The Roundtable | WAMC

The Roundtable

Weekdays, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Credit Peter Steiner

 WAMC's The Roundtable is an award-winning, nationally recognized eclectic talk program. The show airs from 9 a.m. to noon each weekday and features news, interviews, in-depth discussion, music, and much (much) more! Hosted by Joe Donahue and produced by Sarah LaDuke, The Roundtable tackles serious and lighthearted subjects, looking to explore the many facets of the human condition with civility, respect and responsibility.

The show's hallmark is thoughtful interviews with A-list newsmakers, authors, artists, sports figures, actors, and people with interesting stories to tell. Since hitting the airwaves in May of 2001, The Roundtable has interviewed the likes of Arthur Miller, Kurt Vonnegut, Maya Angelou, Madeleine Albright, Jimmy Carter, John McCain, Bob Dole, Steve Martin, James Taylor, Stephen King, Melissa Etheridge, Lin-Manuel Miranda and lots of other really cool people. Plus, Wilco does our theme song. What more can you ask for?

If you would like to be on the show email us at roundtable@wamc.org. Send your comments or questions for The Roundtable Panel to panel@wamc.org

The Roundtable is also available as a podcast.  Subscribe today!

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10:50 - Congressional Corner
11:10 - Earth Wise

11:50 - The Slowdown

Book Picks lists are here.

Music played on the show can be found here.

You may also hear Pulse of the Planet and Sound Beat on The Roundtable.

The fallout after Michelle Wolf’s roast at the 2018 White House Correspondent’s Dinner, Samantha Bee’s forced apology after calling Ivanka Trump a name I can’t say here, Kathy Griffin’s being “blacklisted” from Hollywood after posting a photo with what looked like the president’s severed head, all represent a dangerous and growing trend—to censor comedians.

In the new book, "Yes I Can Say That," comedy veteran Judy Gold argues that "no one has the right to tell comics what they can or cannot joke about…. Laughter is a unifier. It's the best medicine. It's also the most palatable way to bring up seditious, subversive topics.”

For Gold, nothing is more insidious than enforcing silence and repressing jokes—the job of a comedian is to expose society's demons, and confront them head-on, no prisoners allowed. In ten impassioned polemics, she frames comedy as a tool of empowerment, a way to reclaim hateful rhetoric and battle the democracy-crushing plight of censorship.

The United States is recognized as the most religiously diverse country in the world, and yet its laws and customs, which many have come to see as normal features of American life, actually keep the Constitutional ideal of “religious freedom for all” from becoming a reality.

Christian beliefs, norms, and practices infuse our society; they are embedded in our institutions, creating the structures and expectations that define the idea of “Americanness.” Religious minorities still struggle for recognition and for the opportunity to be treated as fully and equally legitimate members of American society.

In the new book, White Christian Privilege, Khyati Joshi traces Christianity’s influence on the American experiment from before the founding of the Republic to the social movements of today. Mapping the way through centuries of slavery, westward expansion, immigration, and citizenship laws, she also reveals the ways Christian privilege in the United States has always been entangled with notions of White supremacy. 

Alex Morse
https://alexmorseforcongress.com/

In today’s Congressional Corner, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse wraps up his interview with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. Morse is running in the Democratic primary for the 1st House district seat held by Rep. Richard Neal.

8/7/20 Panel

19 hours ago

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator, Visiting Professor at Bennington College, President of Beyond Plastics, and former EPA regional administrator Judith Enck, Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti, and Actor and Educator Kristen van Ginhoven - co-founder and Artistic Director of WAM Theatre.

MGM Studio Chief Louis B. Mayer called it the most important story he would ever film. ‘The Beginning or the End’ was a big budget dramatization of the Manhattan Project and the invention and use of the revolutionary new weapon.

Now published, as the world marks the 75th anniversary of the bombings, "The Beginning or the End: How Hollywood―and America―Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" is a book from award winning author Greg Mitchell, which chronicles the never before told story behind Hollywood's historic flop and the secret campaign to silence the scientists who tried to warn the world about a nuclear arms race. 

