims. But the US media appears to be falling into a familiar pattern, providing a sympathetic platform for the administration without fundamentally questioning its premises. What can we learn from the last push for a war in the Middle East 17 years ago? Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Chief of Staff to then Secretary of State Colin Powell during the runup to the Iraq War, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the lessons of recent history.
The Democratic candidates have introduced a raft of radical progressive proposals on the domestic policy front, from Medicare for All to free public college to universal basic income. Yet that appetite for radicalism has been sorely lacking on the foreign policy front, with the candidates mostly mouthing the same noncommittal platitudes we’ve come to expect from cautious presidential contenders. Why is it that the policy area in which American presidents have the most power and the most freedom to shape world events is so often overlooked in our political campaigns? Atlantic contributor and CUNY professor Peter Beinart joins Mehdi Hasan to talk about why Democrats are so timid on foreign policy.
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, a 44-year-old former businessman and philanthropist, has garnered a devoted fanbase (dubbed the “Yang Gang”) for his unique raft of progressive and technocratic reform proposals. His signature policy, the “freedom dividend”, would see every American receive $1000 every month, no strings attached. Yang has garnered enough support to secure a spot on the Democratic debate stage later this month, in spite of his total lack of political or government experience. On this week’s Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan sits down with the candidate to talk about his platform, his qualifications, and why he seems to have attracted online interest from the alt-right.
This week’s EU Parliament elections sent political shockwaves across Europe, with far-right nationalist parties racking up major victories in France, Italy, and even the UK. Established parties in Britain took a pounding as voters flocked to Nigel Farage’s newly-founded Brexit Party. Only days earlier, Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May resigned in the wake of repeated failures to secure a deal on Brexit. Where does all this leave the UK’s effort to withdraw from the European Union? And what can the US, in the midst of its own anti-immigrant populist moment, learn from the turmoil across the Atlantic? Guardian columnist Owen Jones joins Mehdi Hasan to talk about the rise of British Trumpism.
Joe Biden Would Be a Disaster

Joe Biden Would Be a Disaster

2019-05-2300:36:0212

Former Vice President Joe Biden has jumped to a surprisingly large lead in the Democratic race. But in an era when Democrats are increasingly young, racially diverse, and socialist-leaning, are they really about to nominate a 76-year-old white male from the establishment wing of the party? The bigger problem with Biden of course is his political record—from his role in the Anita Hill hearings to his vote for the 1994 crime bill to his cozy relationship with the credit card industry. On this week’s Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan is joined by author and political commentator Rebecca Traister to discuss the trouble with “Uncle Joe”.
U.S. officials this week accused Iran of orchestrating “sabotage” attacks on Saudi tankers near the Persian Gulf, escalating an already tense situation between the two countries. President Trump ramped up his own rhetoric, telling reporters that “It's going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens… they're not going to be happy." With the notoriously hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton whispering in Trump’s ear, are these signs that the administration is putting the U.S. on a path to war? On this week’s Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan discusses the prospects for another illegal and bloody regime change war in the Middle East with National Iranian American Council president Trita Parsi, and with Rob Malley, President and CEO of the International Crisis Group.
Is Trump a Fascist?

Is Trump a Fascist?

2019-05-0900:32:573

The F-word gets thrown around a lot these days. But with the president fear-mongering about immigrants, turning a blind eye to political violence from the far right, and embracing white nationalism, is it time to ask the question in earnest? On a daily basis Donald Trump can be heard dismissing the legitimacy of judges or the press, praising authoritarians like Kim Jong-Un, or trying to undermine congressional oversight of his administration. On this week’s show, Mehdi Hasan speaks with Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley about the history of fascism and what it can teach us about our current president.
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Comments (26)

Will Shogren

unequivocally apartheid.

Sep 20th
Reply

Jesse Hoffner ☭

"any system or practice that separates people according to color, ethnicity, caste, etc." Yeah. It's apartheid.

Sep 19th
Reply

Will Shogren

oh, shut the fuck up forever, Mayor Pete you fucking dewdrop.

Sep 13th
Reply

Will Shogren

hey Mehdi, welcome back! can't wait for more dumbass quips and tepid liberalism from my favorite irritating expat!

Sep 13th
Reply

space_junk

Rudy would give a sprach to NAMBLA for enough $$$

Jul 25th
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Thomas N. Leung

Hassan is such a bad interviewer and comes off as arrogant. sounds like those Fox News jackasses.

Jul 10th
Reply

Muqaddimah

great burn at the end haha

Jun 28th
Reply

Ben M A

Great show.

Jun 24th
Reply

Ammar Masood Khan

Insightful

Jun 15th
Reply

CJ

I like Mehdi. but Biden is dropping like a rock. His son Hunter is deep into "investments" with hostile countries

Jun 11th
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Cassandra Carpenter

sigh. honestly I'm not terribly happy with any of the Democratic candidates. I'm glad that Hasan pressed Yang.

Jun 10th
Reply

Fred Ramey

I shared this podcast with a group of friends of mine. They all said the same thing. Hasan is hypercritical, arrogant, and interrupts constantly and is one of the worst journalists of all time.

Jun 6th
Reply

Peter Chilon

Fred Ramey "Worst Journalists of all time". Cool.

Jun 27th
Reply

Sarthak Aneja

Fred Ramey 👍

Jun 6th
Reply

Krim

That was a great interview Andrew Yang’s. Really useful to see how he responds under pressure.

Jun 6th
Reply

Fred Ramey

Krim responds to douchebaggery? lol

Jun 6th
Reply

Fred Ramey

Hasan is a jerk and not a good interview. Andrew Yang was awesome.

Jun 6th
Reply

a_user

ouch! that was brutal. good interview. lots of tough questions.

Jun 6th
Reply

Javier Bassi

Slow down, man. Raising your voice, talking fast and making wise ass jokes do nothing for your arguments. I'd expect more serene, reasoned and fact-based debate. You spend more time saying bad things should be said --which I already know, otherwise I'd listen to mainstream media-- than actually saying those bad things about Bush sr.

Jun 2nd
Reply

Mohammed Al Smadi

this lady screams like my sister lol

May 23rd
Reply

eduardo brun

I think impeachment is a bad idea

May 3rd
Reply

Kevin McCracken

Not defending trump, but all the ageist opinions from mehdi really caught me off guard. I have 30 years, but I don't see age as a reason to attack a person. Attack there lack of morals and values. Trump is lacking in many different ways. His age is irrelevant. This episode felt a bit prejudice in that way

Feb 21st
Reply

David Moran

Kevin McCracken There certainly is a bias in this episode and double standard (especially since Bernie Sanders is 77, compared to Trump's 72), but the 25th amendment exists for a reason. This is just a certain perspective Mehdi is giving, which because he's the only one giving is, of course is a bias. This is some scary s*** though, regardless of someone's age, this President has some more serious problems...

Feb 28th
Reply

Mark Sangerman

Trump has got to go but chances are he'll finish his first term. What's important is that he not have a second term. Third party candidates (Howard Shultz for one) will only help Donald secure a second term.

Jan 29th
Reply
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