February 21, 2008

2/21/08 thoughts today

I really want to get past this and build a new and creative world for us and for you.  We will and we are.  We’re going to post a new interview in just a few minutes. 

I wanted to write a few words about last night, as well. 

The gathering last night was amazing.  It was a cold snowy night.  A night that saw many events across the community cancelled.   But in Charles Village, an auditorium was filled with 300 people or so. 

The people there represented our community.   It was Black, White, Asian, Latino, elders, youth and middle aged, gay and straight.   There were truck drivers from Baltimore, school bus drivers from Bel Air, steel workers from Dundalk, university professors from every discipline, lawyers, nurses, doctors, social works, inner city activists, students, school teachers, filmmakers, journalists, artists and artisans.    Some were activists who came as an organized group but most were just folks there to speak there mind. 

It was inspiring to hear what my listeners and station members had to say.   Sure, on one one level it was about me and about the fact that I have been part of people’s lives in this community for the past fifteen years.     But all this was and is much larger and more important than any one man or any show on public radio. 

This is about community, about building community and a radio show that drew diverse communities together.  It is about the future of public radio and what the public means in public radio. 

Speakers stood to tell Tony Brandon, Barbara Bozzuto, Andy Bienstock, the management and board of WYPR that the program gave voice to the voiceless in this community. People testified that they had been introduced to voices, people and ideas from our community that they would never run across in their daily lives.  One inner city activist, Dante Wilson, said that all the media shows is negative images of Black communities.   He said that our program showed the world that there is a different side to the streets of Baltimore and people who were working to make a difference.   

School teachers stood up to say that nowhere else did teachers and regular working people have a forum to speak to the public.  Jewish-American and Arab-American leaders were there because our show was a place where ideas were non-threateningly shared.  

It became clear that the people in that audience felt that the Marc Steiner Show was a place that built community, built bridges between the diversity we live in, and created communication.  One thing was very clear; people understand that and want public media to be a place to build community.

The concept of public ownership of the airwaves was foremost in the minds of those who attended last night.    The “your” in Your Public Radio is more than just words.    When I came up with those call letters, it meant that it was to be a community owned and run station.   I believed it, the people who gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy the station believed it, and in the ensuing years those who became members of WYPR believed it.  I told them to believe it, and the station during its fund drives told them to believe.   We were telling them a lie.

Last night the community demanded that the station management and board include them in the process.    People believe that listener-members should have seats on the Board of Directors.   They should be part of the process of directing our public radio.   Some demanded that the board resign or that Tony Brandon and the management resign or that the board should fire the management and start over.  

A theme that was constant throughout the night was people demanding that the public mean something in public radio.

Out of this meeting the CAB will write a report to WYPR’s Board of Directors.  The meeting is March 12th.  You may attend that meeting.  You just have to register with WYPR to reserve a seat.

This is about the ownership and future of public radio.



February 20, 2008

2/20 A few words from Marc

Hello everyone,

I have a few short reflections after seeing what I wrote last night. I don’t want to fall into the trap of he said/she said quarrel of inconsequential detail. On some levels I have allowed myself to do that.

First, I realized when I spoke of the $750,000 raised that I inadvertently left out that $70 some thousand dollars of that amount was really contributed or in a sense forgiven by Johns Hopkins University. I realized after I sent it in to my blog that I left that line out.

Second, I want to be clear how grateful all of us should be to the original guarantors. Bill Clarke, Jonathan Melnick, Anne and Jane Daniels, Tony Brandon, Charlie Salisbury, Earl and Darielle Linehan, Tom and Barbara Bozzuto and Albert Williams. Without their guarantees we could not have saved the radio station for Baltimore. I just want to be absolutely clear about that.

Finally, the problems boil down to certain things that leadership of the station just doesn’t get.

  1. This should have been a partnership between guarantors, contributors and members to create a board to oversee the fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities of WYPR

  2. Martha Rudski, WJHU Marketing Director, came up with the name Your Public Radio because we believed we could create a truly powerful and unique institution that belonged to this community.

  3. When we first started, the story around NPR was the amazing marriage between this conservative Republican corporate executive and a community activist talk show host known for his progressive leanings coming together to build a community radio station. My belief in the myth hurt us all.

