A Public Affair


John Quinlan

John Quinlan


Carousel Bayrd

Carousel Bayrd


Karma Chavez and Tim Hansel

Karma Chavez & Tim Hansel


Allen Ruff

Allen Ruff


Esty Dinur

Esty Dinur

A Public Affair is WORT‘s daily hour-long talk program. It aims to engage listeners in a conversation on social, cultural, and political issues of importance. The guests range from local activists and scholars to notable national and international figures.

Join the conversation!

Listeners may call in and ask questions of the guests. Callers are asked to pose a question relevant to the subject at hand and refrain from calling more than once per week. You can join us on social media as well!

For booking questions

Please contact Molly Stentz at (608) 256-2001 or newsflash@wort-fm.org.


Issues with Minimum Wage

09/5/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

minimum_wage_1018 On Wednesday September 5th, host Tonya Brito spoke with Stephen Copley, Director of the Arkansas Interfaith Alliance, about the problems with the current minimum wage. Copley is the Chairman of the national nonpartisan group Let Justice Roll Living Wage Coalition. He recently said, “Our motto at Let Justice Roll is ‘A job should keep you out of poverty, not keep you in it.’ Today’s minimum wage is a poverty wage, not a living wage. At $7.25 an hour, just $15,080 a year, the minimum wage is set so low that growing numbers of hardworking men and women turn to food banks and homeless shelters to try and fill the gaping hole in their wages. It is immoral that the minimum wage is worth less, adjusted for inflation, than the over $10 value it had in 1968, the year Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in Memphis while fighting for living wages. It’s time to raise the minimum wage.” To read more about the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Coalition: http://letjusticeroll.org/ To listen to the entire show:

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Do Conventions Matter?

09/4/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

conventions On Tuesday September 4th, Cynthia Lin talked with Professor Mildred Elizabeth Sanders about the recent Republican and Democratic Conventions. Sanders addressed the issue of whether such conventions are still relevant. “Sanders is professor of government at Cornell University and author of “Roots of Reform” and a the forthcoming ‘Presidents, War, and Reform.’ Beginning Wednesday, she scheduled to be at the American Political Science Association Convention in New Orleans. Sanders recently wrote the piece ‘What We Should be Talking About: Romney’s Foreign Policy Advisers.’ She said recently: ‘The conventions seem even less important this year, since we have an incumbent Democratic ticket, and two pretty well-known Republicans — plus an era of stable, highly-polarized partisanship that leaves little to learn about the two sets of candidates and their platforms.’” -Institute for Public Accuracy To read articles by Sanders: http://www.accuracy.org/what-we-should-be-talking-about-romneys-foreign-policy-advisers/ To listen to the entire interview:

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Movements for Social Justice

09/3/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

hall of fame On Monday September 3rd, host John Quinlan interviewed historian and professor of politics Peter Dreier with a special labor day program. “As the American electorate veers from frustration and anger to apathy and cynicism, with both sides of the political aisle to blame, a heartening new work by historian and professor of politics Peter Dreier reminds readers of the true source of progress and social change in the United States: movements for social justice. Dreier’s new book, The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books; July 2, 2012), explores the remarkable individuals who won victories for social justice over the course of the 20th century, and looks at major milestones in worker’s rights legislation. ‘These accomplishments did not occur because progress is inevitable or because a set of benevolent ‘haves’ took pity on the have-nots of society,’ says Dreier. ‘The credit for these achievements goes to the activists who fought to take their ideas from the margins to the mainstream. We all stand on the shoulders of earlier generations of reformers, radicals, and idealists who challenged the status quo.’” -Nation Books     To read more about “The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century:” http://www.perseusbooksgroup.com/perseus/book_detail.jsp?isbn=1568586817 To listen to the entire interview:

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Energy Saving Techniques

08/31/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

saveenergy On Friday August 31st, guest host Tom Jones talked with Jonathan Beers, residential services manager for Madison Gas and Electric, about how to save energy in your home. Beers is an energy efficiency expert and has written many articles and brochures about how to make changes in your home to help the environment and save money.     To read some of Jonathan Beers’s energy saving techniques: http://homeenergypros.lbl.gov/profile/JonathanBeers?xg_source=activity       To listen to the entire interview:

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Israel Denies Responsibility for Rachel Corrie’s Death

08/30/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Rachel Corrie Foundation On Thursday August 30th, Allen Ruff interviewed Craig Corrie about the recent verdict from an Israeli Judge regarding his daughter, Rachel Corrie’s death. Judge Oded Gershon rejected the parent’s negligence lawsuit, stating that Corrie’s death was an accident that she brought upon herself. Over nine years ago in March of 2003, peace activist Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip. Every since her death, her parents Cindy and Craig Corrie have sought justice for their daughter’s murder as well as continued her vision of peace through the The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice. Craig and Cindy say the judge’s verdict that Israel was not responsible for her death has “deeply saddened and deeply troubled” the family. The Foundation which Rachel Corrie’s parents started after her death “continues the work that Rachel Corrie began and hoped to accomplish, and carries out that work with her vision, spirit, and creative energy in mind. We conduct and support programs that foster connections between people, that build understanding, respect, and appreciation for differences, and that promote cooperation within and between local and global communities. The foundation encourages and supports grassroots efforts in pursuit of human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice, which we view as pre-requisites for world peace.” To learn more about The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice: http://rachelcorriefoundation.org/ To listen to the interview with Craig Corrie:

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Akin’s Rape Comment and the Greated Republican Platform

