MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
Some reflections on the 2020 race for the White House.
NICK EICHER, HOST: I’ll talk today with national editor Jamie Dean on Washington Wednesday.
Also today, World Tour.
Plus a student report from the World Journalism Institute on the growing popularity of farm-to-table food.
And what are the elements of an excellent story and the characteristics of an excellent storyteller.
REICHARD: It’s Wednesday, June 3rd. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: Now here’s Kent Covington with the news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Protests calmer in Washington, uncontrolled in New York City » AUDIO: [Washington protests]
Tuesday night was calmer in the nation’s capital. Washington protests were mostly peaceful after two chaotic nights.
And in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti said he’s proud of thousands who protested peacefully there.
But in New York City, thousands defied a curfew—some clashing with police.
AUDIO: [New York City protests]
Looters were out in force once again, ransacking businesses.
Manhattan’s Saks Fifth Avenue hired private security and surrounded the department store with razor wire. That one day after after looters tore apart Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square.
And in St. Louis, looters shot and killed a retired police officer early Tuesday at a pawn shop. The shooting was apparently captured in a Facebook Live broadcast. But police say they currently have no suspects.
The retired officer, 77-year-old David Dorn was African American. His death comes two days after an unknown shooter gunned down a black federal officer in Oakland.
And George Floyd’s younger brother, Terrence, told protesters in Minneapolis this week that the violence dishonors his brother’s memory.
FLOYD: My family is a peaceful family. My family is God fearing. Yeah, we’re upset. But we’re not going to take it, we’re not going to be repetitious.
He pleaded with protesters, “Do this peacefully, please!”
Protest spread around the globe » And the protests have crossed borders and even continents.
Around the world, thousands rallied in a show of solidarity for George Floyd from the streets of Buenos Aires…
AUDIO: [SOUND OF ARGENTINA PROTESTS]
To Sydney, Australia…
AUDIO: [SOUND OF AUSTRALIA PROTESTS]
In Paris, thousands gathered in front of the High Court to protest police brutality in the United States and in France.
AUDIO: [SOUND OF PROTESTS FRANCE]
And the European Union’s top foreign policy official Josep Borrell spoke out on Tuesday.
BORRELL: Like the people of the United States, we are shocked and appalled by the death of George Floyd. And I think that also societies must remain vigilant against the excess of use of force.
Expressions of anger also erupted in multiple languages on social media, with thousands of Swedes joining an online protest under the banner of #BlackOutTuesday.
Some states and cities move to next phase of reopening » Some states and cities are moving to the next stage of their coronavirus reopening plans.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced her state is moving to Phase 4 of her “Safe Start” plan.
As of now, all outdoor gatherings of fewer than 100 people are allowed with social distancing guidelines. Outdoor pools can also reopen. Retailers can open tomorrow and restaurants can begin serving dine-in customers Monday, all with limited capacity.
New York’s Capital Region enters Phase 2 today. That will allow reopening of professional service businesses, retail and more.
But Governor Andrew Cuomo said after months of sacrifices, recent protests may complicate plans in the Big Apple.
CUOMO: People will have lost their jobs. People have wiped out their savings. And now mass gatherings with thousands of people in close proximity? One week before we’re going to reopen New York City? What sense does this make?
Despite ongoing protests, the city of Chicago will loosen restrictions today. And Louisiana will allow more businesses to reopen on Friday.
Report: China withheld genome from WHO at early stage » Throughout January, the World Health Organization publicly praised what it called China’s speedy response to the coronavirus. But new evidence reveals that Chinese officials withheld vital information about the virus from the world at a critical stage. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Chinese officials delayed releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the deadly virus for over a week after multiple government labs had fully decoded it.
That according to the Associated Press, citing internal documents, emails, and dozens of interviews.
The genome is key to designing tests, drugs, and vaccines. But strict controls on information and competition within the Chinese public health system kept the data under wraps.
Health officials only released the genome after a Chinese lab published it ahead of authorities on a virology website on Jan 11.
Even then, China stalled for at least two weeks more on giving the WHO the details it needed at a time when experts say the outbreak might have been dramatically slowed.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Biden blasts Trump for church “photo op” amid protests » Joe Biden mounted one of his most aggressive attacks against President Trump on Tuesday.
Speaking in Philadelphia, Biden blasted the decision to drive back protesters near the White House Monday so Trump could briefly pose with a Bible in front of nearby St. John’s Church, partially burned by rioters the day before.
BIDEN: A president from the doorstep from the people’s house, the White House, using tear gas and flash grenades in order to stage a photo op, a photo op!
