Crosscut Talks
The Power and Prejudice Behind Mass Incarceration

The Power and Prejudice Behind Mass Incarceration

August 20, 2019

The United States incarcerates more people per capita than any other country in the world. And a vastly disproportionate number of the people we lock up are people of color. A growing bipartisan movement wants reform, but how do we transform our nation's corrections system with an eye toward justice? For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we've invited two authors with expertise in the fields of criminal justice and racial bias to discuss the many ways our incarceration practices impact some communities more than others, and what it will take to change that system. Jennifer Eberhardt is a professor of psychology at Stanford University and the author of Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do. Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine and the author of Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration. This conversation was recorded on May 4, 2019, at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.

A Journey Into the Queer Communities of Conservative America

A Journey Into the Queer Communities of Conservative America

August 13, 2019

The movement for LGBT rights has gained a lot of traction around the country, but there are still many places that remain unfriendly or unsafe for the queer community. Often, those places are in the more conservative parts of America. But transgender author and journalist Samantha Allen found something different when she traveled through middle America in 2017. She discovered thriving communities and havens for people of all genders and orientations. For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we invited Allen to discuss her new book, Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States, as well as her journey from Mormon missionary to openly trans woman. She is joined by David Schmader, a Seattle-based writer and performer whose work often explores queer life. The conversation was recorded on May 4, 2019 at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.

Note: This episode contains adult language. To listen to a bleeped version, visit our episode page.

White Nationalism and the State of Hate in America

White Nationalism and the State of Hate in America

August 6, 2019
In August 2017, hundreds of white nationalists marched in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. They were gathered under the banner of "Unite the Right" and said they were there to protest the removal of a confederate monument. The event quickly turned violent. At least 30 counter-protesters were injured. One woman, Heather Heyer, was killed. ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson wanted to know what really happened. His reporting took him on a year-long journey chronicling the mainstreaming of hate in America. He teamed up with producers at PBS's Frontline and the result is a pair of documentaries that chart the rise of a new, violent white supremacist group. For this episode of Crosscut Talks we invited Thompson and senior producer Sarah Childress to discuss their work and what it says about the state of hate in America today. The conversation was recorded on May 4, 2019 at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.
How Republicans Plan to Take Back Power in Olympia

How Republicans Plan to Take Back Power in Olympia

July 30, 2019

Washington generally is thought of as a very blue state. It's been decades since voters here elected a Republican governor or U.S. senator, and the state has long been considered a lock for whichever Democrat happens to be running for president. Democrats also currently have the majority in both houses of the state Legislature. But with another gubernatorial race around the corner, Republican leaders are gearing up for a potential shift. For this episode of Crosscut Talks, we gathered a panel of Republican heavyweights from the region to discuss changes in the party and its future in Washington state. This conversation features former state Attorney General Rob McKenna; Center for Latino Leadership Executive Director Maia Espinoza; Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman; and state House Republican leader J.T. Wilcox. It was recorded May 4, 2019, at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.

Assault, Accusations and Accountability: Breaking a #MeToo Story

Assault, Accusations and Accountability: Breaking a #MeToo Story

July 23, 2019
Journalism has played a prominent role in the #MeToo era. Since the revelation in the New York Times of the accusations of sexual assault against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, more and more survivors have spoken out publicly about their experiences. And many of those have turned to reporters with their stories. For this episode of Crosscut Talks, we invited three journalists who have investigated some of those allegations to discuss the challenges of that reporting, the responses to it, and the impact that the #MeToo movement has had on their work and our culture at large. Featuring the Washington Post's Emma Brown; Sydney Brownstone of the Seattle Times and, previously, KUOW; and Rachel La Corte from the Associated Press. This conversation was recorded on May 4, 2019 at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.
How Washington’s Attorney General Keeps Beating Trump

How Washington’s Attorney General Keeps Beating Trump

July 16, 2019

In January 2017 Bob Ferguson became the first state attorney general to sue the Trump Administration. That was in response to the president's attempt to ban travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries. Since then, the Washington state attorney general has filed 40 additional lawsuits against the administration. So far, Ferguson has won around half of those case and the Trump administration hasn't won any. For this episode of Crosscut Talks, we invited Ferguson to discuss all of these efforts and the changing role of attorneys general in American politics. Speaking with Ferguson is Emily Bazelon, a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and author of Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration

This episode was recorded on May 4, 2019, at Seattle University for the Crosscut Festival. 

Covering the Trump White House

Covering the Trump White House

July 9, 2019

The life of a White House correspondent has changed dramatically in the last few years. From early-morning tweets to alternative facts to the outright vilification of the news media, President Donald Trump has upended the conventions of Washington, and that’s presented new challenges for journalists whose job it is to make sense of it all. For this episode of Crosscut Talks we listen in on a panel of correspondents and columnists who have covered the White House and have some thoughts on just how much things have changed and what it now takes to get at the truth. Featuring Associated Press reporter Darlene Superville, National Affairs columnist John Fund, and both Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker of the Washington Post. Words Matter Media founder and CEO Adam Levine moderated the conversation.

Note: Technical difficulties during the recording of this episode resulted in uneven audio quality.

Has the Next Civil War Already Started?

Has the Next Civil War Already Started?

July 2, 2019

In America, Civil War as long been relegated to history books and Ken Burns films. But recently it has become a live topic. Crosscut gathered a panel of political experts and journalists to discuss the deepening tribalism of extreme partisan politics, identifying root causes of our divisions, discussing the platforms that have encouraged this divisiveness, and exploring what can be done to prevent it. Featuring Manhattan Institute fellow Oren Cass, New York Times columnist Thomas Edsall, political science professor Christopher Parker and journalist Tay Wiles. New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie moderated the conversation. This episode was recorded on May 4, 2019 at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.

Note: This episode contains adult language. To listen to a bleeped version, visit our episode page.

Jeff Merkley on Trump, Mueller and Making Congress Work Again

Jeff Merkley on Trump, Mueller and Making Congress Work Again

June 27, 2019

Jeff Merkley has made a name for himself by challenging President Trump on the courts and immigration, inspiring some chatter that the junior senator from Oregon might run for president. But earlier this year, Merkley joined a rarefied group: Democrats who considered a run for the presidency, but decided against it. Instead, he will be seeking re-election to the Senate where he hopes to thaw the “deep freeze” that he says has rendered the deliberative body largely inert. Merkley, who is among the most progressive members of the Senate and is the only senator to endorse Bernie Sanders in 2016, tells the Washington Post's Philip Rucker how he plans to fix it and what he thinks about the investigation into the president by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. This conversation was recorded on May 4, 2019 at Seattle University as part of the Crosscut Festival.

2020 Visions: Presidential Election Predictions and Projections

2020 Visions: Presidential Election Predictions and Projections

June 21, 2019

The 2020 election is almost a year and a half away, but the race is already on. There are two dozen Democrats, and one Republican, lining up to challenge President Donald Trump. And the news cycle is dominated by big questions about who can win, and how. So Crosscut gathered a panel of pundits from the Seattle area to weigh in on the big issues, assess the candidates and speculate on Trump’s chances for a second term. Featuring conservative talk radio host Michael Medved, former chair of the Washington State Republican Party Chris Vance, political scientist Christopher Parker and Sharon Mast, who serves as the secretary of the Western States Caucus of the Democratic National Committee. This conversation was recorded on June 13, 2019 at Fremont Abbey as part of Crosscut's News & Brews series.

Note: This episode contains adult language. To listen to a bleeped version, visit our episode page.