4/24 New Podcasts/Blog

Surf on over to our new website for the latest podcasts and blogs.

We’ve got an interview with Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Andres Alonso here.

We talked with BCPSS students about violence in their schools; hear it here.

And this morning Marc talked with Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz about how much the Iraq War is really costing; go here to listen to that.

Also, a new blog post from Marc on the issue of violence in America is located here.

Enjoy.  Come visit us at our new website!

4/21 New Blog

New blog post from Marc at the Center for Emerging Media blog.

4/21 from Marc

4/21 Goodbye WordPress!

Well, friends, it is time for CEM and Marc Steiner to move on from WordPress.com.  We’ve enjoyed our time blogging on this site, but we just launched a brand new website and we’re going to blog over there for now on.  We’re going to keep this site up for archival purposes, but all new blogging will be going on at our brand new website, www.centerforemergingmedia.com.

The new blog is located here:

http://www.centerforemergingmedia.com/blog

Not only are we blogging at this new site, but there is also an interactive forum for all our listeners to have an opportunity to discuss any topic under the sun with each other.  So sign up, create a profile, and start chatting with us and fellow listeners.  The forum is located here:

http://www.centerforemergingmedia.com/forum

And of course, you can listen to all your favorite CEM programs, past and present, here:

http://www.centerforemergingmedia.com/all/cem/programs

 

Come visit us in our new home and let us know what you think!

-Jessica

4/18/08 from Marc

Random Thoughts..

First, where is everybody? It seems that very few of you have questions or comments for Mayor Sheila Dixon. So, is that disinterest in city politics, or more who could care what she says, or this kind of stuff is just ho hum? Well, we will be in her office at 4:30 on Monday. Hope to have it up on our site when we get back from City Hall.

Next, we will be focusing some of our work on school violence, talking to the CEO, teachers and students. So, if you have thoughts on it, send them in. If you are a schoolteacher or student maybe you can be part of the interview. Comment here or email justinlevy2@gmail.com.

Your responses to WYPR Board

Someone asked if Martin O’Malley ever voiced his support. I heard he did from a third party. I also received calls from many elected officials outraged by what happened, including Senator Ben Cardin, Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith, Congressmen John Sarbanes, Wayne Gilchrest and Elijah Cummings, Delegate Jon Cardin, State Senator Jamie Raskin and many others. I heard there was a lot of outrage from many within the Baltimore Metropolitan delegation.

I wake angry and frustrated many days thinking about what happened. Usually, once I say good morning to my little one, walk my dog Charley, and have coffee with Valerie, I am over it.

We keep up the good fight with them where it needs keeping up, but we are moving on. We have so many stories we want to do, interviews we are waiting to produce, town meetings to organize, and a new public media we’re working to create to worry about their board and management too much. They are a distraction.

Presidential Election

I have been thinking a lot about Obama’s comments and the continuing ad nauseum conversation about what he said. How much can we talk about it, over and over and over. The other day when I was in Hagerstown for our Maryland Humanities Council performance of Martin, Malcolm and Marc, we were in a hotel bar. Fox was on. It is amazing to me that all the discredited political professionals, like Dick Morris and angry caustic commentators of new like Geraldine Ferraro kept going on and on saying so little of any substance. Is there no other news to be covered by our major media than what Obama said at his fundraiser? Their choice of commentators tells us everything about what they are attempting to make important in this election. Their base of thought is so limited, yet has the broad power to define the discussion. We can end that with new media and new conversations.

American elections have always been contentious. I have been reading the book 1800 about the election that swirled around Adams and Jefferson and others. If you just look at that election along with the elections of 1860, 1912, 1928 and 1960, you can see that the venal and the vicious has always been at the forefront. It is bare knuckled. Part of the bare knuckles of 1800 and 1860 and 1912, besides the vicious personal attacks, was actual deep policy differences. Candidates were unafraid of speaking to their visions of America, and they had them.

So, I could put up with all viscera, silliness, nastiness and meanness if candidates would just declare their visions honestly and with the passion of conviction.

I believe what Obama said about what motivates people’s distrust is true, and what McCain said to Michigan workers about their jobs not returning was real and true. They were both eviscerated and trashed for being straight.

Instead of backpedaling, candidates, tell us the reality as you see it and what you think we as a nation need to do.

That would be refreshing.

NOW

I gotta go, my 10 (almost 11 year old) only has a few more days till she is gone and back to school, so we got some Daddy/Daughter time that is calling.

Have a wonderful weekend.

-marc

Students – Your Thoughts on School Violence?

We’re planning a series of interviews and discussions about violence in Baltimore schools beginning next week.  We’d like to invite everyone to share their thoughts and experiences on the topic, especially those involved in the school system as students, teachers, administrators, parents, and other school workers.  We’d love to hear from as many students as possible, and set up interviews with interested students, so please pass this request along to any friends or family you have attending school in Baltimore.  You can comment here, or if you’d like to reach us directly but not publicly, email justinlevy2@gmail.com.

