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.


Chris Hedges: American Fascists

Published: Oct 10, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

The radical segment of American Evangelicals is the focus of the fourth book by Chris Hedges, a former war correspondent for The New York Times and co-recipient of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for reports on global terrorism. The book, entitled American Fascists: the Christian Right and the War on America, is a chilling expose and critique of the quest for theocracy, and its leaders, among them Francis Schaeffer, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy, Pat Robertson, Timothy LaHaye, Rod Parsley, and others.

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Coach Jim Tressel

Published: Sep 30, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

Jim Tressel has been known as a remarkably successful college football coach. With the publication of The Winners Manual for the Game of Life, (1) he is now known in the sports world and beyond as a coach and author. The book is a distillation of a nearly four-hundred page handbook called The Winners Manual which Coach Tressel gives to his football team each year as they begin preparation for a new season. He changes it slightly each year.

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Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)

Published: Sep 12, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

In 2006 Oprah Winfrey endorsed a book by James Frey which was purported to be a memoir of his drug addiction and recovery. It was entitled A Million Little Pieces. Oprah's endorsement made the book an instant best-seller. As time passed an investigative website called "The Smoking Gun" and a journalist named Richard Cohen showed that Frey's story was fabricated. Initially Oprah reasserted her support for Frey. (1) The fact is that Oprah had been duped but she was intent on justifying her original decision and her credibility despite the facts.

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The Faith-Based White House

Published: Aug 29, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:
There is no transcript available.
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What Ever Happened to Jefferson and Madison?

Published: Aug 14, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

The most recent book of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, Garry Wills, is Head and Heart: American Christianities. The chapters on religion during the Revolutionary Era show how far the USA today has drifted from the plan of our founders (1).

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Energy: The Turning Point

Published: Aug 5, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

Fast forward fifty years to the United States of America 2058. Most of the cars and trucks run on natural gas, ethanol, or batteries, not gasoline or diesel fuel. Most of the nation's electricity is generated...

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For A New Thrift Part 2

Published: Jul 17, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

With Americans mired in unprecedented debt, a group called the "Commission on Thrift" has issued a report with a plan to shrink debt and encourage saving among Americans of modest means. (1) Here are the highlights of the plan.

The Commission on Thrift proposes a National Thrift Initiative. This is mainly a public education campaign for thrift similar to campaigns to reduce drunk driving, reduce smoking, and encourage seatbelt wearing. (p. 49) (2) As part of this, the Commission calls for revival of National Thrift Week, which was celebrated in America from 1917 to 1966.

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For A New Thrift Part 1

Published: Jul 3, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

A report entitled For a New Thrift: Confronting the Debt Culture was released recently in Washington, D.C. (1) Its sixty-two signatories, called the "Commission on Thrift," aim to reduce debt and to cultivate a habit of saving among Americans of modest means. Today I'll deal with the first part of the report which tell us what went wrong in our culture and next time I'll deal with the second part which outlines a cure.

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Edward Filene

Published: Jun 19, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

Filene's was a Boston-based department store chain founded by William Filene, a German Jewish immigrant, in 1881. When William became ill, his son Edward left Harvard in 1890 to run the business. Edward oversaw the expansion of the chain and the introduction of marketing innovations such as the bargain basement, money back guarantees, and automatic markdowns. With these markdowns, the cost of an item dropped the longer it remained on the selling floor. (1)

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Cost of Family Fragmentation to Taxpayers

Published: Jun 6, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

The Institute for American Values and three other groups dedicated to strengthening the family commissioned a study which was published recently. It is entitled The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing: A Report to the Nation. (1) The principal investigator is economist Benjamin Scafidi. The report confirms that due to divorce and unwed childbearing, the institution of the family is in trouble in America, and the fragmented family comes with a staggering price tag which the report estimates, conservatively, at $112 billion a year. (2)

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