Joe Donahue: New York Times best-selling author AJ Baime's new book "Dewey Defeats Truman" gives us the story of what happened to Truman's presidency after the bomb was dropped. The chronicles the story of the 1948 presidential election, one of the greatest election stories of all time, as Truman mounted a history-making comeback and staked a claim for a new course for America. On the eve of the 1948 election, America was a fractured country, racism was rampant foreign relations were fraught and political parties were more divided than ever.

Americans were certain that President Harry S. Truman's political career was over. The only man in the world confident that Truman would win was Mr. Truman himself, and win he did. AJ Baime is the author of "The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World," and is a longtime regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal. 

Joe Donahue: Steve Shenkin's book "Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal- The World's Most Dangerous Weapon" was a National Book Award finalist, a Newbery Honor book and really required reading for anyone who is interested in what happened in 1945, with the dropping of the atomic bomb. 

Alex Morse
https://alexmorseforcongress.com/

Will Congressman Richard Neal avoid the fate of Congressman Eliot Engel?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse continues his interview with WAMC’s Alan Chartock about his campaign for the 1st House district seat.

8/6/20 Panel

Aug 6, 2020

      The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist Linda Ellerbee, Siena College Professor of Comparative Politics Vera Eccarius-Kelly, and investigative journalist and UAlbany adjunct professor, Rosemary Armao.

Hurricanes menace North America from June through November every year, each as powerful as 10,000 nuclear bombs. These megastorms will likely become more intense as the planet continues to warm, yet we too often treat them as local disasters and TV spectacles, unaware of how far-ranging their impact can be.

As best-selling historian Eric Jay Dolin contends, we must look to our nation’s past if we hope to comprehend the consequences of the hurricanes of the future.

In his new book "A Furious Sky,"  Dolin has created a vivid, sprawling account of our encounters with hurricanes, from the nameless storms that threatened Columbus’s New World voyages to the destruction wrought in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria.

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

This morning we'll learn about OpenWorld Relief, an organization that helps communities that have been affected by natural disasters. 

Benjamin Watsky is Executive Director of OpenWorld Relief, Co-founder at The Agora Method, and an Air National Guard Pilot. 

The new book, "Subtle Acts of Exclusion: How to Understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions," is a handbook to help individuals and organizations recognize and prevent microaggressions so that all employees can feel a sense of belonging in their workplace.

Our workplaces and society are growing more diverse, but are we supporting inclusive cultures? While overt racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of discrimination are relatively easy to spot, we cannot neglect the subtler everyday actions that normalize exclusion. Many have heard the term microaggression, but not everyone fully understands what they are or how to recognize them and stop them from happening.

Dr. Michael Baran is a social scientist and senior partner and digital solutions lead at inQUEST Consulting.

A legend of the New York City tabloid newspaper world who went on to a long career as an author has died. Pete Hamill, a longtime columnist for the New York Daily News and New York Post, was 85. He had suffered a variety of health problems in recent years.

A native of Brooklyn, Hamill was a tabloid figure even after his newspaper days were behind him: dating people like Jackie Onassis and Shirley MacLaine. He wound up on Nixon’s enemies list, and was one of the people who wrestled the gun away from Robert Kennedy’s assassin at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Hamill was a frequent guest on WAMC, discussing his novels and non-fiction. Joe Donahue spoke with Pete Hamill several times, including for this episode of The Book Show in 2013. We share a portion of that interview today in memoriam. 

8/5/20 Panel

Aug 5, 2020

  

     The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Times Union columnist Chris Churchill, immigration attorney and associate with the Albany law firm of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna Cianna Freeman-Tolbert, and Communications Faculty member at SUNY New Paltz & R.P.I. and former NYS Senator Terry Gipson.

Roundtable Music 8/5

Aug 5, 2020

Even now, after more than fifteen years, it is hard to see the invasion of Iraq through the cool, considered gaze of history. Most of the major players in that decision are still with us, and few are not haunted by it.

New York Times contributor and author Robert Draper talked to most of the key officials involved to revisit their roles, among them Powell, Armitage, Rice, Wolfowitz, Feith, Tenet, Bremer, Fleischer; he interviewed dozens who worked in the Departments of State, Defense, the National Security Council and the intelligence community, as well reporters who fumbled or challenged the story at the time.