Biden said President Trump is more interested in power than principle and accused him of sowing division in the country.
But Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said the president did not give the order to clear the park.
The Washington Post reported that Attorney General William Barr ordered law enforcement officials to expand the security perimeter near the White House just before the president’s Rose Garden address Monday.
But a local news outlet reported that U.S. Park Police said the park was cleared because some demonstrators began assaulting police officers.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: catching up with the 2020 election.
Plus, Joel Belz on the importance of good storytellers.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD: It’s Wednesday, the 3rd of June, 2020. We’re so glad you’ve joined us for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. First up: Washington Wednesday.
Maybe it seems trite to call this one of the most unusual election years in recent memory.
Politics is all about rallies and crowds and yet what we have this time around is campaigns by Skype and Zoom. Public officials giving interviews via laptop cameras and earbuds. And a challenge for the White House from a basement in Delaware.
It’s all so very strange.
And joining me now to talk about it is WORLD’s national editor Jamie Dean. Morning, Jamie.
JAMIE DEAN, NATIONAL EDITOR: Good morning!
EICHER: As fast as everything shut down for so many people, that was true for the campaigns too, wasn’t it?
DEAN: Yeah, I think back to a day in late February, and it seems surreal to think about how all of the Democratic candidates, and dozens of reporters, and about 200 people in an audience were all crammed into a church gymnasium. We were so close, I had another reporter’s knee in my back while we were sitting on a set of bleachers. None of us had heard the phrase social distancing at that point.
That was a really critical week for Biden, and I sort of wonder what might have happened if we all had to go home before he won the South Carolina primary—because that was the contest that really unlocked the other primaries for him. He really is more of an in-person campaigner, so that victory came just in time.
EICHER: Yes, just in time—not long before everybody had to head home—Biden included.
DEAN: He did. Now his home is pretty nice. He quarantined with his wife, Jill, in their home in Delaware, and his aides quickly tried to set up a makeshift campaign headquarters in their finished basement. It’s sort of like a recreational room downstairs.
EICHER: How do you assess the performance?
DEAN: Well, this is where things got a little rough for Biden. Like many people of an older generation—or even a younger generation if I’m being completely honest about myself—Biden isn’t terribly tech savvy. And his campaign really struggled with figuring out how to quickly transition to a digital and remote set-up. There was just no more of the classic, hand-shaking, baby-kissing campaign stops.
So Biden was doing morning show appearances from home, and technicians in Sioux City, Iowa, were actually running the cameras remotely. Then the campaign decided to set up a virtual town hall—but it was really buggy, the sound wasn’t working correctly, and at one point, Biden just asked: “Am I on camera?”
EICHER: Didn’t really get better, did it?
DEAN: Definitely not. It actually got a little worse. A few weeks later, the campaign announced it would hold its first virtual campaign rally. And I thought, well, they’ve had a few weeks to smooth out the wrinkles, so hopefully this will be a little better.
But this turned out to be downright painful. The live feeds of speakers were bogged down, they were putting the wrong names to the wrong faces, people didn’t realize they were on camera for a while. The connections were so poor, a reporter for the Tampa Bay Times later wrote: “Their feeds were visibly delayed as if they were transmitting from Afghanistan and not Tampa Bay.”
EICHER: But I imagine a lot of people—those who’ve been able to work from home—can probably sympathize. Does it really matter if a virtual event doesn’t go well?
DEAN: That’s a fair question, and it probably didn’t matter a ton at that point, particularly since so many people were trying to adjust to being quarantined and trying to avoid getting sick, but here’s the thing: It will matter as time drags on.
Even now it’s hard to see a return anytime soon to the sort of retail campaigning we’re so accustomed to seeing during a typical presidential campaign. So as the summer drags on, and people do start to get more focused on the presidential election, it’s going to be really important for the Biden campaign to be figuring out how to reach voters in a way that they haven’t mastered yet.
EICHER: Let’s talk about President Trump, whose stay-at-home has been an advantage of sorts.
DEAN: True, true, given home at the moment is the White House. That’s certainly given him greater visibility—for better or for worse. During March and April the president was really focused on the pandemic, and holding these daily briefings about the government’s response. So he wasn’t directly campaigning at that point, though how a president performs has an effect on how voters respond to him later.
But his campaign team was in full force at this point. They really quickly made the switch to a fully online campaign that was up and running almost immediately. Every night at 8:00 p.m. on the campaign’s YouTube channel, a different show would pop up. And it would be live. Sometimes it would be “Latinos for Trump” or “Catholics for Trump” or Donald Trump Jr., doing his version of a kind of intentionally provocative talk show.
