He was once one of the most powerful lawmakers in New York. Now, former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is facing the possibility of spending the next decade behind bars. On the heels of former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s 12-year prison sentence last month, Skelos and his son Adam will learn their fates in a Manhattan courtroom today. They were convicted last December of charges including bribery, conspiracy and extortion after the elder Skelos used his office to get his son roughly $300,000 worth of consulting work and a no-show job. Tonight, we are breaking down what happens in court, and taking a look at what is next for ethics reform in Albany. Then finally, he replaced Johnny Carson and made a name for himself on The Tonight Show, and now late-night legend Jay Leno joins us in a one-on-one interview to dish about his time on The Tonight Show, the current state of comedy, his car show Jay Leno’s Garage, and the presidential election. You won’t want to miss it.
He replaced Johnny Carson and made a name for himself on The Tonight Show, and now late-night legend Jay Leno joins us in a one-on-one interview to dish about his time on The Tonight Show, the current state of comedy, his car show Jay Leno’s Garage, and the presidential election. You won’t want to miss it.
Kurt Eichenwald, a senior writer for Newsweek, stops by to explain his article “American Democracy Was Broken Before Trump.” How does he view the quality of American democracy and the 2016 Presidential election? We’ll find out tonight. There was outrage and anger in Brooklyn last month when many New Yorkers showed up to the polls for the April 19 primaries and found out they couldn’t vote. Officials say over 125,000 voters were mysteriously removed from the rolls, leading New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer to launch an audit of the city’s Board of Elections. He joins us tonight with the latest on his investigation. Then next, guns and Christianity. For some in America, the two are inextricably linked. Yet is it possible to be pro-gun and pro-life? In her new documentary, The Armor of Light, filmmaker Abigail Disney follows the story of a reverend as he struggles to piece together how guns should fit into his ministry, and how they already do. She joins us to discuss the relationship between the church and guns, and how this documentary challenges those ideas. Finally, survival in the animal kingdom may just depend on making friends. Many animals, from the largest to the smallest, often bond with the most unexpected collaborators to succeed in the wild. Executive Producer of PBS Nature, Fred Kaufman, stops by to discuss the new film Nature’s Perfect Partners, which premieres on May 11th and follows the bond between some of the most unexpected pairs in the animal kingdom.
Guns and Christianity. For some in America, the two are inextricably linked. Yet is it possible to be pro-gun and pro-life? In her new documentary, The Armor of Light, filmmaker Abigail Disney follows the story of a reverend as he struggles to piece together how guns should fit into his ministry, and how they already do. She joins us to discuss the relationship between the church and guns, and how this documentary challenges those ideas.
On Wednesday, April 27th, over 700 law enforcement officers conducted a bust in a New York City housing authority complex in The Bronx. This one bust led to the arrest and indictment of over 120 suspected gang members. Despite this success and the success of similar sweeps in the city, gang-related violence has increased, accounting for half of 2015’s 1,042 shootings and 40% of its 318 murders. Shanduke McPhatter, a rehabilitated gang member, is the founder and the executive director of the nonprofit organization Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Changes, which works with formally incarcerated men and women to help them transition back into society. We discuss the increase in gang violence, G.M.A.C.C., and what steps are being taken to combat the city’s gang problems.
Next, you’ve probably heard of “The Three Tenors” and the “Three Musketeers,” but what about the “Three Doctors?” As part of our ongoing initiative “Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America,” MetroFocus contributor Mike Schneider talks to Dr. Sampson Davis about how a pact between him and his friends when they were teenagers helped him survive the mean streets of Newark and achieve his dream of being a doctor. Then finally, love horse racing? Live in New York? Want to place a bet? You can’t! Not anymore. Tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby, but as some prepare to bet on those competing on the track, we’ll look back on New York in the 1970’s when the city was the only place outside of Nevada to legalize off-track betting. During that time, OTB parlors generated millions of dollars in bets each year, before it was wiped out in 2010. Filmmaker Joseph Fusco covers the rise and fall of this notorious chapter in his new documentary “Finish Line: The Rise and Demise of Off Track Betting.”
