Crosscut Talks
What Broke America? with Michael Kirk and Rajiv Chandrasekaran

What Broke America? with Michael Kirk and Rajiv Chandrasekaran

September 17, 2021

The two journalists discuss how the decisions following the attacks of Sept. 11 led to distrust and division.

Racism, inequity and political polarization have been a part of American history since the beginning of the country. And yet, all of the issues have exploded in the past few years as Americans have become more polarized than they have been in generations. 

There is no single reason for the division and political mistrust that have become endemic to public life, but there is an argument to be made that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, served as an animating force of this difficult era. 

This is the idea behind the latest installment of PBS's Frontline series, America After 9/11

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we speak with Michael Kirk, the filmmaker behind the documentary, and journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran about how that one day and the decisions that followed transformed the country. 

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Seth Halleran, Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

What Biden Is Bringing to the Climate Fight with Leah Stokes, Katharine Wilkinson and Julian Brave NoiseCat

What Biden Is Bringing to the Climate Fight with Leah Stokes, Katharine Wilkinson and Julian Brave NoiseCat

September 9, 2021

He talked a big game during the presidential campaign. Our guests look at what the president is doing in his first year to back that up.

Democratic control of the federal government was far from certain heading into the 2020 general election. But following the election of Joe Biden to the presidency and Georgia's two Senate seats going blue, an unexpected opportunity emerged. 

One of the biggest questions facing the party now in power is what it would do with this moment when it came to the environment. 

Climate policy has never been a given when it comes to actual legislation at the federal level. But President Biden and many of his fellow Democrats have put climate front and center in this first year of his administration.

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, Dr. Leah Stokes, Dr. Katharine Wilkinson and Julian Brave Noisecat discuss the moves the president has made to shore up his administration's environmental acumen, the scope of his vision and whether it will amount to anything. 

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Seth Halleran, Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

The State of White Anti-Racism with Robin DiAngelo

The State of White Anti-Racism with Robin DiAngelo

September 2, 2021

The ‘White Fragility’ author and Slate podcast host Jason Johnson discuss the massive cultural changes since the murder of George Floyd.

In the months after the murder of George Floyd, many institutions and white people across the country were openly grappling with the idea of whiteness — in particular, what responsibility white people and white-led institutions bear in addressing racism in American society. 

Anti-racist statements were issued from corporate accounts and personal pledges made on social media. A year later, the national conversation about racism continues as the cultural shift promised in those early days meets reality. 

In some places, stated goals of diversity, equity and inclusion are coming up against headwinds created by a status quo that is pretty resistant to change. 

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we speak with Robin DiAngelo, the author of White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Race. Interviewer Jason Johnson, who hosts Slate's A Word podcast, speaks with her about what has actually changed in the past year and what still needs to happen.

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Seth Halleran, Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

Climate Change and the Future of Outdoor Adventuring with Amy Snover

Climate Change and the Future of Outdoor Adventuring with Amy Snover

August 26, 2021

Is it still ethical to ski and hike? How is raising a kid to love the outdoors changing? The director of the UW Climate Impacts Group talks us through those questions.

For a long time, climate change was more of a theoretical threat for many people. While certain events would underline the threat the scientists were warning the world about, they were rare enough that it was possible to ignore or quickly forget about the dangers ahead.

That is becoming more and more difficult to do now as headlines about record-breaking heat waves, drought, wildfires and flooding become more frequent. 

It is also becoming more difficult to ignore for one particular segment of the population: outdoor adventurers who rely on snowy slopes, forest trails, waterways and clean air to get their kicks.

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we speak with Amy Snover of the University of Washington's Climate Impacts Group about the ways the changing climate is changing the nature of outdoor recreation and what can still be saved.

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Seth Halleran, Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

How COVID Changed the Arts with Vivian Hua, Tim Lennon and Erin Johnson

How COVID Changed the Arts with Vivian Hua, Tim Lennon and Erin Johnson

August 19, 2021

Three leaders of Seattle institutions discuss the ways a year without in-person events disrupted worlds and how it transformed how they do their work.

Before the pandemic, it could be easy to take the live arts for granted. In a city like Seattle, on any given night, audiences gathered in all kinds of spaces to take in a performance or a screening. That this part of life would someday come to a halt was unthinkable.

The arts did continue, much of it digital and streaming, but the spaces in our cities remained empty and the future of the organizations that once filled them, uncertain. 

Now that audiences are tentatively beginning to gather again, they are returning to a landscape that has been forever changed, for worse and for better. 