And these shows opened with television quality, high-speed graphics. They were operating on a noticeably higher level than the Biden campaign—at least in terms of the technical and the presentation side of it.
EICHER: Right, we haven’t really talked about content much. That seems like the most important thing, doesn’t it?
DEAN: It does, though how you present the content is part of whether you’re effective or not. And I think that’s the thing both campaigns will have to reckon with.
EICHER: But for President Trump in particular, there’s a certain medium is the message thing for him, drawing the big crowds—that’s part of the pitch, part of his political brand.
DEAN: That’s right. For Trump, the big rallies really are the signature events of his campaign. And I think it’s hard for the president to imagine going all the way to November without them. That’s probably part of the reason he’s insisted on having a full-capacity, in-person Republican National Convention here in Charlotte this August.
It’s not clear how that will work, or whether people will really want to pack into an arena at that point, but I think it’s important enough to the campaign’s style for them to try to press for it and see if it’s possible.
EICHER: We’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about the last few days of turmoil in the country, and how that might affect the presidential campaigns. What are your thoughts there?
DEAN: In some ways, I’ve thought very little about the campaigns over the last few days. I’ve thought less about how will this affect what happens in November and more about what’s going to happen tonight or tomorrow?
All of this will undoubtedly become fodder for both campaigns over the next few months, and there’s a place to parse through how the president responds, and what Joe Biden thinks would work better.
At the moment, I think I’m struck by how God gives us leaders who have to grapple with how to get through times like these. But He really has given us only one Savior, and He’s not a politician. So we can pray for leaders who do wise things, but we really do have to ask for God’s mercy and look to Him for the help that only He can ultimately give us.
EICHER: Amen. Jamie Dean, national editor for WORLD. Good word, Jamie. Thanks.
DEAN: Thanks, Nick.
NICK EICHER: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with Africa reporter Onize Ohikere.
ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER—South Sudan vice president tests positive—We start today here in Africa.
The vice president of South Sudan has tested positive for COVID-19. He is the latest in a string of top officials who have contracted the virus.
AUDIO: Sudaneese Minister of Health – I cannot tell you how many were positive…but of course you know the First Vice President has come out publicly, the minister for defense made a statement yesterday, the minister for information…
All 15 members of the nation’s coronavirus task force have also tested positive.
South Sudan is emerging from a devastating six-year civil war. The country formed a unity government in February, but still faces a humanitarian crisis. It lacks roads and adequate healthcare facilities.
South Sudan has registered almost 1000 cases of COVID-19 and 10 deaths.
Hungary ends state of emergency—Next, we go to Hungary.
AUDIO: We are now nearing the end, thankfully, of the emergency situation.
Hungary’s government says it will end its state of emergency on June 20th. Lawmakers plan to revoke the emergency powers law—a controversial bill that gave Prime Minister Viktor Orban sweeping power during the coronavirus pandemic.
The policy gave Orban the ability to rule by decree and sidestep parliament. It also added jail time for anyone who spread what the government called false information about its pandemic strategy. When the law was passed, it had no set end date. Critics and rights groups called it a power grab. But one Hungarian politician said that wasn’t true.
AUDIO: We didn’t crack down on anything. We just had to deal with a situation that was extraordinary.
Hungary’s justice minister said she expects an apology from anyone who has “attacked” the country with “a slander campaign.”
Germany reintroduces military rabbis—Next, to Germany.
AUDIO: [German Lawmakers applaud]
Lawmakers applauded Thursday as the government reintroduced rabbis to the military. It’s the first time rabbis have been allowed in the armed forces since the 1930s.
Rabbis were part of the German military during World War One. They were banned when Adolf Hitler took power and the Nazis began removing Jews from public life.
AUDIO: [ANNEGRET KRAMP-KARRENBAUER]
Germany’s defense minister said the move would help combat anti-Semitism and extremism in the armed forces. The military doesn’t officially record troops’ religious beliefs, but it estimates there are 300 Jewish soldiers on active duty. Germany has about 180,000 troops.
The government also has plans to introduce Muslim imams to the military.
Notre Dame square reopens—And finally, we end today in France.
AUDIO: [Sound from Notre Dame]
The courtyard in front of Notre Dame Cathedral is now open to the public. It’s the first time the space has been open since last year’s devastating fire. The blaze nearly destroyed the 13th-century church. Three hundred tons of lead paneling went up in flames, sending toxic dust over the surrounding area. Reconstruction crews have been deep cleaning the site for months.
