Chion Wolf

You can read a lot into media depictions of minorities.

Richard Pryor was  hilarious at it. One time he said he had just seen a movie called "Logan's Run." It was set in the future, and there were no black characters in it. "That means white folks ain't planning for us to be there," he said.

Media critic Eric Deggans joins us today, and one of his major theses is that extremism and division make for a bad public discourse and great television. Big media, says Deggans, thrive on division and tension, whether it's on cable news shows or reality TV.

A War Of Tweets Erupts Over Latest Miss America

Sep 16, 2013

Editor's note: After the crowning of Nina Davuluri as Miss America, we solicited this commentary from writer Anna John, one of the co-founders of the blog Sepia Mutiny. This post includes several embedded tweets that contain explicit language.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Republican Tom Foley is exploring a run for governor and he's already on the offensive against Governor Dannel Malloy.

When he announced on Tuesday that he was exploring a run for governor, Foley accused Malloy of improperly giving state business to friends who did him favors. He declined to give any examples.

Saying that the goal is to balance its budget in fiscal year 2015, NPR announced late Friday morning that it will soon offer "a voluntary buyout plan across the organization that reduces staffing levels by approximately 10 percent."

After getting heckled at a disastrous performance in Hartford, comedian Dave Chappelle walked off stage, and later joked about “nuking” the city. But he also raised a lot of questions about race and racism in Hartford and Connecticut - a “liberal” state that in many ways considers itself “post-racial.”

Today's Where We Live conversation on race prompted a huge response from our listeners. (Some listeners may find the audio in the excerpt below offensive.)

The Connecticut Mirror

School is back in session in Connecticut, and we all know what that means. More school buses, which means more traffic, which might mean more time in a car. And that gives you more time to listen to WNPR on the radio. But while we have you online, check out some of the latest stories we've been keeping an eye on... This is The Wheelhouse Digest.

Tommy Gilligan/Pointer View (Flickr Creative Commons)

Concussions in football may be the biggest threat to America’s biggest game. For 15 months, ESPN teamed up with PBS’ Frontline for a film called “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis.”

About a month and a half before the film premieres, ESPN has announced they are pulling out of the project.

Chion Wolf


Today, on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse we have an all-star panel to pull apart the threads of our conversation yesterday with Governor Dannel Malloy about the 2014 race for governor, the state budget, and more.

We also talk about a big change coming at the top for NPR.

On Monday, NPR President Gary Knell announced he was leaving the news organization for the National Geographic Society.

Flickr Creative Commons, sfxeric

Today's show is three segments which are interlinked, even though we didn't exactly plan it that way. We'll begin by looking at the highly competitive four-way race in New Haven's mayoral primary, scheduled for Sept. 10. But we'll look at it with the assistance of the New Haven Independent, one of the nation's most successful nonprofit local news sites. 

Oh, Gary Knell, we hardly knew ye. It seems like just yesterday (April 2012) we were meeting him on Where We Live. He was talking about radio "not going away" but "going everywhere." 

Harriet Jones

What’s up with Patch? That question seems to be on the lips of many small business owners who rely on the hyperlocal news sites to get the word out about sales, events and promotions. As Patch’s corporate parent AOL threatens closures and consolidations, some are wondering if it will ever be the same again. 

At the Branford River Resort and Spa, manager Doreen Bastian is creating just the right relaxed atmosphere for her guests.

Responding to speculation that his newspaper would be next, New York Times Publisher and Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has issued a flat "the Times is not for sale" statement.

"The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans' e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials," The New York Times reported Thursday.

For Time Warner Cable customers in major cities, the battle for the future of television is playing out before their eyes.

Donald Graham, chairman of The Washington Post Co., is the son and grandson of its leaders for the past 80 years. And along with his niece, publisher Katharine Weymouth, Graham admitted in a video on The Post's website that the family simply didn't have the answers to questions about the paper's future.

The news spread with the speed of the Internet: The Washington Post, a newspaper that helped bring down a president, would be sold to Jeff Bezos, the tech titan who started Amazon.

The National Security Agency declassified more documents that shed light on formerly secret programs that collect a vast amount of metadata on the phone calls made in the United States, as well as the electronic communication of foreigners.

In a statement, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the release was "in the public interest."

