Plato’s Cave: Progressive, trenchant, and insightful commentary on politics, the press, and the popular media
July 30, 2002 GENEVA, N.Y.—For the past five years, Hobart and William Smith Colleges professors Iva Deutchman and Linda Robertson have amused and educated Upstate New York audiences by analyzing and skewering politicians, the press, and the popular media on their radio talk show, Plato’s Cave. Soon to be re-broadcast via satellite, Plato’s Cave will be available to the world.
Plato’s Cave, which airs Thursdays from 6:30 until 7 p.m., will continue to be produced through Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ radio station, WEOS 89.7FM, a National Public Radio affiliate, by Michael Black, WEOS station manager. After a seasonal hiatus, the program will be re-distributed to more than 700 public radio stations that can access the Public Radio Satellite System, the main mechanism for distributing public radio programming throughout the country. Currently, the program is also aired via the Web site at www.weos.org.
Broadcasters seeking a liberal voice to balance conservatism in the media will be able to tune into the accessible, cutting-edge, politically incorrect, frequently liberal—and often left-of-liberal—program. While laced with humor, the comments of Deutchman and Robertson are predicated on years of research and analysis and address issues pertaining to the nation as a whole. The professors are published in the fields of political science, communications, and media analysis.
“Unlike the know-it-all Sunday/CNN gasbags, we actually have advanced degrees and comment on subjects in our areas of expertise,” said Robertson. “We rely upon badinage, the quip, and serious analysis to help our audiences feel someone like them is thinking about the issues of the day in a way which takes news, politics, and culture seriously, but we know that the best way to insight is often through humor.”
In the months since the September 11th attacks on America, radio listeners have been in search of new, fresh interpretations of world events that are beyond the normal six o’clock news and late-night cable bickering matches. Plato’s Cave offers that fresh interpretation in a comprehensive, desirable manner that audiences will appreciate.
The show opens with a commentary by each professor. Robertson, who was directing a study abroad program in London at the time of the attacks, has offered commentary on British reaction to the September 11th tragedy and the Anglo-American relationship in this time of global uncertainty.
“Since she returned,” Deutchman said, “more recent shows have focused on CNN's wonderful gaffe when they called Paula Zahn ‘provocative, super-smart, oh yeah, and just a little sexy,’ as well as the New York Times pieces – ignored by the networks – that studies have shown building prisons doesn't reduce crime and welfare reform has actually discouraged marriage! Other recent topics included Times coverage of the Fire Department of New York's profits from September 11th memorabilia, the U.S. propaganda efforts regarding the Middle East, and the slumping Dow Jones.”
Other Plato’s Cave highlights include a segment called “The Republican Nose Dive,” which is based on a serious political science theory, which questions the survival of the Republican party, and the “Have They No Shame Award,” which focuses on an event in either the political or cultural arena that the professors deem egregious. A recent “Have They No Shame Award” was won by the mother and father who gave their son's football team a pre-season party which featured a stripper. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell were co-recipients in 2001 for their comments post 9/11, and Falwell's Southern Baptist Leadership Conference colleague John Roberts was recently tapped when he called Mohammed a “demon possessed pedophile.”
Editor’s note: Stations interested in airing Plato’s Cave should contact Michael Black at Black@hws.edu
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