On January 8, KUT broadcast an episode of On the Media called “Common Sense,” presenting a stunning example of a special interest’s success in influencing legislators and public policy to achieve results antithetical to public opinion. The special interest in question is the NRA, and the show examines
- the cozy and lucrative relationship between members of Congress and the seemingly all-powerful gun lobby.
- the time when the NRA supported gun control, and the staunchest supporters of “gun rights” were on the radical left.
- whether a popular poll, asking Americans to choose whether gun “rights” or gun “control” are more important, asks the right question.
- the nearly twenty-year-old ban that effectively prevents the CDC from researching gun violence.
- a recent, thorough study which found no correlation between public opinion and what policies get enacted in the U.S.
- a California pastor’s project to expand the gun-reform conversation, catalyzed by mass shootings, to include inner-city violence.
On the Media is broadcast by KUT (90.5 FM) every Sunday at 9:00 AM. Its hosts, Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, maintain the civility and fairness that are hallmarks of public radio as they tackle sticky issues with a frankness and transparency that has built trust with listeners and led to more than a tripling of their audience in five years. The show has won Edward R. Murrow Awards for feature reporting and investigative reporting, the National Press Club’s Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism, and a Peabody Award for its body of work.