  4. All this is madness. There was never any concrete reason for it to happen. They keep changing their story as to what led to the end of my show because they are grasping for straws. There is no reason other than a deep personal and political dislike for me from Tony Brandon and a few others. They could not stand what I stood for, or that I was the face and voice of the station. Ray Blank, the station consultant, has said to me more than once that they see you getting all the recognition. They feel they deserve some. I always gave it to them.

  5. So, all this is for what?


I have nothing left to say unless they come at me or at the public with more specious comments.

See you tonight.


February 20, 2008

2/19 Writing WYPR’s History

In preparation for Wednesday night’s Community Advisory Board meeting, it is time for a little history to set the record straight.

Tony Brandon and Barbara Bozzuto had already been trying to remove me as a force at our station prior to its official founding in February 2002.

In March of 2001, I along with Martha Rudzki, and our attorney, Scott Johnson, formed a non-profit to buy WJHU from Johns Hopkins University.

We urged listeners to contribute to the effort. We raised $750,000. This has become a bone of contention. Tony Brandon claims we raised less than $250,000. While the money itself is unimportant, in light of the effort I led to unite a community to build a new station, its disagreement is emblematic of the problem.

But here’s the reality:

  • One person who later became a guarantor pledged $100,000 the day we started our campaign to buy the station.
  • In late summer another family introduced to me by Marilyn Powel gave $250,000. They request anonymity.
  • Around that time Albert Williams, who became a guarantor, was introduced to me by Marilyn Powel. He gave $50,000.
  • Six people (it may be more, I have to check the records) gave $10,000
  • Four people contributed $25,000.
  • The rest came in contributions from $10 to $5000.
  • We have all the records.

Now we come to the station purchase.

Jonathan Melnick, who became a guarantor, said to me that we can never raise all this money. We needed a bank and guarantors for a loan. He offered to become a guarantor.

It was then that I met Tony Brandon, through a mutual friend. He offered his help. Tony and his brother own American General Media, the largest family-owned radio business in America.

Tony brought in Mercantile Bank. They had been involved as the bank of record for many of his business dealings.

He then brought in Charlie Salisbury, one of his business partners, to be a guarantor. So, we had four people (two of his and two I brought in) and the cash I had raised.

Marilyn Powel introduced us to and brought in as guarantors the Daniels family and Albert Williams.

Charlie Salisbury brought in the Linehans and the Bozzutos.

We had our guarantors. It as at that point Tony Brandon came to me to say that Mercantile would not guarantee the loan as long as I was President of the corporation. He had to be President. I went along. I did not want to manage the station; I wanted to build our broadcasting world.

It was then that it all began to unravel. I saw the danger signs.


Tony Brandon said that if he could not run the station by himself he would leave.

Board Chair Charlie Salisbury in our first board meeting looked at me and said,

“Thank you Marc, but we are the guarantors of the bank’s money and we will take it from here.”

I responded that I was the guarantor of the listeners’ money ($750,000 in contributions) and I wasn’t going anywhere.

From the beginning they tried to marginalize my influence and position at the station. I refused to budge. I demanded to be Exec. Vice President for Broadcasting, a member of the board, and a partner in running the station.

They feared their effort would dissolve. So, Barbara Bozzutto brought in Ray Blank. Ray is a noted business consultant. He has saved and helped build many companies. He is a business therapist.

In the press recently, Barbara Bozzutto said that they brought in a coach for me but it did no good. Well, that was a lie. They are talking about Ray Blank. While he has become a mentor for me in recent years, he was brought to WYPR to help Tony and I manage the company together. Tony wanted to do it alone, I insisted on being part of a team. From 2001 through the end of 2004 Ray met with me and Tony every Friday morning so we could come to management decisions.

The gulf between us was wide.

The make up of the board became a divide. I proposed that some of the $25,000, $10,000, $5,000, $1000, and donors of lesser amounts be made members of the board. I also suggested that members elect people from that community to be represented on the board. That was not accepted. The board became made up primarily of the wealthiest members of part of the community. There are many good people on that board; however, a public radio board needs a balance. We need all sectors of our community represented. It would create a dynamic synergy. Either they thought it would give too much power to me or their conception of a board is people like themselves.

Tony Brandon and Charlie Salisbury insisted that I fire Sunni Khalid as News Director. First, Tony and some board members fought my effort to raise money to start a news department. By that time we had divided up responsibilities. It was my bailiwick so they had no choice, as I had little choice when I disagreed with his management decisions.

