The Monitor is a weekly news analysis program
broadcasting live from the studios of 90.1 KPFT Pacifica Radio
in Houston, Texas.
About the Show:

Our program was founded by Mark Bebawi on the eve of the “shock and awe” invasion of Iraq in 2003 in response to the poor quality of available news coverage at the time. Since then The Monitor has evolved into a weekly examination of consequential and under-reported news stories, including climate change, the global economy, corporate greed and malfeasance, torture, election fraud, foreign and domestic policy, government corruption, surveillance, September 11th and its repercussions, the military and militarization, human rights issues, and constitutional law.

Guests of our program have ranged from Nobel Prize-winning economists to cartoonists and film makers, each bringing you a unique and expert opinion. Every week we bring to our listeners opinion and commentary from people like Marjorie Cohn, John W. Dean, Lou Dubose, Robert Fisk, Amy Goodman, Seymour Hersh, Jim Hightower, Arianna Huffington, Ray McGovern, Greg Palast, Jeremy Scahill, Helen Thomas, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Gore Vidal, Naomi Wolf, Howard Zinn, and many others. We are also proud to have once welcomed Molly Ivins to our program.

Our Broadcast Team:

The Monitor crew has changed over the course our broadcasts since 2003. Initially Mark Bebawi anchored the show with Shannon Young. Shannon has since moved on to become the anchor of Free Speech Radio News. After Shannon’s departure, Phara Charmchy briefly joined the program. In Phara’s place, Pokey Anderson came to offer her tremendous journalistic abilities. Pokey has stepped-down as a full-time co-host of the program, but The Monitor crew considers her an invaluable part of the program to this day. She has always brought an eye for detail and determination to her favorite topic – elections and verifiable voting. Former program director of KPFT Otis McClay has recently joined us as an insightful guest co-host. For a long time shows were engineered by Byron Jackson of KPFT. Byron has since moved on. Todd Simmons quickly learned the ropes and engineered the show for more than seven years, leaving early 2015. The show is currently engineered by Bob Gartner and is searching for additional help. If you want to learn how to engineer a show email themonitor@journalist.com and tell us why.

How to Listen:

Tune in at 7 p.m. Central Time, 8 p.m. Eastern Time, every Monday on 90.1 FM in Houston, 89.5 FM in Galveston, or KPFT on the web. You can stream the show from KPFT’s website if you’re online during the show’s live broadcast, or you can download the MP3 to your favorite device and listen any time you want.

Click here to read additional detailed information about listening live, our broadcast archives, podcasting, and audio streaming.

Contact us:

”The Monitor”
419 Lovett Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77006

Studio line: (713) 526-5738
Office line: (713) 526-4000

Station website: KPFT.org

Our e-mail address: themonitor@journalist.com

11 thoughts on “About

    themonitor responded:
    March 7, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    The general show email is sundaymonitor@journalist.com

    Harold Braunstein said:
    April 2, 2007 at 1:19 am

    Hi, kids; Great show today, as usual. I’ve been suspicious about the 9/11 events since about 10 minutes after the 2nd building went down, and I knew that the “bushies” were involved somehow, and I still think so.
    I was one of your pledgers this last November, at just $10 /mon., but it’s all I can afford on Soc. Sec. I was supposed to get a Chomsky book as my premium, and I wonder when it might arrive, as I’ve made 3 pmts. so far, and am about ready to start another major book soon. So, could you check on it, and let me know, or forward the question to Robin? Thanks. I always make a point to record the show, even if I have to tape over some other one. I’m still thanking you for “Plan B, 2.0” and the Molly Ivins tickets. Harold Braunstein

    Pink said:
    January 4, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Mark, salam
    How does one contact Sunday Monitor?

    Very cool to see you guys blogging now.

    John74 said:
    October 22, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Those that commit dastardly crimes in the name of what ever Religion, will find No reward when they arrive before thier Judge. ,

    Rick Covert said:
    June 29, 2010 at 12:54 pm


    Since your signal was off the air today I took the liberty of streaming it. I’m glad I did. While I realize you don’t take callers because of your time constraints and I wouldn’t quarrel with that in the slightest one of your guests, Robert Bryce provided an incomplete picture of the energy crisis that engulfs us.

