A Public Affair


John Quinlan

John Quinlan


Carousel Bayrd

Carousel Bayrd


Karma Chavez and Tim Hansel

Karma Chavez & Tim Hansel


Allen Ruff

Allen Ruff


Esty Dinur

Esty Dinur

A Public Affair is WORT‘s daily hour-long talk program. It aims to engage listeners in a conversation on social, cultural, and political issues of importance. The guests range from local activists and scholars to notable national and international figures.

Join the conversation!

Listeners may call in and ask questions of the guests. Callers are asked to pose a question relevant to the subject at hand and refrain from calling more than once per week. You can join us on social media as well!

For booking questions

Please contact Molly Stentz at (608) 256-2001 or newsflash@wort-fm.org.


“Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy”

10/5/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Frederick Clarckson On Friday October 5th, host Esty Dinur spoke with author and senior fellow at Political Research Associates Frederick Clarkson about the role of the Christian right in American elections and American politics. Clarkson wrote the book “Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy” and is editor of Dispatches from the Religious Left: The Future of Faith and Politics in America. Clarkson has been researching and adding his expertise to the realm of politics and religion for more than 30 years. He recently stated, “This past weekend, Christian Right leaders including Pat Robertson, and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, staged a mediagenic rally in Philadelphia for more theocratic governance. Against the backdrop of Independence Hall, ….

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MEK Still Isn’t OK

10/4/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Jeremiah Goulka On Thursday October 4th, Allen Ruff spoke with Jeremiah Goulka about the State Department’s decision to remove the Mujahedin-e Khalg (MEK) from its “terrorist organizations list”. Goulka recently wrote regarding the the status of the MEK, ” The State Department may have satisfied a court-imposed deadline and could help the group’s members escape their current stateless limbo, but the decision will enable the MEK to put more effort into pushing the United States toward war with Iran in its campaign to become the new government in Tehran. The court’s deadline comes from a lawsuit brought by the MEK arguing that its designation as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO)—which it has held since 1997—is no longer appropriate because ….

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Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance

10/3/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

WritingwithScissorscover On Wednesday October 3rd, host Tonya Brito spoke with author Ellen Gruber Garvey about her book “Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance.” “What did ordinary Americans such as farmers and janitors have in common with extraordinary ones like Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain, and Susan B. Anthony? In this fascinating cultural history, Ellen Gruber Garvey explores how Americans from all walks of life created scrapbooks to document, share, critique, and participate in a rapidly changing world of information overload. Featuring over sixty rare and hard-to-find illustrations, Writing with Scissors reveals how people have had an interactive relationship with the media since long before the Internet era. Writing with Scissors ….

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We Want Green, Too

10/2/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

gloria_lowe On Tuesday October 2nd, host Cynthia Lin spoke with Gloria Lowe, a former auto-plant worker from Detroit who decided to found a movement with the intention of reclaiming and revamping the city she loves. Speaking with WBEZ in Chicago, she proclaimed: “I’m founder of “We Want Green, Too.” Our mission is to re-educate, retrain and rebuild a 21st century, sustainable Detroit. We are looking to construct various teams in the basic skills: dry walling, painting, floor repair. Right now we’re working out of shelters and the Detroit Veterans Administration building, a connection we have with homeless vets. We work with young people who are underemployed, people who have overcome their substance abuse, as well as those who ….

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The Odyssey Project

10/1/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Screen_shot_2012-09-30_at_3.42.14_PM On Monday October 1st, the week that marks the 10th anniversary of the UW-Madison’s award-winning “Odyssey Project,” John Quinlan spoke with the project’s founder and director, Emily Auerbach. The Odyssey Project is a course in the humanities for adults facing economic barriers to higher education. Several recent graduates and participants joined John and Emily in studio, including Hedi Rudd, Madison Police Officer Corey Safford, and Mary Wells. Other former participants and community supporters offered their supportive testimonials via phone. A resonant conversation was also shared with Barbara McKinney, who has established a memorial fund in honor of her son, former WMTV anchor and community leader Mike McKinney, to support young people of color in pursuing careers in journalism. read article »

