1. The Ballad of John Dunbar

    June 30, 2015 by MelStar1

    Silver mining made Aspen a boomtown in 1879, only to become solely a ranching town by 1893, when the U.S. returned to the Gold Standard.


    Today on StandUP!

    Day Two of our week-long broadcast from the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado!

    Check out the first half-hour if you like stories about playing catch with celebrities or fly fishing or eating too much marijuana. Check out the rest of the show if you like those things but ALSO very, very, great guests.

    President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, Jeffrey Rosen, joined us in the back-half of hour one. The main topic of discussion was the Supreme Court. Here, Mr. Rosen weighs in on whether the dominant influence in the court is Chief Justice John Roberts or perpetual swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy:



    In hour two, we caught up with journalist, filmmaker, public health advocate and SiriusXM host Perri Peltz. An Aspen resident, Perri is perennially involved in the Aspen Ideas Festival and she shared an inside look at a panel she will be moderating with  Ta-nehisi Coates and others.

    Then, Pete welcomed Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans, like Charleston, South Carolina, has a long and complicated history that is greatly intertwined with America’s slave-owning past. Last week, Mayor Landrieu made headlines when, at a conference, he formally apologized for the role his city played in the slave trade. Here, Mayor Landrieu tells Pete that it takes more than removing a flag to remove the disease of racism.



    Hour three brought us two great heavy-hitters from The Atlantic, which is fitting since The Atlantic is the main presenter of Aspen Ideas Festival.

    James Fallows is the National Correspondent for The Atlantic, an author and a pilot to boot! Today, he and Pete dug deep down on the Iran Nuke Deal and other major new items, like what it’s like to have your plane searched after flying in from a pot-friendly state.

    Steve Clemons is the Washington at-large editor for The Atlantic but also Senior Fellow and Founder of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. Steve is an Aspen Ideas insider, with all the hot tickets and programs to check out. He also makes a killer joke at Pete’s expense near the end of the show. Definitely worth a listen.


    Tomorrow, we talk to Richard Haass from the Council on Foreign Relations and NPR’s Michele Norris, among others.


    Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to drive to Chisholm, Minnesota to pick up Moonlight.






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  2. Aspen Ideas Kickoff

    June 29, 2015 by MelStar1

    The Hotel Jerome opened in downtown Aspen in 1889, bringing with it one of the first elevators west of the Mississippi River.


    Today on StandUP!

    For the third year, Pete & Co. have brought the wagon train out to Aspen, Colorado for the Aspen Ideas Festival, hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic. All week long, Pete, Melanie and Alfred will be rubbing elbows with industry leaders, world leaders and thought leaders, all the while eating some of the finest organic hot dogs you’ll ever taste.

    But first…there was a little hiccup at the top of the show, which meant I got to basically do whatever I want (play you Pete’s great interview with Fox News anchor and author of the new memoir “Getting Real,” Gretchen Carlson, mainly.)

    Then, things took off in earnest, as Pete welcomed his first guest, Atlantic Senior Business Editor Derek Thompson. Derek took us deep inside the economic turmoil Greece is facing right now, where the debt crisis has the potential to affect not only Greeks, but the EU and stock prices around the globe.

    At the top of hour two, we spent some time with Michelangelo Signorile, SiriusXM host over on the left-centric Progress channel. Michelangelo gave Pete a first-hand report on the celebration in New York following Friday’s Supreme Court decision, as well as his sharp political assessment of GOP resistence to the ruling, and where things go from here.

    Next, Pete spoke to Allen Blue, co-founder of LinkedIn who currently serves as that company’s VP of Product Management. Mr. Blue is at Aspen Ideas to speak about Rework America Connected, an initiative with the Markle Group to help Americans today prepare and take advantage of the technologically connected marketplace of tomorrow. Here, Pete asks Allen Blue about the impact of money on his life, and the impact of LinkedIn on the lives of others.



    Hour three began with a quick check-in with Kitty Boone, Vice President of the Aspen Institute and Director of the Aspen Ideas Festival. Kitty gave us all a preview of what to expect from this year’s installment of #AspenIdeas, including the Comedy Night, which will put Pete on stage after the iconic and legendary comic, Katie Couric.

    We closed out the first day in Aspen with a great sit-down with an actress whose roles have made her an unmistakable part of the Hollywood landscape: Angela Bassett. She’s speaking this year at Aspen on aging & long term care planning and to help Genworth roll-out the R70i Aging Experience, a revolutionary piece of tech designed to help the user understand and actually FEEL the effects of aging on their body. She also had to break Pete’s heart a bit when she answered his go-to question whenever he’s in Colorado: Have you tried the pot?



