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The Bob Edwards Show Schedule (December 15-19, 2014)




Monday, December 15, 2014: This week, we’re replaying some of our favorite documentaries from the past decade. In the summer of 2012, we visited the military’s billion-dollar National Training Center and met some of the people who prepared our troops for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Covering more than a thousand square miles of California’s Mojave Desert, Ft. Irwin and the NTC includes realistic mock villages populated by role playing Iraqi nationals and military spouses who are looking for a way to contribute to the war effort.  We also witness a group of Army reservists training in a “trauma lane.”  Amid IED blasts and sniper fire, the untested medics have to deal with role players pretending to be the enemy, frightened villagers demanding their attention and actual amputees who act like they just lost their legs in the explosion.  Their commander, Sergeant First Class Bertran Schultz, describes the action and gives a blow by blow account of what his men are getting right and wrong. Then, for something completely different… we head to Nashville to visit WSM’s historic and unique broadcasting tower and a guided tour from chief engineer Jason Cooper. The station’s studios were damaged in the flood of May 2010 WSM had been broadcasting from a cramped building at the tower for the past seven months.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014: We’re continuing documentary week today. In 2008, Bob spent hours interviewing homeless men, women and children, social workers and government officials to learn about the problem of homeless families and kids. The resulting documentary, The Invisible – Children without Homes won the Edward R. Murrow Award that year for presenting the story about economics, education, healthcare, and culture.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014: We’re replaying some of our favorite documentaries this week and today we go all the way back to 2006.  On a reporting trip to Arizona, Bob spoke with agents Gustavo Soto and Jose Garza, both ten-year veterans of the Border Patrol. Agent Soto drove us down to the border at Nogales, where we witness an apprehension.  Then we joined Samaritan volunteers Michael Hyatt and Dr. Bob Cairns, as they drove along Highway 286 towards Mexico, keeping an eye out for dehydrated migrants in need of medical attention. Twelve miles from the border, we came upon a group of Border Patrol agents arresting a dozen migrants. One of the migrants appeared dazed and had a bloody wound on the top of his head.

Thursday, December 18, 2014: We’re continuing documentary week with some of our favorites from the archives.  Today we feature our award winning production from 2012 titled An “Occupational Hazard”: Rape in the Military.  One in three active-duty women serving the US military has reported being the victim of sexual assault, which is double the rate for civilians.  Based on estimates from the Department of Defense, 19,000 servicemen and women were sexually assaulted in 2010 and most of those violent acts don’t get reported because in the military, victims are required to report up their chain of command.  Defending itself in civilian court in 2011, the Pentagon argued that sexual assault is an “occupational hazard” in the military.  We’ll hear from servicemen and women about their military sexual trauma, from advocates who help treat and raise awareness about the problem, and lawmakers about what is and isn’t being done to change the culture that protects these sexual perpetrators.

Friday, December 19, 2014: We conclude documentary week with our first award winning production. Today Bob takes up the controversial issue of mountaintop removal in the south-central Appalachian Mountains with our 2006 documentary called Exploding Heritage.  The method of extracting coal by blowing off the tops of mountains is devastating to plant and animal life and causing trouble for the people who live nearby. Bob explores how mountaintop removal is leveling the oldest mountain range in America — leaving the landscape, the local economy and the local culture ravaged.



Bob Edwards Weekend Lineup (December 13-14, 2014)



In 1968, Stanford ecologist Paul Ehrlich published the best-selling book The Population Bomb. He was criticized for making false, doomsday predictions although Ehrlich maintains that, if anything, his book was overly optimistic. Now in his 80s, Ehrlich is still teaching, researching and publishing. He talked with Bob about his 2010 book titled Humanity on a Tightrope, which examines ways to create a sustainable society capable of preserving the planet.

Bob talks with the top-selling rock duo of all time, Daryl Hall and John Oates.  After more than 40 years of recording together, the Philadelphia musicians have enough songs to fill up a four-CD, 74-track collection, 28 of them Top 40 hits. The boxed set is called,Do What You Want, Be What You Are: The Music of Daryl Hall and John Oates.



Philosophy in America is alive and well and can be found on the backs of our cars. For decades, the humble bumper sticker has been a platform for a national conversation about the human condition.  Bob speaks with philosopher and author Jack Bowen about his book If You Can Read This: The Philosophy of Bumper Stickers.

Christopher Plummer is one of the greatest actors of both the stage and the screen.  And he also turns 85 this weekend. He talks with Bob about some of his best-known roles and about his memoir.  In Spite of Myself chronicles Plummer’s seemingly foolhardy move to abandon his upper-class Canadian home for New York City’s theaters.



