WBEZ | debate http://www.wbez.org/tags/debate Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en For stand-up comics, hecklers are no joke http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-01/stand-comics-hecklers-are-no-joke-104887 <p><p>&nbsp;<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/louie%20ck.jpg" style="height: 210px; width: 340px; float: left; " title="Stand-up comedian Louis C.K. confronts a heckler in an episode of his FX show 'Louie.' (Google Plus/Commons) " />Imagine standing onstage at a comedy club, all shaky and sweaty under a blinding spotlight, expected to make everyone in the room laugh harder than they&#39;ve ever laughed before.&nbsp;You go into your routine, praying that your punchline will at least get a chuckle or two. Instead, someone shouts an obscenity from a few rows back. You have two options in this scenario, and you must decide quickly: a) ignore the heckler, or b) unleash a verbal blitzkrieg that could either save your act or send it up in flames.&nbsp;</p><p>I&#39;ve seen a good amount of stand-up in Chicago, and whenever a heckler interrupts with some arrogant snark, I have to resist the urge to throttle them. I also hold my breath waiting for the comedian&#39;s reaction, wondering if they feel just as embarrassed and appalled as I am.</p><p>In my experience, these instances have been thankfully few and far between. However, a recent&nbsp;<em>Tribune</em><a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-03/entertainment/ct-ott-0104-heckling-20130103_1_hecklers-audience-speaker-phone"> article </a>debating whether hecklers actually make shows more entertaining has <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-09/entertainment/ct-ent-0110-heckling-letters-20130109_1_heckler-comedians-road-comics">sparked outrage</a> from readers in the Chicago stand-up commmunity.&nbsp;</p><p>In &quot;A Field Guide to Heckling,&quot; reporters Nina Metz and Chris Borrelli discuss the possible&nbsp;upsides of an audience member verbally attacking a performer on comedy night.</p><p>Metz claims that hecklers can give comedians great material to use in their act, and &quot;from a purely selfish point of view,&quot; she judges their responses as a litmus test of true talent: &quot;Improv skill, reveal thyself!&quot;</p><p>Borrelli states that he is anti &quot;audience trolls,&quot; but he is admittedly pro-heckling in terms of creating a memorable experience. &quot;I have seen countless comedians and theater performances and live events in general, and forgotten most of them,&quot; he says, &quot;But I remember each and every time I have witnessed a performer get into it with an obnoxious audience.&quot;</p><p>Less than a week after their commentary was published, comedian Nick Vatterott posted a scathing&nbsp;<a href="http://oodlesofpun.tumblr.com/post/40053602203/all-bets-are-off-metz">&quot;review&quot;</a>&nbsp;of the article on his Tumblr blog. In addition to calling Borrelli &quot;a spineless Yes Man&quot; incapable of debate, he skewers Metz as &quot;an out of touch, long time unsupportive villain of the Chicago stand-up scene.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>The <em>A.V. Club</em>&#39;s Steve Heisler had a negative <a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/why-heckling-is-still-terrible-no-matter-what-pund,90506/">response</a> to the <em>Tribune</em> article as well, but his argument is much less mean-spirited.&nbsp;He makes a list of the issues to which he takes offense, and rationally refutes each one. And while he holds the writers accountable with sharp and biting criticism, he never resorts to name-calling.&nbsp;</p><p>I also like how Heisler compares a boorish heckler interrupting comedian Patton Oswalt during his act to an audience member vomiting over a balcony during one of Paul Rudd&#39;s Broadway shows. Both incidents were shocking and unscripted, possibly entertaining for some people, but also 100 percent unfair to the performers onstage. The only difference between these two examples is intent: puking usually can&#39;t be helped, while heckling is intentional malice. Comedians are hard-working professionals, and they should be respected as such. &nbsp;</p><p>To back up her pro-heckling stance, Metz points to a conversation that she had with Zach Galifinakis about hecklers providing a &quot;potentially desirable&quot; situation for a comic. However, I believe his carefully-worded reply proves that the opposite is true: &quot;I&#39;ve been heckled before&mdash;many times, actually&mdash;and it&#39;s always distracting...but it just comes with the territory, and you have to learn how to handle it.&quot;</p><p>For the sake of future stand-ups, I hope that they <em>won&#39;t</em> have to deal with rude hecklers interrupting them while they&#39;re trying to do their jobs. And for those who get a cheap thrill out of watching spontaneous confrontations turn ugly, there&#39;s always football.