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, Crosscut arts reporter Margo Vansynghel speaks with the leaders of three Seattle institutions Vivian Hua of the Northwest Film Forum, Tim Lennon from Langston and Erin Johnson of Velocity Dance Center about the difficult decisions and innovations that have brought them this far and what the future looks like for their organizations. 

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Seth Halleran, Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

A New Era of Antitrust with Sen. Amy Klobuchar

A New Era of Antitrust with Sen. Amy Klobuchar

August 12, 2021

The senior senator from Minnesota talks about Facebook, Google and Amazon and if antitrust legislation is the answer.

In the last two decades, tech behemoths like Facebook, Google and Amazon have become essential to the lives of millions of Americans. They have also become more and more troubling to those concerned about privacy, disinformation and the consolidation of power. 

As these concerns have grown, so have calls for government action. Tech CEOs have been brought before congress to answer questions about their practices and plans. 

Critics have been vocal about what they believe should happen, but lawmakers will ultimately decide what will happen. 

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we are featuring a conversation with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democratic lawmaker who authored a recently published book on antitrust and is seeking to reign in what she views as excesses in big tech. 

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Seth Halleran, Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

Why Black History Matters with Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain

Why Black History Matters with Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain

August 5, 2021

In conversation with journalist Soledad O'Brien, the historians discuss the stories found in their anthology, ‘Four Hundred Souls,’ and what a “community history” can reveal.

It's impossible to tell the complete story of the United States of America without talking about the experience of Black Americans. Yet Americans can't agree on exactly how much of that history should be taught in our schools. 

The Black experience has played a part in the long-accepted version of American History. The Underground Railroad, Jim Crow laws and the Civil Rights movement, for instance, are all parts of the country's story that should be familiar to most Americans. 

But now, a new generation of historians and journalists are bringing forward the experiences of more Black Americans, revealing that there is much more to their stories.  

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we feature a conversation from the 2021 Crosscut Festival with Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, two leading lights in the effort to deepen Americans' understanding of the Black experience and the country's history. In conversation with journalist Soledad O’Brien, they discuss why this history is essential and how it came together.

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Chi Lee, Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

Gun Violence in America with Sen. Chris Murphy

Gun Violence in America with Sen. Chris Murphy

July 28, 2021

The Connecticut senator discusses the origins of gun violence in the U.S. and how the debate around this may be changing.

The United States holds a distinction among wealthy nations for the number of gun deaths that occur each year. And the argument over what to do about gun violence has become a part of the national identity. 

In recent decades the shape of that debate has become fairly predictable, to the point that it is difficult imagining an outcome that strays from the status quo.

Sen. Chris Murphy believes that that could be changing and has been pushing to make that change happen.

For this week's episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we speak with the Connecticut senator about the origins and history of gun violence in America and why he believes the debate is changing.

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Chi Lee, Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

What White Evangelicals See in Trump with Rev. Rob Schenck, Rev. Lenny Duncan and Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez

What White Evangelicals See in Trump with Rev. Rob Schenck, Rev. Lenny Duncan and Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez

July 21, 2021

Three experts on religion discuss the history, the meaning and the possible hypocrisy of an unlikely union.

When Donald Trump won the White House in 2016, he did so with the overwhelming support of white evangelical Christians. And through the tumultuous four years of his presidency, the faithful stood with him to the dismay of many.

Critics contend that it is the height of hypocrisy for a faith built on the teachings of Jesus Christ and guided by the Ted Commandments to empower a person who has chosen hubris over humility and is seemingly unbound by a number of the divine laws. 

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast we posed that question to three experts: the Rev. Rob Schenck, the Rev. Lenny Duncan and Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez. 

The answer, they say, begins long before Trump descended that golden escalator to announce his presidential campaign, perhaps as far back as the faith’s very beginning.

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Chi Lee, Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph

The Great Climate Migration with Sonia Shah and Abrahm Lustgarten

The Great Climate Migration with Sonia Shah and Abrahm Lustgarten

July 7, 2021

Journalists Sonia Shah and Abrahm Lustgarten discuss what happens when people must flee from drought, fire and floods.

Human beings are a migratory species. We have moved for food, for economic opportunity and for safety from prosecution. And now, more and more, people are moving to escape the deleterious effects of climate change. 

How people think about these migrants will go a long way to determining how individual societies and the global community move forward through an era that will be defined by climate change and the drought, floods and fires that come with it. 

The question facing governments and individuals is whether to push back against the tide of migrants, or to embrace it.

For today's episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, science journalists Shah and Lustgarten consider the impacts of the great climate migration and what it might mean to view it as a solution instead of a problem.

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Credits

Host: Mark Baumgarten

Event producers: Jake Newman, Andrea O'Meara

Engineers: Chi Lee, Resti Bagcal, Viktoria Ralph