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

What are you talking about?

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, WITF's Smart Talk | Jan 1, 2018 12:00 PM

On the Tuesday January 2nd, 2018 edition of WITF's Smart Talk:

On the first edition of Smart Talk in 2018, we would like to talk to you, the listeners, about the issues and discussions you want to hear this year.  Many of the topics from the past year will continue into 2018.  We are committed to shining a spotlight on the region's opioid crisis, legislative re-districting, the impact of the state's natural gas boom, the #MeToo sexual improprieties movement, the tenor of political and civil discourse and topics in the news in both our communities and around the world.

The year 2017 will be remembered for issues that had a great impact on the lives on Americans and Pennsylvanians.  The first year of the Trump Administration brought with it a significant change in direction for the country and its policies -- changes that generated sometimes loud and passionate discussion.  Can the pace of bombshell news continue in 2018?  Already, the president has accused Pakistan of taking billions of dollars in American aid without helping in the fight against the Taliban and terrorism. 

Politics will be a big part of our reporting and Smart Talks in 2018.  Pennsylvania has a gubernatorial election, Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey is up for re-election and so are all the members of Pennsylvania Congressional delegation as well as the entire state House and half the Senate.

Often the media was taken to task by President Trump and his supporters.  One of the charges was that some journalists were out of touch with news consumers.  Tuesday's Smart Talk is the perfect opportunity to identify the issues and stories important to you.  

Host Scott LaMar will be joined by WITF news director Tim Lambert to discuss both the stories on the horizon and take your phone calls and emails on what topics and stories you would like to hear on Smart Talk this year.


WITF News Director Tim Lambert / Smart Talk host Scott LaMar


- I would like to hear a show that had a legitimate socialist and a show with a legitimate libertarian to discuss their views.

Also it might be interesting to have shows with people that have out of the ordinary jobs. ex. roller-coaster mechanic.                                            - Thomas

- I recently lost two OTA television stations when channels 15 and 49 moved their broadcasts to towers in the Harrisburg area, which I cannot reliably tune in year-round from where I live in Lancaster.  To say the least, I am seriously miffed, in part because I never saw this coming, even though the FCC has been planning "spectrum reallocation" for years. Please do a show on the future of OTA television in south central PA.   - Todd

I would like you to do a program explaining, and comparing, how news agencies/papers are regulated by, or governed by, laws or governing bodies. My idea is that it would help people understand why it's important to really think about things you read on the internet. I always think that newspapers and TV cannot lie but I am not sure why they cannot lie except they might be sued for libel.

Healthcare costs; I think it would help people be better consumers of health care to have a segment comparing the costs of tests at different health care providing facilities; n example would be an MRI of your knee, an x-ray of your arm. I think it would help to then explain that if you have a $1000 deductible you would have to pay for it out of your pocket.

I think a program really listening to people who voted for trump paired with psychologists who can really explain how people/humans successfully change their minds.

OH! a program about jobs that do not require a 4 year degree but end up in good paying jobs; radiology tech, Physician's assistant, HVAC technician.

A program dedicated to the history of women and voting; I think the younger generation is very disconnected from the generations of women that were unable to vote.   - anon

- A show featuring independent pharmacy owners and pharmacists to help explain the impact poor regulation in years prior and the PPACA itself have had on current higher costs and restriction of services.         - Gary

I suggest that redistricting is a concern confined to a minority of progressive/liberals who blame redistricting for the R majorities in Hburg & DC rather than examining the underlying policies which take progressive/liberal policies/issues out of range of the majority of moderate voters. 

WITF/NPR has the choice of continuing be to  the voice for alternative/progressive/liberal issues or moving towards a more objective/transparent source of news and opinion.                                              - Garth

- As an earth scientist, I have seen the evidence of global climate change. But, for many people, unless they actually see it in their own backyard, they don't believe it. I had one person tell me, "How can scientists tell what the temperatures were thousands of years ago? Thermometers weren't invented then." I tried to explain that ancient environmental evidence is present in the geology of the rocks that surround us. He was still skeptical. Can we have a good science based discussion explaining the evidence of global climate change, and how scientists interpreted this evidence to come up with their conclusions?

Second topic. In the early part of my career, I worked in the oil and gas industry, primarily in exploration and exploitation. Hydraulic fracturing has been around since ~1950. It is not new. I understand the processes and the science behind the geophysics involved. There are far too many assumptive myths about the dangers presented by hydraulic fracturing. Granted that they are large industrial processes, but, if done properly, they are not as environmentally damaging as people assume. Can we also have a science based discussion on hydraulic fracturing? What it is and what it is not?   - Tom, Carlisle

- I would like to hear more shows that would counteract the current administration politics/philosophy in this country:

- science

- vaccinations

- climate change

- wealth distribution

- fake news           - Steve Davis

- End safety inspections for privately owned and operated passenger cars.

Its a major expense and inconvenience, especially to less affluent drivers. Statistics do not support improved highway safety as a result of these inspections.

Neighboring states do not require it and their accident statistics are no worse than Pennsylvania's.                                                                     - Michael, Dillsburg PA 

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