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 Burglary; Civil War: The Untold Story

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jan 29, 2014 3:54 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, January 30, 2014:

The Burglary cover 316 x 400.jpg

American history was made March 8, 1971.  Some may remember that date for another reason.  Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali fought a boxing match that pitted two undefeated heavyweight champions against each other for the first time ever.  Arguably, no sporting event got as much attention worldwide before or since.

Actually, what happened in a small town outside Philadelphia that night had a far greater impact on the nation.

Eight men and women, who opposed the Vietnam War, burglarized the FBI office in Media, Delaware County.  They meticulously planned the break-in and used the Frazier-Ali fight to their advantage thinking police and everyone else would be focused on the boxing match.

The burglars stole files and mailed copies to journalists and politicians showing what they suspected -- the FBI, under the leadership of director J. Edgar Hoover, was operating outside the law to investigate and squash political dissenters.

Washington Post reporter Betty Medsger was one of the journalists who received copies of the files.  Now she has written a riveting book about the burglary and how it became the first step in outing the illegal and unethical practices of the FBI at that time.

Betty Medsger, author of The Burglary, appears on Thursday's Smart Talk.  Read an excerpt at this link.

Also, filmmaker Chris Wheeler will join us to discuss Civil War: The Untold Story -- a story that centers on the war in the Western Theatre and takes a look at African-Americans during the war.

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The first screening of Civil War: The Untold Story will be Sunday, February 2 at the Gettysburg National Military Park (at 1:30 p.m.).  

The five-hour documentary will also be shown on witf-TV this summer.


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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-01-30 08:54

    How did receiving these documents change your life as a journalist?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-01-30 09:15

    Michael emails:

    I purchased this book after a recent NY Times article. This book should be required reading for all high school students so as to open their eyes not only to government, but business and adults in general.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-01-30 09:25

    Rod from Mcalisterville emails:

    I love the book--well written and interesting. I was really intrigued by the risk the one couple took. They had small children and could have been sent to jail for their part in the burglary. They even made arrangements for other folks to care for their kids if they were sent to prison. Not sure I could have taken that risk.

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