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Follow Leah on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/leahkpickett">@leahkpickett</a></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 14 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-01/stand-comics-hecklers-are-no-joke-104887 Do or die for Obama tonight http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-10/do-or-die-obama-tonight-103153 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Obama%20plane%20AP.jpg" style="height: 416px; width: 620px; " title="Everything's at stake for President Obama. (AP)" /></div><p>What&rsquo;s at stake for Barack Obama at Tuesday&rsquo;s debate?</p><p><em>Everything.</em><br /><br />Anyone who&rsquo;s still holding onto the idea that debates don&rsquo;t matter, that the president&rsquo;s favorables off the first one were what was important, or that he actually did OK in the long run is just not living in the real world.<br /><br />Two weeks post-debate is as good a long run as you get to measure effect when you&rsquo;re less than a month from the election, and the fact is that Mitt Romney not only scored a post-debate bump but actually kickstarted a run.<br /><br />Which means that any Obama supporter who thinks the president still has it in the bag (if he ever did), is on the brink of delusion right now.<br /><br />Pre-debate, Obama had an average four-point lead in the national polls and a slight lead in every single one of the battleground states, even North Carolina. Most were within the margin of error, but several had moved beyond it: Ohio (up by six), Pennsylvania (up by six), Florida (up by four).<br /><br />But right now, Romney is ahead by a couple of points in most national polls and either leading or tied in every single battleground state <a href="http://www.examiner.com/article/president-obama-leads-romney-51-to-46-ohio">except Ohio</a> and Pennsylvania, where the president is just above the margin of error. (Obama&rsquo;s other bright spot? He appears to be stealthily rising in, of all places, Arizona, where some polls even suggest <a href="http://www.kpho.com/story/19814639/new-az-poll-dead-heat-in-presidential-race-latino-vote-key">he&rsquo;s tied it up</a>. Latino voters could possibly rescue him there. )<br /><br />In Florida, Romney now has <a href="http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/national/timesbay-news-9herald-exclusive-florida-poll-romney-51-obama-44/1255882">a six-point lead</a>, twice the margin of error.<br /><br />And here&rsquo;s the kicker: Romney appears to moving ahead because of <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2012/10/15/swing-states-poll-women-voters-romney-obama/1634791/">late decisions by women voters</a>. Romney&rsquo;s confident and decisive performance essentially erased the gender gap; he maintains a strong, double digit edge with men.<br /><br />In other words, not only did Romney wipe the stench off but Obama&rsquo;s passive performance did not inspire anyone to think he&rsquo;s an actual prince on women&rsquo;s issues &mdash; no matter what the record might actually be. He was so damn above it all, he wasn&rsquo;t in the ring most of the time.<br /><br />It is now pretty much up to Obama to decide how badly he wants a second term, and to figure it out if he&rsquo;s out far enough on the precipice to gets his adrenaline going the way he likes it.<br /><br />Not only can he not afford to look like a loser Tuesday, he can&rsquo;t afford to come up even. And Romney&rsquo;s not going to hand it to him: Romney will smile and lie and stand tall behind those lies, just like he did the first time.<br /><br />The only way Obama can win is if he actually rolls up his sleeves, puts up his dukes and gets in the dirt with Romney. It&rsquo;s not his style but it&rsquo;s the fight of his life.</p></p> Tue, 16 Oct 2012 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-10/do-or-die-obama-tonight-103153 Romney won. Get over it, Obama fans. http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-10/romney-won-get-over-it-obama-fans-102898 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Obama-debate.jpg" style="height: 420px; width: 620px; " title="Obama lost out in Wednesday night's presidential debate. (AP)" /></div><p>Obama people, stop pretending. Stop trying to find the silver lining. Drop the crap about how Mitt Romney was a condescending jerk and vague on everything.<br /><br />Yeah, Romney was all that. And you know what? He <em>still</em> spanked Barack Obama in Wednesday night&rsquo;s debate.<br /><br />Romney was smooth, easy going, clear, ended his sentences on actual periods and just kept jabbing at the president all night long.<br /><br />Yeah, yeah, yeah &mdash; Jim Lehrer was an awful moderator, let Romney talk on and on, interrupted Obama more times than he did Romney, and basically set Romney up at least three times, practically coaxing responses from him. (Don&rsquo;t believe me? Here&rsquo;s the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/us/politics/transcript-of-the-first-presidential-debate-in-denver.html?pagewanted=all">full transcript</a> of the debate.)