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

Inappropriate Sexual Behavior / Nursing Home Abuse

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, WITF's Smart Talk | Nov 29, 2017 8:00 PM
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On the Thursday November 30th, 2017 edition of WITF's Smart Talk:

Americans awoke Wednesday to learn that Matt Lauer, host of NBC's Today, was fired for inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.  He joins a growing list of high profile men who are being called out for their conduct - people who are at the highest reaches of news media, entertainment and politics.  

The narrative has changed since last month, when film mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of using his clout to pressure young actresses for sex.  Since, we've heard the stories of a highly regarded actor who groped young male co-workers; a respected comedian and U.S. senator who took inappropriate pictures with a female comedian while she slept; and a senatorial candidate accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl. 

Thursday's Smart Talk discusses whether this is a turning point in what's appropriate and what isn't, respect, acceptable behavior and how men and women treat each other.  Kristen Houser, Chief Public Affairs Officer forthe Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape appears on the program.

Kristen Houser - Chief Public Affairs Officer, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape

Also, according to an investigative report in the Reading Eagle, between 2009 and 2015, the state's Department of Health acknowledged more than 1,800 incidents of abuse of residents of nursing homes in Pennsylvania.  Only three of those cases were referred to the attorney general's office.  None were prosecuted.

The Eagle says due to a lack of transparency in the reporting and documentation process, there is little understanding of the scale of these abuses.  A 2010 amendment to The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 requires facilities to notify police within 24 hours of a reported abuse but a review of 100 incidents by The Reading Eagle found that there is little compliance with the law.  The Eagle had to file three Right-to-Know requests and two open records appeals to obtain this information.

On the Thursday edition of Smart Talk, we'll will parse out the scope of nursing home abuses and the reporting thereof with Reading Eagle investigative reporter, Nicole Brambila.


- My mom believes that the sexual harassment that is coming out now is a result of a past social climate or accepted norm; people of the baby boomer generation and prior believed that it was socially acceptable, or even the norm, to treat women in this way.

She forgives all of the names that are coming out now because they are all of the generation of men where it was normal and this is a watershed moment where they can all come clean and move forward. I believe that, because all of the reports are coming out now, that it is making each report seem less important and supporting the idea that it was the norm; it seems like the day at the library when you can return your books without paying the late fee.  - anon

- I wanted to respond to the final comment about what to do if you suspect abuse or neglect in nursing homes. I'm sorry the presenter was unable to offer this very important resource: every county Area Agency in Aging has a nursing home ombudsman that serves the residents in the nursing homes in that county. They are there for the residents and help resolve complaints and concerns for residents, and are required to be available by law. Thank you.                                                        - Leslie Siebert, MSW,LSW (former ombudsman)

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