AUDIO: [Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo]
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called Notre Dame “the soul of Paris,” and said the reopening was “a form of rebirth.”
The cathedral itself is still under construction and will remain closed for several years.
That’s this week’s World Tour. Reporting for WORLD, I’m Onize Ohikere in Abuja, Nigeria.
MARY REICHARD: You’ve probably experienced some mail delays, especially of late.
Well, last month Janice Tucker in Indiana received a letter from her brother who was stationed overseas with the military.
Tucker told television station WHAS all about it:
TUCKER: And it begins with “Hi sis, I just read your letter. Wow!”
He went on to describe a brush with death when he came under enemy fire.
TUCKER: When your aircraft starts becoming holey right before your eyes, strange things go through your head.
The thing is, when her brother wrote that letter, he was serving in Vietnam. It was 1968!
Her brother’s name is William Lone, and he’s still alive and well. After she got the letter, she called him up. He remembered writing it, even remembered putting a 5-cent stamp on the envelope.
What she doesn’t know is how it wound up in her mailbox after 52 years. And she couldn’t be more grateful.
TUCKER: Thank you to whoever found this letter. Thank you to whoever sent it to me. But most of all, thank you to my brother. This letter just makes me want to honor him more.
It’s The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD: Today is Wednesday, June 3rd. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: a story from one of our students at the World Journalism Institute.
Vivian Jones, Nashville, Tennessee, 2016 Hillsdale college grad and one of our students in the radio track.
She’s the married mom of a one-year-old and Vivian just did a great job. Now for her final project, she drove over a few local farms and farmers markets. She wanted to find out how consumer buying habits have changed, in light of the coronavirus.
Here now is Vivian Jones with what she found out.
AUDIO: [Ducks, birds]
VIVIAN JONES, CORRESPONDENT: Just a few miles outside of Nashville there’s a small meat and dairy farm. It’s namesake? A goat called Annie that owner Kelly Albright’s husband, Robert, gave her when they got married.
ALBRIGHT: It was my first venture into livestock, and she was so easy that I thought like: “I could raise livestock, this isn’t hard.” We joked that if we ever owned property, we would name it Annie Acres.
And they did. Today, Albright and her daughter, Lilly Mae, are building a new pen for two calves. Rain this morning turned what was a pasture into a puddle.
AUDIO: [FARM YARD]
That’s Rocco the duck. He’s following them around, squawking as they work.
ALBRIGHT: We’re going to build a calf paddock…Lilly, do you know where the posts are?
Annie Acres expanded last year, and started reaping the benefits this spring. Then the coronavirus hit. Shoppers at grocery stores faced empty shelves, and turned to farmers like Albright for more sustainable food options.
ALBRIGHT: We do pork, we do chicken, eggs, dairy, we do raw dairy, raw milk, cream, butter. This year has been exponential demand.
Albright didn’t expect this kind of growth. In fact, she was a bit worried that she wouldn’t be able to sell product quickly enough.
ALBRIGHT: We took pigs to butcher in January, and we sold all that. And we took pigs to butcher again in March, and we’re almost done with all of that pork, and we’re about to take more pigs again in June. So, I was very nervous about there being too much pork, but the market has taken care of that. Because there has been so much demand for people to look inward to their community as to what’s already available.
Another farm-to-door approach is a bit more organized. It’s called CSA or Community Supported Agriculture. Many local farms offer produce directly to customers through CSAs. Customers buy a share of a farmer’s crop, and farmers provide boxes of fresh produce throughout the growing season.
BERNANDER: What’s in the box right now [is] green kale, broccoli, golden beets, lettuce, collard greens…
This is a CSA distribution at the East Nashville Farmers Market.
Robert Bernander is an employee at Delvin Farms in College Grove, Tennessee. He says his farm has seen record sales this spring.
BERNANDER: Corona has caused a huge spike in CSA sales, because people you know, they don’t want to walk into Kroger and expose theirself to any of that, you know that any other people might have. So they’ve gone to a local farmers’ CSAs and tried to source their food that way.
Delvin Farms’ CSA program has more than doubled in size. Last year, it signed up 450 members. This year: more than 900.
In fact, at least 15 of the 35 farms with CSAs near Nashville—that’s 42 percent—have already sold out of CSA shares.
AUDIO: [MACKIS GREETING CUSTOMERS]
Melissa Mackis is the marketing manager at Caney Fork Farms in Carthage. But she doesn’t just sit in an office. Each week, she drives a truck to a brewery in East Nashville, where she distributes produce boxes.
