Sunday, April 30, 2006

Musings on KPFA's Living Room

Each Thursday and Friday, Living Room airs on KPFA at noon Pacific time. The show, hosted by Kris Welch, is an hour long look at the issues of the day. Welch came up through KPFA's women's program and also hosts Saturday Morning Talkies (airs at 9:00 am Pacific Time). Both shows can be heard over the airwaves and online.

What sort of issues does Living Room focus on? This week, they looked at election fraud and the latest details emerging about the 2004 vote in Ohio. Bob Fitrakis was the guest on that and you can check out the show as well as The Free Press for the latest revelations. Also on the show were Bev Harris of Black Box Voting and actress and national advisory board chair of Progressive Democrats of America Mimi Kennedy.

The basic point of the discussion was not to be paralyzed by fear but instead to increase your awareness and get active. Purged voter rolls, touch screen machines (which produce no printed record of your ballot) and more are issues where ever you live and you need to pay attention and get active. You also need to be following the doings of your state's Secretary of State.

Friday's show revolved around a discussion of the courts and marijuana. Ed Rosenthal, a regular contributor to the program, was on the show to discuss his recent court victory. As part of the so-called war on drugs, Rosenthal was prosecuted by the government for medical marijuana (which was legal by state law in California). Though found guilty in 2003, the Ninth Circuit
overturned that verdict.

Does it all sound far, far from Terry Gross' Noxious Air? It is. They mix it up the show. Including callers. Had Kris Welch had L. Paul Bremmer on as a guest, she wouldn't have utilized Gross' soft purr or softball questions. Other topics have included the Plamegate investigation led by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Ruth wanted us to note that when Fitzgerald held his press conference on the indictment of Scooter Libby, Welch was on the air at the end of the press conference (which Pacifica broadcast) with a discussion of the breaking news. Recent guests have included Robert Parry and Antonia Juhasz. Iraq can be addressed and is.

If you're think that it's only online that you can find lively debates and important news that the mainstream media doesn't want to cover, welcome to your new online friend: KPFA's Living Room. Thanks to the internet, you don't have to live in the Berkeley area to hear Living Room.
It's available online, for free, when it broadcasts live and each broadcast is archived for those interested but unable to catch it live.

We believe Laura Flanders is still on vacation. (We weren't able to try to listen last night. We went to the rally and march and, afterwards, went out to eat.) We like Flanders and are planning to read the book she's working on as soon as it comes out. We intend to continue to highlight RadioNation with Laura Flanders. But while she's on a break (it's really not a "vacation" if she's working on a book, Rebecca pointed out just now), we'll be picking up other shows. We hope you'll see something that grabs you. Maybe Living Room is it? Kat describes Kris Welch's voice as "made for FM" (she means in FM's hey day when it was really something amazing). There are plenty of wonderful programs out there. We're just not sure how much exposure they get. The point of our highlights is to note what's out there. So if it's something that interest you, that's great. If it's not, know that it's out there and there is a world beyond NPR. You can hear Kris Welch on KPFA.
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