Chris Hedges Tells Dinesh D’Souza That His Obama Film Is 'Void of Facts, Reality, Intellectual Depth'

Timed for release in the thick of the 2012 presidential campaign season, a new film called "2016: Obama’s America" has hit 2,000 theater screens nationwide and earned an estimated $30 million at the box office. The film is based on a book by conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza titled The Roots of Obama’s Rage, and produced by Gerald R. Molen. Since it first screened at a theater in Houston in July, the low-budget documentary was heavily promoted by Houston-based conservative talk show host Michael Berry, after which it spread by word of mouth and opened in even more theaters locally and then nationally. "2016: Obama’s America" has been endorsed by Glenn Beck and Rupert Murdoch, while Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman has called the film “an outrageously unsubstantiated act of character assassination,” which espouses “the standard right-wing argument that Obama has always been out to hide what a radical he is." President Obama’s reelection campaign has called the film “nothing more than an insidious attempt to dishonestly smear the President by giving intellectual cover to the worst in subterranean conspiracy theories and false, partisan attacks.”

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
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