He sings, and she reports. Rock legend Rod Stewart and Hoda Kotb, a co-host of NBC’s Today Show, have a lot to talk about. Stewart is still touring and performing on some of the biggest stages around the world, but he recently took a break to appear on a different kind of stage with Kotb at New York’s 92nd Street Y. Tonight we listen in on their conversation as they discuss one of his most iconic songs.
He was once one of the most powerful politicians in New York: one of the so-called “three men in the room” alongside former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Governor Andrew Cuomo. Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was convicted last year on seven counts of corruption charges, which included honest-services fraud, extortion and money laundering. Prosecutors had said that Silver accumulated nearly $4 million dollars in kickbacks from arrangements involving a real-estate company and an oncologist. Now, after nearly six months, Silver is set to receive his sentence, and we’re here to discuss its implications. Next, Auschwitz or Bergen-Belsen might immediately bring to mind the horrors of the Holocaust and concentration camps, but do you know the word Treblinka? If not, then you should. Treblinka was a Nazi extermination camp that operated for just fifteen months during World War II. In that time, as many as 1 million people were murdered in its gas chambers, with thousands of men, women, and children killed every day. In the end, only about 100 people were liberated from the camp. The last witness to the horrors within Treblinka, Samuel Willenberg, died this past February, but not before sharing his testimony of what happened behind the death camp’s walls. That testimony will be heard in PBS’ Treblinka’s Last Witness on May 4, but tonight, we have Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, to talk about Treblinka’s legacy and Samuel Willenberg. Then finally, “Mercedes Benz,” “Me and Bobby McGee,” and “Piece of My Heart.” Janis Joplin will always be remembered as a rock and roll legend, both in her career and her life, which ended tragically at just 27 years old due to a heroin overdose. Janis’ sister, Laura Joplin, joins us 45 years later to remember her sister’s life, and explosive voice, in anticipation of the new American Masters documentary Janis: Little Girl Blue, which premieres nationwide tonight.
“Mercedes Benz,” “Me and Bobby McGee,” and “Piece of My Heart.” Janis Joplin will always be remembered as a rock and roll legend, both in her career and her life, which ended tragically at just 27 years old due to a heroin overdose. Janis’ sister, Laura Joplin, joins us 45 years later to remember her sister’s life, and explosive voice, in anticipation of the new American Masters documentary Janis: Little Girl Blue, which premieres nationwide tonight.
Lately there has been plenty of finger-pointing among Republicans over what led to the rise of Donald Trump and his status as GOP front runner. Steven Rattner, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and a former treasury advisor to President Obama, believes he knows the real reason for the billionaire businessman’s ascension and joins us tonight to share his take. Hint: Republicans should take a long, hard look at themselves. A year ago, Carmelyn Malalis took over as Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Within weeks of being in office, Malalis vowed to enforce the city’s human rights laws and revitalize the agency. Now, we speak with her to see what has been accomplished and what still needs to be done for undocumented immigrants who find themselves at the mercy of the law and discrimination. Every year, on the first Monday in May, New York City hosts its most fashionable and star-studded party, held by The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Not many score a ticket to the affair, organized by Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, and even less get to see what goes into planning the event. Now, in a new documentary, The First Monday in May, filmmaker Andrew Rossi gives us an inside look into last year’s exclusive Met Gala. He joins us to discuss the documentary and the extravagant “A-list” metropolitan event. Then finally, is the Bronx heading towards a renaissance? An article in the American Prospect is calling attention to new businesses and investments that are injecting the northern-most borough with greater life. Bronx Council Member Ritchie Torres and executive editor of the American Prospect Harold Meyerson analyze this revival and consider whether or not these small changes are indicators of what’s to come.