Max von Sydow

NOTE: This blog entry originally appeared in February 2012

by Chad Campbell, senior producer

Max von Sydow as “The Renter”Actor Max von Sydow first came to my attention as the arch villain Ming the Merciless in the 1980 Flash Gordon remake. I was an impressionable nine year old then. A year later, von Sydow was a soccer loving, “nice” Nazi officer in Victory. Next I saw him as Brewmeister Smith in Strange Brew. I probably didn’t know what range was back then, but Max von Sydow has demonstrated that he has it - though he complains that he’s been typecast during his six decade career on stage and screen. He has portrayed priests, doctors, popes, cardinals, dads, grandfathers, a James Bond villain, Jesus Christ and the devil to name just a few more of his many roles. His latest earned von Sydow an Oscar nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category. In Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, he plays “The Renter” and his character does not speak a word in the film, having taken a vow of silence decades earlier. Before all of those movie and TV roles, von Sydow worked on the Swedish stage performing an untold number of plays with the acclaimed director Ingmar Bergman. He still reveres his mentor and credits Bergman for making him better. The pair went on to produce 11 films together, including The Seventh Seal, where von Sydow is a knight who challenges Death to a game of chess.

And just for fun, here’s a delightful stop-action re-imagining of that scene called The Seventh Skol.



Sculpture and Drawing with Richard Serra

NOTE: This blog entry is from May of 2011

Few sculptors can claim the renown and success that Richard Serra has achieved in his forty year career.  But a new show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City titled Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective focuses on Serra’s skills on paper, a segment of his work often overlooked by the public.  This is the first retrospective of Serra’s drawings and shows the varied abilities of this visionary artist and runs through August. Serra is much better known for his massive installations made of curved steel. His retrospective Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years was on display in 2007 at the Museum of Modern Art.

The Bob Edwards Show Schedule (December 8-12, 2014)

Monday, December 8, 2014: Bob talks with Mac McCaughan about running a very successful independent record label and heading up two bands that are darlings of college radio.  McCaughan is a co-founder of North Carolina’s Merge Records and his two bands are Superchunk and Portastatic. His label is celebrating its 25th year in 2014.  Then, Bob visits with Irish singer and songwriter Sinead O’Connor. They’ll discuss her long and confounding career in music, her family and her thoughts on religion.  In 2007, the singer was here to promote her CD titled Theology.  Today is Sinead O’Connor’s 48th birthday.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014: “A novel is a great act of passion and intellect, carpentry and largess,” writes Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline and other best-sellers. In 2010, Conroy wrote about the books that shaped him, the books in which he found solace, the books that made him want to become a writer, the books he says saved his life. It’s called My Reading Life. Then Bob talks with Conroy about his latest book, The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014: Bob talks with Nando Parrado about his book Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home.  Parrado was one of the Uruguayan rugby players whose airplane crashed in the Andes Mountains on October 13, 1972. The survivors did their best to keep warm and resorted to cannibalism to stay alive. They were rescued on December 23rd.  Then, another story of survival against long odds. At the beginning of World War II, just as Hitler’s army was invading Poland – 30 members of two local Jewish families sought refuge in a series of caves. The documentary No Place on Earth tells the story of the Stermer and the Wexler families who lived underground for 511 days. Bob speaks with filmmaker Janet Tobias and Sonia Dodyk who was just a little girl when she lived in the cave with her family.  In 2010, Dodyk and four other survivors returned to the site with their grandchildren.

Thursday, December 11, 2014: Bob speaks with music biographer, Peter Guralnick. He’s written extensively about American music, including biographies of Robert Johnson and Elvis Presley.  Guralnick is also the author of Dream Boogie, the most thorough account ever written about the life and death of Sam Cooke.  The R&B legend died 50 years ago today.

Friday, December 12, 2014: Christopher Plummer is one of the greatest actors of both the stage and the screen.  He talks with Bob about his memoir, In Spite of Myself which chronicles his seemingly foolhardy move to abandon his upper-class Canadian home for New York City’s theaters. Then, actor Max von Sydow has portrayed priests, doctors, dads, a James Bond villain, Jesus Christ, the devil, an assassin, a soccer loving Nazi and Ming the Merciless in a Flash Gordon remake, to name just a few of his many roles. Bob talks with the Swedish-born actor about his long career and about his second Oscar nomination for his part as “the renter” in the 2011 film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.