On Becoming Host of Bearing Drift’s “The Score”
Astute readers of Bearing Drift have probably already noticed that, starting with this weekend’s episode, I became the host and producer of “The Score,” our long-running podcast.
“The Score” is also broadcast over the airwaves on WINC 1400 AM and WINC 104.9 FM in Winchester, Virginia. In addition, “The Score” can also be heard around the world on Red State Talk Radio Network, its affiliates, and on its Roku channel and free Android app.
This week’s guests on “The Score” are Elliott Harding, former legislative director for Congressman Tom Garrett (R-VA5), who talks about a bill that would reduce students’ debts in return for their deferring retirement and, in the second half-hour, assesses Republican Party politics in Virginia; Libertarian Party nominee for the U.S. Senate Matt Waters; and Marian Tupy of the Cato Institute, who answers my questions about Africa’s economic future.
If you’re in the vicinity of WINC’s AM and FM signals, you can listen to “The Score” at 7:00 o’clock on Saturday morning, preceded by “America This Week” and followed by “In the Garden with Andre Viette.”
Hosting a radio show has long been an ambition of mine. It probably dates to my earliest days listening to talk radio in Milwaukee as a teenager. Back then it was a late-night program on WEMP-AM hosted by Ira Fistell. His mix of interviews with authors and celebrities with listener call-ins was still new in the early 1970s (before the FCC repealed the “fairness doctrine“) but it set a standard for me.
I also appreciated and learned from Joey Reynolds‘ laid-back, conversational style manifested in his longtime overnight program from WOR-AM in New York City. Because, really, what is an interview but a form of conversation?
In my career as a public policy analyst, author, and activist, I have been a guest on more radio and TV programs than I can count, in studios from Las Vegas to New York to Johannesburg and by phone across North America and around the world. In the early 1990s, I was co-host of a cable access show in Arlington, Virginia, called “Politics: Landry vs. Sincere” and I was a correspondent, book reviewer, and anchor on “Gay Fairfax,” a news magazine show originating in Northern Virginia but bicycled to cable systems throughout the Mid-Atlantic.
I have been contributing interview segments to “The Score” since I began writing for Bearing Drift in late 2011, with spots featuring Virginia politicians like former governors George Allen, Bob McDonnell, and Doug Wilder; Senators Tim Kaine, Mark Warner, and Jim Webb; and Members of the House of Representatives like Eric Cantor, Tom Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, and Robert Hurt — not to mention numerous candidates for public office, members of the General Assembly, and authors and experts on public policy issues. (Scroll through “The Score” archive to track those down.) My thanks to former host Scott Lee and former producer Norm Leahy for those opportunities.
In addition to all this, I have been a happy participant in the weekly political roundtable on Coy Barefoot’s “Inside Charlottesville” show on 94.7 WPVC-FM, along with fellow panelists Jackson Landers and Shaun Kenney. You can listen to us live on Monday afternoons at 5:00 o’clock. There’s a livestream of the program and it is also archived as a podcast on InsideCville.com.
In this new role, I will be seeking interviews with anyone whose views and insights will be interesting to readers (listeners, too) of Virginia’s top news and politics web site. This includes Republicans, Libertarians, and Democrats — or the politically unaffiliated. It will include authors, pundits, and think-tank or academic experts on a wide variety of public policy issues, as well as elected officials and candidates for public office.
On occasion, it will include interviews touching on my primary professional interest, Africa (note: I also host the news aggregator, Sub-Saharan Monitor, published by New World University). Suggestions for potential interview subjects or topics that deserve our attention are welcome. (You may leave suggestions in the comment section, below.)
The past week has been a whirlwind as I taught myself the basics of editing a 55-minute radio program but I hope the result is easy listening to provocative and timely interviews that inform our audiences and stimulate their conversations. One aim: to syndicate the show to more broadcast stations, not just in Virginia but elsewhere in the United States, too. If your favorite radio station could use some fresh content, please recommend “The Score” to its program director.