Entertainment Politics — 12 January 2013
Carol Swain’s new talk show gaining momentum in Middle Tennessee.

By Ronald W. Weathersby

Vanderbilt University School of Law professor Dr. Carol M. Swain believes political conservatives need more voices on television besides FOX news and her television show, “Be the People” which airs Sundays at midnight on WSMV Ch. 4 in Nashville is her effort to give viewers not only an expanded knowledge of conservative political thought but suggestions on how to turn philosophy into action.

On her website Swain describes ‘Be the People’ as a “Hard-hitting television series directly confronting the hot topic issues facing Americans today.  Featuring one-on-one interviews and panel discussions with influential politicians, businessmen, journalists, celebrities, entertainers and nationally known political pundits, no opinion will go unheard and the truth will prevail.”

The show is named after a book recently written by Swain.

Her show has already found an audience. A recent program was viewed by 46,000 households, which Swain sees as excellent for her midnight time slot. The success of the show has Swain and her team ready to expand statewide after the first of the year and regionally by mid-2013. After that, who knows?

“I want to be the Christian Oprah on secular TV,” Swain said during a recent telephone interview.

‘Be the People’ premiered Oct. 8. And Swain says the platform has gives her an opportunity to, “Speak truth to power and enable people to stand up and realize they do have a voice. We the people do have power.”

Swain, whose personal story of triumph over dropping out of high school and becoming a teenage mother is no stranger to the rigors of television having been a recurring guest on the top rated show, Sean Hannity’s “Great American People” on FOX News. She also was a regular contributor on Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN.

However one lesson she learned as a guest on national television is shaping her vision for ‘Be the People.’

“You’ll never be able to educate people with sound bites,” Swain said. “My shows concentrate on one issue at a time and I have the final say. Most shows get people worked up and emotional about an issue – and then the show ends. I want to inspire people to take action.”

Besides the midnight time slot, ‘Be the People’ also has a burgeoning internet presence at www.bethepeopletv.com and on a growing Facebook page.

Eventually, Swain would like her show to have a live audience to question guests and to do more shows spotlighting an everyday individual. But that’ll take sponsors and advertisers, she acknowledges.

Her personal story also shapes her life and her “Be the People” show. A high school dropout, a teenage mother and low-wage worker, Swain triumphed over those stereotypes to become a professor at Princeton and then Vanderbilt.

“I want to bring my whole self, especially my faith, but I want it to be on secular TV. I want to be the Christian Oprah on national TV.”

Swain has been a frequent guest on traditional conservative talks shows, such as Sean Hannity’s “Great American People” on FOX and Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN. Her experiences there convinced her “you’ll never be able to educate people with sound bites.”

So when she envisioned a show two years ago, she wanted to focus on a single topic in the hour. And she wanted to end shows with action points, suggestions of concrete things that viewers can do to change the culture. “Most shows get people worked up and emotional about an issue – and then the show ends.

“Be the People” is “to help we the people realize they do have a voice and they can help change the culture.” She also wants people to take responsibility for not taking action.

“Remind people they do have a voice, and they bear some of the blame for what is happening in our country,” Swain said.

America’s conservatives and Republicans ought to take that message to heart after the Nov. 6 election, Swain said.

“Republicans lose elections because we don’t listen,” Swain said.

As a university faculty, she said, she believes young people have the ideas and heart to bridge the divide in the country.

“If some established leaders would listen – instead of paying strategists like Dick Morris and Karl Rove – if they would sit down and listen to the young and learn,” Swain said.

And Republicans need to expand outreach from $500 or $1,000 a plate fund-raisers to free or $10 events. “People know hypocrisy when they see it, when you are only showing up in an election cycle,” Swain said. “Now is when Republicans need to build up for the next election.”

Republicans are rethinking immigration after Obama’s capture of the Latino vote. But she wants to explore the economic impact of millions more eligible for entitlement programs, Swain said. “We don’t want to be a show that offends … but one that still tackles important topics,” Swain said.

She’s also keeping true to her Christian identity with Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays shows focusing on individuals whose faith and personal stories illuminate their cultural and political beliefs. That includes Joanne Cash Yates, a sister of country music legend Johnny Cash, on Sunday, Nov. 25.

Eventually, Swain would like her show to have a live audience to question guests and to do more shows spotlighting an everyday individual. But that’ll take sponsors and advertisers, she acknowledges.

 

Comments

Related Articles

Share

About Author

Tribune

(0) Readers Comments

Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: