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Smiley & West : About

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Smiley & West from Public Radio International (PRI) is an energetic radio program that is a fusion of thought provoking, intelligent and stimulating dialogue on every subject from news & politics to entertainment & culture. The one-hour weekly show attracts a broad spectrum of compelling guests and asks questions that solicits newsworthy discussions. Listen as Smiley & West engage in deep dialogue in the “Hot Stuff” segment where the duo dissects the hottest news topics.  The most engaging portion of the show encourages audience interaction in the “Take ‘Em to Task”segment when a caller debates Smiley & West on a political or social issue. Finally, what would a Smiley & West show be without provocative discussions with A-list newsmakers, celebrities, great thinkers and doers of our time! Get Ready…it’s time for Smiley & West!

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Latest Stories from Smiley & West

Noam Chomsky: The Final Smiley & West

Friday, December 27 2013 05:00 AM

M.I.T. professor emeritus Noam Chomsky reflects on eight decades of struggle. Plus, Smiley and West share highlights from their favorite conversations and say goodbye.

Jeffrey Stout

Friday, December 20 2013 05:00 AM

Princeton religion professor Jeffrey Stout highlights the success stories in the struggle for justice, as laid out in his latest text, "Blessed Are the Organized: Grassroots Democracy in America". Plus, Smiley and West look back on

Arundhati Roy and Randall Robinson

Friday, December 13 2013 05:00 AM

Arundhati Roy, author of the new text "Capitalism: A Ghost Story", has an update from the front lines of the world's biggest democracy, India. Plus, TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson reflects on his friendship with Nelson

Arundhati Roy and Randall Robinson

Friday, December 13 2013 05:00 AM

Arundhati Roy, author of the new text "Capitalism: A Ghost Story", has an update from the front lines of the world's biggest democracy, India. Plus, TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson reflects on his friendship with Nelson

Remembering Nelson Mandela

Friday, December 06 2013 05:00 AM

Smiley and West reflect on the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela with former Congressman Ron Dellums, current Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and actress Alfre Woodard, co-founder of Artists for a New South Africa.

Andrew Young and Remembering Fred Hampton

Friday, November 29 2013 05:00 AM

Ambassador Andrew Young, former congressman and Atlanta mayor, reflects on his role in the civil rights movement and friendship with Martin Luther King Jr. Plus, in commemoration of the assassination of Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton 44 years

Dr. David Satcher

Friday, November 22 2013 05:00 AM

Dr. David Satcher, former surgeon general, offers his diagnosis of Obamacare and solutions for fighting youth violence. Plus, Smiley and West reflect on the murder of Renisha McBride, Tim Geithner's move to Wall Street, and the 2016 chances of

Dr. Helen Caldicott

Friday, November 15 2013 05:00 AM

Dr. Helen Caldicott, former president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, prescribes a cure for what ails our polluted planet: a nuclear-free world. Plus, Smiley and West reflect on the tragedy in the Philippines and bullying in the NFL. And, a

Kumi Naidoo from Greenpeace

Friday, November 08 2013 05:00 AM

Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International, gives us an update on the "Arctic 30" held in Russia. Plus, Smiley and West reflect on the torture taskforce, terrorist labeling, and Edward Snowden's denied clemency.

Peter Gelderloos

Friday, November 01 2013 04:00 AM

Activist Peter Gelderloos expands on his new book, "The Failure of Nonviolence". Plus, Smiley and West reflect on the buzz over Barney's and the $5 billion food stamps cut, and a listener from New Jersey takes them to task for

Steve McQueen

Friday, October 25 2013 04:00 AM

Director Steve McQueen tells us about his new film "12 Years A Slave". Plus, Smiley and West reflect on Washington's "grand bargain", the multi-billion settlement with J.P. Morgan, and the new U.N. report on

Austan Goolsbee and Sherrilyn Ifill

Friday, October 18 2013 04:00 AM

Austan Goolsbee, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, explains how the shutdown will hurt the economy, even now that it's over. Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund,

Mairead Maguire

Friday, October 11 2013 04:00 AM

1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire explains why she's still fighting for peace and justice. Plus, Smiley and West's analysis of the paralysis and the tragedy of political prisoners Herman Wallace and Lynne Stewart.

Garry Shandling, George Clinton, Frank Rich, and Michael Fauntroy

Friday, October 04 2013 04:00 AM

With West away, Smiley dissects the government shutdown with Howard University professor Michael Fauntroy. Plus, in celebration of our 3rd anniversary, highlights from our three original conversations with Garry Shandling, Frank Rich, and George

Sen. Rand Paul and Esperanza Spalding

Friday, September 27 2013 04:00 AM

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) lays out his position on Syria and poverty, while Grammy Award winner Esperanza Spalding tells Smiley and West what it's like to collaborate with one of her heroes, Wayne Shorter.

Jose Cha Cha Jimenez

Friday, September 20 2013 04:00 AM

Jose "Cha Cha" Jimenez shares the oral history of the Young Lords Movement, which he founded 45 years ago this week. Plus, Smiley and West reflect on the mass murder-suicide at Washington's Navy Yard, and the killing of Jonathan

Norm Stamper, Stanley Aronowitz, and Remembering Birmingham

Friday, September 13 2013 04:00 AM

Former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper explains why he now speaks out against drones, stop-and-frisk, and the war on drugs; West speaks with one of his mentors, CUNY Graduate Center professor Stanley Aronowitz; and Birmingham terrorism victim

Wayne Shorter

Friday, September 06 2013 04:00 AM

Legendary saxman and composer Wayne Shorter celebrates his 80th birthday and a new collaboration with Esperanza Spalding. Plus, Smiley and West lay out why a U.S.-led attack on Syria would be illegal and immoral, and West is taken to task for his

Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker

Friday, August 30 2013 04:00 AM

Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker reflects on his time as the SCLC chief of staff and chief minister at Harlem's Canaan Baptist Church, Smiley and West look back on an eventful week and forward to the possible invasion of Syria, and West is taken to task by

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Friday, August 23 2013 04:00 AM

Smiley and West reflect on the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom with those who were there including Congressman John Lewis, the late Dorothy Height, Clarence B. Jones, Peter Yarrow and Noel

The Oratorical Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, August 18 2013 04:00 AM

In celebration of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom 50 years ago this month, Smiley and West reflect on a curated selection of speeches and sermons by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Salute to our Sisters

Friday, August 09 2013 04:00 AM

Highlights of Smiley and West's conversations with Code Pink activist Medea Benjamin, Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis, trailblazing leader Cecilia Fire Thunder, author bell hooks, Sister Helen Prejean, and environmental crusader Erin

Julian Assange Remastered

Friday, August 02 2013 04:00 AM

A remastered version of West's conversation with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, recorded last May at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Remembering Helen Thomas

Friday, July 26 2013 04:00 AM

Smiley and West's 2011 conversation with former White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who passed away this week.

Angela Lansbury, James Earl Jones, and Gore Vidal

Friday, July 26 2013 04:00 AM

Legendary actress Angela Lansbury takes us inside her recent Australian tour of "Driving Miss Daisy" with actor James Earl Jones, who was also her co-star in last year's Broadway revival of Gore Vidal's "The Best

Keb' Mo'

Friday, July 19 2013 04:00 AM

Blues guitarist Keb' Mo' traces his roots, from straight outta Compton to Nashville, via the Delta blues. Plus, Smiley and West reflect on the legal lynching in Florida and what it means for justice going forward.

Dorothy Cotton

Friday, July 12 2013 04:00 AM

Dorothy Cotton, former education director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, takes us to the front lines of the civil rights movement, then and now. Plus, Smiley and West reflect on President Obama's meeting with the Congressional

Tom Daschle, Ron Dellums, David Bonior and Dick Gregory

Friday, July 05 2013 04:00 AM

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle explains why Congress is gripped by gridlock and greed. Plus, Ron Dellums recalls the day he met Nelson Mandela with the late Congressman Bill Gray, David Bonior reflects on his time as John Edwards'

Susan Herman

Friday, June 28 2013 04:00 AM

ACLU President Susan Herman shares her legal perspective on this month's historic Supreme Court decisions. Plus, Smiley and West reflect on the political implications of those decisions, the global manhunt for Edward Snowden, and the start of the

Detroit Walk to Freedom special

Friday, June 21 2013 04:00 AM

Smiley and West celebrate the 50th anniversary of Detroit's Walk to Freedom with PBS host Tony Brown, former Congressman David Bonior, singer Aretha Franklin, activist Grace Lee Boggs, and comedian Dick Gregory.

Lawrence Lessig and Farah Jasmine Griffin

Friday, June 14 2013 04:00 AM

Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig reflects on the NSA controversy and lays out his plan for comprehensive campaign finance reform. Plus, Columbia professor Farah Jasmine Griffin talks about the history of surveillance in the civil rights movement,

George Benson

Friday, June 07 2013 04:00 AM

Jazz guitarist George Benson celebrates his new album, "Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole". Plus, Smiley and West reflect on the start of whistleblower Bradley Manning's trial and Susan Rice's appointment as National

Bob Newhart and Medea Benjamin

Friday, May 31 2013 04:00 AM

Legendary comedian Bob Newhart recalls his days in Chicago and his hilarious interaction with fellow comic genius, Richard Pryor. Plus, with Smiley away, activist Medea Benjamin joins West in the Hot Stuff to reflect on her

Karen Lewis

Friday, May 24 2013 04:00 AM

Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis critiques the largest school closing plan in U.S. history, approved this week by the Chicago school board. Plus, Smiley and West reflect on President Obama's political predicaments, in light of his

Maceo Parker and Bill Ayers

Saturday, May 18 2013 04:00 AM

Maceo Parker looks back at his days with James Brown and the legacy of funk music, as laid out in his new autobiography 98% Funky Stuff: My Life in Music and his new album Soul Classics. Plus, controversial activist Bill Ayers, author of the upcoming

Julian Assange and Rashad Robinson

Friday, May 10 2013 04:00 AM

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sits down with West at the Ecuadorian embassy in London to talk about his latest text, Cypherpunks. Plus, Color of Change executive director Rashad Robinson tells Smiley and West about his group's successful

Cecilia Fire Thunder

Friday, May 03 2013 04:00 AM

Cecilia Fire Thunder, the first female president of the Oglala Sioux tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, commemorates the uprising at Wounded Knee, which ended 40 years ago this week. Plus, Smiley and West reflect on the deadly indifference in Texas

Herbie Hancock

Friday, April 26 2013 04:00 AM

Legendary musician Herbie Hancock, now a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO, celebrates International Jazz Day. Plus, Smiley and West reflect on America's identity crisis over the Boston bombing suspect, the Senate's drone hearings, and the

Bob Moses

Friday, April 19 2013 04:00 AM

Civil rights leader Bob Moses reflects on 50 years of struggle, and more than 30 years teaching young people algebra. Plus, Smiley and West reflect on the bombings in Boston, Afghanistan, and Iraq, the deadly drone bombings in Pakistan, and the death

Erin Brockovich

Friday, April 12 2013 04:00 AM

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich explains how she's helping victims of a sinkhole in Louisiana. Plus, Smiley and West reflect on this week's immigration protest on Capitol Hill, President Obama's cuts to Social Security and