176 episodes

American politics is undergoing seismic changes that will alter the course of history. As hosts of Words Matter, Katie Barlow and Joe Lockhart believe that facts, evidence, truth and objective reality are necessary and vital in public discourse. Katie and Joe have broad experience in government, politics and journalism -- this gives them a unique ability to explain recent events and place them in historic context. Together, with fellow journalists, elected officials, policy-makers and thought-leaders, they will analyze the week's news and get at the real truth behind all the distracting headlines. New episodes released Mondays. Produced and recorded out of The Hangar Studios, NYC.
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Words Matter Katie Barlow & Joe Lockhart

    • Politics

American politics is undergoing seismic changes that will alter the course of history. As hosts of Words Matter, Katie Barlow and Joe Lockhart believe that facts, evidence, truth and objective reality are necessary and vital in public discourse. Katie and Joe have broad experience in government, politics and journalism -- this gives them a unique ability to explain recent events and place them in historic context. Together, with fellow journalists, elected officials, policy-makers and thought-leaders, they will analyze the week's news and get at the real truth behind all the distracting headlines. New episodes released Mondays. Produced and recorded out of The Hangar Studios, NYC.
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    Presidential Words Matter - John F. Kennedy on Civil Rights

    Presidential Words Matter - John F. Kennedy on Civil Rights

    This week we highlight presidential leadership and one of the most important civil rights speeches ever delivered by a sitting American president.
    By June of 1963, John F. Kennedy has been president for nearly two and a half years.
    While Kennedy had long privately expressed his deep moral objections to the treatment of black people in American society and indicated support for New federal legislation. 
    His public comments ranged from cautious moderate criticism to a 1950s version of “both sides-ism” but were mostly nonexistent.
    In June of 1963, however the man and the moment met.
    Alabama Governor George Wallace’s staged photo op definance of federal law by standing in the school house doorway had lasted less than 90 minutes. 
    On June 11th 1963 two black students were peaceful enrolled at the University of Alabama under the protection of a federalized Alabama National Guard commanded by US Marshals under the direction of the Department of Justice and the Attorney General of the United States.
    Kennedy’s advisors recommended and Fully expected that the president would NOT address the American people that evening. 
    With a little less than 18 months until to the 1964 elections, the President’s legislative agenda and his political future depended upon the votes Southern Democrats in Congress and those of their politically unforgiving constituents. 
    The President had other ideas. Kennedy saw a way to exercise moral leader on an issue where he had to that point failed. He would request Network Television airtime to address the nation on the issue of civil rights. 
    The facts and statistics on racial inequality in the United States described by President Kennedy to the American people that evening had even never been acknowledged by a President before - much less spoken in such a detailed and direct language. 
    In a telegram to the White House after watching the President’s remarks in Atlanta with other civil rights leaders, the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr. described the address as ONE OF THE MOST ELOQUENT,
     PROFOUND,
     AND UNEQUIVOCAL PLEAS FOR JUSTICE AND FREEDOM OF ALL MEN,
     EVER MADE BY ANY PRESIDENT.
    Dr King knew that Kennedy was moved by his now famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail” - written just weeks before. 
    To President Kennedy and many Americans Dr. King’s letter was more than than a spirited defense of civil disobedience. It was an indictment of white indifference.
    As you listen to the speech, you will hear Kennedy echoing King’s “Letter”
    The President rejects the idea that Black Americans should have to wait for equality. "Who among us," Kennedy asks the American people, "would then be content with counsels of patience and delay?"