<br /><br />But if Obama had been on his game, none of that would have mattered. In fact, the president was way off balance, by turns smug, grim and obviously irritable. He couldn&rsquo;t find his way out of the weeds on most policy answers and he didn&rsquo;t try to hit Romney even when he had huge openings.<br /><br />Just off the top of my head, here are three missed opportunities:<br /><br />1. Romney basically admitted last night that his Medicare proposal replaces the current program with vouchers. But it was almost a sleight of hand. So Lehrer asked him directly about vouchers. Romney ignored him. And the president let it go!<br /><br />2. Romney said he has a healthcare plan. He does, but as Ezra Klein of the <em>Washington Post</em> pointed out in a tweet, it&rsquo;s exactly 369 words long. And Obama didn&rsquo;t bother to challenge him on it!<br /><br />3. Romney says his healthcare plan will cover people with pre-existing conditions. It doesn&rsquo;t. It only covers people who&rsquo;ve had continuous insurance coverage. That means that if you&rsquo;ve never had insurance for whatever reason, you&rsquo;ll never get it. And if you lose your job, you&rsquo;ll also lose your insurance.<br /><br />But here&rsquo;s Obama&rsquo;s maze of an answer: &ldquo;But let&rsquo;s go back to what Gov. Romney indicated, that under his plan he would be able to cover people with pre-existing conditions. Well, actually, governor, that isn&rsquo;t what your plan does. What your plan does is to duplicate what&rsquo;s already the law, which says if you are out of health insurance for three months then you can end up getting continuous coverage and an insurance company can&rsquo;t deny you if you&rsquo;ve &mdash; if it&rsquo;s been under 90 days. But that&rsquo;s already the law.&rdquo;<br /><br />Did you get that?<br /><br />Obama supporters can console themselves all day long by saying debates don&rsquo;t matter, that history proves that. They can also tell themselves that <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/first-debate-often-helps-challenger-in-polls/">first debates</a> usually help the challenger.<br /><br />But here&rsquo;s what history also tells us: Debates provide a bump of anywhere between 1 and 3 percentage points in the poll.<br /><br />And in a race divided by just about 4 points, that means Romney &mdash; and there does seem to be <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2012/10/03/mitt_romney_beats_barack_obama_first_debate_is_a_decisive_victory_for_republican_challenger.html">agreement both among pundits and early polls</a> that he won this one &mdash; can pull himself up to within the margin of error nationally and quite likely lead in states such as North Carolina (where the president had forged ahead by a fraction), Colorado, Florida, and maybe even Iowa and Virginia.<br /><br />Just this morning, Obama was down a full ten points on<a href="http://www.intrade.com/v4/markets/contract/?contractId=743474"> Intrade to 66</a>.<br /><br />The next debate is in two weeks. And Obama is now in the very position he&rsquo;d hoped to avoid: on the defensive.</p></p> Thu, 04 Oct 2012 11:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-10/romney-won-get-over-it-obama-fans-102898 Testing festival-goers taste: bottle or tap? http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-16/testing-festival-goers-taste-bottle-or-tap-92074 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-16/3175532558_539de1558e_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WBEZ&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter" target="_blank"><em>Front and Center</em></a> series covers a host of environmental issues in the Great Lakes region&ndash;-from the air Midwesterns breathe to the water they drink. Water quality is a big challenge. Sure, Chicago has lots of freshwater &ndash; a resource many are clamoring for. But<em> Front and Center</em> was interested in another debate, a controversy that just wouldn&#39;t go away: Which is better &ndash; tap or bottled water? The environment and a person&#39;s health were at stake in its answer. But for some, it could just came down to taste. <em>Front and Center</em>&rsquo;s Maham Khan decided to do a little experiment this summer at the <a href="http://milwaukeeavenueartsfestival.org/" target="_blank">Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival</a>.</p><p>There was no better place to find thirsty people, willing to sip some water, than at a street festival on a hot July Sunday.<em> </em>Khan filled one bottle with tap water and another with bottled water. She asked festival-goers at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival in Chicago to try one of each and determine which was what and which they liked better.</p><p>Loud speakers blasted everything from live hip-hop to Polka music. Patrons wandered from booth to booth in search of art. But at Khan&rsquo;s booth, instead of art, they found a challenge: &ldquo;Which do you like better?&rdquo; WBEZ&#39;s volunteer Emilja Novatovich asked this question of each sipper after offering them unlabeled cups of water.</p><p>Victor Navarez was sure his was tap water.</p><p>&ldquo;Tap water. Of course, you can taste the plastic&hellip;the chemical they put in there. I grew up with tap water, and I just think it&rsquo;s good. And now, I mean they&rsquo;re selling us water!