Episode
October 06, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, sparks flew as Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and Indiana Governor Mike Pence defended their respective running mates at the vice presidential debate last night. Kaine repeatedly attacked Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, and drew criticism for interrupting Pence throughout their debate. For the most part, Pence remained even-tempered and was tapped as the winner of the night by many pundits. But not everyone saw it that way. The New York Times published an editorial saying Pence set out to invent a new version of Trump and ignored his running mate’s history of controversial comments. To help us put it all in perspective, we’ll be joined tonight by Amy Holmes, a political analyst for the polling company Rasmussen Reports, and Mike Morey, a Democratic strategist.

Next, last month, the bodies of Nisa Mickens, 15, and Kayla Cuevas, 16, were found viciously beaten near an elementary school just one week before the remains of Oscar Acosta, 19, and Miguel Garcia-Moran, 15, were uncovered just two miles away. Officials have since attributed their deaths to gang violence, specifically the work of Mara Salvatrucha, better known as MS-13. MS-13 is a gang with roots in Los Angeles and El Salvador and for almost 20 years they have tormented the residents of the Long Island town of Brentwood. Local members of MS-13 have been accused of at least 14 murders since 2009. Now, in the wake of these four tragic deaths, authorities are redoubling their efforts to protect the community. New York Times reporter Liz Robbins joins us to give us an in-depth look into these horrifying events and discuss what steps are being taken to curb the violence.

Finally, on October 5, 1969, a group of actors dubbed themselves Monty Python’s Flying Circus and brought sketch comedy to British television and endless laughter to living rooms around the world. The show, later shortened to Monty Python, wasn’t originally meant to make the crossover to America, but the contagiously hilarious antics of the troupe eventually found a home on PBS. Tonight, we sit down with Monty Pythoner John Cleese to discuss the show’s monumental run from it’s humble beginnings to its international success.

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October 05, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Sparks flew as Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and Indiana Governor Mike Pence defended their respective running mates at the vice presidential debate last night. Kaine repeatedly attacked Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, and drew criticism for interrupting Pence throughout their debate. For the most part, Pence remained even-tempered and was tapped as the winner of the night by many pundits. But not everyone saw it that way. The New York Times published an editorial saying Pence set out to invent a new version of Trump and ignored his running mate’s history of controversial comments. To help us put it all in perspective, we’ll be joined tonight by Amy Holmes, a political analyst for the polling company Rasmussen Reports, and Mike Morey, a Democratic strategist.

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Clip
October 05, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Last month, the bodies of Nisa Mickens, 15, and Kayla Cuevas, 16, were found viciously beaten near an elementary school just one week before the remains of Oscar Acosta, 19, and Miguel Garcia-Moran, 15, were uncovered just two miles away. Officials have since attributed their deaths to gang violence, specifically the work of Mara Salvatrucha, better known as MS-13. MS-13 is a gang with roots in Los Angeles and El Salvador and for almost 20 years they have tormented the residents of the Long Island town of Brentwood. Local members of MS-13 have been accused of at least 14 murders since 2009. Now, in the wake of these four tragic deaths, authorities are redoubling their efforts to protect the community. New York Times reporter Liz Robbins joins us to give us an in-depth look into these horrifying events and discuss what steps are being taken to curb the violence.

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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 6:29 pm

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.

Continue Reading

Clip
October 04, 2016 at 6:28 pm

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.

Continue Reading

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 6:29 pm

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.

Continue Reading

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

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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, the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, Laura and Jim Ross, and Shailaja and Umesh Nagarkatte.

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