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Here and Now with Robin Young
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Monday January 18, 2010

Massachusetts Senate Race

It’s down to the wire in the Massachusetts Senate race to fill the seat held by the late Ted Kennedy. Democrat Martha Coakley has seen her double-digit lead over Republican Scott Brown evaporate in the past two weeks. Here and Now’s Fred Thys joins us to discuss the election which could determine the fate of President Obama’s plans for health care reform.

Scrambling to Save Health Care Reform

We’ll speak with Gail Chaddock, Capitol Hill correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor on the behind-the-scenes scramble by the White House and congressional Democrats to salvage the President’s health care reform package in case Scott Brown wins in Massachusetts.

Fairness Doctrine, Ancient History?

Spin the radio dial in Boston and you’ll hear a lot of time being spent on some stations encouraging listeners to vote for Scott Brown. We’ll speak to T. Barton Carter, an expert in broadcast law, at Boston University’s College of Communication, about the Fairness Doctrine, which mandated that the broadcast networks give time to contrasting points of view on issues of importance to the public. It was abolished in 1987.

Waiting for Word from Haiti

A woman cries as she sings at the Haitian Church of the Nazarene in Boston yesterday (Andrew Phelps/WBUR)

A woman cries as she sings at the Haitian Church of the Nazarene in Boston yesterday (Andrew Phelps/WBUR)

Family and friends in Haitian communities across the U.S. anxiously await news of their loved ones. Here and Now’s David Boeri visited the Haitian Church of the Nazarene in Boston.

Positive Outlook Among Black Americans

Black Americans are more upbeat about their lives now than they’ve been in more than a quarter century, according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center. The rise in optimism has been most evident over the past two years. We talk with the Pew’s director of survey research, Scott Keeter, about what the findings say about racial attitudes in the U.S.

The Hurt Locker

The 2009 film about a fictional bomb disposal squad in Iraq is generating considerable Oscar buzz. It’s already won Critics’ Choice, New York, and Los Angeles Film critics awards for Best Picture and Best Director. We revisit a conversation that producer Emiko Tamagawa had with filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow when the movie first came out last summer.

Music from the Show

  • Maserati, “Wires Were Towers”
  • The Slip, “Tinderbox”
  • Moby, “Inside”
  • Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders, “The Way I Am”
  • Nancy Oteri


    I take personally your attack on talk radio. I would ask if your taxpayers’support were cut off, and (you) had to compete for air time and for advertisers, whether WBUR would last more than six months. My opinion is no.

    I was a faithful WBUR listener for over thirty years. On September 11th, 2001, I turned the station…

    It is my right; only in a fascist state would I be criticized or stopped from listening to other than left-leaning public radio.

  • Robin Young

    Nancy, we welcome various opinions, but must correct one fact. Less than 7 percent of WBUR’s funding comes from the government.

    And I don’t think we ever said that anyone should be stopped from listening to anything. We did explain that the Fairness Doctrine once required that radio stations express more than one point of view.

    Thank you for listening and weighing in.

  • Tricia Monasterio

    I was an avid listener of NPR when I was in college…and although I continue to listen to it from time to time, I am increasingly a more avid listener of 96.9 WTKK. Of the 5 primary hosts on the show, 3 are Brown supporters while 2 are Coakley supporters. Martha Coakley and Deval Patrick are on this channel regularly… so if you don’t call that “Fair and Balanced”, I don’t know what is. I do my best to listen to all sides, and feel that CNN, MSNBC and other ‘media outlets’ fail to do what WTKK and FOX do: represent all sides of the political spectrum. Just a question, how many Brown supporters can you find amongst your NPR hosts? …Yeah, I thought so.

  • Robin

    Hi Tricia,

    Since you addressed me I’d love to respond…
    the sound we played in our montage was from several stations here in Boston, and with all due respect I think it’s a fair statement that they’ve devoted the bulk of their host air time in support of
    one candidate, which, as we explained in our piece,
    is their right! There is NO regulation against it.

    That was the purpose of the segment, to answer the question, can they do that. They can.

    And they can do it within shows. It’s their right! I know one host was upset at our segment, but as I emailed him, I thought he’d be happy anyone was giving him even partial credit!

    As to your question about NPR hosts, you may not believe it, but I wouldn’t know, we don’t ask.

    I’m just sayin.

    All best, and thank you, sincerely, for your thoughts.

  • Kevin Campbell

    Fox “represents all sides of the political spectrum”? In what universe is that? It’s comments like these that remind me how far to the right this country has slid. The creeping, corporate echo-chamber of right-wing talk radio has served it’s purpose over the last 30 years I suppose. I guess I really knew it had blossomed when they were able to paint Bill Clinton, a barely Democratic centrist, as someone apparently left of Noam Chomsky or something. They do the same thing now with Obama and these lemmings eat it up. The guy is surrounded by financial industry hacks, is a total Friedman supply side economics disciple, and supports a health care reform plan that is a blatant giveaway to to the health care and pharmaceutical industries and he’s accused of being a socialist!

  • http:www.wbur.org Lucien C

    do you receive the comment?
    last past fifty the hour, SDH

  • Beverly

    I dug into your achives for yesterday’s feature wondering what the heck you could have said that stirred up such Severin venom (wait, doesn’t the word severin mean venom?). What I heard was a fair and balanced story.

  • Tedd

    Hi Robin,
    I’m confused by Nancy Oteri’s mysterious criticism of the station – as I’m sure a lot of people are. Is she blaming WBUR for the coverage of Sept 11, 2001 (or does she think WBUR was responsible for 911. —- Tricia Monasterio, the other critic of the station states that Fox “represent all sides of the political spectrum. The only thing more suspect than Fox’s “Fair and Balanced” tagline is Scott Brown claiming to be an independant when he voted with Republicans 96% of the time. Never mind that Brown denies climate change is man made and doesn’t support emergency rooms having to provide contraception to victims of rape. What a country we live in. God bless us all.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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‘Enormous’ Growth Of Ocean Garbage Patch

The oceanographer who discovered the floating island of trash in 1997 says he's shocked by how much it's grown.