New Bill To Cover Pre-existing Conditions, Pop Culture Tour, Sheriff David Clarke May Go To DHS

Air Date:
Heard On Central Time

A new package of bills would require Wisconsin insurers to ensure coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. We find out about the details. We also talk with a man who’s spent years covering American pop culture about what’s captivating him today. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, a polarizing and controversial figure nationwide, has said that he will be leaving his post to work for the Trump administration. We’ll find out why one journalist says that would be good for Milwaukee.

Featured in this Show

  • Proposed Bill In State Legislature Would Protect Wisconsinites With Pre-Existing Conditions

    A new piece of legislation being proposed at the state Capitol would require heath insurance companies in Wisconsin to cover pre-existing conditions if the American Health Care Act passes. We speak with Assembly Representative Daniel Riemer (D-Milwaukee) about the bill.

  • Pop Culture Tour With Chuck Klosterman

    Pop culture provacateur Chuck Klosterman joins us to look back at his years of covering the cultural bubble we live in, from Kobe Bryant to the Cleveland Browns.

  • Chuck Klosterman Talks His New Book, Celebrities, Death

    Chuck Klosterman’s tenth book — titled “X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century,” came out this week. It’s a selected anthology of his work over the past 17 years.

    In an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Central Time,” the author discussed growing up in a place that made Fargo, North Dakota, seem cosmopolitan, interviewing mega-celebrities and death.

    On Revisiting His Old Work

    “If I go back and read something that I wrote five years ago — which I normally never do; I never reread my old books or anything like that, but when you’re putting together an anthology you have to do this — you spend the whole time thinking, ‘Well, the idea of this story isn’t so terrible, but boy I use punctuation poorly in this, and that joke is stupid; why did I do that?’ Every piece seems bad. And you have this weird sort of cognitive dissonance where you have to convince yourself — ‘Well you know, you are republishing this work and expecting people to buy it. So it doesn’t make a lot of sense for you to fixate on how (much) you hate it.”

    On How Growing Up In A Farm Town Shaped Him

    Klosterman grew up in Breckenridge, Minnesota, a town he said made Fargo, North Dakota, seem “urban.”

    “It’s still weird to me, to think that Fargo, to the world, is a small town, is almost a rural town. It will never seem that way to me.”

    Growing up in a farm town meant that Klosterman didn’t have cable TV, or even access to many radio stations. “So the only culture I got was the most populist, biggest culture there was,” he said.

    On Interviewing Mega-Celebrities

    Klosterman has a particular approach to interviewing huge celebrities — people who are famous enough to be “famous for what they do, but also famous purely for their fame,” as he put it.

    “This idea that somehow I’m gonna sit down with them in a limited amount of time and convince them that we’re having a normal conversation — that just seems like a completely fraudulent thing to me.

    “So …I say (to them), ‘Hey, look. I know you’re only here because this is something you do as a part of your life now, as somebody who has to deal with a mediated culture. And the only reason I’m going to be able to ask you the questions I’m going to ask you is because I have a tape recorder, and I’m taking notes. But the things I’m gonna ask you are things I’m authentically interested in. They are not things I’m asking because I think this is what a journalist’s supposed to do. I’m gonna ask these questions, and you be as honest as you can, and I’ll try to be as objective as I can.’ And I have found that that works better.”

    On How That Approach Worked With Klosterman’s 2015 Kobe Bryant Interview

    When a celebrity profile turns out really well, “most of that credit actually does go to the subject,” Klosterman said.

    Kobe Bryant made a decision — I don’t know why — but he made a decision … that, ‘I’m just gonna be candid now, and I’m gonna answer any question the guy asks me, as honestly as I can. And I’m even gonna bring up stuff that I know he wants to ask, but might feel uncomfortable doing so,’” Klosterman said.

    “I’ve never really had an interview like that. He brought up the accusations of rape against him before I did. I was gonna ask him, but he brought it up. And I think it’s because I started the interview by saying, ‘Look, I’m just gonna ask you these things; I’m not gonna pretend like we’re gonna be friends after this.’”

    On His Waning Obsession With Death

    “I wrote a book called ‘Killing Yourself to Live’ when I was 33, where I was just obsessed with the idea of death,” Klosterman said.

    But ironically, that obsession has decreased since death has become a greater part of Klosterman’s life as he’s gotten older. The passing of his father and becoming a parent himself contributed to that, he said.

    Klosterman spoke in Madison on Thursday and is scheduled to speak at Boswell Books in Milwaukee Friday evening.

  • Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Says He's Leaving For The Department Of Homeland Security

    Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is a tough-talking, polarizing figure who has become well-known beyond Wisconsin and has earned favor in conservative circles. Clarke announced that he will be leaving his current post to work for the Department of Homeland Security, an appointment the DHS has yet to confirm. We’ll talk to a journalist who says that Clarke’s potential departure will ultimately be good for Milwaukee.

Episode Credits

  • Judith Siers-Poisson Host
  • Kate Archer Kent Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • J. Carlisle Larsen Producer
  • Veronica Rueckert Producer
  • Haleema Shah Producer
  • Representative Daniel Riemer Guest
  • Chuck Klosterman Guest
  • Ernst-Ulrich Franzen Guest
  • Veronica Rueckert Interviewer

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