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.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Simon Cameron biography; Harrisburg-Hershey Film Festival

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 16, 2016 10:10 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, September 16, 2016:

During the Civil War, Union General John Pope said of U.S. Secretary of War Simon Cameron, "Everybody in this wide land knows Cameron to be corrupt and dishonest, a public plunderer and unprincipled politician."

Pope wasn't alone in his assessment of Cameron and that's what history remembers most about Cameron, who for almost 60 years was one of the powerful people in Pennsylvania and the entire country.

Author and historian Paul Kahan has written a new book titled Amiable Scoundrel: Simon Cameron, Lincoln's Scandalous Secretary of War.  Kahan discusses Cameron and the book on Friday's Smart Talk.

Simon Cameron was born in Maytown, Lancaster County and lived most of his life outside Mount Joy and in Harrisburg.  He rose from being a poor orphan to running newspapers and railroads.  In politics he served as a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania for four terms, Secretary of War at the beginning of the Civil War, and U.S. Minister to Russia.  Pennsylvania had one of the nation's largest populations and second most electoral votes at the time so candidates for president and presidents often catered to Cameron, who wielded as much political clout as any Pennsylvanian.

Kahan writes that even though Cameron had a reputation for corruption, very little was ever proven and that history has labeled him as corrupt without knowing Cameron's full story.

Also, the second Harrisburg-Hershey Film Festival begins Friday featuring over 40 feature, short, and documentary films.

We'll preview the festival on Friday's Smart Talk.

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Stuart Landon, Director of Community Engagement, Midtown Cinema and Hamza Ahmad, Festival Director, 2016 Harrisburg-Hersshey Film Festival

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