    Coming up tomorrow from Aspen: The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons, New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu and much, much more. Also, we’ll find out how many organic hot dogs the gang ate.


    Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to book a trip to the Adirondacks.




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  3. #LoveWins

    June 26, 2015 by MelStar1

    Oh what a day! WHAT A LOVELY DAY!


    Today on StandUP!

    Mark Preston joined us from CNN’s Washington D.C. bureau, where he is the Executive Editor of all things political.  Today, he gave us our last dose of politics-as-usual before…

    10am came around, and almost IMMEDIATELY the Supreme Court unleashed the Obergefell v. Hodges decision. We checked in with professor Eric Segall and took your calls and reaction right up until…

    Environmental-health activist and physician, Dr. Jill Stein, joined us in-studio to discuss her 2016 presidential campaign as candidate for the Green Party, and to reflect and react further on the Supreme Court’s decision.

    Comedian Todd Glass’ really funny book, “The Todd Glass Situation: A Bunch of Lies About My Personal Life and a Bunch of Stories About My 30-Year Career in Stand-Up Comedy,” is now out in paperback. Todd weighed in on…you’ll never guess…marriage equality and the Supreme Court. He also took apart the argument of people against equality and changing social standards with expert precision:


    People fought a long, long time to reach a day like today. People who didn’t live long enough to see it come. Right now, across America, there are same-sex couples who have literally grown old and gray together, waiting for a day when they could share their love in the most basic and essentially human way possible, without having to leave their home state, without having to acquiesce to state laws, and without any stigma. We as a nation are by no means suddenly finished growing and without sin, but we are getting closer, one heart and one mind at a time.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me I am going to enjoy a beautiful, sunny Friday under the rainbow.



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  4. A Healthy Exchange

    June 25, 2015 by MelStar1

    Pretty big Supreme Court decision today. Just one of the things we covered…


    Today on StandUP!

    Pretty comedy-heavy show today, but don’t worry; we still found plenty of time for Eric Segall’s dissection of the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell decision.

    In the first hour, actor and comic Jamie Kennedy joined us to talk the ups and downs of life in L.A.

    Joining us from the Center for American Progress, David Madland joined us to talk the economy, the Middle Class and react to the King v. Burwell decision. David’s book, “Hollowed Out: Why the Economy Doesn’t Work Without A Strong Middle Class” is out now.

    Veteran TV writer, comic and host, Spike Feresten, helped Pete with his car problems and shared his favorite cookie in L.A. Spike’s EsquireTV series, “Car Matchmaker,” airs Wednesdays at 9/8 central.

    Actor, former MTV-VJ, and comic Bill Bellamy joined us at the top of the third hour to give Pete some well-needed style counsel and trade fatherhood stories.

    And, as promised, we closed the show out with Georgia State University Constitutional Law professor, Eric Segall, on the SCOTUS decision. Eric says Justice Roberts took control of the court and his legacy with today’s ruling.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to call my lawyer.




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  5. Waste-Free Recap

    June 24, 2015 by MelStar1

    New York State ditched capital punishment, June 24 2004. Governor George Pataki had reinstated the death penalty in 1995 after another Governor, Nelson Rockefeller, put the kibosh on it in 1965. Governors, right!?


    Today on StandUP!

    Do you think you could go through a typical day without generating any unnecessary waste? No plastic bags, no napkins or straws or paper coffee cups? No unused or uncomposted leftovers? Lauren Singer thinks you can, and today she told Pete a few good ways to start. The founder of  The Simply Co. brand of organic cleaning products maintains the Trash is 4 Tossers blog, chronicling her waste-free life.

    Comedian Lisa Lampanelli has a new special airing on Epix called “Back to the Drawing Board” and to mark the occasion she dropped by to give Pete the typical hard time, or so we thought. It turns out that Lisa isn’t as hard edged as she used to be, thanks to her weight loss and a new-found sense of spirituality. Still funny as hell, though.

    To honor Pete’s last day broadcasting from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Conservation Taining Center and the Student Climate Conservation Conference, we aired a few interviews with some of the smart folks who have been in West Virginia this week helping broaden young minds and save our futur. Robin Hayes is the founder of Build Tiny, which helps people realize their dream of shrinking their footprint and move into a tiny house. Dr. Carl Safina is an adjunct professor at Stony Brook University in New  York, and today he and Pete discussed wildlife, especially birds and the ecology of the shoreline.

    Pete should be back tomorrow if his car starts, and don’t forget that he’ll be in Aspen all next week at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Someone warn Costner.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to read more about The Watcher.




