The Main Ingredient

Jun 26, 2019

Donald Trump remains the focus of the news. People are being Trumped out. They’ve had enough. On the Roundtable’s daily panel discussion we hear from countless frustrated people who want him gone. They surely know that the chances of impeachment and conviction are nil but the level of frustration is so high that they just want something done now. I get that. Even if Nancy Pelosi is correct and that failed impeachment proceedings will allow Trump to get reelected, they just don’t seem to care. We see people like the wonderful Congressman Paul Tonko bowing to the popular will and announcing that he, too, favors moving forward with an impeachment investigation. You had better believe that WAMC has been chronicling this in depth. 

Of course, this country has a federalist form of government which means that states and the federal government must share power. WAMC gets to a lot of states. We have recently been flattered to have Governor Andrew Cuomo asking for access to our airways. I have asked him the hardest questions I can think of. With some regularity, Cuomo has made statewide news including virtually all of New York’s newspapers. Often they will cite the source as WAMC, but sometimes they just say, “In an interview...” Hey, that ain’t right.” When David Guistina and I speak daily at 7:45 AM, we always credit the various newspapers by name when we reference them. But, I get it -- newspapers are fighting for their lives. Can’t be easy. I feel sorry for them.

I am very proud of the fact that I thought up the concept of the Roundtable and then of the panel and then the expanded panel. It has proven to be one of, if not the, most popular programs on the air. Joe Donahue has done a phenomenal job of assembling extraordinarily talented and prestigious panelists for the show each day. Frankly, I don’t know how he does it. The original concept, and I think that it is really working out, was that the program would take us from NPR’s Morning Edition to WAMC for most of the rest of the day. We have asked for your letters and many of you have been very prolific. We try to feature all shades of opinion but we receive a huge numbers of letters every day. Sometimes we hear from people who are frustrated that their letters were not read. 

I’ll tell you how the sausage is made. Sarah LaDuke gets the letters and delivers them to me or to Joe to read. When possible, we try to give preference to those who are writing with different perspectives. Obviously, we prefer letters with names on them. It is always funny to get a letter that says, “Please do not read this on the air.” As I said earlier, people are very frustrated. 

Just a word here for all those wonderful people who volunteer for the fund drives. In the old days these wonderful folks “personed” the phones and did their best to write in a clear handwriting. Penmanship may be a thing of the past but some of these people have really clear handwriting or printing. When they don’t, we get blamed for it because we’re the ones doing the on air reading. Now we have some dedicated and wonderful people in the front office making it all go smoothly. Everyone gets their own computer and what used to take weeks to get done now is over in just a few days. 

As we have so often said, “We couldn’t do it without you.” 

It really does take a village to run the best radio station in America. To all of you who have contributed with money or labor or both, we thank you. We know that you are the ingredient that makes it work.