Here And There with Dave Marash

Our guest today is writer and journalist Frank Deford.  Our subject, the NFL, football, and violence.  The National Football League is the 1% of professional athletics, the richest sport, with some of the richest and most admired performers, its televised games are the highest-priced, most widely popular athletic commodity in America.  But it has a violence problem, 2 of them at least: violence turned inward player on player, which a recent study suggested will leave 1/3 of its players with some form of irreversible brain damage.  And then, there’s the NFL’s problem of violence turned outward, assaults and batteries, most consistently violence within the family, victimizing wives, girl-friends, even children.  No one has written or spoken out more sharply on these issues than Frank Deford.

How to describe Frank Deford.  First of all, he is a writer of clean, elegant and decisive prose, and of fiction that mixes both penetrating empathy for character and often daring moral judgment with prose that has the richness and beauty of poetry.

Frank Deford has written 17, or is it 18 books, 2 screenplays and several libraries of magazine articles, television and radio scripts.  6 times his colleagues have named him U.S. Sportswriter of The Year. and of course, he’s in the sports journalists’ Hall of Fame. And beyond the press box, For sixteen years, Deford served as national chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and he remains chairman emeritus.

And to top it off, Deford is a real mensch

Direct download: HT060517pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm MDT

A cult is defined as an isolated or at last separated community with a charismatic leader.  America is full of them, some good, some bad.  Pulitzer Prize-winning AP investigative reporter Mitch Weiss reveals how one religious congregation, The North Carolina-based Word of Faith fellowship was turned into an abusive cult, ruled by an erratic tyrant and run like a totalitarian prison camp.  There had ben whistleblowers in the past, but they were defeated by local prosecutors turned cult enablers.  

Direct download: HT060117WeissPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm MDT

Finally an eye-witness to conditions inside Trump-era detention facilities used for unaccompanied minor immigrants.  Dr Fernando Stein, President of the American Academy of Pediatricians has seen the kids, their bunks, their holding areas.  His report will shock you.  Put more than a dozen kids in a single area, he says, you expect a lot of noise.  At the El Paso holding center there was dead silence, kids staring dead-eyed from their bunks.

Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm MDT

President Donald Trump wants to build a wall on the US-Mexico border to keep out “bad dudes” and worse narcotic drugs.  Albuquerque Journal investigative reporter Mike Gallagher has done a 6-part series on the international market for illegal drugs called The Cartels Next Door and says a wall won’t even slow down the cross-border traffic in cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and the fentanyls.  Almost all of them, he says, are smuggled through legal Ports of Entry, the gateways through the wall.  

Direct download: HT052917GallagherPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm MDT

First, Sallyport, a major US military contractor in Iraq hired two investigators to check out operations there.  The investigators found evidence of security violations, alcohol smuggling, theft of U.S. government equipment and sex trafficking, which, investigative reporter Desmond Butler of the Associated Press says, got them fired and their report buried.  But not for long.  The investigators told Butler what they’d found and what had happened to them and their report, and then things got really ugly. 

Direct download: HT052517ButlerPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm MDT

The first round of France’s Presidential elections saw an almost perfect 4-way split in the votes.  But in the second round, the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron defeated second-place finisher, the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen by a 3-2 margin.  What are the implications for France’s future.  Former 60 Minutes producer Barry Lando, a longtime resident of Paris has some interesting ideas. Can a post-ideological President, backed by a gender-balanced, politically varied Cabinet bring some competence to French governance?

Direct download: HT052417LandoPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm MDT

Finally an eye-witness to conditions inside Trump-era detention facilities used for unaccompanied minor immigrants.  Dr Fernando Stein, President of the American Academy of Pediatricians has seen the kids, their bunks, their holding areas.  His report will shock you.  Put more than a dozen kids in a single area, he says, you expect a lot of noise.  At the El Paso holding center there was dead silence, kids staring dead-eyed from their bunks.

Direct download: HTStein053017POD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm MDT

In California’s Central Valley, America’s most productive food-producing region, there is widespread fear of President Trump’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants.  Workers fear deportation, breaking families apart; farmers wonder who will harvest their crops.  Journalist Lauren Markham has talked with the migrants and their bosses.  But so far, most ICE raids have been in Southern California.  Will campaign contributions and personal relationships to Trump staffers add up to protection for workers and an industry in peril?

Direct download: HTMarkhamPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm MDT

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez offered no suggestions during the State Legislature’s 60 day session earlier this year, but now she’s demanding a Special Session enact a full-scale overhaul of the budget-making process.  Milan Simonich on the Santa Fe New Mexican warns that’s an awfully big job for such a short session.  4 years ago, a rushed passage of a cut in corporate taxes, based on inaccurate estimates, enacted what has proved to be an economic disaster for the state. 

Direct download: HT052217SimonichPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:51pm MDT

Pictures of Western Washington Mental Hospital show an old-fashioned factory-sized institution, right out of the movie melodrama, The Snake Pit.  Seattle-based Associated Press investigative reporter Martha Bellisle says years of problems at the state’s largest mental hospital suggest the resemblance is more than skin-deep.  Dangerous inmates have escaped; needy inmates have been neglected; and relations between hospital management and staff, especially staff who work everyday with patients, could hardly be worse.

Direct download: HT051817BellislePOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm MDT