A pinch-hitter this week, batting from the right side

Last week I spent on vacation in sunny South Carolina. (We went far south to get cool; temperatures were 10 degrees cooler in the Charleston area than the brutal heat you endured here.)

Which is by way of explanation for why I did not do a radio commentary and blog post on Monday morning, as is my wont.

Instead, I asked NewsWorks contributor Marybeth Hagan to fill in for me.  You can listen here to her essay about the influences that have led her to adopt ever-more-conservative views over the years.

It’s something we want to do more often here at WHYY and NewsWorks: Find strong voices in the community whose views don’t correspond with those of the regular bloggers we’ve cultivated on the site.

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That group — from Dick Polman to Dave Davies to Jan Ting to Solomon Jones to, well, me — is not as reliably, predictably “liberal” as public radio’s critics would have you believe. Scan the blog archives on NewsWorks and you’ll find plenty of pieces castigating Democratic politicians, opposing liberalization of immigrant law, supporting charter schools and school choice, and advocating very old-fashioned family values.

Still the point has some validity: The group does tilt left of center. We are actively searching out and recruiting different voices with different views, from all corners of the regional and national conversation. (Don’t forget, true lefties, and Philly has more than a view, find mildly left of center types like me endlessly exasperating, too.)

We want you to be able to read these differing voices on NewsWorks and hear them on WHYY-FM.

Marybeth is someone from whom we’d like to hear more. She’s written a couple of strongly argued, sharply observed but thoroughly civil pieces for us.

That’s why we asked her to pinch hit for me on air this week.  She was eager for the challenge (and, trust me, boiling your thoughts down to a little more than two minutes on air — and then delivering those thoughts in better than a monotone — is harder than it seems).

If you know of a writer who can deliver a well-articulated argument that varies from those you normally see on NewsWorks, please let us know, via the comments below or to my email, csatullo@whyy.org, or Twitter @chrissatullo.

NewsWorks, at its best, is a rolling, rollicking conversation. We want more voices to join in.

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