I've been a huge fan of the radio program Fresh Air for over two decades. I even met Terry Gross and one of the producers, Amy Salit once. (BTW, Terry Gross is really tiny. She could probably fit right into one of my Grandmother's old radio consoles!)
In the last few weeks the Fresh Air shows they have been ON FIRE with some amazing guests and fascinating, revealing interviews.
I'm going to list the ones I'm talking about so you can listen for yourself. With a few comments from me why they are so good.After a Stroke, a Scientist Studies Herself
Terror And The Unraveling Of America's Moral Fabric
Neurological researcher Jill Bolte Taylor
suffered a stroke 12 years ago. While the damage caused by a stroke is often devastating, Taylor was able to make a complete recovery after becoming her own experimental subject.
This is an AMAZING story. If you only listen to one episode of Fresh Air from this list, listen to this one.
Of course I'm fascinated with the brain and all its aspects and this show really explores what it is like to have a certain kind of stroke. It is also a story about being present in the moment and what left-brain / right-brain splits are really like for the person experiencing the stroke.
According to investigative journalist Jane Mayer, the war on terrorism may have done as much political and social damage to the United States as terrorism itself. Mayer writes for The New Yorker, and she recently published The Dark Side.
Jane Mayer has got to be one of them most fair reporters on the planet. After hearing about all the nasty stuff that Bush and Cheney have done she STILL finds a way to bring some humanity and balance to Cheney. I think I'll call her and ask if she has been booked on Rush Limbaugh, Hannity or Fox and Friends. I doubt it, they have labeled her as the enemy and don't care to hear the real story even from someone who dug deep enough to find Cheney's heart.
In 'Torture Team,' An Administration Accused
In his new book, Torture Team,
international lawyer Philippe Sands argues that the Bush administration's interrogation policy constitutes a war crime.
I've been reading Philippe Sands works and listening to his interviews for a while and I think Terry's questions really stand out in this interview. Even after everything she hears and knows, she still has the same incredulous questions as a number of people. "Can this really be true? Did these people really descend into the depravity of torture in a legal, practical and moral sense?"
She asks the questions that I would envision people ask when they find out that someone they love has just been found out to be guilty of pre-meditated murder. "Really? It can't be! What proof do you have?" and "Why?" and finally, "What will happen to them now?"
I know that torture is one of my "favorite" topics and hearing about it and reading about it is so depressing for many of us. But when you listen to Sands it helps you understand how we got to this place. There is still the issue of what next. Which I think is will be at the heart of the battle for the soul of our nation.Seymour Hersh On Covert Operations In Iran
In the upcoming issue of the New Yorker, Seymour Hersh writes that the United States may be closer to armed conflict with Iran than previously imagined.
Again, Terry is the surrogate asking questions for the average intelligent person who STILL can't believe that the Bush administration would be so radical as to start a war in Iran.
Many of us have gotten over the idea that the Bush Administration will act as rational leaders after the truth about Iraq came out. But there is STILL a handful of people who can't believe that he will attack Iran. It reminds me of a scene with Jeff Daniels and Keanu Reeves in Speed. "You shot me, I can't believe it! They're giving you a medal for shooting me, you little prick! " says Daniels. "Harry... you TOLD me to." says Reeves.
Bush told us he was going to invade. There are some who think that Bush wouldn't be crazy enough to attack Iran when Iraq has been such a disaster. Listen to Hersh explain how in the minds of Bush and Cheney the Iraq war has been a SUCCESS, so that attacking Iran will be just an extension of their success in Iraq.Elizabeth Warren On The Rising Cost Of Credit Debt
Harvard Law professor returns to Fresh Air to talk about how credit-card debt is becoming more costly due to increased fees and interest rates. Warren is a bankruptcy expert and an outspoken critic of abusive lending practices.
Dr. Warren is great for cutting to heart of who is really behind the economic tragedies of the current policies, programs and ideologies that are destroying the middle class in America. It was Warren who talked about the way that 50 percent of the bankruptcies were because of MEDICAL bills. Not because people were drinking too many lattes. She is clear speaker and willing to challenge the views pushed by the powerful credit industry. As we watch the current credit crisis we see what happens when the financial industry "regulates" itself.
I don't know which of these producers picked the guests and did the show prep, so I'm going to list them all just to extend my thanks for their good judgment. Terry Gross is the best interviewer on radio, but her questions don't always just pop out of her head. And the questions that get created and selected for broadcast takes some serious smart work and good editorial judgment.
I suggest you take advantage of their collective insights and talent to inform and inspire you in under and hour.
Terry Gross - Host, Co-Executive Producer
- Danny Miller - Co-Executive Producer
- Roberta Shorrock - Director
- Dorothy Ferebee - Station Services Coordinator
- Monique Nazareth - Producer
- Naomi Person - Producer
- Amy Salit - Producer
- Phyllis Myers - Producer
- Ann Marie Baldonado - Producer
- Ian Chillag - Associate Producer
- Patty Leswing - Associate Producer
- Sam Briger - Researcher
Oh and if you need something lighter to listen too, check out her interview with Robert Smigel, I'm the proud owner of his hit album, "Come Poop with Me.
"Comic Robert Smigel, Master Of 'Triumph'
Triumph the Comic Insult Dog's bark may be worse than his bite: The canine puppet has been mocking Hollywood celebrities for over a decade now. Robert Smigel, Triumph's creator, talks about the furry late-night fixture and his other comedy projects