&rdquo; Navarez explained.</p><p>The little experiment may have been unscientific but it took place against a backdrop laden with science&mdash;around purity, nutrition, environment and even taste.</p><p>One festival-goer smacked his mouth as he tasted the samples.<br />&ldquo;I can&rsquo;t tell the difference&rdquo; he said at first. But after more smacking, determined one was tapped, the other was bottled&mdash;and he preferred the tap.</p><p>But his estimation was wrong&mdash;and the samples were reversed.</p><p>&ldquo;Both of these are exactly the same right?&rdquo; Angie Hall asked. Hall thought Maham and company were messing with her because they also asked folks if they could identify which is tapped or bottled. Like Hall, over half of the sippers could not tell the difference.</p><p>&ldquo;They taste exactly the same, so therefore why fill up landfills with plastic bottles?&rdquo; Hall asked.</p><p>Hall&rsquo;s question got right into the kind of questions one side of the debate asked. Many of the pro-tap water drinkers at the festival brought up their concerns about the carbon foot print bottled water might leave behind. The advocacy group Food and Water Watch said it was a pretty big footprint&mdash;75 percent of plastic bottles still end up in landfills instead of being recycled.</p><p>One taster was pleased to learn that the sample he preferred was bottled water, which he often invested in.</p><p>Which brought up another contingent&mdash;Americans who collectively spend $21 billion a year on bottled water&mdash;some insisted it was taste; others were convinced bottled water is more pure&mdash;and convenient. A lot of the bottled water lovers said water on the go is a plus.<br />Samplers had their convictions about what was at stake in the choice&mdash;and it turned out, a blind taste test was not easy.</p><p>Ramon Rodriguez confessed he was just thirsty and had no idea there was difference. He was visiting from Puerto Rico.</p><p>He tried the bottled water first.</p><p>&ldquo;Ugh; that was awful,&rdquo; he said. A bit of an overreaction later, he tried the tap water.&ldquo;Ah, a lot fresher,&rdquo; he sighed.</p><p>In a sample of more than 300 thirsty festival-goers, almost half of the sampled Chicagoans&mdash;and one Puerto Rican visitor in particular&mdash;preferred the taste of Lake Michigan tap water over bottled.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><em>Music Button: Ron Trent &amp; Chaz Daimer, &quot;Morning Factory&quot;, (Prescription)<br />Music today provided by guest DJ, DJ Frique</em></p><p><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 16 Sep 2011 15:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-16/testing-festival-goers-taste-bottle-or-tap-92074 Worldview 8.8.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-8811 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/episode/images/2011-august/2011-08-02/indiana.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The battle over abortion has divided this country since the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in <em>Roe v. Wade</em>. To try to gain some insights into our cultural divide, we'll spend the week comparing the debate in the U.S. to those of other countries. It's part of our occasional series <a href="http://www.wbez.org/herethere" target="_self"><em>Here, There</em></a>, where we examine how other cultures approach universal issues. We kick off the series with WBEZ's <a href="http://www.wbez.org/staff/michael-puente" target="_self">Michael Puente</a>, who tells us why Indiana has become ground zero in the country’s battle over abortion. We also take a look at France, where, like the U.S., abortion became legal in the 1970s. Rather than having a protracted political debate, the French have reached a consensus on the issue.</p></p> Mon, 08 Aug 2011 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-8811 Unpacking the debt-deal spin http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-02/unpacking-debt-deal-spin-89966 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-August/2011-08-02/5225278777_58b39a4344_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>After months of bickering, posturing and name calling, Congress reached a debt deal. Legislators used every inch of room before hitting Tuesday’s debt-ceiling deadline. The deal passed the House and is expected to pass the Senate Tuesday. Still, nobody appeared to jump for joy. <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> opened the discussion up to listeners and fielded calls, e-mails and tweets. Host Alison Cuddy was joined by two political analysts - consultant<a href="http://www.fokn.com/FOKN/David_Dring.html" target="_blank"> David Dring</a> and political science professor<a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/ipr/people/soto.html" target="_blank"> Victoria DeFrancesco Soto</a> - to help unpack the budget deal. Together, they examined the political back and forth, media coverage and spin.