Commentaries

If you're a regular listener to NPR news programs, you're probably familiar with the occasional brief commentary during the morning or evening news programs by experts in various fields; people providing insight into public affairs, observations on the arts, and thoughts on how we live. This page contains transcripts and/or audio recordings of local commentaries that have aired on WYSU.


Michael Shermer, Skeptic

Published: Jan 19, 2012
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

Michael Shermer is a psychologist, historian of science, columnist for Scientific American, and public intellectual. (1) His most recent book is entitled The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies – How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths. (2) It draws from extensive research over the past thirty years.

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Marriage in America

Published: Jul 28, 2011
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

When Marriage Disappears is the title of a recent study on the status of marriage in America. (1) According to the study, marriage is "stable" in only one segment of our society - the highly-educated - which comprises about 30% of the population. (p. ix) (2) In the rest of society, marriage is on life support - the divorce rate is high, the number of unwed mothers continues to grow, cohabitation has skyrocketed, fewer children live with both of their parents, and satisfaction with marriage is declining. (p. 14) Let's focus on each.

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Rob Bell

Published: Jul 14, 2011
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

Rob Bell is a charismatic 40-year old pastor of the Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan, which attracts over 10,000 people for Sunday services, and which "emphasizes discussion rather than dogmatic teaching." (1) Although Bell was well-known in religious circles before the publication this year of his latest book, (2) Love Wins, this book has catapulted him into a pastoral rock star. (3) His celebrity was sealed when Time magazine did a cover story on him in the April 25th issue this year.

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The Class of '61

Published: Jul 4, 2011
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

On a recent weekend, the Ursuline High School Class of 1961 gathered at a reunion to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of our graduation. During four events – a social Friday night, a tour of the school Saturday afternoon, a banquet Saturday night, and a brunch Sunday - we got reacquainted with one another, we reminisced, and, of course, we gauged the impact of the years on one another. If I had to pick one word to characterize the weekend, it would be change.

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James Haught

Published: Apr 20, 2011
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

In a new book entitled Fading Faith – The Rise of the Secular Age, (1)James A. Haught proposes that there is a significant decline in religion in the developed nations. (2) In France, for instance, less than 7% of adults attend church regularly. In Denmark and Sweden the figure drops to 5%. Across Europe only 15% of adults attend church. In England, the percentage of children attending Sunday School dropped from 50% in 1900 to 4% in 2000.

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Marlo Thomas

Published: Mar 23, 2011
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

Danny Thomas (1) is one of America's most popular and famous entertainers and the pride of Lebanese-Americans. But in 1986 he learned that he was not the only show business success in his family. On the same night that year, Danny's son and daughter made history - each received a Grammy. Tony Thomas won as producer of the Best Comedy Series, The Golden Girls,(2) and Marlo Thomas as Best Dramatic Actress in a TV movie, Nobody's Child. (3) These are a few of the hundreds of facts that we learn in Marlo Thomas's new memoir - Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny. (4) Growing Up Laughing offers us an intimate portrait of Danny Thomas and his remarkable family, (5) in-depth interviews by Marlo of twenty-three of America's most famous comedians, (6) and hundreds of jokes, mostly one-liners, inserted between the chapters. (7)

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The History of the Civil War Part 2

Published: Mar 14, 2011
Commentator: Carole Babyak
Transcript:
There is no transcript available.
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The History of the Civil War

Published: Feb 24, 2011
Commentator: Carole Babyak
Transcript:
There is no transcript available.
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Richard P. Stevens

Published: Feb 16, 2011
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

A number of high profile Americans have worked to improve life for Africans. Among them are Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Oprah Winfrey. Their generosity has received plenty of attention by news organizations. By contrast, Americans who are not celebrities but have undertaken humanitarian projects in Africa and elsewhere have done so with little fanfare. One example is philosopher Robert Paul Wolff. In 1990 he established University Scholarships for South African Students, a foundation which has helped over twelve hundred young Africans earn college degrees.

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Wintertime Birds

Published: Jan 17, 2011
Commentator: Carole Babyak
Transcript:
There is no transcript available.
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