FROM Kathleen Hall Jamieson
Two inexperienced leaders and the prospect of nuclear war President Trump shook much of the world yesterday with his comment on future threats from North Korea. "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen." North Korea's Kim Jung Un responded by saying he's reviewing plans to target America's airbase on the island territory of Guam. Today, some White House advisors are urging calm, but there's renewed concern about what might happen in one of the world's most dangerous regions. What more needs to be done to avoid catastrophic miscalculation by either side?
A new president. What comes next? For the 45th time, America has accomplished a peaceful transition of power-- leaving the country with a sense of uncertainty about the future. President Donald Trump's inaugural address repeated familiar themes from his campaign for office. The President painted a dark picture of the nation's current condition, and promised to disempower the Washington elite — but he was short on specifics. Did he reassure the majority of Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton?
The Trump campaign and democracy's future Reporters are being heckled at Trump rallies by supporters who say Trump will win in a landslide and openly talk about violence and “revolution” if he doesn’t. Yesterday, Mike Pence insisted the campaign will accept the results if it loses, but high-level Trump surrogates echo his claim that the election is being “rigged.” Polls show that Trump might lose in a landslide, with heavy damage to his own Republican Party—and the confidence of millions in the democratic process.
Trump versus the media: can either side win? Every politician battles the media, including Hillary Clinton. But her toxic relations with reporters are nothing like Donald Trump's. Now, after helping Trump start his campaign with $2 billion worth of free air-time, are the media turning against him? Even one right-wing talk-show hosts says, "We've created a monster." Mainstream reporters insist Trump's contradictions and outright falsehoods are changing the rules. But others say Clinton's getting a free pass. Is media credibility already too compromised to survive this year's campaign?
The New York Primary: A Bare-Knuckle Brawl "If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere." That's what New Yorkers like to say about the Big Apple. And Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton seem determined to test the proposition in next week's presidential primary. He questions her judgment. She says he can't explain his own economic plan. Last night, they traded barbs on criminal justice, US policy on Israel and the power of Wall Street banks. Can Brooklyn-born Bernie pull off an upset, against Hillary – twice elected to the Senate from her adopted home state? We hear from experts on presidential politics, and reporters in the thick of the race.
Primary Debates: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly This year's televised presidential debates have reached bigger audiences than ever before. What purposes have they served? What have they contributed to the democratic process? CNN reporter Wolfe Blitzer attempts to moderate a Republican debate, February 26, 2016 The Democrats still have two televised presidential debates planned for this year, but the Republicans cancelled their last encounter, scheduled for Monday, when Donald Trump declined to appear. In all, they conducted 12 encounters, which sometimes sounded presidential and sometimes something quite less than that. Kathleen Hall Jamieson is director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
Obama, Romney and Presidential Messaging With five months to go until the presidential election, tens of millions of dollars are already being spent on campaign advertising. The Obama campaign got into trouble with some of the President's own supporters this week with a TV commercial featuring laid-off workers at a company sold by Bain Capital when Mitt Romney was in charge. When prominent Democrats attacked the Obama attack ad, the Romney campaign struck back . Are you listening? What are the risks of turning you off instead of turning you on?
Masters of Persuasion Are Aiming for You It's not even summer and the presidential election is five months away, but campaign advertising has hit TV and the Internet earlier than ever as each candidate tries to define the other before he can define himself. The "electronic dogs of war" have already been loosed by the Obama and Romney campaigns, along with assorted Political Action Committees. The Obama campaign got into trouble with some of the President's own supporters this week with a TV commercial featuring laid-off workers at a company sold by Bain Capital when Mitt Romney was in charge. When prominent Democrats attacked the Obama attack ad, the Romney campaign struck back . What works with an electorate that's barely paying any attention at all? Is it time to go negative? How can voters tell the truth from the outright lies?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.