Joseph Cooper

Host Topical Currents

WLRN Radio's Joseph Cooper says producing and hosting Topical Currents is the most rewarding experience of his long radio career, which began at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in the 1970s.

"It's now an obsession, but I never thought talk radio would be in my future. The wide, wide range of topics, research and reading keeps me hustling all week," he says. "It's similar to a daily newspaper column because, essentially, we write an essay to frame each show before conducting the interviews and taking calls and then it all starts over again for the next day's program."

Topical Currents is put together by a small production team, which includes producer Richard Ives and technical director Bonnie Berman. Syndicated food and dining columnist Linda Gassenheimer frequents the program, as well as a handful of expert regular contributors and regional reporters.

Topical Currents is a sub-tropical blend of regional issues and politics, local profiles, author interviews, "At Your Service" programs, South Florida history and any topic listeners might banter about around the proverbial "water cooler." It was first broadcast in January 1999.

Cooper is often asked to name his "favorite" interview subject.

"Hmmmm," he says with the hint of a smile. "Not necessarily the celebrities or famous authors but the one I've just done. Well usually.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use “plain English” To Rob You Blind

10/31/12 - Wednesday's Topical Currents is with investigative reporter David Cay Johnston.  His latest book is, THE FINE PRINT:  How Big Companies Use “Plain English” to Rob You Blind.  Johnston show how big corporations work with government to relax rules, rewrite regulations, and enforce only the one which benefit them.  Insurance companies regularly delay victim disability payments . . . hoping the recipient won’t be around to collect. 

David Cay Johnston on public media's Democracy Now!

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Attorney Donna Ballman: How To Stand Up for Yourself in a Hostile Workplace

Stand Up For Yourself Without Getting Fired
http://www.ballmanfirm.com/

10/30/12 - Tuesday's Topical Currents is with employment attorney and author Donna Ballman. She’ll discuss common workplace issues, including layoffs, bullying, hostile environments and overtime compensation. Donna Ballman is the author of STAND UP FOR YOURSELF WITHOUT GETTING FIRED: Resolve Workplace Crises Before You Quit or Get Axed.

Links:

http://employeeatty.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/EmployeeAtty

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Food and Dining
1:30 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Linda Gassenheimer with Iron Chef Judge Clarice Kumai

Candice Kumai
Credit www.candicekumai.com

10/25/12 -  Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman interview Candice Kumai, author of Cook Yourself Sexy, Easy Delicious Recipes for the Hottest Most Confident You.   She’s a judge on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and a Food TV personality on Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats.  She talks about a healthy lifestyle makes for a better you. 

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Topical Currents
4:14 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

“Our Miami” Community Initiative

www.ourmiami.org

10/25/12 -  Topical Currents begins with info about “Our Miami:  Soul of the City.”   The Miami Foundation, the Beacon Council and FIU have surveyed residents to find their perceptions of the region.  And more.  Linda Gassenheimer with TV Iron Chef Judge Candice Kumai.  She’s written Cook Yourself Sexy.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and The End Of American Debate

Greg Lukianoff
www.thefire.org

10/24/12 - Topical Currents is with attorney Greg Lukianoff, who specializes in college campus free speech issues.  He’s written the book, UNLEARNING LIBERTY:  Campus Censorship & the End of American Debate.  He says “the road to censorship is always paved with good intentions.”  And for most people, free speech is extolled . . . until it crosses a personal border. 

Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Maestro James Judd and His Miami Music Project

Miami Music Project Artistic Director James Judd.
www.miamimusicproject.org

10/23/12 - Tuesday's  Topical Currents features British-born conductor James Judd, and the story behind his ambitious Miami Music Project.  Judd conducted the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra from 1987 to 2001.  Financial difficulties forced the ensemble’s closure.  Some 25,000 public school students – many in underserved communities -- have been exposed to classical music through the performances of the Project.

 

Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

The U.S. Middle Class: The Betrayal Of The American Dream

Donald Bartlett and James Steele
www.barlettandsteele.com

10/22/12 - Monday's Topical Currents is with veteran investigative journalists Donald Bartlett and James Steele, co-authors of THE BETRAYAL OF THE AMERICAN DREAM.  Over the past 30 years, the vaunted middle class in the United States has taken some big hits.   Outsourcing of jobs by major corporations has been augmented by deregulation . . . retirement plans have been gutted . . . and the middle class pays a higher tax rate than the wealthy.  Will the US soon be just a two-tiered economic system?

Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Who Runs the Presidential Debates?

No Debate: How the Republican and Democratic Parties Secretly Control the Presidential Debates by George Farah
www.sevenstories.com

10/18/12 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with George Farah, author of No Debate:  How the Republican and Democratic Parties Secretly Control the Presidential Debates.”  The Commission on Presidential Debates is a private corporation formed by both major parties, which implements debate contracts.  And more.  Linda Gassenheimer, with executive pastry chef  Hedy Goldsmith, of Miami’s “Michael’s Genuine.”  She’s written BAKING OUT LOUD.

George Farah on DemocracyNow.org: 

Food and Dining
1:00 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Linda Gassenheimer’s South Florida “Restaurant Roundabout” 09/20/12

Linda Gassenheimer
http://www.dinnerinminutes.com/

09/20/12 - Thursday's Topical Currents is an edition of our popular “Restaurant Roundabout” with Linda Gassenheimer and dining critics from Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade.  Learn about new hot spots and chefs old favorites and best values. Critics Jen Karetnik, Rochelle Koff and Jan Norris will take calls.  Plus Fred Tasker gives his wine suggestions.  That’s Topical Currents with hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman 09/20/12 at 1pm on 91.3 WLRN-HD1 rebroadcast at 7pm on WLRN-HD2.

Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Miami-Herald Obit Specialist Elinor Brecher. Linda Gassenheimer And Jewish Holiday Foods

09/13/12 - Thursday’s Topical Currents begins with Miami-Herald obituary writer Elinor Brecher.  It takes singular skill and diplomacy to interview family and friends and craft a polished, posthumous profile. Brecher has made it an art.  And more: The Jewish New Year begins this weekend and Linda Gassenheimer gets holiday food tips from Chef Hector Morales, of the famed Miami Beach Epicure Market and Café.

Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Miami Dade Pit Bull Referendum

08/09/12 - Thursday's Topical Currents is a discussion of pit bull terriers.  Ownership of the canines in Miami-Dade was banned in 1989, after a rash of attacks which sparked fear. There’s a pit bull-ban repeal measure on the August 14th ballot.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century

Peter Dreier
http://employees.oxy.edu/dreier/

08/08/12 - Wednesday's Topical Currents is a 20th Century “Social Justice Hall of Fame,” compiled by Occidental College professor Peter Dreier.  It chronicles activists, thinkers and politicians who challenged injustice and promoted democracy.  His list of vignettes includes Clarence Darrow, Helen Keller, Noam Chomsky, Studs Terkel . . . and even Bruce Springsteen.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

The Epic Rivalry Between Big Business & Government

David Rothkopf
https://twitter.com/djrothkopf

08/07/12 - Tuesday's Topical Currents looks at the rivalry between big business and government. It’s a historical struggle between public and private power.  We’ll speak with David Rothkopf  about his book, POWER, INC.The Epic Rivalary Between Big Business and Government – And the Reckoning That Lies Ahead.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

El Nuevo Herald Metro Columnist Daniel Shoer Roth

Daniel Shoer Roth
https://twitter.com/danielshoerroth/

08/06/12 - Monday’s Topical Currents is with El Nuevo Herald Metro columnist Daniel Shoer Roth. He also writes a weekly view in the Miami Herald Opinion section.  A grandson of Holocaust survivors, Daniel Shoer is a frequent voice for South Florida underdogs: the homeless, elderly, bullied and neglected.  Born in Venezuela, he’s the grandson of Holocaust survivors. That’s Topical Currents and host Joseph Cooper . . .

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Food and Dining
1:30 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

The South Florida Social and Restaurant Scene

(l-r) Drag Queen Elaine Lancaster, Lesley Abravanel, and Dennis Rodman.
http://blogs.herald.com/scene_in_the_tropics/

08/02/12 - In the second half of the program, Linda Gassenheimer with Miami Herald columnist Lesley Abravenel. She’ll give an update on the South Florida social and restaurant scene. Plus, wine columnist Fred Tasker.  That’s Topical Currents . .

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