September 8, 2012
On the radio: Bob Fest and DNC
By David Giffey
With the Democratic National Convention’s major events yet to come later in the day – speeches by President Obama, Joe Biden, et al – Dave Zweifel and Ed Garvey found much to like and some things to criticize during their conversation on Fighting Bob Radio September 6. They discussed DNC events, reviewed some of Fighting Bob Fest's 11-year history, and described contrasts between the DNC and the Clint Eastwood convention a week earlier.
Zweifel, editor emeritus of The Capital Times, was the guest during the weekly hour-long online radio show, which is broadcast live each Thursday at 11 a.m. Garvey, founder and editor of FightingBob.com, hosts the show with Eric Schubring, of WOJB-FM radio in Hayward.
Zweifel and Garvey were together when the first Fighting Bob Fest was born in 2002. The annual Chautauqua for progressive points of view and fun moved from the fairgrounds in Baraboo to the Alliant Energy Cener in Madison in 2011.
The day-long even is next Saturday, September 15, at the Alliant Center, with an important eve-of-the-fest event beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, September 14, at the Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa Street, on Madison’s east side.
Phil Donahue will be there Friday with his Body of War film, and so will Norman Solomon, Jim Hightower, and many more. It will most likely be crowded, so come early. It’s free and donations will be accepted to keep this one-of-a-kind festival alive.
About the DNC, Zweifel gave Bill Clinton high grades for his Wednesday night speech, but noted: “You didn’t hear Clinton talk about NAFTA and the deregulation of the banks” taking place during his White House years.
The DNC was a contrast to the RNC a week earlier. “But the real people who should be making the speeches probably aren’t,” said Zweifel.
Zweifel probed the odd manner in which mainstream media outlets present themselves as balanced by providing forums for outlandish points of view. “If we’d had to do that during World War II,” said the longtime editor, “we would have had to get Hitler’s opinion.”
“They (corporate media) treat evil as being equal to good,” said Zweifel.
Garvey and Zweifel shared stories about the uncertainty they felt before the first Fighting Bob Fest in 2002. “We were worried that about only 10 people would show up,” said Garvey. “But Paul Simon gave a helluva speech.”
“We had nearly 2,000 people,” Zweifel recalled. Over the years, favorites included speakers Bobby Kennedy Jr., Jesse Jackson, Ralph Nader, Tom Harkin, Bernie Sanders and Gwen Moore. (Add your favorite here _____________.)
This year’s line-up of breakout sessions and speakers promises to be terrific: Climate change with Bill McKibben; The Real War on Women, with NOW’s Terry O’Neill, Patricia Loew, and Ruth Conniff; Citizens United with Mike McCabe, John Mathews, and Norman Solomon; Turning Progressive Defeats into Victories with Dr. Nancy Unger; Open Pit Strip Mining with Mike Wiggens Jr., chair of the Bad River Tribe of Ojibwe, Bob Kincaid, and Al Gedicks; ALEC Exposed with Lisa Graves and Mary Botari; and the Next Generation and the Progressive Movement with Leland Pan, Harriet Rowan, Arthur Kohl-Riggs, and CJ-Terrell.
John Nichols will speak, as will Buddy Roemer, Greg Palast, Gwen Moore, Hightower, Juan Cole, Mike Papantonio, Dr. Jill Stein, Mahlon Mitchell, Dave Sweifel, and Tammy Baldwin. Garvey and Ruth Conniff will co-host the day.
Chairman Wiggens, by the way, was named a Peacemaker of the Year by the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice.
Saturday will also include music by the Ragin’ Grannies, Peter Leidy, the Rabuck Schubring Duo, and Ken Lonquist. Plus good food, beverages including beer. It’s a schedule that will stretch the clock’s capacity.
And don’t forget the dozens of information booths and vendors, and the “Art Against War” exhibition. Big weekend! Friday night at the Goodman Center and all day Saturday, September 15, at the Alliant Center.
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