    I raised over $300,000 to launch the News Department, mostly from the Open Society Institute but also from Town Creek and Goldsecker. The first person I called was Sunni Khalid to be News Director. Then I called Fraser Smith to convince him to come over to us.

    They wanted to fire Sunni because he and seven other African-American employees were suing NPR for racial discrimination. He had been black-balled by the industry. I hired him because of his reputation for ethical journalism and because he would build a multi-cultural team that reflected our community.

    They asked if my loyalty was to the Chairman of the Board or to Sunni. I told them it was to Sunni and justice. They had to fire me first. Sunni stayed. You see the result. WYPR has one of the best local news departments in the country.

    Tony even tried to get me to fire Andy Bienstock. I stood up for him. Things do get convoluted.

      Ray Blank witnessed all this and more.

      OK, I could go on ad nauseum but let me stop and jump to the nitty gritty of 2004.



      We are now three years into the new station and my weekly marathon management session with Tony Brandon and Ray Blank.

      Baltimore Magazine’s Best in Baltimore issue came out. In it was a small piece that said “Most Unlikely Media Mogul …. Marc Steiner.” I thought it was hilarious, as did Valerie.

        But the next day I go in to see Tony, who slides the piece across the table at me. I quipped how funny it was. He said ‘It was not funny but an outrage.’ He accused me of planting it in Baltimore Magazine. He said it would chase off our biggest corporate and banking underwriters. He wanted me to write a letter to the magazine disavowing the mantle. He said that he and the guarantors deserved recognition, but the only one who gets is me.

        Then Barbara Bozzutto said that the station needed a second voice. Someone like Armstrong Williams, the Black conservative talk show host.

        She wrote a version of the history of the station that started to write me out of our history. She insisted that there could only be that public line about the station. I refused to sign on to that fabrication.

        So, they wanted a “Second Voice.” I began a three month research project that interviewed twenty sister NPR stations who had local programming, and studied the results of our focus group. I came back with a long report suggesting we need an Arts and Culture program. I had production plans in the report. It became Maryland Morning.

        I gave Tony the report, but it never got to the board. I was told I could not oversee the development of the new show, because it would be in competition with me. Andy Bienstock would over see it. The unraveling came faster now.

        • Tony began lobbying the board that I was a loose cannon, bad manager and a cowboy.
        • I put a grant in for our Vietnam Documentary.
        • In spite of signing off on it, Tony tells the board it was my cowboy actions. This grant, he says then, has nothing to do with the agenda of the station.



        Just two weeks before my departure to Vietnam, Tony sends me an e-mail saying he is vacating the position of Vice President and I have a week to respond.

          I reject that, force him to back off, and go to Vietnam.

          He says I must have a response by July 15th.

          When we get back from Vietnam, an intense battle erupts all summer long over the issue.

          The board is convinced that I need to step down so I can pursue my work.

          Myth becomes fact. People are convinced this is being done in my and the station’s best interests.

          I could either have made this a public fight, which could have destroyed the station, or have negotiated a contract to my liking, so I could focus on my radio and community work.

          I chose the latter.

          But it did not end there.

          • Tony Brandon and Barbara Bozzutto could not stand it that I was the voice and the face of the station.
          • Tony kept on about how my shows insulted certain underwriters.
          • Andy Bienstock became head of programming and the Vice President.
          • My 7 PM repeat was taken off the air.
          • My show became promoted less and less on our airwaves.
          • There was constant pressure about my agenda not being the station’s agenda.



          It is our fifth anniversary year.

          • Station spends $20,000 on a new PR firm that writes me out of station history.A station marketing brochure is published which starts with (and I paraphrase) ”several WJHU employees attempted to purchase the station but there no momentum until Tony Brandon came along.”
          • 5th anniversary party held. I am not allowed to speak or even be mentioned in the program. Employees are called on the carpet for praising me at the event and allowing me to speak. They are told they cannot play to Marc’s agenda. There are two agendas, they say, Marc’s and the stations.



          • So, it went on like this until Thursday January 31st when Ray Blank delivered the message that Tony Brandon and Barbara Bozzutto wanted an amicable separation.
          • The next morning Tony delivers a letter of agreement I must sign if I want to get back on the air until May 29th.
          • That afternoon they pull the agreement and cancel my show.

