It's A Free Country's The Mix, where we take some of the notable clips and other voices found on WNYC this week and mix 'em up. Voices are in bold, connections in italics.
The story sure to dominate the weekend is the Japanese earthquake -- one of the largest ever recorded -- which shook a caller to The Takeaway Friday afternoon, Japan time. Prime Minister Naoto Kan now has to rebuild his country, particularly the northern region around the city of Sendai. And while the damage was extensive, fears over massive destruction due to tsunamis were not borne out. Nevertheless, Rutgers professor Sean Duffy spoke with Brian Lehrer about the long-term psychological toll. Moving from natural disasters to man-made ones, this week marked hearings by NY Representative Peter King on the threat of home-grown terrorism among the US Muslim population. The hearings divided politicians and the American public alike, and Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison, a Muslim, gave emotional testimony on the dangers of maligning an entire group over the actions of a few. Speaking of the actions of a few, Republicans in Wisconsin found a loophole this week that allowed them to pass Governor Scott Walker's controversial bill to curtail collective bargaining rights. Democratic lawmakers, some of whom were still hiding out in Illinois, were not pleased -- but Walker signed the bill into law midday Friday. A little rule of law and political legitimacy is just what the newly formed Libyan opposition party wants from the international community, but President Obama continues to defend his measured approach on military intervention and other unilateral action in support of the uprising. While President Obama wants to move slowly abroad, Republicans found more ammunition in their fight to defund public broadcasting now in the person of Ron Schiller, an NPR executive caught on tape disparaging the Tea Party and playing fast and loose with his take on the funding situation. Despite quickly condemning his actions, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation) still stepped down, and Republican Eric Cantor smelled blood. Asking for a little sense of perspective was On The Media's (and WNYC's) Brooke Gladstone, a media watcher who, unfortunately, didn't have to look to far this week.