During the past half-year, I’ve been frequently watching Forward Nation Radio, a political video podcast hosted by Professor David Leventhal of QC. In this blog entry, I will share my impressions of the show. Next time, I will share answers to some questions that I asked the show’s producer, Damian Hardeen, and the professor himself about the future of the show.
The first thing that strikes you about the show is its high production values. Audio quality is always clear, and the editor makes good use of green screen. Images are included when appropriate, as are audio and video clips. Captions are provided to emphasize important points, and the show has distinctive theme music that opens and closes each episode. The production team is clearly competent and passionate about their work.
As for the content, the Professor is typically solo, monologuing about the national political issues of the past week. Occasionally, there will be a guest, and there is even a live studio audience to react to the professor’s quips. The approximate half-hour runtime is put to good use by addressing topics but not dwelling on them. Mr. Leventhal always makes an earnest attempt to answer viewer questions when they are asked. In one episode, he put a lot of time during the second half of the show towards thoroughly addressing my question, which was about how American divisiveness can be coped with.
Mr. Leventhal has a sharp sense of humor, and he always tries to not let the audience go too long without laughing. This is by no means a sit-down comedy act, however–issues are given their due respect. On the show’s website, aside from episodes, there are a few cartoons and media “bites” that tie into the themes of the show.
The crew has done a fantastic job on this up-and-coming show (which just recently celebrated its first birthday with the March 1st episode) and I applaud them for their efforts to help America by cutting straight to the truth about issues that affect all of us. I have seen many posters advertising the show posted all around the campus, and Prof. Leventhal, who teaches honors BALA (Business and Liberal Arts) classes, offers internships to his students when crew positions need to be filled.
His highly opinionated nature makes him a great fit for a YouTube show host, and unlike the corporate editorialists that you see on TV or talk radio, he is not tethered by corporate sponsors and can just speak his mind like anyone else. His trademark loudly progressive personality is the heart of the show, and he is constantly encouraging his listeners to participate in our political process. He often reiterates that we do that by voting in every election, protesting bad laws, demanding needed ones, and making sure that our representatives know we’re watching them.
David Leventhal makes two things very clear: He has no tolerance for corrupt and hypocritical politicians, and he can’t stand when other commentators claim, “they’re all the same.” He’s right; some are more corrupt and hypocritical than others.
You can watch the show record live on Wednesdays at 5 pm on Facebook (with additional content on their page) and the finished episodes are found on their website and YouTube channel, with audio podcast versions available for download from the Podbean smartphone app.
(Copyright permission was granted by the show’s creators for all photos).