</p><p><em>Music Button: DJ Prince, "James Brown Can Work It Out-Beatles Mashup", djprince.no </em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 02 Aug 2011 13:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-02/unpacking-debt-deal-spin-89966 In 'Muzzled,' Williams tells his side of the story http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-07-27/muzzled-williams-tells-his-side-story-89739 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-28/Juan Williams_Flickr_Nick Stepowyj.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In his new book, <em>Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate,</em> the journalist Juan Williams argues that his contract was terminated by NPR as part of a larger pattern of the suppression of unwelcome opinions.</p><p>Indeed, the overall theme of <em>Muzzled</em> is that reasonable people are being shut up and shut down. He points to longtime journalist Octavia Nasr, fired by CNN for a tweet, a Seattle politician who is hiding because of her proposal to have a "draw Mohammad Day" or moderate politicians who support gun-control measures but keep silent for fear of being targeted by the NRA.</p><p>"There are lots of platforms and lots of points of view out there – it's like going to a New York City street," Williams says in an interview with NPR. "You hear the cabs honking, the kids screaming, the ice cream truck. You can hear everything out here. But I think to myself...the experience that most Americans have is that they bite their tongue on a regular basis."</p><p>In his case, Williams blames what he says is a small group of elitist liberal news executives at NPR who didn't like when he expressed his opinions in other news outlets, including on the Fox News Channel.</p><p>"I think that what was behind it, in the mind of the executive that fired me, was my willingness to work for Fox, and to engage conservatives," Williams says, "and to stand up and make arguments that often times were construed as conservative arguments, whether it was on Fox, or in print, or in books."</p><p>Williams is an author and journalist who had previously been a political reporter and then opinion columnist for the <em>Washington Post</em>. In 1997, he became an analyst on Fox News — three years before taking the NPR job. So he says he had a well-developed brand and record before joining NPR in 2000. He started as host of <em>Talk of the Nation, </em>then became a senior correspondent before he was shifted to be a senior news analyst.</p><p>NPR officials terminated Williams' contract after an appearance on Fox News last October. Fox's Bill O'Reilly asked him what was wrong with his having said on ABC's <em>The View</em> that "Muslims killed us on 9/11."</p><p>Williams said O'Reilly was right, and that political correctness should not dampen political discourse. He added:</p><p><em>I mean, look, Bill, I</em>'<em>m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I</em>'<em>ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.</em></p><p>A minute later, Williams circled back – telling O'Reilly it was important to distinguish between a terrorist and a faith. Williams noted Americans did not blame Christians for Timothy McVeigh's deadly attack in Oklahoma City.</p><p>But critics said Williams had effectively endorsed racial profiling. Ellen Weiss, then NPR's senior vice president for news, called Williams to cut his contract short. The ensuing outcry from journalists and conservative lawmakers cost Weiss her job in January and helped fuel the later departure of CEO Vivian Schiller two months later. Weiss declined to comment for this story.</p><p>These days, no one at NPR defends how Williams was fired. In his book, Williams writes of the emotional toll it took: He describes his fears his career would be hurt and worse that he would be considered a bigot.</p><p>Margaret Low Smith is NPR's acting senior vice president for news. A former NPR News staffer who joined the network 29 years ago, Smith was running another NPR division at the time Williams' contract was terminated and did not participate in the decision. She said the network had learned, painfully, from its mistakes. But she also said that she did not recognize NPR from Williams' characterization.</p><p>"NPR is a stunningly open-minded place," Smith said. "We're deeply encouraging and in fact appreciative of different points of view. Everybody knows that we apply journalistic rigor to absolutely every story we tell. We challenge our own (assumptions) — we challenge everyone's assumptions in the way we report the news — the way we lead this organization."</p><p><strong><em> </em></strong></p><p>In Muzzled, Williams writes that editors were unhappy with his previous book – <em>Enough</em> – in which he criticized liberal black leaders. Williams, himself black, says he was told by an NPR executive whom he would not identify that he was not in sync with the kind of African-Americans valued by the network.</p><p>Yet NPR's <em>Morning Edition</em> <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5618023" target="_blank">devoted 71/2 minutes to an interview </a>with Williams about <em>Enough</em> — and used it to kick off a week of stories about leadership among African-Americans.