    He starts off with very sound reasoning. He argues, for instance, that ethanol is a net energy looser and it uses crops for food instead for fuel. I would add, though he didn’t mention it, that ethanol could only replace 17% of the oil we use in transportation even if the all arable land were devoted to ethanol production.

    He also argues that fossil fuels are far more energy dense than batteries and that’s why the gasoline car wins and, again, who could argue with that although he fails to mention how efficiency trumps that advantage. There will be more on that later.

    Where he goes off the rails is when he off hand dismisses the very real threat of peak oil without qualifying that remark. Peak oil is real and it has nothing to do with running out of oil. It has to do with the production peak and decline in the steady abundant availability of cheap, easily extracted and refined light sweet crude oil. The top oil industry executives from Royal Dutch Shell, Elf Total, and the Defense Department acknowledge this threat. Even a private report like the SAIC Hirsch Report 2005 http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/others/pdf/oil_peaking_netl.pdf assesses the threat of peak oi, its implications and how there will not be an easy out of this coming energy crisis.

    While Bryce acknowledges that operating costs of gasoline cars beat electric cars because they are cheaper, in up front consumer costs, he ignores the externalities that make these cars affordable and cheap oil, relative to electric cars, possible. No where does he mention the cost in defense dollars to secure access to future oil reserves which all point to the Middle East. No where does he acknowledge the all too obvious cost to gulf coast fisherman who’s economic well beings are sacrificed on this artificial alter of cheap oil. He fails to mention the costs of propping up petro-dictators who abuse human rights and commit human rights crimes.

    One thing Bryce never mentions when he discusses energy density which is a very real consideration is that electric cars make up for that lack of energy density substantially because the cars’ electric motors are anywhere from 80% efficient, for series DC motors or 90% efficient for AC induction motors. The efficiency of gasoline powered cars is 12%. 50% of a car’s fuel consumption is simply wasted as heat. This is why car heaters have been a standard part of automobiles for at least 70 years. Once straw man that Bryce sets up is the need for infrastructure for these cars without acknowledging that infrastructure for these cars is as close as the nearest electrical outlet. While there are no commercial electric vehicles yet they will be hear in a matter of months and not years. The Nissan Leaf goes on sale in 5 months and I am on that list of potential buyers. The Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid electric vehicle which gets an all round trip distance of 40 miles all electric before the battery kicks in will be on sale in November as well. Yes these cars are expensive but the chief component that makes these cars more expensive is the batteries but the cost of lithium batteries has dropped remarkably in the past 3 years making lithium ion batteries cost competitive with lead-acid on a total cost of ownership basis. Further the air and the environment don’t car if the rich, the middle class or the poor buy the cars if the emissions of CO2, VOCs, oxides of nitrogen and carbon monoxide go down.

    Finally Bryce’s faith in nuclear power, which is badly misplaced, demonstrates his failure to comprehend the efficiency end of energy. While it is true that no fuel known to man that we can harness is as dense as uranium 235, the nuclear reactors that harness it are some of the best models in energy inefficiency available. The problem is that they produce far too much heat. This compounds the inefficiency of nuclear power with the need to keep the reactor cool at all costs. The problem is as global warming makes itself felt in ever more substantial ways the water these reactors rely on to cool off will be less available because the water temperatures will exceed environmental limits on heat pollution, the water itself becomes to warm to use or it’s availability is not there due to drought. This actually happened in the southeast during a recent severe drought there and also in France where France’s national government shutdown one of its reactors.

    As for cost, nothing kills your local economy quite like nuclear-power because while coal costs about 5 cents a kilowatt hour nuclear power costs about 20 to 25 cents per kilowatt-hour. Take the amount of power you use and calculate the monthly charge for the power you use. It costs between $8 billion to $10 billion to produce a single power plant. This makes them too expensive to build and many utilities have simply cancelled their projects. Wall Street simply refuses to finance these projects because, as they witnessed during the 3 Mile Island accident, they will simply not fund a project where a $2 billion asset becomes a several $100 million liability (in late 1970’s dollars) in a fortnight. This is why nuclear power can not survive without direct government underwriting and most importantly indemnity from accidents. Well that’s going to be a tough sell, particularly in the light of the gulf oil spill, to a public that is increasingly skeptical of industry insiders making claims that their technology is safe. These projects also take anywhere from a decade to a decade and a half to complete. Benefits of nuclear power, if any, are a long way off indeed.