          Never a word as to why


          To the news about ratings (proven bogus), not being a team player (despite my cooperation with the news department and others at the station, as well as the money I helped bring to WYPR not just when it was founded, but through grants and fund drives throughout the past six years) and on and on and on…

          That the real reasons both personal and political are clear.

          See you Wednesday,


          February 15, 2008

          2/14 from Marc

          Well, I'm back. My road trip was great.   I know I am just a doting Dad (with my older ones who are gone now, and my little one at present) but she was brilliant on the stage.  Well worth the day off.  I don’t have much to say about the Dan Rodricks issue.  I have no control over it, can’t do anything about it and will just wait and see on that one.   There was a big hole left and opportunity to fill it.   Doesn’t come along every day.  He filled it.   What can you do?  That's life. I want to encourage you all to come to the Community Advisory Board Meeting at the BMA on February 20th.    It will begin at 7:00.  It is scheduled to last two hours.  The CAB was formed in response to a regulation that requires all public radio licensees to have a community board.   The event on the 20this your opportunity to speak your piece.  I hear it may be taped and made available on the WYPR website. A public radio station worth its salt should have some of those who make up the CAB be members of the Board of Directors.   The board, while made up of many good people, should be all inclusive.  It is not.  Listener members should be members of that board.   Community and corporate leaders should interact on the board to help guide the station.   That is a real democracy of the public airwaves.  Anita and others who wrote on the blog recently talked about how the crowd at the Obama rally held in the 1st Mariner Arena represented that same “view/world”, as she put it, as those who have supported me and my show.   I want to build on that.   We want to continue our public commitment to this community.  We want to create a new forum for all of us.   We are going to start on the web.   We will build it from there.    Jessica Phillips and I are already trying to work on ideas to produce and share with everyone.   Let us know what you think.    What do you want?  More documentary features?  Panel discussions?  One on one interviews?  What topics do you care most about?  What have you enjoyed in the past? It is Valentine's Day.    Gotta go celebrate.   Remember, it may be a Hallmark Card day and full of commercialism but reality is if you blow it... you're done.  I’m Marc Steiner, for whatever comes next that will be your public media Take care, talk soon. -Marc
          February 12, 2008

          2/12 from Marc

          Hi everyone,  Let me say once again how gratifying and humbling it is for all this support.     This is a wild ride and it is not over yet.   There is much more news to come.   Some of it will be mind blowing.  Rumor has it that Dan Rodricks of the Baltimore Sun and formerly of WBAL will be the new host at the noon hour at WYPR.   If it is true,  I am not surprised.    They needed star power and personality to try to assuage and persuade the audience to stay or to come back.   Dan has always wanted to be a part of WYPR.    Now, he has his chance.    But who knows.   It could anybody.   Either way, I want you to know I am ok. I have a lot of plans for my own work and have a lot of options and opportunities that have surfaced over the last week. I thought it funny today that Tony Brandon keeps talking about “commitment to the public and community.”   Orwellian corporate speak is a frightening thing.   WYPR has become corporate speak zone.   More than you know, but you will soon know more.  It is because of all of you that the fund drive was cancelled.   I have heard the station has gotten well over a thousand letters and e-mails.  I don’t know the exact number but it has overwhelmed them.     Don’t forget on February 20th there will be open to the public Community Advisory Board meeting.   Right now it is scheduled to be held at the BMA at 7 PM.    As we know more, we will let you know what is up with that meeting.  My emotions with all of this  are all over the place.   Yesterday, I was tired and in a funk but today I feel really upbeat.  I started the day taking a long walk in the woods with my dog Charlie, talking for a long time with the lady in my life, Valerie.  I went to vote and went to the gym, then drove over to our digs in Hampden to start writing and talking with people.   We are going to do wonderful new things.  I really look forward to all of you being part of it.  What has been amazing to me is the diversity of this movement that has developed since the station let me go.     It has involved inner city community activists, elected officials, university professors, teachers, social workers, receptionists, truck drivers, doctors and lawyers.    The station has heard and I have heard from Orthodox Jewish leaders, the head of the African American Muslim Community, Baltimore Hebrew University, ministers of every possible Christian denomination, Arab Americans.   It has been Black, White, Asian, Latino, young, old, middle aged, rich, poor, middle class, gay, straight. It is everything I ever dreamed and hoped my show would mean.   When I began the show in 1993 I said I wanted it to be bridge between worlds and communities.  A place where all people and ideas could gather to speak together without fear of ridicule.  A lyceum, an agora, a marketplace of ideas.   A place where people who would never meet in life could hear and meet each other.     I feel very satisfied with what we have built together over the years.        The next time I write I want to share with  you the absurdity of all of this. But you know I want this blog to be a place where we can talk about anything, not just the madness and idiocy of what Tony Brandon, Andy Bienstock and Barbara Bozzuto  have done to our public radio. Soon we will be launching an Internet media site and much more.  I look forward to growing more with  you all and talking about all kinds of things.  I can’t write tomorrow because I have to spend some time my 10 year old daughter Maisie.  She is in a play tomorrow and I also want to celebrate the fact that she just won her first debate.  Did anyone see where she and a friend of hers were commenting on the Baltimore Sun website?  The best part of life is being a Dad.  No question. Thanks again!   I will  read all that you wrote and write some more. -Marc
          February 9, 2008