The Woman Behind 'Orange Is The New Black'

Jul 29, 2013

Netflix’s new original series “Orange Is the New Black” is based on the life of Piper Kerman, a Smith graduate and self-described WASP who must go to prison for 13 months when her past catches up with her.

Russian President Vladimir Putin keeps insisting that he doesn't want the case of a fugitive American intelligence contractor to harm relations between Russia and the United States.

But Edward Snowden remains an irritant, stuck in diplomatic limbo in the transit area of a Moscow airport.

A Putin spokesman said Friday that the issue is being discussed by the Russian federal security service — the FSB — and the FBI, but it may be that Snowden has become a problem that can only be solved at the top of the two governments.

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was not aiding the enemy when he leaked the largest cache of classified information in the history of the United States, the defense argued today during closing arguments of his military trial in Fort Meade, Maryland, today. Instead, he released the information in an attempt to spark debate about things he found troubling about war and American diplomacy.

Chion Wolf

Let me tell you, in the bluntest possible manner, why we're doing a show with Ivor Hugh today.

Last year, I had the idea of doing a show that would have been a gathering of some of the voices from the era when radio was king. One of the names in my head was Ivor's. The other one was my friend and former colleague Arnold Dean. Arnold started in radio within a year of  Ivor; and, like almost everybody doing radio in the 1950s, both men then dabbled in the early days of television, because the early tv talent was radio talent.

Chion Wolf

Let me tell you, in the bluntest possible manner, why we're doing a show with Ivor Hugh today.

Last year, I had the idea of doing a show that would have been a gathering of some of the voices from the era when radio was king. One of the names in my head was Ivor's. The other one was my friend and former colleague Arnold Dean. Arnold started in radio within a year of  Ivor; and, like almost everybody doing radio in the 1950s, both men then dabbled in the early days of television, because the early TV talent was radio talent.

Thomas Good, Wikimedia Commons; SROPhotos, Flickr Creative Commons

Are you ready for the 2014 gubernatorial election? I don't think we are, but we waded into it anyway after Senate Minority Leader John McKinney announced his bid for the governor's mansion.

Springfield voters have approved the MGM casino plan ...UConn is conducting an investigation into how the university handled allegations of sexual abuse by one of their professors...and last week, the Eastern League All-Star Game was held at New Britain Stadium and Governor Dannel Malloy received a less-than-warm welcome.

Turns out national political observers have their eyes on Malloy, too...he’s on a Washington Post list of “governors likely to lose their seats.”

NS Newsflash, Creative Commons

The Tribune Company made an announcement yesterday that it’s going to split its broadcast and publishing divisions. It’s just another chapter in the ongoing saga of “the future of the newspaper industry.” The Tribune has owned the Hartford Courant since 2000, and more recently merged the paper  with the FOX News affiliate TV station. So what now? Industry analyst Ken Doctor joins us. 

Chion Wolf

It began last night with a documentary about some of the greatest backup singers in rock and roll history, including Darlene Love, who is here, and a short film featuring Tony Shalhoub, who was here.

It will close with a screening of the much anticipated film "Frances Ha" directed by Noah Baumbach and starring Greta Gerwig, both of whom will be here. And in between, the Berkshire International Film Festival will show 26 other documentaries, 24 other feature films and 23 other shorts. Roughly 20 different countries will be represented in the mix.

Marco Arment (Flickr Creative Commons)

The University of Connecticut has come out with a new study on violent video games. It looked specifically at whether video games that pit players against human looking characters provokes more violent thoughts in the player than fighting non-human creatures.

When players fight human looking characters, "they're later more verbally aggressive and they have more aggressive thoughts," said Kirstie Farrar, who is an associate professor of communication and lead researcher of the study.

Wikimedia Commons

I'm one of those odd people who still gets physical newspapers thrown into his driveway.

On Monday, I was paging trough the New York Times and came upon Angelina Jolie's now-famous essay about her decision to have her breasts removed preventively, after learning of her high genetic risk factor for breast cancer. I had the odd sensation of looking at my laptop on a nearby table and knowing that, inside it, a massive cyber-conversation was unfolding.  

Bill Wadman

Tomorrow, is the final Connecticut Forum of the season. It’s called Funny, Smart People and it’s being moderated by our very own Colin McEnroe. The panelists are The Daily Show’s John Hodgman, Portlandia’s Carrie Brownstein and our next guest, Baratunde Thurston.