08/29/12 1:31 PM | A Public Affair

preggers On Tuesday August 28th, Cynthia Lin talked with the president and editor-in-chief for RH Reality Check Jodi Jacobson about the Republican Platform on women’s reproductive rights. RH Reality Check is an online publication serving individuals and organizations committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health. Cynthia also spoke briefly with WORT News Coordinator Molly Stentz in Tampa about the discussion at the RNC regarding abortion, especially in the cases or rape and incest. Jodi Jacobson recently wrote the piece “As Romney and Ryan Dissemble, RNC Prepares Radical Anti-Choice Platform Based on Personhood.” In this piece she asserts, “As of today, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan may find themselves in a wee bit of a bind. For the past two days, the pair have been running around trying to assure the press and ultimately women voters that they really do believe in ‘real rape,’ not just ‘legitimate rape,’ that they are not as misogynistic as Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, and that, of course, a Romney-Ryan administration would never eliminate rape and incest exceptions for abortion. And, now it appears that, all the while, the people really in charge of the GOP — fundamentalist anti-choicers among them — have been writing a party platform that not only makes all of that a lie, but is in effect a promise to make the personhood of fertilized eggs the law of the land.” Cynthia, Molly and Jodi attempted to navigate through the difficult issues of abortion and the reproductive rights of American women. To read more about RH Reality Check: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/about-us To listen to the entire interview:  

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Republican National Convention Updates

08/29/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

RNC On Wednesday August 29th, Brenda spoke with WORT News Coordinator Molly Stentz on the ground in Tampa, Florida where she is covering the Republican National Convention. They discussed the speeches given by Ann Romney, Chris Christie and our Governor Scott Walker and the impressions these speeches made. To learn more about the RNC: http://2012tampa.com To listen to the entire interview:

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The Republican National Convention

08/27/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

romney-ryan On Monday August 27th, John Quinlan called News Coordinator Molly Stentz who spoke to WORT live from Tampa, Florida at the Republican National Convention. Molly discussed the platforms and the protests as well as the worries regarding Hurricane Isaac. John also spoke about the RNC with Lisa Graves, the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy and the publisher of PR Watch, BanksterUSA, SourceWatch and ALECexposed.org. She has also held positions as a senior advisers in all three branches of the federal government. She was a crucial strategist on civil liberties advocacy. According to the convention website, “The basis of the national political convention was to open the process of nominating presidential candidates to the American people, rather than have the selection determined by the congressional caucuses. And, while the conventions have evolved into the modern broadcast and Internet-streamed events they are today, the modern-day national political convention still holds true to the idea of opening the process to the American people.” To read more about the Republican National Convention: http://www.gopconvention2012.com/   To listen to the entire interview:  

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“The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources”

08/24/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

klare-350x350 On Friday August 24th, Esty Dinur interviewed author and professor Michael Klare about his new book “The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources.” Klare is a professor at Hampshire College and also teaches at Amherst, Smith and Mount Holyoke College. He is a defense correspondent with The Nation Magazine and a frequent contributor to Mother Jones and Foreign Policy in Focus. As Klare explains in his recent book, “The world is facing an unprecedented crisis of resource depletion—a crisis that goes beyond “peak oil” to encompass shortages of coal and uranium, copper and lithium, water and arable land. With all of the planet’s easily accessible resource deposits rapidly approaching exhaustion, the desperate hunt for supplies has become a frenzy of extreme exploration, as governments and corporations rush to stake their claim in areas previously considered too dangerous and remote. The Race for What’s Left takes us from the Arctic to war zones to deep ocean floors, from a Russian submarine planting the country’s flag on the North Pole seabed to the large-scale buying up of African farmland by Saudi Arabia, China, and other food-importing nations. As Klare explains, this invasion of the final frontiers carries grave consequences. With resource extraction growing more complex, the environmental risks are becoming increasingly severe.” -Metropolitan Books To listen to the entire interview:  

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Teachers Unions, Hardships from Chicago to Madison

08/23/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

CTU On Thursday August 23rd, Allen Ruff interviewed Chicago Teachers’ Union member and activist Becca Kelly about the struggle between Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s efforts to cut educational costs and the harm this has done to Chicago’s schools and teachers. “On Aug. 22, Chicago Public Schools school board members authorized spending $25 million on a contingency plan if Chicago teachers strike for the first time in 25 years. Prior to the board meeting, teachers picketed outside the district office. Karen Lewis, Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) president told the Board of Education, at Wednesday’s meeting, ‘We have had 45 sessions of negotiations, and we’re still pretty far apart’… One CTU spokeswoman mentioned that if a contract negotiation is not reached, teachers might take their signs to the Democratic National Convention, in North Carolina, where Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel is a scheduled speaker. Emanuel’s demands for a longer school day angered the teachers, and this resulted in 90 percent of the union agreeing to strike. Most unions have seen their power slip, and a teachers strike will have ramifications far beyond Chicago. It may set a precedent for organized labor throughout the United States.” -examiner.com To read more about the situation in Chicago: http://www.examiner.com/article/chicago-teachers-prepare-to-strike To listen to the interview:  

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A Public Affair
A Public Affair
News & Culture
Weekdays @ Noon
John Quinlan, Carousel Bayrd, Tim Hansel, Karma Chavez, Allen Ruff, & Esty Dinur
A Public Affair is WORT's daily hour-long talk program. It aims to engage listeners in a conversation on social, cultural, and political issues of importance. The guests range from local activists and scholars to notable national and international figures.

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