    Miss the show? Catch it here. Listen to some of our favorite interviews here

  6. Confederacy of Dunces

    June 23, 2015 by MelStar1

    You may not have heard of James Horner, but you’ve heard James Horner.


    Today on StandUP!

    Daily Beast editor-in-chief, John Avlon, went back and forth with Pete on revising our views of the Civil War, the men who fought it, and the men who founded America.

    Evan Weber is the Executive Director of US Climate Plan, a group advocating America’s change to renewable energy. Today, he discussed Hawaii governor David Ige’s recent signing of a law promising that by 2045, his state’s electricity will be from 100% renewable resources.

    In the back half of hour two, Academy Award winning actor William Hurt joined us to discuss his new AMC series, “Humans,” a sci-fi look at the science and life-changing affects of Artificial Intelligence.

    Our last guest of the day was the Republican Representative from North Carolina, Walter B. Jones. Mr. Jones and Pete talked about a bipartisan proposal to authorize the fight against ISIS and, like we did throughout much of today’s show, we asked Rep. Jones about the current fight in South Carolina (and other states) over the Confederate flag.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me I am going to wish I weren’t too old to drink a Slurpee and not look ridiculous.





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  7. Winter is Coming

    June 22, 2015 by MelStar1

    Yesterday was the summer solstice, meaning today is the first full day of Summer, which also means the long, slow march to darkness has begun…

    Today on StandUP!


    Pete will be broadcasting from the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown , West Virginia through Wednesday. The reason: to help instill in children a love of nature and willingness to care for the planet. And also to visit Antietam, maybe.

    Indiana University Professor of Pediatrics and YouTube sensation, Dr. Aaron Carroll joined us in hour one to discuss King v. Burwell and other healthcare related topics. We also had a possible new health myth for Dr. Carroll to explore on Health Care Triage.

    Christine Romans joined us at the top of hour two. She is the chief business correspondent and host of “Early Start” at CNN, as well as the author of a great book on fiscal responsibility for the Millennial generation.

    After the break, we checked in with Georgia State University Constitutional Law professor Eric Segall on the flurry of Supreme Court rulings this morning, including one on Spider-Man! We will likely check in with Eric again on Thursday and next Monday as the Supreme Court zeroes in on two potentially landmark decisions.

    Hour three saw us pay a visit to John Thavis, longtime Vatican analyst and author of the NY Times bestselling book, “The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church.” Pete and John discussed Pope Francis’ view on Climate Change as put forth in his first major Encyclical.

    For the final segment today, Pete talked poverty and legal parental responsibilities with Rebecca Vallas, Associate Director of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress.

    Don’t forget: Next week StandUP! heads to Aspen for some late late late late season skiing and also for the Aspen Ideas Festival, hosted by The Atlantic magazine and the Aspen Institute. Well, not ALL of StandUP…I’ll still be here, in New York, robbing the rest of the team’s apartments.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to get practice.



    Miss the show? Catch it here. Listen to some of our favorite interviews here

  8. The End of Radio (Week)

    June 19, 2015 by MelStar1

    Commemorate Juneteenth today.


    Today on StandUP!

    At the top of the show, we brought ourselves up to date on the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, including commentary from Pete and of course your phone calls.

    Also, in the first hour, we checked in with Huffington Post Live producer and host and licensed Pete Dominick Substitute, Josh Zepps. This Sunday in Brooklyn, Josh hosts the inaugural broadcast of We The People Live on Periscope, with episodes podcast the next day. We The People Live puts Josh in front of a bar crowd with top comics, a few drinks, and a week’s worth of news to cover.

    We spent a good chunk of hour two with historian and author Kenneth C. Davis, whose “Don’t Know Much” series of books are a treasured resource. Davis penned an op-ed for the New York Times (linked at the top of this post) about the origins of Juneteenth and why it should be a holiday observed by all Americans, not just the few.

    Activist and founder of Women Thrive Worldwide, Ritu Sharma, joined us for a few minutes to talk up the Father’s Day special she’ll be hosting on Insight 121 this Sunday.

    The show ended, and Radio Week ended, with an hour in-studio with SiriusXM stars Rich Davis of SiriusXM Indie’s Covino & Rich and Andrew Wilkow of The Wilkow Majority on SiriusXM Patriot. Pete and the gentlemen shared their insider experience in the radio industry, and their thoughts on what advances or changes in strategy the future will bring. Oh, and I checked in from the live remote I was hosting from the control room.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to get drunk and go to Yankee Stadium.




