Dennis Bernstein


dark buds of Africa

falling by the thousands

please say it, genocide!


rage and then triage:

if it looks like they're smiling,

it's too late


there are no borders to the suffering

death is the border:

maybe god will give them asylum

by Dennis Bernstein

Investigative reporter, radio host, human rights advocate and poet Dennis Bernstein is a regular contributor to Pacifica's Democracy Now, and Associate Producer of Pacific News Service. He is currently cohost of KPFA's Flashpoints News Magazine, and is a frequent commentator on WBAI airwaves.

February 12, 1997:
San Francisco Bay Guardian

Oppression, the next generation
By Julie Light and Dennis Bernstein

The Shadow (Jan-Feb 1997):
How the Contras Invaded the USA

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Archives of Articles by Dennis Bernstein

When Oliver North and the CIA were in the process of cutting a deal with cocaine traffickers to illegally fund the Nicaraguan contras in 1986, Dennis Bernstein was on top of the story, tracking the traffickers and attempting to hold the CIA accountable. His award-winning Contragate/Undercurrents investigative radio show, co-produced with Robert Knight, featured thousands of hours of original material on the Iran-Contra scandal and related government abuses of power.

In a May 23, 1987 front-page editorial in The Nation magazine, the late Nation writer, Andrew Kopkind, wrote in support of Bernstein's risky investigations, "if the press cares as much about a government's betrayal of the public as it does about a man's infidelity to his wife, it should protect [this] pioneer." The Village Voice told it readers: "If you want to know the facts about this country's NSC/CIA shadow government and it's 'low intensity' war on Nicaragua you can (1) wait for the New York times to begin to 'discover' them next summer or (2) listen to WBAI's Contragate program." In 1984, Bernstein was awarded the Art of Peace Award for his National Radio Production of The Road to Hiroshima.

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In 1987, Bernstein received the Jessie Meriton White Service Award in International Journalism for "responsible, humane, path breaking, investigative international journalism," from Friends World College, and a National Federation of Community Broadcasters Award . Between 1987 and 1996 Bernstein was recognized over a half-dozen times by the National Media Group, Project Censored for his hard-hitting investigative reports on the issues of our time.

Bernstein is also a trained educator. He has taught teens in the South Bronx, Brooklyn and Harlem, how to report and produce for print and radio. The founder of the South Bronx Media Collective and Young Writers Radio Collective in the mid 1980's, Bernstein worked with teen parents and drop-outs to create cutting edge radio and video documentaries. 12-Gauge Eviction, by The South Bronx Media Collective, was a news breaking video that documented the assassination/eviction of a 67 year old arthritic grandmother, Eleanor Bumpers, because she was behind in her rent. It was featured at the 1987 and 1988 American Film Institute Video Festival.

Today, when Dennis Bernstein isn't tracking Newt and the New-Righters and Bill Clinton's latest fund-raising scam, he's pursuing CIA dirty tricksters, white-supremacist church-burners and their high-level political associates, and hard-core pentagon liars and the dirtiest cover-up of the decade: that hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians were wounded by chemical weapons during the war with Iraq.

Bernstein's articles, essays, and poetry have appeared widely in newspapers, journals and magazines in this country and abroad. His publications have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, London Observer, Newsday, Philadelphia Inquirer, Baltimore Sun, Dallas Morning News, Dallas Times Herald, San Francisco Chronicle and S.F. Examiner, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News, Japan Times, Village Voice, The Nation Magazine, Utne Reader, Mother Jones, The Progressive, Texas Observer, Spin Magazine, Vibe, New Age Journal, New York Quarterly, Pulp Smith, Dark Horse and many others.

Bernstein is also the author, with Laura Sidel, of The Savings and Loan Scandal Trading Cards, Eclipse Books 1993, and The Friendly Dictators Trading Cards: 36 of America's Most Embarassing Allies, 1990 Eclipse Books. His collaborations with book artist Warren Lehrer included in 1987: A Study of Social Patterns, Narratives, Chants, Stories and Songs and in 1984: FRENCH FRIES: A Fast Food Murder Mystery with Warren Lehrer, Visual Studies Workshop (included in the Special Books Collection of The Louvre and The New York Musem of Modern Art), and in 1980: Anne at 94, a musical with Biaja Teal,and Particles of Light, poems with woodcuts by Stan Kaplan, Tortoise Press, 1980.

Bernstein has held lectures and workshops at: Stanford University, University of California Santa Cruz, Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Diego, CSU Sacramento, Sonoma, San Francisco, University of San Francisco, Mills College, Laney College, New York University Law School, Columbia University Graduate Center, Hunter College, Queens College, SUNY Purchase, Rutgers University, Fairleigh Dickinson, Hofstra University, SUNY Stony Brook, Friends World College, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Boston University, Visual Studies Workshop, Clark University, United Nations: United Methodist Seminars, Dia Art Foundation, and others.

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