a Liberal/Conservative Dialogue
with Larry Josephson



In our post-Cold-War, post-industrial, post-toasty world, the polarities of the last fifty years are breaking down. As the tectonic plates of ideology shift beneath our society, the terms "liberal" and "conservative" are increasingly difficult to define or apply: Bill Clinton is sympathetic to minorities yet he supports the death penalty; Barry Goldwater is pro-choice and for gun control; Bill Safire is a Bosnian interventionist, Pat Buchanan is not.

What is it?

BRIDGES gives conservatives a forum on public radio to discuss the great issues of the day. While left-right debates are often predictable and unyielding, BRIDGES inspires listeners of every political persuasion to re-examine their beliefs. More conversation than crossfire, more social philosophy than breaking news, BRIDGES harnesses the tension between left and right to produce compelling radio.

By providing regular, in-depth access to public radio for conservatives, BRIDGES answers the often repeated charge that public radio is run by and for liberals.


BRIDGES examines a wide range of topics, including personal morality and values, the social contract, civil liberties, civil rights and responsibilities, state support of the arts and its dangers (censorship and subtle control), welfare reform, and foreign and defense policy. What is the proper role of government in the doctor's office, the bedroom, in the economy and in the world (can and should we be the world's policeman in response to televised horror)?

In its first year, BRIDGES presented many of the best minds from across the conservative spectrum-- from libertarians to neocons to the Christian right. Guests such as Francis Fukuyama, William F. Buckley, Jr., George Gilder, Lynn Cheney, Midge Decter, Michael Lind, John O'Sullivan, Glenn Loury, Michael Novak, David Blankenhorn, Hilton Kramer, Alvin and Heidi Toffler, Paul Craig Roberts, Cal Thomas, Ralph Reed, James Q. Wilson, P.J. O'Rourke, Kevin Phillips, Charles Murray, Robert Bartley, William Kristol and many others have been heard on BRIDGES.


The host of BRIDGES is Larry Josephson, a neo-liberal (one who's been mugged). For the past several years, Josephson has been re-examining his own political beliefs. Those beliefs were formed during the heyday of classical American liberalism in a world defined by presidents Roosevelt and Kennedy and Johnson-- a world which no longer exists.

Larry Josephson has spent nearly 45 years before a public radio microphone. Josephson is spontaneous, intelligent and well-informed-- acerbic yet warm and empathetic. He uses humor to conduct interviews that are both entertaining and serious. Josephson often asks the unexpected question.


In some programs, Larry profiles his conservative guests one-on-one for the full hour. In others, he talks with two different guests (one a conservative, the other a liberal) seriatim. At other times, he presents a panel of conservatives and liberals.


As the metaphor "Bridges" implies, these discussions provide a venue for a meeting of minds between conservatives and liberals. A radio program cannot by itself solve the nation's problems or heal its divisions. Radio that is serious, intelligent, relevant and entertaining can start and sustain the dialogue.

BRIDGES is produced and distributed by The Radio Foundation, Inc. BRIDGES is made possible by a major grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funds from Charlton and Susan Buckley, The Weingart Foundation, The Richard Lounsbery Foundation, Inc., The William H. Donner Foundation, Edwin A. Goodman, and Peter and Eileen Norton. BRIDGES and the microphone logo are trademarks of the Radio Foundation, Inc.