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.


Politics and Climate Change

09/11/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

James Madison Evening2 On Tuesday, September 11th,  Anjuli Brekke subbing for Cynthia Lin tackled the important issue of climate change and how it is being discussed by the Republicans and Democrats during this election season. Now that the conventions have finished, and with the Presidential elections just around the corner, both the Obama and Romney campaigns are presenting their visions for the future. This edition of A Public Affair delved into the plans these candidates have, or lack there of, to deal with the pressing issue of climate change and the future of the environment. The guest for the first half of the program was Daphne Wysham, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and founder of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network. She has worked on research and advocacy regarding climate change, human rights, fossil fuels, international finance, carbon markets and sustainable economies. Later on in the program Anjuli spoke with retired professor and conservation specialist Richard Steiner. Steiner was deeply moved by the disastrous impact of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He recently stated, “Neither the Republican Party, nor the Obama administration seem to grasp the severity of the energy/climate crisis we are in. While the Republicans are further from an energy plan that addresses the situation, both are playing games with something that is truly a life and death situation.” Wysham and Steiner discussed the barriers facing environmentalists both with the current administration and the further challenges that will be faced if Romney is elected in November. To learn more about Daphne Wysham: http://www.ips-dc.org/staff/daphne To read articles from Richard Steiner: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-steiner/ To listen to the entire program:

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OutReach Annual Banquet

09/10/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

OutReach Vector 2012 Website On Monday September 10th, host John Quinlan interviewed a panel of guests from Madison’s OutReach LGBT Community Center about their Annual Banquet taking place this Friday.   2012 Award Recipients: Woman of the Year: Cindy Crane Man of the Year: Joel Duffrin Organization of the Year: Alianza Latina Volunteer of the Year: Fay Ferington Ally of the Year: Karen Baker Special Recognition Award: Arthur Durkee Courage Award: Scott Anderson   OutReach Vision Statement: Our vision is to create a community where the presence and contributions of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender people are welcomed and celebrated; where intolerance is challenged and defeated; where justice prevails; and where civil rights of all people are valued and respected. To read more about OutReach: http://lgbtoutreach.org/?q=node/13 To listen to the entire show:  

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Abuse and Dissociation

09/7/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Nickels_300 On Friday September 7th, host Esty Dinur spoke with the award-winning author and visual artist Christine Stark about her recent book Nickels: a tale of dissociation. The novel deals with the difficult issues of incest and physical and verbal abuse from the survivor’s point of view. It discusses how dissociation is employed as a means of coping. Stark explains how her motivation in writing the novel began with her social justice work around sexual violence.     “Nickels follows a biracial girl named Little Miss So and So, from age 4-½ into adulthood. Told in a series of vignettes, Nickels’ lyrical and inventive language conveys the dissociative states born of a world formed by persistent and brutal incest and homophobia. The dissociative states enable the child’s survival and, ultimately, the adult’s healing. The story is both heartbreaking and triumphant” -Bertram’s Books To learn more about Christine Stark: http://www.christinestark.com/   To listen to the entire interview:

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Reverend Moon and his Cult

09/6/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Rev-Moon On Thursday September 6th, host Allen Ruff spoke with Frederick Clarkson, independent journalist and author, about Reverend Moon and his Cult following. “A longtime observer of the Religious Right, including Rev. Moon, he devoted a chapter to the Moon organization in his book, Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy. His profile of Moon critic Steven Hassan will be published this week at the webzine, Religion Dispatches. ‘Rev. Sun Myung Moon was among the most pernicious anti-democratic figures in the United States in the latter half of the 20th century. Moon hated America. He hated our tradition of individual rights and independent thought. He hated democracy and said he wanted to replace it with a theocracy under his rule. Although many would be loath to admit it, Moon has been a central figure in the development of the modern American conservative movement since the 1960s — from Richard Viguerie’s direct mail operations to the religious and political empire of Jerry Falwell. Whether one’s religious or non-religious identity — Christian, Jew, atheist or whatever – the Moon organization has treated the minds and sacred beliefs of others like they were targets of a covert operation. The Moon organization has no respect, and only contempt for the views of anyone who is not a member of the True Family, and part of the covert operation.’” -Institute for Public Accuracy To read more about Frederick Clarkson: http://www.frederickclarkson.com/about/ To listen to the entire interview:

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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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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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