The result is his new book, "To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America Into Iraq," is a psychologically complex and page-turning account: it includes a set of obsessed actors who gamed the process relentlessly as well as a group of patriotic men and women who, in the wake of the nightmare of 9/11, pursued that most elusive of dreams: finding peace through war.

At least 21% of Americans -- over 60 million people -- believe in Bigfoot, nearly half a million people planned a failed attempt to storm area 51 last summer, and people are still trying to figure out what the hell happened during the Great Kentucky meat shower of 1876.

In a world where rational scientific explanations are more available than ever belief in the unprovable and irrational in the fringe is on the rise. It seems the more our maps of the known world get filled in, the more we crave mysterious locations full of strange creatures.

Enter Colin Dickey, cultural historian and tour guide of the weird. he explores this wonderful world of fringe beliefs and conspiracy theories in his new book: "The Unidentified: Mythical Monsters, Alien Encounters, and Our Obsession with the Unexplained."

Alex Morse
https://alexmorseforcongress.com/

We’re in the final days of the Democratic primary in Western Massachusetts.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock about his campaign for the 1st House district seat.

8/4/20 Panel

Aug 4, 2020

  

     The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, investigative journalist and UAlbany adjunct professor Rosemary Armao, The Empire Report’s J.P. Miller, and former Associate Editor of The Times Union Mike Spain.

The book, “Bending the Arc: Striving for Peace and Justice in the Age of Endless War,” is a collection narrating how peace activists found their calling and why the world still needs peace activism. Drawing from diverse philosophical and spiritual traditions, contributors share their experiences of working for peace and justice and discuss the obstacles to both.

They address a wide range of contemporary problems, including the war on terror, killer drones, the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, mass surveillance, the human cost of war, political-economic impediments to peace, violent extremism, the role of women in peace-building, and the continued threat of nuclear weapons.

“Bending the Arc: Striving for Peace and Justice in the Age of Endless War” is also the title of The 2020 Kateri Peace Conference – which will take place on Zoom on August 21 and 22. Contributor Ann Wright and editor Steve Breyman join us.

Congressman Peter Welch
http://www.welch.house.gov/about-peter/

Vermont’s Congressional delegation doesn’t lack for seniority.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Representative Peter Welch wraps up his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

This conversation was recorded on July 28th.

8/3/20 Panel

Aug 3, 2020

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Bard Center for Civic Engagement Senior Fellow and Dean of the School of Continuing Education at the American University Cairo Jim Ketterer, Albany Law School professor and director of the Immigration Law Clinic Sarah Rogerson, and political consultant and lobbyist Libby Post.

 

Lawrence Roberts' new book is "Mayday 1971: A White House at War, a Revolt in the Streets, and the Untold History of America’s Biggest Mass Arrest."

Roberts—who has been an investigative editor with the Washington Post, ProPublica, Bloomberg News, and the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, and has been a leader on teams honored with three Pulitzer Prizes—chronicles the largest act of civil disobedience in US history, in Richard Nixon’s Washington.

He examines how the intense cluster of protests against the Vietnam War in the spring of 1971 bequeathed consequential changes to American law and politics, setting lasting precedents for individual rights in the heat of dissent, including rules for protesting in the nation’s capital today. 

Gardening As Self-Care

Jul 31, 2020

The garden is often seen as a refuge, a place to forget worldly cares, removed from the “real” life that lies outside. But when we get our hands in the earth we connect with the cycle of life in nature through which destruction and decay are followed by regrowth and renewal.

The new book, "The Well-Gardened Mind," provides a new perspective on the power of gardening to change people’s lives. Sue Stuart-Smith investigates the many ways in which mind and garden can interact and explores how the process of tending a plot can be a way of sustaining an innermost self.

Stuart-Smith’s own love of gardening developed as she studied to become a psychoanalytic psychotherapist.

Congressman Peter Welch
http://www.welch.house.gov/about-peter/

When will we have a COVID vaccine?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont Representative Peter Welch continues his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. This conversation was recorded on July 28th.

7/31/20 Panel

Jul 31, 2020

     The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, UAlbany Lecturer in Africana Studies Jennifer Burns, Visiting Professor at Bennington College, President of Beyond Plastics, and former EPA regional administrator Judith Enck, Publisher Emeritus of The Daily Freeman Ira Fusfeld, and Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti.

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