Episode 133

Writers Strike, Randi Weingarten, Loneliness Epidemic

Ravi and Rikki start today’s episode by talking about the writer’s strike. Picketing for better wages, AI regulation, fully-staffed writers’ rooms, and more. How long will the walkout last? We talk through all the possible outcomes. Then we turn to another story about unions causing a ruckus. Randi Weingarten, the President of the American Federation of Teachers, pushed back against conservative criticism on Capitol Hill last week after facing accusations that the teachers union kept schools closed longer than necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic. Is Weingarten trying to rewrite history? Finally, our hosts look at a new report from U.S Surgeon General Vivek Murthy declaring America’s newest epidemic: Loneliness. Who is most at risk? And, what should Americans do to foster social connection?


Writers’ Strike [00:58]

Your Most Frantic Writers’ Strike Questions, Answered (Vulture, 5/2/23)
Hollywood Hit With Writers Strike After Talks With AMPTP Fail; Guild Slams Studios For “Gig Economy” Mentality (Deadline, 5/1/23)
Here’s what to know about the film and TV writers’ strike (CBS News, 5/2/23)
Here’s what happened last time there was a writers’ strike in Hollywood (AV Club, 2/24/23)
Hollywood’s writers are on strike. Here’s why that matters. (Vox, 5/2/23)
Writers Strike: Inside the Room as Talks Collapsed (Variety, 5/3/23)
The Hollywood Writers’ Strike Isn’t About Money. It’s About Survival (The New York Times, 4/30/23)
James Corden Bows Out (LA Magazine, 4/24/23)
Why Are TV Writers So Miserable? (The New Yorker, 4/29/23)
WGA Negotiations—Status as of May 1, 2023
Why Hollywood writers are striking and the immediate impact (AP, 5/3/23)
Hairdressers, camerapeople, caterers: the ‘scary’ ripple effect of the Hollywood writers’ strike (The Guardian, 5/3/23)
Potential economic impacts of the Hollywood writers’ strike (CBS News, 5/3/23)
Jimmy Fallon blasted for allegedly skipping meeting amid writers’ strike (New York Post, 5/2/23)

Weingarten COVID School Closures [20:52]

Union Head Pushes Back on GOP Claims of ‘Undue Influence’ on School Closures (The74, 4/26/23)
Randi Weingarten’s Incredible Covid Memory Loss (The Wall Street Journal, 4/30/23)
Here’s what AFT’s Randi Weingarten said about reopening schools during COVID-19 (PolitiFact, 5/2/23)
‘The Most Dangerous Person in the World Is Randi Weingarten’ (The New York Times, 4/28/23)
Lori Lightfoot rejects Randi Weingarten’s spin on school closings: ‘Not the reality’ (Fox News, 5/1/23)
‘Learning Loss Is Real’: Lori Lightfoot Slams Randi Weingarten’s Teachers’ Union for Delaying School Reopening (Yahoo News, 5/1/23)
Randi Weingarten misrepresented COVID study to Congress, author claims (New York Post, 4/28/23)
CNN’s Scott Jennings shreds Randi Weingarten over school closures: ‘You were the tip of the spear’ (New York Post, 4/28/23)
On Randi Weingarten’s Waterfront (The Wall Street Journal, 5/1/23)
Weingarten Sets Pandemic Record Straight as Republican Attacks Fall Flat (AFT Press Release, 4/26/23)
Letter to Randi Weingarten from Brad Wenstrup, D.P.M., Chairman Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic (Congress of the United States, 3/28/23)
Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Mitigation (CDC, 2/12/21)
Submitted testimony (Randi Weingarten, 4/26/23)
Politifact defends Randi Weingarten: ‘Misleading’ to claim she opposed reopening schools (Fox News, 5/3/23)
Schooling in America Polling Dashboard (EdChoice, 2022)
Partisan Rifts Widen, Perceptions of School Quality Decline (Education Next, 2022)
Teachers union threatens ‘safety strikes’ before Biden speech (Politico, 7/28/20)
Former Levi Strauss executive Jennifer Sey on decision to leave company over Covid ‘free speech’ controversy (CNBC, 2/17/22)
Bari Weiss tells Bill Maher that COVID restrictions and closure of schools will be seen as a ‘moral crime’ by younger generations and says we MUST return to normal life (Daily Mail, 1/22/22)
We Don’t Need to Close Schools to Fight the Coronavirus (The New York Times, 3/10/20)
School Closures Are Dividing The Country | Interview with Chris Stewart (Lost Debate, 2/7/22)
The Worst School Board In America? (The Regressives, 12/21)

Lonely Nation + Intimacy [38:23]

Surgeon General: We Have Become a Lonely Nation. It’s Time to Fix That (The New York Times, 4/30/23)
America’s Intimacy Problem (The Atlantic, 4/28/23)
Why can’t we be friends? Lack of social contact harms Americans’ mental, physical health (USA Today, 12/13/22)
Technology’s role in the ‘loneliness epidemic’ (Washington Post, 4/11/23)
How Loneliness Is Damaging Our Health (The New York Times, 4/20/22)
Key findings about Americans’ declining trust in government and each other (Pew Research, 7/22/19)
Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation 2023 (Surgeon General, US Department of Health and Human Services, 2023)
Loneliness in America: How the Pandemic Has Deepened an Epidemic of Loneliness and What We Can Do About It (Harvard Graduate School of Education, Making Caring Common Project, 2/21)
The Belonging Barometer – The State of Belonging in America (American Immigration Council, 3/7/23)
Loneliness around the world: Age, gender, and cultural differences in loneliness (Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, 1/2120)
The Loneliness Epidemic Persists: A Post-Pandemic Look at the State of Loneliness among U.S. Adults (Cigna Group, 12/21)
The effects of loneliness: A review of the literature (Journal of Comprehensive Psychiatry, 1986)
Five Trends Reshaping America (Lost Debate, 2/28/23)