Here is our Byline rundown for today (full audio available below):
At the top – This week the Washington Free Beacon reported that Jack Hunter, the social media director for U.S. Senator Rand Paul, is a former pro-Confederate radio shock jock who once called himself the Southern Avenger. Senator Paul is defending the hiring of Hunter, and Hunter says his views have moderated in recent years. We discuss the revelation and subsequent fallout with WFPL Political Editor Phillip M. Bailey.
8:05 – This week President Obama nominated Louisville’s Mattew Barzun, a longtime political ally and fundraiser, to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain. We talk about the ambassador’s job in Britain and elsewhere with Carey Cavanaugh, director of the Patterson School of Diplomacy at the University of Kentucky and a longtime foreign service officer.
14:10 – Our education reporter Devin Katayama joins us for an update on the push to raise Kentucky’s minimum dropout age from 16 to 18, and how it might affect the state’s education system.
19:05 – A conservative activist is following through with his promise to create an alternative youth organization to the Boy Scouts of America, in the wake of the Scouts’ decision to allow for openly gay members. The yet-to-be-named organization was formed from a private meeting held last month in Louisville. WFPL’s Joseph Lord has been following the story and checks in to provide details.
24:00 – Louisville native Greg Bourke was an active leader in his son’s Boy Scout troop for several years. Then he came out to the local scouts council. He was forced to step down last August. The scouts have since changed policy to allow gay members, but not gay scout leaders. Since leaving the scouts, Bourke has become an advocate for gay rights and for more inclusiveness in BSA policies. He speaks with WFPL intern Cameron Price about his experiences.
28:10 – Over the past few years, more and more of America’s energy has come from natural gas, and much of that gas has come from Marcellus shale, which lies mostly under parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, and Maryland. This gas extraction also results in a profitable byproduct: natural gas liquids. These liquids aren’t extracted or processed in Kentucky, but they might be coming here soon. To get to processing plants on the Gulf of Mexico, the liquids could cross the commonwealth in a pipeline, which is being surveyed now. WFPL’s Erica Peterson goes to Nelson County, in Central Kentucky, to find out more.
34:35 – In our arts segment, Erin Keane tells us about the abrupt cancelation of a Kentucky Shakespeare production, then speaks with Fund for the Arts Executive Director Barbara Sexton Smith about the group’s just-completed fundraising campaign.