    Miss the show? Catch it here. Listen to some of our favorite interviews here

  9. Bennington Pontoon Boats

    June 18, 2015 by MelStar1

    Like all churches, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church accepts donations…


    Today on StandUP!


    We spent a lot of time today taking your calls and thoughts on the tragic shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. In between, we tried to entertain and inform you.

    We spoke briefly with Benjamin Corb, Director of Public Affairs for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, about his work advocating for an increase in spending on the sciences.

    Hour two kicked off with Laverne Cox, the writer, LGBT advocate and actress about the third season of “Orange Is The New Black,” which is streaming on Netflix now. Pete asked Larverne about life in a world where opinions and levels of acceptance of the transgender community has changed so much in the last 20 years, and how much it will change in the future.

    Today’s show ended with some real heavy hitters and man, it was a treat. Ron Bennington co-hosted one of the finest radio show’s to ever grace the airwaves, The Ron & Fez Show, and now hosts Bennington every afternoon on Raw Dog SiriusXM Comedy Hits 99. Gregg “Opie” Hughes was the pilot of the Opie & Anthony show for 20 years, and continues every day with Opie & Jim Norton on SiriusXM 103. Listen, I’m a huge radio nerd and this was a really awesome hour of radio, hearing Pete bounce off of Ron and Opie was amazing, super cool, and other superlatives. It wasn’t all jokes either, sometimes it got deep, man. It’s your OnDemand LOCK of the WEEK.

    Radio Week concludes tomorrow with Rich Davis from Hits1/Covino & Rich and Andrew Wilkow from SiriusXM Patriot.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to refocus the engagement of my online personal brand, exploring new verticals to enact a paradigm shift in total follower demographics.




    Miss the show? Catch it here. Listen to some of our favorite interviews here

  10. …And Listeners Like You

    June 17, 2015 by MelStar1

    The Statue of Liberty was finally delivered to New York City on June 17, 1885. Unfortunately, is was shipped C.O.D. and New York City spent most of the day pretending nobody was home.


    Today on StandUP!

    We kicked off today with a fresh load of HOT TAKES on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign announcement.

    Next, we spoke to activist and journalist Goldie Taylor, who has been covering Rachel Dolezal over at Blue Nation Review. Yesterday, Pete wasn’t motivated by the issue of Dolezal’s race and today isn’t much different, although it was a great springboard for Pete and Goldie to discuss the larger issue of race and privilege.

    Award winning journo and syndicated newspaper columnist David Sirota joined us this morning to talk politics, on a macro level, but more-so to go in-depth on the Clinton Global Initiative and its many donors and detractors.

    Hour two finished with a visit from comedian Natasha Leggero, whose new Comedy Central series, “Another Period,” premieres June 23rd. Pete and Natasha talked the comedy business, and Natasha and Alfred talked Bonnaroo while Pete snuck out for a wee.

    Today’s third hour brought the third installment of StandUP’s Radio Week coverage. Today, we took a look at the history, inner workings and current state of public radio in America with a man who has probably forgotten more about this industry than I will learn in a lifetime, Bob Edwards.

    Radio Week continues tomorrow with a HUGE show: Ron Bennington and Gregg “Opie” Hughes sit down with Pete in hour three and talk the rise of the shock jock era.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to gawk with amazement at this gigantic shark.





    Miss the show? Catch it here. Listen to some of our favorite interviews here


  11. Newsradio

    June 16, 2015 by MelStar1


    Donald Trump is running for President of the United States for the fourth time in his mind, but just the first time for the rest of us.


    Today on StandUP!


    Daily Beast editor-in-chief and CNN contributor John Avlon was with us in the first hour with the lowdown on the growing Presidential field, Rachel Dolezal’s mediastorm, and to tease/plug the great election coverage the Daily Beast will be getting from PJ O’Rourke this cycle.

    We lit up the ON-AIR sign for day two of Radio Week, focusing today on the role news radio has played in the development and growth of not just the medium, but in modern America. Pete’s original POTUS radio boss, Joe Mathieu, joined us from his current home as morning news anchor at WBZ Boston to share the anxieties and the excitement of working in the up-to-the-second world of news radio.

    Coming up tomorrow on Radio Week, we sit down with radio legend and voice-you-hear-right-before-our-show-airs, Bob Edwards.

    Then, we had a grand old time hearing all of your shameful brand loyalties, from Dunkin Donuts to Heinz Ketchup to the eternal denim battle between Lee and Levi’s.

    Author Stephen Witt joined us in the third hour to discuss the rise of digital piracy and the downfall, or at least massive remaking, of the recording and film industries. In his new book, “How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, The Turn of the Century, and Patient Zero of Piracy,” Witt looks at just how quickly Americans became okay with intellectual property theft and free music.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to correctly predict that Donald Trump will win the Presidency.