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    • 18 min
    Preview: The Daily Smile

    Preview: The Daily Smile

    Everyone needs a reminder about just how good people can be. On Wondery’s new series The Daily Smile, host Nikki Boyer brings you stories that will make you feel good each weekday morning. With interviews, inspiring clips, and chats with special guests and passionate friends, The Daily Smile takes you on a journey into goodness, gives you all the feels, and will leave you with a smile on your face.
    Listen to the full episode: wondery.fm/dailysmilewords

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    • 5 min
    Presidential Words Matter - Ronald Reagan's Farewell Address

    Presidential Words Matter - Ronald Reagan's Farewell Address

    In January of 1989 after 8 years in office, President Ronald Reagan delivered his 34th and final Oval Office address.
    His tenure was not without controversy - and there is much about Reagan and his policies for historians and commentators to rightly criticize.
    But more than anything else Ronald Reagan understood the power and importance of words.
    For his final presidential address Reagan wanted to end on a note of what had become his trademark - optimism.
    All of his political life The Gipper had talked about America as a Shining City on a Hill. But he never really defined what he’d meant.
    As he prepared to leave office - Reagan finally communicated that vision.
    Pay attention to his words - in Reagan’s view America was made great by free trade and the contributions of immigrants.
    “If that City had to have walls, those walls had doors and those doors were open to all who had the heart and the will to get here.”
    It is a very different message than we hear from those who claim his legacy three decades later.


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    • 26 min
    ENCORE: The 2020 Political Landscape with Doug Sosnik

    ENCORE: The 2020 Political Landscape with Doug Sosnik

    Katie and Joe sit down with best-selling author and political analyst Doug Sosnik. He has advised presidents, senators, governors, Fortune 100 corporations and universities for 35 years.
    Doug also served as a senior advisor to President Clinton for six years as Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy, White House Political Director and Deputy Legislative Director.
    He is the co-author of New York Times bestseller Applebee’s America: How Successful Political, Business and Religious Leaders Connect with the New American Community.

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    • 50 min
    SPECIAL: A Tribute to Tim Russert

    SPECIAL: A Tribute to Tim Russert

    Today, on what would have been his 70th birthday, we pay tribute to the late, great Tim Russert - Moderator of Meet the Press and NBC News Washington Bureau Chief.
    Unlike many in the public eye - Tim was the same guy off camera as he was on. He was tough, but fair, - always quick with a joke and above all he was forever humbled by his success and the opportunities afforded the son of a sanitation worker from South Buffalo.
    “What a country?” Tim would often marvel - he lived by the words of the pious Saint Luke - “To whom much has been given, much will be required.”
    Tim believed it was his responsibility as a journalist to hold our leaders accountable - regardless of party. To ask tough, but fair questions in pursuit of the truth.
    A lawyer by training, a Meet the Press interview was like a public deposition. He didn’t suffer fools and he wrote his questions so that anything short of a complete and honest answer would be met with a series of increasingly pointed follow ups. When he believed a public official was shading the truth – or worse – Tim would lean across the table and remind them, with purpose: "Senator, Madame Secretary, Mr. President – Words Matter."
    That is his legacy - and for those of us who want to honor him, we must try our best to continue that mission.
    So today - on what would have been his 70th birthday - we honor Tim Russert by playing his 2002 Commencement Address at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

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    • 20 min
    Presidential Words Matter - FDR 1936 Democratic Convention

    Presidential Words Matter - FDR 1936 Democratic Convention

    This week, we begin a new series, Presidential Words Matter. Since we currently have a president who doesn't seem to know or even understand the importance of words, especially when they are spoken by the president of the United States, we thought it might be helpful in a time of national crisis to remember that we have had presidents of both parties who did understand this.
    These presidents have led our country through difficult times with the power and eloquence of their words.
    So this week, we wanted to highlight President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who in 1936 during the Great Depression and as the clouds of war gathered over Europe, delivered one of the most important political speeches ever given by a sitting president.
    The occasion was the Democratic National Convention held that year in Philadelphia four years earlier in 1932. FDR had made history by flying to Chicago and becoming the first presidential candidate to accept his party's nomination in person.
    In an earlier episode of Words Matter, we discussed this important speech with Professor Harvey Kaye, who has just published a new book entitled: FDR on Democracy.
    In his 1936 acceptance speech, Roosevelt used the language of the founders and decried the economic royalists who were trying to fight back against the progress of the New Deal because it threatened their power.
    As you listen to his words, pay particular attention to the part where Roosevelt tells his audience they have a rendezvous with destiny.

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    • 30 min

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