Episode Archive for January 2014

J.R. Havlan - Writer for The Daily Show

January 28, 2014

This week Point of Inquiry discusses satire in politics and American life with J.R. Havlan, eight-time Emmy Award winning writer on The Daily Show. J.R. was previously a stand-up comic, including a stint doing crowd warm-up for Politically Incorrect which led to writing jokes for that show’s monologues. He’s also co-author of the New York Times best-selling books America: The Book, Earth: The Book, and wrote for the 2006 and 2008 Academy Awards. Most recently, J.R. began his own podcast called Writers’ Bloc, on which he interviews other television and film comedy writers about their backgrounds, beginnings and influences with a focus on the process of writing comedy.

Perhaps no other…

Jason Stanley - Is the United States a ‘Racial Democracy’?

January 21, 2014

This week, Point of Inquiry welcomes Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale and co-author of a provocative essay in last week’s   New York Times entitled “Is the United States a ‘Racial Democracy?”

Dr. Stanley and his co-author, Dr. Vesla Weaver, argue that the disproportionate surveillance, imprisonment, and post-conviction voter disenfranchisement of black Americans threatens the very integrity of our democracy. On any given day, 5.85 million people are unable to vote because they are in prison, on parole, or disenfranchised as felons. A disproportionate percentage of them are black. Of the nation’s 2.3 million…

Arthur Caplan, PhD - The Ethics of Brain Death: The End of Life, the State, and the Religious Right

January 14, 2014

This week Point of Inquiry is discussing death, specifically, brain death and the efforts of some sectors of the Religious Right to eliminate whole-brain brain death as the legal standard for death in America.

Lindsay Beyerstein welcomes the head of the Division of Bioethics at New York University’s…

Chris Emdin - Hip Hop Archivist and Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University

January 06, 2014

This week on Point of Inquiry we welcome Chris Emdin, a Columbia Professor who’s helped design New York City’s public school policy, a leading science education researcher, and Harvard Hip Hop Archive Fellow.


Chris Emdin is…