Episode
October 05, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, our nation’s first vice president, John Adams, described the job as “the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived, or his imagination conceived.” Is he right? As the person who is just a heartbeat away from the presidency, the vice president gets a unique window into history that only a select few could ever dream of having. This November, either Virginia Senator Tim Kaine or Indiana Governor Mike Pence will add their name to that historically unique roster. In anticipation of tonight’s vice-presidential debate and the election’s outcome, we look back at some of our best and worst vice presidents with presidential historian Tim Naftali.

Then, Silver and Skelos: They’re not just names that made headlines. They’re the disgraced former Speaker and Majority Leader of the Albany State House, a place that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara calls a “cauldron of corruption.” Bharara’s newest case is equally worthy of that title. Both his office and State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have unveiled separate criminal charges against top state power brokers and prominent developers, including two former aides to Governor Cuomo and members of his inner circle, Joe Percoco and Todd Howe. All this is part of a wide-ranging corruption probe of major construction projects upstate tied to the government’s development program “Buffalo Billion.” As part of our ongoing series, Corruption Watch, we sit down with Jennifer Rodgers, a former federal prosecutor and executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School to analyze this latest scandal in Albany.

Finally, best known for songs like “Rocky Mountain High,” “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” and “Annie’s Song,” singer and songwriter John Denver was a unique voice in the music world with a legendary career that spanned nearly four decades. Proclaimed the “country boy” of his time, Denver loved to sing about the clear, blue skies and country roads in the state of Colorado. With the 19th anniversary of his passing this month, PBS remembers this classic performer with a reprise of the documentary John Denver: Country Boy. We relive the life and career of John Denver with Tom Crum, a close friend and Denver’s former partner in the creation of an environmental foundation.

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October 04, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Best known for songs like “Rocky Mountain High,” “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” and “Annie’s Song,” singer and songwriter John Denver was a unique voice in the music world with a legendary career that spanned nearly four decades. Proclaimed the “country boy” of his time, Denver loved to sing about the clear, blue skies and country roads in the state of Colorado. With the 19th anniversary of his passing this month, PBS remembers this classic performer with a reprise of the documentary John Denver: Country Boy. We relive the life and career of John Denver with Tom Crum, a close friend and Denver’s former partner in the creation of an environmental foundation.

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Episode
October 04, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, for one night only, America’s political focus will shift from presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to their vice presidential picks, Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. Tomorrow night, these vice presidential candidates will take center stage at Longwood University in Virginia for their first and only debate before the election in November. In the past, vice presidential face-offs haven’t always been as momentous as the presidential debates, but in a race as contentious as this, is tomorrow’s debate going to be one to watch and will it have an impact? Amy Holmes, a political analyst for the polling company Rasmussen Reports, and former Newsday columnist Ellis Henican join us with a preview of the showdown.

Next, last week’s presidential debate clearly displayed the bitter hatred between candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but it couldn’t hold a candle to the contention witnessed during the 1968 debates. Liberal Gore Vidal and Conservative William Buckley were bitter political enemies that the media followed closely during the two presidential conventions. The resulting fireworks between the ideological opposites would change political media coverage and shape it into the blood sport it is today. Tonight, Director and Producer Robert Gordon joins us to discuss his Independent Lens documentary, Best of Enemies, which examines these men and their rivalry and the film “Best of Enemies” before it airs tonight on PBS.

Then, it’s been over 15 years since Amadou Diallo was brutally killed by four New York City police officers in February of 1999. Although his name may be a forgotten headline for some, his mother Kadiatou, the message that was ignited by her son’s death is as important as ever. In fact, Kadiatou is worried that the country is headed in the wrong direction. She has said, “What is going on here is like many years ago…We’re going backwards, so each time I relive my tragedy.” And the same is true for the countless other mothers of unarmed, black men that lost their lives at the hands of the police, including Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, and many others. In this installment of Listening In, we take you to a panel discussion including Kadiatou and the mother of Eric Gardner where they discuss healing New York City’s communities and putting an end to events like the ones that claimed the lives of their sons.

Finally, Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Jewish High Holidays. It’s a time of year when many in the Jewish community come together at their local synagogue for prayer, self-reflection and a greater sense of community. But for some, it’s physically impossible to make a trip to the synagogue. And for others, the attendance fees for holiday services may well be unaffordable. In an effort to reach more of their community, one synagogue on Long Island has gone high tech, and we take you there to see how they’re making the high holidays more accessible.

