Commentary & Opinion


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on comments made by President Trump calling the media "the enemy of the people." Dr. Chartock also discusses the Trump administration's proposal released Thursday, which would freeze antipollution and fuel-efficiency standards for cars.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses the possibility of the TSA ending screening at smaller U.S. airports.  Dr. Chartock also shares his thoughts on the trial of Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman.

Keith Strudler: Not Even Close

Aug 1, 2018

If you play sports long enough, you will find yourself on the back end of a lopsided defeat. 

Herb London: Trump, Russia And The Future

Aug 1, 2018

In what can only be regarded as an ingenuous diplomatic assertion, President Trump agreed that the Russians had not attempted to influence the 2016 election, despite intelligence reports to the contrary.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses President Trump's feud with the Koch brothers. Dr. Chartock also shares his thougths on the president's proposed cut to capital gains taxes.

If you really want to know what keeping WAMC alive is all about, you have to look no farther than at the WAMC news division. It is no secret that we invest what you give us into the people who gather the news. It really is some operation.


Ben Downing: End Of Session

Jul 31, 2018

I had planned on preparing a summary of the soon to be finished Massachusetts legislative session. However, as I researched the various pending pieces of legislation being debated, I couldn't help but focus on the broader dynamics driving the process. Increasingly, each two-year session has been defined by the long, slow build up to a final days’ logjam. To some degree, this is unavoidable. Timelines dictate activity. However, the trend is noteworthy, not just for its hectic nature, but for who it benefits.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, set to begin today. Dr. Chartock also shares his thoughts on the president's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who says collusion is not a crime.

We live in an age in which it seems we’re surrounded by government mendacity, incompetence, and corruption.  Of course, there are legitimate reasons we all feel that way as we see the antics at the national and state levels.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses President Trump's comments on funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Dr. Chartock also discusses a report that federal air marshals have been conducting in-flight monitoring of U.S. passengers for years.

David Nightingale: Marc Chagall

Jul 29, 2018

This essay is about the Russian-Jewish artist Marc Chagall, whose vividly colored modernist paintings sometimes had bodies floating above towns and partly cubist shapes. He was born in 1887 in a poor part of Vitebsk in Russia, or present-day Belarus.

Ralph Gardner Jr: I Brake For Tidal Pools

Jul 28, 2018
Courtesy of Ralph Gardner Jr.

The Hudson Valley has a lot going for it. But – correct me if I’m wrong – the last time I checked tidal pools wasn’t among them.

Andrew Pallotta: After Janus, Hope And Optimism

Jul 27, 2018

Late last month, the conservative right wing majority on the U.S. Supreme Court did what most expected, ruling 5 to 4 against public sector unions in Janus v. AFSCME.

Nils Strand / Wikimedia Commons

Now we turn the microphone over to our listeners. Here are this week's highlights from the WAMC Listener Comment Line.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on Facebook's stock.  Dr. Chartock also discusses New York Governor Andew Cuomo's campaign efforts for November's election.


WAMC'S Dr. Alan Chartock discusses efforts by the U.S. and the European Union to avoid a trade war. Dr. Chartock also talks about the possibility of life on Mars.

Keith Strudler: Hockey Fights

Jul 25, 2018

There was a point in my distant past where I thought I would go to law school. This period came largely before I got to the heart of college coursework and realized that law school could be unpleasant and lead to unintended consequences- namely then having to be a lawyer. 

For most political analysts the liberal democratic malaise, so often discussed, is a byproduct of the liberal world order’s success. While it is easy to observe the evolution of events in the post-Cold War period as a sign of collapse, that, in my judgment, would be a mistake.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the tape released Tuesday by President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen.  Dr. Chartock also discusses Maine Governor Paul LePage stance on expanding Medicaid.

Stephen Gottlieb: Trump’s Disloyalty

Jul 24, 2018

I’ve been chomping at the bit to get back to the studio to record but the surgeon said “Sit down, sit down, sit down, you’re splitting my stitches.” Well, I’m here at last. Trump and a number of Washington Republicans think the FBI investigation of the connection between Russia and the Trump Administration was biased against Trump because FBI agent Peter Strzok believed that the American people should have rejected Donald Trump for president. Since a large share of FBI agents are Republican, one could have credited Strzok as keeping them honest with regard to Trump. But the problem with the Trumpians’ automatic conclusion of bias goes much deeper.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses President Trump's comments on Iran. Dr. Chartock also discusses the layoffs at The New York Daily News.

Last week’s news contained far-flung events that showed how global warming is increasingly impacting the world’s politics.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren's visit to Great Barrington Sunday. Dr. Chartock also shares his thoughts on President Trump's warning to Iran over the weekend.

Ralph Gardner Jr: The Novel In Performance

Jul 21, 2018
Performance artist Tim Youd at Thomas Cole National Historic Site
Ralph Gardner Jr.

I was unaware that when Hunter Thompson was a young writer he typed out “The Great Gatsby” and “The Sun Also Rises” to deconstruct how F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway achieved their effects and created their masterpieces. 

Rogovoy Report 7/20/18

Jul 20, 2018

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include blues, folk, classical, rock, pop, avant-garde, theater, Leonard Bernstein, and a whole lot more.

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses the possibility of a second meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Dr. Chartock also shares his thoughts on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's connection to the Buffalo Billion Case.

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on President Trump's most recent comments regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections. Dr. Chartock also discusses the potential political impact of one candidate's past rap career in New York's 19th House district.

Herbert London: Independence For What?

Jul 18, 2018

When the great American experiment began it was as a letter to King George III to explain why the Continental Congress voted to declare independence from Great Britain. It was on June 7, 1776 at a meeting of the Continental Congress in the Pennsylvania State House that Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence. On July 2 the Continental Congress voted unanimously in favor of Lee’s resolution, even though New York initially abstained. The White House held its first July 4th party in 1801, even though many thought of themselves as citizens of Great Britain. “Yankee Doodle,” one of the most popular songs sung on this holiday, had its provenance in a tune that marked the “Yankee” who British soldiers fought during the French and Indian War.

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses the fallout of the Trump-Putin press conference Monday.  Dr. Chartock also shares his thoughts on a New York Times editorial calling on Republicans to "grow a spine."