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Best of ‘Live at Truthdig’ 2016: Election Chaos Provokes Thoughtful Discussion About the Future

Posted on Dec 30, 2016

  The Truthdig editorial team and “Live at Truthdig” guests throughout the year.

Editor’s note: From Dec. 23 through New Year’s Eve, Truthdig is running a roundup of the top 10 stories of 2016 in the following categories: Live Blog, A/V Booth, Report, Book Review, Ear to the Ground, Cartoon, Film Review, Live at Truthdig and Truthdigger of the Week.

This year, the Truthdig editorial team began holding weekly conversations that were streamed live to our Facebook page. These “Live at Truthdig” sessions drew thousands of viewers and hundreds of audience questions and comments.

The selections on this top 10 list were chosen based on number of viewers. This is intended to serve more as an acknowledgment of powerful conversation than as a focus on web traffic for its own sake.

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The discussions covered a range of subjects: religion, political art, the American prison system, voting rights and more. They weren’t always held behind a desk, either; many of our top live videos transported viewers across the country to political events.

Most weeks, an esteemed guest joined the Truthdig team to add insight; they included Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and acclaimed political analyst Thomas Frank.

Here, then, are our top “Live at Truthdig” sessions from 2016.

10. What Can America Learn From California?
In August, author and longtime journalist Narda Zacchino sat down with the Truthdig editorial team to explain what the once “failed state” of California can teach the rest of the country, and how California’s “remarkable progressive revolution” has been underreported by the mainstream media.


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9. Truthdig Sits Down With the Green Party’s Jill Stein
In one of the earliest “Live at Truthdig” sessions, the editorial team was joined by Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein to discuss the 2016 election. The conversation, filmed in two parts, also has a full transcript available here.



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8. Does America Care About the Costs and Consequences of War?
Peace activist and military veteran Ron Kovic sat down with the Truthdig team, led by Editor in Chief Robert Scheer, to examine America’s relationship with war throughout the decades. Read the full transcript of this conversation here.


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7. Preserving Independent Journalism and Fighting the New McCarthyism
The Truthdig team engaged in this conversation after The Washington Post published a controversial piece that linked to allegations that Truthdig and numerous other news outlets were propagandists for Russia. Editor in Chief Scheer, joined by Deputy Editor Kasia Anderson and Publisher Zuade Kaufman, spoke about PropOrNot’s alarming McCarthyist sentiments, the importance of independent journalism, and the Post’s failure to adequately check its source.


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6. The Phenomenon of Donald Trump
This conversation, in which Scheer and his team analyzed Donald Trump’s political popularity, was held months before the presidential election. Although we may not have realized it at the time, Trump’s appeal to voters was enough to carry him to the White House—in retrospect making this discussion of his personality even more prescient.


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5. Thomas Frank on Why Hillary Clinton Won’t Protect Americans From Wall Street
This video conversation was held July 26, when Truthdig was in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention. Scheer joined up with author and Guardian columnist Thomas Frank for a discussion. Truthdig Associate Editor Alexander Kelly, also in Philly, filmed the conversation. In their discussion, Scheer and Frank discuss how the Democratic Party has crumbled and what the future of the establishment looks like. Read the full transcript here.


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4.  What Does the Future Hold for Donald Trump?
Another conversation about Trump before he became the president-elect, this time featuring former judge and Truthdig contributor Bill Blum. “Trump promotes a childlike, magical way of thinking,” says Blum at one point in the discussion. “Does he really want the job? I don’t think he really understands that it is a job.”


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3. Election 2016: What Happened? What’s Next?
On Nov. 10, just two days after Donald Trump was elected president, the editorial team brought in Truthdig contributor Bill Boyarsky to unravel the stunning election results and examine what a Trump administration means for the country.


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2. Jill Stein: ‘The Experience of Democracy’ Is More Important Than Being a Career Politician
The Green Party presidential nominee met with Truthdig staff for a second time to talk about how the mainstream media had (and hadn’t) covered her campaign, her qualifications for the nation’s highest office and the controversy over her running mate’s “Uncle Tom” comment aimed at President Obama.


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1. Chris Hedges and Jill Stein Speak at Socialist Convergence During Democratic Convention
Our most popular “Live at Truthdig” session of the year featured columnist Chris Hedges in discussion with the Green Party’s Jill Stein at the Socialist Convergence in Philadelphia in July. They tackled the question: “What should progressive-minded citizens do after the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia ends?” Find out below.


You can find all of our “Live at Truthdig” discussions here.

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