People Who Understand the Language of Plants

09/28/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

clip_image004 On Friday September 28th, host Esty Dinur talked with documentary filmmaker Lawrence Lansburgh. Recently, he released a documentary about the Achuar people of the Ecuadororian Amazon. He has been nominated for an academy award and is a recipient of previous Emmy awards. His documentary tells the inspirational success story of a small group of forest people who overcame the power of big oil. In his words, “My area is the intersection of environmental health and human rights, as demonstrated so vividly by the success of the Achuar people in keeping oil companies out of their pristine part of the Amazon rain forest. Clearly, among the valuable assets of a still-healthy Amazonian culture is the knowledge of medicinal ….

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Fireside Chat with Allen Ruff

09/27/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Allen Ruff On Thursday September 27th, host Allen Ruff opened the mike up to the listeners to engage the community in a discussion of local, national and global events. Allen and the public exchanged opinions on the happenings around the globe.                                                               Click below to read Allen’s blog: http://allenruff.blogspot.com/ To listen to the entire program:

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University of Wisconsin Human Resources System: Union Perspectives

09/26/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

AFSCME_BlockLogo-1Color On Wednesday September 26th, host Brenda Konkel took another look at last Friday’s topic of reshaping the University of Wisconsin Human Resources System, except this time from the perspective of Madison Unions. She had a panel of guests in the studio consisting of Aaron Crandall, United Faculty & Academic Staff (UW-Madison) Local 223 President, Eleni Schirmer from the Teaching Assistants Association, Gary Mitchell, President (also Chair, Administrative Support Bargaining Team) for AFSCME 2412 (Union representing UW Madison staff), and Kevin Walters, Research Associate at the University of Wisconsin Department of History. The University of Wisconsin Interim Chancellor David Ward stated of the plan: “The HR Design project represents an unprecedented effort involving OHR, campus governance groups, labor organizations and other ….

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United For a Fair Economy

09/25/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

BORNONTHIRDBASE2 On Tuesday September 25th, host Cynthia Lin spoke with Brian Miller, Executive Director of United for a Fair Economy, about the impact of inheritance and privilege when analyzing an individuals economic mobility. United for a Fair Economy released a report recently entitled “Born on Third Base: What the Forbes 400 Really Says About Wealth & Opportunity in America” : “Forbes Magazine calls their list of the 400 richest Americans the ‘definitive scorecard of wealth in America,’ but a new report asserts the magazine is misleading. Born on Third Base: What the Forbes 400 Really Says About Wealth & Opportunity in America, released this week by Boston-based non-profit United for a Fair Economy, examines the sources of wealth ….

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Split Show: Marriage Equality at Broom Street Theater and The History of a Political Activist

09/24/12 12:05 PM | A Public Affair

Lauri_Harty_and_Raymond_McElroy On Monday September 24th, host John Quinlan provided listeners with a split program showcasing an original play by Callen Harty about same sex marriage, followed by an update from homegrown WI Capitol Uprising activist Jenna Pope about her recent experiences with the Occupy Movement nationwide. Callen Harty’s play, One Man/One Woman, looks at the topic of marriage and marriage equality through a series of vignettes from Adam and Eve (and Steve) in the Garden of Eden to modern couples struggling with the meaning of marriage to politicians working hard to prevent people from marrying clocks. It is a fun overview of marriage equality and what it means in our modern world. The play will run at Broom Street ….

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A Public Affair
A Public Affair
News & Culture
Weekdays @ Noon
John Quinlan, Carousel Bayrd, Tim Hansel, Karma Chavez, Allen Ruff, & Esty Dinur
A Public Affair is WORT's daily hour-long talk program. It aims to engage listeners in a conversation on social, cultural, and political issues of importance. The guests range from local activists and scholars to notable national and international figures.

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