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Steve Barnes' perspective on "Barnes and..."

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Television's demand for "action" pictures is insatiable and foolish. Too many editors and producers abhor what is called "a talking head." Tom Shales, the Pulitzer Prize-winning television critic of the Washington Post, once observed that "the most interesting thing you can put on television is a talking head." Depending, of course, on what the "head" has to say.

The concept of "Barnes and..." is quite simple: two talking heads, one--the "and..." --talking far more than the other, and with much indeed to say. Just two people interested in ideas and public policy at a table, with nothing on the table except--ideas and public policy.

The "...and" (okay, the guest) could be an activist, an author, a scholar, a journalist or some other man or woman active in the public arena. And those conversations produce some of the most engrossing locally-produced programming since television came to Arkansas a half-century ago. And they are tailored, to every extent possible, to an Arkansas audience.

"Barnes and..." has featured celebrated authors and noted activists from every point on the political spectrum. It has offered its guests the luxury of a comparatively extended forum to express their ideas while providing its audience an hour or half-hour of that rarest commodity: civil, thoughtful television.

The new series of "Barnes and..." will feature four interviews and air in four parts:

Profiles Photos of Judge Robert L. Brown, Jay Jennings, Jason Grumet, and Dan Hurley
  • "Barnes and...a Conversation With Judge Robert L. Brown" Feb. 4, 10 at 6:30 p.m.; Feb. 13, 10:30 p.m.
  • "Barnes and...a Conversation With Jay Jennings" Feb. 11, 17 at 6:30 p.m.; Feb. 20, 10:30 p.m.
  • "Barnes and...a Conversation With Jason Grumet" Feb. 18, 24 at 6:30 p.m.; Feb. 27 at 10:30 p.m.
  • "Barnes and...a Conversation With Dan Hurley" Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m.

To see full past episodes you can visit

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