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Clip
October 03, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Last week’s presidential debate clearly displayed the bitter hatred between candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but it couldn’t hold a candle to the contention witnessed during the 1968 debates. Liberal Gore Vidal and Conservative William Buckley were bitter political enemies that the media followed closely during the two presidential conventions. The resulting fireworks between the ideological opposites would change political media coverage and shape it into the blood sport it is today. Tonight, Director and Producer Robert Gordon joins us to discuss his Independent Lens documentary, Best of Enemies, which examines these men and their rivalry and the film “Best of Enemies” before it airs tonight on PBS

Continue Reading

Clip
October 03, 2016 at 6:27 pm

It’s been over 15 years since Amadou Diallo was brutally killed by four New York City police officers in February of 1999. Although his name may be a forgotten headline for some, his mother Kadiatou, the message that was ignited by her son’s death is as important as ever. In fact, Kadiatou is worried that the country is headed in the wrong direction. She has said, “What is going on here is like many years ago…We’re going backwards, so each time I relive my tragedy.” And the same is true for the countless other mothers of unarmed, black men that lost their lives at the hands of the police, including Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, and many others. In this installment of Listening In, we take you to a panel discussion including Kadiatou and the mother of Eric Gardner where they discuss healing New York City’s communities and putting an end to events like the ones that claimed the lives of their sons.

Continue Reading

Clip
October 03, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Jewish High Holidays. It’s a time of year when many in the Jewish community come together at their local synagogue for prayer, self-reflection and a greater sense of community. But for some, it’s physically impossible to make a trip to the synagogue. And for others, the attendance fees for holiday services may well be unaffordable. In an effort to reach more of their community, one synagogue on Long Island has gone high tech, and we take you there to see how they’re making the high holidays more accessible.

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Clip
September 30, 2016 at 6:28 pm

The University of Notre Dame is consistently ranked as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation and a celebrated leader in academics and collegiate sports. But many LGBT Catholic students and alumni feel the university falls short in supporting its lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgendered students, staff, and faculty. A group of gay and lesbian alumni from Notre […]

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Episode
September 29, 2016 at 5:47 am

Tonight, the nation is still a livewire of opinions and emotions after Monday night’s presidential debate at Hofstra University. Both political camps have been impassioned on social media and in television, including Vice President Joe Biden, who took to the stage in Philadelphia yesterday to campaign for Hillary Clinton. Tonight, as a part of our ongoing series Listening In, we’ll show you the no-holds-barred speech the vice president gave at Drexel University concerning statements Donald Trump made regarding taxes and his finances during the first presidential debate.

Next, a federal investigation is underway and disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner will potentially face federal charges over his latest sexting scandal. The FBI, as well as the NYPD, have opened preliminary investigations into allegations that Weiner exchanged sexually explicit messages with a 15-year-old high school student. This is all in addition to the existing investigation by the New York City Child Welfare Agency after images from a previous sexting scandal surfaced including his 4-year-old son. Will Anthony Weiner find himself serving time? Criminal defense attorney Paul P. Martin joins us to discuss the investigations and the charges Weiner could face if the allegations prove to be credible.

Then, another day, another corruption charge in Albany. First Sheldon Silver, then Dean Skelos. Now, the latest corruption case finds two former aides of Governor Cuomo charged by the U.S. Attorney’s office, along with a senior state official and others in connection to the governor’s signature upstate economic development program dubbed “Buffalo Billion.” This, of course, not only raises major questions about how the governor’s programs were managed, but also how the governor has handled corruption in the capitol, something he vowed to clean up when he took office. Albany Bureau Chief for Politico, Jimmy Vielkind sheds light on the current political climate in Albany and what it means for the governor and his administration.

And finally, the fight over gentrification and affordable housing in New York City is all too real for some New Yorkers. Last week, we introduced you to one of them, Raymond Tirado, who refuses to move out of his East Harlem apartment. He has turned down several buyout offers from his landlord, and is now the subject of the documentary “Last Tenant Standing in East Harlem.” Tonight we’re bringing you the other side of this story. Yi Han, the co-owner of Tirado’s building, has plans to redevelop the property and feels her project will make the Manhattan neighborhood more accessible to the middle class. She joins us with her response to the film and to tell us what challenges developers are facing as they try to build in the city.

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Clip
September 28, 2016 at 6:26 pm

The fight over gentrification and affordable housing in New York City is all too real for some New Yorkers. Last week, we introduced you to one of them, Raymond Tirado, who refuses to move out of his East Harlem apartment. He has turned down several buyout offers from his landlord, and is now the subject of the documentary “Last Tenant Standing in East Harlem.” Tonight we’re bringing you the other side of this story. Yi Han, the co-owner of Tirado’s building, has plans to redevelop the property and feels her project will make the Manhattan neighborhood more accessible to the middle class. She joins us with her response to the film and to tell us what challenges developers are facing as they try to build in the city.

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Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, the Anderson Family Fund, Judy and Josh Weston, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The Dorothy Schiff Endowment for News and Public Affairs Programming, Jody and John Arnhold, Rosalind P. Walter, Ellen and James S. Marcus, the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, Laura and Jim Ross.

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