          2/8 WYPR Staff, the WYPR Board Meeting and the CAB Meeting

          Hello everyone. I just wanted to share my thoughts on your latest thoughts.
          I stopped by to say hello to the protesters at WYPR today. Some drove all the way from the Eastern Shore and Bel Air. I must say I am humbled by the outpouring. You all do love the soul of public radio. You get it.
          The staff at WYPR is fantastic. They have been really supportive to me personally. When I taped my Maryland Morning segment many staffers were watching, cheering me on. They know the truth. They have confronted Tony Brandon and Andy Bienstock in meetings. Asking tough questions of management is never easy but they have done it. They are advocating for you, the listener. I know many of them feel lost but I have told them to work. They have families to support and mortgages to pay. Some have refused sit in my place on the air. Despite the difficulties I have faced with sectors of the management and some of the board, it has been a joyous experience to work with the producers and staff at WYPR. They are as upset about all of this just as you and I are. As for management...are they trying to cancel the March 12th WYPR Board meeting, or are they just trying to discourage people from coming? Certainly all mention of it has disappeared from the WYPR website, where there was previously a message giving you a phone number to call if you wanted to attend. There are also reports they they are considering try to cancel the Community Advisory Board meeting on February 20th, despite the fact that the CAB is meant to be independently operated. I have also heard they on the verge of hiring a host for the midday show. So, we will see. While the truth squads will keep working, we are going to work on developing new programming for the web and for the radio. I would love to hear what you think you would like us to do besides keep up the good fight. What are your ideas? Keep letting them know what you think, show up on the 20th and let us know what you want us to do. I have to read everything your wrote today. I will be back, and we will be in touch by e-mail and blog to let you know our next steps. Thanks... -Marc
          February 7, 2008

          2/7 from Marc

          I just read each and every one of your entries on the blog. It is hard to know what say. For starters, show up at the Community Board meeting on February 20th. It will be at the Baltimore Museum of Art in the Meyerhoff Auditorium at 7 pm. I have no idea what the WYPR representation will say but I am sure that it will be a continued misrepresentation of the truth. What I am really worried about is the future of public radio in our community. WYPR will be here for a long to come. Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Car Talk, Prairie Home Companion and all the other national programming you love will be there. They won't go off the air. What is missing in the you in public radio. I think about all the times during the fund drives (which they cancelled for February) I said to you "that you are the public in public radio, that is why I named WYPR "Your Public Radio". I feel like you were betrayed and lied to. The management of the station has done a remarkable job building underwriting. Perhaps the best job in public radio But they have let membership wither on the vine. No money, or I should say very little money is invested in serving members, getting new members or marketing the station. While they may make enough money with underwriters to sustain themselves, the heart and soul of public radio is the listener members. There has to be a balance. The balance is gone. You are not cared about nor there to ensure the democratic nature of the station. The board has some wonderful people on it who love and are very devoted to public radio. While we need corporate and philanthropic leaders on any non-profit board what is missing are the everyday listeners who invest their money in this station. They are not heard. They do not have a seat at the table. Gary Levin is there as President of the Friends Group but he is ex-officio with no vote. The board does not reflect those listeners who invest in and support the station. These are just two of the battles I have fought and lost at the station. I will tell you more stories along the way on this blog, and soon we will begin some new productions on the web. Jessica Phillips, who was a producer on the Marc Steiner Show from October 2005 to February 2007, has come to work for me. I have a production company called The Center for Emerging Media that has produced a series on the Vietnam War and a series called Just Words, about the lives of the working poor and other marginalized groups. You can go to our website to see some of what we have done. The whole Vietnam series, Shared Weight, will be posted soon. The website itself is going to be rebuilt. I thought soon, even though we will continue for a time to talk about the station madness, we should talk together on this blog about the issues of day. We will be posting interviews and productions soon as well. So, we will all stay in touch. Thanks so much for your support.