MACKIS: Last year, we weren’t anywhere near capacity. And then in March, we grew about 70 percent, and then in April, we doubled that… We reached capacity before May, which was our goal pre-COVID-19, but we had a much slower growth plan. Our sales have kind-of skyrocketed. People that we wouldn’t have seen usually coming to the farmers market and sign up for a CSA, that kind of thing, now we’re getting them from all sorts of places.
This year hasn’t been easy—especially on the operations side. At Caney Fork, the seven farm employees have to practice social distancing as they work, just like everyone else. And when they interact with the food, they have to wear masks and gloves.
MACKIS: We have this home delivery system already in place. Once this all started happening, that’s what most of the people signed up for was home delivery. So I think it’s just the fact that there’s no one interacting with the food, it’s coming straight to you.
CSAs aren’t just a Nashville thing—you can find them all across the country. While farm-to-door sales have declined over the last decade, last year more than 7,000 farms in the nation sold directly to consumers.
When COVID-19 disrupted the food supply chain, sick workers brought meat processing plants to a halt and grocery store meat shelves emptied. Consumers rushed to stores to stock up on produce, and trucks couldn’t keep up with the demand.
CSA farms across the U.S. were ready to help meet the need, and now they’re booming.
ALBRIGHT: We tried an experiment with putting our two sows together, but they didn’t like it…
Back at Annie Acres, Albright says the pandemic has forced people to think about where their food comes from, and exposed systemic problems with the supply chain in America.
ALBRIGHT: This whole pandemic has highlighted holes in our economy of food… A lot of our food supply we’re so disconnected from… In South Dakota, one food processing plant closes, and it reverberates across the U.S… It’s scary that one small chink in the overall food chain supply can cause this much disruption.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Vivian Jones in Nashville, Tennessee.
MARY REICHARD: Today is Wednesday, June 3rd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. WORLD founder Joel Belz now on good storytelling and one of our own.
JOEL BELZ, FOUNDER: When I heard that Sarah Schweinsberg was telling “quite a story,” I was all ears. Sarah Schweinsberg is not just an extraordinary storyteller. She is also a voice you hear frequently here on The World and Everything in It.
Sarah is the product of a Christian home, a Christian elementary school and high school, and a Christian college. She’s got a solid grounding in Biblical worldview thinking. And she’s a 2015 graduate of our own World Journalism Institute, where she honed her skills as a reporter and writer.
Sarah’s story that caught my attention was a spinoff of the coronavirus crisis. You may have heard it a couple of weeks ago on our podcast.
While mainstream media tended to focus on shortages in the nation’s food supply, Sarah featured a hog farmer in Ohio and a dairy farmer in Pennsylvania who had so much pork and milk they didn’t know what to do with it. Both of them were encouraged to destroy truckloads of perfectly good foodstuffs. Both of them thought that was poor stewardship. Both of them asked the Lord for wisdom.
Sarah’s journalistic savvy helped her recognize the rich presence of a whole lineup of elements that readers value. Readers like stories about animals. They like stories with outlandish numbers. They like stories about people who are problem solvers and creative thinkers. They like stories that go against the trend. They like stories about people who pray, and get answers to their prayers. This story had them all.
Sarah did the hard, diligent work of a reporter, pulling all these strands together. She ended up with a thoughtful, significant, and fascinating story I haven’t heard anywhere else. I won’t retell the story here; you can hear it on our website at worldandeverything.org. You’ll see why I call Sarah a gifted storyteller. And you’ll understand why I think Sarah has a great future as a reporter.
As WORLD’s founder some 34 years ago, I am especially grateful that through those years God has been calling and equipping young men and women like Sarah Schweinsberg to do the work of truth-based, God-centered journalism in a frighteningly secular culture. The stories they tell are true stories, producing a mega-story that brings great glory to God.
This doesn’t happen by accident, but by the conscious and focused effort of many people—through many years. So I’m thankful for Sarah’s parents and family, for her early teachers, for the faculty at Northwestern College, and for World Journalism Institute.
Theirs has been a unique contribution to the Christian world in these bewildering times. And that’s quite a story all by itself.
I’m Joel Belz.
NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: Some retailers and restaurants are trying to do away with cash payments in favor of so-called contactless payments. But for shoppers without smartphones or credit cards, that’s a hardship.
And, the president has threatened to remove protections for social media platforms. We’ll find out what that could mean for the rest of us.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.
The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.
WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.
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I hope you’ll have a great rest of the day. We’ll talk to you tomorrow!