Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: The stigma facing the mentally ill; Corbett Administration questions climate change

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Dec 8, 2013 8:15 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, December 9, 2013:

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Central Pennsylvania is home to many thoughtful and compassionate people. We often hear of neighbors, friends, and families coming to the aid of someone going through hard times, especially if that person is afflicted with a disease or has been injured in some way.

That is unless that person has been diagnosed with a mental illness.  Then it seems there are fewer good wishes and offers of assistance.

To be fair, mental illness is not often as visible to the outside world, but there is no doubt a stigma exists that makes many people uncomfortable.


Dr. James Heck, Clinical Director, Keystone Human Services and Messiah College English professor Larry Lake

We'll address that stigma on Monday's Smart Talk.

Also, Gov. Tom Corbett's nominee to be the state's Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection says he is unaware of climate change being harmful to human beings.  In fact, several Corbett Administration officials have questioned climate change.

StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter Marie Cusick appears on the program with the latest.

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-12-09 09:50

    Lee in York emails:

    I was confused by an apparent conflict in your global warming story. When Abruzzo said ice has increased by 29%, I assumed he meant total ice on the globe, not just ice in Antarctica. If ice loss in the Arctic counterbalances the gain in the Antarctic, there was no 29% gain in ice and his statement is demonstrably false.

    Am I missing something?

  • Bonnie Rice img 2013-12-09 09:51

    What an excellent program. I would like to let Dr. Lake know about a program currently in the planning stages . It has been initiated by a young woman originally from this area, named Jennifer Marshall. She has been diagnosed with bipolar disease and is working very effectively on managing it. I will provide the website as a way of explaining the exciting program she has embarked upon. Visit

    Thank you for providing this information.

    Bonnie Rice

  • Frank McManus img 2013-12-09 11:38

    Thank you, Marie Cusick, WITF, and State Impact. Your responses to Chris Abruzzo and Patrick Henderson have been a breath of fresh air. Last week when I heard the story on WITF about Abruzzo's statements, I was surprised but pleased. I figured it was a one-off and would not be repeated. Now this morning I've heard this discussion and gone back to the State Impact website to get the details -- and it's clear that local NPR people have decided to confront the matter head on. (What did shock me, however, is that Patrick Henderson's comment was so lacking in the basics of coherent composition; a freshman English teacher would give him a failing grade.) Cusick's response is what journalism is supposed to be about: you take a risk, you tell the truth, even when it places you in conflict with people in power, and you accept the consequences. What makes it so great is that it's always possible to be wrong, either in detail or in general: Marie Cusick might be wrong in some way, and it might cause embarrassment for WITF and State Impact. That could have serious political implications. But if one never take the risk of being wrong, then one also never takes the risk of being right. In this case, the riskier option of making a truth-claim has been taken.

    This is so rare that I wonder what triggered it in this instance -- or has State Impact been doing it all along, and I just wasn't paying attention? By and large, NPR has adopted a "he said she said" approach to journalism, or else has simply allowed falsehoods to be recited on air by politicians without any response. For example, when Max Myers seemed to advocate "creation science" last week, there was no response. That was disappointing.

    Marie Cusick's reporting sets a new gold standard for local journalism. Keep it up, and please, WITF, do what it takes to let it happen more often!

  • Bonnie Rice img 2013-12-09 14:08

    I posted a comment about two hours ago trying to get a message to your guest, Dr.Lake. Wondering whether or not you got it.

    Bonnie Rice

  • Jim Foster img 2013-12-09 17:16

    As I mentioned on the program, both Republicans and Democrats should oppose Mr. Abruzzo's nomination. He is denying the existence of basic objective facts. This is not about whether or not you believe in man made climate change. Here is a link to a blog entry that discusses this in more detail.

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