          February 5, 2008

          2/5 from Marc

          First, thanks so much for all the support. In my next post I will respond directly to the thoughts and ideas you all have shared.

          I don’t know if you all heard Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast today. They interviewed me and then they spoke with Tony Brandon,  who is president of the station  and who led the effort to get of me. Quickly, I want set the record straight on one thing that he said which was a bald-faced lie.

          He has constantly attempted diminish what I and our listeners did six years ago in raising funds to purchase what was then WJHU. He said on the air that we raised only 5% of the $5 million to purchase the station. I have all the records, and the old bank statements. We raised close to $750,000 after I send an e-mail asking listeners to support our effort to buy the station. $400,000 of that came in huge contributions of six figure. Four people gave $25,000 and numbers more $15, $10 and $5 thousand dollar contributions. Hundreds more gave everything from$5.00 to $1000.00. None of them (those who gave $25 thousand and less) were ever acknowledged or thanked by the station.

          At any rate, in many ways this is beside the point. The money is not important. It is more important to them than to me.  But it is important that the efforts of the listeners and early supporters not be diminished.

          What is important is the future of public radio. What is important is that this is about integrity of public radio. It is about the corporatization of WYPR and of public radio.

          When I raised the money from listeners I said I would return every dime to them if we did not buy the station. You trusted me. I met some people, like Tony Brandon, who I thought would be partners to build our community station. Instead it was hijacked.

          There is a history here that I will relate to all of you over the next few days. Right now I have to go off to a lunch meeting so I can continue to ensure coverage of our world in print, audio and video on our blog and the Center for Emerging Media website.

          So, I will share with you all our future plans, and my perspective on the history of the past six years at WYPR very soon.

          Thank you all so much. I will back at you a bit after lunch and for the next few days.

          Take care.. and thanks


          February 5, 2008


          Folks, I really thought I would have to time to write something longer today but as you can well imagine it has been madness.Tomorrow I will write you all a tale of the last six years and what may lie ahead. Tomorrow, also, I will be on Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast to discuss this situation. Tony Brandon will also be on giving his reasons for this situation. Thank you all so much for your outpouring of support. Just a thought for tonight. This is not about Marc Steiner but really about the future of public radio. I am merely a public image of much deeper issue.Talk to you all tomorrow.Thanks Marc Links to some of the coverage
          February 2, 2008

          02/02/08 a quick note…

          I want to thank everyone for all of the support I've been receiving.   I also want to let you know that I'm going to keep this blog open.  I haven't had a chance to write sooner because the internet is down at my house, but on Monday I will write more about what's going on.  In the meantime, please post your thoughts and questions here.  You can also reach me at                                                                      -marc 
          January 29, 2008

          1/29/08 Marc’s thoughts on today’s show

          PAYING KIDS TO DO WELL Dr. Andres Alonso at noon Paying kids to do well on tests?!?!?!?!?!?!? My first visceral reaction was no way.  This is antithetical to what we all believe, that we should instill an intrinsic love of education.  Dr. Andres Alonso, CEO of Baltimore City Schools, is going to spend a million dollars, in part to pay kids in the 11th and 12th grade who failed one of the High School Assessment tests, if they improve their scores on future tests.   They will receive up to $110.00, depending on how much their scores improve.  Money will also be used to pay students to tutor other students. Some would argue, like Dan Rodricks, that middle and upper class families always bribe their kids with cash, dinner and objects of desire if they do well in school.  What is wrong with the city doing it for unmotivated kids also mired in poverty? Others argue it is a quick fix and a bribe that hides real issue of why students don’t have an intrinsic love of learning and why they lose in our schools. Is it a bad idea?  Looking forward to hearing what Dr. Alonso has to say.  Looking forward to what you have to say on air and on our blog.  BANISHED I was not amazed when I first heard that there was wholesale ethnic cleansing of African Americans from towns across America.  I was shocked when I found out that it occurred well into the depression era of the 1930’s. One of our guests, Marco Williams, recently made the movie Banished.  It's about the interactions of three Black families, who were descendents of the banished, and white people now living in those towns.   The issue of the day will be to find out what relevance this has on our lives now.  The Germans paid reparations to the Jews who survived the camps, the US paid reparations to the Japanese Americans and the descendents of those interned in camps during World War II.  Should the US do the same for those who are the descendents of those African Americans ethnically cleansed from their homes? Is it different because these are descendents of rather than the victims themselves?  Is monetary reparation the only possibility?  Does this give us as a society a chance for some reconciliation?  Is it just history, something for us to learn about and then let go? What do you think?  Call in or write in at one, or comment on the blog. Check with you later. -Marc
          January 10, 2008