    Miss the show? Catch it here. Listen to some of our favorite interviews here


  12. Radio Week Signals

    June 15, 2015 by MelStar1

    June 15, 1864 – 200 acres are set aside at Robert E. Lee’s former Virginia estate by decree of Union Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs, and the long history of Arlington National Cemetery is begun.


    Today on StandUP!


    We welcomed back CNN’s chief business correspondent, host of the cable news network’s “Early Start” and author of “Smart is the New Rich: Money Guide for Millennials,” Christine Romans. We talked up a few of the mornings top stories, including “Jurassic World’s” megalodon-sized opening weekend. Pete and Christine also opened up the topic of education reform, which we came back to late in the show with a variety of calls from you guys.

    In hour two, we kicked off Radio Week with a discussion on the impact of radio, from its inception through the dawn of the TV Age to today. Guiding the topic was the Chair of the Department of Communications Studies at the University of Michigan and author of “Listening In: Radio and the American Imagination,” Susan J. Douglas.

    Lastly, but never leastly (which is so far from being a word I can’t even stand it), we welcomed the host of SiriusXM POTUS 124’s “Morning Briefing” and occasional Congressional Baseball Game play-by-play man, Tim Farley. Today, Pete asked for Tim’s political insight on the uphill battle President Obama has been fighting with House Democrats over the Trans Pacific Partnership. We also previewed Tim’s interview with Vice President Joe Biden’s former economic advisor, Jared Berstein, which you should check out on demand, if you can.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to win the Game of Thrones.





    Miss the show? Catch it here. Listen to some of our favorite interviews here


  13. Gonna Be A Jailbreak

    June 12, 2015 by MelStar1

    Anne Frank turned 13 on June 12, 1942. For her birthday, her parents gave her a diary.


    Today on StandUP!


    CNN’s Executive Editor, Politics, Mark Preston gave us the lowdown on this week’s big political stories, and gave us a prelude to President Obama’s last minute Congressional session to pitch his trade deal. A Congresh Sesh that would fail, for the time being.

    Hour two became like a mini-special on the prison break in upstate New York that has gripped the country’s attention. While the prisoners, Richard Matt and David Sweat, remain on the lam, Pete welcomed Dr. Michael Aronoff to the show to discuss the state of mind of a prisoner: what is life like on the inside, what compels one to escape, and what is likely to be the mindset of a prisoner on the run? Dr. Aronoff is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at NYU Medical Center and host of “Psychiatry” on SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio, channel 81.

    Here, Dr. Aronoff explains the fugitives may have a “grandiose” sense of self in this escape scenario:



    And, Dr. Aronoff points out, one of the most dangerous character traits of a psychopath like Richard Matt is an inherent charm, which can draw innocent people into a dangerous situation:



    Our last guest of the day is one of Pete’s favorite people, and on his third recent visit to the show, surely he is one of your favorites as well. Peter Coyote is an actor, sure, but he is also an accomplished voice-over artist and an ordained zen buddhist priest. He has lived a life, rich and full, and has documented many stories and lessons learned in its course in a new book, “The Rainman’s Third Cure: An Irregular Education.” 


    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to do some research for tomorrow’s special episode of “Sit Down with Alfred and Chris,” noon on Insight 121. Duh.




    Miss the show? Catch it here. Listen to some of our favorite interviews here


  14. What’s up, man?

    June 11, 2015 by MelStar1

    E.T. opened June 11, 1982. I just watched it the other day and there are a lot of homage shots to old westerns, especially leading up to Peter Coyote’s reveal.


    Today on StandUP!


    First up, we’ve got Ali Velshi from Al Jazeera America, where he hosts “On Target.” Ali also co-wrote a great book on finance with CNN’s Christine Romans. Today, though, Ali and Pete went inside his latest piece for Al Jazeera, on the state of journalism and the media.

    In hour two, we welcomed back journalist, activist and contributor to Daily Beast, Salon and Ebony Magazine, Goldie Taylor. Pete and Goldie talked in depth about Kalief Browder, who spent three years inside Rikers Island Prison in NYC without being tried on charges that were eventually dropped. Browder committed suicide this week.

    After Goldie, we had a long conversation with you about race, politics and political correctness. It led right into our final segment, with comedian, Insight host and…not sure if you’ve heard…noted Muslim, Dean Obeidallah. The whole third hour was great, but it’s especially worth checking out the call from “Michael in Michigan.”


    Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to phone home.




    Miss the show? Catch it here. Listen to some of our favorite interviews here