Episode
July 15, 2016 at 5:32 am

Tonight, in the age of iPhones and constant contact with the internet, technology has made it easier for people to record interactions with police. In fact, there is a decades-old consent decree preserving the right to do just that. But now, a New York City man named Ruben An is in the midst of a legal battle after he recorded a conversation between three officers and a man on the sidewalk in July 2014. An was held in jail for 15 hours and charged with obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. A year later, the case went to trial and the jury found An not guilty on all counts. Now, An is filing a lawsuit to affirm that he was in the right the day he was arrested, and that the arrest violated his constitutional rights, on top of issuing a permanent injunction that would bar the NYPD from interfering with or retaliating against citizen videographers. Tonight, Ruben An’s attorneys on this case, Joshua Carrin and Cynthia Conti-Cook join us to discuss this unique case. Next, food waste is perhaps one of the biggest problems in the world that people are not talking about. You may not realize it, but statistics show the average American throws away over 20 pounds of food each month. With about 15 million children living in food insecure households nationwide, new programs are now being adopted in communities across the country to make sure leftovers end up on dinner plates – and not in landfills. New York City is no exception. As part of our ongoing reporting initiative, Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America, we’re taking a look at this problem with help from The Huffington Post, which recently launched a campaign called “Reclaim” to cut down on food waste. Then finally, meet the man who raised a generation and redefined comedy television in the 70’s. Norman Lear is best known for his hit shows like All in the Family, The Jeffersons and Sanford and Son; titles that laid the groundwork for a new era in sitcoms and created a format that would be reused for countless other shows. Lear is now the subject of the newest American Masters installment, Norman Lear: Another Version of You, and he takes some time out to sit down with us and discuss the documentary.

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July 14, 2016 at 6:29 pm

In the age of iPhones and constant contact with the internet, technology has made it easier for people to record interactions with police. In fact, there is a decades-old consent decree preserving the right to do just that. But now, a New York City man named Ruben An is in the midst of a legal battle after he recorded a conversation between three officers and a man on the sidewalk in July 2014. An was held in jail for 15 hours and charged with obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. A year later, the case went to trial and the jury found An not guilty on all counts. Now, An is filing a lawsuit to affirm that he was in the right the day he was arrested, and that the arrest violated his constitutional rights, on top of issuing a permanent injunction that would bar the NYPD from interfering with or retaliating against citizen videographers. Tonight, Ruben An’s attorneys on this case, Joshua Carrin and Cynthia Conti-Cook join us to discuss this unique case.

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Episode
July 06, 2016 at 5:30 am

Have you ever heard of the expression ‘mob shaming?’ It’s formal definition is “a large group or crowd of people who are angry or difficult to control. Mob shaming has happened since the beginning of civilization and with the invention of social media and the internet, a cyber mob can dole out more damage than the stereotypical torch-and-pitchforks horde. It’s hard to imagine being the subject of such hate, but one 18-year-old, Tyler Clementi, didn’t have to. Clementi was a talented violinist and a freshman at Rutgers University when he was outed by his college roommate as gay by having an intimate encounter secretly streamed live not only to the entire campus, but to the world via Twitter. He experienced it, paid the ultimate price for it, and remains an example of not only how mob shaming can affect a person, but the struggles that LGBT youth face. Now, Tyler Clementi’s mother, Jane, and older brother, James, join us to talk about their personal tragedy and how they turned his death into something powerful.

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June 30, 2016 at 6:28 pm

The New York Aquarium in Brooklyn is the oldest continually operating aquarium in the United States. The Wildlife Conservation Society oversees it and four other zoos in New York, and now this beloved aquarium is getting a face-lift. So what can the city’s marine-life-lovers expect from the changes? Cristian Samper, President and CEO of The Wildlife Conservation Society gives us a preview.

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Episode
June 28, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, Newsday political editor Jack Sirica takes us inside some of the most contentious primary races in the state taking place tomorrow, and explores the impact of their outcomes for New York ahead of the November election. We also discuss the proposal by Councilman Joe Borelli for Staten Island to secede from New York City. Next, Author & Journalist Tavis Smiley joins us to address the biggest political issues facing America currently. The host of the Tavis Smiley Show on PBS discusses his Ending Poverty Initiative and his thoughts on how President Obama has handled the poverty crisis plaguing the nation. Smiley, who in the past has termed Donald Trump a ‘religious and racial arsonist’, also offers his perspective on the 2016 presidential election and how the Republican nominee has resonated with a large swath of voters across the country. Finally, Marilu Henner, best known for starring on the hit sitcom ‘Taxi,’ joins us with her husband Michael Brown to discuss how they beat Brown’s bladder and lung cancer. And get this: they did it without chemotherapy or radiation. Together, they tell the story in Henner’s new autobiography ‘Changing Normal: How I Helped My Husband Beat Cancer.’

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June 27, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Marilu Henner, best known for starring on the hit sitcom ‘Taxi,’ joins us with her husband Michael Brown to discuss how they beat Brown’s bladder and lung cancer. And get this: they did it without chemotherapy or radiation. Together, they tell the story in Henner’s new autobiography ‘Changing Normal: How I Helped My Husband Beat Cancer.’

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Episode
June 15, 2016 at 5:36 am

Tonight, it’s Gay Pride month, and while New York City is preparing to celebrate with an array of events, many people are paying tribute to those who lost their lives this weekend in Orlando. Since news of the tragedy broke, crowds of people have been gathered outside of the iconic Stonewall Inn to hold vigil and remember the victims. Last night, New York City Council Member Corey Johnson joined mourners to help them cope and grieve over the tragedy. Tonight, he’ll be with us to talk about the LGBT community and discuss how the city will continue to pay homage to the victims as they celebrate this month. Next, investigations of Sunday’s attack in Orlando have revealed that the gunman, Omar Mateen, was previously questioned by the FBI for making inflammatory comments to co-workers in 2013 and for having possible connections to an American suicide bomber in 2014. The agency closed both investigations, finding that Mateen was not a threat at that time. Now questions are swirling about what law enforcement might have missed leading up to the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Former Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey joins us to explain the challenges facing investigators as they track suspected ISIS supporters, and how Mateen could have carried out an attack of this magnitude, undetected. Finally, we’ve all heard of smart phones but what about “smart guns”? So-called “smart gun” technology is actually not a thing of the future. It’s here already, and gun control advocates are continuing to push for more of it following the latest mass shooting in Orlando. Now New York City college students could play a role in improving the technology. As part of a competition rolled out earlier this year, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is asking students to help design a firearm with a trigger that can only be fired by an authorized user. Adams joins us tonight to talk about his plan and tell us why he’s pushing for “smarter” guns.

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June 14, 2016 at 6:27 pm

We’ve all heard of smart phones but what about “smart guns”? So-called “smart gun” technology is actually not a thing of the future. It’s here already, and gun control advocates are continuing to push for more of it following the latest mass shooting in Orlando. Now New York City college students could play a role in improving the technology. As part of a competition rolled out earlier this year, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is asking students to help design a firearm with a trigger that can only be fired by an authorized user. Adams joins us tonight to talk about his plan and tell us why he’s pushing for “smarter” guns.

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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, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Rosalind P. Walter, The Dorothy Schiff Endowment for News and Public Affairs Programming, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Jody and John Arnhold, the Tiger Baron Foundation, the Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, the Metropolitan Media Fund, Laura and Jim Ross, the Dorothy Pacella Fund, in memory of Vincent Pacella and Shailaja and Umesh Nagarkatte.

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