          1/10 Primary Review

          At Noon today, we welcome you to add your opinion to the never ending analysis of the 2008 Presidential election and the results of the Iowa caucus, the New Hampshire primary, and the Wyoming GOP primary.  From Obama's surprise victory in Iowa to Hillary's emotional moment to Edward's attempts to keep from becoming completly irrelvent, the Democratic primary has been providing some exciting times. On the GOP side, things are no less exciting, as McCain attempts to accomplish what at times has seen inevitable and at times completly out of the question-to become the Republican candidate for President.  Will he be able to get the Republican base to trust him?  Only time will tell.  Poll: If the Democratic primary in Maryland were today, who would you vote for? Poll: If the Republican primary in Maryland were today, who would you vote for?


          September 25, 2007

          09/25/07 Gay Marriage

          While there are always vociferous and vicious attacks against any gay rights legislation from some fundamentalist religious quarters, I think most Americans and most Marylanders are perplexed and don’t know what we should do.  Many, if not most, heterosexuals in our nation grew up in Christian, Muslim or Jewish homes where marriage was between a man and woman.  Where homosexuality was over there somewhere...someone who was a little "light in the loafers"...some form of aberration, or a way of avoiding the draft. I think many just have difficulty thinking about sex between two men or two women together.  The idea of same sex marriage is just too foreign for most people. Do you think that is true?  Now, maybe we should just take religion out of civil ceremonies for marriage.  I mean if Valerie and I were to marry at City Hall, it would not be called a civil union, but being married through a civil ceremony.  So, the idea of civil unions, I think, is just a strategy to make same sex marriage more palatable for the rest of us. What do you think it would do to the fabric of society if gays and lesbians were allowed to be married in civil ceremonies?  You can’t force a religion to perform marriages that they deem inappropriate, that violates their tenants. Many churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples will not perform marriages between people of different faiths; others may not even perform marriages that cross racial or ethnic lines or when someone is divorced. It is their right. If our state and nation allowed same sex marriage, no one could force a religious group to marry them or sanction them.  Of course, there are a minority of religious institutions that would marry gays and lesbians.  That is their right, also. Gays and lesbians are our neighbors, our co-workers, our brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, best friends, acquaintances and cousins.  They have children of their own, or through surrogates and adoption.  They serve in the military and in all branches of public services.  They defend us in court, serve our dinner, perform surgeries on our bodies, build our homes and are part of every facet of life. Is their right to marry not a human right? A civil right? What would happen to us as a nation if they had the right to a civil marriage with all its protections?  What has happened in Quebec, Vermont, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Holland, Spain and South Africa where same sex couples are allowed to marry? What are your thoughts? Join us at Noon today, and here.


          August 28, 2007

          Marc’s thoughts on Hurricane Katrina

          As we approach this second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina I am just so angry and appalled at lack of response by our federal government.   Over one million people have been displaced, tens of billions in damages occurred, almost 2,000 died, half the hospitals are not open, only 17% of transportation system is up and running in NO, over 40% of the homes have no electricity.   

          New Orleans is one of America’s most important cities.   It is one of the keys to our cultural heritage.   Lives have been displaced perhaps permanently.   OK, even if some argue that we should not rebuild in the path of flooding and potential hurricanes what is our responsibility to our fellow citizens who have met with disaster?

          The people of NO might as well be living in Darfur or Mozambique or Bangladesh.   What we have not done to massively rebuild that community and to help its citizens is an abomination.  

          Most of the work being done in the Big Easy is being done by you and me, by volunteers who give their time to rebuild those communities, to provide medical care, to fight for the rights of the incarcerated.   

          If we can’t rebuilt the Big Easy, then what do we expect to do in Baghdad?