Donald Trump

It seems President Trump does not know much, if anything, about Frederick Douglass. We have some questions.

First of all, African Americans have suffered erasure and exclusion in many ways; does the President's ignorance have an impact? Second, it's Frederick Douglass. What exactly are we teaching in schools, and what should we be teaching? How can Trump have such limited knowledge of Douglass? Third, Trump promised during the campaign to offer real outreach to communities of color. What would that look like, in practice?

Many Americans remain hopeful that Trump will bring positive changes. What could those be? Our guests:

Last May, RIT journalism professor Andrea Hickerson spent two weeks in Iraqi Kurdistan as part of a human rights delegation. This week, she published an op-ed explaining how that trip enhanced her view of the role of oil.

Specifically, Hickerson says the trip has offered perspective on Donald Trump's choice of Rex Tillerson to lead the State Department. Tillerson is the CEO of ExxonMobile, a company that Hickerson says "has abdicated and exploited villages in Iraqi Kurdistan." Trump himself said of Tillerson, at a D.C. dinner last night, "He's led this charmed life. He goes into a country, takes the oil."

We talk to Hickerson about what she saw on the ground, and how she feels the news media can better cover this issue.

WXXI News, in concert with NPR News and PBS NewsHour, will provide coverage of Donald Trump’s inauguration on-air and online. Here’s a complete rundown of our coverage:


PBS NewsHour Coverage on WXXI-TV (cable channel 11/OTA 21.1) 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

PBS NewsHour extended coverage on WXXI-WORLD (cable channel 1275/OTA 21.2) 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.


NPR News coverage on WXXI-AM  1370 and WEOS-FM 89.5 (Geneva) 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Streaming video

Did BuzzFeed make a mistake by publishing the entire dossier of unverified links between Donald Trump and Russia? Editor-in-chief Ben Smith says no; he errs on the side of sunlight, and he views BuzzFeed as part of a new kind of media paradigm. But traditional journalists have said it was a reckless decision, a mistake.

Our panel debates the decision, and the future of disseminating information. In studio:

  • Tianna Manon, editor-in-chief of Open Mic Rochester
  • David Riley, former government reporter for the Democrat & Chronicle
  • Jack Rosenberry, journalism professor at St. John Fisher College
  • Jim Memmott, journalist with the Democrat & Chronicle and professor at the University of Rochester

Robert F Kennedy, Jr. has become one of the leading opponents of vaccines in the country, and he met with Donald Trump this week. Kennedy emerged from the meeting and declared that Trump was putting him in charge of a commission on "vaccine safety and scientific integrity." Trump himself has said and tweeted many things about vaccines that are flat-out wrong. And even the Cleveland Clinic is backtracking after one of its doctors used the Cleveland Clinic platform to publish an anti-vaccine screed. The LA Times declared that Trump and the Cleveland Clinic are moving "vaccine anti-science back into the mainstream."

What can be done? We'll examine the research that indicates the best and worst ways to break through to parents who are resisting science on vaccines. Our guests:

  • Brendan Nyhan, New York Times contributor and political science professor at Dartmouth
  • Dr. Sharon Humiston, professor of pediatrics at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City Missouri
  • Dr. Mario Elia, family physician in Ontario, Canada

WRVO Public Media

The NPR Politics team and reporters across the newsroom will be live-annotating a news conference with President-elect Donald Trump, expected at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. We will be fact-checking and providing background to his remarks in real-time. We will be paying special attention to any comments about conflicts of interest, health care and national security.


Have you ever found yourself arguing with someone who clearly is in over their head, but just can't see it? Or have you ever realized that you're not nearly as skilled at something as you once thought you were?

There's something to explain this phenomenon: the Dunning-Kruger Effect. It explains how someone can read a single article and then profess to know everything there is to know about the American health care system. Or how someone who is a truly awful singer can go before the American Idol judges and think they're great, while laying an egg.

Our guest is the man who helped coin the phrase: 

  • David Dunning, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, and professor emeritus of psychology at Cornell University

How will the Trump administration affect the United Nations?

Our panel discusses Trump's posture toward the U.N. so far, along with his selection of ambassador. We examine how a changing relationship between the United States and the U.N. could impact relationships around the world. Our guests:

  • Dr. Randy Stone, director of the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies at the University of Rochester
  • Dr. Sebastien Lazardeux, assistant professor of political science at St. John Fisher College
  • Svanhildur Thorvaldsdottir, graduate student at the University of Rochester from Iceland, doing her dissertation on the U.N.

On November 9, one of the first published commentaries about the election of Donald Trump was by Marvin McMickle, president of Colgate Divinity School. McMickle offered some comfort for those concerned about the election results: our nation, he wrote, survived some very dark periods, including the Civil War and the Jim Crow era. But McMickle also cautioned that the loyal opposition has a responsibility to hold the next administration accountable, particularly when it comes to equality. He joins us to elaborate.

President-elect Donald Trump named the head of Exxon Mobil, Rex Tillerson, as his choice for U.S. secretary of state on Tuesday, saying the oil executive with close to ties to Russia's "tenacity, broad experience and deep understanding of geopolitics make him an excellent choice."

Tillerson's business relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin are certain to draw scrutiny, according to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. At an unrelated news conference, Schumer said, though he has concerns that need to be addressed, he could be open to giving Tillerson a chance.