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Robert Scheer
Robert Scheer has built a reputation for strong social and political writing over his 30 years as a journalist. His columns appear in newspapers across the country, and his in-depth interviews have made headlines. He conducted the famous Playboy magazine interview in which Jimmy Carter confessed to the lust in his heart and he went on to do many interviews for the Los Angeles Times with Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and many other prominent political and cultural figures.

Between 1964 and 1969 he was Vietnam correspondent, managing editor and editor in chief of Ramparts magazine. From 1976 to 1993 he served as a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, writing on diverse topics such as the Soviet Union, arms control, national politics and the military. In 1993 he launched a nationally syndicated column based at the Los Angeles Times, where he was named a contributing editor. That column ran weekly for the next 12 years and is now based at

Scheer can be heard on his new podcast “Scheer Intelligence” and the radio program "Left, Right and Center" on KCRW, the National Public Radio affiliate in Santa Monica, Calif. He is currently a clinical professor of communication at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Scheer has written ten books, including "Thinking Tuna Fish, Talking Death: Essays on the Pornography of Power"; "With Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush and Nuclear War"; "America After Nixon: The Age of Multinationals"; "The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us about Iraq" (with Christopher Scheer and Lakshmi Chaudhry); "Playing President: My Close Encounters with Nixon, Carter, Bush I and Clinton--and How They Did Not Prepare Me for George W. Bush"; "The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America"; "The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street"; "How the United States Got Involved in Vietnam"; and "Cuba: An American Tragedy". Scheer's latest book is "They Know Everything About You: How Data Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies are Destroying Democracy" (Nation Books, February 2015).

Scheer was raised in the Bronx, where he attended public schools and graduated from City College of New York. He was Maxwell Fellow at Syracuse University and a fellow at the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, where he did graduate work in economics. Scheer is a contributing editor for The Nation as well as a Nation Fellow. He has also been a Poynter Fellow at Yale and was fellow in Stanford's arms control and disarmament program.

Entries by Robert Scheer

Dennis Kucinich: An Unpredictable American Original

(0) Comments | Posted November 27, 2015 | 7:28 PM

This week's episode of KCRWs "Scheer Intelligence" features Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer in conversation with Dennis Kucinich, Ohio's eight-term congressman and two-time Democratic presidential candidate, who reveals tales about the underbelly of politics going back to his days as the "Boy Mayor" of Cleveland on the late 1970s. The journalist...

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Scheer Intelligence: David Talbot and Robert Scheer

(1) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 7:42 PM

In the second episode of the Scheer Intelligence podcast, David Talbot, founding editor, tells how former CIA chief Allen Dulles defied FDR to conscript former Nazi leaders in preparation for war with the Soviet Union--one of many deviations from official history excitingly recounted in Talbot's new book, "The Devil's...

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'Scheer Intelligence' -- My New Podcast

(1) Comments | Posted November 3, 2015 | 5:54 PM

In the premiere episode of KCRW's "Scheer Intelligence," I sat down with John Dean, the former legal adviser to President Richard Nixon, who blew the lid on Watergate scandal. At the time of the scandal, Dean famously remarked that there was a "cancer on the presidency." Now an outspoken critic...

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An Idiotic GOP Is Looking at the Wrong Thing in Its Clinton Probe

(21) Comments | Posted October 25, 2015 | 1:15 PM

The Republicans on that committee investigating Hillary Clinton are idiots for focusing on decisions about consulate security that are technical, clearly below her pay grade and have nothing to do with the bipartisan zeal for creating military mayhem throughout the Middle East.

The real issue, and one on which they...

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Bernie Blew It: He Sold Out Instead of Confronting Clinton

(196) Comments | Posted October 17, 2015 | 3:10 AM

Bernie blew it. By embracing rather than confronting Hillary Clinton, Sen. Sanders fell into the trap of sellout mainstream politics, improving his personal brand as an appealing but ultimately non-threatening advocate for the downtrodden while studiously avoiding any suggestion that the smiley-faced woman standing next to him is deeply complicit...

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Go Ahead, Back Hillary Clinton and Forget All About Her Record

(282) Comments | Posted October 10, 2015 | 4:33 AM

Go ahead and support Hillary Clinton, those of you for whom having the first female president is the top priority. She is by far preferable to Carly Fiorina, though of course no match for likely Green Party candidate Jill Stein (I know: You want to win). Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a...

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Amid the Crowing of the GOP and Clinton, Sanders Is on the Rise

(82) Comments | Posted October 3, 2015 | 2:12 PM

How easy it is to mock the Republican candidates. They're the gang in the clown car climbing all over each other to offer a reactionary message of disarray that has all but destroyed the chances of the Bush family dynasty continuing. But isn't that a grand achievement for the democratic...

