Monday, January 30, 2006

Street Talk news

Ron Davis over at Chatter broke the news that STREET TALK will debut Wednesday, February 1 at 6:30 p.m. on Mediacom Connections Channel 14. Subscribers in southwest Missouri will be able to watch the public affairs program Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., and/or Sundays at 12:30 p.m. One new show each week.

I've spent a great deal of time planning this program, with a great amount of help from many people, all of whom will be revealed during the program. I promise you won't see anything like this anywhere in southwest Missouri. My philosophy is that discourse is good and necessary for democracy. But it needs to be civil. I also believe individuals are smart enough to make up their own minds when provided with the necessary information.

STREET TALK is not about pushing a political agenda. Those who have read Lost Chord know I'm a lefty, a liberal, a progressive. I disagree with most conservatives, but not on everything. I find nothing wrong with that. We're supposed to have debate in this country. We're supposed to remain "unfinished." Yelling at one another solves nothing and certainly doesn't move our country forward.

I want different points of view to be heard. I want to be willing to listen to opposing points of view and, possibly, to be swayed by them. And I want others to do the same. Alan Haworth, in his book Free Speech (1998), argues that John Stuart Mill's classic defence of free speech, in On Liberty, does not develop the idea of a market (as later suggested by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes) but essentially argues for the freedom to develop and discuss ideas in the search for truth or understanding. In developing this argument, Haworth says, Mill pictured society, not as a marketplace of ideas, but as something more like a large-scale academic seminar. This implies the need for tacit standards of conduct and interaction, including some degree of mutual respect.

That is the foundation for STREET TALK. Not every show will be about controversial topics. Not every show will be about politics. But I hope every show makes viewers think. We'll have some fun along the way. And we'll likely ruffle a few feathers. You're invited to participate, or just come along for the ride.

Granny Geek has generously donated some server space for podcasts of our shows, which should be available sometime on Thursdays. We'll be publishing a blog, we'll have email accounts for audience comments, and we'll even be inviting you to some of our tapings.

If you're a Mediacom subscriber, tune in Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Otherwise, check out on Thursday. Agree, disagree, listen, learn, think. We think you'll like what we're doing.