</p><p>Both Williams and NPR acknowledge tensions were previously raised after he wrote pieces for newspapers such as the <em>Washington Post</em> in which he took opinions on public policy matters.</p><p>NPR's Smith says the network wants to clarify lines between commentary – that is, pure opinion, and analysis.</p><p>"Any experienced reporter can provide analysis," Smith says. "I think of analysis as a breakdown of facts — context and insight. If all you did was report facts without deeper background, it would not be rich reporting."</p><p>Williams says that's a foolish distinction.</p><p>"NPR tried to say, well, because he had expressed his feeling that he was no longer an effective news analyst," Williams says. "I thought to myself, wait a second: That's what I was given the latitude to do as a news analyst. Not only to express my feelings – you have to be honest about your feelings – but to express your opinions. That was the whole notion."</p><p>He also points to remarks made 16 years ago by NPR's Nina Totenberg on a syndicated television show in which she appeared to wish that physical harm befall the late Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) or his grandchildren in response to his words against gay AIDS victims. Totenberg <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/10/26/130838719/totenberg-on-helms-remark-stupidest-thing-she-s-said-on-tv" target="_blank">has expressed regret for those remarks</a>, saying, "I'll pay for them for the rest of my life."</p><p>NPR's National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson also appears on Fox News as a paid analyst. While the network last year asked her to rethink the relationship, she remains a presence there. Liasson has repeatedly said she tries to avoid voicing personal opinions, instead offering analysis. Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes has said in the past, however, that Liasson serves the role of a liberal analyst for the network, though she takes issue with that characterization.</p><p>After his firing, Williams<strong> </strong>found widespread <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-oped-0724-page-20110724,0,7357215.column" target="_blank">sympathy from journalists including Clarence Page</a>, a Pulitzer-winning columnist for the <em>Chicago Tribune</em>. But Page takes issue with some of Williams' conclusions.</p><p>"A lot of what I read in Juan's account sounds a lot like what many of us go through in newsrooms at one time or another when you've got bosses you just don't see things the same way as over certain issues," Page says.</p><p>Page points to Williams' two-book deal, his newspaper column and his three-year contract with Fox News — worth a reported $2 million dollars.</p><p>"I have a hard time seeing Juan as being muzzled," Page says. "I have no quarrel with NPR – or Fox News – deciding what's going to go out over their air – and who the people are going to be putting that stuff over their air."</p><p><strong><em> </em></strong></p><p>The media critic William McGowan is author of the book <em><a href="http://grayladydown.net/" target="_blank">Gray Lady Down</a>,</em> which contends the <em>New York Times</em> is compromised by liberal bias. He has written critically of NPR in the past for leaning to the left and says the network should leap at a chance for its journalists to appear on Fox shows with conservative hosts.</p><p>But that said, he says he's been a close listener since the mid-1980s – and that it has made great strides in being fair.</p><p>"I listen to it at a discount," McGowan says, "but it's got a lot to offer. It is not the great Satan that the right wing on Capital Hill makes it out to be."</p><p><strong><em> </em></strong></p><p>Williams' central contention that people are muzzled occurs amid the presence of cable channels and websites feeding almost every ideology or interest — and the ability of non-journalists to find audiences on Twitter or Tumblr.</p><p>He says ordinary people in the sensible center get steamrolled — yet he is a fan of Fox's high-decibel approach. At Fox News, Williams says nobody tells him what to say.</p><p><strong> </strong></p><p>"I think that you've got to have a strong personality, strong points of view in order to succeed in this media landscape," Williams says.</p><p>And there's a key conflict in a nutshell: NPR says it is trying to avoid those strong points of view from its reporters and analysts.</p><p>This week, Williams has been making the rounds to make his case about his beliefs, and to promote <em>Muzzled</em> — in print interviews, on Fox News, on the <em>Daily Show</em> with Jon Stewart, on NPR's Diane Rehm Show and other public radio programs. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1311808031?