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Heartland Politics with Robin Johnson
Saturday at 6:30 a.m. on WVIK HD2

Heartland Politics with Robin Johnson is a political podcast discussing current issues we face as a country featuring interviews with senators, congressmen, governors, and other political elite.

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Latest Episodes
  • Elaine Godfrey, a Burlington-area native and staff writer for the Atlantic, talks about her recent article on the decline of the Burlington Hawk Eye and it’s meaning for the community and how it furthers the nationalization of politics.
  • Adam Tooze, author and professor at Columbia University, talks about his recent book, Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World’s Economy, including lessons learned, supply chain disruptions, the role of China, inequality, health care, the partisan divide in the US and much more.
  • State Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria), head of the state Republican campaign committee, talks about Madigan. Trump, redistricting, the crime bill, the state budget and much more.
  • Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs talks about his college and retirement savings plans, programs to help the disabled and farmers, the status of the American Dream and his advocacy for downstate and rural Democrats.
  • Author Scott Eyman’s book is a tonic in these days of politics dividing the nation on almost every topic. He takes us to a time when two Hollywood stars maintained their long-term friendship in spite of differences that came between them including actions of their children during the Vietnam War. A very useful lesson for our times.
  • The former reporter and NBC News anchor shares a very personal battle with cancer based on his book A Lucky Life Interrupted. Brokaw also talks about his Midwestern upbringing and how it shaped his life and career.
  • Marc C. Johnson discusses his new book, Tuesday Night Massacre on how four US Senate elections in 1980 laid the groundwork for the ‘radicalization of the Republican Party. One of these races occurred in Iowa when Chuck Grassley defeated incumbent John Culver after a dry run for new conservative methods defeated incumbent Dick Clark two years earlier. Johnson’s book argues that new tactics developed by outside groups in these races led to the current polarization in today’s politics.
  • Bruce Springsteen’s life, music and impact on America was celebrated in a book called Long Walk Home that was published to celebrate his 70th birthday. Jefferson Cowie discusses his essay on ‘The Boss,’ Springsteen’s impact on today’s polarized society, his take on American identity and much more.
  • Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance ranks right up there with the JFK assassination on unsolved mysteries and conspiracy theories. Jack Goldsmith, stepson of Hoffa’s right hand man, Chuckie O’Brien, talks about his book that debunks many myths, including Martin Scorcese’s The Irishman, and offers his take on what really happened.
  • Craig Whitlock, investigative reporter for the Washington Post, discusses his new book, Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War, which is based on thousands of interviews and direct source materials from those involved at the top levels of our government and military and those at the ground level. Whitlock discusses mission creep, nation building, the distraction of the Iraq War, the disconnect between what the public was told by leaders from both parties and the military and what was actually happening on the ground, and much more.