    So Bryce is right about gasoline, electric cars and nuclear power as long as you don’t examine these technologies too closely.

    The good news is that he is mostly right about natural gas but it will only be at best a transitional energy strategy because like all fossil fuels it is a finite resource. Eventually, like a balloon popping, there will be little to no natural gas to exploit in North America. So it is best to make the switch to renewables while the lights remain on and the supplies are steady and stable.



    Walt Bahn said:
    July 14, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Dear Mr Bebawi,

    I think that your work is extraordinary; one of the very best shows on Pacifica –possibly our best; your website and links are also excellent.

    Please contact me at my email and let’s set up a time to talk –I’d like to help.


    Walt Bahn
    KPFT Program Council

    Kathy Kidd said:
    February 13, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Thanks for the work you do!

    Saif said:
    March 21, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Mr. Bebawi,

    Thanks for hosting Mr.Raed Jarrar and sharing with us his perspectives on Iraq war. I’m also Iraqi-American here in Houston. I called the studio trying to add a little comment to enrich the conversation. Mr. Jarrar is seeing things from one direction also trying to speak for all Iraqis!! he obviously has his line and agenda, he blames the US Gov. and US troops for everything happened in Iraq, forgetting the presence of other regional forces and political wills which have their own agenda on the Iraqi soil. Extremists and militia backed by regional governments and even from outside this region. Mr. Jarrar forgot to mention anything about, which I don’t know if it was intentional or not!! In case of the full withdrawal of US troops who will stop these outside forces or its inside backed groups from implementing their own plans? as Americans isn’t it in our interest to support an ally (Iraq) and our relations/ interests in it rather than handing it over to bigger scale Chaos.
    Iraqi gov. and army are not ready to protect the country with their present capacity,so, how a full withdrawal will be the solution of a prosperous peaceful Iraq?
    In the end i would like to thank you again and stress that the conversation had favoritism towards one side of the Iraq case not all sides.

    Keep up the good work.


    Mohammad said:
    March 28, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Dear Mark,

    I listened to your show for the first time this evening and I was literally shocked. On one hand, I admired you and your guest Max Blumenthal for your courage in criticizing Israel’s human rights violations and disenfranchisement of Palestinians. But, on the other hand, I couldn’t believe that the same person on the same program was joining Gareth Porter in defending one of history’s most brutal dictators Bashar Al-Assad.

    As an anti-war activist, I fully understand your desire to minimize US military intervention overseas. But as a Syrian whose family members were executed in their own homes, dismembered, or tortured to death, I find it disheartening to hear a progressive side with a military tyrant and insulting to hear a human right advocate question one of the most pure and organic pro-freedom revolutions in history.

    Syrians defied a 50 years rule of the police state and peacefully marched and danced in the street for over six months to demand their rights and freedoms. After thousands were killed in cold blood and hundreds of thousands jailed and maimed, the army split and the revolution turned military. The Free Syrian Army (FSA) was able to free most of Syria within months.

    To change the narrative, Assad pardoned ten thousand terrorists and criminals and turned a blind eye until they became ISIS and helped them with air power as they fought the FSA and took over most of the freed parts of Syria. It is a tragedy when people describe the Syrian revolution as a choice between Assad and ISIS- two sides of the same bloody coin.

    Like you, I fault the Obama administration for its Syria policy but for a different reason. I believe that free nations have an obligation to stand with free people that are being brutalized, gassed, terrorized, and uprooted by a brutal military dictator like Assad.

      themonitor responded:
      March 28, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      Hello Mohammad,
      Thank you for listening in and for your comment. While I can sympathize with your point of view, you are making a terrible mistake if you think I am taking the side of any party to this conflict. Not wanting to see externally imposed regime change does not equal supporting the regime in power. I got similar comments during the Iraq war and responded in the same way. Saddam was far from being a saint but it was not the place of the US (or any other country) to remove him. Do you really think Syria would be better off with an externally forced removal of Assad by forces allied with the Saudis and the Americans? I think not. I prefer local solutions, even if they take decades, over foreign interventions that kill tens of thousands, displace millions, destabilize entire regions, and create new totalitarian regimes that oppress their people. Again, see Iraq.

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