&gn=In+%27Muzzled%2C%27+Williams+Tells+His+Side+Of+The+Story&ev=event2&ch=1020&h1=Media&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=138761698&c7=1020&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1020&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110727&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=2&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Wed, 27 Jul 2011 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-07-27/muzzled-williams-tells-his-side-story-89739 25th Ward candidates Solis and Morfin debate before the runoff election http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-22/25th-ward-candidates-solis-and-morfin-debate-runoff-election-84067 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-22/Solis-Morphin.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago is just two weeks away from another election. Voters in 14 Wards across the city will chose their aldermen in the April 5 runoff races. The <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/about/wards/25.html">25th Ward</a> is one of those 14. It's on the southwest side, and includes the Pilsen, Chinatown, University Village and Tri-Taylor neighborhoods.<br /><br />The candidates are incumbent Alderman <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dannysolis.org/">Danny Solis</a> and community activist <a target="_blank" href="http://morfinfor25thward.com/">Cuahetemoc Morfin</a>. The two have met before. Morfin almost forced Solis into a runoff in the 2007 municipal election. In November's election, Solis won 49 percent of the vote and Morfin 28 percent.</p><p>Both men spoke with host Alison Cuddy about their ideas for running the 25th Ward.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>A correction has been made to this story.<br /><br />Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Mr. Morfin's name. </em></p><p><em><br />Music Button: Radiokijada, &quot;Manoteo en Menor-Tremor Mix&quot;, from the CD Tremor: Para Armar, (ZZK)</em></p></p> Tue, 22 Mar 2011 12:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-22/25th-ward-candidates-solis-and-morfin-debate-runoff-election-84067 Handicapping the mayoral race on the home stretch http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-18/handicapping-mayoral-race-home-stretch-82510 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/mayoral last debate getty olson_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>So now that the televised debates are over,&nbsp; the mad dash to the finish line is on! The race to become mayor of Chicago is heading into its final days before Tuesday&rsquo;s election. The last TV ads will air and candidates&rsquo; schedules are packed with appearances! WBEZ&rsquo;s political reporter Sam Hudzik joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to talk about what to expect over the crazy campaign weekend ahead.</p><p><strong>POST-ELECTION SPECIAL</strong>:</p><p><em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>will a live broadcast for its <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wbez.org/event/2011-02-23/848-city-remake">post-election day show</a>. It will be at the Navy Pier studios on Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 9:00 a.m. If you&rsquo;re interested in participating, please send an email to <a href="mailto:848@wbez.org?subject=Post-Election%20Show"><strong>848@wbez.org</strong></a> with the subject line: Post Election Show. Or call <strong>312-948-4848</strong>.</p><p><em>Music Button performed live by The Opus: &quot;International&quot; (unreleased</em><em>)</em></p></p> Fri, 18 Feb 2011 14:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-18/handicapping-mayoral-race-home-stretch-82510 Emanuel back on the ballot hours before latest mayoral debate http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/%5Bfield_program_ref-title-raw%5D/emanuel-back-ballot-hours-latest-mayoral-debate <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Mayoral debate Rahm focus - Getty Chris Sweda-Pool_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The top four mayoral candidates gathered to debate Thursday night. Mere hours before the event, Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s candidacy was still in question. But late Thursday the <a href="http://www.state.il.us/court/" target="_blank">Illinois Supreme Court</a> settled the matter. In a unanimous ruling, the judges overturned an earlier appellate court decision that Emanuel did not meet residency requirements. <em>Chicago Tribune&rsquo;s</em> political reporter <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/chi-pearson-bio,0,5858700.story" target="_blank">Rick Pearson</a> has been keeping an eye on the case and the mayoral race. He joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>to offer a little debrief and analysis.<br /><br />The debate on WGN Thursday was moderated by anchor <a href="http://www.wgntv.com/about/wgntv-news-team-micah-materre,0,633732.htmlstory" target="_blank">Micah Materre</a> who will join <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> Monday for its regular <em>Month in Review</em>.</p><p><em>DJ Chris Widman Music Button: Two Fingers, &quot;Fool's Rhythm&quot;, Ninja XX DLP (Ninja Tune)</em></p></p> Fri, 28 Jan 2011 14:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/%5Bfield_program_ref-title-raw%5D/emanuel-back-ballot-hours-latest-mayoral-debate