4/17 from Marc, on WYPR BOD meeting

I heard from a number of people what occurred at the WYPR Board of Director’s meeting.

I suppose some of you heard what happened to Kay Dellinger when she left the meeting. She was among the last to leave, and encountered WYPR GM Tony Brandon in the parking lot talking to one of the police officers sent to guard the board from its listeners. They were talking about whether the building was empty.

As Kay passed Tony Brandon she said to him, referring to the board, “You are a bunch of cowards.”

Tony replied :”F**k you, Get a life…”

So, elite, well-mannered, calm, cool, collected, tough-minded business mogul tells a woman who is his elder to F**K herself. It shows you what kind of man he really is.
Tony has misled the board, and most of the board has bought his claims, hook, line, and sinker. The board has never asked to talk with me. The board never asked to talk with Ray Blank, the consultant who worked with Tony and me over four years to manage our station

WYPR has attempted to mislead the public with its ever-changing excuses for why it fired me.

At the meeting, board chair Barbara Bozzuto said that I was fired because of philosophical differences. Previously, they claimed that my show was replaced because it focused too narrowly on Baltimore and they wanted a “statewide” show (easily disproved by looking at the list of topics the show addressed and by the fact that they had no “statewide” show lined up to replace me). Then they claimed that there were “personnel” reasons for firing me, but they have never provided any specifics to me, nor to the public, despite my public waiver of any claim of confidentiality. The falsity of their claim is demonstrated by the fact that they offered me $50,000 to keep quiet (which I would not accept) — not the sort of offer an employer makes to an employee who has done something wrong. Then they claimed they dropped me because ratings were down. But Chris Kaltenbach of the Sun showed that the numbers didn’t support their claim. Moreover, the station had cut back on promoting the show. Most importantly, public radio isn’t supposed to be driven by ratings.

Now, it is “philosophical reasons.” At least they’re getting closer to the truth.

Yes, there were philosophical differences — I believed in putting the public in public radio, they did not.. That in combination with Tony Brandon’s ego and determination not to manage the station as a team (but on his own, something he made clear at the first board meeting back in 2002) led to them ousting me as Vice President in the summer of 2005. There were philosophical reasons then, but since 2005 we have hardly said a word of importance to one another. They won control of the station, and we lost, and I decided to produce my show and serve the community as best I could.

Bozzuto said they were moving beyond my “narrow audience base”. Narrow audience base? When they canceled the show, fired me, or as NPR’s Andre Codrescu put it, “carried out a palace coup,” the support for our show and for our public radio was broader than most other public radio shows. Conservatives like Bob Ehrlich and Richard Vatz, leaders of the Jewish and Arab American communities, heads of universities, inner city activists and Hunt Valley dwellers, artists, doctors, lawyers, social workers, teachers, black, white, Asian — that “narrow audience base” for our noon show — have expressed their support of me.

If there were philosophical differences that erupted in the last three years, they revolved around what we did on the air. Some of them took umbrage that I had the temerity to raise questions about their powerful corporate friends and investments, that we did too many “urban” shows, that we brought voices on that did not sound like them. I was given grief about “Just Words,” the very series that won my producer Jessica Phillips and me a Peabody. The voices of the working poor wasn’t considered real journalism.

Well I am sorry, I thought I was finished with this, but maybe I am not. It gets so frustrating at times.

I really appreciate the almost 1,100 people who have now signed the petition to bring back my show, as well as those of you who have stood outside the station, who have written letters to WYPR’s management, made public and private statements, stood by us, taken a stand on public radio and personally supported me and Valerie through all of this.

When people ask would I go back, of course I would love to go back. I loved what I did. As Valerie often says, I lived and breathed my work. Could I do it in that atmosphere, with that leadership in place, after all that has been done? No, I could not.

When you ask what to do, I say keep the pressure on to make public really the public’s radio. It does belong to us.

This week we will be launching our website to bring you great stories and interviews every week. Our site will be a place for unheard voices. I am excited about what we are building with your support.

Keep in touch-

Marc

4/16/08 Andrei Codrescu Podcast!


Andrei Codrescu left Romania as a teenager, made his way to the United States via Italy, and after spending time in many parts of the country including Detroit and New York City, eventually settled in New Orleans.  He teaches English at LSU in Baton Rouge and has been providing commentary for NPR’s All Things Considered since 1983.  In “After the Deluge: A Letter to America” he writes, “…it’s okay to be alive and you don’t have to work like a dog without any joy in this lifetime.”  Still, he must work pretty hard because he’s published a huge stack of poetry, fiction, and essays over the last four decades.

CLICK HERE to listen to a podcast of Marc Steiner’s interview with Andrei Codrescu last Friday. Running time is 49:13. Topics sprawl from Andre’s writing, to New Orleans, chess, mysticism, the Holocaust, and more.  Click here to read the transcript of the interview.

Click here to go to Andrei’s website and click here for an archive of his stories from All Things Considered.

This is a video of part of Andrei and Marc’s conversation, as the topic turned to communism.  It contains footage that is not included in the podcast!