10 episodes

A Public Affair is WORT's daily hour-long talk program. It aims to engage listeners in a conversation on social, cultural, and political issues of importance. The guests range from local activists and scholars to notable national and international figures.

A Public Affair Douglas Haynes, Ali Muldrow, Carousel Bayrd, Allen Ruff, & Esty Dinur

    • News
    • 5.0 • 12 Ratings

A Public Affair is WORT's daily hour-long talk program. It aims to engage listeners in a conversation on social, cultural, and political issues of importance. The guests range from local activists and scholars to notable national and international figures.

    Dark Money Floods Our Politics, but Eludes Coverage

    Dark Money Floods Our Politics, but Eludes Coverage

    Dark money is coursing through our political landscape, with massive amounts of money being spent without much public oversight or even public disclosure. To explain the problem, host Allen Ruff talks with Steve Macek, a professor of communication who serves as Chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies at North Central College in Napierville. He has a recent article in the Progressive Magazine covering the issue.

    Macek describes the legal money laundering that goes on within a vast web of different non-profits and PACs, as well as how a toothless FEC fails to properly investigate complaints. Meanwhile, the media coverage of the problem is tepid and often fails to convey the seriousness of the problem.

    Image courtesy of S K on Pixabay.

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    • 53 min
    Lizz Winstead on the 2024 Election – Rebroadcast

    Lizz Winstead on the 2024 Election – Rebroadcast

    Today we rebroadcast host Ali Muldrow’s first show of 2024, where she welcomed back a show favorite to talk about the role abortion access will play in the upcoming election season. “It’s not just about voting. Right? Voting is the first thing you do, and then the rest of it is how do you participate in your own democracy,” comedian and activist Lizz Winstead tells Ali. “You’re voting for somebody who you can literally put pressure on to move in a better political direction.”

    Lizz Winstead is a comedian and co-host of the podcast Feminist Buzzkills Live. Lizz is a prominent abortion rights activist, and one of the founders of Abortion Access Front. Which is a team of comedians, writers, and producers that uses humor to destigmatize abortion.

    Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

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    • 53 min
    Chevron is gone. What comes next?

    Chevron is gone. What comes next?

    The US Supreme Court had a momentous term this spring, with multiple far-ranging and momentous decisions handed down. One such decision was Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, which ended the Chevron doctrine, a long-standing approach to federal regulations.

    To help explain just how big of a change this may be, guest host Jessa Nicholson Goetz sat down with Steph Tai, a professor at UW-Madison who works on environmental and administrative law, and Evan Feinauer, a lawyer from Clean Wisconsin who works on water regulations. Together they explore just how murky the future is for federal regulations and administrative law in the wake of a judiciary that seems very confident in its ability to settle fine points of interpretation without much expertise in the underlying field.

    Image courtesy of Andrew Martin / Pixabay.

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    • 53 min
    Representative Alex Joers and Professor Neil Kraus on the shortcomings...

    Representative Alex Joers and Professor Neil Kraus on the shortcomings...

    Last week a Wisconsin state legislature study committee held their first meeting to look at the University of Wisconsin school system. The committee will meet over the next few months before publishing their findings later this year.

    Here to discuss the committee’s work is Representative Alex Joers, a democrat from Middleton who is serving on the committee, and Professor Neil Kraus, who works at UW-River Falls and has written a book about neoliberalism in higher ed.

    In their discussion of the new committee, they touch on the way students and staff have been excluded from serving on the committee, how the rhetorics of austerity persist despite a large state budget surplus, and how the findings of the committee are likely to be skewed under the current Republican leadership in the legislature.

     

     

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    • 52 min
    Zachary Small on the Meteoric Rise of NFTs

    Zachary Small on the Meteoric Rise of NFTs

    NFT’s helped break the glass ceiling for digital art, says investigative journalist Zachary Small. And at the very center of the fast and loose history of NFTs, crypto, and high art, that Small captures in their recent book, Token Supremacy: the Art of Finance, the Finance of Art, and the Great Crypto Crash of 2022,  is an age old question of the value of art–perhaps the very meaning of value itself. 

    On today’s show, guest host Nate Carlin talks with Small about the financialization of art and how speculation has always existed in this very decentralized and unregulated world. When crypto and NFTs entered the scene, some of the tools born in the traditional art market were filtered through Silicon Valley’s techno-optimism. And in this brave new mysterious world, some speculated that humans may just become gods.

    In their conversation, Carlin and Small touch on the fame of Vera Molnár, algorithmic art, Justin Sun, collectability, the Bored Ape Yacht Club, shams and scams, and the crash of FTX that brought the world to a stumbling halt.

    Image courtesy of Penguin Random House.

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    • 53 min
    Dear Listener, You’re the Guest on Today’s Call-In Show

    Dear Listener, You’re the Guest on Today’s Call-In Show

    Today on A Public Affair, host Allen Ruff opened up the phone lines to WORT listeners. Folks called in with comments about whether Biden should be the Democratic nominee for president or whether he should drop out of the race. Callers shared their opinions on the privatization of public services, the climate crisis, and how the Democratic party should address these pressing issues. 

    Thank you to all 18 of our callers!

    Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

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    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

MurasakiFloof ,

I drive for a meager living

And this is the best radio.
Sometimes I forget to tune in punctually.
I got carried away listening to Danez Smith one day.
They were a guest on a podcast with other poets.
I had forgotten about my favorite radio hour.
Ten minutes in, I unplugged my phone-audio connection.
What happened?
The Poet was there, guesting all over the Madison waves like a professional, like a virtuoso, like a friend, like a mentor, like someone tired and caring and open and halfway home.
I thought I hadn’t unplugged my phone.
Thought the world’s logics had turned into bracelets of smoke.
I had to pick my brain up off the floor.
By the brake pedal.

Anyways yeah the guests are good, the topics salient, the voices earnest and damned smart, and it’s a wonderfully conceived and crafted show.

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