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Pope Francis: He Told Them!

(0) Comments | Posted September 25, 2015 | 3:13 PM

He told them! Any religious leader who is considering sainthood for the "Servant of God" Dorothy Day--the crusading editor of the Catholic Worker and heroine of my garment-worker parents during the Great Depression--gets my vote.

I know that, sadly, he's not running for president, but the pope's excellent example provides...

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Fools, Fascists and Cold Warriors: Take Your Pick

(238) Comments | Posted September 18, 2015 | 1:26 AM

Are they fools or fascists? Probably the former, but there was a disturbing cast to the second GOP debate, a vituperative jingoism reminiscent of the xenophobia that periodically scars western capitalist societies in moments of disarray.

While the entire world is riveted by the sight of...

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They Know Everything About You (Video Part 1)

(4) Comments | Posted May 13, 2015 | 11:05 AM

"For Democracy, privacy is the ball game." That is the opening sentence of my latest book, They Know Everything About You, and it is highly relevant as Congress now debates an extension of the Patriot Act that enabled unprecedented mass government surveillance. Check out the following interview I did on...

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Citigroup: The Original Gangsta

(19) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 4:07 AM

Barack Obama's Justice Department on Monday announced that Citigroup would pay $7 billion in fines, a move that will avoid a humiliating trial dealing with the seamy financial products the bank had marketed to an unsuspecting public, causing vast damage to the economy.

Citigroup is the too-big-to-fail bank that...

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Hillary Clinton Flaunts Her Surveillance State Baggage

(10) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 9:13 AM

Who is the true patriot, Hillary Clinton or Edward Snowden? The question comes up because Clinton has gone all out in attacking Snowden as a means of burnishing her hawkish credentials, eliciting Glenn Greenwald's comment that she is "like a neocon, practically."

On Friday in England, Clinton boasted that...

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One Court, Indivisible, Votes Liberty and Justice For All

(11) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 4:37 AM

This week's unanimous Supreme Court decision affirming a robust Fourth Amendment protection for cellphone data is an enormously important victory for privacy rights in the digital age. It is also a reminder that support as well as opposition to civil liberty these days can come from unexpected quarters. Or maybe...

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Where's Saddam Hussein When the U.S. Needs Him?

(23) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 4:14 AM

John Kerry was doing his best "Casablanca" impersonation, pretending to be police Capt. Renault and was just shocked that Egypt is still a brutal military dictatorship despite our newly revived "historic partnership."

A day after chatting it up in Cairo on Sunday with now-elected dictator Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, who,...

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Up Close and Personal With George W. Bush's Horrifying Legacy

(116) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 8:58 AM

The Iraq disaster remains George W. Bush's enduring folly, and the Republican attempt to shift the blame to the Obama presidency is obscene nonsense. This was, and will always be, viewed properly as Bush's quagmire, a murderous killing field based on blatant lies.

This showcase of American deceit, obvious...

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Feinstein v. the CIA: A Moment of Truth

(34) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 9:57 AM

It was a truly historic moment on Tuesday when Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein took to the Senate floor to warn that the CIA's continuing cover-up of its torture program is threatening our Constitutional division of power. By blatantly concealing what Feinstein condemned as "the horrible details of a...

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Honoring the 'Accomplices' to Truth Who Caught Clapper in a Lie

(23) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 8:38 AM

The tide is turning. Yesterday's traitor is today's hero, and the brave journalists who helped Edward Snowden get the word out are at last being honored for their public service. Or so one hopes.

On Sunday it was announced that the prestigious George Polk Award for National Security Reporting would...

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The Super Bowl of War: Three Decades of Failure in Afghanistan

(17) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 8:35 AM

A Budweiser commercial during the Super Bowl, that annual celebration of violence as sport, featured a most joyous homecoming for a U.S. veteran of the Afghan War. It was a fitting tribute to the fact that he survived, but you would have to be drunk on Bud not to notice...

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Who Needs the Gestapo When You Have 'Angry Birds'?

(6) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 8:44 AM

Somewhere in the lowest reaches of hell, Adolf Hitler and his coterie of lesser dictators must be tormented by the knowledge they did not live long enough to get their hands on "Angry Birds." How much diabolical power they would have had, not playing the game, but rather mining the...

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We're All Suspects In Barack Obama's America

(118) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 8:02 AM

Barack Obama's speech Friday on surveillance was his worst performance, not as a matter of theatrical skill, though he clearly did not embrace his lines, but in its stark betrayal of his oft proclaimed respect for constitutional safeguards and civil liberty.

His unbridled defense of the surveillance state opened...

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